Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Nuxie FunGen Function Generator Case
After scoring a free oscilloscope on Craigslist, I decided to get a function generator to test it out. I narrowed my choices down to two kits: the Elenco FG-500K and the FunGen Function Generator by Nuxie1.com. Both seem to use the XR2206 Function Generator chip. The FG-500K kit produces sine, triangle, and square waves from 1Hz to 1MHz. The FunGen kit produces these same waves in the more limited range of 25Hz to 250kHz, but can be modified to output waves from 0.01Hz to 1MHz. Neither the Sparkfun website nor the Nuxie mention how this modification is done though. Since those limits aren't really a problem for me and because the Nuxie kit is about $15-$20 dollars cheaper, I placed an order for it at Sparkfun and waited patiently for its arrival.
After a couple of days, the kit arrived in a plastic bag with no schematics or build instructions. You can find these at Nuxie1.com, but it would have been nice to have a hard copy included for those of us with no printer--damn, I really need a printer! Also, one of the drawbacks of the kit is that it doesn't come with a case. Fortunately, though, with a couple of modifications it pairs well with the little acrylic case the Ipod Shuffle comes in. Luckily, I had one of these lying around!
To get it to fit nicely in the Ipod Shuffle case, I changed the little switches to toggles and the screw down terminals to binding posts. I also changed the supplied pcb mount 2.1 mm DC jack to a case mount one. Unfortunately, I ran out of toggle switches and was forced to solder the original power switch which I left on the "ON" position. I control the power by simply plugging and unplugging the power cable.
Overall I think it came out pretty good considering I used a sharp screw, a Swiss Army Knife, and a hammer drill to make the holes in the case--damn, I need a printer and a Dremel! Anyway, I am satisfied with my purchase. Although I haven't played with it that much, I am sure it will be a handy piece of equipment as I further my studies in electronics and continue to build more circuits. You can see more pictures of it here.