Here is the circuit of a Op-Amp based Square Wave Generator. One of the main application of this is in a Simple PWM circuit and Triangle Opamp Oscillator. The Slope of the Triangle wave is compared with a DC Level to derive a pulse width or On-Time proportional to a Voltage.

Op-amp Oscillator delabs

This On-Time proportional to voltage is for a fixed oscillation rate based on C2-C3 and R15. The C2-C3 form a Unpolarized cap, This type is also used in crossover networks in speaker boxes. This is because, a plastic 4.7 uF (2 * 10uF series) is big and costlier, but a plastic cap is very stable and closer to an ideal cap.

Square and Triangle Opamp Oscillator

First you need to know that most opamps in such circuits can give a square wave, but very few can swing to the rails (+/-5). For designing take 75% of Vcc. CA3130 is one that can swing to rails like a CMOS gate.

Op Amp Triangle-Wave Generator

Assuming the swing of output is around +/- 4V, the pin 10 + input will be at +/- 2V. When the cap is discharged at 0 V, let us take that the output is +, the cap charges to a little above +2, – input becomes dominant, so output swings negative. This discharges the cap to 0 and then charges it negatively upto -2. This in turn flips the output to + as pin 10 turns dominant. Hence this continues as a oscillation, with a nice triangle across the cap for the PWM comparator.

Dominant means more +, 0 is positive compared to -2V. Also -2.5 is negative compared to -2.2.

This is an electronic choke for a Conventional Fluorescent Lamp. This was an application note of MJE13005 a High Voltage Switching NPN Power Transistor. I Might have modified it. This was very popular in the early days, The Coil Winding and Ferrite is very Critical design.

Emergency Light with Fluorescent Tubes

Tubelight Electronic Choke

The diodes, npn transistor and caps are high voltage 350V-1KV, The tubelight is 40W-60W 5 feet long. This circuit replaced the choke and starter in an existing frame.

Low Cost Simple CFL lamp

Read More.

ICL8038 and XR-2206 can help you build a Function Generator or Wavform Generator. It is needed along with the Oscilloscope and Power Supply on the Workbench.

The ICL8038 waveform generator is a monolithic integrated circuit capable of producing high accuracy sine, square, triangular, sawtooth and pulse waveforms with a minimum of external components. The frequency (or repetition rate) can be selected externally from 0.001Hz to more than 300kHz using either resistors or capacitors, and frequency modulation and sweeping can be accomplished with an external voltage.

See the Full page with parts list at my Website – Function Generator using ICL8038.

Function Generator using ICL8038


Frequency range – 0.95 Hz to 105 KHz in five decade ranges
Waveforms – Sine, Triangular and Square.
Output amplitude – Adjustable from 10 mV PP. to 10 V PP
Output impedance – 50 ohms.

This is a demo of the popular 555 timer. you can try out the project on this page by a javascript simulation. Press the Red button below to turn on the circuit press it again to turn off. The 555 can source (LED2) or Sink (LED1) upto 200mA. It can even drive a small motor or lamp with diodes added to protect from inductive kickback.Vary Ra, Rb and Ct with the controls given and see the change of frequency, period and duty cycle.

This is a tutorial with calculator to help learn the application of 555 which is a very rare chip innovation. It is simple, versatile, flexible and programmable (by tweaking of pots).

Astable 555 Timer Flasher – Interactive demo

The 555 Astable oscillator gives a square wave output at pin 3, The output drives two LEDs, LED1 lights up when pin 3 is low and LED2 when pin 3 is high.

The 555 can source (LED2) or Sink (LED1) upto 200mA. It can even drive a small motor or lamp with diodes added to protect from inductive kickback. Vary Ra, Rb and Ct and see the change of frequency, period and duty cycle.

Astable Multivibrator with 555 Timer

Read More →

This Circuit is a simple Analog to Digital Interface with a capability of 10 to 12 bits resolution. 10 bits means 1024 counts or parts of a full scale FS which is close to 3-1/2 1999 counts.

VCO with LM331

In this 1 V can be read as 1.000 V that means even 1mV can be resolved for FS of 1V. The Caps C6 and others must be plastic multilayer low-leakage types for accuracy of reading. Use all 1% MFR 100ppm or better resistors, Design gain of U1B for the Full Scale you want.

Mixed Circuits Analog with Digital

The Output Fout is a Frequency which is directly proportional to the measured voltage Vin. The pulses can be isolated using opto-couplers to avoid ground loops or electric hazard. An additional protection and scaling circuit at the input may be required for some sensors.

The CD4020BC, CD4060BC are 14-stage ripple carry binary counters, and the CD4040BC is a 12-stage ripple carry binary counter. The counters are advanced one count on the negative transition of each clock pulse. The counters are reset to the zero state by a logical “1” at the reset input independent of clock.

CD4040BC, 12-Stage Ripple Carry Binary Counters
CD4060BC, 14-Stage Ripple Carry Binary Counters

1 Hz or 1 PPS Crystal Clock Base

CD4060 – 14-Stage Ripple Carry Binary Counters

you can also use a crystal between pin 10 and 11 with two caps 22pF from 10, 11 to gnd and a 10M resistor between 10 and 11 in place of R C network for more precision.

74HCU04 is a chip that was made for this purpose, HCT may not work for such a circuit. C1 and C2 can go to upto 33pF and R2 can be increased to make R2 * C2 = t.

Crystal Oscillator - Parallel Resonant


Time constant much less than the period T of the crystal T = 1/F . This is to remove higher frequency components in the Oscillator.

More on Piezoelectric Crystal Oscillator

The circuit above is a parallel resonant oscillator circuit. The Crystal works by the piezoelectric principle, piezo means pressure. The electric field causes the impedance of the crystal to change. The LP Record Player needle is the reverse of this, the bumps on the spiral groove of the record applies pressure to needle which generates electricity. Both are piezo-electric effects.