Discrete-Circuits (Page 2)

Neon Light Flasher was made by me when i was young, it was even published in a magazine, i think it will work, it was used on a very old huge ornamental valve philips stereo system in the remote speakers.

Home Made Circuits

Recently i captured this circuit in eagle to publish online, it seems to have a small design error. It worked well for many years. The step-down transformer is used as a step-up here. The secondary winding was around 50mA so the resistance was protecting the 2N2222. (SL100 was used in the original one). C1 and R3 may need tweaking to get the desired adjustment range in R2.

Music Sound to light converter

The voltage across the speaker is fed to C1-Gnd, which blocks DC component. R1, R2, R3 form a threshold bias for T1. 2N2222 chops the 12V DC in tune with the music.

Basics of Electronics

The chopped DC current flowing in the 12V winding of TR1 is stepped up into AC pulses over 100V, this lights the Neon in flashes synchronizing in real-time with the beats. Known Issues – It does not perform well at low Bass like 20Hz.

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Volume control circuit for speaker 4 ohm or 8 ohm located in the another room far away. by using only passive components. This gives limited control and helps reduce volume when a conversation starts. The resistors are very low value.

Passive volume control

Passive volume control

A simple circuit you can build at home at low cost it uses just a rotary switch and wire wound resistors. Add more resistors and a rotary switch with more contacts for finer control.

More Hobby Ideas and Projects at Hobby DIY Garage

Guitar Speaker

An easy project to start DIY electronics is the Guitar Speaker. Make a good Acoustically friendly Wooden Box. Add a 20 Watt Audio Amplifier and a Large Speaker, There is a Power Supply too in this box. If you hear a Large Hum over the Strumming of the Guitar. You are in Business.

You should know that this is a limited design, it is used when the speaker is far away from audio amplifier. In the early days  audio amps were made of power transistors and signal transistors. (they came after  valves), No remote controls, Radio tuners, Spool Players and Turntables would be connected to these via a Preamplifier and Rotary Switches.

The Speakers in large wooden boxes would be kept at the far corners of the Hall, you could have a passive volume control in this with a Neon flickering indication of audio.  That circuit is here Music Sound to light converter.

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.

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.