Thursday, January 15, 2009

An electronic oscillator is an electronic device that produces a repetitive electronic signal, often a sine wave or a square wave. It works on the principles of oscillation, which is a periodic fluctuation between two things based on changes in energy. Computers, clocks, watches, radios, and metal detectors are among the many devices that use oscillators. A low-frequency oscillator (LFO) is an electronic oscillator that generates an AC waveform at a frequency below ≈200 Hz. This term is typically used in the field of audio synthesizers, to distinguish it from an audio frequency oscillator.

There are many types of electronic oscillators, but they all operate according to the same basic principle: an oscillator always employs a sensitive amplifier whose output is fed back to the input in phase. Thus, the signal regenerates and sustains itself. This is known as positive feedback. Oscillators designed to produce a high-power AC output from a DC supply are usually called inverters.