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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

DIY Digital Thermometer

This diy digital thermometer circuit can measure temperatures up to 150°C with an accuracy of ±1°C. The temperature is read on a 1V full scale-deflection (FSD) moving-coil voltmeter or digital voltmeter.

 How the digital thermometer works

Operational amplifier IC 741 (IC3) provides a constant flow of current through the base-emitter junction of npn transistor BC108 (T1). The voltage across the base-emitter junction of the transistor is proportional to its temperature. The transistor used this way makes a low-cost sensor. You can use silicon diode instead of transistor.

The small variation in voltage across the base-emitter junction is amplified by second operational amplifier (IC4), before the temperature is displayed on the meter. Preset VR1 is used to set the zero-reading on the meter and preset VR2 is used to set the range of temperature measurement.

Operational amplifiers IC3 and IC4 operate off regulated ±5V power supply, which is derived from 3-terminal positive voltage regulator IC 7805 (IC1) and negative low-dropout regulator IC 7660 (IC2). The entire circuit works off a 9V battery.

Assemble the circuit on a general-purpose PCB and enclose in a small plastic box. Calibrate the thermometer using presets VR1 and VR2. After calibration, keep the box in the vicinity of the object whose temperature is
to be measured.

Digital Thermometer Circuit Schematic