Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

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Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

Elecraft mailing list
If I set my K3's VFO to WWV at 5.000000 MHz with AM-S on....and I adjust  
"REF CAL" to a number where
my VFO's frequency readout is exact or near this number +/- maybe a Hertz  
or two. Is this an accurate way to calibrate my K3?
 
It seems to be very accurate as far as I can tell.
 
Has anyone used this method?
 
Michael
N2ZDB
 
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Re: Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

kh6u
This is exactly the method I use.
73, Doug, KH6U

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: Michael via Elecraft
Sent: Friday, December 16, 2016 3:16 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: [Elecraft] Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

If I set my K3's VFO to WWV at 5.000000 MHz with AM-S on....and I adjust  
"REF CAL" to a number where
my VFO's frequency readout is exact or near this number +/- maybe a Hertz  
or two. Is this an accurate way to calibrate my K3?
 
It seems to be very accurate as far as I can tell.
 
Has anyone used this method?
 
Michael
N2ZDB
 
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Re: Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

Don Wilhelm
In reply to this post by Elecraft mailing list
Michael,

I don't think that is adequate.
First of all, use the highest frequency WWV that you can receive.
Second, do not use AM-S.  That mode will synchronize with the frequency
of the AM carrier, and may not produce a true dial frequency.

Us SSB - either LSB or LSB and tune for the tones transmitted by WWV -
either 500 or 600 Hz.  Use of an audio spectrum analyzer such as
Spectrogram or SpectrumLab will tell you when you have the tones
received at the proper frequencies.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 12/16/2016 8:12 PM, Michael via Elecraft wrote:
> If I set my K3's VFO to WWV at 5.000000 MHz with AM-S on....and I adjust
> "REF CAL" to a number where
> my VFO's frequency readout is exact or near this number +/- maybe a Hertz
> or two. Is this an accurate way to calibrate my K3?
>
> It seems to be very accurate as far as I can tell.
>
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Re: Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

a45wg-3
Very timely - just performed the operation with the help of the manual (Page 53 on the K3-S manual) and these extra instructions.

        Many thanks

                Tim A45WG


> On Dec 17, 2016, at 6:52 AM, Don Wilhelm <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Michael,
>
> I don't think that is adequate.
> First of all, use the highest frequency WWV that you can receive.
> Second, do not use AM-S.  That mode will synchronize with the frequency of the AM carrier, and may not produce a true dial frequency.
>
> Us SSB - either LSB or LSB and tune for the tones transmitted by WWV - either 500 or 600 Hz.  Use of an audio spectrum analyzer such as Spectrogram or SpectrumLab will tell you when you have the tones received at the proper frequencies.
>
> 73,
> Don W3FPR
>
> On 12/16/2016 8:12 PM, Michael via Elecraft wrote:
>> If I set my K3's VFO to WWV at 5.000000 MHz with AM-S on....and I adjust
>> "REF CAL" to a number where
>> my VFO's frequency readout is exact or near this number +/- maybe a Hertz
>> or two. Is this an accurate way to calibrate my K3?
>>
>> It seems to be very accurate as far as I can tell.
>>
> ______________________________________________________________
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> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
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Re: Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

Wes Stewart-2
In reply to this post by Don Wilhelm
My method: http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/Ref-Osc-Cal-Method-4-td2595451.html


On 12/16/2016 7:52 PM, Don Wilhelm wrote:

> Michael,
>
> I don't think that is adequate.
> First of all, use the highest frequency WWV that you can receive.
> Second, do not use AM-S.  That mode will synchronize with the frequency of the
> AM carrier, and may not produce a true dial frequency.
>
> Us SSB - either LSB or LSB and tune for the tones transmitted by WWV - either
> 500 or 600 Hz.  Use of an audio spectrum analyzer such as Spectrogram or
> SpectrumLab will tell you when you have the tones received at the proper
> frequencies.
>
> 73,
> Don W3FPR
>
> On 12/16/2016 8:12 PM, Michael via Elecraft wrote:
>> If I set my K3's VFO to WWV at 5.000000 MHz with AM-S on....and I adjust
>> "REF CAL" to a number where
>> my VFO's frequency readout is exact or near this number +/- maybe a Hertz
>> or two. Is this an accurate way to calibrate my K3?
>>
>> It seems to be very accurate as far as I can tell.
>>
> ______________________________________________________________
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> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>

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Re: Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

k6dgw
In reply to this post by Elecraft mailing list
I guess it depends on how accurate you want your K3 frequency display to
be.  I think AM-S will warp the frequency a tiny bit to sync the carrier
so that may not be the best mode.  I'd also go as high as you can on WWV.

Wayne suggested a method that is somewhere on the E-site which I used--

Use the highest WWV frequency that you can hear well.  USB or LSB, WIDTH
to 500-800 Hz, SHIFT so can hear the carrier beat note [it will be very
low].  CONFIG-->REF CAL, wait for a tone-less minute and adjust REF CAL
for exact zero beat.  You'll be counting the pulsations in the
background noise as you come up on zero beat.

I got mine to about 10 seconds per pulsation on 20 MHz back when there
were sunspots.  That's an accuracy of 0.1 Hz and everything below 20 MHz
will be at least that good.

73,

Fred K6DGW
- Sparks NV DM09dn

- Northern California Contest Club
- CU in the Cal QSO Party 7-8 Oct 2017
- www.cqp.org

On 12/16/2016 5:12 PM, Michael via Elecraft wrote:

> If I set my K3's VFO to WWV at 5.000000 MHz with AM-S on....and I adjust
> "REF CAL" to a number where
> my VFO's frequency readout is exact or near this number +/- maybe a Hertz
> or two. Is this an accurate way to calibrate my K3?
>
> It seems to be very accurate as far as I can tell.
>
> Has anyone used this method?
>
> Michael
> N2ZDB

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Re: Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

bdenley
Fred, Don:
I ask because I am curious.  On any older receiver, calibration at 20 MHz would not guarantee cal below that ( or at any other frequency ).  One could be 5 hz high at 30 MHz but 10 hz low at 7 MHz.  Why is the K3 different?

Brian Denley
KB1VBF
Sent from my iPad

> On Dec 17, 2016, at 3:43 PM, Fred Jensen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I guess it depends on how accurate you want your K3 frequency display to be.  I think AM-S will warp the frequency a tiny bit to sync the carrier so that may not be the best mode.  I'd also go as high as you can on WWV.
>
> Wayne suggested a method that is somewhere on the E-site which I used--
>
> Use the highest WWV frequency that you can hear well.  USB or LSB, WIDTH to 500-800 Hz, SHIFT so can hear the carrier beat note [it will be very low].  CONFIG-->REF CAL, wait for a tone-less minute and adjust REF CAL for exact zero beat.  You'll be counting the pulsations in the background noise as you come up on zero beat.
>
> I got mine to about 10 seconds per pulsation on 20 MHz back when there were sunspots.  That's an accuracy of 0.1 Hz and everything below 20 MHz will be at least that good.
>
> 73,
>
> Fred K6DGW
> - Sparks NV DM09dn
>
> - Northern California Contest Club
> - CU in the Cal QSO Party 7-8 Oct 2017
> - www.cqp.org
>
>> On 12/16/2016 5:12 PM, Michael via Elecraft wrote:
>> If I set my K3's VFO to WWV at 5.000000 MHz with AM-S on....and I adjust
>> "REF CAL" to a number where
>> my VFO's frequency readout is exact or near this number +/- maybe a Hertz
>> or two. Is this an accurate way to calibrate my K3?
>>
>> It seems to be very accurate as far as I can tell.
>>
>> Has anyone used this method?
>>
>> Michael
>> N2ZDB
>
> ______________________________________________________________
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Re: Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

k6dgw
Fair question ... actually a good question.

Short answer: On vintage receivers, the VFO freq [the local oscillator
that heterodynes to the IF freq] is switched for each band ... except of
course if it's a Collins radio.  It's a single dial with multiple fixed
scales but multiple frequency determining networks.  Calibrating one to
WWV has no bearing on any of the others, and your example is correct.

For a K3 [and all like it], the "VFO" is synthesized from a single,
non-switched source regardless of band.  Get it within 1 Hz at 80, and
it will be within 2Hz [or so, it's digital after all] at 40. So, you
want to to do the adjustment at the highest possibly frequency ... all
the lower ones will be *at least* as good.

A critical factor in this procedure is that the WWV signal strength
needs to be hign enough to discern the zero beat clearly.  I did mine at
20 MHz when there were lots of sunspots.  At the end of 2016, you may
need to settle for a lower WWV.  The difference will be tiny in any case.

73,

Fred K6DGW
- Sparks NV DM09dn

- Northern California Contest Club
- CU in the Cal QSO Party 7-8 Oct 2017
- www.cqp.org

On 12/17/2016 9:17 PM, Brian Denley wrote:
> Fred, Don: I ask because I am curious.  On any older receiver,
> calibration at 20 MHz would not guarantee cal below that ( or at any
> other frequency ).  One could be 5 hz high at 30 MHz but 10 hz low at
> 7 MHz.  Why is the K3 different?
>
> Brian Denley KB1VBF Sent from my iPad
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Re: Checking VFO accuracy using WWV

KENT TRIMBLE
The R.L. Drake Company referred to the zeroing or beating indicators as "canary chirps,"  the goal being to slow the "chirping" until there was a steady tone indicating you were then dead-on.  I still find that the most descriptive way to tell someone how to identify the pulsing when doing the Reference Calibration against WWV in a K3 (at the highest frequency you can copy them). The trick is to get the right balance in volume between WWV's main carrier tone and the K3's sidetone so you can hear the "chirps."

Kent, K9ZTV


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Re: Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

Don Wilhelm
In reply to this post by bdenley
Brian,

The higher the WWV frequency, the possible percentage of error goes
down.  One or two Hz is a smaller fraction of 20MHz than at 5MHz.

In the K3, you are calibrating the reference (out of the synthesizer)
rather than calibrating the actual VFO frequency.  The actual VFO
frequency is derived from and phase locked to that reference.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 12/18/2016 12:17 AM, Brian Denley wrote:

> Fred, Don:
> I ask because I am curious.  On any older receiver, calibration at 20 MHz would not guarantee cal below that ( or at any other frequency ).  One could be 5 hz high at 30 MHz but 10 hz low at 7 MHz.  Why is the K3 different?
>
> Brian Denley
> KB1VBF
> Sent from my iPad
>
>> On Dec 17, 2016, at 3:43 PM, Fred Jensen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> I guess it depends on how accurate you want your K3 frequency display to be.  I think AM-S will warp the frequency a tiny bit to sync the carrier so that may not be the best mode.  I'd also go as high as you can on WWV.
>>
>> Wayne suggested a method that is somewhere on the E-site which I used--
>>
>> Use the highest WWV frequency that you can hear well.  USB or LSB, WIDTH to 500-800 Hz, SHIFT so can hear the carrier beat note [it will be very low].  CONFIG-->REF CAL, wait for a tone-less minute and adjust REF CAL for exact zero beat.  You'll be counting the pulsations in the background noise as you come up on zero beat.
>>
>> I got mine to about 10 seconds per pulsation on 20 MHz back when there were sunspots.  That's an accuracy of 0.1 Hz and everything below 20 MHz will be at least that good.
>>
>> 73,
>>
>> Fred K6DGW
>> - Sparks NV DM09dn
>>
>> - Northern California Contest Club
>> - CU in the Cal QSO Party 7-8 Oct 2017
>> - www.cqp.org
>>
>>> On 12/16/2016 5:12 PM, Michael via Elecraft wrote:
>>> If I set my K3's VFO to WWV at 5.000000 MHz with AM-S on....and I adjust
>>> "REF CAL" to a number where
>>> my VFO's frequency readout is exact or near this number +/- maybe a Hertz
>>> or two. Is this an accurate way to calibrate my K3?
>>>
>>> It seems to be very accurate as far as I can tell.
>>>
>>> Has anyone used this method?
>>>
>>> Michael
>>> N2ZDB
>>
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> Elecraft mailing list
>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
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>> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>
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Re: Checking VFO accuracy using WWV

briancom
In reply to this post by KENT TRIMBLE
Expectations may be too high.....

All these WWV methods assume there is no Doppler shift present on the
WWV signal.  Other things to consider: TCXO drift, synthesizer
limitations and new synthesizer quirks.

During disturbed times, Doppler could be 1 Hz or more.
Unfortunately, the Doppler shift present depends upon just about
everything-- location, time of day, atmospheric reflecting layer
heights, path, the list goes on.

Keep in mind the new synthesizers add an additional quarter Hz (+/-)
uncertainty.  The syncing of the SI570 to the master oscillator produces
sawtooth jumps of that magnitude, sometimes more vs time.
There are also band to band variations introduced by limitation in
finding exact synthesizer divide ratios.  Old synthesizers showed many
Hz deviations from band to band and as one tuned up the band.  These
variations are much smaller with the new synthesizers.

Then there is drift.  If you are not using XREF, you will experience
maybe 10 Hz or more warm up drifts.  The high stability oscillator takes
about four hours to reach its most stable point.  The standard
oscillator reaches that point a few hours earlier.

The old engineer cautioned: "Never believe the last digit displayed in
any device".  In this case, don't expect to be within 1 Hz on all bands,
all frequencies at all times-- no matter what calibration method you
use.   Look at the K3 specs.  Nowhere will you find an expectation of
such accuracy.

73 de Brian/K3KO

On 12/18/2016 12:40 PM, K9ZTV wrote:

> The R.L. Drake Company referred to the zeroing or beating indicators as "canary chirps,"  the goal being to slow the "chirping" until there was a steady tone indicating you were then dead-on.  I still find that the most descriptive way to tell someone how to identify the pulsing when doing the Reference Calibration against WWV in a K3 (at the highest frequency you can copy them). The trick is to get the right balance in volume between WWV's main carrier tone and the K3's sidetone so you can hear the "chirps."
>
> Kent, K9ZTV
>
>
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Re: Checking VFO accuracy using WWV

bdenley
Thanks to all for the explanations.

Brian Denley
KB1VBF
Sent from my iPad

> On Dec 18, 2016, at 8:46 AM, brian <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Expectations may be too high.....
>
> All these WWV methods assume there is no Doppler shift present on the WWV signal.  Other things to consider: TCXO drift, synthesizer limitations and new synthesizer quirks.
>
> During disturbed times, Doppler could be 1 Hz or more.
> Unfortunately, the Doppler shift present depends upon just about everything-- location, time of day, atmospheric reflecting layer heights, path, the list goes on.
>
> Keep in mind the new synthesizers add an additional quarter Hz (+/-) uncertainty.  The syncing of the SI570 to the master oscillator produces sawtooth jumps of that magnitude, sometimes more vs time.
> There are also band to band variations introduced by limitation in finding exact synthesizer divide ratios.  Old synthesizers showed many Hz deviations from band to band and as one tuned up the band.  These variations are much smaller with the new synthesizers.
>
> Then there is drift.  If you are not using XREF, you will experience maybe 10 Hz or more warm up drifts.  The high stability oscillator takes about four hours to reach its most stable point.  The standard oscillator reaches that point a few hours earlier.
>
> The old engineer cautioned: "Never believe the last digit displayed in any device".  In this case, don't expect to be within 1 Hz on all bands, all frequencies at all times-- no matter what calibration method you use.   Look at the K3 specs.  Nowhere will you find an expectation of such accuracy.
>
> 73 de Brian/K3KO
>
>> On 12/18/2016 12:40 PM, K9ZTV wrote:
>> The R.L. Drake Company referred to the zeroing or beating indicators as "canary chirps,"  the goal being to slow the "chirping" until there was a steady tone indicating you were then dead-on.  I still find that the most descriptive way to tell someone how to identify the pulsing when doing the Reference Calibration against WWV in a K3 (at the highest frequency you can copy them). The trick is to get the right balance in volume between WWV's main carrier tone and the K3's sidetone so you can hear the "chirps."
>>
>> Kent, K9ZTV
>>
>>
>> ______________________________________________________________
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>>
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Re: Checking VFO accuracy using WWV

Nr4c
In reply to this post by KENT TRIMBLE
Chirps?  Mine is more like a slow "whump whump whump", not a chirp.

Sent from my iPhone
...nr4c. bill


> On Dec 18, 2016, at 7:40 AM, K9ZTV <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> The R.L. Drake Company referred to the zeroing or beating indicators as "canary chirps,"  the goal being to slow the "chirping" until there was a steady tone indicating you were then dead-on.  I still find that the most descriptive way to tell someone how to identify the pulsing when doing the Reference Calibration against WWV in a K3 (at the highest frequency you can copy them). The trick is to get the right balance in volume between WWV's main carrier tone and the K3's sidetone so you can hear the "chirps."
>
> Kent, K9ZTV
>
>
> ______________________________________________________________
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Re: Checking VFO accuracy using WWV

Emory Schley
In reply to this post by bdenley

Hi Guys;
 
I really don't mean to show my ignorance, but all this talk about calibration and power out is good up to a point, but if your signal is off the mark by a couple Hertz, does it really make any REAL WORLD difference? Even when running PSK31 surely you can be off the "beam" a Hertz or two or three, maybe more– and you'll still have rock solld communications.
 
One fellow seemed unhappy with a rig putting out "only" 80 watts instead of the full 100, but there is no way the ham on the other end of the QSO is going to detect the "deficit". It pretty much boils down to "Can he hear me" and "Can I hear him"? If the answer is yes to both questions, then all the rest is just fodder for textbooks and endless discussion/arguing.
 
I know engineers and wannabe engineers want absolute accuracy. I'm no fan of sloppiness myself, BUT if you actually consider what you're dealing with along with the vagaries of propagation, then "close enough" should be good enough for anyone. If the tool (the radio/antenna system, in this case) is good enough to get the job done, then isn't that "good enough," period?
 
I really don't wish to start any in-fighting here, and I freely admit I'm not technologically competent enough to sustain my opinions in any absolute way in a technical discussion, but really, instead of wasting so much time slicing hairs, wouldn't you really rather be on the air instead, having fun? I would. :-)
 
Merry Christmas/Happy Hannukah/Have a Good Day (Take your pick),
 
Emory Schley
N4LP
 
 

Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 12:18 PM
From: "Brian Denley" <[hidden email]>
To: brian <[hidden email]>
Cc: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Checking VFO accuracy using WWV
Thanks to all for the explanations.

Brian Denley
KB1VBF
Sent from my iPad

> On Dec 18, 2016, at 8:46 AM, brian <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Expectations may be too high.....
>
> All these WWV methods assume there is no Doppler shift present on the WWV signal. Other things to consider: TCXO drift, synthesizer limitations and new synthesizer quirks.
>
> During disturbed times, Doppler could be 1 Hz or more.
> Unfortunately, the Doppler shift present depends upon just about everything-- location, time of day, atmospheric reflecting layer heights, path, the list goes on.
>
> Keep in mind the new synthesizers add an additional quarter Hz (+/-) uncertainty. The syncing of the SI570 to the master oscillator produces sawtooth jumps of that magnitude, sometimes more vs time.
> There are also band to band variations introduced by limitation in finding exact synthesizer divide ratios. Old synthesizers showed many Hz deviations from band to band and as one tuned up the band. These variations are much smaller with the new synthesizers.
>
> Then there is drift. If you are not using XREF, you will experience maybe 10 Hz or more warm up drifts. The high stability oscillator takes about four hours to reach its most stable point. The standard oscillator reaches that point a few hours earlier.
>
> The old engineer cautioned: "Never believe the last digit displayed in any device". In this case, don't expect to be within 1 Hz on all bands, all frequencies at all times-- no matter what calibration method you use. Look at the K3 specs. Nowhere will you find an expectation of such accuracy.
>
> 73 de Brian/K3KO
>
>> On 12/18/2016 12:40 PM, K9ZTV wrote:
>> The R.L. Drake Company referred to the zeroing or beating indicators as "canary chirps," the goal being to slow the "chirping" until there was a steady tone indicating you were then dead-on. I still find that the most descriptive way to tell someone how to identify the pulsing when doing the Reference Calibration against WWV in a K3 (at the highest frequency you can copy them). The trick is to get the right balance in volume between WWV's main carrier tone and the K3's sidetone so you can hear the "chirps."
>>
>> Kent, K9ZTV
>>
>>
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Re: Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

Brendon Whateley
In reply to this post by Don Wilhelm
Depending on why you want the accuracy, I think you could improve things by
building a phase comparator to "listen" to the radio output frequency
against a local reference. That would allow you to get much closer than
using your ears as a phase detector. That should get you accuracy of a few
% of 1Hz at your frequency you are measuring.

If you are really serious about accuracy, you can build a frequency
reference based on the WWV transmissions that will get you to within 1 part
per billion at 1MHz without too much trouble.

There was a QEX article recently, which you can find on the web at
http://www.arrl.org/files/file/QEX_Next_Issue/2015/Nov-Dec_2015/Magliacane.pdf
.

I'm sure that spending money on a GPS reference would be quicker, but less
fun than building a project.

If you go down that road, you'll be well on your way to winning frequency
measuring contests!

- Brendon
KK6AYI

On Sun, Dec 18, 2016 at 5:07 AM, Don Wilhelm <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Brian,
>
> The higher the WWV frequency, the possible percentage of error goes down.
> One or two Hz is a smaller fraction of 20MHz than at 5MHz.
>
> In the K3, you are calibrating the reference (out of the synthesizer)
> rather than calibrating the actual VFO frequency.  The actual VFO frequency
> is derived from and phase locked to that reference.
>
> 73,
> Don W3FPR
>
>
> On 12/18/2016 12:17 AM, Brian Denley wrote:
>
>> Fred, Don:
>> I ask because I am curious.  On any older receiver, calibration at 20 MHz
>> would not guarantee cal below that ( or at any other frequency ).  One
>> could be 5 hz high at 30 MHz but 10 hz low at 7 MHz.  Why is the K3
>> different?
>>
>> Brian Denley
>> KB1VBF
>> Sent from my iPad
>>
>> On Dec 17, 2016, at 3:43 PM, Fred Jensen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> I guess it depends on how accurate you want your K3 frequency display to
>>> be.  I think AM-S will warp the frequency a tiny bit to sync the carrier so
>>> that may not be the best mode.  I'd also go as high as you can on WWV.
>>>
>>> Wayne suggested a method that is somewhere on the E-site which I used--
>>>
>>> Use the highest WWV frequency that you can hear well.  USB or LSB, WIDTH
>>> to 500-800 Hz, SHIFT so can hear the carrier beat note [it will be very
>>> low].  CONFIG-->REF CAL, wait for a tone-less minute and adjust REF CAL for
>>> exact zero beat.  You'll be counting the pulsations in the background noise
>>> as you come up on zero beat.
>>>
>>> I got mine to about 10 seconds per pulsation on 20 MHz back when there
>>> were sunspots.  That's an accuracy of 0.1 Hz and everything below 20 MHz
>>> will be at least that good.
>>>
>>> 73,
>>>
>>> Fred K6DGW
>>> - Sparks NV DM09dn
>>>
>>> - Northern California Contest Club
>>> - CU in the Cal QSO Party 7-8 Oct 2017
>>> - www.cqp.org
>>>
>>> On 12/16/2016 5:12 PM, Michael via Elecraft wrote:
>>>> If I set my K3's VFO to WWV at 5.000000 MHz with AM-S on....and I adjust
>>>> "REF CAL" to a number where
>>>> my VFO's frequency readout is exact or near this number +/- maybe a
>>>> Hertz
>>>> or two. Is this an accurate way to calibrate my K3?
>>>>
>>>> It seems to be very accurate as far as I can tell.
>>>>
>>>> Has anyone used this method?
>>>>
>>>> Michael
>>>> N2ZDB
>>>>
>>>
>>> ______________________________________________________________
>>> Elecraft mailing list
>>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
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>>>
>>
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Re: Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

Elecraft mailing list
While all of the methods using WWV are excellent, many of us already have the GPS downloaded 10 MHz signal for the shop and ham shack.  I mentioned some time about using a Video distribution amplifier to pipe the 10 MHz signal around.  I have it at the operating console for any checks I need. 

Mel, K6KBE


      From: Ron D'Eau Claire <[hidden email]>
 To: 'Brendon Whateley' <[hidden email]>
Cc: 'Elecraft Reflector Reflector' <[hidden email]>
 Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2016 11:49 AM
 Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV
   
The methods described by Wayne in the K3 or K3S Owner's manuals are
excellent.

I used Method 2 (comparing to WWV's carrier frequency) and easily achieve
less than 1 Hz accuracy. If one needs something in the tenth's of a Hz or
better then more exotic techniques are required (and likely the K3EXREF and
an external frequency reference).

NOTE: When using Method 2 with WWV, wait until the tones stop and only the
ticks are transmitted, then check to be sure you are still "zero beat". Some
ops get confused between the tones and carrier and end up several hundred Hz
off because they zero-beated the tone instead.

For SSB/CW/RTTY modes accuracy to within some tens of Hz is fine. AM is even
less sensitive.

73 Ron AC7AC

-----Original Message-----
From: Elecraft [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of
Brendon Whateley
Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2016 10:56 AM
Cc: Elecraft Reflector Reflector
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

Depending on why you want the accuracy, I think you could improve things by
building a phase comparator to "listen" to the radio output frequency
against a local reference. That would allow you to get much closer than
using your ears as a phase detector. That should get you accuracy of a few %
of 1Hz at your frequency you are measuring.

If you are really serious about accuracy, you can build a frequency
reference based on the WWV transmissions that will get you to within 1 part
per billion at 1MHz without too much trouble.

There was a QEX article recently, which you can find on the web at
http://www.arrl.org/files/file/QEX_Next_Issue/2015/Nov-Dec_2015/Magliacane.p
df
.

I'm sure that spending money on a GPS reference would be quicker, but less
fun than building a project.

If you go down that road, you'll be well on your way to winning frequency
measuring contests!

- Brendon
KK6AYI

On Sun, Dec 18, 2016 at 5:07 AM, Don Wilhelm <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Brian,
>
> The higher the WWV frequency, the possible percentage of error goes down.
> One or two Hz is a smaller fraction of 20MHz than at 5MHz.
>
> In the K3, you are calibrating the reference (out of the synthesizer)
> rather than calibrating the actual VFO frequency.  The actual VFO
> frequency is derived from and phase locked to that reference.
>
> 73,
> Don W3FPR
>
>
> On 12/18/2016 12:17 AM, Brian Denley wrote:
>
>> Fred, Don:
>> I ask because I am curious.  On any older receiver, calibration at 20
>> MHz would not guarantee cal below that ( or at any other frequency ). 
>> One could be 5 hz high at 30 MHz but 10 hz low at 7 MHz.  Why is the
>> K3 different?
>>
>> Brian Denley
>> KB1VBF
>> Sent from my iPad
>>
>> On Dec 17, 2016, at 3:43 PM, Fred Jensen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> I guess it depends on how accurate you want your K3 frequency
>>> display to be.  I think AM-S will warp the frequency a tiny bit to
>>> sync the carrier so that may not be the best mode.  I'd also go as high
as you can on WWV.

>>>
>>> Wayne suggested a method that is somewhere on the E-site which I
>>> used--
>>>
>>> Use the highest WWV frequency that you can hear well.  USB or LSB,
>>> WIDTH to 500-800 Hz, SHIFT so can hear the carrier beat note [it
>>> will be very low].  CONFIG-->REF CAL, wait for a tone-less minute
>>> and adjust REF CAL for exact zero beat.  You'll be counting the
>>> pulsations in the background noise as you come up on zero beat.
>>>
>>> I got mine to about 10 seconds per pulsation on 20 MHz back when
>>> there were sunspots.  That's an accuracy of 0.1 Hz and everything
>>> below 20 MHz will be at least that good.
>>>
>>> 73,
>>>
>>> Fred K6DGW
>>> - Sparks NV DM09dn
>>>
>>> - Northern California Contest Club
>>> - CU in the Cal QSO Party 7-8 Oct 2017
>>> - www.cqp.org
>>>
>>> On 12/16/2016 5:12 PM, Michael via Elecraft wrote:
>>>> If I set my K3's VFO to WWV at 5.000000 MHz with AM-S on....and I
>>>> adjust "REF CAL" to a number where my VFO's frequency readout is
>>>> exact or near this number +/- maybe a Hertz or two. Is this an
>>>> accurate way to calibrate my K3?
>>>>
>>>> It seems to be very accurate as far as I can tell.
>>>>
>>>> Has anyone used this method?
>>>>
>>>> Michael
>>>> N2ZDB
>>>>
>>>
>>> ______________________________________________________________
>>> Elecraft mailing list
>>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>>> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>>> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>>>
>>> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net Please help support this
>>> email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html Message delivered to
>>> [hidden email]
>>>
>>
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> Elecraft mailing list
>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>>
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>> email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html Message delivered to
>> [hidden email]
>>
>> ______________________________________________________________
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>
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Re: Checking VFO accuracy using WWV

k6dgw
In reply to this post by Emory Schley
One part of Amateur Radio is transmitting and receiving.  Another part
of Amateur Radio is design and construction of equipment.  Yet another
is delving into the concepts of doing things with available
equipment/methods.  Traffic handling was once a big activity ... think
"American Radio RELAY League" ... it's now an anachronism but a few of
us still dabble in it.  Amateur Radio is a big tent [to plagarize from
the world of politics], there's room for everyone.

73,

Fred K6DGW
- Sparks NV DM09dn

- Northern California Contest Club
- CU in the Cal QSO Party 7-8 Oct 2017
- www.cqp.org

On 12/18/2016 10:09 AM, Emory Schley wrote:

>
> Hi Guys;
>
> I really don't mean to show my ignorance, but all this talk about
> calibration and power out is good up to a point, but if your signal
> is off the mark by a couple Hertz, does it really make any REAL WORLD
> difference? Even when running PSK31 surely you can be off the "beam"
> a Hertz or two or three, maybe more– and you'll still have rock solld
> communications.
>
> One fellow seemed unhappy with a rig putting out "only" 80 watts
> instead of the full 100, but there is no way the ham on the other end
> of the QSO is going to detect the "deficit". It pretty much boils
> down to "Can he hear me" and "Can I hear him"? If the answer is yes
> to both questions, then all the rest is just fodder for textbooks and
> endless discussion/arguing.
>
> I know engineers and wannabe engineers want absolute accuracy. I'm no
> fan of sloppiness myself, BUT if you actually consider what you're
> dealing with along with the vagaries of propagation, then "close
> enough" should be good enough for anyone. If the tool (the
> radio/antenna system, in this case) is good enough to get the job
> done, then isn't that "good enough," period?
>
> I really don't wish to start any in-fighting here, and I freely admit
> I'm not technologically competent enough to sustain my opinions in
> any absolute way in a technical discussion, but really, instead of
> wasting so much time slicing hairs, wouldn't you really rather be on
> the air instead, having fun? I would. :-)
>
> Merry Christmas/Happy Hannukah/Have a Good Day (Take your pick),
>
> Emory Schley N4LP
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Re: Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

k6dgw
In reply to this post by Brendon Whateley
There are a myriad of ways to do it if you're interested, however don't
underestimate the accuracy you can achieve with your ears and ability to
count when you get the levels equalized.  If you count 6 noise peaks in
60 sec, you're within 0.1 Hz.

Something that hasn't been mentioned [and that I only alluded to in a
previous post] is doing this during the tone-free minutes on WWV.  The
tone modulation can make it very difficult, and in some cases your
result can be off by the frequency of the tone.

73,

Fred K6DGW
Sparks NV USA
Washoe County DM09dn

On 12/18/2016 10:56 AM, Brendon Whateley wrote:

> Depending on why you want the accuracy, I think you could improve things by
> building a phase comparator to "listen" to the radio output frequency
> against a local reference. That would allow you to get much closer than
> using your ears as a phase detector. That should get you accuracy of a few
> % of 1Hz at your frequency you are measuring.
>
> If you are really serious about accuracy, you can build a frequency
> reference based on the WWV transmissions that will get you to within 1 part
> per billion at 1MHz without too much trouble.
>
> There was a QEX article recently, which you can find on the web at
> http://www.arrl.org/files/file/QEX_Next_Issue/2015/Nov-Dec_2015/Magliacane.pdf
> .
>
> I'm sure that spending money on a GPS reference would be quicker, but less
> fun than building a project.
>
> If you go down that road, you'll be well on your way to winning frequency
> measuring contests!
>
> - Brendon
> KK6AYI

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Re: Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

Bill Frantz
In reply to this post by Don Wilhelm
Not having a Windows machine, I tried using both fldigi and
cocoaModem which have waterfall displays. Both provided usable
results. Getting close with the computer display and then zero
beating using the procedure in the manual will probably be the
best approach.

73 Bill AE6JV

On 12/16/16 at 6:52 PM, [hidden email] (Don Wilhelm) wrote:

>Us SSB - either LSB or LSB and tune for the tones transmitted
>by WWV - either 500 or 600 Hz.  Use of an audio spectrum
>analyzer such as Spectrogram or SpectrumLab will tell you when
>you have the tones received at the proper frequencies.
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Re: Sync AM and checking VFO accuracy using WWV

ab2tc
In reply to this post by k6dgw
Hi,

Boy, this thread is now incredibly long and I am not sure it if I want to risk sticking my neck out with another entry. But I will.

There has been an intense debate for at least the past 8 years as to what constitutes the "best" way to adjust the reference oscillator to the best accuracy. Why not just stick with the "Zero beating" (Method 2) described in the manual? All it requires is clear reception of WWV at the highest frequency possible. No other instrumentation like a PC spectrum analyzer program or frequency counter is needed. As for accuracy, the only possible weakness I can see is the accuracy of the K3 audio side tone, but there is no reason why this should not be accurate to a fraction of the Hz. Barring that the method is perfect. (The expectation that the PC spectrum analyzer is any more accurate is dubious). Aw, forget about Doppler shift in the WWV signal. Under normal ionospheric conditions it's negligible.

AB2TC - Knut

PS. I would also describe the sound heard at near zero beat as "whump-whump-whump" or "wow-wow-wow", but certainly not "chirp-chirp-chirp". And I agree with the comments below.

k6dgw wrote
There are a myriad of ways to do it if you're interested, however don't
underestimate the accuracy you can achieve with your ears and ability to
count when you get the levels equalized.  If you count 6 noise peaks in
60 sec, you're within 0.1 Hz.

Something that hasn't been mentioned [and that I only alluded to in a
previous post] is doing this during the tone-free minutes on WWV.  The
tone modulation can make it very difficult, and in some cases your
result can be off by the frequency of the tone.

73,

Fred K6DGW
Sparks NV USA
Washoe County DM09dn
<snip>
12