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[linrad] Re: PTS 310 synthesizer

Hi, Rein,

Yes, I always ask for the model number when I buy PTS units on eBay. Sometimes the seller shows a picture of the sticker, but I still always ask. I have found at least one eBay vendor that uses the same photo for all units of a given type [e.g. Boonton 4200's always have the same slightly beat-up unit displayed; if you look closely the serial number is always the same], but the way the page is set up, and since the unit displayed is used, one would naturally assume that the picture is of the unit you are buying. It is not...

X-49 and X-54 are 'custom' options and I don't know what they are. Several of my units have 'unknown' X- options, and I haven't noticed any differences in their behaviour from other units. After the first few units I stopped taking each unit apart on arrival, as long as it worked properly [and all did].

The specs for the two optional internal 10 MHz oscillators are both "1 V RMS into 500 ohms". I use an external signal from an HP Z3801A as the 10 MHz clock. It is spec'd as "sine wave, 1.9 Vp-p into a 50 ohm load", and it works fine as a source for the PTS units. I have a number of PTS units [7] daisy chained together and running from the same Z3801A with no problem. I just run the 3801A signal into the first PTS unit's input and then hook the 10 MHz output of that unit to the input of the following PTS, etc.

Nothing else is needed. With the remote model of the PTS synthesizer you will get full output from the PTS if you don't hook a control voltage up to it. I don't use a control voltage to adjust the output; if the output is too high for the purpose at hand I just insert an attenuator; much easier and more foolproof than messing around with control voltages ;)

If you have an HP frequency counter with a precision 10 MHz master oscillator you can also take the 10 MHz out from that and use it. Obviously you want a stable 10 MHz source or you are losing much of the benefit of having a PTS.

I think David must have put the master unit in the PTS. I would tend not to do that, but just keep it separate and feed it into the BNC placed by PTS on the back of the PTS unit just for the purpose of receiving the external 10 MHz signal.

Hope that helps, and



On Sat, 25 Mar 2006 16:46:20 -0500, Rein A. Smit <rein0zn@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

    Hello All Linrad Users and Jean-Jaques,

Roger, you got it right it is a 310R1N1X-49-X-54.

I had found K3PGP's site and have had stored here for some time. and then today I found also your PTS page. I just wanted to get the box going, remember I bought
it some time ago.

In conclusion ask for the model number. I had hoped to be able to test the new softrock V7.0 on 3 spots on 10 meter with my transverter to get wide band coverage. So much for that.

Is anything else required other than a 10 MHz standard with sufficient output? David talked about a
oven power supply, I suppose that is to run a standard inside the box?

Thanks all,

73 Rein W6/PA0ZN

w3sz wrote:

Hi, Rein and David,

Sorry for the delayed reponse; I'm working this week/weekend and am just getting to Friday's emails now...

You can tell from the Model Number of any PTS unit what options it was shipped with. Whether or not an originally-present option is still there is another question ;)

The 10 MHz oscillator IS an option, not a 'given'. In fact, there are 2 options differing in stability

The 'Rosetta Stone' for the options is contained in the PTS catalog which can be downloaded in pdf form from their website.

But here's an abbreviated version of the decoder:

Product Code example [should be on a sticker or stamp on the back of the unit]:


160 = this is a PTS160; highest frequency 160 MHz

M Manual and remote controls, front output
S Manual and remote controls, rear output
R Remote control only, rear output

7 0.1 Hz resolution
1 100 KHz resolution
2 10 KHz
3 1 KHz
4 100 Hz
5 10 Hz
6 1 Hz
H DDS with 0.1 Hz resolution
J DDS with 1 Hz res
K DDS with 0.1 Hz resolution [?? typo ?? should this be 10 Hz??]

N none

1 120 VZC
2 120/220 VAC
3 120/240 VAC
5 120/100 VAC

C comb option

You probably have a 120R?N?.
The N means NO onboard oscillator.
the R means its a remote unit and these have no knobs for freq selection, no on/off switch.

I hope that helps!

As you noted, on my website there is some [very limited] PTS info. The link is near the bottom of my DSP starter page.
The link for the zip file with PTS info is:
This zip file contains some info originally from K3PGP many years ago. It DOES NOT contain a copy of the Rosetta Stone noted above, as I was worried about potential copyright issues if I put the PTS pdf file into the zip file. You can get it from their website, in any case.

Hope that clarifies/helps.



On Sat, 25 Mar 2006 15:12:09 -0500, Rein A. Smit <rein0zn@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Hello David,

Thanks for the response.

I found when I did another search on the DOGPILE and ran into Roger's W3SZ
page on the use and docs on his PTS boxes
Also noted again that he was using an external source for 10 MHz. Then it passed my
mind, that perhaps this box does not have an internal standard!
Then you answer is comfirming that! I bought the unit on eBay and it
looked as new, but on the outside stripped down. Not even an ON/OFF
switch. Also it looked as nobody had ever looked into it.

I suppose it could well be that this unit had been part of a larger system to be used with external standards and was bought by what ever organization
with out the internal standard.

You most likely have it right on. So I will open the box and see whether
I can find an open spot! I did not do anything on the level control but
should have been able to hear the 10 MHz signal I think.

If I get an external source do I need to change thing inside the
PTS box? Was planning to get that anyway down the line.

Well, eBay and always surprises...

Tnx es 73

Rein W6/PA0ZN

David Garnier wrote:


I have a PTS120 and I was surprised to find that it did not contain an on-board 10 Mhz reference oscillator, I wasn't to pleased. An on board oscillator appears to have been an option. These things maybe normally supplied from a master 10 Mhz
source depending on the usage.
The PTS's logic circuitry is mostly composed of the old style ECL logic, (I wish I had some sort of schematic for mine.) There was no easy way to generate or steal an +5 or +12 voltage source from the PTS's power supply to run an oven oscillator. Ended up adding a small analog supply inside the PTS to power the oven oscillator. I also added a mini-circuits 1:1 isolation transformer for coupling the 10 Mhz source
to the PTS.

Dave Garnier - wb9own

Rein A. Smit wrote:

Hello All,

I am looking for info on the PTS 310 Synthesizer.

My unit has no frequency selection switches , no/off and no phase selection switch either. I hard wired the remote switch for 28150 Khz. with the latching and remote operation
enabled just to test it.
When I turn the unit on, I get a broad band noise, quite strong, not a trace of any
generated signal and no 10 MHz signal from the internal standard.
Removing the 50 pin remote connector has no effect either.

73 Rein W6/PA0ZN

Roger Rehr

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