Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to Build an Oscillator

Without further delay, let's make what I like to call Master Control: our clock sources. I like to use the 40106 because you get 6 oscillators from one ic. You could also use a 4093 to make 4 oscillators; we'll look at that another time.
Essentially, we are creating an oscillator by connecting the output of each schmitt trigger (there are 6 on the 40106), back to the input. This creates a beautiful feedback loop. Add a pot and a cap and you have yourself a clock source that can be in the audible range to low frequency/LFO range.

  • Connect a capacitor between pin 1 and ground
  • Connect lug 1 to lug 2 of your potentiometer (use a bit of wire)
  • Run a length of wire to lug 3 and connect it to pin 1 of the 40106
  • Run another wire to lug 2 of the pot and connect it to pin 2 of the 40106
  • Pin 2 is your output, so add another wire here.  
Connect this output to a mixer or portable amp and you can twiddle away!  Use the data sheet to make sure you're wiring up everything correctly and build 6 oscillators if you like.  In lunetta building, you can never have too many :).  I have 8.

I recommend experimenting with the capacitor, which along with the pot, determines the frequency of the oscillator. Generally, I like to use 0.22uF, 0.47uF, 0.1uF for the audible ranges and 1uF to 10uF for the LFO. 

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