Electronic thermometer

Posted on Apr 20, 2012

An inexpensive electronic thermometer is capable of measuring temperatures over a range of from -30°F to +120°F. A diode-connected 2N3904 transistor used as the temperature sensor forms a voltage divider with Rl. As temperature increases, the voltage drop across the transistor changes by approximately -1.166 millivolts-per°F. As a result, the current at pin 3 of IC1, a 741 op amp with a gain of 5, decreases as the temperature measured by the sensor increases. A second 741 op amp, IC2 is configured as an inverting amplifier.

Electronic thermometer
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Resistors R5 and R6 calibrate the circuit. Calibration is also straightforward. When properly done, a temperature of - 30°F will result in a meter reading of 0 milliamps, while a temperature of 120°F will result in a meter reading of 1 milliamp. Divide the scale between those points into equal segments and mark the divisions with the appropriate corresponding temperatures. The calibration is completed by placing the sensor in an environment with a known temperature, such as an ice-point bath. Place the sensor in the bath and adjust R6 until you get the correct meter reading.

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