FM Generation using 555 Timer

FM Generation using 555 Timer

In communication systems, Frequency Modulation (FM) is the process in which information (message signal) is transmitted over a carrier wave by varying its instantaneous frequency. The difference between instantaneous frequency and central frequency of the carrier will be directly proportional to the instantaneous value of the amplitude of message signal. 555 Timer wired in Astable Mode can be used for generating Frequency Modulated (FM) waves. Please read the article Astable Multivibrator using 555 Timer for more details about the circuit. In astable multivibrator we don’t use the 5th (Control Voltage) pin of 555 but here we fed the message signal to this pin which results in the variation of frequency.

Circuit Diagram

FM Generation using 555 Timer - Circuit Diagram

FM Generation using 555 Timer – Circuit Diagram

8th and 1st pin of the 555 are used for giving power, Vcc and GND respectively. 4th pin is the Reset pin which is a active low input, since it is tied to Vcc. When the output is high, capacitor C1 charges to Vcc through R1 and D. When the output is low, capacitor discharges through resistor R2 and 7th of the IC. This charging and discharging time periods determines the time period of output. Message signal is fed to 5th (Control Voltage) pin of the IC through a coupling capacitor and the output can be taken from the 3ed pin of the IC.


I hope that you read the working of Astable Multivibrator using 555 Timer. Central frequency or Carrier frequency of the generated FM can be determined from the expression, fo = 1/(0.693RC), where R = R1 = R2 and C = C1.

When an input voltage (say V)  is given to Control Voltage pin, the upper and lower comparator reference changes to voltages V and V/2. So when the capacitor voltage becomes less than V/2, output becomes high and the capacitor starts charging to Vcc through resistor R1 and diode D. When the the capacitor voltage becomes greater than V, output becomes low and the capacitor starts discharging through resistor R2 and 7th pin of the IC. So the time period is proportional to the input voltage V. So as V increases, time period of the output wave increases and when V decreases time period of the output wave decreases.


Output - FM Generation using 555 Timer

Output – FM Generation using 555 Timer


  •  fo = 1/(0.693RC), where R = R1 = R2 and C = C1
  • Coupling capacitor C3 is designed in such a way that it can couple the input message signal.

You can use our 555 Astable Multivibrator Calculator in the bottom of the article Astable Multivibrator using 555 Timer for easy calculations.

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Comments (27)

  • abhay


    May 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm
  • Ligo George

    I think you need external antenna.. It depends on the frequency of carrier..

    May 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm
  • Abhay

    ok…can i directly connect an antenna at pin3

    May 30, 2013 at 11:09 pm
  • Abhay

    And is there any way to make a Demodulator(receiver) using 555???

    May 30, 2013 at 11:11 pm
  • Ligo George


    May 31, 2013 at 2:03 pm
  • Ligo George

    No, you can’t make a demodulator using 555..

    May 31, 2013 at 2:04 pm
  • r

    @ Abhay – will the 555 oscillate in the 88 to 108 Mhz range ?

    October 18, 2013 at 12:48 am
  • Ligo George

    But we can produce frequency modulation….

    October 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm
  • Jessica

    Is there a way to convert the modulated square wave to a modulated sinusoidal wave?
    Can you use a sharp low pass filter?

    November 23, 2013 at 1:46 am
  • Ligo George

    That is not a good idea…. For generating frequency modulated sine wave.. you should try a different circuit……. Use a sine wave oscillator with.. a varactor diode..

    November 23, 2013 at 12:21 pm
  • nader

    but how demodulate this signal ?

    December 28, 2013 at 7:34 pm
  • Ligo George

    Try using any fm demodulators..

    December 29, 2013 at 9:10 pm
  • DKC

    what is the maximum carrier frequency we can generate using 555

    February 3, 2014 at 2:55 pm
  • galbatron

    its 42 its always 42

    July 17, 2014 at 6:17 am
  • krishna

    please tell me variable frequency or not. if it is variable please tell me range

    March 26, 2015 at 11:53 am
  • Ligo George

    yes.. variable frequency.

    March 29, 2015 at 11:18 am
  • Aditya

    Given the formula for oscillating frequency, by varying the values of R and C, it’s possible to get f in range of 88 to 108Mhz right?

    November 10, 2015 at 7:46 pm
  • Aditya

    Can the input signal be smaller than 5V p-p??

    November 10, 2015 at 7:55 pm
  • Ligo George

    Check the frequency limits of 555.

    November 21, 2015 at 2:17 pm
  • Ligo George


    November 21, 2015 at 2:18 pm
  • mario

    lo arme igual que el diagrama y no logro conseguir la modulacion de FM, que frecuencia y amplitud debe tener la senl moduladora?

    November 24, 2015 at 11:49 am
  • Ligo George

    Please give me more details like the following.
    1. Input Voltage
    2. Input Frequency
    3. How are you checking the output etc..

    December 19, 2015 at 3:16 pm
  • mohsin

    ya u can give 4 volt also

    January 16, 2016 at 12:33 pm
  • mohsin

    what will be the frequency of modulation so i tuned my moble radio …sir!

    January 16, 2016 at 12:34 pm
  • Ligo George

    It should be in the Range 88 to 108MHz, but 555 will not work on that range.

    January 24, 2016 at 1:17 pm
  • M

    Shouldn’t frequency be 1/(0.693*2*R*C)? The period is 2*0.693*R*C (As we are first charging and then discharging through the RC).

    August 8, 2017 at 8:34 pm
  • Today's Progs

    Hi there, thank you for the project but I have a problem
    I made the circuit correctly and used the right capacitors and resistors with the right values but it didn’t work, I even checked the connections and there were no problems, I also tried every single FM wave from 87.5 to 108 and none of them worked, and I connected a antenna as well but no hope, can you help me please, thank you.
    (By the way I used a 10uF 50V electrolytic capacitor if that matters, the 0.1uf capacitor is ceramic)
    (something else, can i put a microphone at the input signal?)

    June 29, 2018 at 3:07 am

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