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Theory

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Limiter is a wave shaping circuit used to limit ac voltage to predetermined level.
Limiters can transform a sine wave into rectangular wave, can limit either the �ve
or +ve alternation or both alternations of an ac voltage. The diode limiters are
also known as

clippers. Limiters may be classified as Series limiter and Parallel limiter
depending on whether the output is taken from the load resistor in series with the
diode or in parallel with it.

Circuit Operation: As shown in the above circuit diagram two biased diode limiters
are connected in parallel such that the circuit acts as a partial limiter of both
the +ve and �ve alternations.

During the +ve half cycle of the input voltage D1 remains in the reverse biased
state. D2 also remains in the reverse biased state until the input voltage reaches
the bias voltage Vaa Thus the output voltage follows the input until D2 is forward
biased. Thereafter the output remains constant at Vaa.

During the �ve half cycle of the input voltage D2 remains in the reverse biased
state. D1 also remains in the reverse biased state until the input voltage becomes
more -ve than the bias voltage Vkk. Thus the output voltage follows the input
until D1 is forward biased. Thereafter the output remains constant at Vkk.

The output waveform will be a sine wave clipped at Vaa in the + ve half cycle and
at Vkk in the � ve half cycle.

Thus the diode limiter modifies the input waveform by limiting part of that
waveform thereby changing the shape of the input waveform whose extremities has
been squared off.

Clamp (circuit)
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A clamp or clamp circuit is an electrical circuit used to prevent another circuit
from exceeding a certain predetermined voltage level. It operates by sensing the
output voltage of the monitored circuit and then as the output voltage approaches
the preset limit, applies an electric load which draws greater and greater current
from the output in a regulated manner in order to prevent the output voltage from
exceeding the predetermined voltage level. The clamp circuit works only if it has
a lower output impedance than the monitored circuit thereby overpowering that
circuit. It is the circuit which places either the positive or negative peak of a
signal at the required direct current level.

A clamp circuit has no memory -- when the voltage is significantly below the
limit, the clamp circuit always draws almost no current. (In this way it differs
from a crowbar circuit).

Alternatively a clamping circuit may also be defined as a circuit which inserts a
DC component into a signal. Perhaps the most common such clamping circuit is the
DC restorer circuit in analog television receiver, which returns the voltage of
the signal during the back porch of the line blanking period to 0V. Since the back
porch is required to be at 0V on transmission, any DC or low frequency humm that
has been induced onto the signal can effectively removed via this method.
The network must have a capacitor, a diode and a resistive element, but it can
also employ an independent DC supply to introduce an additional shift. The
magnitude of R and C must be chosen so that t = RC is large enough to ensure that
the voltage across the capacitor does not discharge significantly during the
diode's "Unconducting" interval.

The term voltage clamp is often used to refer to the clamp circuit.

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4-56 A CLAMPING CIRCUIT effectively clamps or ties down the upper or lower
extremity of a waveform to a fixed dc potential. Clamping does not change the
amplitude or shape of the input waveform. A POSITIVE CLAMPER will clamp the lower
extremity of the input waveform to a dc potential of 0 volts.