330 MHz prescaler for AVR frequency meter

Posted on Jan 22, 2013

These parameters are expected with an approximately 50% square wave up to frequencies of seveal MHz, and symmetric sine waves at higher frequencies. The primary limitation is based on the maximum clocking rate specification for the MM74HC6040 ripple counter in use in the Slightly More Serious Frequency Meter project. Selection of faster parts and careful circuit layout can extend the upper limit of the useful frequency range. The lower frequency imit is the lowest sine wave input frequency for the MCT12080 at which the input of the MCT10290 does not osccilate.

330 MHz prescaler for AVR frequency meter
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Schmitt trigger buffer that then sends the signal on to the counter. Regardless of how the signal is routed, it must first pass through an input protection network, which includes two schottky diodes and a zener clamp. The 1N5711 schottky diodes prevent the input signal from going more than a schottky diode drop below ground or above the power supply. I used Schottky diodes because they have a lower voltage drop than the PN protection diodes on the CMOS integrated circuit they are intended to protect, and as such, they will draw much more of the current from excessive input voltages than the input protection diodes in the integrated circuits. The two 1N5226 zener diodes in series prevents the power supply from rising above 6.6 volts in case the input is accidentally connected to a low impedance source that is higher than 5 volts. The 47 Ohm resistor limits the input current in case of excessive voltage being applied to the inputs. The input of the frequency meter requires a full 5 volt CMOS logic swing, and the prescaler's output is less than 1 volt peak-to-peak, so the prescaler, when switched into the circuit, the signal goes through the prescaler, then the preamp, and the preamp drives the frequency meter through the Schmidt trigger buffers. The MCT10280 prescaler can be set to divide by 80, 40, 20, or 10, as a function of which pins are tied to the power supply. I set this one to divide by 10 since it is...

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