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1, JULY 1969

23

be fairly large. This ratio can be kept reasonably large by careful attention to design of the oscillator and of the fluid lines and the matching of the oscillator to the fluid lines. In some cases it may be necessary to add acoustic filters to filter out the harmonics or to decrease their amplitudes.

V. SUMMARY Two types of dynamic fluid thermometers have been discussed. The flow resistance type is relatively simple and has pressure drop as its readout. The fluid oscillator is more complex but has the advantage that since its output is frequency; there is little or no degradation of the inforination in sending it from one point to another.

[11

[2]

[3]

[41

[5] [6]

[71

[8]

H. P. Kalmus, A. L. Hedrich, D. R. Pardue, "A soniic gas tthermometer with fast response time," Harry Diamond Laboratories, Washington, D. C., Tech. Rept. TR-72, March 1954. H. N. White, "Analysis of the steady-flow pneumatic resistance of parallel capillaries," Proc. 1965 Fluid Amplification Symp., vol. 1. J. M. Kirshner, Fuid Amplifiers. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966, p. 175. J. M. Kirshner and C. J. Campagnuolo "A temperature-insensitive oscillator and a pressure-controlled oscillator," Proc. Fluid Amplification Svmp., vol. 2, pp. 5-19, 1965. G. B. Brown, "Mechanism of edgetone production," Proc. Phys. Soc., vol. 49, pp. 493-508, 1937. A. Powell, "On the edgetone," J. Acoust. Soc. Am., vol. 33, p. 395, April 1961. K. Karamcheti and A. B. Bauer, "Edgetone generatioln," Rept. SUDAER 162, Stanford Uniiversity, Stanford, Calif., July 1963. G. R. Stegen and K. Karamcheti, "On the structure of the edgetone flow field, "Rept. SUDAAR 303, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., February 1967.

REFERENCES

**The Maxwell Commnutated dc Bridge Reexamined
**

JOHN C. DONOVAN,

MEMBER, IEEE

Abstract-The Maxwell commutated dc bridge is analyzed, physically and mathematically. It is shown to have advantages as a signal processing circuit capable of reflecting the value of a capacitive transducer in proportional values of an active variable, current or voltage, and of providing indication or doing work. In particular, the circuit is shown to be applicable to capacitive unknowns having significant, finite series or parallel resistances; this contrasts with the contention of the classical references on the circuit. Also, the formerly widely used driven switch mechanism is replaced by a crystal-oscillator-driven solid-state switch, thus enhancing the reliability of the system. Experimental results for a representative circuit with both ideal and lossy capacitive unknowns conclude the paper.

INTRODUCTION Tlp HE RECOGNITION of the advantages of capacitive transducers for instrumentation and control systems [i ]-[3] has fostered an attendant increase in the interest in the associated signal processing circuitry. Circuits which convert capacitance variations into voltage or current changes have been reviewed [4], and new measurement techniques have been developed [5], [6]. One well-known circuit which could be advantageously used with capacitive transducers is the M1axwell commutated dc bridge. To date, however, it has not received the attention it merits. One of the reasons for this neglect can be appreciated only after acquiring an understanding of the operating principles of the circuit. Consider the circuit diagram

Manuscript received December 16, 1968. This paper was presented at the IEEE Transducer Conference, Washington, D.C., February 10-11 1969. The author is with Johnson Service Co., Milwaukee, Wis.

(Fig. 1). In appearance, the circuit resembles a Wheatstone bridge with the unknown capacitor C and the switch S replacing the normal resistive unknown. To understand the operation of the circuit, assume that the switch has been in position l for some time. The capacitor has thus discharged completely through the parallel short-the "short" is, of course, assumed to have some slight resistance so that energy can be dissipated in it. At time t =0, the switch is moved to position 2, and the capacitor begins to charge. A portion of the charging current flows from left to right through the galvanometer. When the capacitor is fully charged, the steady-state galvanometer current is that defined by the resistive network, and flows from right to left. After the capacitor is fully charged, the switch is returned to position 1 for a period of time (generally equal to the time allowed for charging), and the capacitor discharges. Since the capacitor was fully charged before the switch was moved, it had no effect on the circuit at the switching instant, and the same resistive current continues to flow through the galvanometer from right to left. The circuit is now ready for the initiation of another switching cycle. By properly choosing the frequency and the values of the resistors in the other legs of the bridge, the charging and resistive currents through the galvanometer can be made equal. The inertia of a typical galvanometer damps out the cyclical variations in current yielding a steady zero reading. Rosa alnd Grover [7] note that the value of the unknown capacitance under ordinary circumstances is very nearly given by

One obvious restriction on the use of the circuit stems from the presence of the switch. 159-169] and noted specifically the duration the frequency. through the charging resistance Rad. The basic Maxwell commutated dc bridge. 171 R1(R2 + RG) + Rx(R3 + RE) RX ff. it is not necessarily true that the T (8) T method breaks down when applied to capacitive trans= . At the time of conception of the circuit. Equivalent circuit of capacitive transducer. if T is the period of 1 than percent in Curtis and [7. that (2) Rs = 0 and (3) Rp= x The analysis is complicated by the fact that the circuit variables appear as a series of recurrent transients rather than a steady state of any type. the Rl-R2-RG delta is replaced by an equivalent wye. p. via the use of solid-state switching circuits. as shown in Fig. WRs C Rp a Fig.] give it quite a bit of attention. to an air or vacuum capacitor. JULY 1969 ducers having losses (absorption) representable by series or parallel resistance or both. let us now consider why the Mviaxwell commutated dc bridge has not been as widely used with capacitive transducers as it might be." This restriction was 2 describes quite correct for the standards work Curtis wherein a single piece of apparatus operating at a fixed Since frequency was used to measure a broad range of 1 capacitors. Curtis and MIoon [8] also discuss rotating commutators in some detail. but is applicable only to a capacitor that has no absorption. The solution of this system can be written by inspection from a knowledge of the limiting conditions derived in the following sections. pp. 488] and Laws [9]. that is. 1. In fact. but all of these mechanical devices lack the long-term reli. of switching one of cycle it Moon [8.24 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS AND CONTROL INSTRUMENTATION.The charging time constant is thus ability needed in maintenance-free instrumentation T = RadC (6) met is now readily this deficiency systems. motordriven contacts were used to perform the switching 1(R1R2 + RERX)(RlRG + R3Rx)functions. and where (5) they consider a tuning-fork-type vibrating commutator RX = R1 + R2 + RG. Of course. the charging time constant is simply the product of the capacitance and the Thevenin resistance appearing across terminals a-d. the than other or better long-term frequency stability low enough that the capacitor has time to quency means. i. T (7) -> 5r. its Thus. The Charging Time Constant Being a relatively well-behaved dc circuit during the charging cycle. Fig. By series-parallel reduction of the resulting network. A chopper might also be used. To find this resistance. as an alternative. However. (1) C= RI JR2R3 ANALYSIS FOR AN IDEAL UNKNOWN Assume for the present that the circuit unknown is ideal. completely charge of this A second impediment to the widespread use of five time constants for charging minimum a Allowing the circuit in instrumentation systems is a restriction on has charged to within less the that capacitor will assure nature of the unknown implied in Rosa and Grover final value. Curtis [10] states be must a half of cycle most strongly by saying: "This is a precise method. It is the intent of this paper to demonstrate that the MIaxwell commutated dc bridge can be applied to capacitive transducers having series and parallel resistances of approximately known magnitudes.. a transistor Upper Limit of the Switching Frequency switch triggered by a crystal-controlled oscillator can Even in the absence of any series resistance in the perform the necessary switching reliably and with equal care must be taken to set the switching freunknown. and Rosa and Grover [7. p. the switch itself has been the subject (4) Rad=1 R2RGF of considerable research. 2. the charging resistance is found to be With this introduction to the operation of the circuit.e. 2.

The current during the discharge half-cycle is. Galvanometer current for an ideal unknown. 4.) ( R (R RIEFRa) R1E (13) ]IR 1. 3. and Rad are as derived above. care must be taken to base this calculation on the largest value of capacitance anticipated. a balanced bridge is not so much a means of finding the value of an unknown as it is the starting point for deviations in galvanometer current which reflect changes in the measured quantity. the general expression for galvanometer current during the charging half-cycle can now be written by inspection: Total Galvanometer Initial Value of Galvanometer Current At the moment of switching. 5.+R2+ RG) +RI(R2+Rc. Fig.DONOVAN: MAXWELL COMMUTATED DC BRIDGE IG 25 /2 ITC Fig. 3. The equivalent is shown in Fig. 154] as noted below C=~ RI NOO°)= R. no higher frequency will allow for complete charging of the unknown.IG()] [T] This reduces to IG(°) R2R3E (11) (R3+ RG)(RlR2+FRE(Rl+FR2))+ R3RG(R2+ RE) Final Value of Galvanometer Current If the frequency of switching is low enough to allow the unknown capacitor to charge completely. In determining the frequency for a variable capacitance transducer. of course. from an inspection of the circuit in E Fig. the galvanometer current will be the same at the end of the charging half-cycle as it is during the discharge halfcycle (the charged capacitor appears to be an open t circuit). RiFR2-FRG fR2R3 RE-+ R3+F R.(R2-FRG) (1 2) ) R1R~ (R-+R3+RE)(Rl+R2+RG) R.eR . IG(O) circuit. However. it can be shown to be equal to Rosa and Grover's form [7. 5. the circuit views the capacitor as a short circuit. The resulting equation is quite cumbersome in form and it resists reduction to anything more workable. the balance condition can be found by allowing IG(ave) in (16) to equal zero and solving for the constraints on the circuit parameters. IG( X ) circuit.dC (9) Equation (9) represents the upper limit of the drive frequency. 1OR. The form of this current is given in Fig. wve have IG(ave) T o)dt IG(t)dt + fTIG(O T~~~~~~~/2 T O (15) R3 + RG R1 + R2 + [R3RG/(R3 + RG)I E R2(R1 + [R3RG/(R3 + RG)]) R1 (10) + R. 4. For the circuit under consideration. IG( CO)IG(t) = - Now since it is assumed that the galvanometer movement's inertia performs an averaging operation. Thus. Substituting (14) into (15) and solving yields (ave) = IG(00) + [IC.(O) (16) [1. Current With the initial and final values of galvanometer current and a physical understanding of the circuit's behavior. the balance equation is important for establishing the set point of the system. IG(°O). + [R3RG/(R3 + RG)I where T = 1/f.) . (17) j- R1+R2+FRG FR~/R2FRo) (RR+R3) (R. Fig. Assuming current flowing through the galvanometer from left to right to be positive. p.Fi-RERlRE F1r L 'R2(R-+-R3-VRE)i L R3(Rl-FR2-FRG. Again. the final value of galvanometer current is given by Balance Equation of the Bridge In an instrumentation system. we have by inspection R3 R2 IG()00 + (IG(O) IG(CO))[e-t/RadC] (14) where IG(O).

the expres- sion reduces to LTh 'jd+ I e-TI2RadC [IG(0) - a0IG(ave) 39C = Rad T IG(cC)]* (20) The simplifying assumptions used in determining the balance condition can also be applied to (20). With the modified expression for galvanometer current. This is explained by saying that as the charging current becomes a less significant fraction of the total galvanometer current during a charging half-cycle. the circuit is merely an unbalanced Wheatstone bridge. the circuit does not lend itself to a solution for IG(O) by inspection.dC Here again. but the initial value is altered. with this physical understanding of the effects of sensor resistances on circuit performance. 1 with the more realistic unknown shown in Fig. The parallel resistance Rp in Fig.26 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS AND CONTROL INSTRUMENTATION. can be considered to be zero. If known. The presence of the series resistance will add to the charging time constant of the circuit. Thus. The presence of a parallel resistance with the unknown capacitance will result in the unknown leg continuing to draw current after the capacitor has charged fully. However. JULY 1969 Even this form is far from simple. e. the addition of some series resistance may not affect the circuit at all. Frank [II ]. let us consider from an intuitive point of view the effects of replacing the pure capacitive unknown C in Fig. Now. The series resistance R8 is perhaps a contact resistance. this will be shown to be a solvable problem also. one could determine the sensitivity of the current to series resistance by computing . and the galvanometer current expression is readily available in any standard text. The final value and the form of the galvanometer current are unchanged. the expression is quite cumbersome. thereby making the circuit independent of the series resistance. yielding some further simplification. 2 typically represents Finite Series Resistance The existence of finite series resistance would alter the above derived expressions only slightly.(18) Bridge Sensitivity When a bridge is used as an intermediate means in an instrumentation or control system. If half the period of the switching frequency was more than adequate to allow the capacitor to charge fully. the bridge sensitivity or the ratio of IG(ave) changes to capacitance variations is of prime importance. liquids serves as the dielectric between parallel or concentric plates. With some care in circuit design. this would necessitate lowering the switching frequency in order to allow the capacitor to charge fully. it is the unbalanced condition of the bridge which is of interest. the balance of the equation reduces to dielectric losses which might have real significance in a capacitive liquid level sensor where any of a variety of C= RI fR2R3 . the frequency should be low enough that variations in R8 with the measured variable do not affect the capacitor's ability to charge fully. for it is by means of this unbalance that the variations in the measured variable are relayed to other parts of the system. The capacitor will still charge to the same final value of voltage and will still draw the same charge. With series resistance present. it is common practice to assume that bridge outable. The sensitivity at a point is obtainable via partial differentiation: OIG (ave) R-d = -dC [I G (0) -[IG ( ) I [ ] 2R. the circuit will not meter the capacitance correctly.. M\/lore particularly. 2. The charging resistance would be Rad+Rs. this steady current can be compensated for by adjusting the resistive legs of the bridge to allow a similar increase in the oppositely directed galvanometer current which flows during the discharge half cycle. If one assumes that T exceeds RadC as it should. the inference is that the period must be sufficiently long to allow for complete charging.g. The interesting fact to note in (20) is the inverse dependence of sensitivity on the switching period. RE and RG. but it will take somewhat longer to do so. respectively. With that as an assumption and assuming R12 to be much less that the product of R2 and R3. the source and meter resistances. it can be said that the presence of both series and parallel resistance can be treated as though each occurred independently. Finally. the amount of resistance is large. it is well to note that the sensitivity expression applies only at a point and makes no assertion as to bridge gain over a range of capacitance values. An added analytical problem is that the presence of parallel resistance alters the final value of voltage to which the capacitor charges. being higher than before. increasing the time constant to a point where the capacitor cannot fully charge during one-half the switching cycle. again a problem with some elegant sensors. If. However. however. we can consider the changes that these resistances make on the analysis of the preceding sections. but it should not be increased more than is necessary. Decreasing the switching frequency will allow more time for charging. Finally. changes in it are less significant percentage changes of the total current. as it did previously. puts are linear for small ranges of the measured vari- ANALYSIS FOR LossY UNKNOWNS Before proceeding to the details of the circuit analysis.

Without belaboring the derivations.d (23) The initial value of galvanometer current is as it was for finite RS. That is. the final value of the current is affected and. show that the effect of a resistance in parallel with a charging capacitor is the same as if that resistance were connected directly in parallel with the Thevenin equivalent resistance of the circuit feeding the capacitor. depending on the relative resistance magnitudes present in the circuit. it can be expressed as IG(t) = IG Ty2 T time IG(o). the amount that R. Finite Series and Parallel Resistance Here one must first determine how the elements of the unknown are connected. it is perhaps better to use them to estimate prototype circuit values and then as a guide in altering circuit values to enhance circuit perforWith this in mind. as one thinks of charging resistance as that through which the charges must pass in getting to the capacitor plates. The final value of current can be found as it was for the finite RP case. plus the modifications stemming from the existence mance. but the resistance in the capacitor leg used in finding IG'(cO) is now the sum of RP and RS. in fact.DONOVAN: MAXWELL COMMUTATED DC BRIDGE 27 dIG(ave) aR. but an order of magnitude can be picked and checked when the remainder of the circuit values have been specified. the charging resistance is given by the parallel combination of RP and Rad. requires redefinition before being determined. the capacitor leg of the bridge draws an element of current even after the capacitor has fully charged. Again.. the fact that the Mlaxwell commuted dc bridge can be analyzed in a straightforward manner does not negate the value of intuition in designing the circuit. if a rigorous analysis is desired. in place of Rad. the balance conditions and sensitivities to the unknown capacitance and its attendant resistances can be computed. AN APPROACH TO DESIGN As is the case with many other circuits. Then. Prior to being disconnected. For design purposes. but they are cumbersome expressions. This expression can now serve as a basis for deriving balance conditions and sensitivities as before. IGf(°°) + (IG(O) - IGQ(oo))et IRTCIO RpRad Rp + Rad RTT/2 + IG( 0)ITJ2 T (21) where R . "long shunt" or "short shunt. + R. not known. During the discharge portion of the cycle. This value of current might be termed IG'( c) and could again be found using the standard expression for an unbalanced Wheatstone bridge. This is somewhat at odds with intuition. Though this parallel resistance is not strictly the resistance through which the capacitor is charged. one substitutes R. 6. rather than using the relationships derived to exactly specify a bridge to be built. However. Finite Parallel Resistance In this instance. However. perhaps the first step in designing a Maxwell commutated dc bridge for use with a lossy capacitive transducer is to specify an operating frequency within the limits of (9). The initial value of galavnometer current for the finite parallel resistance case is unchanged over the ideal capacitor situation. the capacitor is effectively disconnected from the circuit and thus IG( 00 ) is as it was in the previously considered cases. However. 6. pp. however. for at the switching instant the capacitor still appears to be a short circuit.. Also. Mathematically. Galvanometer current for an unknowni with finite parallel resistance. R0d is. Rosa and Grover [7. tends to reduce the time of charging in the capacitor by reducing the voltage to which it charges (and thus the total charge) is exactly equal to the amount it tends to increase the charging time by shunting away some of the total current. the resulting expression is so unwieldy as to be almost useless. that is. The form of the total galvanometer current over a complete switching cycle then appears as shown in Fig. This element of current tends to reduce the galvanometer current or possibly even reverses it. IG(-) Fig. the computer circuit analysis routines currently available can be used to advantage. the charging resistance is R = Rp(RS + Rad) RP + R. one is better served by understanding the effects of the series and parallel resistances acting independently and taking action in that direction and of that approximate magnitude." Short shunt with a parallel resistance connected directly across the capacitor is a reasonable assumption as the resistances being considered would probably arise from contact problems to the dielectric and losses within it. 163-167 ] in an interesting sidelight. It would seem that a simple measurement would yield as much information much more expeditiously. of course.

applicable to lossy capacitive unknowns. 169170]. However. R2. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS To demonstrate the applicability of the MiIaxwell commutated dc bridge to lossy unknowns.8 kQ were tested with no discernible change in the response curve. in addition. For example. These can be simplified considerably by assuming that the source and galvanometer leg resistances are zero. but this change is also accompanied by a reduction in sensitivity and/or an increase in output impedance at the detector terminals.5 percent. Switching was accomplished with a crystal oscillator driven transistor switch. but all other readings were within 0. 7. = = R2 R3 = 140 ohms 1150 ohms 6100 ohms RE RG = = 50 ohms 5009 ohms 100 kHz. the resistance levels of the remaining three bridge legs can be specified. Parallel resistances of as low as 6. increasing resistance levels while maintaining the balance condition results in a lower power consumption by the bridge.25 . so 1. it would probably be of the form shown in Fig. As a further constraint. the best set among them can be selected on the basis of the sensitivity relationships.8 kQ.0 505.50 2. The effects of series resistances as high as 2. This can be taken up by attempting. when a family of acceptable values for the resistive legs of the bridge has been identified. indeed. Similarly. It can be seen that the curve deviates from absolute linearity by 1. In addition. Span adjustment was made by varying RG while the zero adjustment was a potentiometer which constituted parts of R1 and R3.28 IEEE TRANSACTIIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS AND) CONTROL INSTRUMENTATION. Up to a point. the assumption was made that R12 is much less than the product of R2 and R3. Further. In that case. verified the main contention of this paper that the Maxwell commutated dc bridge is. the expression for Rad is greatly simplified and the approximation for the balance condition becomes still more exact [7. 7. 1. The combination of values selected must satisfy the balance condition given as (18). Finally. for series resistances in the range of 47 to 470 ohms deviations from perfect linearity were less than 0. If a semiconductor switch is used. Under these conditions. variable value of RG has proven useful as a span adjustment.5 MA lower than that for RP = oo. as noted earlier.2 kQ and parallel resistances as low as 6. 7. Maxwell bridge response for an ideal unknown. a representative circuit was tested with a variety of simulated capacitive unknowns. The bridge was adjusted to read 0 MA for an unknown of 100 for 550 pF. At 6. and known constant series and parallel resistances were added to determine th-eir effects. one transistor of which connected the unknown into the circuit for charging while the complementary transistor provided the discharge path as shown in Fig. In fact.015 IG(maX) Fig.uA. any effective ON resistance of transistor T1 must be included with RS. the values of R1. Solid-state switching circuit. in general. f= As noted later. and some latitude remains. of finite series or parallel resistance in the sensing capacitor. to follow the rules of conventional bridge design. An essentially lossless decade capacitance was used as an ideal unknown. 8. The results of these tests.O 304/ 5 450 550 Fig. JULY 1969 IG(pA) 1001 80 60- 40 0. it must be recalled that in deriving the balance equation. Fig. a finite. Next.25 MA of the original value.8 kQ were independently considered. Rosa and Grover note that if R3 is very large in comparison to R2. both the zero and span adjustments required change as might be expected. the addition of series resistance to the capacitive unknown tended to enhance the circuit's linearity. pp. For parallel resistances of 100 kQ or less. Greater series resistances resulted in fur- . Also. the largest value of capacitance anticipated must be used in determining the maximum allowable frequency. leakage resistance through T2 when it is in the OFF condition must be added to Rp.O C(. 8 shows the variations in galvanometer current over the entire range of the capacitive unknown. and R3 must satisfy the value of Rad previously assumed. Thus we have two constraints on three variables. the reading for 350 pF was 0. The form of the circuit was essentially that shown in Fig.F) 3. these values required some adjustment to produce the same zero and 100 percent span readings when losses were added to the unknown. 50 pF and lA the exact values of the circuit components were R.

Lion. who built a modified Maxwell commutated dc bridge vhich almost perfectly imaged in current changes the variations in a lossy capacitive unknown. That is." Scientific Papers Bureau of Standards. p. 1. "Absolute measuirement of capacitance by Maxwell's method. 6-12. Again. For series resistances up to 1000 ohms only the span adjustment required change. it should be noted that a modified form of the Maxwell commutated dc bridge has been designed for use with a moderately lossy capacitive humidity sensor [12] and will soon appear in product form. 1959. S." Instr. Bureau of Standards.. (2] P. [12] Kenneth XV. XW. Strawn of the Electronics Division of the Johnson Service Company. For a series resistance of 2. perhaps. CONCLUSION It was the principal intent of this paper to demonstrate that the Maxwell commutated dc bridge can be used with capacitive transducers having significant series or parallel resistances. 1937. p. no effect should have been noted in the zero or the span until a series resistance well over 1000 ohms was added. March 1967. 112-115. Septem- ber 1964. vol. Electrical Measurement Analysis. and indeed the equation predicts negative current for values of the unknown equal to 50 and 150 pF. 40. by its performance and simplicity. meaningful photographs of circuit waveforms could not be taken. of the predicted shape. Laws. February . 513-528. the system could tolerate a total charging resistance of about 1. "Capacitive transducers. New York: McGrawHill. In theory. [51 S. J. Electrical Measurements. 35. capacity. 111-115. Control Sys. deviating above linearity by only 0. pp. vol. 121." Insir. 131 T. Control Sys. pp. L.. it is felt that the questions relating to the performance of the transistors could be answered or eliminated by using field effect transistors as the switches. "A simple capacitance measuring circuit with digital presentation. Foldvari and K. The circuit analysis offered here allows one to readily understand the operation of the circuit. the Maxwell commutated dc bridge is shown to be advantageously applicable to processing the signals of capacitive transducers. p.15 percent less than that measured. from (9) at 100 kHz and with an unknown of 550 pF. pp. simply because the available measuring equipment significantly distorted the condition of thie circuit. pp. Misevich.8 kQ.. we do not quite reach these ideals." Insir. L. but the output predicted by (16) is less than that measured. 157-159. Curtis and C. the transistors are eased into these states by being driven by near sinusoids. vol. Attempts to correlate the experimental results with the results predicted by (16) and (20) were not successful. Thus. oscilloscope probes having a capacitance of 50 pF changed the effective unknown by 100 percent at the low end of the scale. it was essentially linear. contrary to the contention of early papers on the circuit. Further. "Capacitive transducers. The Rad of the circuit is on the order of 1. and the OFF resistance is less than its maximum for part of the OFF half-cycle. O'Lone. vol. Control Sys. 37. A. 77-85." this issue pp. in the paragraphs to follow. [91 F. 22. November 1958. B." Bull. Finally. these devices typically have more distinct ON and OFF states. November 1964. pp. thus no adjustment should have been required. 111 E.2 kQ. "Capacitance measuring techniques. but there is some finite collector-tobase leakage. Thus the ON resistance is greater than the minimum for part of the ON half-cycle. Attempts to measure these resistances were not successful. Moon. the response for a "typical" capacitive transducer having 1 kQ of series resistance and 10 kQ of parallel resistance was determined. 1841-1843. " Instr. 17] E. November 1927. Rosa and F. Finally. particularly for values of series resistance less than 500 ohms.5 percent at midrange. The collector-to-emitter resistance of a saturated transistor is on the order of 10 ohms.DONOVAN: MAXWELL COMMUTATED DC BRIDGE 29 ther deviations with the slope of the curve then decreasing with increasing capacitance. "Capacitive humidity transducer. The only resistances in the circuit which cannot be readily and accurately measured are the effective collector-to-emitter resistances of the charging and discharging transistors. L. ACKNOWLEDGMENT The author wishes to acknowledge the contribution of C. pp. Modifying the oscillator output to a square waveform should further enhance performance by providing for more decisive turn ON and turn OFF Signals to the switching transistors. vol. 39. Electrical Measurements. Frank. 155. 'Capacitance as a means of measurement and control" Instruments and Automation. [8] H. 36. The performance of this circuit. vol. a zero shift of approximately 1 percent xvas noted with the span adjustment. 364. "The absolute measurement of 1905. L.. The reason for this deviation is explained. necessitated the study summarized here. The sensitivity equation predicts the slope of the output curve to be only 1. p. 31. 1917. [10] H. By performing acceptably." Electronic Engrg. August 1962. the experimental circuit supports the secondary contention that the traditional driven switch can be replaced by a solidstate switch. and it shows that the effects of series or parallel resistances with the unknown capacitance can be accounted for in designing the circuit.3 kQ. Grover. "The versatile capacitance bridge. REFERENCES [1] C. which contrasted with the restrictions contained in the literature.. Donovan. In practice. Weibv. vol. Control Sys. New York: McGrawHill. The waveforms observed were. For this same reason. vol. F. of course. 596-599. pp. [41 J. Hurst. The experimental results verify that the effects of lossy unknoxns on circuit performance are slight for a properly designed circuit. Lion. June 1966. C. New York: M-cGraw-Hill. S. In theory they are zero when the transistors are ON and infinite when they are OFF. 16] K. 253. For example. whatever the saturation and cutoff resistance may be. Curtis. Transistors in saturation do nearly approximate an infinite collector-toemitter resistance. however.

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