Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Versatile 200KHz Function Generator using ICL8038

ONE of the most useful facilities in the electronic experimenter’s workshop is an ability to generate a.c. test signals of various waveforms, frequencies and amplitudes. This is where this Function Generator project comes in, the “function” in the name referring to the waveform of its output signal. 

The Generator can be used for testing or driving many circuits, from below audio up to a couple of hundred kilohertz, and may even be used as a variable speed clock for logic circuit testing. It has sine, square and triangle-wave outputs plus a separate 0V to +5V squarewave output for logic driving. This may also be used with a “sync” input when, for example, inspecting low-level signals on an oscilloscope.

Circuit Detail:
The full circuit diagram is shown in Fig.1. Starting with the power supply, this is of the dual rail type. The very low output frequencies require d.c. coupling in the output circuit, which in turn makes a circuit using separate positive and negative supplies about a central 0V or ground much simpler to design.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Versatile Bench Power Supply

The power supply described here provides an output of up to 20V with current in two ranges of 100mA or 1A. Ideally a workbench supply should have an output voltage that can be adjusted right down to zero as it is occasionally useful to be able to power a circuit gradually from this when fault-finding. There should also be a fast and effective current limiting facility, again adjustable from zero as this also provides valuable protection when testing circuits.

If the supply can be set to deliver a constant output current instead of a voltage it can also be used as a charger for the many types of re-chargeable battery that are available nowadays, both alkaline and  small sealed lead-acid types. The latter are normally charged to a constant voltage but until this is reached a current limit is often required to prevent an excessive charge rate.

Preferably the supply should have two meters so that the voltage and current supplied to the load can be seen at a glance, and most users would probably prefer analogue meters to the digital type for this.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

High Efficiency LED Torch

THE high forward voltage of l.e.d.s is a challenge for efficient battery use. In the circuit shown in Fig.1a, a 74HC14 inverter is used to “double” the voltage of a 6V rechargeable ex-mobile-phone battery and drive a string of three 5mm l.e.d.s. The oscillator around IC1a and IC1b generates a square wave at about 2·8kHz, and its output is buffered by IC1c and IC1d used in parallel to maximise current to the doubler.
LED Torch