OSC II.1 – The Phase-Locked Loop

The Phase-Locked Loop (PLL) is one the most popular building blocks of any RF system.  Understanding the PLL unlocks many possibilities for the experimenter, however many hobbyists and those relatively new to electronics are put off by its apparent complexity.  While PLLs can seem daunting, by understanding the main principle behind PLL theory and dissecting … Read more

OSC I.2 – Quartz Oscillators

Introduction No component is as connected to ham radio history than the quartz crystal.  Still today, thanks to their excellent frequency stability and cost-effectiveness, crystal oscillators in one form or another dominate the electronic landscape.  You’ll find them in nearly every electronic device you can think of, from PC motherboards to your wristwatch.  And, of … Read more

OSC I.1 – LC Oscillators

While it is true that at first glance oscillator circuits can seem complicated, in truth, despite the hundreds of different oscillator designs available, they are all derived from just a few possible architectures.  Knowing the fundamental theory and architecture behind oscillator circuits will allow you to make sense of most oscillator designs, and also allow you to design your own.