Adding harmonics

This is something I wanted to do, but I dont know where to start. Given an alternating signal (not necessarily sinusoidal) if you wanted to double the frequency of the signal, where would you start?


Science Advisor
Gold Member
A frequency doubler?
All you need is a non-linear component of some sort, e.g. a biased diode.
However, this is usually a pretty inefficent process.
A frequency doubler works best with a sinusoidal signal. I wouldn't want to try it with a non-sinusoidal signal.

There are a couple of other ways to do it with a sinusoidal signal.
You could use an analog multiplier and multiply the sine wave by itself to square it.
You could use a phase lock loop with a divide by 2 prescaler.

For non-sinusoidal signals I can think of 2 more but neither is real time.
Use an ADC and store the values in memory. Read the memory out at double the ADC rate.
Convert to digital with an ADC and do a Fourier Transform. Then multiply the frequencies by two and do an inverse transform back to time domain.


Science Advisor
Gold Member
Usually frequency doublers are reasonably efficient. Just run a class C amplifier at half of the design frequency. There are other schemes to double frequencies with discreet components. One that comes to mind is to use a bridge rectifier and then bandpass filter the output.
Just pump a nonlinear device with a sinusoidal signal to generate the second harmonic.

What frequency do you want do double?

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