Weird 555 Function Generator Uses Feedback

There are plenty of designs out there for sawtooth and triangle function generators, many of them using the humble 555 IC. Few are readily voltage controlled, making them difficult to work with using a DAC, though. Enter this useful design posted to EDN!

The nifty design allows both waveshape and amplitude to be controlled via voltage. You could hook up a couple of  potentiometers and call it done. Or, even better, you can control these parameters via PWM output from a microcontroller. Handy, no? It’s achieved by a fancy routing that sends feedback from the 555’s output pin to the CV input, instead of the usual design that uses the THR and TRG pins instead. The design also allows the production of both symmetrical and asymmetrical triangle waveforms, and as a bonus, the whole oscillator draws less than 4 mW of power.

If you’re looking for a nifty triangle/sawtooth generator that sits neatly in your otherwise-digital design, this could be for you. Or, you might like to explore the sheer mountain of other 555 hacks we’ve featured over the years. We even held a contest! If you’ve got new 555 hacks the world needs to see, don’t hesitate to drop them into the tipsline.