I am designing a circuit with a piezo buzzer. I want to use one that I can attach directly to my uC output pin (no transistor).

The question is, can I do it with this one? (PS1240P02AT) http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/84905.pdf

It says 4khz rectangular wave and 3V. But what about current consuption? Can I just add a series resistance around 200 ohm in order to limit the output current to a safe value?

Actually I am a little bit confused. I thought piezo buzzers do not need a PWM wave, only a "high" logic level and they sound, whereas piezo transducers do need the square signal. However, this one says piezo buzzer (without circuit) so I assume it is a piezo transducer. Is it right?

Thank you.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Look on page 6, there is the recommended circuit for the buzzzer. \$\endgroup\$
    – RSM
    Mar 9, 2015 at 13:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know, but I want to attach it directly to the uC. Maybe this one is not a good option. \$\endgroup\$
    – zapeitor
    Mar 9, 2015 at 14:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ It maybe possible to attach it to the output with the resistor then. There is a pic project powering one directly here \$\endgroup\$
    – RSM
    Mar 9, 2015 at 14:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Possibly hook up the buzzer on 3v and put a multimeter there in current mode and see the draw, if it is greater than GPIO ports allowed current then try a resistor to drop it. \$\endgroup\$
    – RSM
    Mar 9, 2015 at 14:49

1 Answer 1


They're passive, you have to create the signal yourself. "Without circuit" is the most obvious way to tell, but there are also the frequency response curves. If the device would have an internal oscillator the frequency would be fixed, and the graph be unnecessary.

Connecting the piezo directly to an I/O pin is the best way to get a loud sound, but piezo elements are highly capacitive, and microcontrollers don't like capacitive loads. A series resistor will protect the I/O pin, but also reduce the loudness. The best thing is to use a transistor to drive the buzzer.

For the loudest sound, look in the datasheet at the frequency response curve, and pick the frequency where it peaks the highest.


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