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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

CuriousMarc Looks at Phase-Locked Loops (PLL)

I really like Marc's (AL6JV) videos. It is great fun and very educational to watch him and his team troubleshoot some of the old gear they work on.  There is also a lot of humor. 

In this video Marc delves into the circuitry of the Phase-Locked Loop.  I didn't know that the PLL circuitry has its origins in the space program.  NASA needed a circuit that would permit very narrow band reception of a signal that was undergoing the kind of Doppler shift that spacecraft produce.   Viola! Enter the PLL.  Far beyond Apollo, PLL circuits started to show up in ordinary radio gear.  The General Electric (and JC Penny!) CB transceivers that we rescued from 11 meter infamy used PLL as the frequency determining circuit. 

Marc gives a really good explanation of how the PLL circuit works.  Thanks Marc. 

However, Marc gives an incorrect pronuniation of "kludge" (it should sound like fudge).  But he is a computer guy and is originally from France, so all is forgiven.  He also redeems himself by making fun of the inaccuracies that appear in what he calls "data shites." 


  1. Kluge apparently is a German name, perhaps pertaining to a particularly onerous and cantankerous printing press of the same name that is finicky to adjust. In German, it's pronounced "Kloo-gah"
    The company is still in business: https://www.kluge.biz/
    My theory is that because of its mechanical complexity, the name came to be applied to other devices that are difficult to adjust or service, and the various pronunciations evolved over time.
    OM Gary Johanson, WD4NKA, has a Kluge hand loader for his letterpress printer. He has two blogs, one for Ham Radio, and the other for his other passion, letterpress printing.
    To further muddy the waters, Nick, the guy in the video (https://paperwrenpress.blogspot.com/2014/10/mamas-sauce-and-paper-wren-celebrates.html) pronounces it "kloo-jee"
    I'm not sure when the "d" was added, all I can say is that brilliant engineers and scientists are often poor spellers. Having said all that, I've always heard it pronounced "Kloodge."
    The British, on the other hand, usually pronounce things differently than us Yanks, so that may be the origin of "Kludge" (sounds like "fudge")
    There is an article in the September 12, 2016 edition of the Atlantic, "The Appropriately Messy Etymology of ‘Kluge’ (Or is it “kludge”?)" By Adrienne LaFrance. I would have read it but you need to be a subscriber.
    And then there is the very informative article in Wikipedia:


  2. Thanks Dave: The debate about how to pronounce this word has gone on for years. I thought you would like to read some of this. Be sure to check out the comments: https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/search/label/kludge
    73 Bill N2CQR

    1. Don't get me started . . .) I've always 'heard' the word as rhyming with 'wedge', a device used to move difficult fixed things ( like customary usages).

  3. I've never heard any other pronunciation than as in "huge". This going back 50 years to my mentors on my first engineering job


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