Build Power Amplifier LM3876, Simply and Powerfull Power Amplifier

The chip on which the amplifier is based, a Type LM3876, is a member of the Overture family from National Semiconductor, All members of this family are pin-compatible and mutually interchangeable. They are typified by an internal protection (called SPIKE). In practice, the diftection ference between them is the power output. The series was described on the basis of the LM3886 in an earlier issue*.

The PCB has been designed so what it can accommodate the LM3876 (50W) as well as the LM3886 (150W). Because of this, pin5 of the IC on the board is connected to the positive supply line. This connection is not needed for the LM3876, since its pin5 is not (internally) connected (NC).

The IC is located at the side of the board to facilitate fitting it to a heat sink as shown in the photograph.

An important aspect for optimum performance is the decoupling of the unregulated supply lines by C 7-10. All earth connections go to a single terminal on the board.

Air-cored inductor L1 consists of 13 turns of 1mm dia. enamelled copper wire with an inner diameter of 10mm. The completed inductor is pushed over R7 and its terminals soldered to those of the resistor.

All electrolytic capacitors must be mounted upright. The amplifier can be muted with a single-pole switch connected to the MUTE input (pin8). This function is enabled when the switch is open. If muting is not required, solder a wire bridge across the mute terminals on the board.

Boucherot network R6-C6 is not normally required in this application, but provision has been made for it for use in other applications.

According to the manufacturers, both chips are optimalized for a load of 8 Ohm. The output power is lower when a 4 Ohm load is used or when the supply voltage is reduced. When a 4 Ohm load is used, the SPIKE protection becomes active when the supply voltage is about 27V, resulting a in a reduction of the power output to 10W. This means that it is not advisable to use loudspeaker with an impedance < 8 Ohm.

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Part list


R1, R3 = 1 k

R2, R4, R5 = 18k

R6 = see text

R7 = 10R, 5 Watt

R8, R9 = 22k


C1 = 2.2 uF

C2 = 220 uF, 160 V

C3 = 22 uF, 40 V

C4 = 47 pF

C5 = 100 uF, 40 V

C6 = see text

C7, C8 = 100 nF

C9, C10 = 1000 uF, 40 V


L1 = 0.7 uH - see text

Integrated circuits:

IC1 = LM3876T


Heat sink for IC1 < 1.5 K W-1

Single-pole switch - see text

Schematic and PCB Layout LM3876

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