What frequency standard?

I think the frequency readout of my IC-910H is out by about 400Hz and unfortunately I can’t receive any accurately calibrated beacons like GB3VHF to set it with. I also like to check my K3’s calibration from time to time and would like to take advantage of the option to lock it to a 10MHz frequency standard should Elecraft ever provide it as originally promised. So I decided to have a look on eBay for frequency standards.

There seem to be a number of ex-equipment 10MHz rubidium frequency standards at prices starting from around £50 – which is about the right level for me – available from China. For a bit more you can have a GPS locked time and frequency standard, though where time is concerned the NTP software is good enough for me. There is also a smart looking Quartzlock off-air frequency standard, though that is a bit outside my price bracket for this and would take up a bit too much space for the G4ILO shack.

I don’t know anything about this equipment and aren’t sure if any of these things would be any use to me. The rubidium frequency standard pictured has a frequency adjustment setting which surely defeats the object. If you need to calibrate it against something else then that’s no use to me. I want something of known accuracy to calibrate my radios against. Perhaps the GPS type would be more useful?

Does anyone know about these things?

Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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