Circuit Schematic LED VU Meter with LM3916

Indicator. - Here is Circuit Schematic LED VU Meter with LM3916. LM3916 is a dedicated IC for VU LED meter. Unlike LM3915 which have 3dB step between voltage levels, the LM3916 have nonlinear steps: -20, -10, -7, -5, -3, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3db, just like old school analog VU meters. I saw in YouTube an interesting commercial LED VU meter, which imitates the needle movement in analog VU meters and I thought I can make a similar one. All I needed I found in the datasheet of LM3916.

Figure 1. Schematic LED VU Meter with LM3916

The LM3916 can be feed with AC signal without any rectification, but I wanted to implement a precision full wave rectification. I chose the schematic on page 13, fig.21 of the datasheet: "Precision Full-Wave Peak Detector".

The LEDs are connected via sockets J3 to J12 (only one row LEDs is shown on the schematic) and I found that it's cheaper to use a 28 pin IC sockets cut in half than regular 40 pin sockets. Of course LEDs can be soldered directly on the PCB.

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