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My college undergraduate electronics classes covered some analog design, and I'd like to further my knowledge and experience. What would be a good project that would require significant effort as far as research and learning new material? Ideally, the project, when finished, would also serve as evidence that I have analog design skills.

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Music ...

An analog synthesizer has a number of functional blocks -- voltage controlled oscillator, voltage controlled amplifier, mixer, envelope generator, filter with voltage control over the cutoff frequency, noise generator, analog multiplication

Power Electronics ... DC to DC converter, DC to AC converter, motor control

Audio .... Amplifier pre-amp

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    \$\begingroup\$ A whole synthesizer may be a bit much, perhaps a voltage controlled function generator whould be a start towards it, with a useful device at the end. You could then go on to a full synthesizer. \$\endgroup\$ – russ_hensel Jan 14 '10 at 14:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ A voltage controlled function generator would be an excellent project by itself. Great bench instrument. \$\endgroup\$ – jluciani Jan 14 '10 at 17:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Have a look at musicfromouterspace.com if you want schematics etc for full analog synths, etc. \$\endgroup\$ – Amos Jan 15 '10 at 9:50
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  • a log-amplifier (output voltage increases by V0 volts every time input voltage doubles)
  • an optical interrupter (put two LEDs on either end of a tube with a slot cut through it; put current into the transmit LED, amplify the current produced by the receive LED)
  • a thermocouple temperature reader (amplifier + cold-junction compensation + ADC)
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