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What are you using for an inexpensive  frequency counter?
What are you using for an inexpensive  frequency counter?
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Old 16th June 2018, 08:52 PM   #11
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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What are you using for an inexpensive  frequency counter?
Hi Phil,
Ahhh, those are using a u-controller instead of a frequency reference and divider chain. I wouldn't count on the accuracy at all. Also, the low frequency count will be a lot slower than the HP counters. Or any counter for that matter.

-Chris
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Old 16th June 2018, 08:58 PM   #12
PH104 is offline PH104  United States
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What are you using for an inexpensive  frequency counter?
excellent points - thank you
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Old 16th June 2018, 09:00 PM   #13
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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What are you using for an inexpensive  frequency counter?
Hi Phil,
The price was too good to be true, and I have bought clocks using those chips as little projects. They aren't accurate, and they aren't terrible either. But, as a frequency counter I would trust them.

-Chris
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Old 16th June 2018, 10:34 PM   #14
Mark Johnson is offline Mark Johnson  United States
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What are you using for an inexpensive  frequency counter?
Beware the $85 "8 digit" frequency counters like this one. They don't actually display frequencies with 8 digits except in very rare cases, near the upper limits of a frequency band. Otherwise you get five or sometimes four digits on the display.

As soon as I discovered this limitation, I abandoned the cheapie counter and bought a reconditioned HP5335A for $340 from diyAudio member John Bau (his site is linearz dot com). 200 MHz, 12 digits, now THAT'S a frequency counter.

My application? Measuring the values of small (15 nH) unknown inductances by resonating them with a known capacitance, and measuring the resonant frequency on the HP frequency counter.

diyAudio thread: Measuring the ESL inductance of electrolytic caps (at 10 MHz!)
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Old 16th June 2018, 10:50 PM   #15
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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What are you using for an inexpensive  frequency counter?
Hi Mark,
I love my HP 5335A. It does stats and other things besides.

-Chris
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Old 16th June 2018, 11:28 PM   #16
Conrad Hoffman is offline Conrad Hoffman  United States
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The old HPs are nice because most are reciprocal counters and are fast even with low frequencies. They don't usually sell for too much. OTOH, for occasional use, download a free copy of Visual Analyser which has a counter and much more if you have a sound card.
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Old 17th June 2018, 02:27 AM   #17
trobbins is offline trobbins  Australia
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I'd strongly suggest using or adding a soundcard and software approach - I know that REW software can automatically lock on to and determine frequency of signals in spectrum mode, including harmonic levels when there is a dominant signal, and also noise levels. A picture (plot) can be worth a thousand discrete measurements - so to speak, and it also easily shows up spurious signals above the noise floor that you may not have observed otherwise (as the S/N range is so much larger than a scope, or would ever be triggered by a counter). The sweep capability to give an automated frequency response is just so easy for filter assessment.

Last edited by trobbins; 17th June 2018 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 17th June 2018, 02:39 AM   #18
gerhard is online now gerhard  Germany
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It seems to me that the OP would be better served by a generator
with a reliable frequency display. HP3325 A/B, for example.

Cheers,
Gerhard

(SR620, 12 digits in 1 second)
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Last edited by gerhard; 17th June 2018 at 02:47 AM.
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Old 17th June 2018, 02:43 AM   #19
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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What are you using for an inexpensive  frequency counter?
The one and only problem with sound cards is protecting the input. You have to be constantly aware of the voltage of the signal you're probing. And the fact that most sound cards are about 10K input impedance.

-Chris
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Old 17th June 2018, 02:54 AM   #20
PH104 is offline PH104  United States
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What are you using for an inexpensive  frequency counter?
Hey Chris: Slightly OT but perhaps relevant question.......what's a typical calibration protocol/schedule for freq counters?

Thanks
Phil
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