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100W LM3886 Parallel Stereo Power Amplifier
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011   •   Category: Amplifiers


This amplifier is based on the PA100 parallel amplifier detailed in National Semiconductor's application note - AN1192. Since my DIY speaker is 4-ohm and somewhat difficult to drive, I want to have a more powerful amplifier to match with it. Therefore I designed this amplifier which uses two LM3886 per channel, in parallel circuit. This amp can deliver about 50W into a 8-ohm speaker and 100W into a 4-ohm speaker. This is a stereo amplifier and therefore 4 LM3886s are used. The LM3886 circuit is in a non-inverted configuration, so the input impedance is determined by the input resistor R1, i.e. 47k. The 680 ohm and 470pF resistor capacitor filter network is used to filter out the high frequency noise at the RCA input. The 220pF C4 and C8 capacitors are used to shot out the high frequency noise at the LM3886 input pins. I used high quality audio grade capacitors at several locations: 1uF Auricap at the input for DC blocking, 100uF Blackgate for C2 and C6, and 1000uF Blackgate at the supply filter.


LM386 Amplifier
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011   •   Category: Amplifiers


This amplifier is very easy to make and very compact, works with a single power source whose value can be between 4V and 12V.It is based on the use of a type LM386 amplifier, capable alone to issue a power of several hundreds of milliwatts to a load (HP) of 8 ohms, while consuming only a few mA at rest. Ideal for make a small portable battery powered amp. The LM386 is a power amplifier designed for use in low voltage consumer applications. The gain is internally set to 20 to keep external part count low, but the addition of an external resistor and capacitor between pins 1 and 8 will increase the gain to any value from 20 to 200.The inputs are ground referenced while the output automatically biases to one-half the supply voltage. The quiescent power drain is only 24 milliwatts when operating from a 6 volt supply, making the LM386 ideal for battery operation.


DIY Water Usage Meter
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011   •   Category: Miscellaneous


Working with the interaction design team, a bunch of us at Teague have been tinkering with measuring water, analyzing usage data in realtime to affect behaviors, and storing it to see patterns over time. At the heart of the exploration was a need to cheaply measure water from the tap. Water meters vary quite drastically in price (from $250+ for industrial grade sensors to $6 for garden hose attachments that limit total usage based on rough estimates). We settled on a $20 water meter used for PC cooling systems (the INS-FM17N by Koolance) due to its accuracy, low price, small size, and electronic sensing method that could be easily measured by a microcontroller (such as an Arduino).


Motion Activated Camera
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011   •   Category: Miscellaneous


I made a relatively simple attachment to my Canon SLR to create a motion activated camera using Arduino. A lot of this was based on and inspired by the intervalometer project at The Honey Jar. I made some changes to his circuit to use a 4N35 optocoupler instead of reed relays.


Sine Wave Synthesizer
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011   •   Category: Miscellaneous


Every group wants their final project to be something that will be remembered long after they're gone. Some do highly sophisticated and complex projects that entail upwards of a hundred hours to complete. Yet others go out of their way to develop something 'cool' and 'fun'. Luke and I decided that we wanted to be in this second category, because developing something that's 'cool' would also be fun to do. So in deciding what to design we tried to think of something that would catch the attention of the people in the lab. The easiest way of doing this is to create something that would make noise or play music so everyone in the lab could enjoy it. Realizing this would be the best way to go, we decided to create a synthesizer that could record and playback notes, 'teach' the user how to play a simple melody, and also play some prerecorded tunes. After all, don't you think being remembered as the group that played back the Imperial March theme from Star Wars is cooler than a paper tape reader? (no offense to those groups doing paper tape readers)


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