The Operational Amplifier is probably the most versatile Integrated Circuit available.

It is very cheap especially keeping in mind the fact that it contains several hundred components. The most common Op-Amp is the 741 and it is used in many circuits. The OP AMP is a ‘Linear Amplifier’ with an amazing variety of uses. Its main purpose is to amplify (increase) a weak signal - a little like a Darlington Pair. The OP-AMP has two inputs, INVERTING ( - ) and NON-INVERTING (+), and one output at pin 6.


The 741 integrated circuit looks like any other ‘chip’. However, it is a general purpose OP-AMP. You need only to know basic information about its operation and use. The diagram opposite shows the pins of the 741 OP-AMP. The important pins are 2, 3 and 6 because these represent inverting, non-inverting and voltage out. Notice the triangular diagram that represents an Op-Amp integrated circuit. 1. An inverting amplifier. Leg two is the input and the output is always reversed. In an inverting amplifier the voltage enters the 741 chip through leg two and comes out of the 741 chip at leg six. If the polarity is positive going into the chip, it negative by the time it comes out through leg six. The polarity has been ‘inverted’.

2. A non-inverting amplifier. Leg three is the input and the output is not reversed. In a non-inverting amplifier the voltage enters the 741 chip through leg three and leaves the 741 chip through leg six. This time if it is positive going into the 741 then it is still positive coming out. Polarity remains the same.

Resistor values - the resistor colour code Resistance is measured in ohms, the symbol for ohm is an omega . 1 is quite small so resistor values are often given in k and M. 1 k = 1000 1 M = 1000000 . Resistor values are normally shown using coloured bands. Each colour represents a number as shown in the table.

Resistance Color Coding

Most resistors have 4 bands: The first band gives the first digit. The second band gives the second digit. The third band indicates the number of zeros. The fourth band is used to shows the tolerance (precision) of the resistor, this may be ignored for almost all circuits but further details are given below.

This resistor has red (2), violet (7), yellow (4 zeros) and gold bands. So its value is 270000 = 270 k. On circuit diagrams the is usually omitted and the value is written 270K. Find out how to make your own Resistor Colour Code Calculator Small value resistors (less than 10 ohm) The standard colour code cannot show values of less than 10. To show these small values two special colours are used for the third band: gold which means × 0.1 and silver which means × 0.01. The first and second bands represent the digits as normal. For example: red, violet, gold bands represent 27 × 0.1 = 2.7 green, blue, silver bands represent 56 × 0.01 = 0.56 Tolerance of resistors (fourth band of colour code) The tolerance of a resistor is shown by the fourth band of the colour code. Tolerance is the precision of the resistor and it is given as a percentage. For example a 390 resistor with a tolerance of ±10% will have a value within 10% of 390, between 390 - 39 = 351 and 390 + 39 = 429 (39 is 10% of 390). A special colour code is used for the fourth band tolerance: silver ±10%, gold ±5%, red ±2%, brown ±1%. If no fourth band is shown the tolerance is ±20%. Tolerance may be ignored for almost all circuits because precise resistor values are rarely required


555 Timer Circuit

Actual pin arrangements (below)

The 8-pin 555 timer must be one of the most useful ICs ever made and it is used in many projects. With just a few external components it can be used to build many circuits, not all of them involve timing! A popular version is the NE555 and this is suitable in most cases where a '555 timer' is specified. The 556 is a dual version of the 555 housed in a 14-pin package, the two timers (A and B) share the same power supply pins. The circuit diagrams on this page show a 555, but they could all be adapted to use one half of a 556. Low power versions of the 555 are made, such as the ICM7555, but these should only be used when specified (to increase battery life)

because their maximum output current of about 20mA (with a 9V supply) is too low for many standard 555 circuits. The ICM7555 has the same pin arrangement as a standard 555. The circuit symbol for a 555 (and 556) is a box with the pins arranged to suit the circuit diagram: for example 555 pin 8 at the top for the +Vs supply, 555 pin 3 output on the right. Usually just the pin numbers are used and they are not labelled with their function. The 555 and 556 can be used with a supply voltage (Vs) in the range 4.5 to 15V (18V absolute maximum). Standard 555 and 556 ICs create a significant 'glitch' on the supply when their output changes state. This is rarely a problem in simple circuits with no other ICs, but in more complex circuits a smoothing capacitor (eg 100µF) should be connected across the +Vs and 0V supply near the 555 or 556 A diode is an electrical device allowing current to move through it in one direction with far greater ease than in the other. The most common kind of diode in modern circuit design is the semiconductor diode, although other diode technologies exist. Semiconductor diodes are symbolized in schematic diagrams such as Figure below. The term “diode” is customarily reserved for small signal devices, I ≤ 1 A. The term rectifier is used for power devices, I > 1


Semiconductor diode schematic symbol: Arrows indicate the direction of electron current flow. When placed in a simple battery-lamp circuit, the diode will either allow or prevent current through the lamp, depending on the polarity of the applied voltage. (Figure below)

Diode operation: (a) Current flow is permitted; the diode is forward biased. (b) Current flow is prohibited; the diode is reversed biased. When the polarity of the battery is such that electrons are allowed to flow through the diode, the diode is said to be forward-biased. Conversely, when the battery is “backward” and the diode blocks current, the diode is said to be reverse-biased. A diode may be thought of as like a switch: “closed” when forward-biased and “open” when reverse-biased. Oddly enough, the direction of the diode symbol's “arrowhead” points against the direction of electron flow. This is because the diode symbol was invented by engineers, who predominantly use conventional flow notation in their schematics, showing current as a flow of charge from the positive (+) side of the voltage source to the negative (-). This convention holds true for all semiconductor symbols possessing “arrowheads:” the arrow points in the permitted direction of conventional flow, and against the permitted direction of electron flow. Diode behavior is analogous to the behavior of a hydraulic device called a check valve. A check valve allows fluid flow through it in only one direction as in Figure below.

A reverse-biased diode prevents current from going through it, due to the expanded depletion region. In actuality, a very small amount of current can and does go through a reverse-biased diode, called the leakage current, but it can be ignored for most purposes. The ability of a diode to withstand reverse-bias voltages is limited, as it is for any insulator. If the applied reverse-bias voltage becomes too great, the diode will experience a condition known as breakdown (Figure below),

which is usually destructive. A diode's maximum reverse-bias voltage rating is known as the Peak Inverse Voltage, or PIV, and may be obtained from the manufacturer. Like forward voltage, the PIV rating of a diode varies with temperature, except that PIV increases with increased temperature and decreases as the diode becomes cooler -exactly opposite that of forward voltage.

Typically, the PIV rating of a generic “rectifier” diode is at least 50 volts at room temperature. Diodes with PIV ratings in the many thousands of volts are available for modest prices. REVIEW: A diode is an electrical component acting as a one-way valve for current. When voltage is applied across a diode in such a way that the diode allows current, the diode is said to be forward-biased. When voltage is applied across a diode in such a way that the diode prohibits current, the diode is said to be reverse-biased. The voltage dropped across a conducting, forward-biased diode is called the forward voltage. Forward voltage for a diode varies only slightly for changes in forward current and temperature, and is fixed by the chemical composition of the P-N junction. Silicon diodes have a forward voltage of approximately 0.7 volts. Germanium diodes have a forward voltage of approximately 0.3 volts. The maximum reverse-bias voltage that a diode can withstand without “breaking down” is called the Peak Inverse Voltage, or PIV rating.

Operational Amplifier LM741
General Description
The LM741 series are general purpose operational amplifiers which feature improved performance over industry standards like the LM709. They are direct, plug-in replacements for the 709C, LM201, MC1439 and 748 in most applications. The amplifiers offer many features which make their application nearly foolproof: overload protection on the input and output, no latch-up when the common mode range is exceeded, as well as freedom from oscillations. The LM741C is identical to the LM741/LM741A except that the LM741C has their performance guaranteed over a 0°C to +70°C temperature range, instead of −55°C to +125°C.

Connection Diagrams

Typical Application

Absolute Maximum Ratings
LM741A LM741 LM741C Supply Voltage ±22V ±22V ±18V Power Dissipation (Note 3) 500 mW 500 mW 500 mW Differential Input Voltage ±30V ±30V ±30V Input Voltage (Note 4) ±15V ±15V ±15V Output Short Circuit Duration Continuous Continuous Continuous Operating Temperature Range −55°C to +125°C −55°C to +125°C 0°C to +70°C Storage Temperature Range −65°C to +150°C −65°C to +150°C −65°C to +150°C Junction Temperature 150°C 150°C 100°C Soldering Information N-Package (10 seconds) 260°C 260°C 260°C J- or H-Package (10 seconds) 300°C 300°C 300°C M-Package Vapor Phase (60 seconds) 215°C 215°C 215°C Infrared (15 seconds) 215°C 215°C 215°C See AN-450 “Surface Mounting Methods and Their Effect on Product Reliability” for other methods of soldering surface mount devices.

ESD Tolerance (Note 8)




Schematic Diagram

The 2N3904 is a common NPN bipolar junction transistor used for general purpose low-power amplifying or switching applications. The type was registered by Motorola Semiconductor in the mid-sixties, together with the complementary PNP type 2N3906, and represented a significant performance/cost improvement, with the plastic TO-92 case replacing metal cans. It is designed for low current and power, medium voltage, and can operate at moderately high speeds. This transistor is low cost,widely available and sufficiently robust to be of use by experimenters.When looking at the flat side with the base pointed downward, the three wires emerging from the base are, left to right, the emitter, base and collector leads. It is a 200 milliamp, 40 volt, 625 milliwatt transistor with a transition frequency of 300 MHz, with a beta or current gain of 100 on minimum. It is used in a variety of analog amplification and switching applications.

transistor 2N3904

Electrically similar devices are available in a variety of small throughhole and surface mount packages including TO-92, SOT-23, and SOT223, with package-dependent thermal ratings from 625 milliwatts to 1 watt.

A 2N3906 is a complementary (PNP) transistor for the 2N3904. The 2N2222 is an NPN transistor that can safely switch three times as much current as the 2N3904 but has otherwise similar characteristics. Nevertheless, in many applications such as variable frequency oscillators where lower currents are used to minimize thermal heating and consequent thermal drift of the fundamental frequency, the greater current capacity of the 2N2222 gives it no advantage. The 2N3904 is used very frequently in hobby electronics circuits including home-made ham radios, code practice oscillators and as an interfacing device for micro-controllers.

NPN switching transistor

NPN switching transistor

Notes 1. Please consult the most recently issued data sheet before initiating or completing a design. 2. The product status of the device(s) described in this data sheet may have changed since this data sheet was published. The latest information is available on the Internet at URL 3. For data sheets describing multiple type numbers, the highest-level product status determines the data sheet status.