EE 333x

SAWTOOTH WAVE GENERATOR
10/20/2016
Sebastian Roe
Joseph Wickner
Ashlyn Freestone
INTRODUCTION
The goal of this project was to inject a low DC voltage and output a 48 V DC sawtooth
wave from a circuit. We also wanted to be able to vary the frequency of the waveform.
In order to achieve this, we used 12 V from a triple output DC power supply, a 60 V DC
power supply, and built a circuit composed of an LM555 timer and power op-amp.
BREADBOARD DESIGN
To begin the project, we first researched the best ways to make a stable sawtooth
wave. In our first test, we used an astable multivibrator circuit from the TI LM555
datasheet shown below in Figure 1. Upon testing the output of the circuit, we decided
to pursue other means, since the output waveform was not a true sawtooth, but rather
a charge/discharge wave from the capacitor in the circuit.

Figure 1.
Moving forward, we decided on a different circuit design shown in Figure 2. This one
was designed specifically to generate a sawtooth wave. This type of oscillator has a
tunable frequency given from the equation

f OSC =

V cc−V Zener
RCV out

​ We
choose the value of ​C and ​Vout as 3.3 µF and 8 V respectively. We also added a

10 KΩ potentiometer for ​R to allow for varying the frequency. Figure 3 is the circuit built
on a breadboard.

Figure 2.

Figure 3.
Once the LM555 timer circuit was completed, the output was tested by supplying 12 V
DC from a triple output power supply. It was found in testing that if the potentiometer
was allowed to reach its maximum value the circuit would become unstable. This
yielded a non-usable signal. We were able to get a minimum oscillation frequency of
6.0768 Hz and a maximum oscillation frequency of 222.85 Hz as shown in Figure 4 and
5 respectively.

Figure 4.

Figure 5.
We also found in testing, that in order to maintain stable oscillations, we would have to
sacrifice the frequency range. We had initially hoped for a range between 30 Hz and 1
KHz, but this proved unstable. The reduced range is much more stable and allows for a
much cleaner output.
The non-inverting op-amp was breadboarded next to amplify the LM555 timer output
from 8 V to 48 V. In order to achieve this, we needed a gain of 6. We decided to use a

TI OPA549 power op-amp supplied with a 60 V DC power supply. This op-amp
requires a very steady supply voltage with low ripple. We accounted for this by adding
filtering capacitors on the supply rails. One 10 µF capacitor and one 0.1 µF capacitor.
Figure 6 shows the circuit with the TI OPA549 input connected to the output of the
LM555 timer.

Figure 6.
The voltage output of the 60 V power supply was set to around 54 V for the +V​cc​ supply
and 0 V for the​ –V​

cc​ supply of the TI OPA549 so as to avoid clipping the output. The
max supply voltage for the TI OPA549 is 60 V.​ ​From the completed circuit we were able
to get a minimum oscillation frequency of 6.0555 Hz and a maximum oscillation
frequency of 216.86 Hz as shown in Figure 7 and 8 respectively. We also reached our
goal of generating a 48 V sawtooth wave

Figure 7.

Figure 8.
Initially, we had planned to use one power supply. We wanted to use a voltage
regulator to step down 60 V to 12 V for supplying the LM555 timer. This proved to be a
challenge. We were able to construct a circuit with a regulator that could perform this
task, but the power dissipation proved too much. The voltage regulator was model
number LM317HV. We had issues with burning out the regulator and LM555 timers.
We decided that it would be better to use a triple output power supply to power the
LM555 timer, rather than risk damaging the circuit by using an underperforming
regulator. In future revisions of the circuit it would likely be a better to use a switched
mode power supply in Buck configuration to step down 60 V to 12 V.
PERF-BOARD LAYOUT
Our next step was to solder the circuit components onto a perf-board. At times this
proved to be difficult. Mistakes took far longer to fix on the perf-board than on a
solderless breadboard. During this phase we were also able to see some of the
potential issues that would arise when designing the PCB layout. Crossing traces was
the most obvious. We first soldered the LM555 timer circuit components onto the
perf-board to verify that part of the circuit was functioning correctly. Figure 9 shows
the LM555 timer circuit components.

Figure 9.
Figures 10 and 11 show the minimum and maximum frequency of the LM555 timer
circuit components. From this perf-board we were able to get a minimum oscillation
frequency of 6.2054 Hz and a maximum oscillation frequency of 268.02 Hz.

Figure 10.

Figure 11.
After verifying the LM555 timer circuit components worked correctly, we added the
remaining TI OPA549 components. Figure 12 is the finished perf-board design.

Figure 12.
Figures 13 and 14 show the minimum and maximum frequency of the completed
perf-board. We were able to get a minimum oscillation frequency of 6.2247 Hz and a
maximum oscillation frequency of 265.31 Hz. What was noticeable in all of the
oscilloscope pictures of the circuit was that at the maximum end of the frequency the
sawtooth wave has a slight discharge curve to it. At the minimum ends of the
frequency the sawtooth wave profile is clean and sharp. As the frequency increases we
lost some of this sharp profile. None-the-less, the outputted sawtooth wave is still
acceptable. We were very happy with the results. We also still reached our goal of
outputting a 48 V DC sawtooth wave after completion of the final perf-board design.

Figure 13.

Figure 14.
CONCLUSION
We plan to continue, and design a PCB for this sawtooth wave generator. The tests
that we have run so far have shown us that our circuit is functioning as intended
despite compromises. There are a few areas we could improve on with the design and
functionality. We are pleased with the final result and look forward to assembling the
circuit on a PCB.

Final Assembled Perf-Board Circuit with 60 V DC Power Supply

Parts List
1 x TI LM555 Timer
1 x MJE170G PNP BJT Transistor
1 x TI OPA549MKVC IC Power Opamp 900 KHz
1 x Heat Sink for Opamp
1 x 0.1 µF Ceramic Capacitor
1 x 4.7 µF 50 V Axial Electrolytic Capacitor
1 x 10 µF 50 V Radial Electrolytic Capacitor
1 x Diode 1N4001G 1 A 800 V
1 x Diode Zener 2.7 V 400 MW
1 x 2.2 KΩ Resistor ¼ Watt
1 x 10 KΩ Resistor ¼ Watt
1 x 51 KΩ Resistor ¼ Watt
1 x Pot 10 KΩ 1/5 Watt Plastic Linear
2 x Terminal Blocks
1 x 5 cm x 7 cm perf-board