Dual-Channel Digital Volume Control Circuit Simulation

Ron Fredericks writes: In today’s post, I will demonstrate the value in using LTspice to simulate a complete circuit.

In several previous LTspice posts I described how to use the simulator as a test jig for single IC’s and gates. Each block in a circuit should be tested within LTspice before creating a multi-circuit simulation to verify performance against expected results. The test jig process included downloading a custom gate, IC, and spice code for the cd4066 bi-polar analogue switch from the yahoo LTspice user group, and the creation of my own 74LS193 pre-setable up/down counter from primitive logic gates. Ltspice is very flexible. Most discrete components are readily available in the library, with a great support group from on yahoo. There are a wide variety of spice and pspice models to important from many Internet sources as well..

The Circuit to Simulate

I came across this digital volume control circuit during a web search. The circuit seems to be fairly popular as it shows up in thousands of places on the web. I thought it would be a good place to start my investigation of digital volume control even though there are many industry specific chips out there to manage some of these functions as well as chips that offer much larger feature sets. With this circuit I hope to expand on the features to create new volume control and measurement circuits – perhaps while investigating the value in using an more advanced volume control chip.

This circuit could be used for replacing your manual volume control in a stereo amplifier. In this circuit, push-to-on switch S1 controls the forward (volume increase) operation of both channels while a similar switch S2 controls reverse (volume decrease) operation of both channels.
Here IC1 timer 555 is configured as an astable flip-flop to provide low-frequency pulses to up/down clock input pins of pre-setable up/down counter 74LS193 (IC2) via push-to-on switches S1 and S2. To vary the pulse width of pulses from IC1, one may replace timing resistor R1 with a variable resistor.

Operation of switch S1 (up) causes the binary output to increment while operation of S2 (down) causes the binary output to decrement. The maximum count being 15 (all outputs logic 1) and minimum count being 0 (all outputs logic 0), it results in maximum and minimum volume respectively.

The active high outputs A, B, C and D of the counter are used for controlling two quad bi-polar analogue switches in each of the two CD4066 ICs (IC3 and IC4). Each of the output bits, when high, short a part of the resistor network comprising series resistors R6 through R9 for one channel and R10 through R13 for the other channel, and thereby control the output of the audio signals being fed to the inputs of stereo amplifier. Push-to-on switch S3 is used for resetting the output of counter to 0000, and thereby turning the volume of both channels to the minimum level. — Sheena K. for electronicsforu magazine

Dual-Channel Digital Volume Control Circuit (click to enlarge)

The LTspice Simulation

The Circuit

Volume Controller Schematic in LTspice (click to enlarge)

The Simulation Results

LTspice Simulation Results (click to enlarge)

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