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Frequency Counter for Tracking Generator


 

After acquiring a TR-503 tracking generator for my 492 spectrum analyzer, I was on the lookout for a DC508A counter with the proper option as an add-on. But in time I realized I have several counters that can be connected to the TR-503's auxiliary output to accurately display frequency, so I dropped the idea. But the other day I saw an ad for this $18.95, eight-digit 2.4 GHz counter found at https://www.mpja.com/Test-Equipment/products/59/ that looked like it might serve as the basis of a dedicated counter if a suitable crystal time-base could be added. Looking on the usual auction site, it appeared these counters are available there for even less.

It was kind of alarming to read that a VCO is being used as a time-base. Also, they mentioned a divide-by-64 function being used for higher frequencies; so it is not clear whether, in that range, the counter displays actual frequency or that divided by 64. Anyway, I thought this might possibly be of interest to others for incorporation in projects. Has anyone investigated these?

I have no connection with the seller, other than having bought parts from them.

Bruce, KG6OJI


John Gord
 

Bruce,

I have a similar counter, but with LCD instead of LED display. The firmware automatically adjusts for the divide-by-64 prescaler and displays the actual input frequency. It also has provision to add or subtract a fixed frequency offset so that it can measure the local oscillator of a receiver but display the signal frequency.

--John Gord

On Sun, May 24, 2020 at 05:31 PM, ebrucehunter wrote:


After acquiring a TR-503 tracking generator for my 492 spectrum analyzer, I
was on the lookout for a DC508A counter with the proper option as an add-on.
But in time I realized I have several counters that can be connected to the
TR-503's auxiliary output to accurately display frequency, so I dropped the
idea. But the other day I saw an ad for this $18.95, eight-digit 2.4 GHz
counter found at https://www.mpja.com/Test-Equipment/products/59/ that looked
like it might serve as the basis of a dedicated counter if a suitable crystal
time-base could be added. Looking on the usual auction site, it appeared
these counters are available there for even less.

It was kind of alarming to read that a VCO is being used as a time-base.
Also, they mentioned a divide-by-64 function being used for higher
frequencies; so it is not clear whether, in that range, the counter displays
actual frequency or that divided by 64. Anyway, I thought this might possibly
be of interest to others for incorporation in projects. Has anyone
investigated these?

I have no connection with the seller, other than having bought parts from
them.

Bruce, KG6OJI