Review: Elenco FG-500 Function Generator

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Joined Jan 18, 2015
It provides sine, triangle and square waves, up to 1 MHz. The amplitude for sine and triangle wave is adjustable up to 2 Vpp. It is based upon the XR-2206 IC. The kit is obtainable from Carl's (

It is more of a toy than a serious instrument. Mine only goes up to 500KHZ. The 1 - 10 HZ ranges does not work. The fine frequency range is not linear at all. The produced wave is about 0.4 volts more negative than positive. The sensitivity of the amplitude control changes for each frequency range. If the control is moved outside the max 2 Vpp then the waves are clipped. For $40.00 it is OK.

It was a simple project, but I would not say it could be a very first project. The instructions are complete, step by step. However, there are no explanations of how things work. I would recommend, after soldering, but before putting the XR-2206 in, that one does a complete continuity test. Check each joint for conductivity. Then check neighboring joints for shorts. The kit includes everything needed, including knobs, battery clip and the case. All you need to provide is a 9v battery. The kit even provides solder, but it is the lead free kind. I used my own solder.

If you want to start from scratch, a radio operator has posted schematics on his website. His plan requires both an ATmega8 and an XR-2206, but it has an offset knob, plus a 7 seg display for frequency.

Does anyone know a source of kits for serious instruments?