Electronics > Beginners

Signal Generators ??

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I'm pretty new in electronics and very curious about signal generators.

I saw a lot of IC or equipments that are used as a signal generators.

I have a DS1307 and pin 7 is a square wave output signal ...

What are signal generators used for and when are they used in a circuit ?


The DS1307 is a real time clock device. This means that it will (once set) keep the current time. Generally, this will be used with a microprocessor so that the system will know what the correct time is when it reboots. Given that it is generally used with a microprocessor, the programmable square wave that the chip generates on pin 7 could be used for several things, but most likely (given the frequencies it outputs) it is designed to be timing pulses for serial communications. RS232 requires a regular clock, and that can be generated from this device if required.

For signal generators in general, they are used to stimulate circuits, for example testing filters, transformers and the like. Especially useful for testing a circuit when the correct input is not present.


A "signal generator" is generally referred to a piece of equipment that generates a wide ranges of frequencies with the possibility of varying the voltage and using different wave forms, it is generally used to test equipment and for experimental puposes. you could refer as "signal generator" to a section of a circuit that generates a signal that is used in the circuit although this is rare. Usually a digital circuit will have a clock generator which is a section of circuit that generates a square wave signal.

As a piece of test equipment you will not generally need one for a while if your a beginner and generally will be wanting an oscilloscope first.

For details see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal_generator, also see its references at the bottom of the page.

Thanks for all the replies..

So in a simple beginner terms, the signal generators is like those crystals that is supplying some frequencies to the IC ?

Yes, currently I hv no requirements to generate signals to test equipments :)


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