When you think of a synthesizer, or just “synth,” most will picture an electronic keyboard of some kind, or perhaps even a song or music video from the 1980s. As seen in our vibrant sound section, Tindarians would normally agree.
Zachtek’s frequency synthesizer takes things in a much different direction, with the capability to generate frequencies in the 34MHz to 4.4GHz range, much higher than the human hearing cutoff of around 20,000Hz.
This generation ability can be used with radio and lab equipment, the tone of which is set via serial commands. The signal is based on a built-in 10MHz reference, giving it a stability of 2.5 parts per million or better. You can connect your own reference via a built-in coaxial connector if your application requires even better stability.
Interestingly, the device includes a programming header for the onboard Arduino Pro Mini, as well as solder pads for unused pins. Given this configuration, it could also form the basis for interesting hacks not conceived of by its original creator!