Time flies (or fugit irreparabile tempus as the cool Hellenistic teens might say) when you’re enjoying this EYE ON NPI (video) – this week we’re featuring the Raltron Crystal Resonators Engineering Design Kit, a kit of 66 different crystal oscillators in various packages, frequencies and load capacitances.
Crystals! They’re so cool sounding, who doesn’t love sparkly rocks? While we usually associate the word with gems, bedazzling, and new-age healing, crystals made of piezo-electric material are great for generating precise sinusoids of a desired frequency. We need these to keep our electronics ticking away at the right frequency. And, somewhat annoyingly, each chip seems to require a totally different frequency. So you end up getting a lot of different crystals in your prototyping bin.
For example, ‘timing’ crystals tend to be 32.768 KHz, because if you have a 15 bit counter that keeps track of each oscillation, you’ll count out one second every overflow. These crystals are super common, used in micro’s for low-power or PLL-syncing, also in real-time-clocks that need to run on small coin cell batteries for years. So, 32KHz is maybe the most common value used that we’ve seen – this kit gives you many pages of them with different sizes.
For microcontrollers, especially ones with USB, you’ll want 12 or 24 MHz (USB peripherals tend to run on 12MHz or some multiple). Other chips often need 8MHz, 16MHz, 20MHz, 24 MHz or 32MHz. Then, sometimes you get unusual frequency requirements – like for RFID/NFC that uses 13.56 MHz RF frequencies, you’ll need 27.12 MHz crystal (it’s 2x the RF frequency, not surprisingly!) So this crystal oscillator kit is quite handy with 5 pieces of each value.
Each crystal cut tape strip is in a pocket, looks like a holder for business cards or maybe baseball cards. The pocket is clear, so behind it is the identification information – what the part number is, the frequency, stability, tolerance, load capacitance, ESR, temperature and size.
There’s also a short URL and QR code for the datasheet from Raltron (big ups to them for getting their own URL shortener rather than leaning on a third party). Of course when you’re ready to purchase for production, each part is stocked on Digi-Key as well.
I love this kit for having so many values and options and sizes. Every workshop and lab should have one, so whenever you’re designing a new chip, you can verify the crystal size and specifications immediately. Goes great with a Digi-Key resistor kit or capacitor kit.
The Raltron Crystal Resonators Engineering Design Kit books are in stock now for immediate shipment from Digi-Key, order today and you can be oscillating by tomorrow morning!
See on DigiKey.com at https://www.digikey.com/short/n5pvt3f9