What Is a PLL?

Design Your Own Graphic Equalizer

Understanding Noise In Circuits

PLEASE follow the directions. I am not responsible if you screw this up and Baal or some other demon sucks you into the pits of Hell

You First need to build the circuit below and connect it to Line-in of Sound Card:

Like this

Then use this software to see the wave forms

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How To Build A Gauss Rifle

The Gauss Rifle:
A Magnetic Linear Accelerator

This very simple toy uses a magnetic chain reaction to launch
a steel marble at a target at high speed. The toy is very simple
to build, going together in minutes, and is very simple to
understand and explain, and yet fascinating to watch and to

gauss rifle

Click on image for animated view

The photo above shows six frames of video showing the gauss rifle
in action. Each frame shows 1/30th of a second. In the
first frame, a steel ball starts rolling towards a magnet
taped to a wooden ruler. In the second frame, a second ball
can be seen speeding between the rightmost two magnets. By the
third frame, the accelerator has sped up so much that the
ball that is seen leaving the left side of the device is just
a blur as it smashes into the target. One ball, starting at
rest, has caused another ball to leave the device at a very
high speed.

gauss rifle materials

Click on image for larger view

The materials are simple. We need a wooden ruler that has a groove
in the top in which a steel ball can roll easily. Any piece of wood
or aluminum or brass with a groove will work. We chose the ruler
because they are easy to find around the house or at school or at a
local stationery store.

We need some sticky tape. Again, almost any kind will do. Here we
use Scotch brand transparent tape, but vinyl electrical tape works
just as well.

We need four magnets. Most any type will do, but the stronger the
magnets are, the faster the balls will go. Here we use the super
strong gold-plated neodymium-iron-boron magnets made available
in the >catalog for the other projects. They work great.

We will also need nine steel balls, with a diameter that is a close
match to the height of the magnets. We use 5/8 inch diameter nickel
plated steel balls from the >catalog.

The only tool we will need is a sharp knife for trimming the tape.

gauss rifle first

Click on image for larger view

We start by taping the first magnet to the ruler at the 2.5 inch mark.
The distance is somewhat arbitrary -- we wanted to get all four magnets
on a one foot ruler. Feel free to experiment with the spacing later.

gauss rifle tape

Click on image for larger view

With the sharp knife, trim off any excess tape. Be careful, since the
knife will be strongly attracted to the magnet.

It is very important that you keep the magnets from
jumping together. They are made of a brittle sintered material that
shatters like a ceramic. Tape the ruler to the table temporarily,
so that it doesn't jump up to the next magnet as you tape the second
magnet to the ruler.

gauss rifle two

Click on image for larger view

Continue taping the magnets to the ruler, leaving 2.5 inches between the

When all four magnets are taped to the ruler, it is time to load the
gauss rifle with the balls.

gauss rifle all

Click on image for larger view

To the right of each magnet, place two steel balls. Arrange a target
to the right of the device, so the ball does not roll down the street
and get lost.

To fire the gauss rifle, set a steel ball in the groove to the left of the
leftmost magnet. Let the ball go. If it is close enough to the
magnet, it will start rolling by itself, and hit the magnet.

gauss rifle ready

Click on image for larger view

When the gauss rifle fires, it will happen too fast to see. The ball on the right
will shoot away from the gun, and hit the target with considerable force.
Our one foot long version is designed so the speed is not enough to hurt
someone, and you can use your hand or foot as a target.

How does it do that?

When you release the first ball, it is attracted to the first magnet.
It hits the magnet with a respectable amount of force, and a kinetic energy
we will call "1 unit".

The kinetic energy of the ball is transfered to the magnet, and then to the
ball that is touching it on the right, and then to the ball that is touching
that one. This transfer of kinetic energy is familiar to billiards players --
when the cue ball hits another ball, the cue ball stops and the other ball
speeds off.

The third ball is now moving with a kinetic energy of 1 unit. But it is moving towards the second magnet. It picks up speed as the second magnet pulls it closer.
When it hits the second magnet, it is moving nearly twice as fast as the first ball.

The third ball hits the magnet, and the fifth ball starts to move with a kinetic energy of 2 units. It speeds up as it nears the third magnet, and hits with
3 units of kinetic energy.
This causes the seventh ball to speed off towards the last
magnet. As it gets drawn to the last magnet, it speeds up to 4 units of
kinetic energy.

The kinetic energy is now transfered to the last ball, which speeds off at 4
units, to hit the target.

Another way of looking at the mechanism

When the device is all set up and ready to be triggered, we can see
that there are four balls that are touching their magnets. These
balls are at what physicists call the "ground state". It takes energy
to move them away from the magnets.

But each of these balls has another ball touching it. These second
balls are not at the ground state. They are each 5/8ths of an inch
from a magnet. They are easier to move than the balls that are touching
the magnet.

If we were to take a ball that was touching a magnet, and pull it away
from the magnet until it was 5/8ths of an inch away, we would be adding
energy to the ball. The ball would be pulling towards the magnet with
some considerable force. We could get the energy back by letting the
ball go.

After the gauss rifle has fired, the situation is different. Now each of the
balls is touching a magnet. There is one ball on each side of each
magnet. Each ball is in its ground state, and has given up the energy
that was stored by being 5/8ths of an inch from a magnet. That energy
has gone into the last ball, which uses it to destroy the target.

Speed and kinetic energy

The kinetic energy of an object is defined as half its mass times the square of its
velocity. As each magnet pulls on a ball, it adds kinetic energy to the ball

But the speed does not add up linearly. If we have 4 magnets, the kinetic energy
is 4, but the speed goes up as the square root of the kinetic energy.
As we add more magnets, the speed goes up by a smaller amount each time.
But the distance the ball will roll, and the damage it causes to what it
hits, is a function of the kinetic energy, and thus a function of how many magnets
we use.

We can keep scaling up the gun until the kinetic energy gets so high that the
last magnet is shattered by the impact. After that, adding more magnets
will not do much good.

Why a circular track will not be a perpetual motion device

I have been getting a lot of mail asking what would happen if
we made the track circular. Would we get free energy? Would
the balls keep accelerating forever?

I have been tempted to reply with the famous quote:
"There are two kinds of people in the world -- those who
understand the second law of thermodynamics, and those who don't".

However, I am not the kind of person to leave an inquiring mind
unsatisfied, and it is more productive (and kind) to explain in
a little more depth what is going on.

Suppose you made a circular track, and put two balls after each magnet.
When the last ball is released, it encounters a magnet that has two balls
at the ground state. There is no energy to be had from this magnet.
The ball just bounces back.

Now suppose you had placed three balls after each magnet.
When the last ball is released, it hits a ball that is 5/8ths inch from the
magnet. It has not gained much momentum, because most of the
momentum gained is in the last half inch as the magnet pulls much
stronger on things that are closer. But the ball has enough energy
from previous accelerations to release the next ball. However, that ball
has less energy than the ball that caused it to release. It may have
enough energy to release another ball or two, but each ball that is released
has less energy than before, and eventually the chain stops.

You can show by inductive logic that no matter how many balls you stack
in front of each magnet, eventually the system stops.

To estimate the losses due to heating the balls as they compress when hit,
consider a plastic tube standing upright on a table. Place one steel ball
at the bottom of the tube. Now drop another ball into the tube, so it hits
the ball at the bottom, and bounces back up.

Now measure how high the ball bounced. If it bounces halfway back up,
the losses are 50%. Perform the experiment for yourself with the balls
from the Gauss Rifle. How high does your ball bounce? Send me mail
with your results.

Build Your Own Time Fountain

Making strobe lights hip again without actually going back in time:

Instructions for making your own nifty device can be found here.

Make A High Resistance Meter

high resistance meter

The 555 clock makes 4029 counter count. But the clock can be clamped to gnd by a TL062 window comparator. The clock is frozen when the input value to comparator pin 5-2 is within a lower limit and upper limit "window" pin 3-6.

The 4029 counter BCD is decoded to decimal by 4028 which drives the LEDs, keep LED drive within 3mA or chip will be loaded. Use high efficiency extra-bright LEDs.

The 4029 BCD also controls a shunt resistor array with CMOS switches 4051. The voltage across shunt is a sample of leakage current. This is compared in the window comparator to freeze the Clock and LED display to give a reading of the leakage current or Insulation Resistance.

Build A DC Solid State Relay

dc solid state relay

This is a DC controlled Solid State Relay which can turn 230V AC equipment on and off. The output is like a NO normally open contacts of a relay and have to be in series with the Load like any other switch. This should not be used for large inductive loads like big motors. The Q1 transistor limits the current thru the LED by providing an alternate path for more current. The DC input can be from 3V to 20V. The Triac can be chosen depending on current in the load. Look for datasheets and applications at

ST Microelectronics for BTA41600 triacs. Motorola Semiconductors for MOC3041 zero crossover opto-diacs.

Build A Dual Power Supply

Dual Power Supply

dual power supply

List Of Components For Power Supply.

1. Transformers
X1-6-0-6 (500 ma), X2-12-0-12 (500ma)

2. Semiconductors
IC6-7805, IC7-7808, IC8-7908, D1 to D10-IN4007, D11 and D12 - 12v, 1W, Zener

3. Resistors.
R1 and R2 - 100E 1/2 W CFR

4. Capacitors. C 40v
C5 and C8 - 1000 Mfd , C1 - 2200 Mfd, C5 and C7 - 0.1 Mfd, C9 to C12 - 100Mfd

5. Miscellaneous
F1-250ma, N1-Neon, 3-Pin Mains Chord.

Every electronic gadget primarily needs a D.C. power supply to energize it. It also forms the basic requirement for any constructional project. consequently there is a need to obtain multiple voltage values for cost reduction, convenience and compact arrangement for all the above applications.

The required D.C. power supply is usually obtained by means of a transformer. It is also possible to have transformer-less power supplies. Though the elimination of the transformer makes the circuit compact, economical and simple, also facilitating quick assembly and built in short circuit protection, certain drawbacks creep in. These power supplies are useful only for low current applications. Special safety precautions are to be followed while using them. Physical contact should be strictly avoided, since the output terminals are not isolated from A.C. mains supply.

This obviously necessitates the use of a transformer. By suitable modification it is possible to obtain multiple/ fractional dual voltages from a transformer. Different not-so obvious voltage values can also be obtained from the transformer by rectification circuits. The output so obtained from a transformer secondary is unregulated. For good load regulation, the internal impedance of any power supply should be as low as possible. The regulation can be improved either by resistor zener method or series regulator method.

However, the three-terminal regulators greatly simplify the power regulation problem. These regulators need no external components. They employ internal current limiting and thermal shutdown which make them tough. For simplicity, compactness, convenience and accuracy the use of threeterminal regulators is ideal. These IC voltage regulators are freely available in various ranges both positive and negative. A functional schematic of a three terminal regulator is shown in the datasheet. It can be seen that the device is a complete regulator, with built-in reference, error amplifier, series pass transistor and protection circuits. The protection circuits include current limiting, safe area protection to limit dissipation in the series pass transistor and thermal shut down to limit temperature.

Low power IC voltage regulators of the 78L series used in our measuring instrument are now so cheap that they represent an economic alternative to simple zener-npn stabilisers. In addition they offer the advantages of better regulation, current limiting/short circuit protection at 1000 mA and thermal shunt down in the event of excessive power dissipation. In fact, virtually the only way in which these regulators can be damaged is by incorrect polarity or by an excessive input voltage. Regulators in the 78L series upto the 8v type will withstand input voltages upto about 35v, whilst the 24v type will withstand 40v. Normally, of course, the regulators would not be operated with such a large input-output differential as this would lead to excess power dissipation. All the regulators in the 78L series will deliver a maximum current of 1000mA provided the input-output voltage differential does not exceed 7v. Otherwise excessive power dissipation will result, causing thermal

Two transformers have been used to step down the voltage from 230-250v a.c. mains input. One of the transformers produces an output of 6-0-6v at the secondary terminals. This output is fed to a full wave rectifier and a capacitive filter. The filtered output is fed to IC6 which is a 3 pin voltage regulator which gives a regulated output of + 5v. This is used to activate the DPM circuit. It is also fed to the temperature network as a precision voltage reference source.

The other transformer produces an output of 12-0-12v at its secondary terminals. The centre tap is grounded like in the previous case. The other two terminals of the secondary are fed to a bridge rectifier constructed using diodes. The rectified output is filtered by using capacitor C5 and C6 fed to IC7 and IC. The IC7-8 which is are 3 pin voltage regulators gives an output of ±8v. These two voltages are fed to the signal generator. The -8v source output is fed to the temperature network, also as voltage reference. It is also necessary to produce a +12v and -12v supply for application to operational amplifiers. This can be conveniently done by means of 12v zener diodes. The output of the bridge rectifier is clamped to +12v and -12v respectively using two zener diodes. The zener output is fed to the operational amplifier supply terminals. Since the supply to
the operational amplifiers need not be very efficiently regulated to + 12v, the use of zener diodes proves economical.

For the testing of electronic components a voltage of above 50 V is required. This can be achieved by means of a voltage quadrupler circuit. It consists of four diodes and four electrolytic capacitors. The secondary ungrounded terminal of the 12-0-12v is connected to the quadrupler circuit. The output of the quadrupler circuit is 68v with respect to ground.

The two transformers can be controlled by the power supply switch PS 1 The switch also controls a neon lamp, which lights up once the transformer supply is on. The instrument is prevented against short circuits-excessive voltages by fuses. When the a.c. power supply exceeds beyond 250 volts resulting in any overload or damage, the fuse F1 blows out thus saving the rest of the circuit within the instrument.

The a.c. power is drawn from a 3 pin plug connected to a cable of 1000 mm to activate the instrument. The ground terminal in the 3 pin plug is earthed to the chassis, while the other two terminals are connected to the primaries of the two transformers.


D7 one end should be grounded.

High-Speed Data Switch

Output impedance of this circuit is high, sink is 220K source is 3.9K+ so use some buffers or drivers at output. when Enable A is at float-high impedance or low the output O1-O4 is not influenced by A1-A4 inputs. If Enable A is made logic high or 5V then A1-A4 is available at O1-O4.

By turning Enable A or Enable B high, you can route the data A1-A4 or B1-B4 to the output O1-O4, you can also mix data and you can expand to any number of input sets or data width. 1N4148 is fast, 4nS, that makes this data switch quite fast. This circuit cannot drive long printer cables without drivers. They will load the output.

Making Your Own Battery Backup

This is a 9V power supply which will work even on power failure. It uses a rechargeable battery and regulators. A transformer with 15-0-15 AC volts output is required. In the first regulator U1 the output is lifted up by 1.4V and in the second regulator U2 by a resistor divider. In the second regulator the voltage across resistor R3 is 5V, so the current is 5V / 1K = 5mA this adds to the quiescent current of 5mA from the regulators ground terminal and flows into the resistors R1 and R2 in parallel which form 404 ohms, 10mA thru 404 ohms is 4V. So the output will be 5 + 4 = 9V. Note that the charge and discharge paths of the battery are separated with diodes.

Building A Phase Lock Loop

This is a PLL or phase lock loop, it mainly consists of a VCO and phase comparators.
This is a component in FM demodulation and modulation.
It is used in a closed loop control to maintain a stable frequency.
The Circuit above is good for learning the full use of a small Dual Trace Scope.
The Circuit has both Analog and Digital areas and is a part of communication.

Build A Battery Level Indicator

This circuit uses a LM339 pdf, a quad comparator. LM339 pdf can work on single or dual supplies, it has a open collector output that can drive 15mA, low power consumption.

When you measure the open circuit voltage of a battery with a high impedance DMM (10M), the value may be a bit misleading. Apply a dummy load to bleed the battery a bit so that proper readings can be taken on Load. The load below is a 100 ohms wire-wound fusible ceramic resistor which will heat a bit when you test 12V batteries.

Voltage Level Indicator

This discrete 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.

T1 and T2 make a differential amplifier. T3, T4 and T5 driving the LEDs are comparators. Now to learn more on how they work you have to study circuits at 4QD-TEC and search Educypedia for more. Some pspice ideas here and at 101Science.com.

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.

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 see Towers International Transistor Selector see chipdir.

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.
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