2 min read

Location: Building 35/4801  Map:


  • Ham Help
  • Sharing a few details of the January field trip and discussing ideas about other places of interest to amateur radio operators
  • Program: John Miles KE5FX will speak about Phase Noise.  What it is, why you should care, and how to measure it.

At the next MicroHAMS regular meeting John Miles KE5FX will be giving a talk on the unappreciated but extremely important topic of Phase Noise. John is a phase noise expert who lives in Snohomish As a member of the Time Nuts, amateurs who are interested in precise Time & Frequency, John is the one they count on to evaluate the quality of GPS receivers, time standards, Atomic Clocks, and precision instruments.

In radio communications, phase noise influences what your signal sounds like, and frequency stability determines whether you get a QSL card or an FCC notice in the mail. In everyday life, these specifications tell you where you are and what time it is. What do they have in common, and how do we measure them? In this talk we’ll look at several ways to understand, specify, and measure the stability of periodic signal sources, from hydrogen masers to grandfather clocks.

To make taking phase noise measurements a little easier John designed the Miles TimePod which greatly simplified the measurement of phase noise. For the first few years he sold it himself for $5,000. Eventually Symmetricom realized his TimePod was adversely affecting the sales of their phase noise measurement system which considerably more expensive and more than 10 times the size. So they bought John’s design and relabeled it as their own.

Symmetricom is now a division of Microsemi Corporation which sells John’s TimePod with the Microsemi logo on it as the Model 3120A High Performance Low Phase Noise Test Probe.

We will also discuss the details of upcoming activities including Field Day.

Ham Help

If you don’t know everything about amateur radio yet, that’s OK. As a club, we have a broad spectrum of interests and experiences. Please feel free to ask questions during this segment. This is also the time and place to share your amateur radio discoveries and experiences, no matter what they are.  If you’ve run across something interesting that you think might help other hams, no matter the topic, consider taking 3-5 minute to share it with others during our “Ham Help” segment!

Next Month

Next month we’ll have a presentation by the U of W “Husky Satellite Lab” telling us all about the new Husky Sat1, the process of getting to the point were they have an object in orbit, and future plans.  You won’t want to miss this presentation!


146.58 MHz FM simplex will be monitored for anyone who needs help finding the site or for access to the building. (Monitoring is done with handhelds, so range is limited.)

SECURITY NOTE: Anyone who does not have their own Microsoft badge for unescorted access to Microsoft buildings MUST be escorted into Building 35 and conference room 4561 by a badged MicroHAMS member. Do NOT under any circumstances attempt to “tag” onto or “tailgate” Microsoft employees entering the building. Please congregate about five to ten minutes before the meeting outside the lobby entrance on the south side of the building.  If you have a Microsoft badge, please check outside the front entrance for other club members who need to be escorted.

MicroHAMS meetings are open to club members, those interested in joining the club (see club membership policy at, and guests of club members.  Others may also attend a club meeting by sending email to the club at least a few days prior to the meeting. Space can be a bit limited.


Grant Hopper


MicroHAMS Club Secretary

Laurence Starks

Read more posts by this author.