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Definitions
Motional Resistance
Also called Equivalent Series Resistance. The equivalent series resistance is the resistive element (R1) of the quartz crystal equivalent circuit. (see Equivalent Circuit below) This resistance represents the equivalent impedance of the crystal at natural resonant frequency (series resonance) ESR is measured by a Crystal Impedance (CI) meter.

ESR values are generally stated as maximum values expressed in ohms. The ESR values vary with frequency, mode of operation, holder type, crystal plate size, electrode size, and mounting structure.

It is worth noting that the ESR value at a given frequency for an AT- strip crystal design is generally higher than that of the standard (round blank) design. This becomes more significant at lower frequencies. When transitioning from a series resonant through-hole HC-49/U type crystal to a smaller surface mount type utilizing an AT-strip crystal, some consideration may be given to the difference in the ESR values produced by different cuts.

The ESR becomes critical when resistance values reach a point were the oscillator circuit cannot adequately drive the crystal. Sluggish start-up or unwanted modes of operation may result.

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