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How to Build a Sine Wave Generator


Circuit with a Transistor

In this project, we will show how to build a sine wave generator with a single
transistor and a few other components such as resistors and capacitors.
Before, we've shown how to build a sine wave generator with a 555 timer chip.
Now we'll show how to do this without a chip, simply by using discrete electronic
components.
A sine wave generator is a circuit which can generate sine waves. This is the type
of waveform that comes out of household electricity outlets. This is the waveform
that you see in AC power.
Sine waves are also used a lot in acoustics. All different types of waveforms
produce different sounds, so sine waves is one of many that are used in acoustics.
To build one, with this circuit, you don't even need a chip. Instead, all we need is a
transistor and resistors and capacitors.
In this circuit, with the values listed, will build a sine wave generator that produces a

frequency of about 1KHz.


However by varying the resistors or capacitors, the frequency can be modified to a
higher or lesser level.

Components Needed
2N3904 NPN Transistor
3 1K resistor
2K resistor
12K resistor
3 100nF ceramic capacitors
220nF ceramic capacitor
470nF ceramic capacitor

The BC547 transistor is an NPN transistor. The datasheet for this transistor can be
found at the following link: BC547 NPN Transistor Datasheet.
You really could use any NPN transistor.
Apart from the transistors, all we need are resistors and ceramic capacitors.

Sine Wave Generator Circuit Built with a Transistor


The sine wave generator circuit that we will build with a transistor and resistors
and capacitors is shown below.

The breadboard circuit of the circuit above is shown below.

First and foremost, we use 9VDC of power for this circuit.


This circuit is composed of several subparts that make up the whole circuit. Each
part serves its own purpose for the function.
The 12K resistor in parallel with the 3K resistor provide biasing to the BC547
transistor, bringing the transistor to its working point. If you create a much higherfrequency signal and the transistor doesn't work, these values may need to be
modified.
Another component of the circuit is the frequency-dependent component. This part
of the circuit determines the frequency of the sine wave. This part of the circuit is
made up of the 3 1K resistors and the 3 100nF ceramic capacitors. These 6
components- 3 100nF ceramic capacitors and 3 1K resistors- determine the
frequency of the output sine waveform.
If you want to modify the frequency of the sine wave, then you would change
these components. These components form RC networks. The time constant of
the signal, = RC. So if you want the signal to have a longer time period, then you

would either increase the resistance or increase the capacitance. This decreases the
frequency. If you want the signal to have a shorter time period, then you would
either decrease the resistance or decrease the capaictance. Since the signal has a
shorter time period, it has a greater frequency.
With these circuit, it is recommended that you change all 3 capacitance values at
once or all 3 resistance values at once.
With the values as shown above, the frequency is just about at 1KHz.
If you wanted to increase the frequency, then you could just change all 3 100nF
capacitors to 10nF capacitors. If you want to increase the frequency more, you
could change the capacitors to 1nF. You can also change the resistors values to a
lower value, such as 500. You can just play around with the values and see how
the frequency changes in response.
The 470nF capacitor is a capacitor that takes the sine wave output signal and feeds
it back into the input. This keeps the oscillations going so that continuous
oscillations occur.
The 220nF capacitor acts as a coupling capacitor. It passes the AC signal through to
output but blocks the DC signal which is needed for power. Therefore, it doesn't
create DC offset with the AC signal.
And this is how a sine wave generator circuit can be built with a few simple
components.

Related Resources
How to Build a Square-to-Triangle Wave Converter Circuit
How to Build a Square-to-Sine Wave Converter Circuit
How to Build a Triangle Wave Generator Circuit with a 555 Timer
How to Build a Clock Circuit with a 555 timer
How to Build an Astable Multivibrator Circuit with Transistors
How to Build a Multivibrator Circuit with a 4047 chip (for astable mode operation)
How to Build a Voltage-Controlled Oscillator Circuit with a 4046 Chip
How to Build an Oscillator Circuit with a 7414 Schmitt Trigger Inverter Chip
How to Build a Ramp Generator with Transistors

How to Build a Voltage-controlled Oscillator with a 555 Timer Chip


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