OPT301 Laser receiver
This circuit was developed after the original OPT201 detector was made obsolete by Texas Instruments.
The OPT301 is in a TO-99 8 lead package and has good
sensitivity but a reduced bandwidth of 4kHz. The peak response is
just into the Infra Red region at 750nm but its sensitivity in
the visible red spectrum at 670nm is only a few percent down.
Detector (left) and a box housing an LM386 audio amplifier with waterproof speaker / headphone socket.
The detector is connected via a 2m length of tw1in core
screened cable which supplies the 12 DC feed to the detector and
feeds the audio back to the amp.
The circuit is almost identical to the original receiver.
Changes are the new detector / PCB layout and improved op-amps.
It uses a single supply at 12 – 13.8V. The detector has a a 10M
Ohm feedback resistor soldered directly betw1een pins 2 and 5.
The detector output is followed by a NE5534 low noise op-amp
(3.4nV/Hz) which is configured as a bandpass filter. The final
NE5534 is an inverting buffer amplifier with a gain of 20. The
complete detector assembly is designed to be mounted in a small
metal box at the focal point of a lens.
PCB Track Layout
The track is viewed from the top or component side. The
detector is fitted to the other side of the board where a
groundplane in unetched copper has holes countersunk for the
The 1N4002 diode protects against reverse polarity. It is soldered to the undrilled pads on the PCB.
A 10k resistor is needed betw1een Pins 1 and 8 on the OPT301.
This is shown on the PCB artw1ork but I`ve not yet added it to
The capacitor coupling the signal out of the detector to the 39k was changed from 0.1 to 0.22uF
The capacitor across the zener diode was also changed to 0.22uF
With a single supply line the body of the detector is held at
the zener voltage. Therefore it should be isolated from the
groundplane and from any metal enclosure.
Four earth connections are required through the board.
NE5534 pin 4 (on the left above)
Detector Pin 3
Pad in lower right of PCB connected to the 10k resistor and output ground.
Performance of the bandpass and buffer amplifier.
To evaluate the op-amp section I connected a 600 Ohm sig gen
to the input of the bandpass filter and measured the response at
the output of the buffer. The Input was adjusted from 50Hz to
3kHz with a constant level of 200mV Peak to Peak.
As you can see from the results below, the 6dB bandwidth is
just 200Hz. This makes the detector ideal for transmitters using
modulated CW on a fixed frequency.
An OPT301, using 10M feedback with a bandwidth of 200Hz gives a Noise Equivalent Power of 3 x 10-11 Watts.
My TX uses a 4MHz crystal and a CMOS 4060 oscillator / divider
to generate 488Hz. This degree of accuracy gives the option of
using a lap top and modern DSP softw1are (e.g. ARGO or Spectran
by IK2PHD) to receive signals 20dB below normal noise level.
The 40dB rejection at 50Hz gives a high tolerance to interference from street lighting.
Voltage gain at the design frequency is x11 or 20.8dB
Bandpass filter / buffer amp characteristics
The bandpass filter center frequency is selected by 2
capacitors and 2 resistors. It can be changed to any audio
frequency of your choice. Design equations are published in the