This Wien bridge oscillator (after Max Wien, 1866– 1938) produces a low-distortion sine wave of constant amplitude, from about 15 Hz to 150 kHz. It requires just four opamps and will work off a single 9-volt battery. Also, unlike most Wien bridge oscillators, it does not require a dual-gang potentiometer for tuning. Op-amp IC2b provides an artificial ground so that the circuit will operate from a unipolar supply (9 V battery or power pack). IC2a is the main amplifier for the oscillator. The frequency range is divided into four decades by 2-pole, 4-way rotary switch SW1.
Only one arm of the Wien network is varied, but the change in positive feedback that would normally result is compensated for by IC1b, which works to bootstrap R2, thereby changing the negative feedback enough to maintain oscillation. A linear change in the resistance of the tuning pot results in a roughly logarithmic change in frequency. To get a more conventional linear change a log-taper pot is used wired so that rotating the knob anticlockwise causes the frequency to increase. You could use an anti-log pot the other way around if you prefer, but these things are notoriously hard to find.
IC1A is an integrator that monitors the amplitude of the output signal and drives an LED (D2). This must be mounted facing the LDR (light dependent resistor) and shielded from ambient light (for example, with a piece of heat-shrink tubing). IC1a is then able to control the gain of IC2a so that oscillation is maintained with minimum distortion.
The maximum output amplitude of the generator is about 2 Vp-p when the LED and LDR are mounted as close as possible. Distortion is less than 0.5 % in the lowest range, and too low for the author to measure in the higher ranges. Any LDR should work, provided its dark resistance is greater than 100 kΩ. If you do not have an LDR with such high resistance, try increasing R5 until oscillation starts. Breadboarded prototypes of the circuit were built by the author using dual and quad opamp packages, and both work equally well. The DesignSpark schematic and circuit board design files for this project are available for download from