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Electronic Circuits and Design

- a potpourri of basic electronic circuits, circuit ideas, and formulae for anyone undertaking electronic circuit design http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/circuits/index.php The exact configuration of an electronic circuit is not always easy to remember, and even then there are associated electronic circuit design formulae to calculate the various circuit values. This section of the Radio- lectronics.!om website contains information about basic electronic circuits, building blocks, along with the relevant formulae to provide a uni"ue reference on the web for anyone undertaking electronic circuit design. This section is organi#ed by the chief component in the circuit. Thus a filter using an operation amplifier would come under the operational amplifier section, and a transistor radio fre"uency amplifier would come under the transistors section and a pin diode attenuator would be found in the diodes section. Resistor circuits Resistors are the most widely used components in electronic circuits. $lthough very simple in concept they are keys to the operation of many circuits. They can be used in a variety of ways to produce the re"uired results. - Resistors in parallel - Resistor attenuator circuits Resistor capacitor (RC) circuits R! or resistor capacitor circuits are used in a number of applications and may be used to provide simple fre"uency dependent circuits. - Twin T notch filter LC filter circuits %sing inductors and capacitors a whole variety of filters can be designed and made. These include low pass, high pass and band pass filters - A basic filter overview - Low pass LC filter - High pass LC filter - Band pass LC filter Diode circuits The diode is one of the most elementary semiconductor devices. &t essentially allows current though the device in one direction. %sing this facet of the diode there are many uses, but there are also other facets of its nature that enable to be used in other applications as well. - Simple P ! diode attenuator and switch - Constant impedance pin diode attenuator - Power suppl" current limiter - #iode voltage multiplier - Single balanced diode mi$er - #ouble balanced diode mi$er

Transistor circuits - Two transistor amplifier circuit with feedbac% - Transistor active high pass filter - Transistor current limiter for power supplies SCR, Diac and Triac Circuits SCR over-voltage crowbar circuit Operational amplifier circuits 'perational amplifiers are one of the main building blocks these days used in analogue electronics. They are not only easy to use, but they are plentiful, cheap and offer a very high level of performance. - &perational amplifier basics - nverting amplifier - High input impedance inverting amplifier - !on-inverting amplifier - High pass filter - Low pass filter - Band pass filter - 'ariable gain amplifier - (i$ed fre)uenc" notch filter - Twin T notch filter with variable * - +ulti-vibrator oscillator - Bi-stable multi-vibrator - Comparator - Schmitt trigger Digital logic circuits (ogic circuits consisting of building blocks including $)* and 'R and )$)* and )'R gates for the basis of today+s digital circuitry that is used in widely in electronics. Trigger, bi-stables, flip flops, etc. are also widely sued and can be made up from the basic building blocks. - Logic truth table - Hints and tips on designing and la"ing out digital or logic circuits - ,sing inverters to create other functions - A divide b" two fre)uenc" divider using a #-t"pe flip-flop - An R S flip flop using two logic gates - An edge triggered R S flip flop using two # t"pes - An electronicall" controlled inverter using an e$clusive &R gate Electrostatic Discharge ESD lectro ,tatic *ischarge - ,*. is important for anyone involved with electronics. ven small discharges that would go unnoticed in everyday life can cause large amounts of damage to electronic circuits. /ind out all about it and how to ensure electronic circuits are not affected in our three page tutorial. - -lectrostatic #ischarge -S# ./ pages0

Resistor attenuator circuits


- for use in radio fre"uency circuits including receivers and transmitters, etc $ttenuator circuits are used in a variety of radio fre"uency circuit design applications. The attenuators reduce the level of the signal and this can be used to ensure that the correct radio signal level enters another circuit block such as mixer or amplifier so that it is not overloaded. $s such attenuators are widely used by radio fre"uency circuit designers. 0hile it is possible to buy ready made attenuators, it is also easy to make attenuators for many applications. 1ere a simple resistor network can be used to make attenuators that provide levels of attenuation up to figures of 23 d4 and at fre"uency of 5 61# and more, provided that care is taken with the construction and the choice of components. 'ne important feature that is re"uired for radio fre"uency applications is that the characteristic impedance should be maintained. &n other words the impedance looking into and out of the attenuator should be matched to the characteristic impedance of the system. T and Pi networ s There are two basic formats that can be used for resistive attenuators. They are the T and pi networks. 'ften there is little to choose between them and the choice is often down to the preference of the designer. $s the name suggests the 7T7section attenuator is in the shape of the letter T with two resistors in the signal line and one in the centre to ground.

T section attenuator The two resistor values can be calculated very easily knowing the ratio of the input and output voltages, 8in and 8out respectively and the characteristic impedance Ro.

The pi section attenuator is in the form of the 6reek letter pi and has one in line resistor and a resistor to ground at the input and the output.

9i section attenuator ,imilarly the values for the pi section attenuator can be calculated

Practical aspects &t is generally good practice not to attempt to achieve any more than a maximum of :3 d4 attenuation in any one attenuator section. ven this is possibly a little high. &t is therefore

common practice to cascade several sections. 0hen this is done the ad;oining resistors can be combined. &n the case of the T section attenuator this simply means the two series resistors can be added together. /or the pi section attenuators there are parallel resistors. 0hen making large value attenuators, great care must be taken to prevent the signal leaking past the attenuator and reaching the output. This can result from capacitive or inductive coupling and poor earth arrangements. To overcome these problems good earth connection and careful layout, keeping the output and input away from one another are re"uired. &t may also be necessary to place a screen between the different sections. %sing these attenuators a surprisingly good fre"uency response can be obtained. )on-inductive resistors are re"uired to ensure the best performance, and using good printed circuit board techni"ues and surface mount resistors, a good performance at fre"uencies in excess of 5 61# are easy to achieve. Table of resistor values for <3 ohm attenuators Resistor designations refer to diagrams above Loss in d! 5 : ? > < 2 A @ = 53 55 5: 5? 5> R" :.= <.A @.< 55.? 5>.3 52.2 5=.5 :5.< :?.@ :2.3 :@.3 :=.= ?5.A ??.> R# >?? :5< 5>: 53< @:.: 22.= <<.@ >A.? >3.2 ?<.5 ?3.2 :2.@ :?.2 :3.@ R$ @A3 >?2 :=: ::5 5A= 5<5 5?5 552 53< =2.: @=.: @?.< A@.@ A>.= R% <.@ 55.2 5A.2 :?.@ ?3.> ?A.? >>.@ <:.@ 25.2 A5.: @5.A =?.: 532 5:3

5< 52 5A 5@ 5= :3

?>.= ?2.? ?A.2 ?@.@ ?=.= >3.=

5@.> 52.? 5>.> 5:.@ 55.> 53.5

A5.2 2@.@ 22.< 2>.> 2:.2 25.5

5?2 5<> 5A? 5=< ::3 :>@

Twin T notch filter


- design and circuit considerations for a resistor capacitor -R!. twin T notch filter The twin T circuit is very useful as a notch filter. 1ere the twin T provides a large degree of re;ection at a particular fre"uency. This notch filter can be useful in re;ecting unwanted signals that are on a particular fre"uency. 'ne example may be to filter out unwanted mains hum at <3 or 23 1# that may be entering a circuit. The response provided by the filter consists of a low level of attenuation away from the notch fre"uency. $s signals move closer to the notch fre"uency, the level of attenuation rises, giving the typical notch filter response. &n theory, at the notch fre"uency the level of attenuation provided by the twin T notch filter is infinite.

R! - Resistor !apacitor Twin T )otch /ilter The circuit for the twin T notch filter is shown above and can be seen to consist of three resistors and three capacitors. &t operates by phase shifting the signals in the different legs and adding them at the output. $t the notch fre"uency, the signals passing through each leg are 5@3 degrees out of phase and cancel out. &n theory this provides a complete null of the signal. 1owever in practice close tolerance components are re"uired to achieve a good null. &n common with other R! circuits, the R! twin T notch filter circuit has what may be termed as a soft cut-off. The response of the notch circuit falls away slowly and affects a wide band of

fre"uencies either side of the cut-off fre"uency. 1owever very close to the cut-off fre"uency the response falls away very "uickly, assuming that close tolerance components have been used. !alculation of the value for the circuit is very straightforward. fc B 5 / -: pi R !.

0here: fc B cut off fre"uency in 1ert# pi B ?.5>: R and ! are the values of the resistors and capacitors as in the circuit

&ilters o'er'iew
- an overview of the types of filter and the various design considerations and parameters /ilters of all types are re"uired in a variety of applications from audio to R/ and across the whole spectrum of fre"uencies. $s such filters form an important element within a variety of scenarios, enabling the re"uired fre"uencies to be passed through the circuit, while re;ecting those that are not needed. The ideal filter, whether it is a low pass, high pass, or band pass filter will exhibit no loss within the pass band, i.e. the fre"uencies below the cut off fre"uency. Then above this fre"uency in what is termed the stop band the filter will re;ect all signals. &n reality it is not possible to achieve the perfect pass filter and there is always some loss within the pass band, and it is not possible to achieve infinite re;ection in the stop band. $lso there is a transition between the pass band and the stop band, where the response curve falls away, with the level of re;ection rises as the fre"uency moves from the pass band to the stop band. &ilter t(pes There are four types of filter that can be defined. These are low pass, high pass, band pass and band re;ect filters. $s the names indicate, a low pass filter only allows fre"uencies below what is termed the cut off fre"uency through. This can also be thought of as a high re;ect filter as it re;ects high fre"uencies. ,imilarly a high pass filter only allows signals through above the cut off fre"uency and re;ects those below the cut off fre"uency. $ band pass filter allows fre"uencies through within a given pass band. /inally the band re;ect filter re;ects signals within a certain band. &t can be particularly useful for re;ecting a particular unwanted signal or set of signals falling within a given bandwidth.

Types of filter

&ilter fre)uencies $ filter allows signals through in what is termed the pass band. This is the band of fre"uencies below the cut off fre"uency for the filter. The cut off fre"uency of the filter is defined as the point at which the output level from the filter falls to <3C --? d4. of the in band level, assuming a constant input level. The cut off fre"uency is sometimes referred to as the half power or -? d4 fre"uency. The stop band of the filter is essentially the band of fre"uencies that is re;ected by the filter. &t is taken as starting at the point where the filter reaches its re"uired level of re;ection. &ilter classifications /ilters can be designed to meet a variety of re"uirements. $lthough using the same basic circuit configurations, the circuit values differ when the circuit is designed to meet different criteria. &n band ripple, fastest transition to the ultimate roll off, highest out of band re;ection are some of the criteria that result in different circuit values. These different filters are given names, each one being optimi#ed for a different element of performance. !utterworth* This type of filter provides the maximum in band flatness. !essel* This filter provides the optimum in-band phase response and therefore also provides the best step response. Che+(che'* This filter provides fast roll off after the cut off fre"uency is reached. 1owever this is at the expense of in band ripple. The more in band ripple that can be tolerated, the faster the roll off. Elliptical* This has significant levels of in band and out of band ripple, and as expected the higher the degree of ripple that can be tolerated, the steeper it reaches its ultimate roll off.

LC low pass filter


- the design considerations and formulae -formulas. for an (! -inductor capacitor. low pass filter (ow pass filters are used in a wide number of applications. 9articularly in radio fre"uency applications, low pass filters are made in their (! form using inductors and capacitors. Typically they may be used to filter out unwanted signals that may be present in a band above the wanted pass band. &n this way, this form of filter only accepts signals below the cut-off fre"uency. (ow pass filters using (! components, i.e. inductors and capacitors are arranged in ether a pi or T network. /or the pi section filter, each section has one series component and either side a component to ground. The T network low pass filter has one component to ground and either side there is a series in line component. &n the case of a low pass filter the series component or components are inductors whereas the components to ground are capacitors.

(! 9i and T section low pass filters There is a variety of different filter variants that can be used dependent upon the re"uirements in terms of in band ripple, rate at which final roll off is achieved, etc. The type used here is the constant-k and this produces some manageable e"uations: ( ! /c B B Do / -pi x /c. 1enries 5 / -Do x pi x /c. /arads

B 5 / -pi x s"uare root -( x !. 1#

0here Do B characteristic impedance in ohms ! B !apacitance in /arads ( B &nductance in 1enries /c B !utoff fre"uency in 1ert# &urther details &n order to provide a greater slope or roll off, it is possible to cascade several low pass filter sections. 0hen this is done the filter elements from ad;acent sections may be combined. /or example if two T section filters are cascaded and each T section has a 5 u1 inductor in each leg of the T, these may be combined in the ad;oining sections and a : u1 inductor used. The choice of components for any filter, and in this case for a low pass filter is important. !lose tolerance components should be used to ensure that the re"uired performance is obtained. &t is

also necessary to check on the temperature stability to ensure that the filter components do not vary significantly with temperature, thereby altering the performance. !are must be taken with the layout of the filter. This should be undertaken not ;ust for the pass band fre"uencies, but more importantly for the fre"uencies in the stop band that may be well in excess of the cut off fre"uency of the low pass filter. !apacitive and inductive coupling are the main elements that cause the filter performance to be degraded. $ccordingly the input and output of the filter should be kept apart. ,hort leads and tracks should be used, components from ad;acent filter sections should be spaced apart. ,creens used where re"uired, and good "uality connectors and coaxial cable used at the input and output if applicable.

LC high pass filter


- the design considerations and formulae -formulas. for an (! -inductor capacitor. high pass filter 1igh pass filters are used in a wide number of applications and particularly in radio fre"uency applications. /or the radio fre"uency filter applications, the high pass filters are made from inductors and capacitors rather than using other techni"ues such as active filters using operational amplifiers where applications are normally in the audio range. 1igh pass filters using (! components, i.e. inductors and capacitors are arranged in ether a pi or T network. $s suggested by its name, the pi network has one series component, and either side of it there is a component to ground. ,imilarly the T network high pass filter has one component to ground and either side there is a series in line component. &n the case of a high pass filter the series component or components are capacitors whereas the components to ground are inductors. &n this way these filters pass the high fre"uency signals, and re;ect the low fre"uency signals. These filters may be used in applications where there are unwanted signals in a band of fre"uencies below the cut-off fre"uency and it is necessary to pass the wanted signals in a band above the cut-off fre"uency of the filter.

(! 9i and T section low pass filters There is a variety of different filter variants that can be used dependent upon the re"uirements in terms of in band ripple, rate at which final roll off is achieved, etc. The type used here is the constant-k and this produces some manageable e"uations: ( ! /c B B Do / -> x pi x /c. 1enries 5 / -> x Do x pi x /c. /arads

B 5 / -> x pi x s"uare root -( x !. 1#

0here Do B characteristic impedance in ohms ! B !apacitance in /arads ( B &nductance in 1enries /c B !ut off fre"uency in 1ert# &urther details &n order to provide a greater slope or roll off in the high pass filter, it is possible to cascade several filter sections. 0hen this is done the filter elements from ad;acent sections may be combined. /or example if two T section filters are cascaded and each T section has a 5 u1

inductor in each leg of the T, these may be combined in the ad;oining sections and a : u1 inductor used. The choice of components for any filter, and in this case for a high pass filter is important. !lose tolerance components should be used to ensure that the re"uired performance is obtained. &t is also necessary to check on the temperature stability to ensure that the filter components do not vary significantly with temperature, thereby altering the performance. !are must be taken with the layout of the filter, especially when the filter is used for high fre"uencies. !apacitive and inductive coupling are the main elements that cause the filter performance to be degraded. $ccordingly the input and output of the filter should be kept apart. ,hort leads and tracks should be used, !omponents from ad;acent filter sections should be spaced apart. ,creens used where re"uired, and good "uality connectors and coaxial cable used at the input and output if applicable.

LC +and pass filter


- the design considerations and formulae -formulas. for an (! -inductor capacitor. band pass filter 4and pass filters using (! components, i.e. inductors and capacitors are used in a number of radio fre"uency applications. These filters enable a band of fre"uencies to be passed through the filter, while those in the stop band of the band pass filter are re;ected. These filters are typically used where a small band of fre"uencies need to be passed through the filter and all others re;ected by the filter. (ike the high pass filters and the low pass filters, there are two topologies that are used for these filters, namely the 9i and the T configurations. Rather than having a single element in each leg of the filter as in the case of the low pass and high pass filters, the band pass filter has a resonant circuit in each leg. These resonant circuits are either series or parallel tuned (! circuits.

(! 9i and T section band pass filters The e"uations below provide the values for the capacitors and resistors for a constant-k filter. $s the filter is a band pass filter there are two cut off fre"uencies. 'ne at the low edge of the pass band and the toher at the top edge of the pass band. (5 (: !5 !: B B B B Do / -pi -f: - f5.. 1enries Do -f: - f5. / -> pi f: f5.. 1enries -f: - f5. / -> pi f: f5 Do. /arads 5 / -pi Do -f: - f5.. /arads

Do B characteristic impedance in ohms !5 and !: B !apacitance in /arads (5 and (: B &nductance in 1enries f5 and f: B !ut off fre"uencies in 1ert# &urther details The choice of components for any filter such as a low pass filter or a high pass filter can be crucial to its performance. &n the case of a band pass filter it is even more important as the circuit comprises six components rather than ;ust three. $s a result of this, close tolerance components should be used to ensure that the re"uired performance is obtained. &t is also necessary to check on the temperature stability to ensure that the filter components do not vary significantly with temperature, thereby altering the performance. !are must be taken with the layout of the filter, especially when the filter is used for high fre"uencies. !apacitive and inductive coupling are the main elements that cause the filter performance to be degraded. $ccordingly the input and output of the filter should be kept apart. ,hort leads and tracks should be used, !omponents from ad;acent filter sections should be spaced apart. ,creens used where re"uired, and good "uality connectors and coaxial cable used at the input and output if applicable.

Simple P,- diode switch


- 9&) diode attenuator and switch circuit using a single 9&) diode /or applications where the ultimate performance is not re"uired a single 9&) diode can be used. The circuit shown only re"uires a few components and is very simple to implement. )evertheless it is able to act as a switch for radio fre"uency or R/ applications and is ade"uate for many applications. 0hen a positive potential is applied to the control point current, this forward biases the diode and as a result the radio fre"uency signal is able to pass through the circuit. 0hen a negative bias is

applied to the circuit, the diode become reverse biased and is effectively switched off. %nder these conditions the depletion layer in the diode becomes wide and does not allow signal to pass.

,imple 9&) diode attenuator and switch $lthough in theory any diode could be used in this position, 9&) diodes have a number of advantages as switches. &n the first place they are more linear than ordinary 9) ;unction diodes. This means that in their action as a radio fre"uency switch they do not create as many spurious products. ,econdly when reverse biased and switched off, the depletion layer is wider than with an ordinary diode and this provides for greater isolation when switching.

P,- diode attenuator


- a constant impedance attenuator design for radio fre"uency or R/ circuit design applications lectronically controllable 9&) diode attenuators are often used in radio fre"uency or R/ circuit designs. &t is often necessary to be able to control the level of a radio fre"uency signal using a control voltage. &t is possible to achieve this using a 9&) diode attenuator circuit. ,ome circuits do not offer a constant impedance, whereas this 9&) diode attenuator gives a satisfactory match. The 9&) diode variable attenuator is used to give attenuation over a range of about :3 d4 and can be used in <3 ohm systems. The inductor (5 along with the capacitors !> and !< are included to prevent signal leakage from *5 to *: that would impair the performance of the circuit. The maximum attenuation is achieved when 8in is at a minimum. $t this point current from the supply 8E turns the diodes *5 and *: on effectively shorting the signal to ground. *? is then reverse biased. 0hen 8in is increased the diodes *5 and *: become reverse biased, and *? becomes forward biased, allowing the signal to pass through the circuit.

9&) diode variable attenuator Typical values for the circuit might be: E8 : < voltsF 8in : 3 - 2 voltsF *5 to *? 19<3@:-?3@3 9&) diodesF R5 :k:F R: : 5kF R? :kAF (5 is self resonant above the operating fre"uency, but sufficient to give isolation between the diodes *5 and *:. These values are only a starting point for an experimental design, and are only provided as such. The circuit may not be suitable in all instances. Choice of diode $lthough in theory any diode could be used in this position, 9&) diodes have a number of advantages as switches. &n the first place they are more linear than ordinary 9) ;unction diodes. This means that in their action as a radio fre"uency switch they do not create as many spurious products and additionally as an attenuator they have a more useful curve. ,econdly when reverse biased and switched off, the depletion layer is wider than with an ordinary diode and this provides for greater isolation when switching.

Power suppl( current limiter


- a simple circuit for a power supply current limiter using two diodes and a resistor &n any power supply there is always the risk that the output will experience a short circuit. $ccordingly it is necessary to protect the power supply from damage under these circumstances. There are a number of circuits that can be used for power supply protection, but one of the simplest circuits uses ;ust two diodes and an additional resistor. The circuit for the power supply current limiter uses a sense resistor placed in series with the emitter of the output pass transistor. Two diodes placed between the output of the circuit and the base of the pass transistor provide the current limiting action. 0hen the circuit is operating within its normal operating range a small voltage exists across the series resistor. This voltage plus the base emitter voltage of the transistor is less than the two diode ;unction drops needed to turn on the two diodes to allow them to conduct current. 1owever as the current increases so does the voltage across the resistor. 0hen it e"uals the turn on voltage for a diode the voltage across the

resistor plus the base emitter ;unction drop for the transistor e"uals two diode drops, and as a result this voltage appears across the two diodes, which start to conduct. This starts to pull the voltage on the base of the transistor down, thereby limiting the current that can be drawn.

4asic power supply current limiting circuit The circuit of this diode current limiter for a power supply is particularly simple. The value of the series resistor can be calculated so that the voltage across it rises to 3.2 volts -the turn on voltage for a silicon diode. when the maximum current is reached. 1owever it is always best to ensure that there is some margin in hand by limiting the current from the simple power supply regulator before the absolute maximum level is reached. .sing in other circuits The same simple diode form of current limiting may be incorporated into power supply circuits that use feedback to sense the actual output voltage and provide a more accurately regulated output. &f the output voltage sense point is taken after the series current sensing resistor, then the voltage drop across this can be corrected at the output.

9ower supply with feedback and current limiting This circuit gives far better regulation than the straight emitter follower regulator. $lso voltage drops in the series current limit sense resistor can be accounted for provided that there is sufficient voltage drop across the series pass transistor in the power supply circuit. /inally the output voltage can be ad;usted to give the re"uired value using the variable resistor. Summar( The diode form of current limiting can be incorporated into a power supply circuit very easily. $dditionally it is cheap and convenient. 1owever if superior performance is needed then a

transistori#ed form of current limit may be used. This gives a sharper limiting that is more suitable for more exacting power supply re"uirements.

Diode 'oltage multiplier


-a circuit using diodes that multiplies the incoming voltage 0ithin a power supply or other rectifier circuit it is possible to configure the diodes in such a way that they double, triple or more, the level of the incoming voltage. This type of voltage multiplier circuit finds uses in many applications where a low current, high voltage source is re"uired. $lthough there are some variations on the basic circuit, these ones shown below use a single winding on the transformer that is re"uired, one side of which can be grounded. $lternatively another $! source can be used. &n this configuration the circuit is particularly convenient as the $! source does not need to be isolated from ground.

*iode voltage doubler circuit &n this voltage doubler circuit the first diode rectifies the signal and its output is e"ual to the peak voltage from the transformer rectified as a half wave rectifier. $n $! signal via the capacitor also reaches the second diode, and in view of the *! block provided by the capacitor this causes the output from the second diode to sit on top of the first one. &n this way the output from the circuit is twice the peak voltage of the transformer, less the diode drops. 8ariations of the basic circuit and concept are available to provide a voltage multiplier function of almost any factor. $pplying the same principle of sitting one rectifier on top of another and using capacitive coupling enables a form of ladder network to built up. The voltage multiplier circuits are very useful. 1owever they are normally suitable only for low current applications. $s the voltage multiplication increases the losses increase. The source resistance tends to rise, and loading becomes an issue. /or each diode in the chain there is the usual diode drop -normally 3.2 volts for a silicon diode., but the reactance of the capacitors can become significant, especially when mains fre"uencies of <3 or 23 1# are used. 1igh voltage high value capacitors can be expensive and large. This may provide physical constraints for making them too large.

Diode single +alanced mi/er


-a circuit of a diode single balanced mixer and its typical applications for radio fre"uency, R/ circuits

Gixers are widely used for radio fre"uency of R/ applications. The mixers used in this arena multiply the two signals entering the circuit together. -note - audio mixers add signals together.. The multiplier type mixers used in radio fre"uency applications are formed using non-linear devices. $s a result the two signals entering the circuit are multiplied together - the output at any given time is proportional to the product of the levels of the two signals entering the circuit at that instant. This gives rise to signals at fre"uencies e"ual to the sum and the difference of the fre"uencies of the two signals entering the circuit. 'ne of the simpler mixer circuits is based around two diodes. This type of diode known as a single balanced diode mixer circuit provides re;ection of the input signals at the output as a result of the fact that the two inputs are balanced. The circuit is only singly balanced and as a result it does not give isolation between the two input ports. This means that the signal from the local oscillator may leak onto the signal input line and this may give rise to inter-modulation distortion. 1owever for many applications this circuit operates "uite satisfactorily. 0here this may be a problem then a double balanced mixer should be used.

The circuit of a diode single balanced mixer The circuit has a typical conversion loss, i.e. the difference between the signal input and the output of around @d4, although this depends upon the components used and the construction. The diodes should be as nearly matched as possible, and the transformer should be closely balanced for optimum re;ection of the input signals at the output. 0here the input signals are widely spaced in fre"uency, it is possible to utili#e a variation of the basic single balanced diode mixer to good effect. The circuit which is shown below may be used in a variety of applications, for example where an audio signal needs to be modulated onto a radio fre"uency, R/, carrier. &n the circuit the two signals are combined using !5 as a high pass filter, and the combination of R/! and !: as a low pass filter. &n this way the leakage between the two input ports is minimi#ed. $ further refinement is that a balance control is incorporated into the balanced mixer circuit. This is used to ensure optimum balance. /or example when used for modulating an R/ carrier, it can be used to minimi#e the level of the carrier at the output, thereby ensuring only the two sidebands are produced.

The circuit of a diode single balanced mixer with a balance control $lthough this form of the single balanced diode mixer circuit does re"uire a few more components, the performance is improved as the variable resistor enables much better balance to be achieved, and additionally there is some form of isolation between the two inputs.

Dou+le +alanced diode mi/er


-a circuit of a double balanced diode mixer and its typical applications for radio fre"uency, R/ circuits Radio fre"uency mixers such as the double balanced diode mixer are used, not for adding signals together as in an audio mixer, but rather multiplying them together. 0hen this occurs the output is a multiplication of the two input signals, and signals at new fre"uencies e"ual to the sum and difference fre"uencies are produced. 4eing a double balanced mixer, this type of mixer suppresses the two input signals at the output. &n this way only the sum and difference fre"uencies are seen. $dditionally the balancing also isolates the two inputs from one another. This prevents the signals from one input entering the output circuitry of the other and the resultant possibility of inter-modulation.

The circuit of a double balanced diode mixer Typical performance figures for the circuit are that isolation between ports is around :< d4, and the conversion loss, i.e. the difference between the signal input and output levels is around @ d4.

%sing typical diodes, the input level to the mixer on the local oscillator port is around 5 volt RG, or 5? d4m into <3 ohms. The isolation between the various ports is maximi#ed if the coils are accurately matched so that a good balance is achieved. $dditionally the diodes must also be matched. 'ften they need to be specially selected to ensure that their properties closely match each other. &n order to obtain the optimum performance the source impedances for the two input signals and the load impedance for the output should be matched to the re"uired impedance. &t is for this reason that small attenuators are often placed in the lines of the mixer. These are typically ? d4, and although they do reduce the signal level they improve the overall performance of the mixer. These mixers may be constructed, but for many commercial pieces of e"uipment they are purchased in a manufactured form. These devices can have the re"uired level of development and as a result their performance can be optimi#ed. $lthough they are often not cheap to buy, their performance is often worth the additional expense.

Simple two transistor amplifier


- a simple design for a two transistor amplifier with feedback This electronic circuit design shows a simple two transistor amplifier with feedback. &t offers a reasonable high impedance while providing a low output impedance. &t is an ideal transistor amplifier circuit for applications where a higher level of gain is re"uired than that which would be provided by a single transistor stage.

Two transistor amplifier circuit with feedback $v B -R> E R<. / R>

The resistors R5 and R: are chosen to set the base of TR5 to around the mid point. &f some current limiting is re"uired then it is possible to place a resistor between the emitter of TR: and the supply.

Transistor high pass filter


- a simple one transistor circuit to provide an active high pass filter &t is sometimes convenient to design a simple active high pass filter using one transistor. The transistor filter circuit given below provides a two pole filter with unity gain. %sing ;ust a single transistor, this filter is convenient to place in a larger circuit because it contains few components and does not occupy too much space. The active high pass transistor circuit is "uite straightforward, using ;ust a total of four resistors, two capacitors and a single transistor. The operating conditions for the transistor are set up in the normal way. R: and R? are used to set up the bias point for the base of the transistor. The resistor Re is the emitter resistor and sets the current for the transistor. The filter components are included in negative feedback from the output of the circuit to the input. The components that form the active filter network consist of !5, !:, R5 and the combination of R: and R? in parallel, assuming that he input resistance to the emitter follower circuit are very high and can be ignored.

Transistor active high pass filter circuit !5 R5 B B : !: R: x R? / -R: E R?.

This is for values where the effect of the emitter follower transistor itself within the high pass filter circuit can be ignored, i.e.: Re -4E5. fo B HH R: x R? / -R: E R?.

5.>5> / -> pi R5 !:.

0here:

4 B the forward current gain of the transistor fo B the cut-off fre"uency of the high pass filter pi B the 6reek letter pi and is e"ual to ?.5>:@< The e"uations for determining the component values provide a 4utterworth response, i.e. maximum flatness within the pass-band at the expense of achieving the ultimate roll off as "uickly as possible. This has been chosen because this form of filter suits most applications and the mathematics works out easily

O'er0'oltage crow+ar circuit


- an over voltage crowbar protection circuit using a silicon controlled rectifier or ,!R 9ower supplies are normally reliable, but if they fail then they can cause significant damage to the circuitry they supply on some occasions. The ,!R over-voltage crowbar protection circuit described provides a very simple but effective method of protecting against the certain types of power supply failure. &n most analogue power supply arrangements a control voltage is fed into a series regulating device such as a transistor. This controls the current and hence the output voltage. Typically the input voltage to this may be well in excess of the output voltage. &f the series regulator transistor in the power supply fails and goes short circuit, then the full input voltage will appear on the circuitry that is being supplied and significant damage may result. To overcome this ,!R over voltage crowbar circuits are widely used. These over-voltage protection circuits are easy to design, simple to construct and may prevent significant levels of damage in the unlikely event of a power supply failure. 4y looking at the voltages involved it is very easy to see why the inclusion of over-voltage protection is so important. $ typical supply may provide < volts stabili#ed to logic circuitry. To provide sufficient input voltage to give ade"uate stabili#ation, ripple re;ection and the like, the input to the power supply regulator may be in the region of 53 to 5< volts. ven 53 volts would be sufficient to destroy many chips used today, particularly the more expensive and complicated ones. $ccordingly preventing this is of great importance. Circuit Gost good bench power supplies include a form of over-voltage protection, but for those power supplies or for other applications where over voltage protection is re"uired, a simple over voltage crowbar circuit can be built. &t uses ;ust four components: a silicon controlled rectifier or ,!R, a #ener diode, a resistor and a capacitor.

,!R over-voltage crowbar circuit The ,!R over voltage crowbar or protection circuit is connected between the output of the power supply and ground. The #ener diode voltage is chosen to be slightly above that of the output rail. Typically a < volt rail may run with a 2.: volt #ener diode. 0hen the #ener diode voltage is reached, current will flow through the #ener and trigger the silicon controlled rectifier or thyristor. This will then provide a short circuit to ground, thereby protecting the circuitry that is being supplied form any damage. $s a silicon controlled rectifier, ,!R, or thyristor is able to carry a relatively high current - even "uite average devices can conduct five amps and short current peaks of may be <3 and more amps, cheap devices can provide a very good level of protection for small cost. $lso voltage across the ,!R will be low, typically only a volt when it has fired and as a result the heat sinking is not a problem. 1owever it is necessary to ensure that the power supply has some form of current limiting. 'ften a fuse is ideal because the ,!R will be able to clamp the voltage for long enough for it to blow. The small resistor, often around 533 ohms from the gate of the thyristor or ,!R to ground is re"uired so that the #ener can supply a reasonable current when it turns on. &t also clamps the gate voltage at ground potential until the #ener turns on. The capacitor is present to ensure that short spikes to not trigger the circuit. ,ome optimi#ation may be re"uired in choosing the correct value although 3.5 microfarads is a good starting point. Limitations $lthough this power supply over-voltage protection circuit is widely used, it does have some limitations. Gost of these are associated with the #ener diode. The #ener diode is not ad;ustable, and these diodes come with at best a <C tolerance. &n addition to this the firing voltage must be sufficiently far above the nominal power supply output voltage to ensure that any spikes that may appear on the line do not fire the circuit. 0hen taking into account all the tolerances and margins the guaranteed voltage at which the circuit may fire can be :3 - >3C above the nominal dependent upon the voltage of the power supply. The lower the voltage the greater the margins needed. 'ften on a < volt supply there can be difficulty designing it so that the over-voltage crowbar fires below A volts where damage may be caused to circuits being protected.

&t is also necessary to ensure that there is some means of limiting the current should the overvoltage crowbar circuit fire. &f not then further damage may be caused to the power supply itself. 'ften a fuse may be employed in the circuit. &n some circuits a fuse is introduced prior to the series regulator transistor, and the ,!R anode connected to the ;unction node where the output of the fuse is connected to the input of the series regulator. This ensures that the fuse will blow swiftly. *espite its drawbacks this is still a very useful circuit which can be used in a variety of areas.

Operational amplifier +asics


- 'verview of the operational amplifier or op-amp as a circuit building block 'perational amplifiers are one of the workhorses of the analogue electronics scene. They are virtually the ideal amplifier, providing a combination of a very high gain, a very high input impedance and a very low output impedance. The input to the operational amplifier has differential inputs, and these enable the operational amplifier circuit to be used in an enormous variety of circuits. The circuit symbol for an operational amplifier consists simply of a triangle as shown below. The two inputs are designated by 7E7 and 7-7 symbols, and the output of the operational amplifier is at the opposite end of the triangle. &nputs from the 7E7 input appear at the output in the same phase, whereas signals present at the 7-7 input appear at the output inverted or 5@3 degrees out of phase. This gives rise to the names for the inputs. The 7E7 input is known as the non-inverting input, while the 7-7 input is the inverting input of the operational amplifier.

'perational amplifier circuit symbol 'ften the power supply rails for the operational amplifier are not shown in circuit diagrams and there is no connection for a ground line. The power rails for the operational amplifier are assumed to be connected. The power for the operational amplifier is generally supplied as a positive rail and also a negative rail. 'ften voltages of E5<8 and -5< 8 are used, although this will vary according to the application and the actual chip used. The gain of the operational amplifier is very high. /igures for the levels of gain provided by an operational amplifier on its own are very high. Typically they may be upwards of 53 333. 0hile levels of gain may be too high for use on their own, the application of feedback around the operational amplifier enables the circuit to be used in a wide variety of applications, from very flat amplifiers, to filters, oscillators, switches, and much more. Open loop gain

The gain of an operational amplifier is exceedingly high. )ormally feedback is applied around the op-amp so that the gain of the overall circuit is defined and kept to a figure which is more usable. 1owever the very high level of gain of the op-amp enables considerable levels of feedback to be applied to enable the re"uired performance to be achieved. 0hen measured the open loop gain of an operational amplifier falls very rapidly with increasing fre"uency. Typically an op-amp may have an open loop gain of around 53I<, but this usually starts to fall very "uickly. /or the famous A>5 operational amplifier, it starts to fall at a fre"uency of only 53 1#. Slew rate 0ith very high gains the operational amplifiers have what is termed compensation capacitance to prevent oscillation. This capacitance combined with the limited drive currents mean that the output of the amplifier is only able to change at a limited rate, even when a large or rapid change occurs at the input. This maximum speed is known as the slew rate. $ typical general purpose device may have a slew rate of 53 8 / microsecond. This means that when a large step change is placed on the input, the device would be able to provide an output 53 volt change in one microsecond. The figures for slew rate change are dependent upon the type of operational amplifier being used. (ow power op-amps may only have a slew rate of a volt per microsecond, whereas there are fast operational amplifiers capable to providing slew rates of 5333 8 / microsecond. The slew rate can introduce distortion onto a signal by limiting the fre"uency of a large signal that can be accommodated. &t is possible to find the maximum fre"uency or voltage that can be accommodated. $ sine wave with a fre"uency of f 1ert# and amplitude 8 volts re"uires an operational amplifier with a slew rate of : x pi x 8 x 8 volts per second. Offset null 'ne of the minor problems with an operational amplifier is that they have a small offset. )ormally this is small, but it is "uoted in the datasheets for the particular operational amplifier in "uestion. &t is possible to null this using an external potentiometer connected to the three offset null pins.

,n'erting operational amplifier circuit


- the use of an operational amplifier or op-amp in an inverting amplifier or virtual earth circuit 'perational amplifiers can be used in a wide variety of circuit configurations. 'ne of the most widely used is the inverting amplifier configuration. &t offers many advantages from being very simple to use, re"uiring ;ust the operational amplifier integrated circuit and a few other components. !asic circuit The basic circuit for the inverting operational amplifier circuit is shown below. &t consists of a resistor from the input terminal to the inverting input of the circuit, and another resistor

connected from the output to the inverting input of the op-amp. The non inverting input is connected to ground.

4asic inverting operational amplifier circuit &n this circuit the non inverting input of the operational amplifier is connected to ground. $s the gain of the operational amplifier itself is very high and the output from the amplifier is a matter of a few volts, this means that the difference between the two input terminals is exceedingly small and can be ignored. $s the non-inverting input of the operational amplifier is held at ground potential this means that the inverting input must be virtually at earth potential -i.e. a virtual earth.. $s the input to the op-amp draws no current this means that the current flowing in the resistors R5 and R: is the same. %sing ohms law 8out /R: B -8in/R5. 1ence the voltage gain of the circuit $v can be taken as: $v B - R: / R5

$s an example, an amplifier re"uiring a gain of ten could be built by making R: >A k ohms and R5 >.A k ohms. ,nput impedance &t is often necessary to know the input impedance of a circuit. $ circuit with a low input impedance may load the output of the previous circuit and may give rise to effects such as changing the fre"uency response if the coupling capacitors are not large. &t is very simple to determine the input impedance of an inverting operational amplifier circuit. &t is simply the value of the input resistor R5. This is because the inverting input is at earth potential -i.e. a virtual earth. and this means that the resistor is connected between the input and earth.

1igh impedance in'erting op amp circuit


- a high input impedance version of the inverting operational amplifier or op-amp circuit The standard inverting amplifier configuration is widely used with operational amplifier integrated circuits. &t has many advantages: being simple to constructF it offers the possibility of summation or mixing -in the audio sense. of several signalsF and of course it inverts the signal which can be important in some instances.

1owever the circuit does have some drawbacks which can be important on some occasions. The main drawback is its input impedance. To show how this can be important it is necessary to look at the circuit and take some examples. The basic circuit for the inverting operational amplifier circuit is shown below. &t consists of a resistor from the input terminal to the inverting input of the circuit, and another resistor connected from the output to the inverting input of the op-amp. The non inverting input is connected to ground.

4asic inverting operational amplifier circuit The gain for the amplifier can be calculated from the formula: $v B - R: / R5

&f a high gain of, for example 533, is re"uired this means that the ratio of R: : R5 is 533. &t is good practice to keep the resistors in op amp circuits within reasonable bounds. &n view of this the maximum value for R: should be 5 G 'hm. This means that the input resistor and hence the input resistance to the amplifier circuit as a whole is 53 k 'hm. &n some instances this may not be sufficiently high. To overcome this problem it is possible to modify the circuit, and add a couple of extra resistors. The feedback resistor R: serves to limit the amount of feedback. The higher it is the less feedback, and hence the higher the gain. 4y adding a couple of additional resistors across the output to act as a potential divider and taking the resistor R: from the centre point, the level of feedback can be reduced. The circuit for this configuration is shown below:

1igh input impedance inverting operational amplifier circuit

The gain for this amplifier can be calculated from the formula: $v B - R: -R? E R>. / -R5 x R>.

$gain the input resistance is e"ual to R5, but this can be made higher for the same gain. Reminder &t is worth mentioning at this point that for high levels of gain, the gain bandwidth product of the basic op amp itself may become a problem. 0ith levels of gain of 533, the bandwidth of some operational amplifier &!s may only be around ? k1#. !heck the data sheet for the given chip being used before settling on the level of gain.

-on0in'erting operational amplifier circuit


- the use of an operational amplifier or op-amp in a non-inverting amplifier circuit 'perational amplifiers can be used in two basic configurations to create amplifier circuits. 'ne is the inverting amplifier where the output is the inverse or 5@3 degrees out of phase with the input, and the other is the non-inverting amplifier where the output is in the same sense or in phase with the input. 4oth operational amplifier circuits are widely used and they find applications in different areas. 0hen an operational amplifier or op-amp is used as a non-inverting amplifier it only re"uires a few additional components to create a working amplifier circuit. !asic circuit The basic non-inverting operational amplifier circuit is shown below. &n this circuit the signal is applied to the non-inverting input of the op-amp. 1owever the feedback is taken from the output of the op-amp via a resistor to the inverting input of the operational amplifier where another resistor is taken to ground. &t is the value of these two resistors that govern the gain of the operational amplifier circuit.

4asic non-inverting operational amplifier circuit

The gain of the non-inverting circuit for the operational amplifier is easy to determine. The calculation hinges around the fact that the voltage at both inputs is the same. This arises from the fact that the gain of the amplifier is exceedingly high. &f the output of the circuit remains within the supply rails of the amplifier, then the output voltage divided by the gain means that there is virtually no difference between the two inputs. $s the input to the op-amp draws no current this means that the current flowing in the resistors R5 and R: is the same. The voltage at the inverting input is formed from a potential divider consisting of R5 and R:, and as the voltage at both inputs is the same, the voltage at the inverting input must be the same as that at the non-inverting input. This means that 8in B 8out x R5 / -R5 E R:. 1ence the voltage gain of the circuit $v can be taken as: $v B 5 E R: / R5

$s an example, an amplifier re"uiring a gain of eleven could be built by making R: >A k ohms and R5 >.A k ohms. ,nput impedance &t is often necessary to know the input impedance of a circuit. The input impedance of this operational amplifier circuit is very high, and may typically be well in excess of 53IA ohms. /or most circuit applications this can be completely ignored. This is a significant difference to the inverting configuration of an operational amplifier circuit which provided only a relatively low impedance dependent upon the value of the input resistor. 2C coupling &n most cases it is possible to *! couple the circuit. 1owever in this case it is necessary to ensure that the non-inverting has a *! path to earth for the very small input current that is needed. This can be achieved by inserting a high value resistor, R? in the diagram, to ground as shown below. The value of this may typically be 533 k ohms or more. &f this resistor is not inserted the output of the operational amplifier will be driven into one of the voltage rails.

4asic non-inverting operational amplifier circuit with capacitor coupled input 0hen inserting a resistor in this manner it should be remembered that the capacitor-resistor combination forms a high pass filter with a cut-off fre"uency. The cut off point occurs at a fre"uency where the capacitive reactance is e"ual to the resistance.

Operational amplifier high pass filter


-a summary of operational amplifier or op-amp active high pass filter circuitry 'perational amplifiers lend themselves to being used for active filter circuits, including a high pass filter circuit. %sing a few components they are able to provide high levels of performance. The simplest circuit high pass filter circuit using an operational amplifier can be achieved by placing a capacitor in series with one of the resistors in the amplifier circuit as shown. The capacitor reactance increases as the fre"uency falls, and as a result this forms a !R low pass filter providing a roll off of 2 d4 per octave. The cut off fre"uency or break point of the filter can be calculated very easily by working out the fre"uency at which the reactance of the capacitor e"uals the resistance of the resistor. This can be achieved using the formula: Jc B : pi f !

where: Jc is the capacitive reactance in ohms pi is the 6reek letter and e"ual to ?.5>: f is the fre"uency in 1ert# ! is the capacitance in /arads

'perational amplifier circuits with low fre"uency roll off Two pole low pass filter $lthough it is possible to design a wide variety of filters with different levels of gain and different roll off patterns using operational amplifiers, the filter described on this page will give a good sure-fire solution. &t offers unity gain and a 4utterworth response -the flattest response in band, but not the fastest to achieve ultimate roll off out of band..

'perational amplifier two pole high pass filter ,imple sure fire design with 4utterworth response and unity gain The calculations for the circuit values are very straightforward for the 4utterworth response and unity gain scenario. !ritical damping is re"uired for the circuit and the ratio of the resistor vales determines this.

0hen choosing the values, ensure that the resistor values fall in the region between 53 k ohms and 533 k ohms. This is advisable because the output impedance of the circuit rises with increasing fre"uency and values outside this region may affect he performance.

Operational amplifier +and pass filter


-a sure fire operational amplifier or op-amp active band pass filter circuit

The design of band pass filters can become very involved even when using operational amplifiers. 1owever it is possible to simplify the design e"uations while still being able to retain an acceptable level of performance of the operational amplifier filter for many applications.

!ircuit of the operational amplifier active band pass filter

$s only one operational amplifier is used in the filter circuit, the gain should be limited to five or less, and the K to less than ten. &n order to improve the shape factor of the operational amplifier filter one or more stages can be cascaded. $ final point to note is that high stability and tolerance components should be used for both the resistors and the capacitors. &n this way the performance of the operational amplifier filter will be obtained.

Op0amp 'aria+le gain amplifier


- a variable gain circuit using an operational amplifier $ useful variable gain and sign amplifier can be constructed using a single variable gain amplifier. The circuit uses a single operational amplifier, two resistors and a variable resistor.

8ariable gain operational amplifier circuit %sing this circuit the gain can be calculated from the formula below. &n this the variable 7a7 represents the percentage of travel of the potentiometer, and it varies between 737 and 757. &t is also worth noting that the input impedance is practically independent of the position of the potentiometer, and hence the gain

Op amp notch filter


- the circuit and design considerations for a notch filter using an operational amplifier, four resistors and two capacitors This operational amplifier notch filter circuit is simple yet effective, providing a notch on a specific fixed fre"uency. &t can be used to notch out or remove a particular fre"uency that may need to be removed. 1aving a fixed fre"uency, this operational amplifier, op amp, notch filter circuit may find applications such as removing fixed fre"uency interference like mains hum, from audio circuits.

$ctive operational amplifier notch filter circuit The circuit is "uite straightforward to build. &t employs both negative and positive feedback around the operational amplifier chip and in this way it is able to provide a high degree of performance. !alculation of the value for the circuit is very straightforward. The formula to calculate the resistor and capacitor values for the notch filter circuit is:

fnotch R ! B B

B R? !5

5 / -: pi R !. B B R> !:

0here: fnotch B centre fre"uency of the notch in 1ert# pi B ?.5>: R and ! are the values of the resistors and capacitors in 'hms and /arads 0hen building the circuit, high tolerance components must be used to obtain the best performance. Typically they should be 5C or better. $ notch depth of >< d4 can be obtained using 5C components, although in theory it is possible for the notch to be of the order of 23 d4 using ideal components. R5 and R: should be matched to within 3.<C or they may be trimmed using parallel resistors. $ further item to ensure the optimum operation of the circuit is to ensure that the source impedance is less than about 533 ohms. $dditionally the load impedance should be greater than about : G 'hms. The circuit is often used to remove unwanted hum from circuits. 8alues for a <3 1# notch would be: !5, !: B >A n/, R5, R: B 53 k, R?, R> B 2@ k.

Op amp twin T notch filter


- the circuit and design considerations for a twin T notch filter with variable K using an operational amplifier The twin T notch filter is a simple circuit that can provide a good level of re;ection at the 7notch7 fre"uency. The simple R! notch filter can be placed within an operational amplifier circuit to provide an active filter. &n the circuit shown below, the level of K of the notch filter can be varied.

$ctive twin T notch filter circuit with variable K

!alculation of the value for the circuit is very straightforward. The formula is the same as that used for the passive version of the twin T notch filter. fc B 5 / -: pi R !.

0here: fc B cut off fre"uency in 1ert# pi B ?.5>: R and ! are the values of the resistors and capacitors as in the circuit The notch filter circuit can be very useful, and the ad;ustment facility for the K can also be very handy. The main drawback of the notch filter circuit is that as the level of K is increased, the depth of the null reduces. *espite this the notch filter circuit can be successfully incorporated into many circuit applications.

Operational amplifier multi0'i+rator


- a simple multi-vibrator oscillator circuit using a single op amp &t is possible to construct a very simple multi-vibrator oscillator circuit using an operational amplifier. The circuit can be used in a variety of applications where a simple s"uare wave oscillator circuit is re"uired. The circuit comprises two sections. The feedback to the capacitor is provided by the resistor R5, whereas hysterises is provided by the two resistors R: and R?.

'perational amplifier multi-vibrator oscillator The time period for the oscillation is provided by the formula:

T B : ! R5 loge -5 E : R: / R?. $lthough many multi-vibrator circuits may be provided using simple logic gates, this circuit ahs the advantage that it can be used to provide an oscillator that will generate a much higher output than that which could come from a logic circuit running from a < volt supply. &n addition to this the multi-vibrator oscillator circuit is very simple, re"uiring ;ust one operational amplifier - op amp ., three resistors, and a single capacitor.

Operational amplifier +i0sta+le multi0'i+rator


- a circuit for a bi-stable multi-vibrator using an operational amplifier, op amp &t is easy to use an operational amplifier as a bi-stable multi-vibrator. $n incoming waveform is converted into short pulses and these are used to trigger the operational amplifier to change between its two saturation states. To prevent small levels of noise triggering the circuit, hysteresis is introduced into the circuit, the level being dependent upon the application re"uired. The operational amplifier bi-stable multi-vibrator uses ;ust five components, the operational amplifier, a capacitor and three resistors.

4i-stable multi-vibrator operational amplifier circuit The bi-stable circuit has two stable states. These are the positive and negative saturation voltages of the operational amplifier operating with the given supply voltages. The circuit can then be switched between them by applying pulses. $ negative going pulse will switch the circuit into the positive saturation voltage, and a positive going pulse will switch it into the negative state.

0aveforms for the bi-stable multi-vibrator operational amplifier circuit

&t is very easy to calculate the points at which the circuit will trigger. The positive going pulses need to be greater than 8o-,at through the potential divider, i.e. 8o-,at x R? / -R: E R?., and similarly the negative going pulses will need to be greater than 8oE,at through the potential divider, i.e. 8oE,at x R? / -R: E R?.. &f they are not sufficiently large then the bi-stable will not change state.

Operational amplifier comparator


- a simple comparator circuit using a single op amp !omparator circuits find a number of applications in electronics. $s the name implies they are used to compare two voltages. 0hen one is higher than the other the comparator circuit output is in one state, and when the input conditions are reversed, then the comparator output switches. These circuits find many uses as detectors. They are often used to sense voltages. /or example they could have a reference voltage on one input, and a voltage that is being detected on another. 0hile the detected voltage is above the reference, the output of the comparator will be in one state. &f the detected voltage falls below the reference then it will change the state of the comparator, and this could be used to flag the condition. This is but one example of many for which comparators can be used. &n operation the op amp goes into positive or negative saturation dependent upon the input voltages. $s the gain of the operational amplifier will generally exceed 533 333 the output will run into saturation when the inputs are only fractions of a milli-volt apart. $lthough op amps are widely used as comparator, special comparator chips are often used. These integrated circuits offer very fast switching times, well above those offered by most op-amps that are intended for more linear applications. Typical slew rates are in the region of several thousand volts per microsecond, although more often figures of propagation delay are "uoted. $ typical comparator circuit will have one of the inputs held at a given voltage. This may often be a potential divider from a supply or reference source. The other input is taken to the point to be sensed.

!ircuit for a basic operational amplifier comparator

There are a number of points to remember when using comparator circuits. $s there is no feedback the two inputs to the circuit will be at different voltages. $ccordingly it is necessary to ensure that the maximum differential input is not exceeded. $gain as a result of the lack of feedback the load will change. 9articularly as the circuit changes there will be a small increase in the input current. /or most circuits this will not be a problem, but if the source impedance is high it may lead to a few unusual responses. The main problem with this circuit is that new the changeover point, even small amounts of noise will cause the output to switch back and forth. Thus near the changeover point there may be several transitions at the output and this may give rise to problems elsewhere in the overall circuit. The solution to this is to use a ,chmitt Trigger as described on another page.

Operational amplifier Schmitt trigger


- a simple circuit using an op amp to produce a ,chmitt trigger to remove multiple transitions on slow input signals $lthough the simple comparator circuit using either an ordinary operational amplifier -op-amp. or a special comparator chip is often ade"uate, if the input waveform is slow or has noise on it, then there is the possibility that the output will switch back and forth several times during the switch over phase as only small levels of noise on the input will cause the output to change. This may not be a problem in some circumstances, but if the output from the operational amplifier comparator is being fed into fast logic circuitry, then it can often give rise to problems. The problem can be solved very easily by adding some positive feedback to the operational amplifier or comparator circuit. This is provided by the addition of R? in the circuit below and the circuit is known as a ,chmitt trigger.

'perational amplifier -,chmitt trigger circuit. The effect of the new resistor -R?. is to give the circuit different switching thresholds dependent upon the output state of the comparator or operational amplifier. 0hen the output of the comparator is high, this voltage is fed back to the non-inverting input of the operational amplifier

of comparator. $s a result the switching threshold becomes higher. 0hen the output is switched in the opposite sense, the switching threshold is lowered. This gives the circuit what is termed hysteresis. The fact that the positive feedback applied within the circuit ensures that there is effectively a higher gain and hence the switching is faster. This is particularly useful when the input waveform may be slow. 1owever a speed up capacitor can be applied within the ,chmitt trigger circuit to increase the switching speed still further. 4y placing a capacitor across the positive feedback resistor R?, the gain can be increased during the changeover, making the switching even faster. This capacitor, known as a speed up capacitor may be anywhere between 53 and 533 p/ dependent upon the circuit. &t is "uite easy to calculate the resistors needed in the ,chmitt trigger circuit. The centre voltage about which the circuit should switch is determined by the potential divider chain consisting of R5 and R:. This should be chosen first. Then the feedback resistor R? can be calculated. This will provide a level of hysteresis that is e"ual to the output swing of the circuit reduced by the potential divide formed as a result of R? and the parallel combination of R5 and R:.

Logic gate truth ta+le


- used for $)*, )$)*, 'R, )'R and exclusive 'R functions in electronic logic gate circuits (ogic circuits form the very basis of digital electronics. !ircuits including the $)*, )$)*, 'R, )'R and exclusive 'R gates or circuits form the building blocks on which much of digital electronics is based. The various types of electronic logic gates that can be used have outputs that depend upon the states of the two -or more. inputs to the logic gate. The two main types are $)* and 'R gates, although there are logic gates such as exclusive 'R gates and simple inverters. /or the explanations below, the logic gates have been assumed to have two inputs. 0hile two input gates are the most common, many gates that possess more than two inputs are used. The logic in the explanations below can be expanded to cover these multiple input gates, although for simplicity the explanations have been simplified to cover two input cases. 2-D and -2-D gates $n $)* gate has an output that is a logical 757 or high when a 757 is present at both inputs. &n other words if a logic gate has inputs $ and 4, then the output to the circuit will be a logical 757 when $ $)* 4 are at level 757. /or all other combinations of input the output will be at 737. $ )$)* gate is simply an $)* gate with its output inverted. &n other words the output is at level 737 when $ $)* 4 are at 757. /or all other states the output is at level 757. OR and -OR gates /or an electronic 'R gates the output is at 757 when the input at either $ or 4 is at logical 757. &n other words only one of the inputs has to be at 757 for the output to be set to 757. The output remains at 757 even if both inputs are at 757. The output only goes to 737 if no inputs are at 757.

&n ;ust the same way that a )$)* gate is an $)* gate with the output inverted, so too the )'R gate is an 'R gate with its output inverted. &ts output goes to 737 when either $ 'R 4 is at logical 757. /or all other input states the output of the )'R gate goes to 757. E/clusi'e OR 'ne other form of 'R gate that is often used is known as an exclusive 'R gate. $s the name suggests it is a form of 'R gate, but rather than providing a 757 at the output for a variety of input conditions as in the case of a normal 'R gate, the exclusive 'R gate only provides a 757 when one of its inputs is at 757, and not both -or more than one in the case of a gate with more than two inputs.. ,n'erter The final form of gate, if indeed it could be categori#ed as a gate is the inverter. $s the name suggests this circuit simply inverts the state of the input signal. /or an input of 737 it provides an output of 757 and for an input of 757, it provides an output of 737. $lthough very simple in its operation, these circuits are often of great use, and accordingly they are "uite widely used. Logic gate truth ta+le 2 3 5 3 5 ! 3 3 5 5 2-D 3 3 3 5 -2-D 5 5 5 3 OR 3 5 5 5 -OR 5 3 3 3 E/ OR 3 5 5 3

Digital circuit tips


- guidance and hints and tips on using digital logic circuits *igital logic circuits are widely used in today+s+ electronics. These circuits are used for a very wide variety of applications. /rom simple logic circuits consisting of a few logic gates, through to complicated microprocessor based systems. 0hatever the form of digital logic circuit, there are a number of precautions that should be observed when designing, and also when undertaking the circuit board layout. &f the circuit is correctly designed and constructed then problems in the performance can be avoided. Decoupling 'ne of the main points to ensure is that the power rails are ade"uately decoupled. $s the logic circuits switch very fast, switching spikes appear on the rails and these can in turn appear on the

outputs of other circuits. &n turn this can cause other circuits to 7fire7 when they would not normally be intended to do so. To prevent this happening all chips should be decoupled. &n the first instance there should be a large capacitor at the input to the board, and then each chip should be individually decoupled using a smaller capacitor. The value of the capacitor will depend upon the type of logic being used. The speed and current consumption will govern the si#e of capacitor re"uired, but typically a ::n/ may be used. /or chips running with very low values of current a smaller capacitor may be acceptable, but be aware that even low current logic families tend to switch very fast these days and this can place large voltage spikes onto the rails. ,ome manufacturing companies suggest in their codes of practice that a proportion of the chips should be decoupled. 0hile this may be perfectly acceptable, the safest route is to decouple each chip. Earthing The ground lines in a logic circuit of great importance. 4y providing an effective ground line, problems such as ringing, spikes and noise can be reduced. &n many printed circuit boards a ground plane is used. This may be the second side of a double sided board, or in some cases an internal layer in a multilayer board. 4y having a complete, or nearly complete layer in the board, it is possible to take any decoupling or earth points to the plane using the shortest possible leads. This reduces the inductance and makes the connection more effective. 0ith the sharp edges, and the inherent high fre"uencies that are present, these techni"ues are important and can improve the performance. /or the more simple circuits that may be made using pin and wire techni"ues, good practice is still as important, if not more so. arth loops should be avoided, and earth wires should be as thick as reasonably possible. $ little planning prior to constructing the circuit can enable the leads to be kept as short as possible. 3eneral la(out The layout of a digital logic board can have a significant affect on its performance. 0ith edges of waveforms being very fast, the fre"uencies that are contained within the waveforms are particularly high. $ccordingly leads must be kept as short as reasonably possible if the circuit is to be able to perform correctly. &ndeed many high end printed circuit board layout packages contain software that simulates the effects of the leads in the layout. These software packages can be particularly helpful when board or system complexity dictates that lead lengths greater than those that would normally be needed are re"uired to enable the overall system to be reali#ed. 1owever for many instances this level of simulation is not re"uired, and lead lengths can be kept short. .nused inputs &n many circuits using logic &!s, inputs may be left open. This can cause problems. ven though they normally float high, i.e. go to the 757 state, it is wise not to leave them open. &deally inputs to gates should be taken to ground, or if they need a logical 757 at the input they should be taken to the rail, preferably though a resistor. &n many designs, spare gates may be available on the board. The input gates to these circuits should not be left floating as they have been known to switch and cause additional spikes on the

rails, etc. &t is best practice to take the inputs of these gates to ground. &n this way any possibility of them switching in a spurious manner will be removed. Summar( $t first sight digital logic circuits may not appear to need all the care and attention given to a radio fre"uency -R/. circuit, but the speed of some of the edges on the waveform transitions mean that very high fre"uencies are contained within them. To ensure that the optimum performance is obtained, good layout is essential. 'beying a few simple rules can often ensure that the circuit operates correctly

Logic -2-D 4 -OR Con'ersions


- using inverters to enable logic )$)* / $)* gates and )'R / 'R gates to provide alternative functions &t often happens on a logic circuit board that an )$)* gate and a few inverters may be available, whereas in reality an )'R function is re"uired. &f this occurs then all is not lost. &t is still possible to create an 'R function from an $)* / )$)* gate and inverters, or an $)* gate from a )'R / 'R function. The diagram below gives some of the conversions. $s an example it can be seen that a )'R gate is the same as an $)* gate with two inverters on the input. &t is then possible to add inverters to create the function that is re"uired.

$)* 6ate and 'R 6ate "uivalents These simple conversions can be used to save adding additional logic circuits into circuits. 4y using chips with spare gates, it is often possible to save adding additional chips, and thereby save cost and board space.

D0t(pe fre)uenc( di'ider


- using a logic *-type flip flop electronic circuit to provide a fre"uency division of two

The *-type logic flip flop is a very versatile circuit. &t can be used in many areas where an edge triggered circuit is needed. &n one application this logic or digital circuit provides a very easy method of dividing an incoming pulse train by a factor of two. The divide by two circuit employs one logic d-type element. ,imply by entering the pulse train into the clock circuit, and connecting the Kbar output to the * input, the output can then be taken from the K connection on the *-type.

*-type fre"uency divided by two circuits The circuit operates in a simple way. The incoming pulse train acts as a clock for the device, and the data that is on the * input is then clocked through to the output. To see exactly how the circuit works it is worth examining what happens at each stage of the waveforms shown below. Take the situation when the K output is a level +5+. This means that the Kbar output will be at +3+. This data is clocked through to the output K on the next positive going edge from the incoming pulse train on the clock input. $t this point the output changes from a +5+ to a +3+. $t the next positive going clock pulse, the data on the K-bar output is again clocked through. $s it is now a +5+ -opposite to the K output., this is transferred to the output, and the output again changes state.

*-type fre"uency divided by two circuits &t can be seen that the output of the circuit only changes state on the positive going edges of the incoming pulse clock stream. ach positive edge occurs once every cycle, but as the output of the * type re"uires two changes to complete a cycle, it means that the output from the *-type circuit changes at half the rate of the incoming pulse train. &n other words it ahs been divided by two. There are some precautions when using this type of circuit. The first is that the pulse train should have sharp edges. &f the rising edges are insufficiently sharp then there may be problems with the circuit operating as it should. &f this is the case, then the problem can be easily overcome by simply placing an inverter before the clock input. This has the effect of sharpening the edges on the incoming signal.

R S0&lip &lop Circuit

- two logic or digital circuits for an R , flip flop, one using )$)* gates and the other using )'R gates R-, flip flops find uses in many applications in logic or digital electronic circuitry. They provide a simple switching function whereby a pulse on one input line of the flip flop sets the circuit in one state. /urther pulses on this line have no effect until the R-, flip flop is reset. This is accomplished by a pulse on the other input line. &n this way the R , flip flop is toggled between two states by pulses on different lines. $lthough chips are available with R-, functions in them, it is often easier to create an R-, flip flop from spare gates that may already be available on the board, or on a breadboard circuit using a chip that may be to hand. To make an R , flip flop, it simply re"uires either two )$)* gates or two )'R gates. %sing two )$)* gates and active low R , flip flop is produced. &n other words low going pulses active the flip flop. $s it can be seen from the circuit below, the two incoming lines are applied, one to each gate. The other inputs to each of the )$)* gates are taken from the output of the other )$)* gate. &t can be seen from the waveform diagram that a low going pulse on input $ of the flip flop forces the outputs to change, !, going high and * going low. $ low going pulse on input 4 then changes the state, with ! going low and * going high.

$n R , flip flop using two )$)* gates

The waveforms for an R , flip flop The circuit for the )'R version of the circuit is exceedingly similar and performs the same basic function. 1owever using the )'R logic gate version of the R , flip flop, the circuit is an active high variant. &n other words the input signals need to go high to produce a change on the output.

This may determine the choice of integrated circuit that is used. $lthough the )$)* gate version is probably more widely used, there are many instances where the )'R gate circuit is of value.

$n R , flip-flop using two )'R gates

The waveforms for the )'R gate R , flip flop These circuits are widely used in many electronic logic circuit applications. There are also contained within many integrated circuits where they are a basic building block. $s such the R , flip flop is an exceedingly popular circuit. 'ne useful application for a simple R , flip flop is as a switch de-bounced circuit. 0hen any mechanical switch makes or breaks contact, the connection will make and break several times before the full connection is made or broken. 0hile for many applications this may not be a problem, it is when the switch interfaces to logic circuitry. 1ere a series of pulses will pass into the circuit, each one being captured and forming a pulse. *ependent upon the circuit this may appear as a series of pulses, and falsely triggering circuits ahead of time.

$n R , flip flop used as a de-bounce circuit &t is possible to overcome this problem using a simple R , flip flop. 4y connecting the switch as shown below, the flip flop will change on the first sign of contact being made. /urther pulses will not alter the output of the circuit. 'nly when the switch is turned over to the other position will the circuit revert to the other state. &n this way a simple two gate circuit can save the problems of de-bouncing the switch in other ways.

Edge triggered flip flop


- the circuit for an edge triggered R , flip flop using two * types 0hile the simpler R , flip flop using two electronic logic gates is "uite ade"uate for most purposes, there are instances where an edge triggered one may be needed. /or these instances, this circuit provides a simple and effective manner of implementing this electronic circuit function.

dge Triggered R-, /lip /lop 0hen there is a low to high transition on the set input to the circuit on !L5 this sets the K5 output to high. $ low to high on !L: then sets K5 to low. This type of circuit may have a number of applications. 'ne could be as a phase detector in a phase locked loop. The two signals will be seeking to either set or reset the circuit, and the length of time that K is high will be dependent upon the phase difference between the two signals.

Electronicall( programma+le in'erter


- a simple circuit enabling an invert / non-invert function to be switched using an exclusive 'R gate

This electronic circuit is a particularly elegant for its simplicity. %sing a single )'R gate it provides the ability to either invert or not invert a logic signal. ,imply using the truth table for the exclusive 'R function it can be seen that when there is a low on one input to the exclusive 'R gate, the signal on the other input is passed through the circuit and not inverted. 0hen the signal on one input is a high, then the signal on the other is inverted at the output. E/clusi'e OR truth ta+le 2 3 3 5 5 ! 3 5 3 5 Output 3 5 5 3

$s seen from the electronic circuit below, it consists of an exclusive 'R gate, a pull up resistor and a switch. The control line could come from an external source such as another gate. &n this case there would be no need for the pull up resistor, and the circuit would simply consist of the single gate held within the integrated circuit.

9rogrammable &nverter using xclusive 'R gate

Electro Static Discharge (ESD) tutorial 5"6


- a tutorial or summary about the basics of lectro ,tatic *ischarge, ,* This tutorial is in three pages dealing which address the different topics: -S# and how it arises 123 The sensitivit" of electronics to -S# 143 &vercoming -S# 1/3

lectro ,tatic *ischarge or .,.*. awareness is particularly important for anyone associated with electronics. $s integrated circuits become more compact, and feature si#es shrink, active devices as well as some passive devices are becoming more prone to damage by the levels of static that exist. To combat its effects, industry is spending many millions of pounds to prevent damage to electronic components from the effects of static. $nti-static areas using protective antistatic workbenches, as well as measures for ensuring people are not carrying static are all used. %sing what are termed ,* 9$ or lectrostatic *ischarge 9rotected $reas, the destructive effects of static on electronics e"uipment during manufacture can be virtually removed. $lthough awareness has grown considerably in recent years, the problem has existed for a long time. &t came to light in a ma;or way with the introduction of the first G',/ T devices. &n view of the very high gate impedances that existed it was found that they were easily damaged. 'riginally it was thought that only devices such as G',/ Ts were at risk, but studies soon revealed that far more damage was being done that had been originally imagined. The problem also became more acute as feature si#es on &!s dropped and they became more prone to damage. 7hat is static8 ,tatic electricity is a natural phenomenon which occurs as part of everyday life. &ts effects can often be felt when touching a metal door handle having walked across a nylon carpet. $nother effect can be seen when hair stands up after it has been combed. The most dramatic effect is lightning. 1ere the scale is many orders of magnitude greater than those seen in and around the home. !olossal powers are dissipated in every strike, and its effects can be heard for many miles around. ,tatic is created when there is movement. 0hen ob;ects rub together there is friction and this causes the surfaces to interact. $n excess of electrons appears on one surface while there will be a deficiency on the other. The surface with the excess of electrons becomes negatively charged, whereas the surface with the deficit becomes positively charged. These charges will try to flow and neutrali#e the charge difference. 1owever as many substances exhibit a very high resistance these charges can remain in place for a very long time. Tri+o0electric series* The si#e of the charge which is generated is determined by a variety of different factors. 'ne is obviously the conductivity of the two materials and also whether the charge between them can leak away. 1owever one of the ma;or influences is the materials themselves and their position of the two materials in what is called the tribo-electric series. The position of the two materials which are in rubbing against one another in this series governs the si#e of the charge and the relative polarities. The further apart they are in the series, then the greater the charge. The material that is higher up the series will receive the positive charge, whereas the one lower in the series will receive the negative charge. Gaterials such as human hair, skin, and other natural fibers are higher up the series and tend to receive positive charges, whereas man made fibers together with materials like polythene, 98! and even silicon are towards the negative end. This means that when combing hair with a man made plastic comb, the hair will receive a positive charge and the comb will become negative. positi'e charge

skin hair wool silk paper cotton wood rubber rayon polyester polythene pvc teflon

negati'e charge Practical e/amples 'ne of the most commonly visible examples of generating charge is when walking across a room. ven this everyday occurrence can generate some surprisingly high voltages. 0alking on an ordinary vinyl floor might generate a voltage in the region of 53k8. 0alking on a nylon carpet is much worse with voltages in the region of ?3k8 to be expected. 'ther actions can also generate very high voltages. /or example moving a polythene bag can generate voltages of around 53k8. These voltages seem to be very high, but they usually pass unnoticed. The smallest discharge that can be felt is around <k8, and even then this magnitude of discharge may only be felt on occasions. The reason is that even though the resulting peak currents may be very high, they only last for a very short time and the body does not detect them. Effects on electronics 0ith most electronics &!s and components being designed to operate at voltage so < 8 or less, it is hardly surprising that these discharges can cause some damage. The next page in this tutorial looks more closely at the discharges and they way in which they cause damage to electronics. The final page looks at ways of protecting against static discharges of this nature.

Electro Static Discharge (ESD) tutorial 5#6


- a tutorial or summary about the basics of lectro ,tatic *ischarge, ,* and the affects it has on electronic components and electronic circuits This tutorial is in three pages which address the different aspects of ,*: -S# and how it arises 123 The sensitivit" of electronics to -S# 143 &vercoming -S# 1/3 ,* can have disastrous effects on electronic components. 0ith &!s operating of supply voltages of < 8 and less these days, and with the feature si#es measured in fractions of a micron the static

charges that go unnoticed in everyday life can easily destroy a chip. 0orse still these effects may not destroy the chip instantly, but leave a defect waiting to cause a problem later in the life of the e"uipment. &n view of their sensitivity to static, most semiconductor devices today are treated as static sensitive devices -,,*.. To prevent damage they must be handled in anti-static areas, often called ,*9$s - lectrostatic 9rotected $reas.. 0ithin these areas a variety of precautions are taken to ensure that static is dissipated and that the ,,*, static sensitive devices do not experience any static discharges. 4enches with dissipative surfaces, anti-static flooring, wrist straps for operators and many more items all form part of these anti-static areas. Sensiti'it( ,ome electronic devices are more sensitive to ,* than others. 1owever to put the problem in perspective it is worth relating the levels of static to those to supply voltages. 'ne would not consider applying a voltage of even fifty volts to a logic device. Met static voltages of several kilovolts are often applied to them by careless handling. The most sensitive devices are generally those which include / Ts. These devices have very high impedances which do not allow the charge to dissipate in a more controlled fashion. 1owever this does not mean that bipolar devices are immune from damage. ,tandard !G', chips can be damaged by static voltages of as little as :<38. These include the A>1! and A>1!T logic families are widely used in many designs using 7glue logic7 because of their lower current consumption. 1owever many of the new microprocessors and (,& chips use very much smaller feature si#es, and cannot withstand anything like these voltages, making them very sensitive to ,*. Gany new devices would be destroyed by operating them with a supply voltage of < 8, and they are corresponding more susceptible to damage from ,*. (ogic devices are not the only devices re"uiring anti static precautions to be taken. 6a$s / Ts which are used for R/ applications are very susceptible to damage, and can be destroyed by static voltages as low as 5338. 'ther forms of discrete / Ts are also affected by ,*. G',/ Ts which are again often used for many R/ applications are very sensitive. ven ordinary bipolar transistors can be damaged by potentials of around <338. This is particularly true of the newer transistors which are likely to have much smaller internal geometries to give higher operating fre"uencies. This is only a broad indication of a very few of the ,* susceptibility levels. 1owever it indicates that all semiconductor devices should be treated as static sensitive devices -,,*.. &t is not only semiconductor devices that are being treated as ,,*s these days. &n some areas even passive components are starting to be treated as static sensitive. 0ith the ever "uickening trend to miniaturi#ation individual components are becoming much smaller. This makes them more sensitive to the effects of damage from ,*. $ large discharge through a very small component may cause overheating, or breakdown in the component. Discharge mechanisms The way in which the electrostatic discharge takes place is dependent on a large number of variables. Gost of these are difficult to "uantify. The level of static which is built up varies

according to the materials involved, the humidity of the day, and even the si#e of the person has an effect. ach person represents a capacitor on which charge is held. The average person represents a capacitor of about ?33 p/ but this will vary greatly from one person to the next. The way in which the discharge takes place also varies. 'ften the charge will be dissipated very "uickly: typically in less than a hundred nanoseconds. *uring this time the peak current can rise to as much as twenty or thirty amps. The peak current and the time for the discharge are dependent upon a wide variety of factors. 1owever if a metal ob;ect is used, like a pair of twee#ers or thin nosed pliers the current peak is higher and reached in a shorter time than if the discharge takes place through a finger. This is because the metal provides a much lower resistance path for the discharge. 1owever whatever the means of the discharge, the same amount of charge will be dissipated. &ailure mechanisms The way in which &!s fail as a result of ,* also varies, and it is also dependent upon a number of factors including the way in which the charge is dissipated to the topology within the &!. 'ne of the most obvious way in which an &! can fail as a result of ,* occurs when the static charge represented as a very high voltage gives rise to a high peak current causing burn out. ven though the current passes for a very short time, the minute si#es within &!s can mean that the small interconnecting links wires or the devices in the chip itself can be fused by the amount of heat dissipated. &n some instances the connection or component may not be completely destroyed. &nstead it may only be partly destroyed. 0hen this happens the device will continue to operate and may have no detectable reduction in its performance. $t other times there may be a slight degradation in operation. This is particularly true of analogue devices where small fragments of material from the area of damage can spread over the surface of the chip. These may bridge or particularly bridge other components in the chip causing the performance to be altered or degraded. 0hen damage has been caused to the device, but it still remains operational, the defect leaves it with what is termed a +latent defect+ which may lead to a failure later in its life. ,ubse"uent current surges resulting from turning the e"uipment on, or even as a result of normal operation may stress the defect and cause it to fail. This may also be brought about by vibration in some cases.

(atent damage cause inside an &! by ,*

These latent defects are particularly damaging because they are likely to lead to failures later in the life of the e"uipment, thereby reducing its reliability. &n fact manufacturing plants with poor anti-static protection are likely to produce low reliability e"uipment as a result of this. &n fact it is estimated that for every device which suffers instant damage at least ten are affected by latent damage and will fail at a later date. $nother way in which static can cause failure is when the voltage itself causes breakdown within the &!. &t is "uite possible for the voltage to breakdown an insulating oxide layer leaving the &! permanently damaged. $gain this can destroy the chip immediately, or leave a partly damaged area with a latent failure. !harge can also be transferred to electronic components in other ways and cause damage. &t may result in damage either from voltage breakdown or by generating current to flow in the device. This may occur because a highly charged item will tend to induce an opposite charge in any article near it. 9lastic drinks cups are very susceptible to carrying high static voltages and if they are placed on a work surface next to a sensitive piece of electronics they can induce a charge which may lead to damage. ,n'estigations $lthough it is not easy to determine the cause of destruction of a device, some specialist laboratories have the means of making these investigations. They accomplish this by removing the top of the &! to reveal the silicon chip beneath. This is inspected using a microscope to reveal the area of damage. These investigations are relatively costly. They are not normally undertaken for routine failures. &nstead they are only undertaken when it is necessary to determine the exact cause of the failure. Protection 0ith &!s being prone to damage so easily, it is necessary to consider all semiconductor devices, and often many passive devices as static sensitive devices ,,*. They should only be handled in the special anti static ,*9$s. The next page in this tutorial -9age N?O. summari#es some of the methods and techni"ues that can be used.

Electro0Static Discharge (ESD) tutorial 5$6


- a tutorial or summary about the basics of lectrostatic *ischarge, ,* and the ways in which electronic components and circuits can be protected from it affects. This tutorial is in three pages which address the different aspects of ,*: -S# and how it arises 123 The sensitivit" of electronics to -S# 143 &vercoming -S# 1/3 There are many ways in which the effects of ,* can be overcome. $ variety of methods are employed including products including anti-static, or static dissipative workbenches, anti-static or static dissipative containers, static dissipative protection for operators and the like.

To provide the best protection the problem must be addressed from several angles: $n area which is static free -anti-static. must be created. These areas are often known as electro-static discharge protected areas - ,*9$. and they must be used whenever ,,*s or boards containing ,,*s are to be handled. $ny static sensitive devices, or boards containing them must be stored in conditions where they are not sub;ected to the effects of static. $ny boards using ,,*s should be designed so that the effects of a discharge into the board are reduced to acceptable levels. /inally any people who come into contact with electronic components or assemblies should be made aware of the effects of static discharges.

The decision about the number of measures to employ can be difficult because it is not always easy to determine the cause of any failures. $dditionally it may take many years for some of the failures to occur. 1owever if sufficient measures are taken then the risks of damages from ,* can be reduced to sufficiently low levels 7or 2reas To avoid static build up in the area where electronic components and boards are being handled the bench surfaces should be able to remove any static build up which occurs. &f there is an existing work bench then it is possible to buy a carbon impregnated rubber mat to place on the bench. These anti-static mats are relatively cheap and are very cost effective. &f a new bench is being installed then special static dissipative surfaces can be used. The level of conductivity of the surfaces is important. &f it is too low then it may not only affect the operation of any board or assembly placed upon it, but when a board is placed onto it, and charge that is dissipated should not be removed too "uickly otherwise damage may occur. $ccordingly the volume conductivity of the material used should fall into the static dissipative category. $nother essential element in combating static build up on people is to use wrist straps. These ensure that any charge built up on a person working on the e"uipment is safely dissipated. The strap consists of two sections. The band itself which is worn around the wrist. This is connected to earth via the lead which incorporates a large value resistor, normally in excess of 5 G 'hm. This is included for two reasons. The first is safety, and the second is again to ensure that any static is removed in a controlled fashion. The straps should be regularly tested to ensure they have not become open circuit. 0ithout a test of this nature a faulty strap could go undetected for many months. Gany companies insist that every strap that is in use is tested every day. &n this way any defects can be discovered before they cause too much damage.

0rist straps, connections to workbench tops and any other points are normally connected together using a special ;unction box. These ;unction boxes usually have resistors of 5 G 'hm for each of the contacts. These are ;oined and then taken to earth. 'ften a special mains plug with a connection to only the earth pin can be used. These special plugs are usually yellow and have two plastic pins for the live and neutral, and a metal pin for the earth. &n this way it is only possible to connect to earth. /looring in an electrostatic protected area, or anti-static area also needs to be considered. /looring made out of acrylic materials is likely to generate very high levels of static. /or example, acrylic carpets in the home are particularly bad whereas natural fibers like wool are much better. ven nylon is not as bad as an acrylic floor. /or an electronic production area there is a wide variety of static dissipative coverings which can be installed if re"uired to overcome any problems that might be caused. &f static dissipative flooring is to be used then conductive footwear must be worn. There is no point in having static dissipative flooring if peoples+ shoes act as excellent insulators. Gost people will want to wear their normal shoes and not have to wear +regulation+ footwear as this is not likely to be as comfortable. The solution is to use a heel strap which fits over part of the shoe. This provides an acceptable path to earth past the shoe. !lothing is another element that must be considered. !lothes of wool, cotton or even polyester cotton are normally not a problem. 1owever some synthetic clothes can develop very high levels of static of their own even if the person wearing them is grounded by the use of a wrist strap. $crylic ties are particularly notable. They can collect high levels of static charge, and this can be passed to nearby components and electronic boards causing damage. To overcome this type of problem special static dissipative overalls can be worn. These normally have a relatively high conductivity to contain any static fields which might be generated. /inally chair coverings should also be investigated. They should not be of the type that generate high levels of static. &n some instances they may need to be dissipative and connected to ground. &t is possible to obtain special seat coverings for existing chairs, or completely new chairs. !hoices can be made dependent upon the state of the chairs and the budget available. $nother approach that can be taken to help control static and ,* is to control the humidity. &n dry periods of the year, especially winder when the level of water vapor held in the air drops, the possibility if ,* rises. 4y introducing some humidity the levels of static can be reduced. $lthough not one of the most commonly used methods of ,* control, there are several types of humidifiers which can be installed. ,ome fit into heating systems whereas others are separate units. &deally a minimum humidity figure of <3C can be used as an aiming point. $bove this the high humidity levels can lead to other problems. Storage )ot only do work environments need to have ,* control measures introduced, but so too do the storage media. 0henever an electronic component or assembly is transported or stored it should be placed in suitable packing to ensure that it is not damaged. The dissipative bags for boards and tubes and special dissipative containers for components are now common place in the electronics industry. 'ften the storage bags have a pink or grey tint to them. The older black conductive bags

are used less as they may dissipate the charge too "uickly. $nother problem was that they tended to discharge any on-board batteries more "uickly than intendedP Soldering ,rons There is a wide variety of soldering irons available on the market today. Gany are "uite suitable for work with static sensitive devices. The main re"uirement is that the bit used for soldering should be earthed. &n general it is recommended that the resistance to earth should be less than five NohmO. $ny irons which are thermostatically controlled should ideally use a #ero voltage switching system. This prevents large spikes caused by the switching of the thermostat from appearing at the tip of the iron and causing damage to the e"uipment.