Home / How To / Build this 5Hz to 400KHz LED sweep signal generator from batches: 8 steps

Build this 5Hz to 400KHz LED sweep signal generator from batches: 8 steps

Build this simple sweep signal generator from easily accessible kits.

If you were looking at my latest Instructable Looking Front Panels, I might have avoided what I was working on at the time, which was a signal generator. I wanted a signal generator where I could sweep through the frequencies relatively easily (not just set and forget). Since I couldn't find anything cheap, I decided to split one myself and use building kits as a base.

The heart of the project is a signal generator set that is easy to get out of Ebay, Amazon etc. It is easy to build and customizable. There are four frequency ranges (5-50Hz, 50-500Hz, 500Hz-20KHz and 20KHz-400KHz), three types of output (Square, Triangle and Sine).

The calculator is another kit and counts from 1

Hz-75MHz with automatic distance and 4 or 5-digit resolution.

A pair of notes:

1. I didn't design these kits, I just built them as part of the project. They are easily accessible through most online stores (Ebay etc). That being said, if you have problems with parts, building etc. It is no use to contact me about it. Contact the seller you bought it from. I am happy to try to answer questions in relation to how I have used them in this building though.

2nd The frequency counter rate, while it says it will count from 1Hz to 75MHz, I did not find so. The slower the frequency became, the slower and larger the margin of error. If anyone knows of a better opposite, I'm glad to hear about it. As it was, this was the best I could come up with that will read lower frequency values ​​(Sub KHz)


ICL8038 5Hz – 400KHz Frequency Generator kit (Off ebay) about $ 12-13

1Hz -75KHz Frequency Counter Kit Kit (Off ebay) about $ 12-13

LED On / Off Switch (you can use whatever you want)

4 Gang Push Switches (usually comes as DPDT – it can be difficult to find out). You can use a rotary switch if you cannot find one.

1 DPDT pressure switch (I had singles from the matching thread switch)

4 Pots (2 @ 5KB, 1 @ 50KB) (I used a 50KB multi-turn precision pot for frequency adjustment)

3 BNC panel mounting contacts

DC panel mounting connector

1x large knob (fits 50mm pot)

Male / female PCB stand connector and plugs (different sizes)

Right angle PCB standoff connector

Brass shut-off (Various sizes)

Instrument case (the most expensive part of the project)! about $ 25

Ink jet white & clear paper


1 x 5.5 mm DC (signal generator board)

1 x 4 mm DC (measuring card)

Because I already have many of these things cost about $ 50 (2 rates plus one case), but can be higher if you do not have contacts, switches, knobs, switches etc.

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