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Frequency Multiplication

Author: Leonard Krugman

Since the power handling capacity of the transistor is small, it can seldom provide enough energy to excite a crystal into oscillation at the higher frequencies. For this reason, high-frequency crystal-controlled oscillators usually incorporate some form of frequency multiplication. Figure 6-16 illustrates one basic circuit for a crystal-controlled frequency-multiplier oscillator. The emitter and base circuits in this base-controlled oscillator are conventional. The collector lead, however, contains a parallel resonant circuit tuned to the desired harmonic of the crystal fundamental frequency. At first glance it may appear that the inclusion of this network in the collector arm violates one of the fundamental requirements of negative-resistance oscillators, that is, the need for a low resistance collector circuit (equation 6-1). However, the collector tank is tuned to a harmonic of at least twice the fundamental frequency. Insofar as the fundamental crystal frequency is concerned, then, the collector tank is a low impedance. The tank offers a high impedance to the required harmonic, and consequently establishes a good feed point for this frequency into the output circuit.


Fig. 6-16. Crystal-controlled frequency multiplier.

Proper operation of the frequency-multiplier oscillator requires that the fundamental frequency be rich in harmonics, since low distortion contains little harmonic energy. The inherent non-linearity of negative-resistance oscillators [Figs. 6-9 (A), (B), and (C) ], makes it easy to generate a distorted waveshape. This necessitates the use of a high impedance resonant circuit in the base-controlled oscillator, and the use of a low impedance circuit in the emitter or collector-controlled types. Tight coupling of the base tank also promotes increased harmonic generation, but this feature is generally unsatisfactory because of its adverse effect on frequency stability.

Last Update: 2010-11-17