Friday, June 2, 2023

Mini sine wave oscillator

This project is a variant of the 'Miniature Audio Oscillator' by the great Rod Elliott.

I have made very few changes to the core schematic. I removed the potentiometer used for adjusting the frequency and replaced it with a DIP switch, allowing for easy switching between three different frequencies: 20 Hz, 1 kHz, and 20 kHz. These options should be sufficient for quickly testing various audio equipment.

Additionally, I added a third dual opamp. One half of the opamp is used as an output buffer, while the other half serves as a voltage rail splitter and virtual ground. The schematic is designed for a single rail voltage: a 9V battery should be sufficient, but it can also work with higher voltages up to 30V (depending on the opamps used). If Li-ion batteries need to be used, then it is recommended to connect 3 or 4 batteries in series.

The output signal, as stated in the original article, has very low Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) at approximately 0.12%. While I do not have the necessary measurement equipment to gauge the distortion of my variant, I estimate it to be below 0.5%.

I created this project using the EasyEDA software, with the aim of making it relatively easy to replicate at home. The design employs a single-sided PCB and through-hole components.

This is the schematic:

And this is 3D view of the PCB:

For this project, I used a photosensitive dry film for the first time. It wasn't easy, but after a number of trials and errors, I finally managed to produce a fairly good PCB. Here's how it turned out:

The oscillator utilizes a 4-channel DIP switch to control the activation of different value capacitors, thereby altering the output frequency.

The formula for calculating the frequency is F = 1 / (2π × R × C),

where R = R6 = R7 = 10k and

C = C1_A = C2_A = 680 pF when all switches are OFF. These two capacitors can also be 820 pF. To achieve a frequency close to 20 kHz, I handpicked two 680 pF capacitors with higher actual values.

When the left two switches are ON, C = C1_A + C1_B = C2_A + C2_B = 680 pF + 15 nF ≈ 15.7 pF.

When all switches are ON, C = C1_A + C1_B + C1_C + C1_D = C2_A + C2_B + C2_C + C2_D = 680 pF + 15 nF + 680 nF + 100 nF ≈ 795 nF. Note that C1_D and C2_D are included for fine-tuning the lowest frequency of 20 Hz. While not strictly necessary, omitting these capacitors will result in a slightly higher lowest frequency, around 23-24 Hz.

The output voltage measures approximately 3.5 Vpp or 1.24 Vrms and can be adjusted with the potentiometer.

The schematic is compatible with various types of opamps. I tested it with TL072 and NE5532. The current consumption with the TL072 is approximately 10-11 mA, whereas with the NE5532, it is around 34 mA. For extended battery life, the TL062 is the optimal choice; however, I do not have any available at the moment. With the TL072, the output signal begins to visibly distort when the supply voltage drops below 8V.

Here some screenshots from the oscilloscope:

And here is a video of the oscillator at work:

Project files can be downloaded from here: MiniOsc. Use them on your own responsibility!

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