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In this project heart rate monitor is designed with which we observe
the heart rate using oscilloscope. It is designed using LM2931 regulator and
negative feedback op amp which is constructed on a breadboard and tested
such that when finger is placed on heart rate sensor then the respective
heart rate signal is shown on the oscilloscope.

In this project, a circuit is designed that will allow to observe heart rate
using an oscilloscope. A sensor is used such that when a fingertip is lightly
placed on the sensor, a sinusoidal waveform representing a heartbeat is
displayed on the oscilloscope. This heart rate monitor is used in hospitals to
view a patient heart rate. This project describes a technique to measure
heart rate through fingertip. The circuit techniques used in this project are
common collector amplifier, common emitter amplifier and op-amp with
negative feedback. The schematic of the project is shown such that in order
to get the desired output we have to apply a voltage of 5V to the circuit. To
get 5V supply from a 9V battery we are using a regulator LM2931 which
converts 9V supply to 5V. If we use 9V directly to the circuit the sensor may
blow off causing the circuit to stop operating properly and also we may get
inconsistent output.

The circuit is executed in both hardware and software sections. In software
we use LT spice to perform operation and in hardware we execute it using a
breadboard. We give the 5V supply to the circuit which comes from LM2931
regulator with an input of 9V. In order to avoid inconsistent input we regulate
the voltage from 9V to 5V. A capacitor with 100uF is connected at regulator
output for the stability. We used 3 NPN 2N3904 diode connected transistors
as in Fig1 for getting dynamic resistance so that it can be applicable for
different ranges of skin tones. The skin resistance for dark colored people is
high compared to fair complexion people. The current gain of the emitter
follower is approximately of the transistor and the voltage gain is
approximately 1 due to the size of the transistor and in emitter follower
circuit as in Fig 2. The common collector circuit mainly acts as a buffer with

current gain. A gain of 20 is attained from common emitter with emitter

degeneration circuit. In final stage the circuit consists of an operational
amplifier TLC2274 which is another voltage gain stage. A gain of 100
attained from op amp circuit. The finger should be placed gently on the

Fig 1. Diode connected transistors

Collector circuit

Fig 2. Common

Fig 3. Common Emitter with Emitter Degeneration


Firstly, we should check for the output of voltage regulator is to be 5V.
Now we check the output of common emitter amplifier at collector with
emitter degeneration which should be above 2.8V. Now observe the output at
3rd pin of op-amp which should be same as the collector voltage. Now
observe the output at 2nd pin, it will be about 700mV and wait for the
capacitor to charge and voltage should be above 3V. Now place the
oscilloscope probe at pin 1 and place the finger tip on the sensor gently and
we can see the heart rate of the person on the oscilloscope is displayed.

Fig: Output waveform in oscilloscope.

The design of heart rate sensor is executed both in LT spice and in
breadboard. The signal generated was a heart rate of person in a certain
period of time. This heart rate sensor is simple and can be monitored easily.

1. Lecture Notes by Dr. Engel.
2. Topics amplifiers and negative feedback from the internet.