RAN Technology

Si5351 Quadrature Mode

Technical 0 Comments 03/09/2022 

Arduino code example

Posted By: Robert Nickels (ranickels)

The Si5351 has been the biggest boon to homebrewers since the invention of the NE-602, especially now that quartz crystals are essentially obsolete.   But it's redundant to run the output of the 5351 through a johnson counter to develop the quadrature signals required for QSD/QSE SDR front-ends when there are three clock outputs available and the IC allows for phase offsets.   But the complexity of Si5351 register programming and the fact that if you stick to the published specs, operation below 4.762 MHz is not possible were obstacles to using the IC in many applications.

Fortunately it's been found that the lower PLL VCO frequency can safely be lowered without ill effects, which makes it possible to develop quadrature outputs directly from the Si5351 outputs on 80 meters and even below.   As always, off-spec operation may lead to weird or unwanted side-effects but if this was an issue it would have become well known by since it's been used in commercial products like the QCX QRP transceiver which has over 5,000 units in the field.

There are numerous methods in use but since most casual experimenters use the Etherkit Si5351 Arduino Library, it's nice to be able to do it with this library and that's been accomplished, thanks for Brian Harper M1CEM and Miguel Bartié PY2OHH and to Charlie Morris ZL2CTM for reporting it in his blog.    The example here is my own adaptation of the code snippet provided by Charlie to make it a complete test program with a few diagnostics that run in the serial monitor.   

I'll paste the code below and you can also download it from the Attachment link.   Have fun! 

// Test program to evaluate Si5351 quadrature output using Etherkit 5351 Library
// Example based on ZL2CTM  Jan. 2019 blog post
// Si5351 Quadrature Clock Output down to 3MHz
// Credit to Brian Harper M1CEM and Miguel Bartié PY2OHH

//Step 1. Edit si5351.h file. Change the SI5351_PLL_VCO_MIN to 380000000, i.e.,
//#define SI5351_PLL_VCO_MIN              380000000

// Example code follows to set CLK0 and CLK2 in quadrature at frequency freq

#include "si5351.h"
#include "Wire.h"

Si5351 si5351;

volatile long freq = 3500000;
volatile int Even_Divisor = 0;
volatile int oldEven_Divisor = 0;
unsigned long pfreq;

void EvenDivisor()
    if (freq < 6850000)
    Even_Divisor = 126;
  if ((freq >= 6850000) && (freq < 9500000))
    Even_Divisor = 88;
  if ((freq >= 9500000) && (freq < 13600000))
    Even_Divisor = 64;
  if ((freq >= 13600000) && (freq < 17500000))
    Even_Divisor = 44;
  if ((freq >= 17500000) && (freq < 25000000))
    Even_Divisor = 34;
  if ((freq >= 25000000) && (freq < 36000000))
    Even_Divisor = 24;
  if ((freq >= 36000000) && (freq < 45000000)) {
    Even_Divisor = 18;
  if ((freq >= 45000000) && (freq < 60000000)) {
    Even_Divisor = 14;
  if ((freq >= 60000000) && (freq < 80000000)) {
    Even_Divisor = 10;
  if ((freq >= 80000000) && (freq < 100000000)) {
    Even_Divisor = 8;
  if ((freq >= 100000000) && (freq < 146600000)) {
    Even_Divisor = 6;
  if ((freq >= 150000000) && (freq < 220000000)) {
    Even_Divisor = 4;

void SendFrequency()
  si5351.set_freq_manual(freq * SI5351_FREQ_MULT, Even_Divisor * freq * SI5351_FREQ_MULT, SI5351_CLK0);
  si5351.set_freq_manual(freq * SI5351_FREQ_MULT, Even_Divisor * freq * SI5351_FREQ_MULT, SI5351_CLK2);
  si5351.set_phase(SI5351_CLK0, 0);
  si5351.set_phase(SI5351_CLK2, Even_Divisor);
if(Even_Divisor != oldEven_Divisor)
    oldEven_Divisor = Even_Divisor;
  Serial.print("Even Divisor  ");
  Serial.print("New Freq  ");
  Serial.print("Sending  ");
  pfreq =(freq * SI5351_FREQ_MULT);

void setup()
  // Start serial and initialize the Si5351
  si5351.init(SI5351_CRYSTAL_LOAD_8PF, 0, 0);

void loop() {
  // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:

freq = freq+100;


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Si5351 Quadrature Output Test Program

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