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Project Notes

#246 CMOS Oscillators

Testing a 4-pin CMOS oscillator component.

Build

Notes

4-pin CMOS oscillators - like the SaRonix NCH060C I’m testing here - contain all the circuitry necessary to produce an oscillation when voltage is applied.

Internal details are hard to find, but I’m guessing NCH060C is a combination of crystal resonator with CMOS inverter gate and buffer.

Tri-state Control

Some oscillators feature “tri-state” control on one pad (the NCH060C does not have this feature). This effectively inhibits the clock output, and may be used for testing or for master circuit control.

Typical behaviour is as follows:

Tri-state pin state Output
no connect or a logic high Enabled (clocking)
logic low Disabled (no clocking)

Test Circuit

Breadboard

Schematic

SaRonix NCH060C

Build

Pin Connections

Pin Use
1 tristate (n/a on the NHC)
7 GND
8 output
14 +5V

package_a

Performance

According to my oscilloscope, the NCH060C (20MHz) is running at 19.9996MHz - marginal difference that may be as much to do with my scope as the component itself. The signal appears to not be a perfect square wave (but I may be reaching the limits of my scope).

scope

MCO-1510A

The MCO-1510A is a 1MHz CMOS oscillator.

MCO-1510A_build

Pin Connections

Pin Use
1 n/a (tristate on other models)
7 GND
8 output
14 +5V

Performance

Produces quite a clean square wave at 1MHz and 50% duty cycle.

scope-MCO-1510A

Credits and References

About LEAP#246 CMOSOscillators
Project Source on GitHub Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is my personal collection of electronics projects, usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting (IMHO!).

The projects are usually inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the sources such as:

Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know. See the individual projects for credits where due. There are even now a few projects contributed by others - send your own over in a pull request if you would also like to add to this collection.