Confused About Frequency Multipliers, Splitters, And Frequency Dividers? Info To Sort Them Out

Posted on: 25 June 2019

Unless you make frequencies and signals and devices for such things a hobby in your home, you probably have no idea what frequency multipliers, splitters, and frequency dividers are. This is because they are so closely related and do such similar things that they are easily confused. To help you keep these straight and/or have a conversation with a radio and communications hobbyist, here are these three devices more clearly explained. 

Frequency Multipliers

In radio and communications that rely on an analog (i.e., not digital) signal, there is generally one frequency at one level or stage. If you want to get other frequencies at higher and lower levels than the signal you are currently receiving or working with, you need a frequency multiplier. This tends to create a sort of "copy" of the one frequency while allowing the user to bring the new frequencies higher or lower for purposes other than what the original frequency is being used for. The new frequencies are their own individual selves, but they may mimic the original frequency at intervals. 


Splitters take a signal, typically a cable TV or home phone signal, and split it into duplicate copies of itself so that everything in your house runs on the same line and the same frequency. It is more economical than trying to set up several different frequencies and different receivers throughout the house. You only pay for one telecommunications line, even though the splitter has split and copied the signal to various other devices in the house. Think of it as a piece of unraveled yarn; each thread making up a strand of yarn is split and pulled away from the strand. That is a splitter. 

Frequency Dividers

Frequency dividers, at first glance, seem to be dividing and multiplying signals at the same time. After all, they are dividing, which splits a frequency like a splitter, and then they multiply by the act of dividing. That is where a lot of people get confused. You have to understand that the difference here is that it takes the input of a frequency and divides it by an integer (any integer). The result is the number of times a frequency is divided, but it can only be used with high frequencies that can be divided into an unknown infinite number of lower frequencies. It is similar to taking a high-cut piece of meat and shoving it through a meat grinder to get an unknown amount of separate bits of lesser meat. Dividers are not used all that often because of the potential for low-quality signals once the frequency is divided.