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Crystal Drive Level

Crystal drive level is the amount of power dissipated in a crystal, usually specified in microwatts or milliwatts.

It can be calculated by measuring the current flowing through the crystal. The maximum drive level is the most power the crystal can dissipate while still maintaining operation.

The size of the Crystal blank will determine how much power it can dissipate to avoid premature aging or even damage to the crystal. Drive level should be maintained at the minimum levels necessary to initiate proper start-up and still achieve a steady state of oscillation.

For a parallel-resonant oscillator, the crystal current equals the root means square voltage across the load capacitor divided by the load capacitor's reactance at the oscillator frequency.

For a series-resonant crystal, the crystal current is the RMS voltage across the crystal divided by the crystal internal series resistance.

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