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ICL8038 Waveform Generator - Any Interest?

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I was doing a little organizing today - an effort closer to archeology than audio - and came across a jig containing an ICL8038 Waveform Generator IC (see atch). I didn't build it - I think I got it in a box of stuff at a Hamfest or estate auction in the late 1990's

I'm curious if anybody would like to possess this classic antique. Maybe display it with your '67 Mustang. Or your lime-green leisure suit. There seem to be some new-old-stock parts floating around at places like Futurlec and the asking prices are . . . well, I won't even say. It doesn't surprise me that they haven't sold out. Also a few east Asian vendors on E-Bay who claim to have zillions of the things available for pennies. (As my father-in-law the farmer once said, "Know the price of oats. If somebody offers to sell at a much lower price, find out if they've already gone through the horse.".)

It seems to be functional. I applied 12 volts DC from a wall-wart and got the waveform attached to the photo.

It's probably worth at least $10 to keep it in my own collection, and I'll estimate $5 to mail the whole assembly to a U.S. address so that might be a guide to what it will take to make me part with it. To be honest, I'm spooked by the thought of dealing with customs, etc, for shipping beyond the border.

Ancient History Lesson: In the 1970's and 80's the Intersil ICL8038 Waveform Generator was the basis for dozens of hobby projects and hundreds of commercial instruments. It could generate adjustable duty-cycle triangle, sawtooth, square, and (almost) sine waveforms from fractions of a Hertz to 100's of KiloHertz. The frequency could be swept or frequency modulated by an applied voltage, making it especially useful for frequency response testing.

It needed only a handful of external components to make a full-featured "Function Generator" and was the mainstay of "Benchtop Electronics Labs" used by hobbyists, schools, and design organizations. At one time I think there were several second-source manufacturers, and at least one "improved" design (the XR2206). To the best of my knowledge, all of these have been discontinued.



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I have both of those chips!!
They were great little chips and I used the XR2206 for many years as it was the only sinewave generator I had at the time.
I fact I just found my original prototype not to long ago.

The XR2206 has a lower THD rating than the ICL8038, But neither one of them being the greatest by today's standards.
Although still very workable and useful.
But the thing I really like about the ICL8038 is that it produces a sine, triangle and square waves all with a variable duty cycle.

The very first commercial signal generator I ever used was built around the ICL8038.

Eventually I plan on making them both work again strapped with some dividers and a PLL in order to make the frequency digitally programmable.

The XR2206 has wide range to it and I made mine mine go from 20hz to 20Khz in one range and 20Khz to 200Khz in another.
I just found a simple single opamp circuit that changes the frequency control from a current sourced control input as set by the resistor to a voltage controlled input.

Yes they have been discontinued many many years ago but the can still be found occasionally.
I am pretty sure that mine still work after 30 years although I have not got them out and messed with them yet.
I do know that my XR2206 still worked the last time I fired it up about 5 years ago.

While sorting out my chips the other day I had found my ICL8038 and I don't beleive that I ever powered it up as I had opted for the lower THD of the XR2206.
I keep all of my chips stored on black antistatic foam pads.


jer :)
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