Configuring FA-Synthesizer “FA-SY 1”, 10 – 160 MHz External Clock

In this guide, we will prepare and configure an FA-Synthesizer “FA-SY 1”, 10 – 160 MHz external clock.

Note: The ‘Technical Guides’ category on this blog is meant to help out people working with a specific technology. I post up guides on equipment I use during some projects to help out other people working on similar technology. You are encouraged to share your knowledge in the comments, however, I may not be able to answer your questions since I do not own the technology in any way.

This clock is a relatively cheap option for use with USRP boards and other embedded hardware and offers a decent frequency range. For more technical specifications, go to the link above or consult the technical guide provided by the manufacturer (original guide is in German).

Step 1: Preparation

The clock ships with SMT components soldered, however, the through hole components are left unsoldered. You will have to solder them yourself. The following two images (again taken from the technical guide) will help you solder them in place.


Here is a list of the components you need to solder:

  1. IC Bed for ATTiny microcontroller (do not solder the microcontroller directly, or you will damage it!)
  2. BD244C Power transistor
  3. 2 x Breadboard wafers (or whatever you call them) on buses X1 and X2
  4. Grounding cable for power transistor (seen in blue in the picture on the right)

Make sure to solder the IC bed and power transistor in the right direction! See the picture again on how to do it.

Make sure to keep the legs of the breadboard wafers on the bottom so you can fix it on a breadboard later.

Step 2: Connecting a USB Cable

You need to solder a USB cable in order to connect this device to a computer to configure it later. The following picture, again taken from the technical guide, explains how to do it. The pin numbers on X2 are written on the reverse of the module. For your convenience, I have added the color of wires inside a USB cable as well.


Step 3: Connecting an oscilloscope and power

You now need to connect an oscilloscope and power supply to power up the module and see the output clock waveform. According to the following schematic, given in the technical guide, you need to connect pin 8 to 12V supply and the rest of the pins to ground. Then connect an oscilloscope on pin 4. All these pins are located on bus X1!


Step 4: Configuration

You have made it through the hardware part. Now download this driver:

If the above link does not work, here is a mirror of the file.

To install this driver, open Device Manager. Find the “DG8SAQ-I2C” device.

Right click on the device and select “Update driver software”. Select the “Browse my computer for driver software”.
Select the the directory where you saved the driver package. You will get the Windows security message if you did not install the Amateur Radio Certificate Authority. If you did install the Amateur Radio Root Certificate windows will show the install message box. You can select “Install this driver software anyway”.

Next, download this configuration utility:

If the above link does not work, here is a mirror of the file.

Connect the device to a Windows machine and the driver will install automatically. Then this utility can be run to set the frequency. Observe the corresponding change on the oscilloscope!

Enjoy your new synthesizer clock!


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