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Crystal and frequency control glossary

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A term used to define the communications link, typically microwave or fiber optical, between a base station and a communications switch or communications network.


The range of frequencies in the same spectrum.

Bandpass limiter

A device that imposes hard limiting on a signal and contains a filter that suppresses the unwanted products of the limiting process.

Bandpass filter

A passive electronic circuit that allows a narrow range of frequencies to pass through the device while blocking or attenuating higher and lower frequencies. Crystals are used for narrow bandpass filters.


The total range of frequencies required to transmit a radio signal without undue distortion. The required bandwidth of a radio signal is determined by the amount of information in the signal being sent.

Bar (Quartz)

Term used to refer to a quartz stone that has been machined on at least two sides.

Barkhausen criteria

States that for oscillation to occur the product of the gains around a loop must be equal to or greater than unity and that the sum of the phase shifts around the loop must be a multiple of 360°.


The lower portion of a crystal holder. The base incorporates a resonator mounting structure and leads or pins to connect the device to an external circuit. See holder.

Base - illustration

Base plating

The process of plating electrodes on to a crystal wafer.

Base plating - illustration

Base station

Fixed radio station used by RCCs (radio common carrier) to send, receive and transport signals. See land mobile.

Base station controller (BSC)

The BSC is a device charged with managing radio frequency resources and radio frequency transmission for a group of basic trading areas (BTSs).

Base station subsystem (BSS)

A device charged with managing radio frequency resources and radio frequency transmission for a group of basic trading areas (BTAs).

Base transceiver station (BTS)

A device utilized to transmit radio frequency over the air interface.


Baseband signaling

Transmission of a digital or analog signal at its original frequencies. The signal is in its original form, not changed by modulation.


The original band of frequencies produced by a transducer, such as a microphone, telegraph key, or other signal-initiating device, prior to initial modulation.

Bent pipe technology

Satellite technology to transmit calls from one point on Earth to a satellite and back down to another point.


Abbreviation for bit error rate. The number of erroneous bits divided by the total number of bits transmitted, received, or processed over some stipulated period.

Note 1: Examples of bit error ratio are (a) transmission BER, i.e., the number of erroneous bits received divided by the total number of bits transmitted; and (b) information BER, i.e., the number of erroneous decoded (corrected) bits divided by the total number of decoded (corrected) bits.

Note 2: The BER is usually expressed as a coefficient and a power of 10; for example, 2.5 erroneous bits out of 100,000 bits transmitted would be 2.5 out of 105 or 2.5 10-5.


A modification to one or both of the major faces of a resonator plate in which the face is altered to have a partially spherical configuration. See contour.


Abbreviation for beat frequency oscillator. A BFO is an oscillator used to create an audio frequency signal for CW transmissions. Its signal is heterodyned with the IF signal to create the audio frequency signal. Also called SSB and Carrier Oscillators.

Bi-directional antenna

Antenna that radiates most of its power in two directions.


A colloquial expression used to refer to a communications satellite.


A quartz resonator plate. Also known as a wafer, a plate, or a resonator. A round or rectangular quartz crystal that has been lapped to produce very parallel major surfaces and has minor surfaces machined to the final dimensions required to build the desired resonator. A machined disk of single crystal quartz.

Resonator illustration


A term affectionately used for the older generation of tube-based communications receivers due to their large size and weight. Examples of such receivers include the Collins R-390 and R-390A, the RCA AR-88, the Racal RA-17L and the Marconi Electra.


A television or FM broadcast station, operating at relatively low power that receives a distant input signal, amplifies it, and retransmits it on the same channel.


Abbreviation for binary phase shift keying.


A general term used to describe wide bandwidth equipment or systems which can deliver multiple channels and services like voice, data, video; i.e., a circuit that operates at a frequency of 20KHz or greater. Also called wideband.


Delivery of a transmission to two or more stations at the same time, such as over a bus type local network or by satellite.

BT cut

The commercial designation for a specifically oriented resonator plate, having well known and repeatable characteristics. See AT cut.

BT cut - illustration


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Quartz Crystals Precision Telemetry Crystal Products
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