Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Xtalfind - Calculate a future for those junk box crystals

Today I am excited to share with you are very handy resource for finding new uses for those crystals that have been sitting in your junk box all these years. I discovered this very useful utility about a year ago when I happened upon the website of Paolo Cravero, IK1ZYW, an Italian ham. Paolo had the great idea of creating this software, which he calls XtalFind, that would quickly calculate the possible uses for his collection of crystals. With his kind permission, I have edited the script to make those calculations for ITU region 2, as the original was allocated to his region, and I am making it available here on this blog.

XtalFind is capable of accepting single frequencies or an entire list, which makes it very useful to examine the possibilities of a large rock collection. It currently checks for the crystal's fundamental and harmonic frequencies for the following applications (for use in the ham bands):
  • TX or Direct Conversion RX
  • RX with 455kHz IF
  • RX with 10.7MHz IF
  • RX with 12kHz IF 
  • RX with a custom IF frequency
  • SDR use: Johnson counter - Center frequency
  • and several DRM uses that can be enabled by editing the script.
Of course, any of the above parameters can be edited and customized in the script.

I want to thank Paolo for taking time to write this software many years ago, for graciously sharing it and for allowing me to edit it so that I may use & share it with my fellow ITU region 2 homebrewers.

Please share your thoughts below and if you have knowledge of perl and can find ways to add functionality to this script, please let Paolo &/or myself know as we would certainly be interested.

Xtalfind - modified for ITU region 2

IK1ZYW's original Xtalfind (for ITU region 1)

Thank you and best wishes.