- Published in issue 5/2018 on page 22
PAM8302A Audio Amplifier
A modern replacement for the LM386
The LM386 universal audio amp is, frankly, well past its sell-by date now. Its feeble performance no longer meets current expectations. With the PAM8302 the author offers an up to date alternative and explains how this amplifier chip should be connected and handled.Not every man has the desire or calling to be an audiophile, nor does everybody need an audio amplifier that can reproduce Puccini or Pavarotti in the best achievable sound quality. Yet even a process control computer (microcontroller or single-board computer) will sometimes require an audio amplifier, as for instance the author did for delivering status or warning notifications. In situations of this kind harmonic distortion is of minor significance and the key considerations are instead space requirement, simplicity, audibility, energy consumption and heat dissipation. Everything else is irrelevant.