Waveform Generation

I am looking to do a project where I create a device that outputs a bunch of different kinds of wave forms (sawtooth, triangle, square, sine, etc.)

The project is purely for fun and for learning purposes. I assume one could easily create any of those wave forms by just using a DAC and microcontroller to change voltage over time, but I am not sure if that is a roundabout or inefficient way.

Is there some way to create all these different wave forms using just analog circuitry?

Yes, with a few resistors.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Waveform-Generator/?ALLSTEPS http://fritzing.org/projects/arduino-simple-signal-generator

Well I could build a DAC equivalent using resistors, I could just as effectively buy a DAC chip that is addressable via I2C or SPI with much higher precision (12 bit for example).

I have a good bit of experience doing embedded software for micro controllers so that is not a problem. I just have never had formal training in electronics, so I have had to teach myself stuff in the past.

So I was really curious if there is some way to create a waveform generator other than a DAC (or R2R network). Maybe not, maybe a DAC is really the heart to a function generator.


Icl8038 (Intersil) For around a buck each unless in bulk.... off ebay.

Pro, for roughly a dollar and a few external components you have chip that produces a sine, square, triangle wave.

Con, the part is obsolete, so don't go commercial.

Ok cool sounds like a good part to accomplish some of my goals. If they are only a buck, I may as well get one off eBay to have.

Also you need a 15M pot. for that circuit. Have one hanging around? If not then AllElectronics sells them for $0.75. Shipping starts at $7.00 though, so might as well throw a few more things in the cart if you go that route. Anyone know where those 15M pots. can be bought for a lesser price including shipping?

Everything you needed to know about the intersil wave gen…

I noticed the circuit is more cut down.

I found one on eBay for like $1.00

It just seems odd to me that there is no more modern equivalent way to do this... or is the modern way simply to use a DAC?

wes000000: It just seems odd to me that there is no more modern equivalent way to do this... or is the modern way simply to use a DAC?

Of course there is.

Search for "precision waveform generator" on Google, every major manufacturer makes something.