Creating an oscillating waveform

Thread Starter


Joined Feb 5, 2008
I need to create an electrical signal that resembles the shape of a heartbeat pattern. I need it to carry 50-100W. I want to operate at 0V baseline. At t=0, I need a +5000V spike, immediately dropping it back to 0V, followed immediately by a -5000V spike, immediately returning to 0V. I want capability to repeat this cycle, varying the rest period between voltage spike pairs to generate an adjustable frequency between 40KHz and 1.5MHz.

I originally thought I would start with a +/- 12V signal and boost it to 5000V; I picked 12V because I planned on using an automotive coil to transform voltages from 12 to 5000V. However, since coils operate today in the magnitude of 25kV output, perhaps I could use a smaller input voltage to get the Vout in the 5000V range. I seem to recall the DACs I formerly used output 1-5V.

(I have a little experience with Process Control. It seems doable for me to use a computer and a lookup table, or subroutine to create an output waveform. It's been 20 years since I've done this sort of thing, and I can't remember exactly how to accomplish this)

Can anyone give me input on how to generate this waveform?

Can anyone direct me to a resource or tutorial that might be a good refresher for me?


Joined May 16, 2005
As a refresher tutorial, the eBook here at AAC is a spiffy resource. Links are at the bottom of this page.

I don't know of any DAC able to output 50-100W. You'll need a push-pull current amplifier between the DAC and your coil.