Forums

Frequency counter

Started by Peter Percival July 15, 2019
I'd like to buy a frequency counter but I was afraid they'd cost 
thousands.  Apparently, "only" hundreds - 
https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6654919/?tpr=2.  Any 
recommendations?

-- 
"He who will not reason is a bigot;
he who cannot is a fool;
he who dares not is a slave."
  - Sir William Drummond
On 15/07/19 15:33, Peter Percival wrote:
> I'd like to buy a frequency counter but I was afraid they'd cost thousands. > Apparently, "only" hundreds - > https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6654919/?tpr=2.  Any recommendations?
Yes. Work out what you want to achieve, and only then work out how to achieve it. Frequency counters are nice for timenuts but nowadays different instruments are often better.
Tom Gardner wrote:
> On 15/07/19 15:33, Peter Percival wrote: >> I'd like to buy a frequency counter but I was afraid they'd cost >> thousands. Apparently, "only" hundreds - >> https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6654919/?tpr=2.  Any >> recommendations? > > Yes. > > Work out what you want to achieve, and only then work out > how to achieve it. Frequency counters are nice for timenuts > but nowadays different instruments are often better.
Which? What I want to do is measure frequencies of electrical signals ranging from 1Hz (or less) to mega Hz. -- "He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; he who dares not is a slave." - Sir William Drummond
On 15/07/19 16:00, Peter Percival wrote:
> Tom Gardner wrote: >> On 15/07/19 15:33, Peter Percival wrote: >>> I'd like to buy a frequency counter but I was afraid they'd cost thousands. >>> Apparently, "only" hundreds - >>> https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6654919/?tpr=2.  Any recommendations? >> >> Yes. >> >> Work out what you want to achieve, and only then work out >> how to achieve it. Frequency counters are nice for timenuts >> but nowadays different instruments are often better. > > Which?  What I want to do is measure frequencies of electrical signals ranging > from 1Hz (or less) to mega Hz.
Ah, so you are a timenut, who wants to measure a static frequency as an end in itself. That's OK. Now you have to decide the precision and accuracy you need.
On Mon, 15 Jul 2019 16:00:06 +0100, Peter Percival
<peterxpercival@hotmail.com> wrote:

>Tom Gardner wrote: >> On 15/07/19 15:33, Peter Percival wrote: >>> I'd like to buy a frequency counter but I was afraid they'd cost >>> thousands. Apparently, "only" hundreds - >>> https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6654919/?tpr=2.&#2013266080; Any >>> recommendations? >> >> Yes. >> >> Work out what you want to achieve, and only then work out >> how to achieve it. Frequency counters are nice for timenuts >> but nowadays different instruments are often better. > >Which? What I want to do is measure frequencies of electrical signals >ranging from 1Hz (or less) to mega Hz.
I'd advise waiting. prices on digital oscilloscopes with built in frequency counters, etc., keep dropping and without knowing what you need it for... BTW O'scopes can tell you frequency too, just not to the least significant digit, and unless you're servicing radio transmitters or clocks you don't often need LSD accuracy. I've got an old analog O'scope and it does all the frequency measurement I need.
On 7/15/19 11:43 AM, default wrote:
> On Mon, 15 Jul 2019 16:00:06 +0100, Peter Percival > <peterxpercival@hotmail.com> wrote: > >> Tom Gardner wrote: >>> On 15/07/19 15:33, Peter Percival wrote: >>>> I'd like to buy a frequency counter but I was afraid they'd cost >>>> thousands. Apparently, "only" hundreds - >>>> https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6654919/?tpr=2.&nbsp; Any >>>> recommendations? >>> >>> Yes. >>> >>> Work out what you want to achieve, and only then work out >>> how to achieve it. Frequency counters are nice for timenuts >>> but nowadays different instruments are often better. >> >> Which? What I want to do is measure frequencies of electrical signals >> ranging from 1Hz (or less) to mega Hz. > > I'd advise waiting. prices on digital oscilloscopes with built in > frequency counters, etc., keep dropping and without knowing what you > need it for... > > BTW O'scopes can tell you frequency too, just not to the least > significant digit, and unless you're servicing radio transmitters or > clocks you don't often need LSD accuracy. > > I've got an old analog O'scope and it does all the frequency > measurement I need. >
You can get a 1-Hz to 500 MHz frequency counter module for $11 on eBay, and there are lots of used bench models there for only a few dollars more. Counters are pretty useful actually, for all sorts of RF work as well as other stuff. 'tain't just time-and-frequency mavens. Cheers Phil Hobbs -- Dr Philip C D Hobbs Principal Consultant ElectroOptical Innovations LLC / Hobbs ElectroOptics Optics, Electro-optics, Photonics, Analog Electronics Briarcliff Manor NY 10510 http://electrooptical.net http://hobbs-eo.com
On Mon, 15 Jul 2019 15:24:41 -0400, Phil Hobbs
<pcdhSpamMeSenseless@electrooptical.net> wrote:

>On 7/15/19 11:43 AM, default wrote: >> On Mon, 15 Jul 2019 16:00:06 +0100, Peter Percival >> <peterxpercival@hotmail.com> wrote: >> >>> Tom Gardner wrote: >>>> On 15/07/19 15:33, Peter Percival wrote: >>>>> I'd like to buy a frequency counter but I was afraid they'd cost >>>>> thousands. Apparently, "only" hundreds - >>>>> https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6654919/?tpr=2.&#2013266080; Any >>>>> recommendations? >>>> >>>> Yes. >>>> >>>> Work out what you want to achieve, and only then work out >>>> how to achieve it. Frequency counters are nice for timenuts >>>> but nowadays different instruments are often better. >>> >>> Which? What I want to do is measure frequencies of electrical signals >>> ranging from 1Hz (or less) to mega Hz. >> >> I'd advise waiting. prices on digital oscilloscopes with built in >> frequency counters, etc., keep dropping and without knowing what you >> need it for... >> >> BTW O'scopes can tell you frequency too, just not to the least >> significant digit, and unless you're servicing radio transmitters or >> clocks you don't often need LSD accuracy. >> >> I've got an old analog O'scope and it does all the frequency >> measurement I need. >> > >You can get a 1-Hz to 500 MHz frequency counter module for $11 on eBay, >and there are lots of used bench models there for only a few dollars >more. Counters are pretty useful actually, for all sorts of RF work as >well as other stuff. 'tain't just time-and-frequency mavens. > >Cheers > >Phil Hobbs
In another post he calls himself a beginner. In that context, I think a scope is more useful (I'm assuming he already has a multimeter)
default wrote:
> On Mon, 15 Jul 2019 15:24:41 -0400, Phil Hobbs > <pcdhSpamMeSenseless@electrooptical.net> wrote: > >> On 7/15/19 11:43 AM, default wrote: >>> On Mon, 15 Jul 2019 16:00:06 +0100, Peter Percival >>> <peterxpercival@hotmail.com> wrote: >>> >>>> Tom Gardner wrote: >>>>> On 15/07/19 15:33, Peter Percival wrote: >>>>>> I'd like to buy a frequency counter but I was afraid they'd cost >>>>>> thousands. Apparently, "only" hundreds - >>>>>> https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6654919/?tpr=2.&#2013266080; Any >>>>>> recommendations? >>>>> >>>>> Yes. >>>>> >>>>> Work out what you want to achieve, and only then work out >>>>> how to achieve it. Frequency counters are nice for timenuts >>>>> but nowadays different instruments are often better. >>>> >>>> Which? What I want to do is measure frequencies of electrical signals >>>> ranging from 1Hz (or less) to mega Hz. >>> >>> I'd advise waiting. prices on digital oscilloscopes with built in >>> frequency counters, etc., keep dropping and without knowing what you >>> need it for... >>> >>> BTW O'scopes can tell you frequency too, just not to the least >>> significant digit, and unless you're servicing radio transmitters or >>> clocks you don't often need LSD accuracy. >>> >>> I've got an old analog O'scope and it does all the frequency >>> measurement I need. >>> >> >> You can get a 1-Hz to 500 MHz frequency counter module for $11 on eBay, >> and there are lots of used bench models there for only a few dollars >> more. Counters are pretty useful actually, for all sorts of RF work as >> well as other stuff. 'tain't just time-and-frequency mavens. >> >> Cheers >> >> Phil Hobbs > > In another post he calls himself a beginner. In that context, I think > a scope is more useful (I'm assuming he already has a multimeter)
I have two scopes (both Heathkit) but no multimeter! -- "He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; he who dares not is a slave." - Sir William Drummond
Peter Percival wrote:
> default wrote: >> On Mon, 15 Jul 2019 15:24:41 -0400, Phil Hobbs >> <pcdhSpamMeSenseless@electrooptical.net> wrote: >> >>> On 7/15/19 11:43 AM, default wrote: >>>> On Mon, 15 Jul 2019 16:00:06 +0100, Peter Percival >>>> <peterxpercival@hotmail.com> wrote: >>>> >>>>> Tom Gardner wrote: >>>>>> On 15/07/19 15:33, Peter Percival wrote: >>>>>>> I'd like to buy a frequency counter but I was afraid they'd cost >>>>>>> thousands. Apparently, "only" hundreds - >>>>>>> https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6654919/?tpr=2.&#2013266080; Any >>>>>>> recommendations? >>>>>> >>>>>> Yes. >>>>>> >>>>>> Work out what you want to achieve, and only then work out >>>>>> how to achieve it. Frequency counters are nice for timenuts >>>>>> but nowadays different instruments are often better. >>>>> >>>>> Which?&#2013266080; What I want to do is measure frequencies of electrical signals >>>>> ranging from 1Hz (or less) to mega Hz. >>>> >>>> I'd advise waiting.&#2013266080; prices on digital oscilloscopes with built in >>>> frequency counters, etc., keep dropping and without knowing what you >>>> need it for... >>>> >>>> BTW O'scopes can tell you frequency too, just not to the least >>>> significant digit, and unless you're servicing radio transmitters or >>>> clocks you don't often need LSD accuracy. >>>> >>>> I've got an old analog O'scope and it does all the frequency >>>> measurement I need. >>>> >>> >>> You can get a 1-Hz to 500 MHz frequency counter module for $11 on eBay, >>> and there are lots of used bench models there for only a few dollars >>> more.&#2013266080; Counters are pretty useful actually, for all sorts of RF work as >>> well as other stuff.&#2013266080; 'tain't just time-and-frequency mavens. >>> >>> Cheers >>> >>> Phil Hobbs >> >> In another post he calls himself a beginner.&#2013266080; In that context, I think >> a scope is more useful (I'm assuming he already has a multimeter) > > I have two scopes (both Heathkit) but no multimeter!
Actually, that's not true. I do have a multimeter somewhere, I just can't remember where. -- "He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; he who dares not is a slave." - Sir William Drummond
On 7/15/19 4:35 PM, default wrote:
> On Mon, 15 Jul 2019 15:24:41 -0400, Phil Hobbs > <pcdhSpamMeSenseless@electrooptical.net> wrote: > >> On 7/15/19 11:43 AM, default wrote: >>> On Mon, 15 Jul 2019 16:00:06 +0100, Peter Percival >>> <peterxpercival@hotmail.com> wrote: >>> >>>> Tom Gardner wrote: >>>>> On 15/07/19 15:33, Peter Percival wrote: >>>>>> I'd like to buy a frequency counter but I was afraid they'd cost >>>>>> thousands. Apparently, "only" hundreds - >>>>>> https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6654919/?tpr=2.&nbsp; Any >>>>>> recommendations? >>>>> >>>>> Yes. >>>>> >>>>> Work out what you want to achieve, and only then work out >>>>> how to achieve it. Frequency counters are nice for timenuts >>>>> but nowadays different instruments are often better. >>>> >>>> Which? What I want to do is measure frequencies of electrical signals >>>> ranging from 1Hz (or less) to mega Hz. >>> >>> I'd advise waiting. prices on digital oscilloscopes with built in >>> frequency counters, etc., keep dropping and without knowing what you >>> need it for... >>> >>> BTW O'scopes can tell you frequency too, just not to the least >>> significant digit, and unless you're servicing radio transmitters or >>> clocks you don't often need LSD accuracy. >>> >>> I've got an old analog O'scope and it does all the frequency >>> measurement I need. >>> >> >> You can get a 1-Hz to 500 MHz frequency counter module for $11 on eBay, >> and there are lots of used bench models there for only a few dollars >> more. Counters are pretty useful actually, for all sorts of RF work as >> well as other stuff. 'tain't just time-and-frequency mavens. >> >> Cheers >> >> Phil Hobbs > > In another post he calls himself a beginner. In that context, I think > a scope is more useful (I'm assuming he already has a multimeter) >
Since they're all only a few bucks, why bother choosing? Basic test gear (and even older top-of-the-line stuff) is so cheap at the moment that it's a false economy not to buy lots of it. When I was a boy, one time I saved up three weeks' allowance to buy (drum roll) a tuning coil for an AM radio. For the same money (adjusted for inflation since 1971-ish), today I could buy a pretty decent frequency counter as well as all the inductors I could possibly use. It's raining soup. Grab a bowl! Cheers Phil Hobbs -- Dr Philip C D Hobbs Principal Consultant ElectroOptical Innovations LLC / Hobbs ElectroOptics Optics, Electro-optics, Photonics, Analog Electronics Briarcliff Manor NY 10510 http://electrooptical.net http://hobbs-eo.com