Voltage Inverter

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This simple circuit is a good solution to the powering a dual supply op amp from a single battery problem. The circuit simply takes a positive voltage and inverts it. It uses only one 555 timer and a few other passive components, so it doesn't add much in the way of size and cost to a project.


This is the schematic of the Voltage Inverter


Total Qty.
R1124K 1/4 Watt Resistor
R2156K 1/4 Watt Resistor
C113300pF 25V Ceramic Capacitor
C2147uF 25V Electrolytic Capacitor
C3110uF 25V Electrolytic Capacitor
C41100uF 25V Electrolytic Capacitor
D1, D221N4148 Silicon Diode
U11555 Timer
MISC1Wire, Board


  1. V+ can be anywhere from 4 to 16V. -V is one volt less than V+. So for -12V output, use +13V input. The maximum current output of the circuit is about 280mA, more than enough for a few op amps.
  2. For better regulation, a 79LOxx series regulator can be used.
  3. A zener diode may also be used to regualte the output voltage.
  4. Thanks to audioguru for correcting some errors in the original schematic. Read about it in this forum topic.

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Colin Mitchell
Voltage Inverter
Saturday, September 11, 2010 9:16:51 PM
The output current of this circuit is limited to less than 90mA as this is the maximum current capability of a 1N4148 signal diode.
Voltage Inverter
Thursday, June 03, 2010 9:43:05 AM
I have just made this circuit 12V in i was only seeing a max of -6V out. output oscillating from -3v to -6v, never stable. The circuit was powered for no more than five minutes and exsessive heat was drawn,left any longer i think the 555 would blown. i would not recomend this circuit, but by all means test it yourself.
Ali Bali
555 Voltage Inverter
Sunday, February 21, 2010 7:08:30 AM
The circuit operates as a free running AC Square Wave oscillator. Power is connected across pin's 4 +ve & 1 -ve. The output is then rectified i.e. converted to DC via D1 & D2 then smoothed via C3. For power line noise rejection, add a filter cap across the supply say 1000uf and a 0.1uf. This is a good common circuit for producing a -ve ref voltage from a +ve supply.
Voltage Inverter
Tuesday, January 19, 2010 10:11:48 AM
Eh guys can i know the o/p waveform of this circuit....
Voltage Inverter
Sunday, September 20, 2009 12:42:10 PM
Hey, I made this circuit because i need dual power supply for my op amp project. It works BUT the power supply line (+12 V line) now has noise inteference. can anyone give a hint why it happens?
Voltage Inverter
Monday, June 01, 2009 6:31:07 PM
Some of you who think that this is an inverter that steps up voltage (12v to 120v) should think twice. This is a VOLTAGE or "POLARITY" inverter, which means this circuit switches polarity!
Voltage Inverter
Thursday, March 26, 2009 12:37:20 AM
Ummmm, power input to the circuit is "V+". Vahid, 13V at 8 amps?!?!?! Damn. If you need about 1 amp, use an LM317. Excellant job on the documentation of the inverter, simple and to the point. Thank you!!!!!!
Voltage Inverter
Sunday, February 15, 2009 6:53:45 AM
Hi can you help me please. i have 30volt DC and i vant to convert it to 13.5 (8A). i need any circuit design that is helpful.
Voltage Inverter
Thursday, September 18, 2008 3:14:56 AM
where is the connection to power the circuit, sorry can't find it how will it operate without a supply? thanx
Liston of University of Cebu Computer Engineering Dept.(Philippines)
Voltage Inverter(explain)
Monday, August 04, 2008 4:41:28 AM
IC 555 there is only used for oscillation, to have an AC current and the output is connected to transformer to have a higher voltage.
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