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How to Build a Tens Unit

How to Build a Tens Unit

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Published by: dvdavidvgt on Dec 08, 2011
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01/06/2013

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Do away with analgesics and alleviate p electronically with a TENS U 1.

This device ·oduws p 1 '~b uf current inte electrodes placed un the skin adjacent the painful area and as a urprising succe s rate on most sufferers. The Sn.I 0 CHIP TEKS unit provides al the necessary feature . and is considerably cheaper than commercially available units. .
0

By JOHN CLARKE

~ . As you can see. . The frequency is 221Hz..ianCB. As yon can see. r_ How it's used.rOON CHIP TENS Gmt comprises a medium sized plastic case with several controls on the front panel. Chl Pk.111 I. .J 29 May \991 14:55:08 Fig. The sensation tends to decrease as time goes on and so tho output voltage may need to be gradually increased OVf>T tho period of one treatment. Pulse . tus Ch I Freq 221. .lS. :. in this case 5001lS/div.1CroSS the electrodes...You can adjust the peak voltage down to 12V d the frequency to as low as 2Hz. f. they cannot be used long-term without the risk of kidney and liver damage plus other side effects.5V 19J.UU:. aver form at a faster timebaso setting.. ChI Pk-Pk 80 V This description can be implified to a method which passes pu lses of electrical current through the skin via electrodes to stimulate the nerves below. The frequency is 221Hz. t ...2: this is the same pulss. ! t. 20 .1: this scope waveform shows the continuous pulse Irain across the electrodes.~train l1S in Fifl·l hnt at faster timebase ~tttn8. The pulse width can be altered frum 44)-200J. This stim ulation tends to praven transmission across the liens junctions uud su lh~ brain doss not receive the pain signal.:nlSQ7 12:5K:OO Fig.. These are now regularly used 0 hel p pain victims with a good success rate..1S.t..z shows the same ' .idely used hy physiotherapists and certainly has R high success rate on peoplu who approach it as a "high.7 Hz des. the pulse amplitude is SOV peak and the width i 1!JO~S. ou can adjust the peak voltage down to 12V and the frequency Y to as low as 2Hz. The alternative method to pain relief is with the U:.. :_ .... ~ 20v M200ms lon.. Fig.S/!> 1 AcQS ( .~ of a TENS Unit. The controls are generally adjusted unnl the tingling is just a little loa much for comfort.. The effectiveness ofTENS is to some extent dependent upon the willingness of the patient to believe that the treatment will work Tt is .BE IN CONSTAl\J and prolonged pain is a dreadful condltion and while analgesics can help.. An altsrnati ve suggestion of why the TENS unit ' . The accompanying oscilloscope waveforms show the signals that are produced by the TENS Unit.. the pulse width ami the pulse rate (frequency)..... V' • I i ..hort bursts of voltage once every second rather than a continuously pulsed signal. An intermittent control sets the TENS Unit to produce . . The Sn.. . J ~. ··f . TENS is an acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation.. come accustomed to the effect from the continuous mode.1 shows the continuous pulse train . 1\vo electrodes connect the TE)JS Unit via u lead and these are placed on the skin adjacent to the painful area The elec odes are readily available from most pharmaThe TENS Unit produces high voltage pu 1 ses which pRS" the current between the electrodes v18 the skin and stimulate the u deriving nerves. Fig. The controls adjust the output voltage.. technology" pain relief method.-Pk SO V Ch1 +Width 190. T o lekmml 500. the pulse amplitude is 80V peak and the wi dth is 190J. usuallv lasting 20 minutes or so. . Tek [ Run: 100k5/s Sample ---[r- lD6IiI ~. This mode is useful for long treatment sessions and wben hPl patient has ber . . rorks in relieving pain is that \ 10 strmularion produces endorphins which tire 8 natural pain killing :.... : . in this case SOOus/div.

I Ch1 Pk-Pk 80 \I 1.The .i. The resulting DC voltage is converted to a pulsed :. When the transistor is switched off. its gate (G) must be raised above the SOllee by several volts.u it is an lR2155 made bv International Rectifier Corporation ~ tho USA.3: this scope waveform shows the intnrmittent pulc. :is (be block. F4.2 Ilrfl turned on and off alternately. •••••• I I" • . It is described as a "high side sclf-osoil] a t· ing power \ilosfet/IGDT gate driver".n shows the circuit configura. Power from the 6V batten is switched to the circuit via si and the 100j.4.I. .ICl is the switchmode Controller. We can maintain a constant Vou for a varietv of loads by controlling Lhc amount of time Ql i. The charging current is shown as i1.tiV supply vlaD2 and the switched00 Q2 When pIll 5 goes low. 7 and 8 of the IR2155 are floating outputs which can be 'hift ·d to 600 volts above the pin 4 ground. In this exarnpln. VR3 and VR4 flet the Irequency and pulse width respectively. Th is gives short bursts of the pulsed signal. r. tho waveform consists of bursts of nine pulses every second but this can be varied. fig. This provides a DC output adjustable from below 9V up to 8(1V. Resi stor 'Rl and capacitor Cl aLpins 2 and :{ set the oscillator frequency find thn result is that Mosfets Q1 and lJ. a Block diagram The block diagram for the TENS Unit Is shown in Fig. usi ng VRl. and pin 8 is shilled to V!.2~s be ween on vlosfet turning off and tile other turning on. oscillator.4: t1ili. It comprises inductor Ll which. Q2 f'l INTElMlTTENl $2 Circuit details The full clrcuh Ior tho TENS unit is shown ill Fig. Ql pulls pin f) 1I[l1o Vsupp] .re!IUlting·nC~oltag8 ill converted to a pulsed signal using the switchmode oscillator. the stored energy in Ll is dumpod through diode DJ into capacitor Ct. with a typical "dead time" of 1.Fcapacitor decouples the supp1y.llpply plus the lS. Initially. Heart of the cirr.ion of the switching oscillator which modulates the output voltage of the step-up converter. The 6V supply from the battery L~ stepped up in the converter comprising ICl and T1.e ou1pul. diagram oftbe TENS circuit. M200ms t_ 12:57:07 19Jun 1997 Fig.3 shows the intermittent mode. The 6V supply from tho battery is stepped up in the converter comprising le1 and Tllo provide aDC output of up 10 8OV.BV across C2. is switched into circuit with $2 to gate the switching oscilla trrr. QI. width can be altered from 40·200~s.~ switched on. Diode pump Note that the voltage at the drain [D) of Q1 is greater than the supply voltage for the 1R215 5.ignal using the switchrnodo sister Ql from the V+ supply. Mosfel Q2 is switched on via R 1!u'iV signal at pi. ill our case WI'! are only using the circuit Lo switch up to 80V. In this case.l. the Vee supply to the Ie is set at about 15. This is achieved using diode pump consisting of diode D2 and capacitor C2..n 5 driving its gate.1AGE AOJUS· VIII FIIEQU!NCY VR3 WlillH VU PULSE SWITCHING OSClllATOR OUTP\JT TO eleC1RoD~S te2.onnected internally to pin 8 to swi c:h on Ql. turned off and pin 7 if.TekmmB SOD SIs f 1 Acqs 1 the amount of charge in Ll and lite load current between Vtlut and the ground supply. Q2 is .6V due to an int mal regulator and the current via R2 from Vsupply. is charged via iran- Fig. In addition. Fig. It is the ideal device where Mosfets or IGBTs need to be drlVI:ID in a variety of configurati ons. For Q1 to fully turn on. So the circuit bootstraps itself up lo whatever the Mosler driving voltage needs to be Pins 6. the waveform con ists of bursts of nine pulse every second. Capacitor cz now charges to the 15. An intermittent oscillator comprising IC4.-5 shows ho w the basic step-up convertor circuit operates. The actual voltage across C1 is dependent upon YO. it has a switching transistor aL pin 1 and a feedback input at pin 5.

for two reasons. DZ and (. ThA frequency of oscillation rate is set hy the . as depicted in Fig.. ~ .': 1he TENS circuit uses rel.tF capacitors via diode D1...EC"RODES OOTPtlT lN91.OOl~ capacitor at pin 3 anti the current flow through tho primary of Tl is limited by tli 0.!'! stored energy in Ll is dumped through dlode D1 into ca pacitor Cl. T:1 and diode D1 tu step up the battery voltage Loa maximum of 80\'. 'When the traru.6: this is 5~tching oscillator which modulates tho output voltuge of the step-up cooverter.A os +" ~ • VI .U.2 constitute a dloda pUlpp to boost the supply voltage to correctly switch Ql. 936 ~ 6V 11 T I lfDI 6 7 1 -'- -: . ':' S2: I 2 cosn UOUS ~leutimNT TENS UNIT Fig. Fig.220 resistor between pins 6 and 7 Current through T1'8 primary is switc ed uff when the voltage across th... . Firstly.. VR2 is adjusted 0 give 80V when 'VRI is at its maximum resistance.S.OOlr GOS jrk ':' '() 8 01 2JVWi 120 ':' Ie + '6VW! ~7\ ~ a 7 1N91A OA 10 IR21S5 TO B.l4ClAC63 10 VIWEO fROM &ClOW 5 vWv .5: this snows how the basic 1rtep-up converter circuit works. Inductor L1 is charged via transistor Q1 from the V+ supply. Fig. the maximum voltage allowed at pin 1 (the collector of the switching transistor within lflt l . resistor 'OWfl exceeds about 300mV.istor is switched o~ lb. Transformer Tl is used instead of a single inductor.. 'Ibis Hi modulated by the switchmude oscillator ICZ and Mosfuts Ql &: Q2 to drh'@ tho skfn electrodes. Vdtage feedback from VR1 and the 10kn resistor into pin 5 and trimpot VR2 sets the ntput volt!)I age. wo O.47j. The voltage induced into T1 's secondary when t 9 primary field collapses charges ..

+39. the 2. IC2's power is supplied via an LM334Z constant current source.6V plus or minus the zener diode tolerance.52 ~ M LEDl S1 e ~ r>. The second reason is so that the primary can .9V. \ vu @ . Diode D3 charges tho associated 4. is 40V.59:1 ratio between the primary and secondary of T't will ensure that the pin 1 voltage will be only 30.h"A aLLS 16V flATTERY) III j (S> +pl 0 Fig. Take care to ensure that all polarised parts are correctly installed. provide a supply for the salf-oscillat- ing Mosfet gale driver. The 680 resistor between the R and V- . This mechanism also limits the maximum voltage at pin 1of ICl to a diode drop above 39V due to D3i ie. IC2. IC3.8: the wiring details for the case and PC board.7JJF capacitor and the voltage across it is limited to +39V by zener diode ZD1. Since we want 80V.

Value 100kQ Inside the TENS unit is a battery-pow red circuit which produces up 10 80V DC. the 47M2 resistor and diad D5 and discharge it via the parallellOOkn rssislor. Q2 is switched on for the time set by the O. giving a pulse rate between 2Hz and 200Hz. This is pulsed by a pair of Mosfets to drive the electrodes.~:ls and low for 0.7 seconds. Ql can be regarded as controlling the pulse width of th~ output waveform while Q2 controls the pulse rate (ie.4V. Kote the three screws which are used as pillars to keep the hatte y holder in place. This gives a pulse waveform at pin 3 with an uneven duty cycle. 1 1 1 47kfl 18kn 10kQ 2. Ql and Q2 are 200V Mosfets 'which switch the voltage fram the two O.' .2kQ 1 1 0 .OOl!1F lEe Coda 470n 330n 100n 1nO EtA Code 474 334 104 102 pins of rC3 sets the constant current to lrnA. In more detail.3311F capacitor at pin .1J1F . VR3 adjusts this on-time between about 0. However. Q2 turn turns on to discha ge the capacitor ria the series 1500 resistor. the frequ ncy).pulses on the eloctrodes.4 7~ output capacitor via the series 150n resistor and the load resistance (which in this case iii e patient).. It op- erates A. an internal zener diode in IC2 rsguletes the supply voltage at its pin 1 to +15..J 3 1 1 1kn 180n 1500 o :J 68n 1211 brown black black orange brown yellow viole black red brown brown grey black red brown brown black black red brown red red black brown brown brown black black brown brown brown grey black black brown brown green black black brown blue grey black gold brown black red black goki brown . Ql is switched on for the time dura- tion set by potentiometer VR1. However. tho series 120 resistor and diode 04.:I and 11u resistance 1mtween pins 3 and 2 (of ICZ). the put. Intermittent mode lC4 is a 7555 CMOS timer which provides the intenni ent mode. The pulse width ranges between 40U5 and 200J!s. a free running oscillator but in a rather unusual configuration. The normal outp l at pin 3 is used to charge tho 10~ capacitor at pins 2 &: 6 vie.471lF capacitors to produce the requisite output. Putting it another way. and 5ms.- Resistor Cof~ur Codes's 4-8and Code (1%) brown black yellow brown yellow violet orange brown brown grey orange brown brown black orange brown red red red brown brown black red brown brown grey brown brown brown green brown brown blue grey black brown black red black brown .5s 11 • -. Each time Ql turns off.Capacitor Codes a 0 0 0 Value O. we don't lISC tb normal '< '.33!1F O. S-Band Code (1%) . As Rl' high for U..6V and so the maximum voltage cross lCf will be 39V • 15.47~ O. rC3 has a maximum voltage rating of 30V so it might seam that a voltage of 39V from ZDI could present a problem for thi current source chip._ 0 0 0 0 0 W No.6V = 23. Ql & Q2 constitute a" otem pole" output stage with Ql turning on to charge the 0.

0W PIIMARY ! 17T. An adhesive 4AAceils 1 3.PARTSUST 1 PC board. 95 x 185mm 1 TENS electrode set with lead (available from chemists) 1 EF25 ferrite transformer assembly with N27 (Siemens) or 3C80 (Philips) ungapped cores and horizontal mounting bobbin plus clasp and spring (Philips 2 x 4312020 3402 4. You CUll then wrap the windings in it few layers of insulation taue. 1N4148 diooes (03-05) CapaCitors 1 100).1 ~F 63\fW ~ KT polyester 1 . Make sure that the ICs and MosCats are correctly orientated when the l:l. on pin 5. (VR1) 1 2MQ linear pot.5mm-dia. 8.Smm die. enamelled copper wire Semlconductors 1 MC34063 D~DC converter (ICf) 1 IR2155 Mosiet driver (lC2) 1 LM334Z current source (IC3) 1 ICM7555CN.5mm phono panel socket 1100kn linear pol. code 04307971. it dis barges the 0. You can use tho accompanying resistor colour code table when soleering the resistors although it is UO no sood idea ache k each value wit n a digita. wire 10 pin 8 and winding on 17 turns in the direclion shown. The transformer is assembled by me . ·SEC:ONDAtv fltlSH . . The e are positioned at a 1 thu wiring points.22U 5W 31kn Fig.. Each time pin 7 onG4 pulls low.!}. The secondary is wound by solde ing R O. LMC555Cr~.lF 63VW MKT polyester Resistors (O. The electruiytic types must be oriented as shown and with the correct voltage rating. It is housed iu B plastic case measuring 188 x 9H x 37mm. Finish.-t.tF 16VW PC electrolytic 1 10). Construction The SIIJCO:-J CHIPTE~S Unit is built onto a PC board whirh is coded 04307971 and measu 'es 157 x 87m'Tl. 1 'Yo) output at pin 3 to modulal e rC2 . 188 x 98 x 37mm 1 adhesive label.5mm anaruelled copper wire and solder it to pin 1on the bobbin..F25VW PC electrolytic 2 10j.s".lF capacitor at pin 3 ofIC2 and this SlOpS IC2 from oscillating..33pF 63VW MKT polyester 1 0. 1 x 4312 021 2626 1 and 1 x 4312021 26121 and 1 x 4312 021 2619 1 or equivalent) (T1) 1 4 AA cell holder (rectangular) 1 battery clip for holder 1 300mm length red hookup wire 1 15Dmm length of twin wire rainbow cable 1 3. The pin 7 output is 9 Mosfet 'which is opfln r. TO·220) (Q1. . DlA &leu SECO~C>AR't: "·41. Both the primary and secondary are wound using o. Next. (VR3) 1 500n linear pol (VR4) 3 16mm 00 knobs with pointer marks 2 SPOT toggle switches (S1.. TLC555CP CMOS 555 t mer (IC4) 2 IRF610 N-channel Mosfets (or equiv 200V @>lA.5mm. making • ure t hat the 1N4936.t and the accompanying tabl shows the codes which m )' be on the }v11(T style devices to indica c their values.25W. Wind on 44 turns in the direction shown a rd terminate the end to pin 4.. o.4hlF 100VW MKT polyester 1 O. Tlris l)r vents any output to . Three of the rcs are a·pill Dlf' devices so don't mix thorn up when insta ling them.l. Insert 15 PC stakes first.' rcuit when pia 3 is high ami conducting when pin 3·~ low. 0.5 DI'" f~C:U plastic label measuring ss i 185mmis fitted to the lid of th B case.33J. Start by strippin~ tne end of the O.Q2) 1 39V 1W zener diode (lO1) 21 N4936 500V fast recovery diodes (01.install the fiv diodes. Repair these b&fore assembly The fulJ . 157 x 87mm 1 plastic case. Degin construction by checking the PC board for anv defects such as shorted tracks or "hairlim: breaks in the copper pellern.lF 16VW PC electrolytic 1 4.iring details are shO'\\"I1in the diagram of Fig.9: winding details fOT the transfor.7~FfJ3\fW PC electrolytic 3 0.he electrodes and i~ effective method an of modulation.nw r.5-metre length of O. PRWARY ST"'RT n WINDINGS VIEWED fROM BE1. enamelled copp~r wire. The winding details fur the transfonner are shown in Fig. we use lhe capaoitor discharge pin (pin 1). Mil used for D1 and D2.02) 3 1N914. Ne>. Higher voltage rated capacitors can be used.001J.2kn 1 O. iuscrt nod sold er in all the resis tors.•Instead. multimcter before it is installed..S2) 1 3mm green LED (LED1) 1 3mm LI:O bezel 15 PC stakes 3 small cable ties 4 sell-tapplnq screws to secure PC board 3 3mm x 2Dmm screws and nuts 1 60mm length of 3mm ID tubIng 1 200mm length yellow hookup wire 1 200mm length blue hookup wife 1 300mm length black hookup wire 1 200mm length green hooklJp wire 1 100~l 147kn 118kn 1 1 1800 11500 168Q 112fl 10kf2 1 2..'t'instaHed: The cape citors come ne .

we suggest using rechargeable nicad cells. Attach all these components to the lid ote that some pots with 10 g shafts may need to be cut to length before assembly. 80 that there can be a flow of • Electrodes must not be placed on the neck. Check that the voltage at pin IC2 is around . 30mA @ SOVoutanc16V input (frequency and pulse width at mid setting) . indication of the out- Specifications Output level Output pulse \'IIidth Frequency Intermltte. Follow the diagram ofFig. You should obtain about 7V'AC . Note that this is only an. We used some plastic sleeving ov r the screw threads to prevent scratchmg the holder Tb front pane] label can be affixed to rh~ Uti ofth.e case (the half with the brass thread inserts in as h comer) and the holes drilled for the two switches. rith all pots set tc ffiS\}(imnm whnn thp nrrntinuous mode is selected. war the transformer into the PC board with th orientation shown m Fig.15V tho pulse width pot lVR4) set fully clockwise r . you should measure about +4OVDC at pin 6. • Do n01 use the TENS Unit for headaches or attach the electrodes to the head.. Set the voltage pot VRi fully clockwise and adjust trimpot VR2 for a reading of +BOV. a cable tie ith to preve t the wir s from breaking at • This TENS Unit (or any o1her similar device) must not be~used on a person with a Heart Pacemaker.on and check that LEDl lights and that there is voltage on Q1's drain. The scope.B. Drill a hole in one of th end panels [or lhe output socket. • Do not be tempted to use the TENS Unit from a mains adaptor. the Srum LED bezel ana 'lIe three pots. With 1 of and continuous mode selected. If you want to reduce the cost of battery replacement.. the PC stakes. the output pulses can be oh- Warn·ng! sliding the cores into p aCBin the bobhln and securing them vith the supplied clip If 110 clips are supplied then you can secure the COTes ogether with a cable tie around the cora's perimeter. Connect yom multimetcx leads to the output socket and measure the voltage..aoV 4D-200t. the correct voltage cannot be ubluitutll... indicating th switching is taking place. Switch output can also be tes ad with a multim or SI I 10 read AC volts. plugpack or power supply. Pin 1 of the bobbin is adjacent to the O. Th battery clip is secured to the PC board v. If you have access to an oscilloserved to verity that the pulse ".. _ _ . Cable ties are 1\1"0 used to secure the wiring into a neat loom. Thasa locate the 4AA cell holder at the end offue case. This could be dangerous if a breakdown occurs in the isolating transformer.If vou are not able to obtain the correct voltage. since this can stimulate nerves which control breathing and blood pressure.'idtb I11U Ireque cy ara to specification.ts 2--220Hz 700rnl:i olf..47!1F capacitor furthest from diode Dl. check that the transformer is wound correctly. • Do not connect the electrodes to the body current through the heart. 2201llS un _ 6V _. To secure the battery holder. Testing Pit th batt ri us and connect a multimster (set ·0 the lOOV DC range] between the (-) terminal of the batter and the metal tab (drain) ofQ1. _.•_ _ _ 2. if tho primary and secondary are out of phase. ve used three zsmm-long smm screws and nuts in the positions shown near the transformer.nt rate Supply Voltage Current Consumption _ .8 to connect all the components on the lid to the PC board..

Fit. some multimeters may give diff('tTSnl readings With intermittent mode selected. The voltage will need 10 Using TE 1S Connect the electrodes to the TEKS unit using lho 2.\ smeared with K-Y* jelly (~trade mark the pulse rate and width fm' thfl d~ he wound up during treatment to compensate for the body's adaptation to the stimulation.5mm plug to 2 x 2mm probe lead as supplied with the alectrodesIf you wish to make your own leads.l [right): actual the size artwork for the front panel. Attach the electrodes in position on either side of the pain source. 1750). The intermittent selection is used where tho treatment period is long [normal lroatment ses-sions are typically for 20 minutes) or sired effect.10 [nbove):this Is th actual size artwork for the PC board. 0' OFF OUTPUT CONTINUOUS + POWER + + INTERMITTENT MIN MAX PULSE RATE PULSE WIDTH • o • • O_j LEVEL Fig. SC .ruT LtDl:. Wind the voltage up until sensation can be felt and adjust where the user finds th continuous effect to be waning.1. you should see the voltage changing from OV to a higher reading. (Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation) TE s put. Before switching on the TENS Unit be sure that the voltage is turned down to the minimum.refully against this pattern before installing any of the parts. The alectrndas 'lhnlllrl ht. Check yOUl' board ca. P- of Johnson & johnson Pacific) or salt water solution to provide a reliable skin conta t They can be attached 0 the skin using any of the variety of tapes used to secure wound dressmgs.. Further details on the TENS treatment techniques can be obtalned frorn your General Practitioner. Dick Smith Electronics (Cat. the 2mm probes are available from.

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