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Message ID: 3392     Entry time: Tue Aug 10 15:23:35 2010
Author: Jenna 
Type: Update 
Category: Electronics 
Subject: Rubidium clock time constant 

[Jenna & Alastair]

We changed the locking time constant on one of the Rubidium clocks using the RbMon software that came with it. We had to use the ancient Dell laptop latitudeD810 because it has a serial port built in, and we couldn't get the usb->serial adapter to work right with the clock. We tried the usb connector on more than one computer, and we had installed the right adapter and the computer seemed to recognize it fine, it just wouldn't communicate with the clock. We even tried it with the Dell latitute laptop and it still failed to work, so the only way seems to be to use the serial port directly.

The clock has a default time constant of 18.2 hours because it's designed to be locked to a GPS clock which is less stable than the Rb clock itself, so we changed it to a time constant of .57 hours. We also changed the length of the BNC cables to get the DC offset to 10mV, but then as I was typing this, we opened up data viewer to look at the real time data and saw the output suddenly leap up, and found that the offset is now -5mV mysteriously, so we went to investigate and found that the gain of the SR560 was still set to 1 from a calibration. We beat one of the clocks with a marconi for a few minutes with the gain still at this level to do another calibration, and then hooked the clocks back up together and upped the gain to 100. The DC offset is currently about 2.5mV. We're going to leave them alone for a few hours, and then check to see what the signal looks like over that period.

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