Ultrasonic Dog Whistle

It's well known that many animals are particularly sensitive to high-frequency sounds that humans can't hear. Many commercial pest repellers based on this principle are available, most of them operating in the range of 30 to 50 kHz. My aim was, however, to design a slightly different and somewhat more powerful audio frequency/ultrasonic sound generator that could be used to train dogs. Just imagine the possibilities - you could make your pet think twice before barking again in the middle of the night or even subdue hostile dogs (and I guess burglars would love that!).

From what I've read, dogs and other mammals of similar size behave much differently than insects. They tend to respond best to frequencies between 15 and 25 kHz and the older ones are less susceptible to higher tones. This means that an ordinary pest repeller won't work simply because dogs can't hear it. Therefore, I decided to construct a new circuit (based on the venerable 555, of course) with a variable pitch and a relatively loud 82 dB miniature piezo beeper.

The circuit is very simple and can be easily assembled in half an hour. Most of the components are not really critical, but you should keep in mind that other values will probably change the operating frequency. Potentiometer determines the pitch: higher resistance means lower frequency. Since different dogs react to different frequencies, you'll probably have to experiment a bit to get the most out of this tiny circuit. The circuit is shown below:

Ultrasonic Dog Whistle Circuit diagram

Circuit diagram

Despite the simplicity of the circuit, there is one little thing. The 10nF (.01) capacitor is critical as it, too, determines the frequency. Most ceramic caps are highly unstable and 20% tolerance is not unusual at all. Higher capacitance means lower frequency and vice-versa. For proper alignment and adjustment, an oscilloscope would be necessary. Since I don't have one, I used Winscope. Although it's limited to only 22 kHz, that's just enough to see how this circuit works.

There is no need to etch a PCB for this project, perf board will do. Test the circuit to see how it responds at different frequencies. A 4k7 potentiometer in conjunction with a 10nF (or slightly bigger) capacitor gives some 11 to 22kHz, which should do just fine. Install the circuit in a small plastic box and if you want to, you can add a LED pilot light. Power consumption is very small and a 9V battery should last a long time. Possible further experimentation:

 I'm working on an amplified version of the whistle to get a louder beep. All attempts so far haven't been successful as high frequency performance tends to drop dramatically with the 555. Perhaps I could use a frequency doubler circuit - I just don't know and I've run out of ideas. One other slightly more advanced project could be a simple "anti-bark" device with a sound-triggered (clap) switch that sets off the ultrasonic buzzer as soon as your dog starts to bark.
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Variable Power Supply LM317

A truly timeless circuit. LM317 is a versatile and highly efficient 1.2-37V voltage regulator that can provide up to 1.5A of current with a large heat sink. It's ideal for just about any application. This was my first workbench power supply and I still use it.

Variable Power Supply Circuit diagram :

Variable Power Supply-Circuit diagram

Since LM317 is protected against short-circuit, no fuse is necessary. Thanks to automatic thermal shutdown, it will turn off if heating excessively. All in all, a very powerful (and affordable!) package, indeed.

Although LM317 is capable of delivering up to 37V, the circuit pictured here is limited to 25V for the sake of safety and simplicity. Any higher output voltage would require additional components and a larger heat sink.

Make sure that the input voltage is at least a couple of Volts higher than the desired output. It's ok to use a trimmer if you're building a fixed-voltage supply.

Problems :

Follow all the safety precautions when working with mains voltage. Insulate all connections on the transformer.

Possible uses :

Variable workbench power supply, fixed-voltage supply... Just about any possible application when no more than 1.5A is necessary.

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Simple Radio Wave Alarm

This simple circuit is sure to have the police beating a path to your door- however, it has the added advantage of alerting you to their presence even before their footsteps fall on the doormat.

Simple Radio Wave Alarm Circuit Diagram :



Notes :

  • The circuit transmits on Medium Wave (this is the small problem with the police). IC1a, together with a sensor (try a 20cm x 20cm sheet of tin foil) oscillates at just over 1MHz. This is modulated by an audio frequency (a continuous beep) produced by IC1b. When a hand or a foot approaches the sensor, the frequency of the transmitter (IC1a) drops appreciably.
  • Suppose now that the circuit transmits at 1MHz. Suppose also that your radio is tuned to a frequency just below this. The 1MHz transmission will therefore not be heard by the radio. But bring a hand or a foot near to the sensor, and the transmitter's frequency will drop, and a beep will be heard from the radio.
  • Attach the antenna to a multiplug adapter that is plugged into the mains, and you will find that the Medium Wave transmission radiates from every wire in your house. Now place a suitably tuned Medium Wave radio near some wires or a plug point in your house, and an early-warning system is set up.
  • Instead of using the sheet of tin foil as the sensor, you could use a doorknob, or burglar bars. Or you could use a pushbutton and series resistor (wired in series with the 33K resistor - the pushbutton would short it out) to decrease the frequency of IC1a, so activating the system by means of a pushbutton switch. In this case, the radio would be tuned to a frequency just below that of the transmitter.

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LM317-Variable DC Power Supply

LM317-Variable DC Power Supply Circuit diagram :

Variable DC Power Supply-Circuit Diagram

This power supply is based on the LM317 Variable Regulator. The input of the regulator needs to be around 28 Volts DC and it will output a DC voltage from 1.25vdc to 25 vdc. To adjust the output voltage simply turn the 5k ohm pot. The regulator will supply 1.5 amps of current.

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Regulated 12 Volt Power Supply

A basic regulated 12 Volt power supply.

Regulated 12 Volt Power Supply Circuit diagram :

Regulated 12 Volt Supply-Circuit Diagram

Note :

This circuit above uses a 13 volt zener diode, D2 which provides the voltage regulation. Aprroximately 0.7 Volts are dropped across the transistors b-e junction, leaving a higher current 12.3 Volt output supply. This circuit can supply loads of up to 500 mA. This circuit is also known as an amplified zener circuit.

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Pulse Charger for Reviving Tired Lead Acid Batteries

If you own a motorcycle, a motor home, a caravan, a lawn mover, a day cruiser or maybe a vintage car you must at some point had to write off a lead acid battery. When a battery is improperly charged or allowed to self-discharge as occurs during non-use, sulphate crystals build up on the battery's plates. The sulphate preventing the battery from being fully charged and therefore it is unable to deliver its full capacity. When trying to charge a battery in this state it only gets hot and looses water, the gravity of the electrolyte is not increasing to its normal “full charge” state. The only thing you do is killing the battery completely. If a battery has a resting voltage of at least 1.8 Volts/cell and no cells are shorted, desulphation of its plates can be done. This circuit is an add-on and part for a modification of a normal charger and it takes care of the sulphate problem.

Pulse Charger for Reviving Tired Lead Acid Batteries Circuit diagram:

Pulse Charger for Reviving Tired-Lead Acid Batteries-Circuit diagram

CAUTION:

Before you begin a project like this remember: mains voltage is dangerous so if you are not 100% sure of what you’re doing consult a friend who has the skills or, don’t do it at all !

The project: get hold of an old charger, big or small it’s your choice depending on the size of batteries you normally handle (bigger is better). There are some tricks to boost the performance if you need it. Start by ripping out everything except the transformer and the rectifier. Some older chargers are equipped with fin rectifiers, which have high voltage drop and must be replaced. Replace with a rugged bridge rectifier that can cope with the amperes. All wiring on secondary should be short and heavy wire. The rectifier should be bolted to the chassis to keep cool. If the charger have a high/low switch it’s a bonus, if not you can in some cases add a few turns of wire on the secondary winding. The circuit; a 14-stage ripple counter and oscillator IC 4060 produce a pulse, which is the heartbeat of the circuit. The pulse is feed to the 555 timer that deicide the length of the active output. With the switch you can select long or short pulse output. The output of the 555 timer triggers the zero-cross optoisolator triac driver MOC 3041 via a transistor. This gives the charger transformer a soft start via the triac and the snubber circuit. A small power supply is necessary for the circuit and consists of T1 a transformer 15V 0.1A secondary, a bridge rectifier, a regulator and two caps. Because this project include a charger that is (X) the outcome can differ in performance from one case to another. However this do not mean that your project doesn’t work, but the efficiency can vary. Some notes the snubbercap is a high voltage AC type (X) and the resistors on the mains side is at least 0.5W type. Use a triac that can take 400V+ and 10A+, I use BTA 25.600 but this is overkill in most cases. No PCB sorry!

How it works:

Well the short version. The object is to get the cell voltage high enough for the sulphate to dissolve without boiling or melting the battery. This is achieved by applying higher voltage for shorter periods and let the battery rest for a while. The pulses on short range is about 0.5s on / 3s off and the long pulse range is 1.4s on / 2s off. These times can vary depending on component tolerances. Start on long pulse and if you discover “boiling” (more than with normal charging) in the electrolyte switch to short puls. Don’t leave the process unattended, at least until you know how your specific version of this project turns out. I built ver.1 of this circuit some 10 years ago and have experimented with it but I’m sure someone can improve it further.

Good Luck! Ante
Ante135@hotmail.com

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