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Polytechnic of Namibia
School of Engineering
Electrical engineering department





Analogue electronics semester project report
Title: A 2 stage audio amplifier


By: Hiskiel Stephanus [201082616]
Mentor: Mr KV Munthali
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Abstract
An audio amplifier is an amplifier that is used to amplify the audio input that is inputted into the circuit.
Different designs are usually used to make up this amplifier. These are usually ranging from integrated
circuit amplifiers to those using discrete components.
This project therefore requested for the students to design an audio amplifier with at least two stages
that will be able to amplify audio input to at least be heard within the classroom range. The design was
then limited to have an output of 0.5W and a load resistance of about 8. This typical circuit was
therefore built by the students using only discrete components and was fully operable.



















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Acknowledgements
The students would like to dedicate a special vote of thanks to their lecturer mr KV Muntahli for always
being there when they needed help on how to design their project. They would also like to thank him for
all the very necessary knowledge he has passed on to them in order to help them theoretically
understand their projects. On a very serious note, the students also wish to extend their gratitude to
their very qualified store manager and lab technician for always being there when they needed advice
on the practicality of the components they have to use in their project. You guys have done a very good
job and we see ourselves as very well polished diamonds.




















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Table of contents

Content page #
1. Introduction5

2. Arrival upon the design of the project.5

3. Calculations 7

4. Deviations and the practical values chosen11

5. Operation of the circuit.12

6. Precautions during operation.. 13

7. Conclusions..14

8. References ..15













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1.Introduction
An audio amplifier is a very important device in the advancing world of technology. It is the device that
is used to amplify and hence enlarge the input audio signal in order to output the desired output audio
signal. The output signal is than supplied to necessary devices that output sound. These devices can be
speakers or sometimes loudspeakers. These audio amplifiers are used mostly in entertainment facilities
such as clubs,in shows and also in official meetings.
They can also be used in other devices such as cellphones to amplify the music in music players and in
large conferences where one may not always hear what the main presenter at the conference is talking
about.
In our project, the output of the amplifier was to be outputted by an 8 speaker. This implies that the
amplifier we are dealing with is an ideal situation of an audio amplifier and larger ones may exist.
The following are therefore considered as aims and objectives of this experiment:
To help the students to understand about the different classes of amplifiers and how the
outputs of these amplifiers should be.
It also aims at giving an insight of what the students should expect as the efficiencies of the
different classes of amplifiers.
In a more practical sense, the students also got an enhancement on their practical abilities and
were able to understand the difference between ideal and practical applications of different
components.
The project experiment also aimed at creating a broader understanding in the students so that
they know the difference between the calculated values and the usually available practical
values of components that can be used in electronics circuits.
Because a transistor was to be used as one of the very basic components in the project, the
project hence also aimed at creating understating on how transistors operate and their power
dissipation capabilities as one of the basic properties to be considered for power amplifiers.
Overally, the project aimed at exposing the students to the ins and outs of designing a project that
happens in the engineering industry where they are going to be employed once they have obtained
their qualifications.

2. Arrival upon the design of the project
Before I arrived at my design, I have considered the following underlying facts about audio amplifiers
with reference to the provided output conditions.
1. I firstly considered the number of stages that my audio amplifier is going to have and I decided
that it is going to have two stages. This was for reasons because; as the stages of an amplifier
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circuit increase so does the power dissipated by the amplifier circuit. This in a way therefore
decreases the efficiency of the amplifier circuit, therefore I opted not to use as many stages.
2. I than considered the components that I was going to use as amplifying devices and have chosen
transistors because transistors usually have high input impedance and they have a high
bandwidth and sometimes power conversion efficiency. This are the traits usually needed in a
good audio amplifying device and hence the characteristics of a good transistor.
3. I than also thought of the class of my amplifier that I was going to use. I than decided to use a
class A amplifier due to its practicality and due to the fact that it has output signal for 360
degrees of the input signal. I also chose it because class B amplifiers which were my next
available option has only an output signal for 180 degrees of the input signal and the class A-B
amplifier has distortions such as the frequency distortion, amplitude distortion and crossover
distortion that may affect my output audio signal even if they have really good efficiencies
compared to class A.
4. I than thought for a while and decided to DC isolate the two stages of the audio amplifiers and
decided to connect the two stages of the amplifier circuit using a coupling capacitor. This was
done to ensure that the DC voltage from the first stage does not affect the biasing of the
transistor in the second stage.
5. I than again also considered the coupling method that I am going to use and have decided to use
capacitor coupling because this type of coupling does not only couple the signals into the two
transistors in the two stages but also blocks the DC voltage (available in the audio signal) from
the two transistors as to keep the biasing technique of the two transistors as intact as possible.
6. I also thought of the type of biasing technique that I was going to use to bias the transistors. I
have decided to use common emitter biasing because this type of biasing has the following
benefits.
This type of biasing produces a gain that is positive
The gain produced using this type of biasing is also greater than unity.
This type of biasing also produces excellent signal characteristics when operated accordingly.
This type of biasing provides pre-amplification of weak input signals and makes them stronger
and therefore finds very useful applications in audio amplifiers.
Comparing this type of biasing with other types of biasing, this type of biasing has more positive and
useful characteristics for audio amplifiers and is therefore the one I picked.
7. I than considered the stability of the circuit and hence its ability to withstand oscillation. For this
application I have decided the capacitors I use in this experiment be large enough to withstand
this effects.
8. I also considered the fact that since the amplifier is an audio amplifier, it must be prone noise
and there must be an available mechanism to filter out this noise. I have decided that the
coupling capacitor at the input stage will be large enough as to act as a filter capacitor to filter
out the noise at 50Hz of the input audio signal.
9. Another important consideration that I thought of was how I was going to switch on and off my
circuit and how I was going to vary the volume of my amplification. I then decided to use a
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digital switch to switch the transistors on and off and I used a relatively small variable resistor to
vary the volume of my amplified signal. This will be varied to increase and decrease the output
signal flowing through it and hence controls the volume.
10. The final consideration was therefore the input DC voltage which was the most difficult decision
I have made in this project. I finally decided that I will use V
cc
=10V because considering that I will
use common emitter biasing I will have to consider the voltage drop across the biasing network
resistors which is equal to the voltage driving the base of the transistors to be more than 0.7V(
the cut in voltage for a silicon transistor).
With these in mind, I than drew up a picture of an approximate circuit of how my audio amplifier
will look like. This is shown in the figure1 below:


Figure 1 [showing an approximate picture of how my circuit design will look like]
After having a clear picture in mind of how my circuit will look like, I then calculated the values of my
components.
3. Calculations
When calculating the values of the components one always starts with the output stage. In my
amplifier circuit my output stage was stage two and is the stage with transistor T1. Hence there
follows my calculations below:
Stage 2
1. V
cc
=10V (the reasons for choosing this voltage are explained briefly in the previous sections
of this report.
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2. R
9
=8.2( this is because this resistance must be roughly equal to the load resistance and
because there is no 8 available in the laboratory shop, I could only pick the 8.2 to be my
R
9
)
3. V
R9
=40% of the V
CC
. (This is a standard condition for the operation of a class A amplifier
operating at saturation).
=0.410V
=4V
4. I
C1
(the current through the collector of transistor T1)=


=0.488A
5. I
E1
(emitter current for transistor T1)= I
C1
+I
B1

But since I
C1
>>I
B1

I
E1
I
C1
=0.488A
6. The power dissipated by the transistor T1=P
T1
=I
C1
V
R9

=0.488A4V
=1.95Watts
7. V
R8
=10% of V
cc
(a standard assumption that is taken for a class A transistor at saturation)
=0.110V
=1V
8. R
8
=


=2.05
9. ||=

where in Namibia F=50Hz


||=R
8

C
1
=


=1553.4F
10. ||=

where in Namibia F=50Hz


||=R
9

C
1
=


=388.17F
11. Hfe=100 for the transistor I have decided to use, hence I
B
=


=4.88mA
12. I
R6
=11I
B
(This is also a standard assumption for class A amplifiers)
=114.88mA
=53.68mA
13. I
R7
=10I
B
(This is also a standard assumption for class A amplifiers)
=104.88mA
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=48.8mA
14. By kirchoffs voltage law,V
R7
=V
BE
+V
R8

=0.7V+1V
=1.7V
15. R
7
=


=34.84
16. V
CC
=V
R7
+V
R6

V
R6
=V
CC
- V
R7

=10V-1.7V
=8.3V
17. R
6
=


=154.6
18. Hence it was time calculate the input resistance to the second stage of the amplifier circuit
R
IN1
=


Where Hie for the transistor T1 is assumed to be 1000.

R
IN1
=


=27.65
19. R
5
=R
L
=8 (but because of availability, I have used it to be 8.2)
Stage 1
1. R
4
=R
IN1
=24.65
2. V
R4
= 40% of V
CC

=0.410V
=4V
3. I
C2
=


=162.27mA
4. I
E2
=I
C2
+I
B2

But I
C2
>>I
B2

Hence I
E2
I
C2

=162.27mA
5. The power dissipated by transistor T
2
is given the equation= I
C2
V
R4

=4V162.27mA
=0.64908W
6. V
R3
=10% of V
CC

10

=0.110V
=1V
7. R
3
=


=6.163
8. C
4
=


=516.49F
9. C
5
=


=115.12F
10. I
B2
=


Where Hfe=100 for the transistor that I have chosen.
=I
B2
=


=1.623mA
11. I
R1
=11I
B2

=111.623mA
=17.85mA
12. I
R2
=10I
B2

=101.623mA
=16.23mA
13. R
2
=


=104.75
14. V
CC
=V
R2
+V
R1

V
R1
= V
CC
- V
R2

=10V-1.7V
=8.3V
15. R
1
=


=464.99
16. R
IN2
=


R
IN2
=


=78.76
17. C
3
=


11

C
3
=


=40.4F
18. C
6
=


=388.18F
4. Deviations and the practical values chosen
The values that I calculated above are theoretical values and may not always be available practically.
Considering that our lab store is a very small store and may not always be equipped with all the
demanded components, the table below therefore shows the list of calculated values and the
corresponding values as advisable by the store manager.
Resistance values
Resistor Calculated values Values obtained from the store
R
1
464.99 470
R
2
104.75 100
R
3
6.613 4.7
R
4
24.65 20
R
5
8 8.2
R
6
154.6 160
R
7
34.84 30
R
8
2.05 1.8
R
9
8 8.2
Table1 [calculated and used values of resistances]
Also there were deviations in the values of the capacitors used as shown in the table that follows. Please
also note that the input capacitor C3 was made very large as to eliminate noise and did not follow the
calculated value.
Capacitor values
Capacitor Calculated values Values obtained from the store
C
1
1553.4 F 2200 F
C
2
388.18 F 470 F
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C
3
40.4 F 2200 F
C
4
516.49 F 680 F
C
5
115.12 F 220 F
C
6
388.18 F 470F
Table 2 [calculated and used capacitance values]
5. Operation of the circuit
The operation of this circuit is explained using the statements below.
This circuit has two stages namely the input stage (stage 1) and the output stage (stage2). All the
two stages each has a single transistor (BD243C) that acts as the amplifying device in the circuit.
Each of these transistors is supplied with dc current so that their base emitter junctions will be
forward biased. This is supplied as V
CC
in the circuit.
When the base emitter junctions of the two npn transistors is forward biased,a supply voice
signal is than supplied through the microphone or appropriately an audio jack for constant
supply of voice signals.( advantages of the audio jack lie in the fact that it allows for power
measurements when a constant value of input signal is applied to the circuit.)
The input signal is than filtered for any DC voltage and noise outside the bandwidth that
capacitor C
3
is operating. It is than supplied to transistor T
2
.
Since transistor T
2
is forward biased, it will amplify this input signal by a certain constant and the
amplified signal is than filtered by the output capacitor of STAGE 1 for any DC components and
is than coupled to the base of transistor T1.
The already initially amplified signal from the first stage of the circuit is amplified again by the
transistor T1 which is already turned on by the common emitter voltage across its base and is
coupled to the output by capacitor C
2
which also filters the DC component of this secondly
amplified signal out.
The output signal is hence fed into the speaker which converts the electrical energy of the signal
into sound energy so that it will be heard by the audience.
To add more functionality to the circuit, a switch is added so that it will be able to cut-off the
supply of V
CC
to the transistors and hence the base emitter junction of the transistors will not be
forward biased anymore and hence no amplification takes place and hence no output signal
since the transistors will not conduct.
The circuit also has a volume control option whereby a small variable resistor is connected in
parallel with resistor R
9
in order to control the output signal that reaches the loudspeaker and
hence also loudness of the output sound waves.
During the operation of this circuit, a multimeter was also used to measure the values of currents and
voltage and hence calculations were made for the power dissipation for the transistors. This are all
shown in the table below

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value Calculated Measured
V
R9
4V 3.90V
I
C1
0.488A 0.402A
I
E1
0.488A 0.414A
P
T1
1.95W 1.9W
I
B1
4.88mA 4mA
I
R6
53.68mA 43mA
I
R7
48.8mA 38mA
V
R4
4V 3.81V
I
C2
162.27mA 190.2mA
I
E2
162.27mA 192.1mA
P
T2
0.64908 0.742W
I
R1
17.85mA 20.9mA
I
B2
1.623mA 1.9mA
I
R2
16.23mA 19.04mA
Table 3 [showing the measured and calculated values of the currents and voltages]
From this values one can hence calculate the overall power conversion efficiency of the amplifier
Theoretical efficiency=

100%
=10.3%
Practical efficiency=

100%
=12.5%
6. Precautions during operation
The following were taken as precautions during the operation of the amplifier so that the operation of
the circuit will not cause inconveniences.
The current of the power supply was kept to a maximum of 0.4A as to prevent the excess
heating up of the resistors and transistors that will cause internal damage of the components.
Due to the fact that transistor T
2
is suppose to dissipate large amounts of power, a heat sink was
loaded onto this transistor as to conduct away the heat produced due to the power dissipated
by this very device.
Short circuits were thoroughly avoided as they cause instant burning of the resistors and other
components.
Due to the fact that the students wanted to have a constant voice signal being produced at the
output, the students thus used an audio jack that should be connected to a smartphone. Care
was thus take an to reduce the noise in the output signal by replacing the calculated value of
capacitor C
3
by 2200F.

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7. Conclusion
Applications of audio amplifiers are very wide with the developing world of today. For
example people would want to make life easier for themselves and would not want to talk
long speeches loudly using so much effort but would use audio amplifiers to simply amplify
their voice and a little whisper will be heard out loudly.
Audio amplifiers hence are considered a very effective invention as they make life easier for
human beings in almost all walks of life.
With focus on the particular one that I have just designed, it has the following advantages
due to the chosen method of operation
For this amplifier, the output DC offset is always zero (unless the output capacitor is
leaky).
This type of amplifier is very simple to design and understand and may be applied in
industries for a variety of useful applications.
Since this amplifier is RC coupled, there will hardly be any need for protection
against the DC faults because the filter capacitors will have to do what they do best.
This makes this type of amplifier cheap compared to DC amplifiers because costs for
DC faults protection are cut short.
Through the use of the capacitors used in the coupling of signals, the amplifier is
very easy to make short circuit proof.
AC coupled amplifiers circuits also do not require output inductors for stability as
they already give good stability output.
Even though the class of amplifier used only has a maximum efficiency of 25%, this amplifier has the
best practicability compared to other types of amplifiers and I very suited for applications in audio
power amplifiers. The circuit I designed therefore worked according to the requested specifications.










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8. References
1. Newnes ; Audio engineering,1
st
edition; amsterdan ,London.
2. Douglas self;audio amplifier design handbook;second edition;oxford, boston.
3. Lecture notes by mr Munthali;updated 2012;