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16 Design Ideas

16 Design Ideas

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M
anuals for
microprocessor-baseddevices often include in-structions for entering a“secret mode”in which you can test or re-set the device.These instructions typi-cally ask you to depress and hold one ortwo switches for a minimum time inter-val.You can adopt several measures toavoid accidentally triggering the testmode:Depress two keys,hold bothkeys simultaneously and continuously through the minimum interval,andmake the interval two to five secondslong.You can implement such designswith a handful ofresistors,capacitors,and diodes and a comparator or two.Such circuitry may remain useless or lackcustomer appreciation,but it raises costand complexity while lowering system re-liability.A better alternative is to imple-ment the function with minimal addi-tional components (
Figure 1
).Microprocessor-based devices usually include a voltage supervisor that moni-tors the V
CC
level and,in some cases,thecore voltage.When either voltage dropsbelow its threshold,the supervisor issuesa reset to the microprocessor.IC
1
in
Fig-ure 1
monitors two voltages,provides apower-on reset,and includes a watchdogtimer.Ifyou don’t need the watchdogfunction elsewhere in the system,it canhelp to implement the switch-delay cir-cuitry.Fortunately,the watchdog timerself-resets when the WDI (watchdog in-put) Pin 5 is floating,an indication thatthe circuit is disabled.Thus,you can im-plement the switch-delay circuitry by en-abling and disabling the watchdog timer.Simply provide an interface betweenWDI and the switches that enable the testmode.The nominal time-out period forIC
1
’s watchdog timer is 2.9 sec.WDI must float when both switchesare open and when you depress only one.When you depress both,WDI must as-sume either the active-high or the active-low state as specified in the data sheet.Note that WDI can remain floating whilesinking 5
A.The npn transistor isolatesWDI from the switches’pulldown resis-tors.When S
2
closes,current flowsthrough the base ofthe transistor toWDI,which remains floating because the1-M
resistor limits the current to lessthan 5
A.The transistor turns on andforces WDI to the active-high level only when you depress S
1
as well.Ifyou de-press the switches in reverse order,WDIswitches high only when you close S
2
.Youmust close both switches to activate thewatchdog timer.After the timer activates,IC
1
imposes a 2.9-sec delay before assert-ing a reset (Pin 1).Ifyou release eitheror both switches during this 2.9-sec peri-od,the timer resets.Thus,for the mini-mal cost ofan npn transistor and threeresistors,the supervisor IC can monitortwo voltages,provide a power-on-resetsignal,and implement a dual-switch de-lay function.To monitor one voltage,youcan replace IC
1
with a MAX823.
4612V
CORE
3.3VTO
CIC
1
MAX6360V
CC3
V
CC5
RSTGNDWDIMR35S
1
3.3VTO
C3.3VTO
C1M
S
2
1k
Figure 1
Watchdog timer allows entry to test mode
Greg Sutterlin and Larry Barnes,Maxim Integrated Products,Sunnyvale,CA,andCraig Gestler,Mining Safety Appliances Co,Mars,PA
 You can activate IC
1
only by depressing S
1
and S
2
simultaneously for at least 2.9 sec.
Is this the best Design Idea in thisissue?
Vote at www.ednmag.com/ednmag/vote.asp.
www.ednmag.com
July 19,2001
|
edn
87
ideas
design
Watchdog timer allowsentry to test mode..........................................
87
Transistors offer thermal protection for controller....................................................
88
Variable load tests voltage sources..........
90
 Linear supply uses switch- mode regulation............................................
90
 Sonarlike method detects fluid level..........................................................
94
 Edited by Bill Travis and Anne Watson Swager
 
88
edn
|
July 19,2001
www.ednmag.com
ideas
design
W
hen a switch-mode
power-sup-ply controller,such as On Semi-conductor’s NCP1200,op-erates at a high ambient temper-ature,you should protect the entire pow-er supply against lethal thermal runaway.The NCP1200 operates directly from thepower mains without an auxiliary wind-ing;therefore,the die in the IC dissipatespower (
Figure 1
).Unfortunately,the in-ternal temperature-shutdown circuitry cannot perform its protection functionbecause the die is not at ambient tem-perature but at a temperature that’s high-er than ambient by a few tens ofdegrees.To overcome this problem,youcan implement a thermistor-baseddesign,but this solution compromisesthe system’s cost.Fortunately,you can usestandard bipolar transistors to imple-ment a low-cost thermal-shutdown cir-cuit.
Figure 2
shows how to build a clas-sic thyristor circuit using two inexpensivebipolar transistors:a BC557B pnp and aBC547B npn.The idea is to use the neg-ative-temperature coefficient ofthe sili-con

2 mV
/
C) to fire the thyristor.In the inactive state,both the upperand the lower transistors in
Figure 2
arein the offstate because ofthe presence of the 10-k
resistors.The thyristor struc-ture connects between the feedback pin,FB,and ground.One feature oftheNCP1200 is to skip unwanted switchingcycles when the power demand dimin-ishes.The IC performs this function in-ternally by constantly monitoring the FBpin.When the voltage on this pin falls be-low a certain level,the IC internally blanks the cycles,and the power transis-tor turns off.Ifthe thyristor permanent-ly pulls the FB pin to ground,theNCP1200 no longer delivers pulses.Oncelatched,the thyristor prevents any restart,until you disconnect the power supply from the power mains.The 316-k
re-sistor combines with the 10-k
resistorto form a voltage divider from the V
CC
rail.This rail,on average,varies from lotto lot from 10.3 to 10.6V,for a total
Vof300 mV.This variation translates toless than 10 mV at the transistor’s base.When the temperature rises,the BC547’sturn-on V
BE
diminishes until it reachesthe divider voltage on its base.(This volt-age is approximately 320 mV,but you canalter it to accommodate other tempera-ture levels.) At this point,the BC547 con-ducts current,and the BC557’s base volt-age starts toward ground.The BC557’scollector current further biases theBC547’s base,and the thyristorlatches,thereby permanently stopping the NCP1200’s puls-es.Once you remove the sup-ply from the power mains,thethyristor resets.The 0.1-
F ca-pacitor prevents spuriousnoise from triggering thethyristor.We conducted tests on thethyristor-based temperature-protection scheme using BC-547B and BC557B transistors.The “Bextension is importantbecause it corresponds to anarrow h
FE
range of200 to 450.This de-sign uses transistors in TO-92 packages,mounted close to each other.Ifonly onetransistor heats up,thermal results vary.Therefore,you should mount these twocomponents close to each other on the pc-board-component side so that they willoperate at approximately the same junc-tion temperatures.From 20 bipolar-tran-sistor combinations,you can obtain theresults shown in
Table 1
.You can see thatthe latch-offthreshold temperature variesby only approximately 5
C for all combi-nations oftransistors (
Reference 1
).
Reference
1.
Bipolars provide safe latch-off against opto failure
s
,
EDN 
,Dec 7,2000,pg 190.
87651234NCP120010
F470
F10V47
F350VHVV
CC
DIVGNDCSFBEMIFILTER1N5819MOC8103MTD1N60E+++3VUNIVERSALINPUT5V600 mA
Figure 1
++87651234NCP12000.1
F22
F10k10kBC547BC557316k
Figure 2
Transistors offer thermal protection for controller
Christophe Basso,On Semiconductor,Toulouse,France
A controller IC implements a low parts-count offline power supply.Two bipolar transistors configure a thyristor-based tempera-ture-shutdown circuit.
TABLE 1—TEMPERATURESHUTDOWN VERSUS V
BE
 V
BE
 V
BE
T
LATCH-OFF
(mV, npn)(mV, pnp)(
C)
 
665654110 to 115666656110 to 115667656110 to 115666657110 to 115670659110 to 115664653115666652115667655110 to 115667657110669653110
Is this the best Design Idea in thisissue?
Vote at www.ednmag.com/ednmag/vote.asp.
 
90
edn
|
July 19,2001
www.ednmag.com
ideas
design
T
he circuit in
Figure1
serves as avariable,cur-rent-sink load for testingvoltage sources.You usedigital commands to setthe load current ofthedevice under test over awide range,independent-ly ofthe device undertest’s output voltage.Thecircuit comprises an AD-558 DAC,IC
1
,which pro-vides a reference voltageat Point A.Practically any type ofDAC converterworks well in this appli-cation.The AD558 is asingle-supply type withan internal reference;these features simplify the design.IC
1
generatesan output voltage of0 to2.55V (
Table 1
).Thecontrol inputs CE andCS in IC
1
allow you tocontrol the DAC from a microprocessorbus.Ifyour application does not involvea data bus,connect CE and CS to groundto obtain direct access to the DAC’s datainputs.The second part ofthe circuit in
Fig-ure 1
consists ofan op amp,IC
2
,driving transistors Q
1
and Q
2
.IC
2
compares the ref-erence voltage at Point Awith the voltage across resis-tor R.IC
2
’s output voltagecontrols Q
1
and Q
2
such thatthe voltage across R equalsthe reference voltage at pointA.The voltage across R isproportional to the currentfrom the device under testand is independent oftheoutput voltage ofthe deviceunder test.The value ofR in
Figure 1
is 1
;thus,the cir-cuit provides a sink current of 1A when the voltage at pointA is 1V.With the valuesshown in
Figure 1
,you cancontrol currents of0 to 2.55Aover a device under test volt-age range of5 to 250V.Be sureto limit the power dissipationin Q
2
to 120W.
DBODB3DB4DB7CECSDATAINPUTS12VGNDGNDV
CC
V
OUT
V
SEN
V
SEL
0.1
FDEVICEUNDERTESTIC
1
AD55810k12V
12V
+IC
2
OP771kQ
1
2N3440Q
2
TIPL76210kAR110W1%
Figure 1
Variable load tests voltage sources
 Michele Frantisek,Brno,Czech Republi
A simple circuit allows digital control of current, independent of voltage.
TABLE 1—DAC OUTPUT VOLTAGE VERSUS INPUT CODE
Digital input of IC
1
BinaryHexadecimalVoltage at Point A (V)0000 00000000000 0001010.010000 11110F0.150001 0000100.161000 0000801.281111 1111FF2.55
Is this the best Design Idea in thisissue?
Vote at www.ednmag.com/ednmag/vote.asp.
Y
ou can use
simple circuits toimplement small,regulatedplug-in power supplies.In
Fig-ure 1
,a basic and versatile 5V sup-ply uses a zener diode and an emit-ter-follower transistor.You mustcalculate and design the trans-former such that Q
1
is closeto saturation at low mainsvoltages and nominal output cur-rent.Additionally,you must chooseR
1
to ensure proper bias for thezener diode.The transistor dissi-pates appreciable power when themains voltage is high.
Figure 2
shows that Q
1
must handle nearly 0.75W at nominal input voltageand output current.A TO-92small-signal transistor,such as aBC337,is adequate for 300 mA,but a medium-power device,suchas a BD135,is a better choice.Tocut costs,this design uses no heat
Linear supply uses switch-mode regulation
David Magliocco,CDPI,Scientrier,France
FUSE LINKTRANSFORMER++5V0VC
2
1
F/10VC
2
2200
F/16VR
6
1kD
5
5.6VD
4
1N4100D
3
1N4100D
2
1N4100D
1
1N4100R
1
150Q
1
BD135AC IN
Figure 1
This simple plug-in power supply iseffective but has no current limiting.

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