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EE 230 Final Design Project

Graded by :

Score :

Lab work done by :

Wing Yi Lwe Shir Linn Tan Wei Shen Theh


A signal can be transmitted from one end to another via infrared. Using a simple transmitter and

receiver, our goal was to transmit at least two signals at different frequencies. At the receiver

end, two different colored LEDs are set up to respond to their respective frequencies. The plan

was to build each separate circuits (transmitter and receiver) and test them out before putting it

all together. Block diagrams were drawn as a guide.



Only three voltage sources are allowed


The circuits should operate at a minimum of two feet between transmitter and receiver.


Trial 1


Two Wien Bridge Oscillator circuits were set up. A sketch of the oscillator circuit is shown

below. The first oscillator circuit was set up with values of R 1 and R 2 to 1 kΩ and C 1 and C 2 to

0.1 μF which resulted in a generated signal with a cut off frequency of approximately 1500 Hz.

Next, the second oscillator circuit was set up with values of R 1 and R 2 as 150 Ω and C 1 and C 2 as

0.1 μF which resulted in a generated signal with a cut off frequency of approximately 10,000 Hz.

(Note: The output frequencies were set to differ greatly from each other to avoid filters from

intersecting later on.)

(Wien Bridge Oscillator schematic) 2) Each oscillator circuit was connected to separate tactile switches before

(Wien Bridge Oscillator schematic)


Each oscillator circuit was connected to separate tactile switches before going through a non-

inverting amplifier followed by a transmitter diode.


An oscilloscope was used to test the frequency and amplitude of the produced signal wave.

The gain of the amplifier was increased based on the result of the oscilloscope to ensure the

signal is strong enough for the receiver diode to receive from a distance. Final settings showed

that the lower frequency had an amplitude of 27 mV while the higher frequency had a lower

amplitude of 14 mV.


The receiver was set up in a sequence of receiver diode, non-inverting amplifier, buffer,

bandpass filter, full wave rectifier, non-inverting Schmitt trigger comparator, and finally LED.

Both circuits shared the same receiver diode and amplifier. The receiver is set up as shown.

Both circuits shared the same receiver diode and amplifier. The receiver is set up as shown.

(Block Diagram of Receiver)

(Image: Actual schematic of receiver for one frequency. Second frequency is similar to this diagram

(Image: Actual schematic of receiver for one frequency. Second frequency is similar to this

diagram but different resistor and capacitor values for the bandpass filter.)


Each part was set up individually and tested to ensure they were functioning properly before

being assembled together.


The amplifier was initially set up to have a gain of 11 as higher gain might cause the wave to

be clipped.


For the red LED, the frequency range was set to be from 100 Hz to 1.5 kHz in order for it to

light up. For the green LED, the frequency range was set to be from 7 kHz to 15 kHz in order for

it to light up. Each bandpass filter was set to allow the given frequencies by calculating the

resistance after making the capacitance constant at 0.1 μF. Values of resistors used is listed in the

table below:

Estimated Frequency, f (Hz)

Capacitance, C (F)

Resistance, R (Ω)

Calculated Frequency, f (Hz)

















(: =


2 )


From the bandpass filter, each wave passed through separate full wave rectifiers before

going through the Schmitt trigger comparator.


The comparator controlled the lighting of the LED based on the received signal. The

comparator will produce a positive output if the input is higher than the predefined value.

10) The complete receiver circuit was assembled once each part had been confirmed to be

working correctly.

Observation and Discussion Test 1


Non-inverting amplifiers and comparators are used so as the signal is not flipped. Using

inverting amplifiers is fine as long as an additional inverting amplifier is used to flip the signal

back. An inverting comparator must be avoided as the result will differ greatly. It will result in

the exact opposite of our original design with the LEDs turning on when no signal is emitted

from the transmitter and not lighting up when a signal is transmitted.


A buffer is added in between the bandpass filter and the full wave rectifier to prevent the

voltage to split between the resistor of the filter and rectifier.


The filtered signals passed through the full wave rectifiers to produce a constant, DC-like

output. This will help the comparators to maintain its output voltage which in turn ensure the

LEDs glow brightly instead of constantly blinking. Without the full wave rectifier, the sinusoidal

wave will shift from positive amplitude to negative amplitude which in turn will cause the

comparators to produce positive and negative outputs alternatively. The LEDs will blink on and

off as a result. With a full wave rectifier, the input signal to the comparators will always have

positive amplitudes. Adding a capacitor parallel to the load resistor will further help smoothen

the input of the comparator as the capacitor will charge itself when the signal is at its peak and

release the charge as the signal amplitude falls.


A transistor was used instead of the receiver diode during our first test. We were not familiar

with a receiver diode and a quick Internet search showed a black component with three pins.

However, the only component we had with three pins was the transistor which was also foreign

to us. This result in a burnt transistor and the receiver circuit not working as designed. The

correct receiver is used to replace the burnt transistor. The negative end of the receiver is

connected to the V++ to draw in voltage while the positive pole of the receiver is connected

parallel to a 1 kΩ resistor, which is then connected to ground, and the receiver circuit (through

the amplifier). We redid the first test after replacing the receiver diode.


LED turned on and off unpredictably when DC input was supplied to the receiver circuit.

This is probably due to the existence of small voltage in the circuit as the op amps are real and

non-ideal. Addition of reference voltage to the comparators should curb this problem.


The case can also due to the bandpass filter frequencies intersecting with one another. This is

due to the LPF frequency of the red LED is too close to the HPF frequency of the green LED

(1500 Hz and 10 000 Hz). The filters do not cut off the signal immediately and work in an

increasing or decreasing gradient instead, hence, the situation. Another theory would be that the

receiver is picking up background noise frequencies. The only solution for this would be to move

to another location that has less background interference or amend the filters to exclude any

unnecessary frequencies.


The clear transmitter initially used is not transmitting signal as strong as expected. A blue

transmitter with higher rating is used to replace it.

Trial 2


Bandpass filters were switched to LPF (100 Hz) and HPF (7000 Hz) instead. This made the

circuit cleaner and in theory should not affect the outcome since there were only 2 different set

of frequencies. The HPF is cascaded with another HPF to obtain a second order HPF in order to

reduce the possibility of the linear regions of both LPF and HPF intersecting.


A constant reference voltage of +0.2V was added to the inverting end of the comparator to

counter the small, leaked voltage in the circuit as well as the background noise frequency.


The gain of the amplifiers before and after transmission were increased in order to obtain a

further range.

Observation and Discussion Trial 2


Green LED (higher frequency) randomly lights up when switch is turned on. Switch is

turned on and off repeatedly until the green LED no longer lights up at start.


When the lower frequency is transmitted, the red LED light up accordingly which is

according to our design. However, when the higher frequency is transmitted, both LED light up

at the same time. The LEDs maintained switched on even after the transmission had stopped.


Transmission signals and received signals are constantly tested with oscilloscopes. No

problems were found. One important observation is that the lower frequency tend to have a

higher amplitude than the higher frequency. This explained why the red LED turned on as well

when the higher frequency is transmitted. Even after being rejected by the HPF, the amplitude of

the frequency is still high and, after being further amplified, is strong enough to kick start the

comparator to light up the red LED.


Our hypothesis regarding the LED turning on unexpectedly and refusing to turn off is that

the constant reference voltage is not working well. Separate reference voltage should be applied

to the respective comparators instead of a constant value. This is also partly due to the lower

frequency having a higher amplitude than the higher frequency. Hence, the constant reference

voltage is removed to be replaced by a potentiometer that has the two side pins connected to the

V++ and ground respectively and the middle pin to the inverting pin of the comparator. The

potentiometer is tuned accordingly during the next experiment to find the best possible voltage

that work. This is also to ensure our design follows the parameter set by the instructor to

maintain only three voltage source.


The Schmitt trigger comparator can also be the reason why the LEDs remained on even after

the transmission had been terminated. The input voltage of the comparator might fall within the

unpredictable zone hence the comparator do not produce negative voltage immediately and turn

the LED off. This can be easily solved by removing the positive feedback and use a simple

comparator instead.


Upon further research, a peak detector was used to replace the full wave rectifier as it should

work similarly to the rectifier yet it was easier and cleaner to design.

Trial 3


The receiver circuit was deconstructed and started again from scratch.


A new approach was to build the receiver backwards from the LEDs to the receiver. That

way, tests can be conducted after each stage and easily track if the LED light up correctly.


Additional amplifiers of gain 10 is added after each filter to further increase the functional

distance between transmitter and receiver.


The Schmitt trigger comparator was switched to a simple comparator and the reference

voltage was replaced with potentiometers which were connected to the V++ and ground.

Observation and Discussion Trial 3


When a distance is fixed and the potentiometers adjusted correctly, the circuit now works

exactly as designed. The maximum distance we can go is about 2 inches.


We removed the buffer as it was not necessary in our final design and we ran out of

functioning op amps. Given the opportunity, we would prefer to have one in between of each

part in the receiver circuit.


The peak detectors is made up of a diode, that acts as a half wave rectifier, which is then

connected in parallel with a 1 F capacitor and a 100 kΩ resistor, both of which were connected to

ground, as well as the non-inverting pin of the comparator. The diode is to remove the negative

part of the sinusoidal wave. The capacitor will then charge itself when the wave is ‘climbing’ up

the peak and release the charge to maintain a stable voltage as the wave dropped from its peak.

Hence, a capacitor with large capacitance is required to maintain a more stable voltage. The

resistor is then used as a pull up resistor. The voltage will be pulled quickly into the comparator

with the help of the resistor.


With a simple comparator, the voltage output will immediately switched from positive to

negative output and vice versa. With the help of the adjustable reference voltage, this will ensure

the comparators produce a positive voltage when the input voltage is high enough and dropped to

a negative voltage once the input voltage fell. The adjustable reference voltage will also ensure

the comparators do not randomly produce positive outputs due to the leaked voltage within the



The current setting allows a maximum of two inches of space between the transmitter and

receiver. Any further increase in distance will result in the receiver not receiving sufficient

amplitude (even after a gain of ten times ten) to shift the comparator from negative output to

positive. The distance can be further increased by increasing the gain of each amplifier at the risk

of causing the signals to be clipped. The input voltage of +15V and -15V should not be increased

as the parameter of the LM 741 op amp clearly states that those are the limits of the op amp. The

op amp might burn if the input voltage exceed the limit.

Final design of project:

the op amp. The op amp might burn if the input voltage exceed the limit. Final


the op amp. The op amp might burn if the input voltage exceed the limit. Final


(Range of transmitter and receiver) Full diagram of circuit schematic:

(Range of transmitter and receiver)

Full diagram of circuit schematic:

(Range of transmitter and receiver) Full diagram of circuit schematic:


As this is our first official project, the experience itself had taught us plenty. We learnt

about the importance of attitude, solid foundation in technical knowledge, and perseverance in

order to complete the project successfully. Many tips and advices from our lecturer, Dr. Pandey,

and TAs really helped. Dr. Pandey’s advice to set up by parts and testing each part before

assembling the whole circuit is especially useful to us. Our attempt to debug the circuit during

our second trial proofed that we are still wet behind the ear and require more experience. Hence,

we deconstruct the whole circuit and started from scratch again for our third trial.

We are especially thankful to our lecturer, TAs, and fellow peers for their support and

willingness to share their knowledge. Gathering information from such a large pool of resources

enables us to come up with a design that is simple yet functional. Our lecturer is really kind to

offer consultation hours despite his busy schedule is also much appreciated. This project will not

come to fruition without his dedication to the cause.

Our initially target for this project is to be able to transmit the signal as far as two feet

away. However, we were only able to produce a final design with a much shorter distance of two

inches. This is really disappointing to us. Increasing the gain would probably help increase the

distance but there is the risk of clipping the signal instead. Increasing the gain would also mean a

recalculation for the reference voltage to counter the amplified signals especially when it comes

to the lower frequency that has a higher amplitude.

All in all, this is truly an eye opener for us. More reading will be required before we

attempt our next project but we are very positive that we will fare even better this time around.

This project can still be considered as a success as the circuit worked exactly as we design it sans

the distance issue.