BJT Astable Multivibrators

Posted on Feb 4, 2014

The basic bipolar transistor (BJT) version of an astable multivibrator as shown in Fig. 4. 1. 1 has two outputs that repeatedly change state at a rate determined by the time constants of its feedback network. Although largely superseded by its equivalent op amp or timer IC versions in many applications, it is still a useful and flexible design for s

BJT Astable Multivibrators
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quare wave and pulse generation. The circuit switches continuously from one state (TR1 on and TR2 off) to the other (TR1 off and TR2 on) and back again at a rate determined by the RC timing components Cl/R2 and C2/R3. The circuit produces two anti-phase square wave signals, with an amplitude almost equal to its supply voltage, at its two transistor collectors as shown in Fig 4. 1. 2. Suppose that at switch on, TR1 is conducting heavily and TR2 is turned off. The collector of TR1 will be almost at zero volts as will the left hand plate of C1. Beause TR2 is turned off at this time, its collector will be at supply voltage and its base will be at almost zero potential, the same as TR1 collector, because C1 is still un-charged and its two plates are at the same potential. C1 now begins to charge via R2 and its right hand plate becomes increasingly positive until it reaches a voltage of about +0. 6V. As this plate of the capacitor is also connected to the base of TR2, this transistor will begin to conduct heavily. The rapidly increasing collector current through TR2 now causes a voltage drop across R4, and TR2 collector voltage falls, causing the right hand plate of C2 to fall rapidly in potential. It is the nature of a capacitor that when the voltage on one plate changes rapidly, the other plate also undergoes a similar rapid change, therefore as the right hand plate of C2 falls rapidly from supply voltage to almost zero, the...

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