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Project Notes

#495 Negative Feedback Amplifier

Examining the design and performance of an ac-coupled negative feedback amplifier constructed with BJTs.



Negative feedback is by definition the concept of using a fraction of the output to dampen the input. When designed appropriately, this can trade some gain for higher linearity and stability, and reduced sensitivity to component parameter variations.


The circuit design used here is based on a fairly common “Negative Feedback Amplifier Kit” (easily found on Aliexpress or eBay). It essentially a two-stage common-emitter amplifier with a feedback loop from the output of the final stage to the emitter of the first stage. NB: the circuit is exactly as covered in 10-5 Two-Stage Feedback of Electronic Principles by Albert Paul Malvino.

The feedback loop creates an AC voltage divider between the output and ground:

ve = RF1/(RF1 + RF2) . vo

Thus the negative feedback: the first stage output is reduced in proportion to an increase in the second stage output


See LEAP#389 TwoStageCommonEmitterAmplifier, for a similar two-stage CE amplifier but without feedback.

Breadboard Construction



Scope trace with a 1kHz 200mV peak-peak input and finely adjusted bias and feedback:

CH1 (Yellow): input CH2 (Blue): output


Protoboard Construction


Under test:


Scope trace with a 1kHz 200mV peak-peak input and finely adjusted bias and feedback:

CH1 (Yellow): input CH2 (Blue): output


Credits and References

Project Source on GitHub Project Gallery Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is just my personal collection of projects. Two main themes have emerged in recent years, sometimes combined:

  • electronics - usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting
  • scale modelling - I caught the bug after deciding to build a Harrier during covid to demonstrate an electronic jet engine simulation. Let the fun begin..
To be honest, I haven't quite figured out if these two interests belong in the same GitHub repo or not. But for now - they are all here!

Projects are often inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the many great electronics and scale modelling podcasts and YouTube channels. Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know (or send a PR!). See the individual projects for credits where due.