Electronic Circuits

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Here are some neat circuits you might want to try. The schematics and printed circuit board patterns are GIF's, and may show up different on some browsers. You might want to save the images (especially the PC board patterns) to your hard drive, load them into a photo editor (Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, The GIMP, etc.) and adjust the size before you transfer the pattern to a board. Printed circuit board patterns are available possible. This page is always under construction and there will be new additions from time to time. Some of these circuits were designed by me, most are not. Whenever possible I have tried to credit the author of a circuit but since many of these circuits are from my personal collection that I have gathered over a period of many years, this information is not always available.

You can rank circuits according to how much you like a circuit by clicking on the lightning bolt icons. These ranks can be based on how much you like a circuit, whether a circuit worked or didn't work for you, or how useful you found a circuit. Additionally you can add your own comments at the bottom of each circuit by filling out the form.

Circuit Catagories

Circuits are divided into categories as listed below.

Catagory Circuits
Auto 3
Computer 2
Light/Laser 21
Major Projects 2
Other 21
Power Supply 18
Sound/Radio 22
Telephone 8

Some circuits in this list have little astrisk (*) markers beside them which give a basic amount of information regarding whether the circuit has been designed, tested or modified by the webmaster.

Marker Description
* The circuit has not been tested by me. Therefore, I will offer no gaurantee that they will work.
* This circuit has been designed by me.
* This circuit was not designed by me, but was modified by me.

Most Popular Circuits

The most popular circuits of today, yesterday and all time can be found below.

When Circuit Views
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Automatic 12V Lead Acid Battery Charger29
12VDC To 120VAC Inverter21
Saturday, January 21, 2017
12VDC To 120VAC Inverter80
Automatic 12V Lead Acid Battery Charger76
Of All Time 12VDC To 120VAC Inverter1,366,645
FM Transmitter911,824


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Automatic Headlight Brightness Switch 181,612 61 *
Driving the highway with your high-beam headlights can really increase your visibility, but can he a blinding hazard for other drivers. This simple circuit can be wired into your headlight switch to provide automatic switching between high and low beam headlights when there is oncoming traffic. It does this by sensing the lights of that traffic. In this way, you can drive safely with your high-beams on without blinding other drivers.
Car Alarm Arming Horn Beep Canceller bob 94,776 6 *
It's a great convenience that most modern cars come with a built in alarm, however it is nothing but noise pollution that the horn sounds when the alarm is armed. Disconnecting the alarm system from the horn relay will eliminate this, but prevent the horn from sounding in the even of an actual alarm. This circuit serves to silence the arming beep yet maintain the alarm by introducing a small delay into the signal. It sits between the alarm and horn relay. The alarm must provide a constant horn signal for at least 3 seconds before the horn relay is activated. That way the quick "beep" will never activate the horn relay, while the constant alarm signal will.
Wireless Auto Tachometer 288,116 58
Anyone performing their own automobile tune-ups knows how important it is to know your engines speed. With this tachometer, you can measure your engines speed without any connections or annoying timing lights.


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Computer Controlled Frequency Counter/Logic Probe Richard van Wyk 125,444 29 *
This circuit is a stable frequency counter accurate to 5 significant digits. The range is 0 - 30MHz with an input sensitivity of greater then 100mV. The probe connects to the PC serial port. So by using the crystal oscillator already present on your PC serial card and software calibration, the Probes' external circuitry is kept to a minimum. Probe 9 can also be used as a logic probe/analyzer using included software (LPROBE92.EXE).
Parallel (Printer) Port Interface 227,652 71
This is the basic interface I used as part of my Computerized Room project. This is the parallel interface only. The 8 bit input card can be found, along with the rest of the project, at Computerize Your Room/House. This interface, as well as the other two interfaces, came from the book "The Robot Builders Bonanza", by Gordan McComb. This interface is also useful for controlling small robots, etc. It is cheap and fairly easy to build, although you should not attempt this project unless you have prior experience with electronics. You probably won't damage anything if you hook it up wrong, but there is always a chance (some parallel ports are better protected then others). If possible, test the project on someone else's, or a school computer.


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12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver 380,486 62 *
A number of people have been unable to find the transformer needed for the Black Light project, so I looked around to see if I could find a fluorescent lamp driver that does not require any special components. I finally found one in Electronics Now. Here it is. It uses a normal 120 to 6V stepdown transformer in reverse to step 12V to about 350V to drive a lamp without the need to warm the filaments.
3 Channel Spectrum Analyzer 174,128 20
This 3 channel 15 LED spectrum analyzer is the perfect addition to any audio amp project. It produces fantastic displays on three LED bars that can be individually adjusted for any particular frequency range. The circuit will take line level output from most any audio source, and operates on 12V DC. This means that it can even be run in a car.
40W Fluorescent Lamp Inverter Bart Milnes 280,202 60 *
This 40W fluorescent lamp inverter allows you to run 40W fluorescent tubes from any 12V source capable of delivering 3A. This is basically a larger version of the 12VDC Fluorescent Lamp Driver and can be used to light regular or blacklight tubes.
Adjustable Strobe Light 251,803 36
This Adjustable Strobe Light is the bigger brother of the plain old strobe light(above). This one uses a much more powerful 'horse shoe' Xenon tube which produces more light. You can also control the flash rate up to about 20Hz. Do not look directly at the flash tube when this thing is on!
Black Light 214,198 29
This circuit is a simple ultraviolate light that can be powered by a 6 volt battery.
Colour (Sound) Organ 236,855 36
Anyone who has been to a night club, concert or school dance has probobly seen a colour organ. Colour organs cause lights to blink and flash to music from your TV, stereo, guitar and even your own voice. The colour organ presented here needs no connection to the sound source, it picks up sound from its built in microphone.
Electronic Dice NEW! 142,598 9 *
An electronic dice is a classic first project for those getting interested in electronics. A timer, counter and a few LEDs makes a circuit that can also add a new twist to some old boring board games. When the switch is pressed, a 555 timer in astable mode pulses a BCD counter which lights up a series of LEDs wired to mimic a dice. Two AND gates are used to reset the count back to one whenever the BCD output is seven. Thus, the circuit is not truly random but the natural bounce present in a pushbutton and the normal human ability to operate much slower then the oscillator make the output of the circuit seem random.
Fantastic Atom Expander 151,771 25
Here is the schematic, PC board pattern, and parts placement for a 'Fantastic Atom Expander'. This circuit produces an 'exploding atom' effect using 98 LEDs.
Flash Slave Trigger 173,293 17 *
Flash slaves are used when you need to supplement one flash unit with one or several more. This slave trigger simply triggers those other units. It does this by "seeing" the first flash (using a phototransistor) and triggering the other flashes a few microseconds later. The sensitivity of the circuit is adjustable to compensate for ambient light or dimmer than usual master flashes.
Infa-Red Remote Control 568,083 216 *
This remote transmits a tone using an infa-red LED. This tone is decoded by the receiver. Since the receiver only switches when it hears the tone, there are no accidental activations.
IR Remote Extender NEW! 82,382 2 *
This IR remote extender can increase the range of most simple IR remotes (those operating on a 40KHz modulation) a significant distance. In use, the remote is pointed toward the detector on the circuit, and a button is pressed. The Sharp IR detector then decodes the 40KHz modulated signal into a series of pulses, which trigger a 555 timer. The 555 outputs pulses which are re-modulated and used to drive an IR LED. The circuit is excellent for use in a large room like a presentation hall where a typical IR remote is a bit weak. By extending the wires to the output LED (using shielded cable) you can control a device where line of sight isn't available (such as a wall full of TVs in another room).
IR Remote Jammer Carl 214,810 110 *
Don't like your little brother's TV channel selection? Hate the volume your wife sets the stereo at? Want to just annoy someone? This circuit does all that and more by jamming most IR remote signals. The circuit releases a flood of pulsing IR light that confuses the reciever by corrupting the data stream.
IR Remote Switch NEW! 113,078 9 *
This circuit lets you control any line powered electrical device (a lamp, television, fan, etc.) using any infra-red remote control. Almost everyone these days has a pile of old IR remotes left over from appliances they have long ago disposed of them. Using this circuit, you can put them back into use. The circuit looks for any modulated IR source and uses it to control a TRIAC, which then switches any appliance connected to it's socket. For example, you can use it to control the room lighting in your home theater setup using any of the remotes you already have. The circuit is powered using a simple transformerless power supply from the line itself, making it compact and easily built into a light switch, wall box, power bar or even the appliance you wish to control.
LASER Transmitter/Receiver 351,575 92
This set of two circuits from the basis for a very simple light wave transmitter. A LASER beam is modulated and then aimed at a receiver that demodulates the signal and then presents the information (voice, data, etc..). The whole thing is very easy to build and requires no specialized parts execpt for the LASER itself.
LED Chaser 394,517 83 *
I don't know why, but people like blinking lights. You see LED chasers everywhere, in TV shows (Knight Rider), movies, and store windows. This schematic is my version of a simple 10 LED chaser. There is no 555 timer used because at my local electronics store they are over $4 Cdn. Instead, an oscillator is made up of two sections of a 4011 NAND gate is employed.
LED Metronome NEW! 73,841 3 *
The LED Metronome is a modern interpretation of a classic device which is a staple of music teachers, students and composers everywhere. This circuit uses 12 LEDs to simulate the sweeping motion of the pendulum and a speaker with a simple amplifier to generate a tick as the LEDs at the end of the arc are struck. It is adjustable from about 40 BPM to just over 200 BPM. When made in a Lexan or Plexiglass case it can add a fun ultra-modern touch to music practice (though most music teachers agree that you should never rely on a metronome to keep your beat).
LED Thermometer 166,937 22 *
This LED thermometer is designed for in home use, to read temperatures between about 60 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. It is based around a precision temperature sensor IC, the LM34DZ. This sensor require no calibration and can measure temperatures of between -50F and +300F. While the circuit shown here does not use the full range of that sensor, it can be modified to do so by simply changing the voltage reference to U2 at the sacrifice of precision.
Light/Dark Detector 264,046 89 *
This handy little circuit can tell the difference between darkness and light, making it very useful for switching on and off signs, porch lights or other things when it gets dark or light.
Simple Colour Organ 103,913 10 *
This is a simple, one lamp colour organ. It is far less complicated then the Three Channel Colour Organ (above). It is simply a lamp controlled by an SCR. It can be built in a few minutes, and combined with other circuits to make some pretty neat effects.
Strobe Light 234,440 27 *
Disco anyone? Actually, this strobe serves a much more useful purpose then making it look cool when you dance in the dark. You can use it to view fast moving objects, look for cracks in PC boards (hold the strobe on the trace side of the board and look from the component side), and it is a great attention getter in a store window.
TRIAC Light Dimmer 441,544 55
This little circuit can be used to dim lights up to about 350 watts. It uses a simple, standard TRIAC circuit that, in my expirience, generates very little heat. Please note that this circuit cannot be used with fluorescent lights.

Major Projects

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Computerize Your Room/Home 302,986 122 *
So you've read about my Computerized Room or have seen those nifty home automation products advertised in the back of electronics magazines? Or perhaps someone you know has done something similar. At any rate, you have decided to try it yourself. The first thing I will say, however is that it is not cheap.
Electromagnetic Levitator NEW! 103,074 15 *
This circuit creates a stunning display of the "magic" of magnetism by suspending a small metal object in mid air. Using an electromagnet, photo sensor and closed loop control, small and light metal objects can be floated just underneath the magnet, enclosed in a decorative arch. "No strings" are easily demonstrated by the ability to pick the metal object out of the air and place it back under the magnet at will. With the object floating about 1/4" under the magnet (exact distance will depend on the weight of the object), an LED and photo transistor arrangement let a feedback circuit know it's position. The circuit controls current to an electromagnet to maintain an equilibrium between the force of the magnet and gravity. Thus, the object floats. Impart a bit of a spin to the object and momentum will carry it for quite a long time as the only friction working against it is between the object and the air.


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7 Segment LED Counter 838,252 214 *
This simple counter can be used to count pulses, as the basis for a customer counter (like you see at the doors of some stores), or for anything else that may be counted. The circuit accepts any TTL compatible logic signal, and can be expanded easily (see Notes).
AC Motor Speed Controller 322,462 29 *
This AC motor speed controller can handle most universal type (brushed) AC motors and other loads up to about 250W. It works in much the same was a light dimmer circuit; by chopping part of the AC waveform off to effectively control voltage. Because of this functionality, the circuit will work for a wide variety of loads including incandescent light bulbs, heating elements, brushed AC motors and some transformers. The circuit tries to maintain a constant motor speed regardless of load so it is also ideal for power tools. Note that the circuit can only control brushed AC motors. Inductive motors require a variable frequency control.
Air Flow Detector 209,981 54 *
This simple circuit uses an incandescent lamp to detect airflow. With the filament exposed to air, a constant current source is used to slightly heat the filament. As it is heated, the resistance increases. As air flows over the filament it cools down, thus lowering it's resistance. A comparator is used to detect this difference and light an LED. With a few changes, the circuit can be connected to a meter or ADC to provide an estimation on the amount of air flow.
Digital Keypad Combination Lock 154,890 20
This simple circuit is the electronic version of the combination lock. Using the special purpose LS7220 digital lock IC, the circuit allows a 4 digit combination of your choice to activate a relay for a set period of time. This relay can then be used to trigger a lock solenoid, enable a starter button, open a motorized door, or many other tasks that require a momentary signal.
Low Voltage Alarm 182,031 58 *
This low voltage circuit can be used to monitor batteries and other volatile sources of current for problems. The circuit sounds an alarm and lights an LED, but can be interfaced to any number of other circuits for many different uses.an be connected to a meter or ADC to provide an estimation on the amount of air flow.
Pine Racecar Victory Judge 68,791 1 *
I have received countless emails asking for a circuit to tell the user which car won in a pine car (also called Pinewood Derby, Cub Car, Scout Car, etc.) race. This simple circuit takes care of the guesswork, lighting the appropriate LED to indicate the winner.
Pulse Width Modulation DC Motor Control 595,239 93
Often, people attempt to control DC motors with a variable resistor or variable resistor connected to a transistor. While the latter approach works well, it generates heat and hence wastes power. This simple pulse width modulation DC motor control eliminates these problems. It controls the motor speed by driving the motor with short pulses. These pulses vary in duration to change the speed of the motor. The longer the pulses, the faster the motor turns, and vice versa.
Rain Detector 262,687 112 *
This circuit uses a sensor made of a small piece of etched PC board and a simple SCR circuit to detect rain and sound a buzzer. The SCR could also be used to activate a relay, turn on a lamp, or send a signal to a security system.
Simple Lie Detector 503,738 323
Here's a simple lie detector that can be built in a few minutes, but can be incredibly useful when you want to know if someone is really telling you the truth. It is not as sophisticated as the ones the professionals use, but it works. It works by measuring skin resistance, which goes down when you lie.
Simple Polarity Tester Dudley LeRoux 119,142 13 *
This tester can be used to check the polarity of any power source, and is therefore very useful when installing automotive equipment, alarm systems or anything else you can think of. Because this circuit is so simple and cheap, even frying one with an over voltage is not a big deal.
Simple Servo Controller 175,055 22 *
Servo motors have many uses in everything from robotics to puppetry to photography and beyond. These little motors can position their output shaft to any position on command and hold that position. Most servos have a range of motion to about 210 degrees and thankfully are very easy to control with a simple circuit such as the one presented here. Using just a 555 timer and a few support components this circuit can control a servo through it's full rotation based on the position of a pot. This circuit was originally published in the Think Tank column of the October 1995 issue of Popular Electronics.
Simple Touch Switch NEW! 130,350 5 *
Similar to the CMOS based Touch Switch also on this site, this transistor based touch switch can activate a load simply by the user touching a metal plate. It is designed to directly switch a relay to allow it to be used with large loads. As it uses only a few commonly available transistors and a 12V supply, it is ideal for hostile environments where mechanical switches would be damaged. Using a latching relay and two of these circuits, a simple two pad "touch on/touch off" arrangement can be made.
Simple Two Speed Contactor DC Motor Controller 167,320 21 *
The simplest of all motor controllers (besides a straight on/off switch) is the contactor controller. I designed this contactor controller for use in my electric scooter project. It is based around three 12V relays, two 12V batteries, two switches and of course a motor. Having no silicon to "fry", it is quite reliable and robust. A contactor controller works by rearranging the two (or more) supply batteries between series and parallel. This gives the motor a slow speed (batteries in parallel, current adds) and a fast speed (batteries in series, voltage adds). This assures that both batteries are discharged equally. When the circuit is "at rest", the batteries are connected in parallel, which allows easy recharging.
Stepper Motor Controller 656,060 120 *
I found this circuit in my files. I don't know where it came from, but it looks like I photocopied it from somewhere years ago. I have been told that it came from "The Robot Builder's Bonanza", by Gordan McComb. Anyway, I thought that it should be fairly useful, so I decided to post it here. The circuit is very simple and inexpensive. This is good thing because most commercial stepper motor controller ICs are quite expensive. This circuit is built from standard components and can easily be adapted to be controlled by a computer. If you use cheap surplus transistors and stepper motor, the price of the circuit can be kept to under $10.
Time Delay Relay 495,642 88
A time delay relay is a relay that stays on for a certain amount of time once activated. This time delay relay is made up of a simple adjustable timer circuit which controls the actual relay. The time is adjustable from 0 to about 20 seconds with the parts specified. The current capacity of the circuit is only limited by what kind of relay you decide to use.
Time Delay Relay II jawaharlal@excite.com 195,176 39 *
When activated by pressing a button, this time delay relay will activate a load after a specified amount of time. This time is adjustable to whatever you want simply by changng the value of a resistor and/or capacitor. The current capacity of the circuit is only limited by what kind of relay you decide to use.
Touch Switch 246,431 51 *
A touch switch is a switch that is turned on and off by touching a wire contact, instead of flicking a lever like a regular switch. Touch switches have no mechanical parts to wear out, so they last a lot longer than regular switches. Touch switches can be used in places where regular switches would not last, such as wet or very dusty areas.
Video Activated Relay 86,118 8 *
This simple circuit from the May 1996 Think Tank column of Pupular Electronics activates a relay when it senses a composite video signal. This allows you to use the tuner built into your VCR to turn on and off older TVs that are not equipped with a remote. It can also be used to activate surround sound equipment, turn off the room lights, turn on video game consoles, etc. For such a simple circuit, it is very versitile.
Video Stabilizer/MacroVision Removal Antti Paarlahti 137,425 10 *
Have you ever attempted to copy a commercially produced video only to end up with a distorted and jumpy image? If so, then you have run afoul of MacroVision. MacroVision is the most popular copy protection scheme used on the majority of content distributed on VHS cassettes. Like all copy protection, it does nothing to discourage the real pirates and only annoys the user who may wish to create a legal copy for backup and archival purposes. This circuit can eliminate MacroVision encoding in both NTSC and PAL recordings.
Water Detector With Sump/Bilge Pump Controller 112,056 18 *
This moisture detector with pump controller is built around the special purpose LM1830 IC. The LM1830 is designed to detect moisture by passing an AC current through a set of probes. An internal comparator compares the resistance of the probes to an internal reference. When the resistance between the probes is low (indicating the presence of water or other conductive liquid) then the IC triggers it's output. An AC signal avoids electroplating and corrosion problems that are common when DC is used. To provide an adjustable delay hysteresis to avoid cycling the pump, a timer based around the 555 is used a range of about 5 seconds to two minutes. In this way the pump will stay active for a set amount of time even if the fluid level is below that of the probes.
Wire Loop Alarm Alex Meaden 168,858 27 *
This circuit is a simple wire loop alarm that can be used in doorways, hallways, or any other place the tripwire will be broken by intruders. The circuit has a built in siren, but it can be replaced by a relay to drive an external siren, commercial alarm, etc.

Power Supply

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12V To 24V DC-DC Converter NEW! 252,359 25 *
This simple DC-DC converter can provide up to 24V from a 12V source. It can be used to run radios, small lights, relays, horns and other 24V accessories from a 12V vehicle with a maximum draw of about 800mA. It can be used to charge one 12V battery from another, or step up the voltage just enough to provide necessary overhead for a 12V linear regulator. Using one op-amp as a squarewave oscillator to ring an inductor and another op-amp in a feedback loop, it won't drift around under varying loads, providing a stable 24V source for many applications. With a wide adjustment in output this circuit has many uses.
12VDC To 120VAC Inverter 1,366,645 687
Have you ever wanted to run a TV, stereo or other appliance while on the road or camping? Well, this inverter should solve that problem. It takes 12 VDC and steps it up to 120 VAC. The wattage depends on which tansistors you use for Q1 and Q2, as well as how "big" a transformer you use for T1. The inverter can be constructed to supply anywhere from 1 to 1000 (1 KW) watts.
6V to 12V Converter 429,427 121
This inverter circuit can provide up to 800mA of 12V power from a 6V supply. For example, you could run 12V car accessories in a 6V (British?) car. The circuit is simple, about 75% efficient and quite useful. By changing just a few components, you can also modify it for different voltages.
Automatic 12V Lead Acid Battery Charger 842,813 246
This charger will charge any 12V lead acid battery including flooded, gel and AGM. It is fully automatic and will charge at a rate up to about 4A until the battery voltage reaches a preset point at which it will switch to a very low current float charge. If the battery voltage drops again the charger will begin charging until the voltage once again reaches the cut off point. In this way it can be left connected to a battery indefinitely to maintain full charge without causing damage. An LED indicates when the battery is fully charged.
Automatic Load Sensing Power Switch 123,994 15 *
This circuit will automatically switch on several mains-powered "slave" loads when a "master" load is turned on. For example, it will switch on the amplifier and CD player in a stereo system when the receiver is turned on. It works by sensing the current draw of the "master" device through a low value high wattage resistor using a comparator. The output of that comparator then switches on the "slave" relay. The circuit can be built into a power bar, extension cord or power center to provide a convenient set of "smart" outlets that switch on when the master appliance is powered (turn on the computer monitor and the computer, printer and other peripherals come on as well).
Car Battery Charger 799,867 159 *
This charger will quickly and easily charge most any lead acid battery. The charger delivers full current until the current drawn by the battery falls to 150 mA. At this time, a lower voltage is applied to finish off and keep from over charging. When the battery is fully charged, the circuit switches off and lights a LED, telling you that the cycle has finished.
Dual Polarity Power Supply 288,746 84 *
This dual polarity power supply is easy to build, requires few parts, and is adjustable from 0-15 volts. It is great for powering op amp circuits, as well as other circuits that require a dual supply voltage.
Fixed Voltage Power Supply 267,658 52 *
The fixed voltage power supply is useful in applications where an adjustable output is not required. This supply is simple, but very flexable as the voltage it outputs is dependant only on the regulator and transformer you choose. The maximum output current is 1.5A.
High Current Power Supply 283,580 64 *
Since my page was first posted, I have received a number of emails asking about a high current power supply. I looked around, but couldn't find one that was suitable. So, I designed this. It is a linear supply, which might have a few of you rolling your eyes, but it takes very few parts, is simple to build and can supply huge currents.
High Voltage High Current Power Supply 212,144 35 *
A while ago I came up with the idea of using a microwave transformer as a high voltage, high current power supply. Even though I had no use for such a supply, I decided to design one anyway. This is a very simple design. Note: I have not built this supply becasue I have no use for it. If you build this supply without knowledge in electronics or high voltage, you have basically signed your own death certificate. This supply can be very dangerous if not treated properly. DO NOT BUILD THIS SUPPLY UNLESS YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING! I assume no responsibility for any damages or injuries caused by this supply.
LASER Power Supply 240,628 28
If you have ever worked with lasers, you know how fun and interesting it can be, you also know how expensive it can be. The high voltage power supplies for the laser tubes are often more expensive then the tubes themselves. This supply can be built with commmon parts, most of which you probably already have in your junk box. The secret is the transformer used. It is a common 9V 1A unit, connected backwards for step up.
Portable CD Player Adapter For Car 168,476 12 *
Whenever I'm in the car listening to my favourite CD, it always happens-my batteries go dead. To solve that problem, I built this extremely simple regulator circuit. It steps down the 12V from the lighter socket to 9V which is used by the CD player. Different CD players (I have a Sony Discman) may require different voltages, so just use the correct regulator. All the 78xx series regulators have the same pin out, so the circuit is universal.
Power Supply 666,881 259 *
When working with electronics, you always need one basic thing; power. This power supply is great for powering all kinds of electronic projects. It produces a well filtered, variable 1.2-30 volts at 5 amps. It is easy to build and the parts are realitively easy to find.
Solid State Tesla Coil NEW! 107,430 3
Similar to the two transistor solid state Tesla Coil already on this site, this solid state Tesla Coil design uses a normal flyback transformer to generate it's high voltage output. Unlike the other circuit, this one does not use two huge power transistors and high wattage resistors. Instead it uses a 555 timer to more efficiently drive a single MOSFET. It's waveform has adjustable off and on time, making for an efficient circuit with little waste heat. It can be adjusted to drive most commonly found flyback transformers and can operate from a 12V to 18V supply. HV output can reach 60KV or more depending on the transformer and supply voltage.
Solid State Tesla Coil/High Voltage Generator 368,877 50
This is a fun and useful circuit for demonstrating high frequency high voltge. It can produce up to about 30KV, depending on the transformer used. It is cheap and easy to make, thanks to the standard TV flyback transformer used. It can power LASERS (although I have never tried), demonstrate St.Elmo's fire, and even cause a fluorescent bulb to light from as much as 2 feet away.
Transformerless Power Supply 406,123 117 *
I have received a few emails asking for a transformerless power supply. Here is such a supply. This supply uses no heavy step down transformer and has an extremely low parts count. The circuit can be built very small and can supply small currents for small projects. The major downfall of this supply is that it is not isolated from the AC line and can only supply small currents.
Voltage Inverter 291,941 51 *
This simple circuit is a good solution to the powering a dual supply op amp from a single battery problem. The circuit simply takes a positive voltage and inverts it. It uses only one 555 timer and a few other passive components, so it doesn't add much in the way of size and cost to a project.
Voltage Inverter II 166,154 19 *
This simple and inexpensive circuit can produce a dual (positive and negative) voltage from a single supply input. It is therefore extremely useful for powering opamp and other circuits that require a dual voltage from a single battery. The circuit will operate at an input voltage from around 5V to 20V and produce a output from +-2.5V to +-10V.


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22 Watt Audio Amplifier 529,007 182
The 22 watt amp is easy to build, and very inexpensive. The circuit can be used as a booster in a car audio system, an amp for satellite speakers in a surround sound or home theater system, or as an amp for computer speakers. The circuit is quite compact and uses only about 60 watts. The circuit is not mine, it came from Popular Electronics
3 Watt FM Transmitter Rae XL Tkacik 283,513 81 *
This is the schematic for an FM transmitter with 3 to 3.5 W output power that can be used between 90 and 110 MHz. Although the stability isn't so bad, a PLL can be used on this circuit.
50 Watt Amplifier 444,782 74
This is a handy, easy to build general purpose 50 watt amp. The amp has an input for a radio, TV, stereo or other line level device. It also has a phono input for a record player, guitar, microphone or other un-amplified source. With the addition of a low pass filter at the input, it makes a great amp for a small subwoofer.
8 Note Tune Player 107,668 12 *
This neat little circuit can play 8 note tunes at any speed you want. You select the notes with 8 trim pots. The speed in selected through a ninth pot. The circuit draws very little power and can be powered by a 9 volt battery, with the addition of a 7805 regulator to power the TTL logic used.
8 Watt Audio Amp 314,377 67 *
Here is the schematic for an 8 watt audio amp. This amp can be used as a simple booster, the heart of a more complicated amplifier or used as a guitar amp.
Aircraft Radio Communications Receiver 219,140 49 *
The communications between commercial aircraft and the ground can be interesting, amusing and sometimes even disturbing. However radios that receive the approximately 220MHz to 400MHz band commonly used for aircraft (both military and commercial) are not easily found. And scanners can be complicated, large and expensive. With an easy to build circuit such as this one, everyone can enjoy listening in on these conversations.
Crystal Radio 128,308 53 *
I have received a number of emails regarding schematics for crystal radios. After about the third email, I figured that I may as well put one on my page. So here it is. The circuit is very simple with only 5 parts, but performs very nicely when used with the right size antenna.
Digital Volume Control 284,508 47 *
This digital volume control has no pot to wear out and introduces almost no noise in the circuit. Instead, the volume is controlled by pressing UP and DOWN buttons. This simple circuit would be a great touch to any home audio project.
Electronic Stethoscope 258,525 141 *
Stethoscopes are not only useful for doctors, but home mechanics, exterminators, spying and any number of other uses. Standard stethoscopes provide no amplification which limits their use. This circuit uses op-amps to greatly amplify a standard stethoscope, and includes a low pass filter to remove background noise.
FET Audio Mixer 288,836 40
This simple circuit mixes two or more channels into one channel (eg. stereo into mono). The circuit can mix as many or as few channels as you like and consumes very little power. The mixer is shown with two inputs, but you can add as many as you want by just duplicating the "sections" which are clearly visible on the schematic.
FM Transmitter 911,824 418
Here is the schematic, PC board pattern, and parts placement for a low powered FM transmitter. The range of the transmitter when running at 9V is about 300 feet. Running it from 12V increases the range to about 400 feet. This transmitter should not be used as a room or telephone bug.
Guitar Fuzz Effect 194,085 52 *
Fuzz is one of the classic guitar effects, and this simple circuit generates it quite well. The circuit is so compact that it can be built into guitars or amps that do not have built in fuzz to add that capability to the instrument. The circuit does not use much battery power, so a standard alkaline battery will last many years even with daily use.
Microphone Mixer Anatoly I. Shikhatov 202,394 26 *
This relatively simple mixer was designed for three dynamic microphones, but can be re-designed for more or less. Level and tone controls are available to tailor the sound to your needs.
Mono To Stereo Synthesizer oRbEq 90,198 18 *
This circuit attempts to liven up mono sound sources by simulating a stereo signal. It does this by shifting certain frequencies between left and right to fool the ear. It can often produce a passable mock stereo sound to bring some depth to otherwise flat recordings. Of course, there is no way to produce real stereo sound from a purely mono source unless the synthesizer had a way to tell which direction the original sound came from, but an illusion is generally enough for all but the hard core audiophile.
One Tube Regenerative Radio NEW! 93,588 4 *
A regenerative radio works by feeding back a small amount of amplified output of the detector back into the input. Thus it achieves sensitivity far beyond what only a detector could alone. This simple regen radio uses a single tube as it's detector and amplifier; the "Audion". It's a great first project for those wishing to bring back some nostalgia by building one of the first amplified radio sets. Built on a board using point to point wiring and a set of period headphones, it can be a great functional conversation piece.
Op Amp Radio 327,721 80 *
Here is a simple radio that is easy to build and inexpensive. In fact, you probobly have all the parts you need in your junk box. You'll be suprised at the great reception with this little set.
Single Chip AM Radio NEW! 72,372 2 *
The ZN414 IC contains an entire automatic gain controlled AM receiver in a small three pin package. With only a few external components, a simple radio with excellent selection and reception can be constructed. Since the chip also uses a low supply voltage of only 1.3V, 3V coin cell battery can make for a physically small circuit with many covert uses. The chip has a wide bandwidth of between 150KHz and 3MHz, so by playing with values in the tuning circuit you can pick up a wide variety of signals.
Single Chip FM Radio NEW! 120,781 1 *
This extremely simple FM radio receiver circuit is made possible by the special purpose TDA7000 IC. It integrates nearly all the functions necessary to build an FM receiver needing only a few external capacitors and a tuning circuit. Using a simple active RC filter made of only a single inductor, a few resistors and a varicap, this FM receiver will pick up broadcast radio between about 88 and 108 MHz. The mono output signal can then be used to drive a set of high impedance headphones, or feed a power amplifier.
Sound Level Meter 293,180 51 *
This nifty sound level meter is a perfect one chip replacement for the standard analog meters. It is completely solid state and will never wear out. The whole circuit is based on the LM3915 audio level IC and uses only a few external components. This circuit can also be integrated into audio amp projects.
Stereo Tube Amplifier Weslee Kinsler 222,506 15 *
The circuit is simple, yet is capable of excellent performance. I designed it specifically for use as an amplifier for the digital sound card in my computer. Audio input can be from any two-channel line level device such as a television, CD player, or VCR. It is of the tube type, using only 5 tubes total with no more than about 45 Watts power consumption from the outlet. It uses 3 types of tube 1 5Y3 GT vacuum rectifier, 2 6SF5 GT high-mu triodes, and 2 6K6 power beam amplifiers. These are all full-size octal type tubes which are commonly available today for between $3-5 each.
Tone Control 254,993 31
This simple tone control can be used in may audio applications. It can be added to amplifers, used as a stand alone control module, or even built into new and exciting instruments. It's one IC construction makes it a very compact circuit, as only a few support components are required. Plus, it does not use a dual power supply. This means that the circuit will run from 9V to 15V (although the bass will be a little weak at 9V). The circuit is by Robert Barg and originally appeared in the Think Tank column of the May 1998 issue of Popular Electronics.
Transistor Organ 153,217 28
This simple circuit can provide hours of enjoyment as you learn tunes, play duets or just make some really weird sounds by pushing all the buttons at once. You have probably seen this ciruit before, it is fairly common. I have seen it in several books. The best thing about the circuit is that you can tune each individual note, or go to a whole new octive by changing one capacitor (C1). Because of this, it is possible to from an entire Transistor Organ ensemble. Why you would want to do this is anyone's guess...


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Circuit Author Views Rank Comments Marker
Cut Phone Line Detector 130,278 27 *
A while ago I got an email asking for the schematic of a circuit to detect cut phone lines. It didn't take me long to find this circuit in Electronics Now. When the circuit detects that a phone line has been cut, it activates a MOSFET which can be used to drive a relay, motor, etc. It can also be connected to a security system.
FM Telephone Bug 193,685 57
Here is a simple transmitter that when connected to a phone line, will transmit anything on that line (execpt the dial tone) to any FM radio. The frequency can be tuned from 88 to about 94Mhz and the range is about 200 feet. It is extremely easy to build and is therefore a good, useful beginner project.
Phone Busy Indicator 169,611 24 *
Have you ever been using the modem or fax and someone else picks up the phone, breaking the connection? Well, this simple circuit should put an end to that. It signals that the phone is in use by lighting a red LED. When the phone is not in use, a green LED is lit. It needs no external power and can be connected anywhere on the phone line, even mounted inside the phone.
Remote Telephone Ringer 86,760 3 *
This remote telephone bell ringer allows you to use a large (and loud) external bell in place or in addition to the built in (and rather wussy) ringer in most modern telephones. This is ideal for large outdoor areas, noisy shops or those hard of hearing. Most any large bell can be used as the circuit can be easily adjusted for various supply voltages.
Ringing Phone Light Flasher 170,623 33 *
I have gotten several emails asking how to connect up some lights so that when the phone rings, they flash. This is very useful in a situation were there is lots of noise and it is impossable to hear the phone, such as a workshop. Here is such a device. The ring detect part of this circuit came from http://www.hut.fi/Misc/Electronics/circuits/telephone_ringer.html.
Simple Phone Tap Derek Tombrello 321,357 98 *
This circuit is extremely simple, therefore there is less chance of any problems. It can be placed anywhere on the phone line and it will record any conversation on any phone on that line.
Telephone Hold Button 89,864 9
Although a hold feature is standard on most new phones, a lot of us still use the origional bell phones. Those of us that require a hold feature will find this circuit very useful. It is easy to build, and is compact enough to be installed inside the phone with no real problem. It is also powered by the phone line itself, eliminating the need for batteries.
Telephone Recorder 174,078 54 *
This nifty little circuit lets you record your phone conversations automatically. The device connects to the phone line, your tape recorder's microphone input, and the recorder's remote control jack. It senses the voltage in the phone line and begins recording when the line drops to 5 volts or less.

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