Guide to Transistor Circuits (late 1950s) -- Contents and Intro


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Single-stage, R-C-coupled, common-base amplifier. Single-stage, trans former-coupled, common-base amplifier. Single-stage, R-C-coupled, common-emitter amplifier. Single-stage, transformer-coupled, common-emitter amplifier. Single-stage, R-C-coupled, common-collector amplifier. Single-stage transformer-coupled, common-collector amplifier. Multistage, R-C-coupled amplifier. Multistage, transformer-coupled amplifier. Push-pull output circuits. Phase inverters. Class-B loud speaker amplifier with conventional transistors. Class-B loudspeaker amplifier with power transistors. Class-A loudspeaker amplifier with power transistor. Complementary-symmetry power amplifier with conventional transistors. Complementary-symmetry power amplifier with power transistors. Single-stage low-noise preamplifier. Preamplifier with high-impedance input. Boosting transistor input impedance.


Broadcast-band rf amplifier and preselector. Single-stage, single-tuned 455-khz if amplifier. Two-stage, 455-khz if amplifier. 50-khz if amplifier. Transistors for high-frequency rf amplifiers.


Single-stage current amplifier. Single-stage current amplifier with fixed-resistance input. Cascaded p-n-p current amplifier. Cascaded p-n-p -n-p-n current amplifier. Single-stage, dc voltage amplifier. Cascaded dc voltage amplifier. Single-stage, power-type current amplifier. Two-stage, high-gain, power-type current amplifier. Alpha-beta conversion.


Single-frequency audio oscillator. Simple code-practice oscillator. Loud speaker-operating code-practice oscillator. Phase-shift audio oscillator. Step-type variable-frequency audio oscillator. Tuned, variable-frequency audio oscillator. 100- khz crystal oscillator. Self-excited 100- khz oscillator. High-frequency crystal oscillator. Self-excited rf oscillator. Wide-range rf oscillator. Multivibrator. Blocking oscillator. Light-powered oscillators. Oscillator operating notes.


Variable low-current dc power supply. Variable high-current dc power supply. Full-wave variable dc power supply. Light-duty dc voltage regulator. Heavy-duty dc voltage regulator. Light-duty constant-current adaptor. Heavy-duty constant-current adaptor. High-voltage dc-to-dc power supply.


Single-transistor broadcast receiver. Two-transistor broadcast receiver. Miniaturization of simple broadcast tuners. Regenerative broadcast receiver. Step-tuned diode-transistor broadcast receiver. Push-pull transistor broadcast receiver, Loop-operated diode-transistor broadcast receiver. Sun-powered broadcast receiver. Superheterodyne broadcast receiver. All-wave regenerative receiver. High-frequency cueing receiver.


Flip-flop. One-shot multivibrator. Pulse delay circuit. Simple co incidence circuit. Pulse inverter.


Sensitive dc relay. Ultra-sensitive dc relay. Sensitive switching circuit for light-duty contacts. Sensitive ac relay. Sensitive rf relay. Ultra-sensitive rf relay. Heavy-duty relay booster. Sensitized heavy-duty relay booster. Sound-operated relay. Light-operated relay. Photoelectric counter. Phototimer. Miniature-motor control. General-purpose radio control relay. Carrier failure alarm. Impulse counter.


Low-gain single-transistor dc microammeter. Zero-setting circuits for microammeter. High-gain dc microammeter. Supersensitive dc microammeter. Electronic dc voltmeter. Audio voltmeter-millivoltmeter. Milli volt adaptor for ac vacuum-tube voltmeter. Sensitizer for high-range dc milliammeter. TV antenna compass. TV field-strength meter. Bridge null detector. Sharply tuned null detector. Crystal-type sound marker generator. Audio signal injector. Crystal-type set aligner. Rf signal generator. Radio-frequency comparator. Heterodyne frequency meter. Sound-level [noise] meter. Af-rf signal tracer. "Grid"-dip oscillator. Low-frequency "grid"-dip oscillator. "Grid"-dip adaptor. Sensitive light meter.


Keying monitor. Phone monitor. Speaker-type dynamic microphone. Signal peaker (CW filter). Field-strength meter. Modulation monitor. CW transmitter. Conelrad receiver. Transistors in conventional amateur receivers.


Simple Geiger counter. Geiger counter with transistorized high-voltage supply. Phono oscillator. Wireless microphone. Photoelectric intrusion alarm. Transistorized 0.6-watt intercom. Hearing aid. Diode-type transistor power supplies. Safety diode for transistor circuits.

This online guide is based on the classic Gernsback book from 1957. Compare and contrast to how modern solid-state electronics have evolved.


APPLICATION of the transistor to electronic circuitry is a striking example of technological progress. Eight years prior to this writing [1956], very few knew how the transistor worked and some were openly skeptical of its future. Today, many people need transistor circuit information. They range all the way from the scientist and engineer to the casual experimenter.

This guide is a collection of practical transistor circuits, each of which has been tested by the author in his own laboratory. These circuits are presented with the expectation that they will save many hours of design time. As building blocks with values already worked out, they may be employed singly or (in systems) in combi nation with each other or with other circuitry. Slight modifications of component values will allow the reader to obtain results different from those originally intended. A study of the section headings will show that an effort has been made to cover a wide range of interests.

The circuits in this guide have been designed by many persons or are based upon their inventions. No claim is made or implied that they are of the author's invention. Transistorized circuits have be come so numerous that already their use is becoming "customary." That is, a certain circuit becomes so useful and commonplace (even as with vacuum-tube circuits) that eventually the originator's name is dropped, although no less respected.

No space is devoted to theory, except in occasional instances where it appears necessary for a clear understanding of the circuit under discussion. For a general treatment of the subject of transistors, the reader is referred to the author's book Transistors, Theory and Practice from the same publisher.

Several of the circuits have been taken from articles which have appeared previously under the author's name in various magazines.

These are listed as references at the end of each section so that the reader might explore the subject more extensively. For permission to use this material, the author is grateful to the editors of Audiocraft, Electronics, Popular Electronics, RADIO-ELECTRONICS Magazine, Radio & Television News and Tele-Tech & Electronic Industries.

-RPT, Los Angeles, Calif.


1. All resistances are specified in ohms, all capacitances in micro farads, unless labeled otherwise.

2. All resistors are 1/2-watt rating, unless labeled otherwise.

3. P-n-p transistors are shown in most of the circuits. N-p-n transistors having the same characteristics may be substituted, provided the battery connections are reversed as well as the connections of dc meters, electrolytic capacitors and photocells.

4. Where a ground (chassis) connection is shown with dotted lines, a ground might improve the circuit stability but cannot al ways be guaranteed to do so. The reader therefore should test the circuit with and without the dotted-line grounds. Results vary with different layouts and workmanship.

5. Use the exact component values specified. When the circuit is to be modified to suit individual requirements, wire it first according to the book and verify its operation against the author's representations. Then, undertake the changes.



Also see:

Transistor Circuits (1964)

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