Thursday, August 9, 2018

How to make a simple frequency generator from 10 Mhz to 330 Mhz

What is a frequency generator?

A frequency generator is an electrical/electronic device or circuit which creates a signal at a preset frequency. It could be fixed frequency such as (10 Mhz, 20 Mhz, 25 Mhz, 48 Mhz, 64 Mhz, 125 Mhz, or 330 Mhz) or adjustable frequency with that range.

Type of frequency waveform: sawtooth, square wave, sine wave, pulse.

What is the common use of frequency generator?

Frequency generators are used mainly in radio telecommunication devices - for Very High Frequency (VHF) range are used in radio telecommunications such as Walkie Talkie, car remote control, etc. Ultra high frequency or UHF band ranges from 330 Mhz up to 3000 Mhz (3 GHz) are used in high tech telecommunication devices mainly smartphones, internet modem, WiFi, wireless telecommunications.

How to make the easiest and simplest form of frequency generator?

To, some people especially who don't involve or new to electronics may sound very complicated to understand. Fortunately, there are electronic components that can be used to generate frequencies. We are not going to talk about Voltage Control Oscillator which requires some electronic knowledge and hands-on experience to understand it but active crystal oscillators which can generate frequency using a single component.

If you don't know about active crystal oscillator - video will give you an idea how it looks like and how to use it to generate frequency signal (square wave). The component consisting of 4 pins where the first pin with the dot is (NC = Not Use) and the second pin on the right of the dot is ground (connect to negative), the 3rd pin on the left above dot is (VCC connect positive) and the 4th pin on the top right of the dot is the output frequency signal.

This component can be powered by 5-volt battery or USB power supply to generate the square wave signal. Note that the frequency signal generated by this component is fixed and you can buy a couple of them with the following common frequency variations 10 Mhz, 15 Mhz, 20 Mhz, 25 Mhz, 40 Mhz, 48 Mhz, 125 Mhz, 330 Mhz. This is enough to generate some frequency needed in regular electronic devices like radio and televisions signal.

Higher frequencies can be obtained from the crystal by the means of frequency multiplication but we are not going to cover that part since it is a little bit complicated for a beginner to understand.

How to use the crystal oscillator?

Since most media and telecommunication devices such as walkie-talkies, radios, televisions and drone remote controls, toys remote controls are using radio frequencies to function - we can make use of the crystal oscillator to help to amplify their signals when it is weak. Some of the experiment I've done based on this crystal can be found here - how to boost cellphone signal using a 20 Mhz active crystal oscillator component. You can think of any such as Television antenna, Radio antenna etc depending on your needs on what kind of problem you are facing particularly on the weak signals.

Where to get active crystals components?

Online electronic stores like Element14, DigiKey, Mouser sells high-quality electronic components manufactured by the like of Murata, Abracon, Analog Devices. Or you can buy cheap China brand from eBay where you can get 125 Mhz and 330 Mhz for just a few dollars.

Another way is to salvage crystal oscillators from faulty telecommunications devices such as cell phones (mini SMD), switches/modems (internet), Televisions, Internet network devices, etc.

Some Knowledge

Do you know the conventional Russian made radar jammers are heavily reliant on the frequency signals generated by the crystal oscillators to generate its frequency? However, of course, they added some voltage oscillators circuit to assist on the signal variations. And the beauty is the Russian army has the best radar jammer on the planet in terms of military applications.

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