Dicing With LED's

Every self-respecting DIYer makes his own electronic dice with LEDs as spots. Then you don’t have to throw the dice anymore – just push the button. The electronics also ensures that nobody can try to improve his luck by fiddling with the dice. Too bad for sore losers! This circuit proves that an electronic die built using standard components can be made quite compact. The key component of here is a type 4060 digital counter (IC1).

This IC has an integrated oscillator stage, so only two resistors (R7 and R8) and a capacitor (C7) are necessary to generate the clock signal. The clock signal is divided by various factors by the internal digital circuitry of the IC. The division factors are designated by ‘CT’ in the IC drawing symbol. For instance, the signal on the CT3 output (pin 7) is a square wave with a frequency equal to the clock frequency divided by 23 (8). The clock signal is divided by 24 (16) on the CT4 output, by 25 (32) on the CT5 output, and so on. This means the output signals form a binary number that Dicing with LEDs counts upwards, which is naturally what a counter does.

Circuit diagram:

Of course, a die has only six possible values marked on the six sides of a cube. This means that at least three bits (the first three outputs) of the counter are necessary to drive a display. Eight different counter states (23) can be represented with three bits, but in this case the counter must be restricted to six states. To make sure this happens, D11, D12 and R6 are used to reset the counter to its initial state when it reaches the seventh state, which means when it reaches a binary count of 110. When this happens, pins 4 and 5 of the IC are both logic ‘1’ (high level), which causes a logic ‘1’ to be applied to pin 12 via resistor R6. This causes the counter to be reset, which is what we want.

The display consists of seven LEDs arranged in the same pattern as the usual markings on a normal die. This arrangement is shown in the schematic diagram. Before you begin thinking about the proper logical connections between the LEDs and the counter outputs, you can start by noting that except for the ‘1’ state there will always be two LEDs lit up at the same time. This means that only four distinct indications are necessary, instead of seven (with a total of seven LEDs).

Another advantage of this is that the current consumption can be reduced by connecting pairs of LEDs in series. Resistors R1–R4 limit the current through the LEDs to approximately 2 mA. This means you have to use low-current LEDs. They are nice and bright at a current of 2 mA. Resistor R3 has a higher value because only one LED is driven via it. For convenience, the circuit is dimensioned based on using a 9-V battery. The current consumption of the circuit depends on the number of LEDs that are illuminated, and with our prototype it varied over a range of approximately 2.5 mA to 6.5 mA.

The LEDs still produce enough light even when the supply voltage is as low as 6 V, but this depends strongly on the characteristics of the low-current LEDs used in the circuit. Diodes D8–D10 and transistor T1 are necessary to enable all the states of a normal die to be shown. By that, we primarily mean the states with two or three spots, which must be located diagonally. For readers who want to delve more deeply into the design, the following table shows the six different binary states, which LEDs are lit up for each state, and the number of spots shown by the die.

The die is operated by switch S1. In the quiescent state, the break contact of S1 is closed and the oscillator is stopped because the input of the oscillator stage is connected to ground via the switch. When S1 is pressed, the oscillator starts running and causes the states of the LEDs to change at a rate of 1 kHz, which is too fast to follow with the naked eye. This high frequency ensures that the state of the die is purely random when S1 is released, so there is no regularity or pattern in the results.

The circuit can be assembled on a small piece of perforated prototyping board. Fit the LEDs in exactly the same pattern as shown in the schematic diagram, since otherwise the spot patterns will not correspond to a real die. When you have assembled the circuit board, fit it in a plastic enclosure along with a 9-V battery to provide power.
Source: Elektor Electronics 12-2006

A Bedside Lamp Timer Circuit Schematic

30 minutes operation, Blinking LED signals 6 last minutes before turn-off

The purpose of this circuit is to power a lamp or other appliance for a given time (30 minutes in this case), and then to turn it off. It is useful when reading at bed by night, turning off the bedside lamp automatically in case the reader falls asleep... After turn-on by P1 pushbutton, the LED illuminates for around 25 minutes, but then it starts to blink for two minutes, stops blinking for two minutes and blinks for another two just before switching the lamp off, thus signaling that the on-time is ending. If the user want to prolong the reading, he/she can earn another half-hour of light by pushing on P1. Turning-off the lamp at user's ease is obtained by pushing on P2.
Circuit diagram:
A Bedside Lamp Timer Circuit Diagram
R1 = 1K
R2 = 4K7
R3 = 10M
R4 = 1M
R5 = 10K

C1 = 470µF-25V

C1 = 470µF-25V
C2-C4 = 100nF-63V
D1-D4 = 1N4002
D5 = 5mm. Red LED
IC1 = CD4012
IC2 = CD4060
Q1 = BC328
Q2 = BC547

P1,P2 = SPST Pushbuttons
T1 = 9+9 Volt Secondary 1VA Mains transformer
RL1 = 10.5V 470 Ohm Relay with SPDT 2A 220V switch
PL1 = Male Mains plug
SK1 = Female Mains socket

Circuit operation:
Q1 and Q2 form an ALL-ON ALL-OFF circuit that in the off state draws no significant current. P1 starts the circuit, the relay is turned on and the two ICs are powered. The lamp is powered by the relay switch, and IC2 is reset with a positive voltage at pin 12. IC2 starts oscillating at a frequency set by R4 and C4. With the values shown, pin 3 goes high after around 30 minutes, turning off the circuit via C3. During the c6 minutes preceding turn-off.

The LED does a blinking action by connections of IC1 to pins 1, 2 & 15 of IC2. Blinking frequency is provided by IC2 oscillator at pin 9. The two gates of IC1 are wired in parallel to source more current. If required, a piezo sounder can be connected to pins 1 & 14 of IC1. Obviously, timings can be varied changing C4 and/or R4 values.

Broken Charger Connection Alarm Circuit

Detects if a device is not properly connected to its supply
Suitable for battery chargers, portable appliance supplies etc.

The above circuit can be useful to detect if the load of any battery charger or plug-in adapter supply is not properly connected. The load can be a set of batteries to be charged or any other type of battery or low dc voltage operated device. The circuit can safely operate over a 3 to 15V range and 1A max. Current, provided the supply voltage is about one volt higher than the voltage required by the load.
The circuit is inserted between the supply and the load; therefore, until a trickle-charging current of at least 100µA is flowing towards the load, D1 and D2 will conduct. The forward voltage drop (about 1V) available across the Diodes drives Q2 into conduction and, consequently, Q1 will be cut-off. If no appreciable load is connected across the circuit's output, Q2 will become cut-off, Q1 will conduct and the Piezo-sounder will beep.

Circuit diagram:
Broken Charger Connection Alarm Circuit Diagram

R1 = 10K
R2 = 1K
R3 = 1K
Q1 = BC557
Q2 = BC557
D1 = 1N4007
D2 = 1N4007
D3 = Red LED
BZ1 = Piezo Sounder

  • An optional LED and its series limiting resistor can be wired in parallel to BZ1, as shown in dotted lines in the circuit diagram.
  • In this case you may omit the Piezo-sounder in order to obtain a visual alert only.

IR On/Off Switch Using Microcontroller

Turn ON or OFF electrical devices using remote control is not a new idea and you can find so many different devices doing that very well. For realization of this type of device, you must make a receiver, a transmitter and understand their way of communication. Here you will have a chance to make that device, but you will need to make only the receiver, because your transmitter will be the remote controller of your tv, or video …This is one simple example of this kind of device, and I will call it IR On-Off or IR-switch.

How it works:

Choose one key on your remote controller (from tv, video or similar), memorized it following a simple procedure and with that key you will able to turn ON or OFF any electrical device you wish. So, with every short press of that key, you change the state of relay in receiver (Ir-switch). Memorizing remote controller key is simple and you can do it following this procedure: press key on Ir-switch and led-diode will turn ON. Now you can release key on Ir-switch, and press key on your remote controller. If you do that, led-diode will blink, and your memorizing process is finished.


To make this device will be no problem even for beginners in electronic, because it is a simple device and uses only a few components. On schematic you can see that you need microcontroller PIC12F629, ir-receiver TSOP1738 (it can be any type of receiver TSOP or SFH) and for relay you can use any type of relay with 12V coil.

click on the images to enlarge

Click here to download source code for PIC12F629-675 . To extract the archive use this password extremecircuits.net

Guitar Amplifier

10W Old-Style ultra-compact Combo, Two inputs - Overdrive - Treble-enhancement

The aim of this design was to reproduce a Combo amplifier of the type very common in the 'sixties and the 'seventies of the past century. It is well suited as a guitar amplifier but it will do a good job with any kind of electronic musical instrument or microphone. 5W power output was a common feature of these widespread devices due to the general adoption of a class A single-tube output stage (see the Vox AC-4 model). Furthermore, nowadays we can do without the old-fashioned Vib-Trem feature frequently included in those designs. The present circuit can deliver 10W of output power when driving an 8 Ohm load, or about 18W @ 4 Ohm. It also features a two-FET preamplifier, two inputs with different sensitivity, a treble-cut control and an optional switch allowing overdrive or powerful treble-enhancement.

Circuit diagram:

Guitar Amplifier Circuit Diagram

P1______________4K7 Linear Potentiometer
P2_____________10K Log. Potentiometer
R1,R2__________68K 1/4W Resistors
R3____________220K 1/4W Resistor
R4,R6,R11_______4K7 1/4W Resistors
R5_____________27K 1/4W Resistor
R7______________1K 1/4W Resistor
R8______________3K3 1/2W Resistor
R9______________2K 1/2W Trimmer Cermet
R10___________470R 1/4W Resistor
R12_____________1K5 1/4W Resistor
R13___________470K 1/4W Resistor
R14____________33K 1/4W Resistor
C1____________100pF 63V Ceramic Capacitor
C2____________100nF 63V Polyester Capacitor
C3____________470µF 35V Electrolytic Capacitor
C4____________220nF 63V Polyester Capacitor (Optional, see Notes)
C5_____________47µF 25V Electrolytic Capacitor (Optional, see Notes)
C6______________1µF 63V Polyester Capacitor
C7,C8,C9,C10___47µF 25V Electrolytic Capacitors
C11____________47pF 63V Ceramic Capacitor
C12__________1000µF 35V Electrolytic Capacitor
C13__________2200µF 35V Electrolytic Capacitor
D1_____________5mm. Red LED
D2,D3________1N4004 400V 1A Diodes
Q1,Q2________2N3819 General-purpose N-Channel FETs
Q3____________BC182 50V 200mA NPN Transistor
Q4____________BD135 45V 1.5A NPN Transistor (See Notes)
Q5____________BDX53A 60V 8A NPN Darlington Transistor
Q6____________BDX54A 60V 8A PNP Darlington Transistor
J1,J2________6.3mm. Mono Jack sockets
SW1____________1 pole 3 ways rotary switch (Optional, see Notes)
SW2____________SPST Mains switch
F1_____________1.6A Fuse with socket
T1_____________220V Primary, 48V Center-tapped Secondary 20 to 30VA Mains transformer
PL1____________Male Mains plug
SPKR___________One or more speakers wired in series or in parallel, Total resulting impedance: 8 or 4 Ohm, Minimum power handling: 20W

  • SW1 and related capacitors C4 & C5 are optional.
  • When SW1 slider is connected to C5 the overdrive feature is enabled.
  • When SW1 slider is connected to C4 the treble-enhancer is enabled.
  • C4 value can be varied from 100nF to 470nF to suit your treble-enhancement preferences.
  • In all cases where Darlington transistors are used as the output devices it is essential that the sensing transistor (Q4) should be in as close thermal contact with the output transistors as possible. Therefore a TO126-case transistor type was chosen for easy bolting on the heatsink, very close to the output pair.
  • To set quiescent current, remove temporarily the Fuse F1 and insert the probes of an Avo-meter in the two leads of the fuse holder.
  • Set the volume control to the minimum and Trimmer R9 to its minimum resistance.
  • Power-on the circuit and adjust R9 to read a current drawing of about 25 to 30mA.
  • Wait about 15 minutes, watch if the current is varying and readjust if necessary.
Technical data are quite impressive for so simple a design:
30mV input for 10W output
Frequency response:
40 to 20KHz -1dB
Total harmonic distortion @ 1KHz and 10KHz, 8 Ohm load:
below 0.05% @ 1W, 0.08% @ 3.5W, 0.15% at the onset of clipping (about 10W).

Battery Charger Regulator

Most off-the-shelf car battery chargers cannot not be left connected to the battery for long periods of time as over-charging and consequent battery damage will occur. This add-on circuit is placed in series with the battery being charged and is powered by the battery itself. In effect, the circuit uses a high-current Mosfet to control the charging current and it turns off when the battery voltage reaches a preset threshold. Power for the circuit is fed from the battery to 3-terminal regulator REG1 which provides 8V.

LED1 indicates that the battery is connected and that power is available. The 555 timer IC is configured as an astable oscillator running at approximately 100kHz. It feeds a diode pump (D1 & D2) to generate adequate gate voltage for Mosfet Q3, enabling it to turn on with very little on resistance (typically 14 milliohms). With the Mosfet turned on, current flows from the charger's positive terminal so that charging can proceed. The battery voltage is monitored by 10kO pot VR1.

Circuit diagram:

Battery Charger Regulator Circuit Diagram

When the wiper voltage exceeds the conduction voltage of zener diode ZD1, transistor Q1 turns on and pulls pin 4 (reset) low to switch off the 555 and remove gate drive to the Mosfet. This process is progressive so that the cycle rapidly repeats itself as the battery charges. Eventually, a point is reached when the battery approaches its charged condition and the cycle slows right down. Transistor Q2 and LED2 function as a cycle indicator. When the battery is under charge, LED2 appears to be constantly on. When the battery is fully charged, LED2 briefly flicks off (charging) and returns to the on state (not charging) for a longer period.
Author: Paul Walsh

18watt Audio Amplifier

High Quality very simple unit, No need for a preamplifier

Circuit Diagram:

18watt Audio Amplifier

Circuit Diagram:

Power Supply circuit Diagram

Amplifier parts:

P1 = 22K
R1 = 1K
R2 = 4K7
R3 = 100R
R4 = 4K7
R5 = 82K
R6 = 10R-1/2W
R7 = 22R
R8 = 1K-1/2W (optional)
C1 = 470nF-63V
C2 = 100µF-3V Tantalum bead Capacitors
C3 = 470µF-25V
C4 = 470µF-25V
C5 = 100µF-3V Tantalum bead Capacitors
C6 = 100nF-63V
D1 = 1N4148
IC1 = TLE2141C
Q1 = BC182
Q2 = BC212 50V 100mA PNP Transistor
Q3 = TIP42A
Q4 = TIP41A
J1 = RCA audio input socket

Power supply parts:

R9 = 2K2
C7 = 4700µF 25V
C8 = 4700µF 25V
D2 = 100V 4A Diode bridge
D3 = 5mm. Red LED
T1 = 30VCT, 50VA Mains transformer
PL1 = Male Mains plug
SW1 = SPST Mains switch
  • Can be directly connected to CD players, tuners and tape recorders.
  • Do not exceed 23 + 23V supply.
  • Q3 and Q4 must be mounted on heatsink.
  • D1 must be in thermal contact with Q1.
  • Quiescent current (best measured with an Avo-meter in series with Q3 Emitter) is not critical.
  • Adjust R3 to read a current between 20 to 30 mA with no input signal.
  • To facilitate quiescent current setting add R8 (optional).
  • A correct grounding is very important to eliminate hum and ground loops. Connect to the same point the ground sides of J1, P1, C2, C3 & C4. Connect C6 to the output ground.
  • Then connect separately the input and output grounds to the power supply ground.
Source : www.redcircuits.com

Solar Panel Based Charger And Small LED Lamp

You can save on your electricity bills by switching to alternative sources of power. The photovoltaic module or solar panel described here is capable of delivering a power of 5 watts. At full sunlight, the solar panel outputs 16.5V. It can deliver a current of 300-350 mA. Using it you can charge three types of batteries: lead acid, Ni-Cd and Li-ion. The lead-acid batteries are commonly used in emergency lamps and UPS. The working of the circuit is simple.

The output of the solar panel is fed via diode 1N5402 (D1), which acts as a polarity guard and protects the solar panel. An ammeter is connected in series between diode D1 and fuse to measure the current flowing during charging of the batteries. As shown in Fig. 1, we have used an analogue multimeter in 500mA range. Diode D2 is used for protection against reverse polarity in case of wrong connection of the lead-acid battery.

Charger circuit diagram:
Solar Panel Based Charger Circuit Diagram

When you connect wrong polarity, the fuse will blow up. For charging a lead-acid battery, shift switch S1 to ‘on’ position and use connector ‘A.’ After you connect the battery, charging starts from the solar panel via diode D1, multimeter and fuse. Note that pulsating DC is the best for charging lead-acid batteries. If you use this circuit for charging a lead-acid battery, replace it with a normal pulsating DC charger once a week.

Keep checking the water level of the lead-acid battery. Pure DC voltage normally leads to deposition of sulphur on the plates of lead-acid batteries. For charging Ni-Cd cells, shift switches S1 and S3 to ‘on’ position and use connector ‘B.’ Regulator IC 7806 (IC1) is wired as a constant-current source and its output is taken from the middle terminal (normally grounded). Using this circuit, a constant current goes to Ni-Cd cell for charging.

Small LED lamp circuit diagram:
Small LED Lamp Circuit Diagram

A total of four 1.2V cells are used here. Resistor R2 limits the charging current. For charging Li-ion battery (used in mobile phones), shift switches S1 and S2 to ‘on’ position and use connector ‘C.’ Regulator IC 7805 (IC2) provides 5V for charging the Li-ion battery. Using this circuit, you can charge a 3.6V Li-ion cell very easily. Resistor R3 limits the charging current. Fig. 2 shows the circuit for a small LED-based lamp. It is simple and low-cost.

Six 10mm white LEDs (LED2 through LED7) are used here. Just connect them in parallel and drive directly by a 3.6V DC source. You can use either pencil-type Ni-Cd batteries or rechargeable batteries as the power source. Assemble the circuit on a general-purpose PCB and enclose in a small box. Mount RCA socket on the front panel of the box and wire RCA plug with cable for connecting the battery and LED-based lamp to the charger.
Source: EFY Mag

Supply Voltage Indicator

A novel supply voltage monitor which uses a LED to show the status of a power supply.

This simple and slightly odd circuit can clearly show the level of the supply voltage (in a larger device): as long as the indicator has good 12 volts at its input, LED1 gives steady, uninterrupted (for the naked eye) yellow light. If the input voltage falls below 11 V, LED1 will start to blink and the blinking will just get slower and slower if the voltage drops further - giving very clear and intuitive representation of the supply's status. The blinking will stop and LED1 will finally go out at a little below 9 volts. On the other hand, if the input voltage rises to 13 V, LED2 will start to glow, getting at almost full power at 14 V. The characteristic voltages can be adjusted primarily by adjusting the values of R1 and R4. The base-emitter diode of T2 basically just stands in for a zener diode.

Circuit diagram:

Supply Voltage Indicator Circuit Diagram

The emitter-collector path of T1 is inversely polarized and if the input voltage is high enough - T1 will cause oscillations and the frequency will be proportional to the input voltage. The relaxation oscillator ceases cycling when the input voltage gets so low that it no longer can cause breakdown along the emitter-collector path. Not all small NPN transistors show this kind of behavior when inversely polarized in a similar manner, but many do. BC337-40 can start oscillations at a relatively low voltage, other types generally require a volt or two more. If experimenting, be careful not to punch a hole through the device under test: they oscillate at 9-12 V or not at all.

Low-Power Car/Bike USB Charger

Looking for an efficient USB charger that can operate from a 12V car battery? This unit functions at up to 89% efficiency and can charge USB devices at currents up to 525mA. Best of all, it won’t flatten the battery if it's left permanently connected, as long as you remember to unplug the USB device. There are lots of USB chargers on the market but this device has two stand-out features: high efficiency and low standby current. In fact, its standby current is just 160µA, a figure that’s well below the self-discharge current of most lead-acid batteries. This means that you can leave the device permanently connected and it will not cause that battery to go flat (or at least, not much faster than it would of its own accord).

Picture of the project:

Why is this useful? Well, in September 2009’s “Ask SILICON CHIP” section, D. E. of Ainslie, ACT asked if it was possible to connect a 12V-to-5V USB charger directly to the battery on a motorbike. His reason for wanting to do this is that doing anything else might void the warranty. Our reply was that it is possible but that it would need to have a quiescent current (IQ) of less than 1mA to avoid draining the battery between uses. While USB car chargers are cheap and plentiful, finding one with a low enough quiescent current for permanent battery attachment is difficult. Even those marketed as “low idle power” devices don’t specify how much current they draw on standby.

Low-Power Car/Bike USB Charger Circuit

We tested a regular charger and found that it consumed 13mA with no load. Like many others, it has an integrated power LED and that would contribute significantly to the standby current consumption. However, since the cigarette lighter socket is only powered when the engine is running, there is no real reason for the designers of these car supplies to keep the quiescent current low. Cigarette lighter plugs are also pretty lousy DC connectors. They often don’t fit well and can easily fall out. With this project, you can use whatever type of connector is most convenient. In many cases, this will mean input wires terminated in spade or eyelet lugs.

Circuit diagram:
Low-Power Car/Bike USB Charger Circuit Diagram

While this may seem like a very specific application, there are many other uses for a low-quiescent current 12V DC to 5V DC converter. For example, remote monitoring stations often run from a 12V SLA battery topped up by a solar panel. These stations invariably contain a microcontroller and other circuitry which needs a 3.3V-5V supply. The current consumption in these devices will be low most of the time but occasionally the microcontroller will wake up and activate a radio module or other circuitry which can draw more current. This charger can deliver that current – up to 500mA – while still being miserly with battery power when the load is light. In addition, because its efficiency is high (up to 89%), hardly any battery power is wasted even when the load is drawing 500mA.

Parts layout:
Parts Layout Of Low-Power Car/Bike USB Charger

What is quiescent current?

So what exactly is quiescent (or standby) current? This term often comes up in IC data sheets. Its simple meaning is “idle current”, although when talking about regulators, it sometimes refers to the current consumed by the device itself, rather than by what it is supplying. In most fixed regulators, this is the same as the “ground pin current”. There are typically two current flows in a regulator – from the input to the output and from the input to ground. The ground pin current is the power consumed by the regulator itself.
Source: Silicon Chip
Author: Nicholas Vinen
Copyright: Silicon chip Electronics Magazine

In-Car Charger And Switcher Circuit For SLA Battery

This circuit was devised to switch power to a Peltier cooler in a vehicle. Power to the load from the vehicle’s battery is switched by a SPDT relay while the ignition switch is turned on and from the SLA auxiliary battery when the ignition is off.

The SLA battery is charged from the vehicle’s battery. When the engine is running, the voltage remains fairly constant, which greatly simplifies the charging circuit. If the SLA battery is fully charged, any further charging current from the vehicle battery is limited by a 3.3W 5W resistor (R1). If the SLA battery is deeply discharged, the voltage drop across this resistor will be enough to bias on PNP transistor Q1. This will turn on P-channel Mosfet Q2 and it will provide further charging current via R2, effectively becoming a 2-step charger.

Since the paralleled resistors (R1 & R2) have a lower combined voltage drop, Q1 will receive lower base bias, which in turn will cause Mosfet Q2 to fully saturate. This positive feedback creates a clean transition between the two states and prevents Q2 from over-dissipating by being partially on. The current then will ramp down until the battery is only receiving a trickle charge and the voltage drop across the paralleled resistors is only a few dozen millivolts. Schottky diode D1 prevents the SLA battery from discharging into the vehicle’s accessory circuits when the engine is off.

Two safety devices are included in the circuit, the first being in-line fuse F1 which will prevent serious damage in case of shorts. In addition, a PTC resettable thermistor (RT1) protects the battery from sustained over-currents during the charging phase. It is a 1.85A hold, 3.70A trip device at 23°C. Since it has a positive temperature coefficient, at 70°C, these ratings decrease to 1A and 2A for hold and trip respectively, which can further protect the battery.

Circuit diagram:

Lastly, to protect the SLA battery from deep discharge, a low voltage disconnect is included. This is centred around REG1, a voltage reference configured as a comparator. Its reference (REF) input is connected to a voltage divider, as long as "enable" switch S1 is closed.

Whenever the voltage at REG1’s reference terminal exceeds 2.5V, its anode will be pulled low, biasing on PNP transistor Q3. Q3 provides positive feedback via the 270kΩ resistor and diode D2 to turn on N-channel Mosfet Q4, which allows the load to be powered up.

If the SLA battery voltage drops below 10V, the reference terminal will fall below 2.5V and the anode of REG1 will go high, thereby removing bias from Q3 and turning off Q4 to disconnect the load and prevent deep discharge. LED1 indicates when power is being applied to the load.

General-Purpose Alarm

The alarm may be used for a variety of applications, such as frost monitor, room temperature monitor, and so on. In the quiescent state, the circuit draws a current of only a few microamperes, so that, in theory at least, a 9 V dry battery (PP3, 6AM6, MN1604, 6LR61) should last for up to ten years. Such a tiny current is not possible when ICs are used, and the circuit is therefore a discrete design. Every four seconds a measuring bridge, which actuates a Schmitt trigger, is switched on for 150 ms by a clock generator. In that period of 150 ms, the resistance of an NTC thermistor, R11, is compared with that of a fixed resistor. If the former is less than the latter, the alarm is set off.

When the circuit is switched on, capacitor C1 is not charged and transistors T1–T3 are off. After switch-on, C1 is charged gradually via R1, R7, and R8, until the base voltage of T1 exceeds the threshold bias. Transistor T1 then comes on and causes T2 and T3 to conduct also. Thereupon, C1 is charged via current source T1-T2-D1, until the current from the source becomes smaller than that flowing through R3 and T3 (about 3 µA). This results in T1 switching off, so that, owing to the coupling with C1, the entire circuit is disabled. Capacitor C1 is (almost) fully charged, so that the anode potential of D1 drops well below 0 V. Only when C1 is charged again can a new cycle begin.

Circuit Diagram:

General-Purpose Alarm Circuit Diagram

It is obvious that the larger part of the current is used for charging C1. Gate IC1a functions as impedance inverter and feedback stage, and regularly switches on measurement bridge R9–R12-C2-P1 briefly. The bridge is terminated in a differential amplifier, which, in spite of the tiny current (and the consequent small transconductance of the transistors) provides a large amplification and, therefore, a high sensitivity. Resistors R13 and R15 provide through a kind of hysteresis a Schmitt trigger input for the differential amplifier, which results in unambiguous and fast measurement results. Capacitor C2 compensates for the capacitive effect of long cables between sensor and circuit and so prevents false alarms.

If the sensor (R11) is built in the same enclosure as the remainder of the circuit (as, for instance, in a room temperature monitor), C2 and R13 may be omitted. In that case,C3 willabsorb any interference signals and so prevent false alarms. To prevent any residual charge in C3 causing a false alarm when the bridge is in equilibrium, the capacitor is discharged rapidly via D2 when this happens. Gates IC1c and IC1d form an oscillator to drive the buzzer (an a.c. type). Owing to the very high impedance of the clock, an epoxy resin (not pertinax) board must be used for building the alarm. For the same reason, C1 should be a type with very low leakage current. If operation of the alarm is required when the resistance of R11 is higher than that of the fixed resistor, reverse the connections of the elements of the bridge and thus effectively the inverting and non-inverting inputs of the differential amplifier.

An NTC thermistor such as R11 has a resistance at –18 °C that is about ten times as high as that at room temperature. It is, therefore, advisable, if not a must, when precise operation is required, to consult the data sheet of the device or take a number of test readings. For the present circuit, the resistance at –18 °C must be 300–400 kΩ. The value of R12 should be the same. Preset P1 provides fine adjustment of the response threshold. Note that although the prototype uses an NTC thermistor, a different kind of sensor may also be used, provided its electrical specification is known and suits the present circuit.
Author: K. Syttkus
Copyright: Elektor Electronics

Headphone Amplifier Using Discrete Components

An amplifier to drive low to medium impedance headphones built using discrete components.

Both halves of the circuit are identical. Both inputs have a dc path to ground via the input 47k control which should be a dual log type potentiometer. The balance control is a single 47k linear potentiometer, which at center adjustment prevents even attenuation to both left and right input signals. If the balance control is moved towards the left side, the left input track has less resistance than the right track and the left channel is reduced more than the right side and vice versa. The preceding 10k resitors ensure that neither input can be "shorted" to earth.

Circuit diagram:

Headphone Amplifier Circuit Diagram

Amplification of the audio signal is provided by a single stage common emitter amplifier and then via a direct coupled emitter follower. Overall gain is less than 10 but the final emitter follower stage will directly drive 8 ohm headphones. Higher impedance headphones will work equally well. Note the final 2k2 resistor at each output. This removes the dc potential from the 2200u coupling capacitors and prevents any "thump" being heard when headphones are plugged in. The circuit is self biasing and designed to work with any power

Mini Audio Signal Generator

A small audio test generator is very useful for quickly tracing a signal through an audio unit. Its main purpose is speed rather than refinement. A single sine-wave signal of about 1 kHz is normally all that is needed: distortion is not terribly important. It is, however, important that the unit does not draw too high a current. The generator described meets these modest requirements. It uses standard components, produces a signal of 899 Hz at an output level of 1 V r.m.s. and draws a current of only 20 µA. In theory, the low current drain would give a 9 V battery a life of 25,000 hours. The circuit is a traditional Wien bridge oscillator based on a Type TLC271 op amp. The frequency determining bridge is formed by C1, C2 and R1–R4. The two inputs of the op amp are held at half the supply voltage by dividers R3-R4 and R5-R6 respectively.

Circuit diagram:

Mini Audio Signal Generator Circuit Diagram

Resistors R5 and R6 also form part of the feedback loop. The amplification is set to about ´3 with P1. Diodes D1 and D2 are peak limiters. Since the limiting is based on the non-linearity of the diodes, there is a certain amount of distortion. At the nominal output voltage of 1 V r.m.s., the distortion is about 10%. This is, however, of no consequence in fast tests. Nevertheless, if 10% is considered too high, it may be improved appreciably by linking pin 8 of IC1 to ground. This increases the current drain of the circuit to 640 µA, but the distortion is down to 0.7%, provided the circuit is adjusted properly. If a distortion meter or similar is not available, simply adjust the output to 1 V r.m.s. Since the distortion of the unit is not measured in hundredths of a per cent, C1 and C2 may be ceramic types without much detriment.

Low Cost 2x20 Watt Stereo Amplifier by TDA2005

This circuit is a small stereo amplifier for all suitable applications like amplifying small speakers, boxing, etc. It is also suitable for car use but before, the power supply must be choked with at least 150mH and it must give up to approximately 6 to 7 amps during the upstream performance. Appropriate heatsink for the amplifier is SK08 with a height of 50 mm (approx. 2.5 K per watt). You should drill the cooler after soldering the board to center it properly. The TDA2005 also needs not be isolated from the heat sink, since the metal mounting part of the IC is grounded.

You should use thermal paste to improve the heat dissipation. After the assembly , case construction is left to the builder. 100K potentiometers are used for adjusting the input volume. The potentiometers are absent in the layout. The 100K resistors need only be installed if the 100 K potentiometers are not used as shown in the layout. You should use a well designed quality transformer to get less noise. It will be another good way to use a sufficient battery to power the circuit. Keep the supply wires as short as possible. Input source should be isolated from the external noises too. It is recommended to use coaxial cable to connect the input audio.

Technical data:
Performance of TDA2005M: (for this circuit); At 14.4 V supply voltage: 2 x 20 watts (stereo) into 4 Ohms.
Distortion: Approx. 0.2% at 4 Watts into 4 ohm load.
Frequency Range: Approx. 20 Hz to 22 KHz.
Input Sensitivity: Approx. maximum 150 mV rms. .
Power supply: + 8 to 18 volts, approx. maximum 3.5 Amps per channel.
Click Here to Download Schematic, PCB and Layout Files

Pulse Rate Monitor

This simple circuit enables you to listen to your heartbeat, for instance, while you are exercising. The transducer used for detecting the pulse is an electret microphone, X1 in the diagram. The model used has two (polarized) terminals. As usual with this type of microphone, it functions via a series resistor, R1. The potential drop across this resistor is applied to op amp IC1a via C1. The amplification of the op amp is set to between ´40 and ´1000 with preset P1. Network R4-C3 in the feedback loop of IC1a is a low-pass filter with a cut-off frequency of 34 Hz. Higher frequencies are not needed for the present application. A pulse rate of 180* is equivalent to a frequency of 3 Hz.

So as to cater for a wide range of pulse rates, the cut-off frequency is made just over 11 times as high as that representing the highest pulse rate. Operational amplifier IC1c, in conjunction with push-pull am-plifier T1-T2, creates a headphone amplifier, whose output resistance is equivalent to the value of R9, that is, 47 Ω. This makes the circuit usable for virtually any kind of headset. The output is short-circuit-proof. In case of certain headphones, such as that used with Sony Walkman™ sets, it is best to connect the two earphones in series. Operational amplifier IC1b is used as an active potential divider. The voltage across the actual divider, R5-R6, is half the supply voltage.

Pulse Rate Monitor Circuit Diagram

This voltage is buffered by IC1b, taken from the low-resistance output, pin 7, of this op amp and used as reference for IC1a, and as operating voltage for the electret microphone. The voltage is decoupled by C4 to remove any interference signals from it. The supply voltage for the pulse rate monitor is decoupled by capacitor C7, immediately after polarity protection diode D1. Owing to the use of CMOS op amps, the current drain does not exceed 10 mA, so that operation from a 9 V battery is perfectly feasible. A dry alkaline manganese battery will have a life of about 50 hours.

Unless you are a young superfit top-class athlete, you should see your GP immediately when you find you have a pulse rate of 180. As a general guide, the absolute maximum pulse rate for a young, very fit person is 180, for a middle-aged person, 160, and for an elderly person, 140. When exercising, the pulse rate of a not very fit person should not exceed 60% of these maxima.

PIC Controlled Relay Driver

This circuit is a relay driver that is based on a PIC16F84A microcontroller. The board includes four relays so this lets us to control four distinct electrical devices. The controlled device may be a heater, a lamp, a computer or a motor. To use this board in the industrial area, the supply part is designed more attentively. To minimize the effects of the ac line noises, a 1:1 line filter transformer is used.

The components are listed below.
1 x PIC16F84A Microcontroller
1 x 220V/12V 3.6VA (or 3.2VA) PCB Type Transformer (EI 38/13.6)
1 x Line Filter (2x10mH 1:1 Transformer)
4 x 12V Relay (SPDT Type)
4 x BC141 NPN Transistor
5 x 2 Terminal PCB Terminal Block
4 x 1N4007 Diode
1 x 250V Varistor (20mm Diameter)
1 x PCB Fuse Holder
1 x 400mA Fuse
2 x 100nF/630V Unpolarized Capacitor
1 x 220uF/25V Electrolytic Capacitor
1 x 47uF/16V Electrolytic Capacitor
1 x 10uF/16V Electrolytic Capacitor
2 x 330nF/63V Unpolarized Capacitor
1 x 100nF/63V Unpolarized Capacitor
1 x 4MHz Crystal Oscillator
2 x 22pF Capacitor
1 x 18 Pin 2 Way IC Socket
4 x 820 Ohm 1/4W Resistor
1 x 1K 1/4W Resistor
1 x 4.7K 1/4W Resistor
1 x 7805 Voltage Regulator (TO220)
1 x 7812 Voltage Regulator (TO220)
1 x 1A Bridge Diode

The transformer is a 220V to 12V, 50Hz and 3.6VA PCB type transformer. The model seen in the photo is HRDiemen E3814056. Since it is encapsulated, the transformer is isolated from the external effects. A 250V 400mA glass fuse is used to protect the circuit from damage due to excessive current. A high power device which is connected to the same line may form unwanted high amplitude signals while turning on and off. To bypass this signal effects, a variable resistor (varistor) which has a 20mm diameter is paralelly connected to the input.

Another protective component on the AC line is the line filter. It minimizes the noise of the line too. The connection type determines the common or differential mode filtering. The last components in the filtering part are the unpolarized 100nF 630V capacitors. When the frequency increases, the capacitive reactance (Xc) of the capacitor decreases so it has a important role in reducing the high frequency noise effects. To increase the performance, one is connected to the input and the other one is connected to the output of the filtering part.

After the filtering part, a 1A bridge diode is connected to make a full wave rectification. A 2200 uF capacitor then stabilizes the rectified signal. The PIC controller schematic is given in the project file. It contains PIC16F84A microcontroller, NPN transistors, and SPDT type relays. When a relay is energised, it draws about 40mA. As it is seen on the schematic, the relays are connected to the RB0-RB3 pins of the PIC via BC141 transistors. When the transistor gets cut off, a reverse EMF may occur and the transistor may be defected.

To overcome this unwanted situation, 1N4007 diodes are connected between the supply and the transistor collectors. There are a few number of resistors in the circuit. They are all radially mounted. Example C and HEX code files are included in the project file. It energizes the next relay after every five seconds.

Click here to download the schematics, PCB layouts and the code files

Voice Bandwidth Filter

This circuit passes frequencies in the 300Hz - 3.1kHz range, as present in human speech. The circuit consists of cascaded high-pass and low-pass filters, which together form a complete band-pass filter. One half of a TL072 dual op amp (IC1a) together with two capacitors and two resistors make up a second-order Sallen-Key high-pass filter. With the values shown, the cut-off frequency (3dB point) is around 300Hz. As the op amp is powered from a single supply rail, two 10kO resistors and a 10µF decoupling capacitor are used to bias the input (pin 5) to one-half supply rail voltage.

Circuit diagram:

Voice Bandwidth Filter Circuit Diagram

The output of IC1a is fed into the second half of the op amp (IC1b), also configured as a Sallen-Key filter. However, this time a low-pass function is performed, with a cut-off frequency of about 3.1kHz. The filter component values were chosen for Butterworth response characteristics, providing maximum pass-band flatness. Overall voltage gain in the pass-band is unity (0dB), with maximum input signal level before clipping being approximately 3.5V RMS. The 560O resistor at IC1b's output provides short-circuit protection.
Author: M. Sharp - Copyright: Silicon Chip Electronics

RC (Remote Control) Switch

It is sometimes necessary for an RC (remote control) model to contain some kind of switching functionality. Some things that come to mind are lights on a model boat, or the folding away of the undercarriage of an aeroplane, etc. A standard solution employs a servo, which then actually operates the switch. Separate modules are also available, which may or may not contain a relay. A device with such functionality is eminently suitable for building yourself. The schematic shows that it can be easily realised with a few standard components.

Picture of the project:
RC Switch Circuit

The servo signal, which consists of pulses from 1 to 2 ms duration, depending on the desired position, enters the circuit via pin 1 of connector K1. Two buffers from IC2 provide the necessary buffering after which the signal is differentiated by C2. This has the effect that at each rising edge a negative start signal is presented to pin 2 of IC1. D1 and R4 make sure that at the falling edge the voltage at pin 2 of IC2 does not become too high. IC1 (TLC555) is an old faithful in a CMOS version.

A standard version (such as the NE555) works just as well, but this IC draws an unnecessarily high current, while we strive to keep the current consumption as low as possible in the model. The aforementioned 555 is configured as a one-shot. The pulse-duration depends on the combination of R2/C1. Lowering the voltage on pin 5 also affects the time. This results in reducing the length of the pulse. In this circuit the pulse at the output of IC will last just over 1.5 ms when T1 does not conduct.

Circuit diagram:
RC Switch Circuit Diagram

When T1 does conduct, the duration will be a little shorter than 1.5 ms. We will explain the purpose of this a little later on. Via IC2.C, the fixed-length pulse is, presented to the clock input of a D-flip-flop. As a consequence, the flip-flip will remember the state of the input (servo signal). The result is that when the servo-pulse is longer than the pulse form the 555, output Q will be high, otherwise the output will be low. It is possible, in practice, that the servo signal is nearly the same length as the output from the 555.

A small amount of variation in the servo signal could therefore easily cause the output to ‘chatter’, that is, the output could be high at one time and low the next. To prevent this chatter there is feedback in the form of R1, R3 and T1. This circuit makes sure that when the flip-flip has decided that the servo-pulse is longer than the 555’s pulse (and signals this by making output Q high), the pulse duration from the 555 is made a little shorter. The length of the servo-signal will now have to be reduced by a reasonable amount before the servo-pulse becomes shorter than the 555’s pulse.

Parts and PCB layout:
Parts and PCB layout Of RC Switch

The moment this happens, T1 will stop conducting and the mono-stable time will become a little longer. The servo-pulse will now have to be longer by a reasonable amount before the flip-flip changes back again. This principle is called hysteresis. Jumper JP1 lets you choose between the normal or inverted output signals. Buffers IC2.D through to IC2.F together with R5 drive output transistor T2, which in turn drives the output. Note that the load may draw a maximum current of 100 mA. Diode D2 has been added so that inductive loads can be switched as well (for example, electrically operated pneu-matic valves).

R1 = 470k
R2 = 150k
R3 = 47k
R4 = 100k
R5 = 4k7
C1 = 10nF
C2 = 1nF
C3,C4 = 100nF
D1 = BAT85 or similar Schottky diode
D2 = 1N4148
IC1 = CMOS 555 (e.g., TLC555 or ICM7555)
IC2 = 4049
IC3 = 4013
T1,T2 = BC547B
JP1 = jumper with 3-way pinheader
K1 = servo cable
K2 = 2-way pinheader or 2 solder pins
Author: Paul Goossens - Copyright: Elektor Electronics

Mobile Phone and iPod Battery Charger Circuit

Charge your iPod without connecting it to a computer!

Using the USB port on your computer to charge your player’s batteries is not always practical. What if you do not have a computer available at the time or if you do not want to power up a computer just for charging? Or what if you are traveling? Chargers for Mobile Phones iPods and MP3 players are available but they are expensive and you need separate models for charging at home and in the car.

This charger can be used virtually anywhere. While we call the unit a charger, it really is nothing more than a 5V supply that has a USB outlet. The actual charging circuit is incorporated within the iPOD or MP3 player itself, which only requires a 5V supply. As well as charging, this supply can run USB-powered accessories such as reading lights, fans and chargers, particularly for mobile phones.

The supply is housed in a small plastic case with a DC input socket at one end and a USB type "A" outlet at the other end, for connecting to Mobile Phone, an iPod or MP3 player when charging. A LED shows when power is available at the USB socket. Maximum current output is 660mA, more than adequate to run any USB-powered accessory.

Pictures, PCB and Circuit Diagram:

Front View Of Mobile Phone and iPod Battery Charger Circuit

Bottom View Of Mobile Phone and iPod Battery Charger Circuit

PCB Layout Of Mobile Phone and iPod Battery Charger Circuit

Mobile Phone and iPod Battery Charger Circuit Diagram

P1 = 1K
R1 = 1R-0.5W
R2 = 1R-0.5W
R3 = 1R-0.5W
R4 = 1K
R5 = 560R
R6 = 10R-0.5W
R7 = 470R
C1 = 470uF-25V
C2 = 100nF-63V
C3 = 470pF
C4 = 100uF-25V
D1 = 1N5404
D2 = 1N4001
D3 = 1N5819
D4 = 5.1V-1W Zener Diode
D5 = 5mm. Red LED
L1 = 220uH
S1 = USB 'A' Type Socket
SW1 = On/Off Switch
IC1 = MC34063A

Output voltage ----------------------5V
Output current ---------------------660mA maximum for 5V out
Input voltage range ------------------9.5V to 15V DC
Input current requirement ----------500mA for 9V in, 350mA for >12V input
Input current with output shorted--- 120mA at 9V in, 80mA at 15V in
Output ripple ------------------------14mV (from no load to 660mA)
Load regulation ----------------------25mV (from no load to 660mA)
Line regulation ----------------------20mV change at full load from 9 to 18V input
No load input current ----------------20mA

(The specification for the computer USB 2.0 port requires the USB port to deliver up to 500mA at an output voltage between 5.25V and 4.375V).

The circuit is based around an MC34063 switch mode regulator. This has high efficiency so that there is very little heat produced inside the box, even when delivering its maximum output current. The circuit is more complicated than if we used a 7805 3-terminal regulator but since the input voltage could be 15V DC or more, the voltage dissipation in such a regulator could be 5W or more at 500mA. and 5W is far too much for a 7805, even with quite a large heatsink. Credit for this circuit goes to SiliconChip, A wonderful electronics magazine.

USB Powered Mobile Phone Battery Charger

Now you can charge your Mobile Phone from the USB outlet of PC

This simple circuit can give regulated 4.7 volts for charging a mobile phone. USB outlet can give 5 volts DC at 100mA current which is sufficient for the slow charging of mobile phones. Most of the Mobile Phone batteries are rated 3.6 volts at 1000 to 1300 mAh. These battery packs have 3 NiMh or Lithium cells having 1.2 volt rating. Usually the battery pack requires 4.5 volts at 300-500 mA current for fast charging.

But low current charging is better to increase the efficiency of the battery. The circuit described here provides 4.7 regulated voltage and sufficient current for the slow charging of the mobile phone. Transistor Q1 is used to give the regulated output. Any medium power NPN transistor like CL100, BD139, TIP122 can be used. Zener diode D2 controls the output voltage and D1 protects the polarity of the output supply. Front end of the circuit should be connected to a A type USB plug.

Connect a red wire to pin1 and black wire to pin 4 of the plug for easy polarity identification. Connect the output to a suitable charger pin to connect it with the mobile phone. After assembling the circuit, insert the USB plug into the socket and measure the output from the circuit. If the output is OK and polarity is correct, connect it with the mobile phone.

Circuit diagram:

USB Powered Mobile Phone Charger Circuit Diagram

Q1 = BD139
D1 = 1N4001
D2 = 4.7V - 1/2W
R1 = 560R - 1/2W
C1 = 16V - 100uF

  • If the polarity is incorrect, it will destroy the mobile battery. So take extreme care.

2-7V / 6-8A Power Supply by 723 and 7812

In this 2-7V power supply circuit, for our purpose, we chose IC 723 instead of a three pin voltage regulator for-why we find it protean and more advantageous in technical details.
Heatsinks of Tr2 and Tr3 transistors must be sufficiently large.
To archive R4,R5 and R6 values, we used some suitable resistors in parallel. For R4 and R5 two parallel connected 0.3ohm/5W resistors for each are used. To take 6A output, we connected two 0.22ohm/5W resistors in parallel, and to take 8A output we connected three 0.33ohm/5W resistors in parallel instead of R6 resistor.
If you change the marked component values properly you can get up to 14V output. For this situation you must disconnect R1,R2,C5,C6,C1,C2,D1,D2  components and connect the positive terminal of D3 directly to the rectified and stabilized supply.
TIP142 is a darlington transistor so you can not change it with other normal transistors.
For an example of the circuit operation; When a 0.68 ohm load was connected, we desired to take 8A current at 5.5V but voltage drop was about 0.18V. This means at 5.32V we got 7.8A and error was about %3.3. At the same condition, ripple voltage was less than 25V(rms).

Hall Sensor Amplifier by LT6011 Micropower Op-Amp

This application is a low power hall sensor amplifier based on LT6011, Linear Technology's dual operational amplifier fits 25uV input precision micropower operation and wide 2.7V to 36V supply range.
HW-108A is the hall element in the application. At 1V DC bias, it consumes about 2.5 mA with a sensitivity of 4mV/mT. Reducing the bias voltage reduces the power consumption but it also reduces the sensitivity. At this point, to lower the power consumption, micropower amplification takes an important role.
Circuit operation is as follows. The LT1790 micropower reference gives a fixed output of 1.25V. The voltage divider circuitry made up of 7.87kΩ  and 100kΩ resistors reduces the voltage and the voltage across the 7.87kΩ becomes 0.09V. LT1782 acts as a buffer. So when this 0.09V is applied as bias voltage across the hall sensor bridge, the current is only 0,23mA. This is about 1/10 of the original value. This means that your batteries will last 10 times longer. On the other hand the sensitivity decreases to 0.4mV/mT.
LT6011 precision micropower amplifier gives the desired high gain back at this point. It is configured as an instrumentation amplifier in a gain of 101. Now the sensitivity becomes 40mV/mT with a total current consumption of 0.6 mA. To have achieved this sensitivity by increasing the bias voltage of HW-108A would require a 25mA from the supply.
Read More:linear.com/pc/downloadDocument.do?navId=H0,C1,C1154,C1009,C1099,P2314,D4564

LM317 and L200 Power Supplies with Soft Start

The two power supply circuits are presented to illustrate the soft start procedure using LM317 and L200integrated circuits where each reaches the desired output of 15 V gradually for a period of 5 second.

  • Soft Start – an electronic feature that controls the increase of output voltage by reducing the excess of current flow during initial setup
  • LM317 – a 3-terminal positive and linear voltage regulator with adjustable output
  • L200 – a monolithic integrated circuit built for the purpose of regulating programmable current and voltage
  • 2N2907 – a small general-purpose BJT transistor used for switching and linear amplification applications

Circuit Explanation

The LM317 voltage regulator is capable of supplying more than 1.5 A over a range of voltage from 1.25 V to 37 V. Some of its features include the automatic reduction of its output current for the duration of under load when an overheat takes place. It also has an internal short circuit current limiter to prevent over current rating, floating operation for high voltage applications, eliminates stocking many fixed voltages, safe operating area protection and internal thermal overload protection. These features makes LM317 virtually blow-out proof. The soft start operation of LM317 is made possible by connecting to a universal PNP transistor, which is 2N2907 in this circuit. It is designed to operate at higher speeds with low power, medium voltage and low to medium current.
Once the circuit has been switched ON, the electrolytic capacitor gradually charges on the initial conduction and the increasing voltage on the positive side causes the transistor to turn OFF. This type of capacitor is significant in low frequency and high current electrical circuit. An electrolytic capacitor contains filters that allow very low cutoff frequencies due to its very high capacitance. With reference to the ground, the event turning OFF the transistor raises the voltage on the adjustment pin of the LM317 voltage regulator. The LM317 is better than any 3-pin regulator because it only requires less current via the adjustment pin. However, it can also obtain large amount of current through the ground pin if the value is near the dropout voltage. To maximize power handling capability and life span, the use of heatsink is recommended during dissipation of large amount of heat at medium to high current loads.
For the L200 circuit, in order to perform the soft start function, it utilizes its Pin 2 as its internal comparator. Just like LM317, it has internal protection to lessen the possibility of damage to the device which consists of power limiting, thermal shutdown, current limiting and input over-voltage protection. It also has low bias on regulation pin, low standby current drain, and adjustable output current and output voltage. An internal safe operating area protection circuitry of the L200 controls the power dissipation. Nevertheless, it would be compulsory to use an appropriate heatsink at higher power levels to prevent reaching excessive temperatures. When high voltage precision is necessary, the L299 can be used as a replacement with other fixed voltage regulators to eliminate the need to stock a range of fixed voltage regulators. The electrolytic capacitor in the L200 circuit reduces the current-regulation loop within the L200 as the capacitor voltage increases. Since Pin 2 acts as a comparator, it switches to whichever value is higher between the comparison of two voltages or two currents.


The versatility of LM317 makes it possible to be suited in many applications like in local on-card regulation and programmable output regulation. It is sometimes preferred for high precision fixed voltage applications due to being adjustable. Different package forms for different applications are available for LM317 which includes surface mount and heatsink mounting applications. Packages for high current applications with common form factors include TO-220 and TO-3. The L200 may be utilized in DC-DC converters, battery chargers and power supplies. Soft start function may not only be used in electronics but also in conveyors, pumps, compressors, mixers, shredders, saws, and injection molding machines.

Adjustable Symmetrical Power Supply by LM317 and LM337

The circuit was designed to provide an adjustment with a power supply that is symmetrically designed while providing a voltage range of 1.25V to 30V at 1A current.


  • LM317 – an adjustable 3-terminal positive voltage regulator capable of supplying in excess of 1.5A over an output voltage range of 1.2V to 37V and requires only two external resistors to set the output voltage due to its internal current limiting, thermal shutdown and safe area compensation, making it essentially blow-out proof
  • LM337 – an adjustable 3-terminal positive voltage regulator capable of supplying in excess of 5A used as battery chargers, constant current regulators, and adjustable power supplies due to its features such as protected output from short circuit, product enhancement tested, current limit constant with temperature, guaranteed thermal regulation, adjustable output down to 1.2V, guaranteed 5A, and guaranteed 7A peak output current

Circuit Explanation

The circuit will serve as a voltage converter with an input voltage of 35 V to produce an output voltage of 1.25 V to 30 V. The positive voltage is being handled by LM317 IC while the negative voltage is handled by LM337. The circuit can provide an output current of 1 A. During the production of 1 A current, the regulator is dissipating too much heat and without the presence of a heatsink, the regulator may get damaged.
Using these types of regulators provide features such as low noise and low price in the market. It can be made operational even with few components used. The only disadvantage that it will impose is the poor conversion efficiency. With the output of 35 V to 5 V, the efficient ratio of the output power with the input power is less than 42%. This is the reason why the switching regulator became cheap recently although the number of external components to be connected is minimally increased. These regulators will work with better efficiency when used in case  where current is more than 1A for more than 15 V and 0.4 A for less than 15 V from the power supply.
Each regulator is adjusted for single positive and negative voltage output using the 10K ohms potentiometers RV1 & RV2. For dual outputs, a dual connected potentiometer RV3 is made to operate by switch S1. The visual indication on the voltmeter V1 is shown using the switch S2.

Part List

RV1-2=10Kohms Lin.
RV3=2X10Kohms Lin.
IC 1=LM 317T
IC 2=LM 337T
L1-2=LED 3mm
F1-2=1A slow Blow Fuse
S1-2=2X ON-ON SW
V1=0-30V DC Voltmeter


The adjustable symmetrical power supply is suitable to be used in audio amplifiers, microphone amplifiers, op-amp applications, impedance converters and other devices that require regulated positive and negative DC supply, since the output current is 1 A.

L200-Based Voltage Regulators

The circuits were designed using a single IC L200 to create two different regulators where one circuit functions as high current regulator using NPN pass transistors while the other circuit functions as programmable voltage and current regulator.

  • L200 – a monolithic integrated circuit for voltage and current programmable regulation, available in Pentawatt package or 4-lead TO-3 metal case, used to replace fixed voltage regulators when high output voltage precision is required and eliminates the need to stock a range of fixed voltage regulators due to it features of low standby current drain, low bias current on regulation pin, thermal overload protection, output transistor SOA protection, short circuit protection, input overvoltage protection, adjustable output voltage and current, and blow-out proof because of current limiting and power limiting
  • LM741 – a general purpose single operational amplifier with features such as offset null, compensated internal frequency, voltage range with high input, good stability of temperature, and protected from short circuit
  • BC108 – an epitaxial NPN silicon planar transistor having the collector electrically connected to the TO 18 metal case
  • BDW51 – a silicon epitaxial-base NPN power transistor in Jedec TO-3 metal case intended for use in power linear and switching applications

Circuit Explanation

This project involves two regulators while using only one L200 integrated circuit to produce a regulator of voltage and current. From the first figure, the output voltage can be regulated with the use of 4.7K Ohms potentiometer RV1. This circuit will be responsible for handling high current values with the aid of NPN pass transistors. The second figure is constructed to regulate the output current using the 100K Ohms trimmer TR1 while the output voltage is adjusted with the use of 10K Ohms trimmer TR2.
A relatively sophisticated design is being used by the L200 and it may be used in many different configurations to provide voltage or current regulation. The resistor between pin 2 and pin 5 of the L200 is connected to control the current limiting. Typically, 0.45V is the current limit sense voltage which is variable depending on several factors including load and temperature.
The internal safe operating area (SOA) protection circuitry controls the power dissipation of the L200. As long as the input/output differential voltage is less than 20V, the device can supply a current of up to 2A. Otherwise, the maximum current output will drop greatly if the differential voltage exceeds 20V. This will cause the SOA protection to limit the current output to prevent damage to the device by reducing the power dissipation. The value of the resistors connected between pin 3 & 4 and pin 4 & 2, determines the output voltage of the device.
It is required to utilize a suitable heatsink at higher power levels to prevent the L200 from reaching excessive temperatures and the type of heatsink depends on the application. A large area of metal similar to the side of an enclosure may be already available in some cases. If the heatsink is at 0V potential, the tab of the L200 at 0V potential will be connected directly to the heatsink, but in some cases, the tab of the L200 is needed to be isolated.

Part List - Figure 1

R1=0.7 / Io max
R2=10 ohms
R4=820 ohms
C1=4700uF 63V
C2-3=100nF 100V
C4=47uF 63V
RV1=4.7Kohm pot.

Part List - Figrue 2

R2=470 ohm
R3=0.1 ohm 5W
TR1=100Kohm pot.
TR2=10Kohm pot.
C1=4700uF 63V
C2=220nF 100V


The use of voltage regulators using L200 IC may be found mostly in power supplies like the variable DC power supply, battery chargers, and DC-DC converters.