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tone control ic

This simple tone control can be used in may audio applications. It can be added to amplifers, used as a stand alone control module, or even built into new and exciting instruments. It’s one IC construction makes it a very compact circuit, as only a few support components are required. Plus, it does not use a dual power supply. This means that the circuit will run from 9V to 15V (although the bass will be a little weak at 9V). The circuit is by Robert Barg and originally appeared in the Think Tank column of the May 1998 issue of Popular Electronics.


Schematic for tone control


Part Total Qty. Description Substitutions
C1, C3, C5, C7, C15, C16 6 2.2uf Electrolytic Capacitor
C2, C6 2 0.05uF Ceramic Disc Capacitor
C4 1 0.22uF Disc Capacitor
C8, C10 2 0.015uF Ceramic Disc Capacitor
C9 1 100uF Electrolytic Capacitor
C11, C12, C13, C14 4 0.1uF Ceramic Disc Capacitor
R1, R4 2 10K 1/4W Resistor
R2, R5 2 33K 1/4W Resistor
R3, R6 2 4.7K 1/4W Resistor
R7 1 2.2K 1/4W Resistor
R8, R9, R10, R11 4 50K Linear Pot
U1 1 TDA1524A Tone Control IC
S1 1 SPST Switch
J1, J2, J3, J4 4 RCA Jacks Other connectors of your choice
MISC 1 Board, Wire, Knobs, 18 Pin Socket


  1. S1 is a contour control. Volume is controlled by R11. Balance is controlled by R10. R9 and R8 control bass and treble, respectivly.
  2. J1 is the left input, J4 is the right input. J2 is the left output, J3 is the right output.
  3. The circuit is designed to accept line level or mic level inputs. if you are going to be using a stronger signal, a voltage divider will be necessary to cut it down to proper levels.
  4. You can, of course, skip J1-J4 if you plan to integrate this circuit into another

stereo tube amplifier

The circuit is simple, yet is capable of excellent performance. I designed it specifically for use as an amplifier for the digital sound card in my computer. Audio input can be from any two-channel line level device such as a television, CD player, or VCR. It is of the tube type, using only 5 tubes total with no more than about 45 Watts power consumption from the outlet. It uses 3 types of tube 1 5Y3 GT vacuum rectifier, 2 6SF5 GT high-mu triodes, and 2 6K6 power beam amplifiers. These are all full-size octal type tubes which are commonly available today for between $3-5 each.


Schematic for tube amp


Part Total Qty. Description Substitutions
R1, R10, R13 6 2.2Meg Pot
R2 2 470K 1/2W Resistor
R3 2 1 Meg 1/2W Resistor
R4 2 220K 1/2W Resistor
R5 2 330 Ohm 2W Resistor
R6 2 220K 1/2W Resistor
R7 2 2.2Meg 1/2W Resistor
R8 2 1Meg 1/2W Resistor
R9 1 720 Ohm 20W Resistor
R11 2 33K 1/2W Resistor
R12 2 22K 1/2W Resistor
C1, C9 4 0.005uF 400V Capacitor
C2 2 0.05uF 600V Capacitor
C3 2 20uF 25V Electrolytic Capacitor
C4 2 0.01uF 400V Capacitor
C5 2 200uuF 400V Ceramic Disc Capacitor
C6, C7 2 15uF 450V Capacitor
C8 2 15uF 400V Capacitor
T1 1 117V Primary, 350VCT Secondary, 6.3V Secondary, 6.3V Secondary
T2 2 7600 Ohm Primary, 4 or 8 Ohm Secondary
SW1 1 SPST Switch
SP1, SP2 2 12″ or smaller, 4 or 8 ohm speakers
MISC 1 5 tube sockets, 2 RCA jacks, PC board or chassis, wire, knobs, etc.


  1. Email Weslee Kinsler with questions, comments, etc.
  2. The 6V6 GT tube may be substituted for the 6K6 to lower power requirements.
  3. C8 is for radio interference suppression and may be omitted.
  4. The 5Y3 GT tube should be mounted in a vertical position and be well ventilated. The 6K6 and 6SF5 tubes can be mounted in any position.
  5. Controls should have an audio taper.
  6. The power supply portion of this unit may be used for anything requiring 290-320v DC up to about 3 amps.
  7. The author has provided a link to an updated version of this circuit. The newer revision contains parts changes based on the author’s tinkering and experience with the circuit over the past few years.

sound level meter

This nifty sound level meter is a perfect one chip replacement for the standard analog meters. It is completely solid state and will never wear out. The whole circuit is based on the LM3915 audio level IC and uses only a few external components. This circuit can also be integrated into audio amp projects.


Schematic for sound level meter


Part Total Qty. Description Substitutions
C1 1 2.2uF 25V Electrolytic Capacitor
C2, C3 1 0.1uF Ceramic Disc Capacitor
R1, R3 2 1K 1/4W Resistor
R2 1 10K 1/4W Resistor
R4 1 100K 1/4W Resistor
R5 1 1M 1/4W Resistor
D1 1 1N914 Silicon Diode
Q1 1 2N3906 PNP Transistor
LED1-LED10 10 Standard LED or LED Array
U1 1 LM3915 Audio Level IC
MISC 1 Board, Wire, Socket For U1


  1. V+ can be anywhere from 3V to 20V.
  2. The input is designed for standard audio line voltage (1V P-P) and has a maximum input voltage of 1.3V.
  3. Pin 9 can be disconnected from +V to make the circuit use a moving dot display instead of a bar graph display.
  4. Thanks to help from the forum, this circuit has been improved from the original version to include a peak detector for a more stable and viewable output. This page has been updated with the new circuit.

fm radio ic

This extremely simple FM radio receiver circuit is made possible by the special purpose TDA7000 IC. It integrates nearly all the functions necessary to build an FM receiver needing only a few external capacitors and a tuning circuit. Using a simple active RC filter made of only a single inductor, a few resistors and a varicap, this FM receiver will pick up broadcast radio between about 88 and 108 MHz. The mono output signal can then be used to drive a set of high impedance headphones, or feed a power amplifier.


Schematic for the FM Radio


Part Total Qty. Description Substitutions
C1, C9, C12, C17 4 0.1uF Ceramic Disc Capacitor
C2, C4, C5, C6, C13 5 0.01uF Ceramic Disc Capacitor
C3 1 20pF Ceramic Disc Capacitor See Notes
C7, C15, C16 3 0.001uF Ceramic Disc Capacitor
C8, C10, C11 3 220pF Ceramic Disc Capacitor
C14 1 100pF Ceramic Disc Capacitor
C18 1 200pF Ceramic Disc Capacitor
R1 1 22K 1/4W 5% Resistor
R2 1 100K 1/4W 5% Resistor
R3 1 100K Linear Taper Pot
D1 1 Motorola MV209 Varicap VHF Tuning Diode
U1 1 TDA7000 FM Radio IC See Notes
L1 1 7 Turn Inductor (See Notes)
MISC 1 Board, Wire, Socket For U1, Case


  1. Unfortunately, the TDA7000 went obsolete a few years ago. The original version is made by Signetics (now Philips) and is getting a bit hard to find these days. There are, however, other options. Philips makes the TDA7010T which is a surface mount version. The TDA7021T is also available which includes stereo capability. They are electrically similar but are only 16 pin chips so you’ll need to compare the datasheets to build the circuit.
  2. The value of C3 is noncritical and can be between 10pF and 20pF. Minor adjustments to L1 may be required based on the value of C3.
  3. L1 is made by winding 7 turns of 24 AWG wire around pencil. Remove the pencil and then space the turns slightly.
  4. Frequency selection is via R3.

op amp radio

Here is a simple radio that is easy to build and inexpensive. In fact, you probobly have all the parts you need in your junk box. You’ll be suprised at the great reception with this little set.


This is the schematic of the Op Amp Radio


Part Total Qty. Description Substitutions
C1 1 Tuning Capacitor
C2 1 0.1uf Disc Capacitor
R1 1 10 Meg 1/4 W Resistor
D1 1 1N34 Germanium Diode
U1 1 741 Or Similar Op Amp
L1 1 “Loopstick” Antenna
MISC 1 IC Socket, Crystal Earphone, Wire, Antenna


  1. The antenna can be a piece of wire or a telescoping antenna. 18 inches is a good length for in the city.
  2. The tuning capacitor is a regular broadcast band tuning capacitor. I got mine from a junked AM radio. I got the loopstick antenna from that same radio.
  3. You can change L1 and C1 to recieve different bands (eg. Shortwave). To recieve shortwave, try this: Make L1 30 turns of 30 guage wire wound on a film can and make C1 a 10-365pf capacitor.
  4. Combine this circuit and the 8 Watt Audio Amp for a really neat radio.

one tube regenerative radio circuit

A regenerative radio works by feeding back a small amount of amplified output of the detector back into the input. Thus it achieves sensitivity far beyond what only a detector could alone. This simple regen radio uses a single tube as it’s detector and amplifier; the “Audion”. It’s a great first project for those wishing to bring back some nostalgia by building one of the first amplified radio sets. Built on a board using point to point wiring and a set of period headphones, it can be a great functional conversation piece.


Schematic for the One Tube Regenerative Radio Circuit


Part Total Qty. Description Substitutions
R1 1 50K Linear Taper Pot
R2 1 2.2 Meg 1/4W Resistor
R3 1 10K 1/4W Resistor
C1 1 250pF 100V Ceramic Disc Capacitor
C2 1 365pF Air Variable Tuning Capacitor
C3, C4 2 120pF 100V Ceramic Disc Capacitor
C5 1 0.1uF 100V Ceramic Disc Capacitor
V1 1 3A4 Audion Tube 3S4, 3Q4 (See Notes)
L1 1 30 Turns 26 AWG Magnet Wire (See Notes)
L2 1 80 Turns 26 AWG Magnet Wire (See Notes)
L3 1 20 Turns 26 AWG Magnet Wire (See Notes)
S1 1 SPST Switch
HEADPHONE 1 High Impedance Headphones (2K or Greater)
ANT1, ANT2 2 See Notes
MISC 1 Board, Wire, Sockets For V1, Case, Knob for R1, Clips for Antenna and Batteries




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