Connect with us


Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], Nov 9, 2005.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. Guest

    How is a multivibrator different from an oscillator?
    Is it that a multivibrator generates square waves only (two-state)
    while an oscillator's output can be any periodic waveform (sine,
    square, triangle etc) ?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. Richard

    Richard Guest

    Yes, mutivibrators are switching circuits that produce square-wave outputs.
    The square wave output can be modified (integrated, differentiated,
    filtered) to produce different waveshapes. For instance, integrating a
    square wave results in a triangular wave.

    Oscillators generally produce sine waves, however, an astable (no stable
    state) multivibrator is a square wave oscillator.

    Another difference between oscillators and multivibrators is that, with the
    exception of the astable multivibrator, multivibrators require an input
    signal; oscillators do not.

    I hope this helps.

  3. If it's an astable multivibrator, then there's no difference. It's
    merely a type of oscillator, it generates a signal.

  4. A multivibrator is certainly a kind of oscillator. I think your
    distinction is a good one, but change "square waves" to "a pulse
    train", since there is no reason to expect a multivibrator to achieve
    a square wave output unless you have taken pains to make it do exactly
    that. Essentially any duty cycle is possible.
  5. Hello, John. Nice to see you're still imparting your invaluable wisdom
    to students of this most technically-challenging of hobbies.
    My 2p worth...
    A multivibrator is a form of (RC) oscillator, but one which by its
    very nature is guaranteed to self-start and produce a squarish
    waveform. Conventional LC oscillators require a noise shock and
    adequate positive feedback to get going. Then they'll ordinarily
    generate a sine wave.
    No doubt someone will find fault with that distinction, though. :-/
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day