Test Beeper For Your Stereo

The test beeper generates a sinusoidal signal with a frequency of 1,000 Hz, a common test frequency for audio amplifiers. It consists of a classical Wien-Bridge oscillator (also known as a Wien-Robinson oscillator). The network that determines the frequency consists here of a series connection of a resistor and capacitor (R1/C1) and a parallel connection (R2/C2), where the values of the resistors and capacitors are equal to each other. This network behaves, at the oscillator frequency (1 kHz in this case), as two pure resistors. The opamp (IC1) ensures that the attenuation of the network (3 times) is compensated for.

In principle a gain of 3 times should have been sufficient to sustain the oscillation, but that is in theory. Because of tolerances in the values, the amplification needs to be (automatically) adjusted. Instead of an intelligent amplitude controller we chose for a somewhat simpler solution. With P1, R3 and R4 you can adjust the gain to the point that oscillation takes place. The range of P1 (±10%) is large enough the cover the tolerance range. To sustain the oscillation, a gain of slightly more than 3 times is required, which would, however, cause the amplifier to clip (the ‘round-trip’ signal becomes increasingly larger, after all).

Circuit diagram:
Test Beeper For Your Stereo circuit diagram
Test Beeper Circuit Diagram

To prevent this from happening, a resistor in series with two anti-parallel diodes (D1 and D2) are connected in parallel with the feedback (P1 and R3). If the voltage increases to the point that the threshold voltage of the diodes is exceeded, then these will slowly start to conduct. The consequence of this is that the total resistance of the feedback is reduced and with that also the amplitude of the signal. So D1 and D2 provide a stabilizing function. The distortion of this simple oscillator, after adjustment of P1 and an output voltage of 100 mV (P2 to maximum) is around 0,1%. You can adjust the amplitude of the output signal with P2 as required for the application. The circuit is powered from a 9-V battery. Because of the low current consumption of only 2 mA the circuit will provide many hours of service.

Author: Ton Giesberts - Copyright: Elektor Electronics 2007
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