Performing Oscillator Experiments with PSLab

Using PSLab we can read the waveform generated by different Oscillators. First, let’s discuss what’s an Oscillator? An Oscillator is an electronic circuit that converts unidirectional current flow from a DC source into an alternating waveform. Oscillators can produce a sine wave, triangular wave or square wave. Oscillators are used in computers, clocks, watches, radios, and metal detectors. In this post, we are going to discuss 3 different types of Oscillators.

  • Colpitts Oscillator
  • Phase Shift Oscillator
  • Wien Bridge Oscillator

Colpitts Oscillator

The Colpitts oscillator produces sinusoidal oscillations. The Colpitts oscillator has a tank circuit which consists of two capacitors in series and an inductor connected in parallel to the serial combination. The two capacitors in series produce a 180o phase shift which is inverted by another 180o to produce the required positive feedback. The frequency of the oscillations is determined by the value of the capacitors and inductor in the tank circuit.

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Phase Shift Oscillator

A phase-shift oscillator produces a sine wave output using regenerative feedback obtained from the combination of resistor and capacitor. This regenerative feedback from the RC network is due to the ability of the capacitor to store an electric charge.

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Wien bridge oscillator

A Wien bridge oscillator generates sine waves. It can generate a large range of frequencies and is based on a bridge circuit. It employs two transistors, each producing a phase shift of 180°, and thus producing a total phase-shift of 360° or 0°. It is simple in design, compact in size, and stable in its frequency output.


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Mapping output waves from the Oscillator Circuits in PSLab Android app

To make PSLab Android app to support experiments related to read the waveforms received from the Oscillator we reused Oscilloscope Activity. In order to analyze the frequencies of the waves captured, we used sine fitting. Sine fitting function simply takes the data points and returns the amplitude, frequency, offset and phase shift of the wave.

The following is a glimpse of output signals from the Oscillators being captured by PSLab Android.


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