Basic op amp properties and circuits

Operational amplifiers (op amps) compare 2 input signals, which determines the output. One input is referred to as the inverting input (-), and the other as the non inverting input (+). The output is usually fed back to one or both of the inputs in an attempt to equalize their voltages at all times.

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  • Very high gain. Without feedback the output naturally saturates with any voltage difference between inputs.
  • Inputs consume no current (other than very small leakage).
  • The op amp tries to keep the input voltages equal by changing the output voltage, which is normally fed back to one or both inputs, depending on what the circuit is intended to do.

Basic op amp circuits:

  • Comparator
  • Inverting amplifier
  • Noninverting amplifier
  • Supply splitter
  • Voltage follower
  • Current source
  • Schmitt trigger
  • Voltage controlled oscillator (VCO)
  • Difference amplifier
  • Integrator

There’s a lot of op amp models (part number) and variations out there. For example, the comparative component is an op amp that works better as a comparator than other op amps. There are also op amps that work better with single supplies than other op amps made for split power supplies.


Videos and diagrams covering op amps and their basic circuits:

I don’t have an actual split power supply so I have use one of the LM358 op amps that I have in some of my videos as it which works well with low voltage single supply sources.

LM358 low voltage single supply op amp non inverting comparator circuit with LED load

LM358 dual op amp voltage set to trimpot voltage using emitter follower aka common collector circuit

LM358 dual op amp positive feedback hysteresis schmitt trigger non inverting comparator circuit

Negative feedback reducing LM358 low voltage single supply op amp output gain

LM358 dual op amp output continuous ground short circuit multimeter current and voltage test

Op amp unity gain buffer amplifier using zener diode and CA3130 BiMOS IC video below. Click here to watch directly on YouTube!

CA3130 Op Amp unity gain amplifier zener diode voltage supply circuit diagram by electronzap electronzapdotcom
CA3130 Op Amp unity gain amplifier zener diode voltage supply circuit diagram by electronzap electronzapdotcom

741 Op Amp 8 Pin Dual In Line Package DIP basics by Electronzapdotcom of YouTube and Electronzap
741 Op Amp 8 Pin Dual In Line Package DIP basics by Electronzapdotcom of YouTube and Electronzap

UA741 op amp 741 voltage follower circuit for DC step by step build video below. Click here to watch directly on YouTube!

741 Op Amp Voltage Follower diagram by Electronzap Electronzapdotcom
741 Op Amp Voltage Follower diagram by Electronzap Electronzapdotcom

Unity gain voltage follower circuit made with 741 UA741 op amp for beginner learning electronics video below. Click here to watch directly on YouTube

Quick multimeter current measurements of electronics 741 op amp output short circuit protection video below. Click to watch directly on YouTube!

741 op amp turned into a virtual ground 0 volt reference point rail splitter circuit video below. Click here to watch directly on YouTube!

741 Op Amp Virtual Ground Rail Splitter Circuit diagram by Electronzap Electronzapdotcom
741 Op Amp Virtual Ground Rail Splitter Circuit diagram by Electronzap Electronzapdotcom

LT061 op amp alternating square wave generator prototype circuit powered by UA741 741 rail splitter Click to watch directly on YouTube!

TL061 Op Amp Prototype Square Wave Generator Circuit diagram by Electronzap Electronzapdotcom
TL061 Op Amp Prototype Square Wave Generator Circuit diagram by Electronzap Electronzapdotcom

TL061 op amp alternating square wave generator circuit voltage measurements video below. Click here to watch directly on YouTube!

TL072 dual op amp rail splitter and alternating square wave generator circuit step by step build video below. Click here to watch directly on YouTube!


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