InfraRed LED Flasher for Optical Switch

This circuit is used to detect objects by reflected infrared light. It can be built into a cylindrical enclosure just like an inductive proximity switch.

Part of – InfraRed Detector for Proximity Switch

This is also useful as a level detector for colored liquids like oil. This has some immunity to ambient sunlight as it detects ac pulses.

Infrared Optical Proximity Switch

IC 555 is used as an astable oscillator and it flashes the Infra red LED D1 at a high speed, The object close to this LED reflects the light along with the ambient light which may also be sunlight.

Infra Red LED 555 Flasher

IR Led’s and Diodes

The types available are various and polarity hard to detect even photo IR transistors can be used. The IR Led can be tested in diode mode of a DMM (battery should be in good condition) it should give around 1.1V drop in proper polarity.

Se a Related circuit here Optical Obstacle Switch.

An IR detector diode or photo diode can be tested in the same way the drop will be 0.5V at 1 feet from a 60W lamp (no sunlight), closing the IR photo diode with your hand will be an over range on DMM this will happen on proper polarity. the photo diode shows around 10k ohm resistance in daylight and in Mega ohms when covered also the photo diode detects light on reverse bias and used like that.

LED Voltage Level Indicator

This circuit is derived from a Siemens Application Note 1974. This circuit uses common components of today.

The circuit is here as it is of high educational value. I have not tested it. You can ‘simulate and test’ or ‘wire it up and try’ and let me know how it worked. The Circuit is also a simple analog to digital converter. You can use optos in place of LEDs.

Battery Level Indicator

T1 and T2 make a differential amplifier. T3, T4 and T5 driving the LEDs are comparators.  When input voltage is increased T1 is turned on which leads to more base current for T3 which Lights LED1. When input voltage is less T2 turns on as it gets a better base current from P3 which turns on LED2 via T4. When both LEDs are off T5 gets biased as no drop across R5 which lights the LED3 thru T5 hopefully.

LED Voltage Level Indicator

What you need to know is a small current Ib thru the base-emitter path in the direction of the emitter arrow will lead to a large Current Ic thru the emitter-collector path in direction of arrow. Ic = B * Ib where B – beta is the DC current gain, it could be 100-400

Fluid or Water Level with Reed Relays 

Beta is different in each transistor you buy and varies with the test conditions and even with temperature and age. The LED1 and LED2 will indicate above or below Limits set by P2 and P1. The Limit Threshold itself is set at P3 i think. LED3 will light when Hi LED and Lo LED both are off.

The applications of this circuit are FM tuning indicator, Stereo Balance Indicator (Wire T2 like T1 then we get two channel inputs) and battery level indicator.

Constant Current Source for LED

This article will explain the way a simple transistor based current source is designed, this will give an idea on how some components can be used in a practical way to make the circuit do some function, the objective is not design but to become familiar with the basic ideas.

Design of a Constant Current Source

In the circuit the LED is used as a reference so to keep it cool a 2.2K is chosen. (20V – 1.6V) / 2.2K = 8.3mA on the high side and when voltage is 10V the current will be 3.8mA min.

Constant Current Source for LED

You should know that the LED forward drop can change with ambient light as it is photo sensitive and will vary with temperature.

The circuit can be improved by using a zener in place of the LED or better still a temperature compensated reference like LM336.

Operating Current of LM336 is 400uA to 10mA, 20V The max. voltage 20V / 3.3K = 6mA. so within limits. Then you can compute the rest, wire it up to see if your design works.

Mains Voltage monitor using LM3914

This Circuit helps in the monitoring of mains supply voltage. It does not use a isolation step down transformer. This has to be constructed only by skilled people with knowledge of safety requirements.

C1 limits the current and drops most of the voltage. The zener regulated supply is for the chip. C2 can be raised to 220uF or more if required. The bar mode display may consume more power.

Mains Voltage Power Transformers 

R2-R3-R5-R6 form a voltage divider to get a sample of the input voltage, D11-C3 get the DC value.

Adjust R5 preset with a log Plastic tweaker to get the 5th led to just turn on when input voltage is at 138V AC. This has to be done after PCB is put in a sealed fire-retardant-plastic or epoxy box. drill a hole in box for plastic tweaker.

National LM3914 – Dot Bar Display Driver
This Circuit is Not a Tested Design. It is an Idea for study

Mains Voltage monitor using LM3914

Warning : This Circuit is Mains Operated without Isolation Transformer and will give lethal electric shock if touched when the circuit is turned on. Test circuit only with DC 9V Bench Power Supply to try it out. Do not use 230V AC.