- Technical References
Introduction to Quartz Frequency Standards
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More than one billion (i.e., 109) quartz crystal oscillators are produced annually for applications ranging from inexpensive watches and clocks to radionavigation and spacecraft tracking systems. The fundamentals of quartz oscillators are reviewed in this report, with emphasis on quartz frequency standards (as opposed to inexpensive clock oscillators). The subjects discussed include: crystal resonators and oscillators, oscillator types, and the characteristics and limitations of temperature-compensated crystal oscillators (TCXO) and oven-controlled crystal oscillators (OCXO). The oscillator instabilities discussed include: aging, noise, frequency vs. temperature, warmup, acceleration effects, magnetic field effects, atmospheric pressure effects, radiation effects, and interactions among the various effects. Guidelines are provided for oscillator comparison and selection. Discussions of specifications are also included, as are references and suggestions for further reading.