10MHz-to-PPS board, rev2

A second try at the PPS board, this time with the correct footprint for the transistors on the sine-to-square input stage.

Still some bugs left as I had to add a diode on the MCLR pin for the PIC-programmer to work correctly.

1PPS output is phase-coherent with the 10 MHz input.
10 ms long 1PPS output, ca 2.7V into 50R load.
PPS-board, rev2. sine-to-square at the top. Sync-input and dip-switch in the middle. PPS-outputs at the bottom.
PPS into 1 Megaohm - with ringing and 3.3V amplutide..

PPS-board prototype

An evolution of my PICDIV-board from 2016. Takes 10MHz input and produces 1PPS (one pulse per second). This one has a TADD-2-mini inspired sine-to-square converter on the input (far left), a PIC12F675 with Tom van Baak's PICDIV-code (right), an ICSP-header for programming, and output-buffers inspired by the pulse distribution amplifier. A 3-position DIP-switch (middle left) allows config-changes, and a blinking LED indicates 1PPS (middle right).

Fixed a few bugs in the first PCB-revision and will order boards for version two soon. Eventually to be published on github/ohwr - stay tuned..

PPS-board 2018 August prototype. Note bypassed sine-to-square circuit on the left.

PICDIV frequency divider

I put together a PICDIV frequency divider for use with a Rubidium clock.

I used an LTC6957-3 to convert the 10 MHz sine-wave from the clock to a CMOS logic signal (square wave). The LTC6957-3 has two outputs, one is routed to a BNC connector output, the other is used as the clock for a PIC12F675. The PIC runs pd09.asm which outputs a 20 us long pulse every second - i.e. it divides the 10 MHz input frequency by 1e7. The PIC is programmed through a 5-pin 100 mil ICSP header.

Here are some test-signals with a SRS PRS-10 as the source, and recorded on a Rigol scope.

The outputs behave as expected, but the 1PPS from the PIC is only 700 mVpp into 50R - a bit low. When terminated to 1 MOhm the rise-time is much worse so this is best avoided. Perhaps a buffer or level-translator would be a good addition.

Finally phase-noise measurements on the 10 MHz CMOS output, performed with a 3120A phase-noise probe.

I tried shielding the circuit with aluminium foil and powering it from a +12 VDC lead-acid battery - however the three measurement runs look roughly similar. Perhaps the LM317 regulator is not a great choice here, and both the LTC sine-to-square chip and the PIC should have more bypass caps and decoupling (inductors, ferrites?). In any case the phase-noise is 10-20x better than the measurement noise from a typical counter (SR620 or 53230A), so any issues only show up with high-end phase-noise probes.