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  • This is an electronic muscle stimulator circuit that stimulates nerves of that part of your body where electrodes are attached. It is useful to relieve headache and muscle pain and revive frozen muscles that impair movement. It’s mainly muscle stimulation aid is removing cellulitis and build up you muscles.
    Can be used for diy electro stimulation.

    The system comprises two units: muscle stimulator and timer.
    Fig. 1 shows the circuit of the muscle stimulator. IC 7555 is wired as an astable multivibrator to generate about 80Hz pulses.

    Using potentiometer VR1 you can control the intensity of current sensing at the electrodes. The brightness level of LED1 indicates the amplitude of the pulses. If you want to increase the intensity level, replace the 1.8kΩ resistor with 5.6kΩ or higher value up to 10kΩ.

    X1 is a small mains transformer with 220V primary to 12V, 100/150mA secondary. It must be reverse connected, i.e., connect the secondary winding to the collector of T2 and ground, and primary winding to the output electrodes. The output voltage is about 60V but the output current is so small that there is no threat of electric shock.

    Want to buy one?

    Schematic of the DIY Muscle Stimulator Circuit

    electronic muscle stimulator circuit schematic

    Electrodes are made of small, thinguage metallic plates measuring about 2.5×2.5 cm2 in size. Use flexible wires to solder electrodes and connect to the output of the device. Before attaching metal electrodes to the body, wipe them with a damp cloth.
    After attaching the electrodes to the body (with the help of elastic bands on velcro straps), flip switch S1 to activate the circuit and rotate the knob of intensity-control preset VR1 very slowly until you feel a slight tingling sensation.

    Fig. 2 shows the timer circuit. It uses IC NE555 wired in monostable mode. Initially, when you press switch S2, the monostable triggers and its output goes high for 10 minutes. Thereafter, its output goes low to give a beep sound from the piezobuzzer and lights up the red LED (LED2) indicating that muscle stimulation time is over.

    Schematic of the Electronic Muscle Stimulation Timer

    muscle stimulator timer

    Assemble the timer with a separate switch and a 9V DC battery in the same cabinet as the stimulator. Tape the electrodes to the skin at opposite ends of the chosen muscle and rotate VR1 knob slowly until you sense light itching when the muscle stimulation circuit is powered on. At the same time, flip switch S2 to start the timer for counting the time. At the end of the timing cycle, the piezobuzzer beeps. Each session should last about 10 minutes.

    Caution: Heart patients and pregnant women should not use this device. Also, do not attach electrodes to burns, cuts, wounds or any injury. Consult your physician before using this circuit.

    
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    40 Responses to "Electronic Muscle Stimulation"

    1. i just got one of these and today used it for the first time on my neck and tonight i have a headache from hell is this normal? did i use too much current im scared to try it again this headache is bad thanks for a reply

      • Debi,

        Electrical muscle stimulators aren’t designed for relaxation. They’re designed to contract the muscles (sometimes violently) to promote regeneration & growth, and sometimes pain management. There are a lt of muscle groups in the head/neck, and it’s hard to isolate them specifically for therapy.

        My guess is that you may have used too much current, or maybe too long a time. Also, keep in mind that your brain is one big muscle, and you may have over-stimulated it, through conduction via the other muscles.

        Rather than elecrical stimulation which contracts the muscles, you might consider buying one of those vibrating massage gizmos that you strap to your hand.

      • You need to read the warnings. NEVER USE an EMS device on the neck area. The current can conduct through the brain and cause…you guessed it, headaches and possibly brain damage.

    2. Alptraum says: on January 5, 2010 at 1:11 am

      Seriously, don’t ever attach it to your neck. There are many highly important nerves, such as those that control the heart and blood pressure, the lungs… Just don’t do it, it’s a bad idea.

    3. I did it and the day before yesterday with the pads (1) connected to each side of my head,,,temple area,,Man I saw bright colors,,then a long hallway appeared and I went in. Obviously the thing works cause the timer shut off and when I awoke I could see the future and tommorow came and went just as I saw it would

      • And let me guess, all of your childhood traumas dissipated all at once? Please beware that self-induced electro-shock therapy is not generally recommended. In all seriousness, I wouldn’t do that twice.

    4. Dingus says: on July 5, 2010 at 9:51 am

      Would this be safe &/or painful to use on my taint?

    5. hi. did someone do this schematic? does it work well? i don’t want to make it and then kill me because i did it wrong.

    6. I built this and it works but, it is a bit weak. I cannot find the transformer that is specified does anybody have an idea where I can find one? Thanks nice project. How did you come up with the design?

    7. hi,

      i am currently doing a project on the above topic, how reliable is the circuit above! and what type of electrodes are required to make it work more effectively?

    8. hai.. iam doing dis project.. i hav finished doing dis.. can sumbody send me design values for dis project..

    9. This circuit does not work! First of all the first transistor does not succeed in pulling the second one into conduction. Connecting the second transistor directly to the 7555 does work, but then the oscillating frequency of the 7555 (around 80Hz) is way too fast for the coil of the transformer to charge. Result: you feel nothing. Also the LED in parallel over the coil draws too much current away from the coil.
      Solution: leave out LED, increase 100nF cap to around 3 uF, use a higher battery voltage if needed. 3V will give you practically nothing. Also clever to decouple 7555 from shorting battery (caused by transistor switching DC to coil of transformer), by using a 1N4007 diode just before power connections to 7555, (cathode connected to 7555 pin 4 and 8, and an elco of about 47uF or higher from cathode to gnd, thus providing power supply buffering to 7555 and filtering out voltage drops which might deregulate oscillation of 7555).

      • Hi Danny, thanks for the feedback, we really appreciate this.

      • Rankangkah says: on April 18, 2012 at 10:02 am

        There is no reason why the first transistor (T1) won’t make the second one (T2) to conduct, check if your VR1 is not open from wiper, T2 is supposed to detect the voltage drop that T1 cause on R3 and VR1 thus amplifying voltage the wave is also inverted. 80Hz is not necessary high for a transformer just 20 or 30 Hz higher that most transformers are made to use. The LED current is limited enough by R4 you can try a 200Ω resistor specially if you use a higher supply voltage.
        I remember doing a similar circuit to that if not an equal copy to that one, then I modded it, if I remember correctly I changed R1 to 100KΩ and putting a 100KΩ potentiometer in series with R1, that will vary the frequency, then I changed R2 to 1KΩ and put a 10kΩ potentiometer in series with R2, that will vary the pulse width needed to move muscles.(putting the electrodes from under my wrist to the opposite side of my elbow and polarity matters too!) I was able to make my fingers move with it but not other muscles, probably I needed more supply voltage, however that circuit does not provide bipolar electricity which would be more efficient for muscle stimulation, that circuit is only a TENS.

    10. Be wary of using everyday materials for the electrode plates. Ion transfer occurs through electropotential. You could be transferring all kinds of nasty stuff into your skin. There is a reason why most of the fda approved systems use primarily silver or silver alloys for their electrodes. Be careful people. And for god sake, don’t try to use the system anywhere near essential organs or their neural pathways like the neck, head, chest (around the heart area), across the spinal chord (unless its a TENS system with a specific purpose), etc. The results can be catastrophic.

    11. hai, i did this ckt ……….bt not working, is there any changes want to made? pls reply

    12. harvey joel caceres says: on October 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      Can you help me please help me about this. I need your knowledge about this idea. We are required to make a thesis about this one.Can you please instruct me how these device constructed and other important facts I need to know.Hope for your great reply.I will write your name in acknowledgement so that I can thank you.

    13. harvey joel caceres says: on October 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      I need your knowledge about this idea. We are required to make a thesis about this one.Can you please instruct me how these device constructed and other important facts I need to know.Hope for your great reply.I will write your name in acknowledgement so that I can thank you.

    14. harvey joel caceres says: on October 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      I need your knowledge aWe are required to make a thesis about this one.Can you please instruct me how these device constructed and other important facts I need to know.Hope for your great reply.

    15. harvey joel caceres says: on October 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      I need your knowledge about this one.We are required to make a thesis about this one.Can you please instruct me how these device constructed and other important facts I need to know.Hope for your great reply.

    16. harvey joel caceres says: on October 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      I will put your name in acknowledgement so that I can thanks you.

    17. harvey joel caceres says: on October 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      I will put your name in acknowledgement.thank you.

    18. Hi!

      I’m doing my masther thesis , i need to know if someone have already simulated this circuit or one similar in multisim.. Because i need to know the parameters you have implemented in the transformer. It’s driving me nuts !!!

    19. I need your knowledge about this one.We are required to make a thesis about this one.Can you please instruct me how these device constructed and other important facts I need to know.Hope for your great reply.

    20. I cant find that transformer easily…Only 220v- 12v,500mA in available.Can we use it…

      • I’ll bet a 110 to 6.3 volt transformer would do the trick if you’re not in a country with 220 mains. The 6.3 volt transformers were all the rage back in the days of tubes as they provided the filament current for the tubes. Almost everything built with tubes had one. The coils ratio in the 110:6.3 should be about the same as the 220:12, but the impedance would be substantially different.

    21. THIYAGU says: on May 22, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      Ya. This circuit is working properly. But by increasing more output channels, the effect grt reduced. I feel the current is getting low. What to do for this..

    22. i need a basic block diagram for this circut.
      the block diagram is same as connecting components

    23. can any one tell me what type of metal is used in as electrode 0f 2.5*2.5cm2,and which conducts best at low cost .starting the project for an expo so wanted immediatly.
      regards,
      karthik

    24. vidhyadhari says: on September 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      i want to do this project please suggest me which electrodes are useful and where the transformer can be found?

    25. Jim Keith Jim Keith says: on September 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Tear apart a “wall wart” power adapter and salvage the transformer out of it. Some wall warts have a 50/60hZ transformer- -this is the type you want. The smaller, lighter versions have a switching power supply and high frequency transformer- -these are not suitable.

      For electrodes, obtain stainless steel washers from your hardware store.

    26. I made this today with parts I had laying around(that means not 100% as accurate as the scheme).
      For example, I used 194k for 180k(had to combine resistors), 2.5k instead of 1.8k, a 10k pot, 2.5k R3, and C2=C1.

      The transformer I used was some very old transformer with 220v – 8v. For the pads I improvised using kitchen aluminium foil. Well… it works! But I can barely sense it. I mean, on wet fingers I can definitely feel the current but there’s no muscle spasm. I tried placing it on the arm or my leg: nothing, and the LED is dimming. What should I do?

      To Josh: “Be wary of using everyday materials for the electrode plates. Ion transfer occurs through electropotential.”

      That’s ridiculous. That could only be happening at high enough currents and for extended periods of time. This is a hobby project, I doubt anyone would use this for extended periods of time…

    27. I just did that. I put a 10kΩ for R2 and now I can definitely feel the current… through my skin. Isn’t it supposed to twitch your muscles? All I can feel is a nasty sensation of being electrocuted.

      • You need to lower the frequency if you want to contract the muscles. For example a 5 Hz frequency will contract and relax your muscles twice per second, but now you’ll have a problem with the transformer.

        Another way of making a muscle stimulator would be to use high DC voltage with limited current (max 2 or 3 mA) and control the length of the pulse. It is kind of duty cycle control (PWM) where you control how long the pulse stays HIGH and LOW and you won’t need the transformer anymore therefore you can reach lower frequencies (0.1Hz) and better muscle stimulation.

    28. i tried making the circuit with the same components, except that i used 220-12V, 200mA center-tapped transformer. but the results are different. the output voltage to the electrode is just 1.2V. what seems to be the problem.

    29. working great with 555 IC need to learn more. What i need is a high frequency.

    30. Just buy the XFt-320 from Amazom. Get some extra pads. Check out the Paradise Electrode Stimulator for real torture.

    31. this circuit is not working plz help me its very urgent

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