Category Archives: Video

Improved 3 Transistor Audio Amp (80 milliwatt)

This circuit is similar to [url=]3 Transistor Audio Amp (50 milliwatt)[/url] but uses positive feedback to get a little more amplitude to the speaker. I copied it from a small 5 transistor radio that uses a 25 ohm speaker. In the circuit above, the load resistor for the driver transistor is tied directly to the + supply. This has a disadvantage in that as the output moves positive, the drop across the 470 ohm resistor decreases which reduces the base current to the top NPN transistor. Thus the output cannot move all the way to the + supply because there wouldn’t be any voltage across the 470 resistor and no base current to the NPN transistor.

This circuit corrects the problem somewhat and allows a larger voltage swing and probably more output power, but I don’t know how much without doing a lot of testing. The output still won’t move more than a couple volts using small transistors since the peak current won’t be more than 100mA or so into a 25 ohm load. But it’s an improvement over the other circuit above.

In this circuit, the 1K load resistor is tied to the speaker so that as the output moves negative, the voltage on the 1K resistor is reduced, which aids in turning off the top NPN transistor. When the output moves positive, the charge on the 470uF capacitor aids in turning on the top NPN transistor.

The original circuit in the radio used a 300 ohm resistor where the 2 diodes are shown but I changed the resistor to 2 diodes so the amp would operate on lower voltages with less distortion. The transistors shown 2n3053 and 2n2905 are just parts I used for the other circuit above and could be smaller types. Most any small transistors can be used, but they should be capable of 100mA or more current. A 2N3904 or 2N3906 are probably a little small, but would work at low volume.

The 2 diodes generate a fairly constant bias voltage as the battery drains and reduces crossover distortion. But you should take care to insure the idle current is around 10 to 20 milliamps with no signal and the output transistors do not get hot under load.

The circuit should work with a regular 8 ohm speaker, but the output power may be somewhat less. To optimize the operation, select a resistor where the 100K is shown to set the output voltage at 1/2 the supply voltage (4.5 volts). This resistor might be anything from 50K to 700K depending on the gain of the transistor used where the 3904 is shown.

Copyright 2006 Bill Bowden

3 Transistor Audio Amp (50 milliwatt)

Here is a little audio amplifier similar to what you might find in a small transistor radio. The input stage is biased so that the supply voltage is divided equally across the two complimentary output transistors which are slightly biased in conduction by the diodes between the bases. A 3.3 ohm resistor is used in series with the emitters of the output transistors to stabilize the bias current so it doesn’t change much with temperature or with different transistors and diodes. As the bias current increases, the voltage between the emitter and base decreases, thus reducing the conduction. Input impedance is about 500 ohms and voltage gain is about 5 with an 8 ohm speaker attached. The voltage swing on the speaker is about 2 volts without distorting and power output is in the 50 milliwatt range. A higher supply voltage and the addition of heat sinks to the output transistors would provide more power. Circuit draws about 30 milliamps from a 9 volt supply.

Copyright 2006 []Bill Bowden[/url]

3 Band graphic equalizer

Using a single op-amp this easy to make equalizer offers three ranges, low frequency,mid frequency,and high. With component values shown there is approximately +/-20dB of boost or cut at frequencies of 50Hz, 1kHz and 10kHz. Supply voltage may be anything from 6 to 30 Volts. Maximum boost 20dB is only realized with maximum supply voltage.

8 Stage LED VU Meter

The circuit below uses two quad voltage comparators (LM339) to illuminate a series of 8 LEDs indicating volume level. Each of the 8 comparators is biased at increasing voltages set by the voltage divider so that the lower right LED comes on first when the input is about 400 millivolts or about 22 milliwatts peak in an 8 ohm system. The divider voltages are set so that each LED represents about twice the power level as the one before so the scale extends from 22 milliwatts to about 2.5 watts when all LEDs are lit. The sensitivity can be decreased with the input control to read higher levels. I have not built or tested this circuit, so please let me know if you have problems getting it working. The power levels should be as follows:

* 1 LED = 22mW
* 2 LEDs = 42mW
* 3 LEDs = 90mW
* 4 LEDs = 175mW
* 5 LEDs = 320mW
* 6 LEDs = 650mW
* 7 LEDs = 1.2 Watts
* 8 LEDs = 2.5 watts

Copyright 2006 Bill BowdenParts:2x quad voltage comparators (LM339)
8x LEDs
Misc condensators, resistors, etc.