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Astable Multivibrators are free running oscillators which oscillate between two states
continually producing two square wave output waveforms

Regenerative switching circuits such as Astable Multivibrators are the most commonly
used type of relaxation oscillator because not only are they simple, reliable and ease of
construction they also produce a constant square wave output waveform.

Unlike the Monostable Multivibrator or the Bistable Multivibrator we looked at in the

previous tutorials that require an “external” trigger pulse for their operation, the Astable
Multivibrator has automatic built in triggering which switches it continuously between its
two unstable states both set and reset.

The Astable Multivibrator is another type of cross-coupled transistor switching circuit

that has NO stable output states as it changes from one state to the other all the time. The
astable circuit consists of two switching transistors, a cross-coupled feedback network,
and two time delay capacitors which allows oscillation between the two states with no
external triggering to produce the change in state. In electronic circuits, astable
multivibrators are also known as Free-running Multivibrator as they do not require any
additional inputs or external assistance to oscillate. Astable oscillators produce a
continuous square wave from its output or outputs, (two outputs no inputs) which can
then be used to flash lights or produce a sound in a loudspeaker.

We use cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to visit this site you agree to
our X use of cookies. More info The basic transistor circuit for an Astable Multivibrator
produces a square wave output from a pair of grounded emitter cross-coupled transistors.
Both transistors either NPN or PNP, in the multivibrator are biased for linear operation
and are operated as Common Emitter Amplifiers with 100% positive feedback.

This configuration satisfies the condition for oscillation when: (pA = 1Z 0o ). This results
in one stage conducting “fully-ON” (Saturation) while the other is switched “fully-OFF”
(cut-off) giving a very high level of mutual amplification between the two transistors.
Conduction is transferred from one stage to the other by the discharging action of a
capacitor through a resistor as shown below.
Basic Astable Multivibrator Circuit

Assume that transistor, TR1 has just switched “OFF” (cut-off) and its collector voltage is
rising towards Vcc, meanwhile transistor TR2 has just turned “ON”. Plate “A” of
capacitor C1 is also rising towards the +6 volts supply rail of Vcc as it is connected to the
collector of TR1 which is now cut-off. Since TR1 is in cut-off, it conducts no current so
there is no volt drop across load resistor R1.

The other side of capacitor, C1, plate “B”, is connected to the base terminal of transistor
TR2 and at 0.6v because transistor TR2 is conducting (saturation). Therefore, capacitor
C1 has a potential difference of +5.4 volts across its plates, (6.0 - 0.6v) from point A to
point B.

Since TR2 is fully-on, capacitor C2 starts to charge up through resistor R2 towards Vcc.
When the voltage across capacitor C2 rises to more than 0.6v, it biases transistor TR1
into conduction and into saturation.

The instant that transistor, TR1 switches “ON”, plate “A” of the capacitor which was
originally at Vcc potential, immediately falls to 0.6 volts. This rapid fall of voltage on
plate “A” causes an equal and instantaneous fall in voltage on plate “B” therefore plate
“B” of C1 is pulled down to -5.4v (a reverse charge) and this negative voltage swing is
applied the base of TR2 turning it hard “OFF”. One unstable state.

Transistor TR2 is driven into cut-off so capacitor C1 now begins to charge in the opposite
direction via
resistor R3 which is also connected to the +6 volts supply rail, Vcc. Thus the base of
transistor TR2 is now However, it never reaches the value of Vcc because as soon as it
gets to 0.6 volts positive, transistor TR2 turns fully “ON” into saturation. This action
starts the whole process over again but now with capacitor C2 taking the base of
transistor TR1 to -5.4v while charging up via resistor R2 and entering the second unstable
state. Then we can see that the circuit alternates between one unstable state in which
transistor TR1 is “OFF” and transistor TR2 is “ON”, and a second unstable in which TR1
is “ON” and TR2 is “OFF” at a rate determined by the RC values. This process will
repeat itself over and over again as long as the supply voltage is present.

The amplitude of the output waveform is approximately the same as the supply voltage,
Vcc with the time period of each switching state determined by the time constant of the
RC networks connected across the base terminals of the transistors. As the transistors are
switching both “ON” and “OFF”, the output at either collector will be a square wave with
slightly rounded corners because of the current which charges the capacitors. This could
be corrected by using more components as we will discuss later.

If the two time constants produced by C2 x R2 and C1 x R3 in the base circuits are the
same, the mark-to-space ratio ( t1/t2 ) will be equal to one-to-one making the output
waveform symmetrical in shape. By varying the capacitors, C1, C2 or the resistors, R2,
R3 the mark-to-space ratio and therefore the frequency can be altered.

We saw in the RC Discharging tutorial that the time taken for the voltage across a
capacitor to fall to half the supply voltage, 0.5Vcc is equal to 0.69 time constants of the
capacitor and resistor combination. Then taking one side of the astable multivibrator, the
length of time that transistor TR2 is “OFF” will be equal to 0.69T or 0.69 times the time
constant of C1 x R3. Likewise, the length of time that transistor TR1 is “OFF” will be
equal to 0.69T or 0.69 times the time constant of C2 x R2 and this is defined as.

Astable Multivibrators Periodic Time

Periodic Time, T = ti+ta

ti = 0.69C{R3
ta = 0.69C2R2

Where, R is in Q’s and C in Farads.

By altering the time constant of just one RC network the mark-to-space ratio and
frequency of the output waveform can be changed but normally by changing both RC
time constants together at the same time, the output frequency will be altered keeping the
mark-to-space ratios the same at one-to-one.

If the value of the capacitor C1 equals the value of the capacitor, C2, C1 = C2 and also
the value of the base resistor R2 equals the value of the base resistor, R3, R2 = R3 then
the total length of time of the

Frequency of Oscillation

Where, R is in Ω’s, C is in Farads, T is in seconds and ƒ is in Hertz.

and this is known as the “Pulse Repetition Frequency”. So Astable Multivibrators can
produce TWO very short square wave output waveforms from each transistor or a much
longer rectangular shaped output either symmetrical or non-symmetrical depending upon
the time constant of the RC network as shown below.

Astable Multivibrator Waveforms

Astable Multivibrator Example No1

An Astable Multivibrators circuit is required to produce a series of pulses at a frequency

of 500Hz with a mark-to-space ratio of 1:5. If R2 = R3 = 100kΩ, calculate the values of
the capacitors, C1 and C2 required.

and by rearranging the formula above for the periodic time, the values of the capacitors
required to give a mark-to-space ratio of 1:5 are given as:

The values of 4.83nF and 24.1nF respectively, are calculated values, so we would need to
choose the nearest preferred values for C1 and C2 allowing for the capacitors tolerance.
In fact due to the wide range of tolerances associated with the humble capacitor the actual
output frequency may differ by as much as ±20%, (400 to 600Hz in our simple example)
from the actual frequency needed.

If we require the output astable waveform to be non-symmetrical for use in timing or

gating type circuits, etc, we could manually calculate the values of R and C for the
individual components required as we did in the example above. However, when the two
R’s and C´s are both equal, we can make our life a little bit easier for ourselves by using
tables to show the astable multivibrators calculated frequencies for different
combinations or values of both R and C. For example,

Astable Multivibrator Frequency Table

Res. Capacitor Values

1nF 2.2nF 4.7nF 10nF 22nF 47nF 100nF 220nF 470nF

1.0kO 714.3kHz 324.6kHz 151.9kHz 71.4kHz 32.5kHz 15.2kHz 7.1kHz 3.2kHz 1.5kHz

2.2kQ 324.7kHz 147.6kHz 69.1kHz 32.5kHz 14.7kHz 6.9kHz 3.2kHz 1.5kHz 691Hz

4.7kQ 151.9kHz 69.1kHz 32.3kHz 15.2kHz 6.9kHz 3.2kHz 1.5kHz 691Hz 323Hz

10kQ 71.4kHz 32.5kHz 15.2kHz 7.1kHz 3.2kHz 1.5kHz 714Hz 325Hz 152Hz

22kQ 32.5kHz 14.7kHz 6.9kHz 3.2kHz 1.5kHz 691Hz 325Hz 147Hz 69.1Hz

47kQ 15.2kHz 6.9kHz 3.2kHz 1.5kHz 691Hz 323Hz 152Hz 69.1Hz 32.5Hz

100kQ 7.1kHz 3.2kHz 1.5kHz 714Hz 325Hz 152Hz 71.4Hz 32.5Hz 15.2Hz

470kQ 1.5kHz 691Hz 323Hz 152Hz 69.1Hz 32.5Hz 15.2Hz 6.6Hz 3.2Hz

1MQ 714Hz 325Hz 152Hz 71.4Hz 32.5Hz 15.2Hz 6.9Hz 3.2Hz 1.5Hz
Pre-calculated frequency tables can be very useful in determining the required values of
both R and C for a particular symmetrical output frequency without the need to keep
recalculating them every time a different frequency is required.

By changing the two fixed resistors, R2 and R3 for a dual-ganged potentiometer and
keeping the values of the capacitors the same, the frequency from the Astable
Multivibrators output can be more easily “tuned” to give a particular frequency value or
to compensate for the tolerances of the components used.

For example, selecting a capacitor value of 10nF from the table above. By using a
100kQ’s potentiometer for our resistance, we would get an output frequency that can be
fully adjusted from slightly above 71.4kHz down to 714Hz, some 3 decades of frequency
range. Likewise a capacitor value of 47nF would give a frequency range from 152Hz to
well over 15kHz.

Astable Multivibrator Example No2

An Astable Multivibrator circuit is constructed using two timing capacitors of equal value
of 3.3uF and two base resistors of value 10kQ. Calculate the minimum and maximum
frequencies of oscillation if a 100kQ dual-gang potentiometer is connected in series with
the two resistors.

with the potentiometer at 100%, the value of the base resistance is equal to 10kΩ +
100kΩ = 110kΩ.

With the potentiometer at 0%, the value of the base resistance is equal to 10kQ.

Then the output frequency of oscillation for the astable multivibrator can be varied from
between 2.0 and 22 Hertz. When selecting both the resistance and capacitance values for
reliable operation, the base resistors should have a value that allows the transistor to turn
fully “ON” when the other transistor turns “OFF”. For example, consider the circuit
above. When transistor TR2 is fully “ON”, (saturation) nearly the same voltage is
dropped across resistor R3 and resistor R4. We use cookies to enhance your experience.
By continuing to visit this site you agree to our

If the transistor being used has a current gain, β of 100 and the collector load resistor, R4
is equal to say 1kΩ the maximum base resistor value would therefore be 100kΩ. Any
higher and the transistor may not turn fully “ON” resulting in the multivibrator giving
erratic results or not oscillate at all. Likewise, if the value of the base resistor is too low
the transistor may not switch “OFF” and the multivibrator would again not oscillate.

An output signal can be obtained from the collector terminal of either transistor in the
Astable Multivibrators circuit with each output waveform being a mirror image of itself.
We saw above that the leading edge of the output waveform is slightly rounded and not
square due to the charging characteristics of the capacitor in the cross-coupled circuit.

But we can introduce another transistor into the circuit that will produce an almost
perfectly square output pulse and which can also be used to switch higher current loads or
low impedance loads such as LED’s or loudspeakers, etc without affecting the operation
of the actual astable multivibrator. However, the down side to this is that the output
waveform is not perfectly symmetrical as the additional transistor produces a very small
delay. Consider the two circuits below.

Astable Multivibrators Driving Circuit

An output with a square leading edge is now produced from the third transistor, TR3
connected to the emitter of transistor, TR2. This third transistor switches “ON” and
“OFF” in unison with transistor TR2. We can use this additional transistor to switch
Light Emitting Diodes, Relays or to produce a sound from a Sound Transducer such as a
speaker or piezo sounder as shown above.

The load resistor, Rx needs to be suitably chosen to take into account the forward volt
drops and to limit the maximum current to about 20mA for the LED circuit or to give a
total load impedance of about 100Q for the speaker circuit. The speaker can have any
impedance less than 100G.

Disco lights are mostly used in stereo music system to indicate the variations in disco and
volume of the sound visually. It is actually a stable or free-running multivibrator which is a two-
stage circuit . if at one time, the first stage is conducting., the second stage is cut-off and then at
another time, when the second stage is conducting, the first stage is cut-off. The continuous
switching action takes place automatically.


1-two transistors T1 BC 148 B

T2 BC 148 B

2-four resistors R2 100 Ω

R2 100 Ω

R3 56 KΩ

R4 56 KΩ

3-two capacitors C1 10 µF-12 V

C2 10 µF -12 V

4-three green LEDs D1 D2 D3

(light emitting diodes)

5-three red LEDs D4 D5 D6

6-one battery 9v

7-one switch s

8-connecting wires



When the first transistor T1 conducts, the second stage transistor T2 is cut-off. Hence, the red
LEDs D4, D5 ,D6 start glowing. After a regular interval transistor T2 starts conducting and
transistor T1 is the green LEDs D1, D2, D3 will start gowing. Thus a disco-light is a
two stage multivibrator.

Capacitor, device for storing an electrical charge, sometimes called a condenser. In its
simplest form a capacitor consists of two metal plates separated by a non-conducting layer called
the dielectric. The dielectric may be air, plastic, waxed paper, or another substance such as the
mineral mica. When one plate of a capacitor is charged using a battery or other source of direct
current, the other plate becomes charged with the opposite sign; that is, positive if the original
charge is negative, and negative if the original charge is positive.

The electrical size of a capacitor is its capacitance, that is the amount of electric charge it can
hold per unit potential difference across its plates—C = Q/V. The SI unit of capacitance is the
farad (F). Because this is such a large unit, capacitors commonly have their size expressed in µF
(1 microfarad = 10-6 F) or pF (1 picofarad = 10-9 F). The capacitance of a parallel plate
capacitor can be calculated from the relationship:

where A is the area of the plates, d is the distance between them, e0 is the permittivity of
free space, and er is the relative permittivity of the dielectric between the two plates.

Capacitors can hold a limited amount of electric charge. As more and more charge is added to
the plates of a capacitor, the potential difference between the plates increases. Eventually this
potential difference becomes so great that the atomic structure of the dielectric breaks down, and
charge “leaks” through it. Capacitors can conduct direct current for only an instant but are able to
act as conductors in alternating-current circuits, as they constantly charge and discharge as the
direction of the current constantly changes. This property makes them useful when direct current
must be prevented from entering some part of an electric circuit. Fixed-capacity and variable-
capacity capacitors are used with coils in resonant circuits in radios and other electronic

Because the dielectric of a capacitor may break down, there is a limit to the potential difference
that may be applied across a capacitor. Capacitors are therefore labelled not only with their
capacitance but also with their working potential difference in order to prevent breakdown of the
dielectric in use.


As an electronics engineering student myself, I know how difficult it is to assemble electronic

circuits on Vero boards. You have to connect each and every component using wires, which
most of the times break apart or cut loose. Wiring is also very cumbersome. Printed circuit
boards (PCBs), which are specifically made for each circuit, come in handy.

These are very compact and wire-free. But for a normal hobbyist or student, purchasing a PCB
from the shop for a specific circuit can be very expensive. So I searched for a way of making my
own PCB in a simple way. Finally, I succeeded and have been making my own PCBs for two
years now.

I hope you will find this method interesting as it gives you the freedom to make your own
customized PCBs. All the required components are readily available at electronics hardware
stores. So why wait; get started now.

Draw the schematic of the circuit on a computer using the required software. Design the PCB on
the computer using the required software. Print the PCB design through a laser printer. Take the
impression of the circuit on a copper-clad board. Remove the excess copper by etching.

Drawing the schematic

There are many software available on the Internet to help you draw the schematic of the circuit.
Eagle software is a very good option but it is not a free ware. So here we will use Express SCH
for drawing the schematic. Express PCB (which includes Express SCH) is available on the
Internet for free.

Circuit description. Let us assemble a simple buffer IC. We will put a tap switch at one input
and see that we get the same output as the input by putting an LED light at the input by putting
an LED light at the output pin. So when we push the switch to ‘on’ position the LED will glow,
and when we push it to ‘of’ position the LED will turn off. Fig. 1 shows the screenshot of the
buffer circuit drawn in Express SCH software.

Screenshot description: Icons marked 1 through 24 allow you to perform various tasks as

 Rotate the component as well as the text by 90. It can also be used to rotate only the text
 Rotate only the component by 90
 It is the component and symbol manager. All the component can be found here
 Options. You can change the colour and dimensions of the screen as well as the grid
spacing and other options
 Previous zoom. It resumes the previous screen shape
 Zoom to fit
 Zoom out
 Zoom in
 Undo
 Save
 Open
 General- purpose pointer, select and moving tool
 Zoom into selected area
 Place a component. It will not open the library window
 Place a signal or symbol level, like the symbols of power supply and ground
 Place a wire. All the connections are made using this icon
 Place a corner in the wire, i.e., break a continuous lines into two
 Disconnect a wire from a component and connect it to the other
 Make a rectangle for a new customized component. You can make any component which
is not present in the library
 Add a line into a customized component
 Add a circle or arc in a new component
 Place a new pin in a component
 Place text
 Snap to grid. By keeping this option ‘on,’ the wires will move and make angles at
specific gap.
 This makes it easy to draw straight lines and designs.
 By keeping this option ‘off,’ you will be able to make high precision angles in the circuit.


While designing a PCB, try to make it as compact as possible. Fig. 2 shows the PCB of the
circuit (shown in Fig.1) designed in Express PCB. Yellow lines show the silkscreen layer
(component layout), red lines show the top copper layer and green portion is the bottom copper

Screenshot description: Icons 1 to 31 in Fig. 2 allow you to perform following tasks:

 Rotate the component as well as the text by 90

 Rotate only the component by 90%
 Move a selected item to the bottom copper layer
 Move a selected item to the top copper layer
 Component manager (opens the library window)
 Options (can change the colour codes as well as all the dimensions and
 Zoom to previous state
 Zoom to fit the screen
 Zoom out
 Zoom in
 Undo
 Save file
 Open file
 General-purpose pointer, select and moving tool
 Zoom into selected area
 Place a pad (either through-hole or surface-mount pad). It is helpful in creating
multilayer PCBs
 Place a component.
 It will not open the library window
 Place a trace or wire
 Put a corner in a trace
 Disconnect a trace
 Place text in the layout
 Place a rectangle
 Place a filled power or ground plane
 Place a circle or an arc
 Insert an edge segment in the board perimeter
 Pad information
 Highlight net connections.
 For using this tool, you need to link the schematic of the circuit to this PCB.
 Toggle display of the top silkscreen layer
 Toggle display of the top copper layer
 Toggle display of the bottom copper layer
 Toggle snapping to grid

PCB description: The circuit’s PCB is described below, with the actual names of the
components as in the library given within brackets.
At the centre is a 20- pin base (20 dip). The 3-pin IC at the top is 7805 (semiconductor TO-22O
without mounting hole, i.e., 7805 vreg). On the left of 7805 is a 1000 F capacitor base (cap-lead
spacing 4.5 mm (0.1 inch). On the right of 7805 is a 0.1f capacitor base (cap-lead spacing 2.5
mm(0.1inch). The three holes on the left are for the DC female input jach; in it 12V power
supply will be connected. On the right of the 20-pin base is the base for a 1-kilo-ohm resistor
(0.25-watt resistor with lead spacing of 0.35 inch). Just below the 1-kilo-ohm resistor base is the
LED base (LED-T1)

Rules of PCB making: There should be no 90% connections of wires in the PCB. All
connections should preferably be made at 45% (refer Fig.3). The mirror image of the PCB layout
will always be imprinted on the copper side(the solder side of the copper-clad board) of the
actual PCB. So for any text to be written on the copper side, the text should be mirrored during
layout design so that the text appears normal on the side of the PCB. Always print from a laser
printer. Printout from inkjet or any other printer will not work as it may not be sharp enough.

You can print on both top and bottom parts of the board, but here we will print text only on the
top copper layer.

There are standards for using traces of different thicknesses for different purposes:

(a) 0.6mm (0.025-inch) trace for single tracks

(b) 1.3mm (0.050-inch) trace for power and ground tracks
(c) 0.2mm to 0.4mm (0.010-to 0.015- inch) traces for going between IC and
component pads.

Tracking from large to small and then back to large is known as ‘neck-ing’ or ‘necking down’.
You can also let rest of the space remain covered by copper, leaving clearance beside each line,
so our PCB will look as shown in Fig.5. We will not use it as this type of filled circuit is best for
industrial- level machine etching. The standards for clearances for electrical conductors are listed
here in the table . For thin tracks (<0.6mm traces), it is good to add chamfer to ‘T’ junction, thus
eliminating 90% angles.

Go to File- Print. A window as shown in Fig.7 will open. Select ‘Layers to Print.’ Keep ‘Enlarge
to Fit Page’ option unchecked as it will not give the exact layout of the components. Print the
PCB layout from a laser printer. If you don’t have a laser printer at home, convert the file into a
PDF file (using PDF995 software ) and then print it elsewhere.


Cut the copper-clad board to a size of the PCB design printout. You can also use a glass epoxy
board but it’s costlier than a copper-clad board. Put the paper printout o the board with the
printed side facing the copper side. Affix the paper to the board using cellotape so that the paper
does not move while ironing (Fig.10).Now take your household electriciron and set its
temperature to the maximum (Fig.11). Press the hot iron on the paper for about four minutes.
While doing so, check for impressions, Continue ironing until the complete impression of the
circuit comes on the copper side (Fig. 12).Complete the blanks, if any, with a good permanent
marker. If any line is not dark enough, redraw it on the board using the permanent marker. Wash
the board in normal tap water. Drill IC holes using a 1mm hand PCB drill as shown inFig.14.
Redraw the lines using the permanent marker if they have been defaced by the drill.Now mix
some FeCl (ferric chloride) powder in hot water. The reaction is vigorous, so take safety
precaution. Put the copper-clad board in the solution and constantly tilt the container from side to
side without spilling its contents (Fig.15). This is dine to speed up the reaction. It takes five to
six minutes to wash away all the excess copper. In between, keep checking the board. Ensure
that the marker or carbon of the impression does not wash away.

Take the board out (Fig. 16) and wash it under tap water to remove the permanent marker ink.
Remove carbon by using nail polish remover. Use a scrubber to gently scrub the copper surface
(Fig.17) till it shines. Your PCB is ready!

Resistance, property of any object or substance of resisting or opposing the flow of an electrical
current. The quantity of resistance in an electric circuit determines the amount of current flowing
in the circuit for any given voltage applied to the circuit. The unit of resistance is the ohm, the
amount of resistance that limits the passage of current to one ampere when a voltage of one volt
is applied to it. The standard abbreviation for electric resistance is R and the symbol for ohms in
electric circuits is the Greek letter omega, O. For certain electrical calculations it is convenient to
employ the reciprocal of resistance, 1/R, which is termed conductance, G. The unit of
conductance is the siemens (formerly called the mho), symbol S.

The resistance of an object is determined by a property of the substance of which it is composed,

known as the resistivity, and by the length and cross-sectional area of the object, and by the
temperature. At a given temperature, the resistance is proportional to the object's resistivity and
length, and inversely proportional to its cross-sectional area. Usually, a material's resistance
increases with increases in temperature.

The term resistance is also used when the flow of a fluid or heat is impeded. The forces of
friction provide the resistance to the flow of a fluid in a pipe, and insulation provides thermal
resistance that reduces the flow of heat from a higher to a lower temperature.

Circuit, Electric, path of an electric current. The term is usually taken to mean a continuous
path composed of conductors and conducting devices and including a source of electromotive
force (emf) that drives the current around the circuit. A circuit of this type is termed a closed
circuit, and a circuit in which the current path is not continuous is called an open circuit. A short
circuit is a closed circuit in which a direct connection is made, with no appreciable resistance,
inductance, or capacitance, between the terminals of the source of electromotive force.


Current flows in an electric circuit in accordance with several definite laws. The basic law of
current flow is Ohm's law, named after its discoverer, the German physicist Georg Ohm. Ohm's
law states that, over a wide range of circumstances and materials, the amount of current flowing
through a conductor is directly proportional to the electromotive force applied between the ends of
the conductor. If resistance is defined as the ratio of electromotive force to current, then V = IR,
where I is the current in amperes, V is the electromotive force in volts then Ohm's law is
equivalent to saying that R (which is measured in ohms) is a constant in the specified
circumstances. A material for which this holds true is described as ohmic. Ohm's law can apply to
electric circuits for both direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC), but additional principles
must be invoked for the analysis of complex circuits and for AC circuits involving inductances and

A series circuit is one in which the devices or elements of the circuit are arranged in such a way
that the entire current passes through each element without division or branching into parallel

When two or more resistances are in series in a circuit, the total resistance may be calculated by
adding the values of such resistances. If the resistances are in parallel, the total value of the
resistance in the circuit is given by the formula.

In a parallel circuit, electrical devices, such as incandescent lamps or the cells of a battery, are
arranged to allow all positive (+) poles, electrodes, and terminals to be joined to one conductor,
and all negative (-) ones to another conductor, so that each unit is, in effect, on a parallel branch.
The value of two equal resistances in parallel is equal to half the value of the component
resistances, and in every case the value of resistances in parallel is less than the value of the
smallest of the individual resistances involved. In AC circuits, or circuits with varying currents,
circuit components other than resistance must be considered.


If a circuit has a number of interconnected branches, two other laws are applied in order to find
the current flowing in the various branches. These laws, discovered by the German physicist
Gustav Robert Kirchhoff, are known as Kirchhoff's laws of networks. The first of Kirchhoff's
laws states that at any junction in a circuit through which a steady current is flowing, the sum of
the currents flowing to the point is equal to the sum of the currents flowing away from that point.
The second law states that, starting at any point in a network and following any closed path back
to the starting point, the net sum of the electromotive forces encountered will be equal to the net
sum of the products of the resistances encountered and the currents flowing through them.

The application of Ohm's law to circuits in which there is an alternating current is complicated
by the fact that capacitance and inductance are always present. Inductance makes the peak value
of an alternating current lag behind the peak value of voltage; capacitance makes the peak value
of voltage lag behind the peak value of the current. Capacitance and inductance inhibit the flow
of alternating current and must be taken into account in calculating current flow. The current in
AC circuits can be determined graphically by means of vectors or by means of the algebraic
equation in which I is current, E is electromotive force, R is resistance, L is inductance, C is
capacitance, and f is the frequency of the current. The quantity in the denominator of the fraction
is called the impedance of the circuit to alternating current and is sometimes represented by the
letter Z; then Ohm's law for AC circuits is expressed by the simple equation I = E/Z.


Integrated Circuit, tiny electronic circuit used to perform a specific electronic function, such as
amplification; it is usually combined with other components to form a more complex system. It
is formed as a single unit by diffusing impurities into single-crystal silicon, which then serves as
a semiconductor material, or by etching the silicon by means of electron beams. Several hundred
identical integrated circuits (ICs) are made at a time on a thin wafer several centimetres in
diameter, and the wafer is subsequently sliced into individual ICs called chips. In large-scale
integration (LSI), as many as 5,000 circuit elements, such as resistors and transistors, are
combined in a square of silicon measuring about 1.3 cm (0.5 in) on a side. Hundreds of these
integrated circuits can be arrayed on a silicon wafer 8 to 15 cm (3 to 6 in) in diameter. Larger-
scale integration can produce a silicon chip with millions of circuit elements. Individual circuit
elements on a chip are interconnected by thin metal or semiconductor films, which are insulated
from the rest of the circuit by thin dielectric layers. Chips are assembled into packages
containing external electrical leads to facilitate insertion into printed circuit boards for
interconnection with other circuits or components.

During recent years, the functional capability of ICs has steadily increased, and the cost of the
functions they perform has steadily decreased. This has produced revolutionary changes in
electronic equipment—vastly increased functional capability and reliability combined with great
reductions in size, physical complexity, and power consumption. Computer technology, in
particular, has benefited greatly. The logic and arithmetic functions of a small computer can now
be performed on a single very-large-scale-integration (VLSI) chip called a microprocessor, and
the complete logic, arithmetic, and memory functions of a small computer can be packaged on a
single printed circuit board, or even on a single chip. Such a device is called a microcomputer.

In consumer electronics, ICs have made possible the development of many new products,
including personal calculators and computers, digital watches, and video games. They have also
been used to improve or lower the cost of many existing products, such as appliances,
televisions, radios, and high-fidelity equipment. They are used extensively in industry, medicine,
traffic control (both air and ground), environmental monitoring, and communications.

Testing an Integrated Circuit Wafer

In its final stage of design, an integrated circuit wafer is tested by probes. Each gold square in
the wafer is an individual integrated circuit. At one time, circuits consisted of separate
electronic devices (such as inductors and capacitors) mounted on a chassis and strung
together with wire. These circuits were easy to manipulate by hand, but they were extremely
bulky. In contrast, integrated circuits incorporate all of the separate electronic components on
a single board.

Building project in the proper manner is really an art, something which must be prectised and
learned through trial and error, it is not all that difficult. The main thing is to remember to take
each step slowly and carefully according to the instructions giving making since that everything
at it should be before proceeding further.


The electronics workbench is an actual place of work with comfortably & conveniently & should
be supplied with compliment of those tools must often use in project building. Probably the most
important device is a soldering tool. Other tool which should be at the electronic work bench
includes a pair of needle nose pliers, diagonal wire cutter, a small knife, an assortment of screw
driver, nut driver, few nuts & bolts, electrical tape, plucker etc. Diagonal wire cutter will be used
to cut away any excess lead length from copper side of P.C.B. 7 to cut section of the board after
the circuit is complete. The needle nose pliers are most often using to bend wire leads & wrap
them in order to form a strong mechanical connection.

Soldering is process of joining together two metallic parts. It is actually a process of function in
which an alloy, the solder, with a comparatively low melting point penetrates the surface of the
metal being joined & makes a firm joint between them on cooling & solidifying.



As soldering is a process of joining together two metallic parts, the instrument, which is used, for
doing this job is known as soldering Iron. Thus it is meant for melting the solder and to setup the
metal parts being joined. Soldering Iron is rated according to their wattage, which varies from
10- 200 watts.


The raw material used for soldering is solder. It is composition of lead & tin. The good quality
solder (a type of flexible naked wire) is 60% Tin +40% Lead which will melt between 180
degree to 200 degree C temperature.


When the points to solder are heated, an oxide film forms. This must be removed at once so that
solder may get to the surface of the metal parts. This is done by applying chemical substance
called Flux, which boils under the heat of the iron remove the oxide formation and enable the
metal to receive the solder.

To clean the surface & leads of components to be soldered is done by this common instrument.


The oxide formation may attack at the tip of your soldering iron & create the problem. To
prevent this, clean the tip with the help of sand paper time to time or you may use blade for
doing this job. Apart from all these tools, the working bench for soldering also includes
desoldering pump, wink wire (used for desoldering purpose), file etc.


Mount components at their appropriate place; bend the leads slightly outwards to prevent them
from falling out when the board is turned over for soldering. No cut the leads so that you may
solder them easily. Apply a small amount of flux at these components leads with the help of a
screwdriver. Now fix the bit or iron with a small amount of solder and flow freely at the point
and the P.C.B copper track at the same time. A good solder joint will appear smooth & shiny. If
all appear well, you may continue to the next solder connections.

1. Use right type of soldering iron. A small efficient soldering iron (about 10-25 watts with 1/8
or 1/4 inch tip) is ideal for this work.

2. Keep the hot tip of the soldering iron on a piece of metal so that excess heat is dissipated.

3. Make sure that connection to the soldered is clean. Wax frayed insulation and other
substances cause poor soldering connection. Clean the leads, wires, tags etc. before

4. Use just enough solder to cover the lead to be soldered. Excess solder can cause a short

5. Use sufficient heat. This is the essence of good soldering. Apply enough heat to the
component lead. You are not using enough heat, if the solder barely melts and forms a round
ball of rough flaky solder. A good solder joint will look smooth, shining and spread type. The
difference between good & bad soldering is just a few seconds extra with a hot iron applied


1. Mount the components at the appropriate places before soldering. Follow the circuit
description and components details, leads identification etc. Do not start soldering
before making it confirm that all the components are mounted at the right place.

2. Do not use a spread solder on the board, it may cause short circuit.
3. Do not sit under the fan while soldering.
4. Position the board so that gravity tends to keep the solder where you want it.
5. Do not over heat the components at the board. Excess heat may damage the components
or board.
6. The board should not vibrate while soldering otherwise you have a dry or a cold joint.
7. Do not put the kit under or over voltage source. Be sure about the voltage either dc or ac
while operating the gadget.
8. Do spare the bare ends of the components leads otherwise it may short circuit with the
other components. To prevent this use sleeves at the component leads or use sleeved
wire for connections.
9. Do not use old dark colour solder. It may give dry joint. Be sure that all the joints are
clean and well shiny.
10. Do make loose wire connections especially with cell holder, speaker, probes etc. Put
knots while connections to the circuit board, otherwise it may get loose. The word
project gives the significance of the following field of engineering.

Any movement of electric charge carriers, such as subatomic charged particles, ions, or holes.
Electric current in a wire, where the charge carriers are electrons, is a measure of the quantity of
charge passing any point of the wire per unit of time.

Alternating current (q.v.): The motion of the electric charges is periodically reversed; in direct
current (q.v.) it is not. Current in gases and liquids generally consists of a flow of positive ions
in one direction together with a flow of negative ions in the opposite direction. To treat the
overall effect of the current, its direction is usually taken to be that of the positive charge carrier.
A current of negative charge moving in the opposite direction is equivalent to a positive charge
of the same magnitude moving in the conventional direction and must be included as a
contribution to the total current. Current in semiconductors consists of the motion of holes in the
conventional direction and electrons in the opposite direction.Currents of many other kinds exist,
such as beams of protons, positrons, or charged pions and muons in particle accelerators.Electric
current generates an accompanying magnetic field, as in electromagnets.

When an electric current flows in an external magnetic field, it experiences a magnetic force, as
in electric motors. The heat loss, or energy dissipated, by electric current in a conductor is
proportional to the square of the current.A common unit of electric current is the ampere, a flow
of one coulomb of charge per second, or 6.2 ´ 1018 electrons per second. The centimetre–gram–
second units of current are either the electrostatic unit of charge (esu) per second or the absolute
electromagnetic unit (abamp). One abamp equals 10 amperes; one ampere equals 3 ´ 109 esu per

Direct electric current: Flow of charge between two conductors that are connected by a thin
conducting wire and that initially have an equal but opposite charge. As current flows from the
positively charged conductor to the negatively charged one, the charges on both conductors
decrease with time, as does the potential difference between the conductors.

The current therefore also decreases with time and eventually ceases when the conductors are
discharged.In an electric circuit under steady-state conditions, the flow of charge does not
change with time and the charge distribution stays the same. Since charge flows from one
location to another, there must be some mechanism to keep the charge distribution constant. In
turn, the values of the electric potentials remain unaltered with time. Any device capable of
keeping the potentials of electrodes unchanged as charge flows from one electrode to another is
called a source of electromotive force, or simply an emf. are free to move will gain some speed.
Since they have a negative charge, they move in the direction opposite that of the electric field.
The current i is defined to have a positive value in the direction of flow of positive charges.

If the moving charges that constitute the current i in a wire are electrons, the current is a positive
number when it is in a direction opposite to the motion of the negatively charged electrons. (If
the direction of motion of the electrons were also chosen to be the direction of a current, the
current would have a negative value.) The current is the amount of charge crossing a plane
transverse to the wire per unit time—i.e., in a period of one second. If there are n free particles of
charge q per unit volume with average velocity v and the cross-sectional area of the wire is A,
the current i, in elementary calculus notation, iswhere dQ is the amount of charge that crosses the
plane in a time interval dt. The unit of current is the ampere (A); one ampere equals one coulomb
per second. A useful quantity related to the flow of charge is current density, the flow of current
per unit area. Symbolized by J, it has a magnitude of i/A and is measured in amperes per square
metre. Wires of different materials have different current densities for a given value of the
electric field E; for many materials, the current density is directly proportional to the electric
field. This behaviour is represented by Ohm's law:

The proportionality constant sJ is the conductivity of the material. In a metallic conductor, the
charge carriers are electrons and, under the influence of an external electric field, they acquire
some average drift velocity in the direction opposite the field. In conductors of this variety, the
drift velocity is limited by collisions, which heat the conductor.Figure 12: Motion of charge in
electric current i (see text). If the wire in Figure 12 has a length l and area A and if an electric
potential difference of V is maintained between the ends of the wire, a current i will flow in the

The electric field E in the wire has a magnitude V/l. The equation for the current, using Ohm's
law, isor The quantity l/sJA, which depends on both the shape and material of the wire, is called
the resistance R of the wire. Resistance is measured in ohms (W). The equation for resistance, is
often written aswhere r is the resistivity of the material and is simply 1/sJ. The geometric aspects
of resistance in equation (20) are easy to appreciate: the longer the wire, the greater the
resistance to the flow of charge. A greater cross-sectional area results in a smaller resistance to
the flow.The resistive strain gauge is an important application of equation (20). Strain, dl/l, is the
fractional change in the length of a body under stress, where dl is the change of length and l is
the length.

The strain gauge consists of a thin wire or narrow strip of a metallic conductor such as
constantan, an alloy of nickel and copper. A strain changes the resistance because the length,
area, and resistivity of the conductor change. In constantan, the fractional change in resistance
dR/R is directly proportional to the strain with a proportionality constant of approximately 2.A
common form of Ohm's law iswhere V is the potential difference in volts between the two ends
of an element with an electric resistance of R ohms and where i is the current through that
element.Table 2 lists the resistivities of certain materials at room temperature. These values
depend to some extent on temperature; therefore, in applications where the temperature is very
different from room temperature, the proper values of resistivities must be used to calculate the
resistance. As an example, equation (20) shows that a copper wire 59 metres long and with a
cross-sectional area of one square millimetre has an electric resistance of one ohm at room
temperature. Conductors, insulators, and semiconductors Materials are classified as conductors,
insulators, or semiconductors according to their electric conductivity.

Transistor, any of various electronic devices used as amplifiers or oscillators in communications,

control, and computer systems . Since its advent in 1948 the transistor has largely replaced
thermionic vacuum tubes.

Circuit Board and Transistors A close-up of a smoke detector’s circuit board reveals its
components, which include transistors, resistors, capacitors, diodes, and inductors. Rounded
containers house the transistors that make the circuit work. Transistors are capable of serving
many functions, such as amplifying and switching. Each transistor consists of a small piece of
semiconducting material, such as silicon, that has been “doped”, or treated with impurity atoms,
to create n-type and p-type regions. Invented in 1948, transistors are a fundamental component in
nearly all modern electronic devices.

Capable of performing many functions of the vacuum tube in electronic circuits, the transistor is
a solid-state device consisting of a tiny piece of semiconductor, usually germanium or silicon, to
which three or more electrical connections are made. The basic components of the transistor are
comparable to those of a triode vacuum tube and include the emitter, which corresponds to the
heated cathode of the triode tube as the source of electrons.

Bipolar Junction Transistors The bipolar junction transistor consists of three layers of highly
purified silicon (or germanium) to which small amounts of boron (p-type) or phosphorus (n-type)
have been added. The boundary between each layer forms a junction, which only allows current
to flow from p to n. Connections to each layer are made by evaporating aluminium onto the
surface; the silicon dioxide coating protects the nonmetallized areas. A small current through the
base-emitter junction causes a current 10 to 1,000 times larger to flow between the collector and
emitter. (The arrows show a positive current; the names of layers should not be taken literally.)
The many uses of the junction transistor, from sensitive electronic detectors to powerful hi-fi
amplifiers, all depend on this current amplification.

The transistor was developed at Bell Laboratories by the American physicists Walter Houser
Brattain, John Bardeen, and William Bradford Shockley. For this achievement and their
pioneering research on semiconductors, the three shared the 1956 Nobel Prize for Physics.
Shockley is noted as the initiator and director of the research programme in semiconducting
materials that led to the discovery of this group of devices; his associates, Brattain and Bardeen,
are credited with the invention of an important type of transistor.


The electrical properties of a semiconducting material are determined by its atomic structure. In
a crystal of pure germanium or silicon, the atoms are bound together in a periodic arrangement
forming a perfectly regular diamond-cubic lattice. Each atom in the crystal has four valence
electrons, each of which interacts with the electron of a neighbouring atom to form a bond.
Because the electrons are not free to move, the pure crystalline material acts, at low
temperatures, as an insulator.


Germanium or silicon crystals containing small amounts of certain impurities can conduct
electricity even at low temperatures. Such impurities function in the crystal in one of two ways.
An impurity element such as phosphorus, antimony, or arsenic is called a donor impurity because
it contributes excess electrons. This group of elements has five valence electrons, only four of
which enter into bonding with the germanium or silicon atoms. Thus, when an electronic field is
applied, the remaining electrons in donor impurities are free to move through the crystalline

In contrast, impurity elements such as gallium and indium have only three valence electrons,
lacking one to complete the interatomic-bond structure within the crystal. Such impurities are
known as acceptor impurities because these elements accept electrons from neighbouring atoms
to satisfy the deficiency in valence-bond structure. The resultant deficiencies, or so-called holes,
in the structure of neighbouring atoms, in turn, are filled by other electrons and so on. These
holes behave as positive charges, appearing to move under an applied voltage in a direction
opposite to that of the electrons.


Figure 1: N-P Junction An n-p junction (also known as a diode) will allow current to flow only in
one direction. The electrons from the n-type material can pass to the right through the p-type
material, but the lack of excess electrons in the p-type material will prevent any flow of electrons
to the left. Note that the current is defined as flowing in a direction that is opposite to the
direction of flow of the electrons.

A germanium or silicon crystal, containing donor-impurity atoms, is called a negative, or n-type,

semiconductor to indicate the presence of excess negatively charged electrons. The use of an
acceptor impurity produces a positive, or p-type, semiconductor, so called because of the
presence of positively charged holes.

A single crystal containing both n-type and p-type regions may be prepared by introducing the
donor and acceptor impurities into molten germanium or silicon in a crucible at different stages
of crystal formation. The resultant crystal has two distinct regions of n-type and p-type material,
and the boundary joining the two areas is known as an n-p junction. Such a junction may also be
produced by placing a piece of donor-impurity material against the surface of a p-type crystal or
a piece of acceptor-impurity material against an n-type crystal and applying heat to diffuse the
impurity atoms through the outer layer.

When an external voltage is applied (figure 1), the n-p junction acts as a rectifier, permitting
current to flow in only one direction. If the p-type region is connected to the positive terminal of
a battery and the n-type to the negative terminal, a large current flows through the material
across the junction. If the battery is connected in the opposite manner, current does not flow.

A close-up of a smoke detector’s circuit board reveals its components, which include
transistors, resistors, capacitors, diodes, and inductors. Rounded containers house the
transistors that make the circuit work. Transistors are capable of serving many functions,
such as amplifying and switching. Each transistor consists of a small piece of semiconducting
material, such as silicon, that has been “doped”, or treated with impurity atoms, to create n-
type and p-type regions. Invented in 1948, transistors are a fundamental component in nearly
all modern electronic devices.

Bipolar Junction Transistors

The bipolar junction transistor consists of three layers of highly purified silicon (or
germanium) to which small amounts of boron (p-type) or phosphorus (n-type) have been
added. The boundary between each layer forms a junction, which only allows current to flow
from p to n. Connections to each layer are made by evaporating aluminium onto the surface;
the silicon dioxide coating protects the nonmetallized areas. A small current through the
base-emitter junction causes a current 10 to 1,000 times larger to flow between the collector
and emitter. (The arrows show a positive current; the names of layers should not be taken
literally.) The many uses of the junction transistor, from sensitive electronic detectors to
powerful hi-fi amplifiers, all depend on this current amplification.
Figure 1: N-P Junction

An n-p junction (also known as a diode) will allow current to flow only in one direction.
The electrons from the n-type material can pass to the right through the p-type material,
but the lack of excess electrons in the p-type material will prevent any flow of electrons
to the left. Note that the current is defined as flowing in a direction that is opposite to the
direction of flow of the electrons.

Figure 2: N-P-N Transistor Amplifier

The voltage from a source is applied to the base of the transistor (labelled P). Small
changes in this applied voltage across R1 (input) result in large changes in the voltage
across the resistor labelled R2 (output). One possible application of this circuit would be
to amplify sounds. In this case the input would be a microphone and the resistor R2 would
be a speaker. “Hi-fi” amplifiers have many more transistors, both to increase the power
output and to reduce the distortion that occurs in simple circuits like this.