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Nonrandom Quantization Errors in Timebases



Gerard N. Stenbakken, D. Liu, J. A. Starzyk, Bryan C. Waltrip


Timebase distortion causes nonlinear distortion of waveforms measured by sampling instruments. When such instruments are used to measure the rms amplitude of the sampled waveforms, such distortions result in errors in the measured rms values. This paper looks at the nature of the errors that result from nonrandom quantization errors in an instrument's timebase circuit. Simulations and measurements on a sampling voltmeter show that the errors in measured rms amplitude have a non-normal probability distribution, such that the probability of large errors is much greater than would be expected from the usual quantization noise model. A novel timebase compensation method is proposed which makes the measured rms errors normally distributed and reduces their standard deviation by a factor of 25. This compensation method was applied to a sampling voltmeter and the improved accuracy was realized.
Proceedings Title
Proc. IEEE Instrumentation and Technology Conference (IMTC)
Conference Dates
May 1-4, 2000
Conference Location
Baltimore, MD


correction algorithm, error analysis, quantization, sampling, timebase, voltmeter


Stenbakken, G. , Liu, D. , Starzyk, J. and Waltrip, B. (2000), Nonrandom Quantization Errors in Timebases, Proc. IEEE Instrumentation and Technology Conference (IMTC), Baltimore, MD, [online], (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created May 1, 2000, Updated February 19, 2017