Measuring Clocks and Watches

The TCXO Timebase

Temperature Compensated Quartz Timebase (TCXO)
  • Microsecond accuracy
  • Stable over temperature changes
  • Accurate to about a second per week

You can eliminate the temperature error by using a specially constructed “temperature compensated” quartz timebase. This allows you to measure a clock independent of temperature changes, and is especially important if you’re trying to characterize the thermal characteristics of a timepiece. We sell a TCXO timebase for MicroSet.

Though a temperature compensated crystal oscillator is essentially immune to temperature effects, it may otherwise be no more accurate than a carefully trimmed uncompensated quartz crystal. Our rule of thumb is that a quartz timebase is good to about a second a week. For greater accuracy or longer time periods, you need a better reference.


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