Automatic AC Power Switch

Electrical appliances accidentally left on  in (holiday) homes left unoccupied for a  short or a long period consume power  unnecessarily and can present a fire hazard. Everyone will be familiar with those  nagging thoughts, a few miles down the  road from the house: “Did I remember  to switch off the coffee machine? The  lights? The oven?”
Automatic AC Power Switch Circuit Diagram:
Switch Circuit Diagram

Hotel rooms are often equipped with a  switch near the main door which enables the power supply to everything in  the room only when the plastic card (which  might contain a chip or have a magnetic strip  or a pattern of holes) that serves as the room  key is inserted. The circuit idea given here  to switch off lights and other appliances is  along the same lines. The solution is surprisingly simple.

A reed contact is fitted to the frame of the main entrance door, and a matching magnet  is attached to the door itself such that when  the door is closed the reed contact is also  closed. To enable power to the house, press  S1 briefly. Relay RE1 will pull in and complete  the circuit for all the AC powered appliances in  the house. The relay will be held in even after  the button is released via the second relay contact and the reed contact (‘latching’ function).
As soon as the main entrance door is  opened, the reed contact will also open.  This in turn releases the latch circuit and  consequently the relay drops out. The  various connected appliances will thus  automatically and inevitably be switched  off as soon as the house is left. The circuit is principally designed for  small holiday homes, where this mode  of operation is particularly practical. Of course, for any circuit that deals in AC  powerline voltages, we must mention  the following caution.
shock hazard! Construction and connection of this circuit  should only be carried out by suitably-qualified  personnel, and all applicable electrical safety  regulations must be observed. In particular, it  is essential to ensure that the relay chosen is  appropriate for use at domestic AC grid volt-ages and is suitably rated to carry the required  current.
Author : Stefan Hoffmann – Copyright : Elektor

0-30 Volt Laboratory Power Supply

The linear power supply, shown in the schematic, provides 0-30 volts, at 1 amp, maximum, using a discrete transistor regulator with op-amp feedback to control the output voltage. The supply was constructed in 1975 and has a constant current mode that is used to recharge batteries.
0-30 Volt Laboratory Power Supply Circuit Diagram:
0-30 Volt Laboratory Power Supply Circuit Diagram

With reference to the schematic, lamp, LP2, is a power-on indicator. The other lamp (lower) lights when the unit reaches its preset current limit. R5, C2, and Q10 (TO-3 case) operate as a capacitor multiplier. The 36 volt zener across C2 limits the maximum supply voltage to the op-amps supply pins. D5, C4, C5, R15, and R16 provide a small amount of negative supply for the op-amps so that the op-amps can operate down to zero volts at the output pins (pins 6).

A more modern design might eliminate these 4 components and use a CMOS rail-to-rail op-amp. Current limit is set by R3, D1, R4, R6, Q12, R10, and R13 providing a bias to U2 that partially turns off transistors Q9 and Q11 when the current limit is reached. R4 is a front panel potentiometer that sets the current limit, R22 is a front panel potentiometer that sets the output voltage (0-30 volts), and R11 is an internal trim-pot for calibration. The meter is a 1 milliamp meter with an internal resistance of 40 ohms. Switch S1 determines whether the meter reads 0-30 volts, or 0-1 amp.
A more modern circuit might use a single IC regulator, such as the MC78XX, or MC79XX series, immediately after the half wave rectifier, to replace approximately 30 components, or at least a high precision zener diode to replace D10 as the voltage reference. The LM4040 is one such voltage reference and has excellent stability over temperature. IC regulators such as the MC78XX series may eventually become obsolete as newer IC regulators are designed, however, discrete transistors, op-amps, and zeners are more generic, have a longer production lifespan, and allow the designer to demonstrate that he understands the principles of linear regulated power supply operation.

Regulator for Three-Phase Generator

This regulator was designed for use with a  generator with a higher output voltage. This  type of generator can be found on some boats  and on vehicles for the emergency services.  They are really just an adapted version of the  standard alternator normally found in cars.  The field winding is connected to the 12 V  (or 24 V) battery supply, whereas the generator winding is configured for the AC grid  voltage (230 V or 115 V). This AC voltage now  has to be kept stable via the 12 V field winding. Although it’s perfectly possible to use a  switching regulator for this, we deliberately  chose to use the old and trusted 723. 

Regulator for Three-Phase Generator Circuit Diagram:

Regulator for Three-Phase Generator

The generator is a three-phase type, with the  field winding rated for 12 VDC. The output voltage of the generator depends on its revs  and the current through the field winding.  Since the output voltage is relatively high, it  is fed via opto-couplers to the 723, which is  used in a standard configuration.  The output is fed via driver T1 to two  2N3055’s, connected in parallel, which sup-ply the current to the field winding. In the prototype we used TLP620 opto-couplers. These are suitable for use with alternating voltages because they have two anti-parallel LEDs at the input. The regulation works  quite well with these, with the output volt-age staying within a small range across a wide  range of revs. 

However, the sensitivity of the two internal  LEDs can differ in this type of opto-coupler,  since it’s not always possible to ensure during  the manufacturing process that the distance  between each LED and the phototransistor is  exactly the same. For a more precise regulation it would be better to use two individual  opto-couplers per phase, with the inputs connected in anti-parallel and the outputs connected in parallel. 

In order to ensure that there is sufficient isolation between the primary and secondary side  you should make a cutout in the PCB underneath the middle of each opto-coupler. Instead of a BD136 for T1 you could also use  a TIP32 or something similar. For T2 and T3  it’s better to use a type with a plastic casing,  rather than a TO3 case.

Author : Jac Hettema – Copyright : Elektor

60W Guitar Amplifier

Bass, Treble, Harmonic modifier and Brightness controls Output power: 40W into 8 Ohm and 60W into 4 Ohm loads
This design adopts a well established circuit topology for the power amplifier, using a single-rail supply of about 60V and capacitor-coupling for the speaker(s). The advantages for a guitar amplifier are the very simple circuitry, even for comparatively high power outputs, and a certain built-in degree of loudspeaker protection, due to capacitor C8, preventing the voltage supply to be conveyed into loudspeakers in case of output transistors' failure. The preamp is powered by the same 60V rails as the power amplifier, allowing to implement a two-transistors gain-block capable of delivering about 20V RMS output. This provides a very high input overload capability.
60W Guitar Amplifier Circuit Diagram:

60W Guitar Amplifier

Amplifier parts:
R1__________________6K8    1W Resistor
R2,R4_____________470R   1/4W Resistors
R3__________________2K   1/2W Trimmer Cermet
R5,R6_______________4K7  1/2W Resistors
R7________________220R   1/2W Resistor
R8__________________2K2  1/2W Resistor
R9_________________50K   1/2W Trimmer Cermet
R10________________68K   1/4W Resistor
R11,R12______________R47   4W Wirewound Resistors
C1,C2,C4,C5________47µF   63V Electrolytic Capacitors
C3________________100µF   25V Electrolytic Capacitor
C6_________________33pF   63V Ceramic Capacitor
C7_______________1000µF   50V Electrolytic Capacitor
C8_______________2200µF   63V Electrolytic Capacitor (See Notes)
D1_________________LED    Any type and color
D2________Diode bridge   200V 6A
Q1,Q2____________BD139    80V 1.5A NPN Transistors
Q3_____________MJ11016   120V 30A NPN Darlington Transistor (See Notes)
Q4_____________MJ11015   120V 30A PNP Darlington Transistor (See Notes)
SW1_______________SPST Mains switch
F1__________________4A Fuse with socket
T1________________220V Primary, 48-50V Secondary 75 to 150VA
                  Mains transformer (See Notes)
PL1_______________Male Mains plug
SPKR______________One or more speakers wired in series or in parallel
                  Total resulting impedance: 8 or 4 Ohm
                  Minimum power handling: 75W
Circuit diagram :

Preamplifier Circuit Diagram

Preamplifier Circuit Diagram
Preamplifier parts:
P1,P2______________10K   Linear Potentiometers
P3_________________10K   Log. Potentiometer
R1,R2______________68K   1/4W Resistors
R3________________680K   1/4W Resistor
R4________________220K   1/4W Resistor
R5_________________33K   1/4W Resistor
R6,R16______________2K2  1/4W Resistors
R7__________________5K6  1/4W Resistor
R8,R21____________330R   1/4W Resistors
R9_________________47K   1/4W Resistor
R10_______________470R   1/4W Resistor
R11_________________4K7  1/4W Resistor
R12,R20____________10K   1/4W Resistors
R13_______________100R   1/4W Resistor
R14,R15____________47R   1/4W Resistors
R17,R18,R19_______100K   1/4W Resistors
C1,C4,C5,C6________10µF   63V Electrolytic Capacitors
C2_________________47µF   63V Electrolytic Capacitor
C3_________________47pF   63V Ceramic Capacitor
C7_________________15nF   63V Polyester Capacitor
C8_________________22nF   63V Polyester Capacitor
C9________________470nF   63V Polyester Capacitor
C10,C11,C12________10µF   63V Electrolytic Capacitors
C13_______________220µF   63V Electrolytic Capacitor
D1,D2____________BAT46   100V 150mA Schottky-barrier Diodes (see Notes)
Q1,Q3____________BC546    65V 100mA NPN Transistors
Q2_______________BC556    65V 100mA PNP Transistor
J1,J2___________6.3mm. Mono Jack sockets
SW1,SW2___________SPST Switches

  • The value listed for C8 is the minimum suggested value. A 3300µF capacitor or two 2200µF capacitors wired in parallel would be a better choice.
  • The Darlington transistor types listed could be too oversized for such a design. You can substitute them with MJ11014 (Q3) and MJ11013 (Q4) or TIP142 (Q3) and TIP147 (Q4).
  • T1 transformer can be also a 24 + 24V or 25 + 25V type (i.e. 48V or 50V center tapped). Obviously, the center-tap must be left unconnected.
  • D1 and D2 can be any Schottky-barrier diode types. With these devices, the harmonic modifier operation will be hard. Using for D1 and D2 two common 1N4148 silicon diodes, the harmonic modifier operation will be softer.
  • In all cases where Darlington transistors are used as the output devices it is essential that the sensing transistor (Q2) should be in as close thermal contact with the output transistors as possible. Therefore a TO126-case transistor type was chosen for easy bolting on the heatsink, very close to the output pair.
  • R9 must be trimmed in order to measure about half the voltage supply across the positive lead of C7 and ground. A better setting can be done using an oscilloscope, in order to obtain a symmetrical clipping of the output wave form at maximum output power.
  • To set quiescent current, remove temporarily the Fuse F1 and insert the probes of an Avo-meter in the two leads of the fuse holder.
  • Set the volume control to the minimum and Trimmer R3 to its minimum resistance.
  • Power-on the circuit and adjust R3 to read a current drawing of about 30 to 35mA.
  • Wait about 15 minutes, watch if the current is varying and readjust if necessary.
Technical data:
    35mV input for 40W 8 Ohm output
    42mV input for 60W 4 Ohm output
Frequency response:
    50Hz to 20KHz -0.5dB; -1.5dB @ 40Hz; -3.5dB @ 30Hz
Total harmonic distortion @ 1KHz and 8 Ohm load:
    Below 0.1% up to 10W; 0.2% @ 30W
Total harmonic distortion @ 10KHz and 8 Ohm load:
    Below 0.15% up to 10W; 0.3% @ 30W
Total harmonic distortion @ 1KHz and 4 Ohm load:
    Below 0.18% up to 10W; 0.4% @ 60W
Total harmonic distortion @ 10KHz and 4 Ohm load:
    Below 0.3% up to 10W; 0.6% @ 60W
Treble control:
    +9/-16dB @ 1KHz; +12/-24dB @ 10KHz
Brightness control:
    +6.5dB @ 500Hz; +7dB @ 1KHz; +8.5dB @ 10KHz
Bass control:
    -17.5dB @ 100Hz; -26dB @ 50Hz; -28dB @ 40Hz

Source : red circuits

Simple Acoustic Sensor

This acoustic sensor was originally developed for an industrial application (monitoring a siren), but will also find many domestic applications. Note that the sensor is designed with safety of operation as the top priority: this means that if it fails then in the worst-case scenario it will not itself generate a false indication that a sound is detected. Also, the sensor connections are protected against polarity reversal and short-circuits. The supply voltage of 24 V is suitable for industrial use, and the output of the sensor swings over the supply voltage range.

 Simple Acoustic Sensor Circuit Diagram:
Simple Acoustic Sensor

The circuit consists of an electret micro-phone, an amplifier, attenuator, rectifier and a switching stage. MIC1 is supplied with a current of 1 mA by R9. T1 amplifies the signal, decoupled from the supply by C1, to about 1 Vpp. R7 sets the collector current of T1 to a maximum of 0.5 mA. The operating point is set by feedback resistor R8. The sensitivity of the circuit can be adjusted using potentiometer P1 so that it does not respond to ambient noise levels. Diodes D1 and D2 recitfy the signal and C4 provides smoothing. As soon as the voltage across C4 rises above 0.5 V, T2 turns on and the LED connected to the collector of the transistor lights. T3 inverts this signal.
If the microphone receives no sound, T3 turns on and the output will be at ground. If a signal is detected, T3 turns off and the output is pulled to +24 V by R4 and R5. In order to allow for an output current of 10 mA, T3’s collector resistor needs to be 2.4 kΩ. If 0.25 W resistors are to be used, then to be on the safe side this should be made up of two 4.7 kΩ resistors wired in parallel. Diode D4 protects the circuit from reverse polarity connection, and D3 protects the output from damage if it is inadvertently connected to the supply.

Author:Engelbert Göpfert - Copyright : Elektor

Model Railway Short-Circuit Beeper

Short circuits in the tracks, points or wiring are almost inevitable when building or operating a model railway. Although transformers for model systems must be protected against short circuits by built-in bimetallic switches, the response time of such switches is so long that is not possible to immediately localise a short that occurs while the trains are running, for example. Furthermore, bimetallic protection switches do not always work properly when the voltage applied to the track circuit is relatively low. 

Model Railway Short-Circuit Beeper Circuit Diagram:

Model Railway Short-Circuit Beeper Circuit Diagram

The rapid-acting acoustic short-circuit detector described here eliminates these problems. However, it requires its own power source, which is implemented here in the form of a GoldCap storage capacitor with a capacity of 0.1 to 1 F. A commonly available reed switch (filled with an inert gas) is used for the current sensor, but in this case it is actuated by a solenoid instead of a permanent magnet. An adequate coil is provided by several turns of 0.8–1 mm enamelled copper wire wound around a drill bit or yarn spool and then slipped over the glass tube of the reed switch. This technique generates only a negligible voltage drop. The actuation sensitivity of the switch (expressed in ampèreturns or A-t)) deter-mines the number of turns required for the coil. For instance, if you select a type rated at 20–40 A-t and assume a maxi-mum allowable operating current of 6 A, seven turns (40 ÷ 6 = 6.67) will be sufficient. As a rule, the optimum number of windings must be determined empirically, due to a lack of specification data. 

As you can see from the circuit diagram, the short-circuit detector is equally suitable for AC and DC railways. With Märklin transformers (HO and I), the track and lighting circuits can be sensed together, since both circuits are powered from a single secondary winding. 

Coil L1 is located in the common ground lead (‘O’ terminal), so the piezoelectric buzzer will sound if a short circuit is present in either of the two circuits. The (positive) trigger voltage is taken from the lighting circuit (L) via D1 and series resistor R1. Even though the current flowing through winding L1 is an AC or pulsating DC current, which causes the contact reeds to vibrate in synchronisation with the mains frequency, the buzzer will be activated because a brief positive pulse is all that is required to trigger thyristor Th1. The thyristor takes its anode voltage from the GoldCap storage capacitor (C2), which is charged via C2 and R2.  The alarm can be manually switched off using switch S1, since although the thyris-tor will return to the blocking state after C2 has been discharged if a short circuit is present the lighting circuit, this will not happen if there is a short circuit in the track circuit. C1 eliminates any noise pulses that may be generated. 

As a continuous tone does not attract as much attention as an intermittent beep, an intermittent piezoelectric generator is preferable. As almost no current flows during the intervals between beeps and the hold current through the thyristor must be kept above 3 mA, a resistor with a value of 1.5–1.8 kΩ is connected in parallel with the buzzer. This may also be necessary with certain types of continuous-tone buzzers if the operating current is less than 3 mA. The Zener diode must limit the operating voltage to 5.1 V, since the rated volt-age of the GoldCap capacitor is 5.5 V.

Author : R. Edlinger - Copyright  : Elektor