# Training Material Only

Date: 2012-12-17 Page 1 of 8

Student Resource

Subject B1-5a
Digital Techniques 1

transferred, sold, or otherwise disposed of, without the written permission of
Aviation Australia.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 2 of 8

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 3 of 8
CONTENTS

Topic 5.2 Numbering Systems 6
Topic 5.3 Data Conversion 6
Topic 5.4 Data Buses 6
Topic 5.5.1 Logic Circuits 7
Topic 5.6.1 Basic Computer Structure 7
Topic 5.10 Fibre Optics 7
Topic 5.11 Electronic Displays 8
Topic 5.12 Electrostatic Sensitive Devices 8

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 4 of 8
STUDY RESOURCES

JEPPESEN Sanderson Training Products:
Avionics Fundamentals – United Airlines – 1974
Avionic Systems Operation & Maintenance – James W. Wasson –
1994
Aircraft Instruments & Avionics for A & P Technicians – 1993
Aircraft Instruments and Integrated Systems – EHJ Pallett – 2000
Aircraft Maintenance Text 4 – Basic functional Devices and Systems – 1989
Electronic Devices – Floyd – 4
th
edition – 1996
Student Handout – Subject B1-5a

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 5 of 8

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 6 of 8
INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this subject is to allow you to gain knowledge of the application of
digital and electronic systems used in aircraft.
On completion of the following topics you will be able to:
Topic 5.2 Numbering Systems
Define the following numbering systems and perform conversions
between them:
• Decimal
• Binary
• Octal
Topic 5.3 Data Conversion
Define the operation of conversion between analogue and digital data
using the following:
• Analogue to Digital converters (AD Converters)
• Digital to Analogue converters (DA converters)
List the inputs and outputs of AD and DA converters and define the
operation and limitations of various types.
Topic 5.4 Data Buses
Describe the operation of data bus systems used in aircraft systems.
Describe the properties of data bus communication protocols
including:
• ARINC 429
• ARINC 629
• MIL-STD 1553

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 7 of 8
Topic 5.5.1 Logic Circuits
Identify common logic gate symbols.
Describe the operation of common logic gates, state their applicable
truth tables and describe equivalent circuits.
Describe applications of logic circuits used in aircraft systems.
Topic 5.6.1 Basic Computer Structure
Describe the following computer terminology:
• Bit
• Byte
• Software
• Hardware
• CPU (Central Processor Unit)
• IC (Integrated Circuit)
• RAM (Random Access Memory)
• PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory)
Describe the application of computer technology in aircraft systems.
Topic 5.10 Fibre Optics
transmission over electrical wire propagation.
Define the operation of a fibre optic data bus and list fibre optic
related terms.
Define how terminations are performed on fibre optic cable.
Identify the following and state their purpose in a fibre optic system:
• Couplers
• Control terminals
• Remote terminals
List aircraft systems which utilise the application of fibre optics.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 8 of 8
Topic 5.11 Electronic Displays
Describe the principles of operation of the following electronic displays
used in aircraft:
• Cathode ray tubes
• Light emitting diodes
• Liquid crystal displays
Topic 5.12 Electrostatic Sensitive Devices
Describe the special handling requirements for components sensitive
to electrostatic discharge.
Identify risks to electrostatic sensitive devices and describe possible
damage to components.
Identify component and personal anti-static protection devices.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 1 of 16
TOPIC 5.2 – NUMBERING SYSTEMS
Types of Number Systems ............................................................................................ 2
Numbering Systems ..................................................................................................... 2
Unit and Number ......................................................................................................... 2
Base............................................................................................................................. 2
Positional Notation and Zero ........................................................................................ 3
Numbering Systems ..................................................................................................... 4
Binary Numbering System ........................................................................................... 5
Decimal to Binary Conversion ...................................................................................... 6
Octal Numbering System ............................................................................................. 8
Octal To Decimal Conversions ...................................................................................... 9
Decimal to Octal Conversion ...................................................................................... 10
Hexadecimal to Decimal Conversions ......................................................................... 13
Decimal to Hexadecimal Conversions ......................................................................... 13
Summary ................................................................................................................... 15
Binary Coded Decimal (BCD) ..................................................................................... 16

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 2 of 16
TOPIC 5.2 – NUMBERING SYSTEMS
Computers are now employed wherever repeated calculations or the processing of huge
amounts of data is needed. The greatest applications are found in aviation, military,
scientific, and commercial fields. They have applications that range from mail sorting,
through engineering design, to navigation around the globe. The advantages of digital
computers include speed, accuracy, and manpower savings. Often computers are able to
take over routine jobs and release personnel for more important work, work that cannot
be handled by a computer.
People and computers do not normally speak the same language. Methods of translating
information into forms that are understandable and usable to both are necessary.
Humans generally speak in words and numbers expressed in the decimal number
system, while computers only understand coded electronic pulses that represent digital
information.
This topic will cover number systems in general and about binary, octal, and
hexadecimal (which we will refer to as hex) number systems specifically. Methods for
converting numbers in the binary, octal, and hex systems to equivalent numbers in the
decimal system (and vice versa) will also be described. You will see that these number
systems can be easily converted to the electronic signals necessary for digital equipment.
Types of Number Systems
Until now, you have probably used only one number system, the decimal system. You
may also be familiar with the Roman numeral system, even though you seldom use it.
Numbering Systems
Numbering systems have certain things in common. These common terms will be defined
using the decimal system as our base. Each term will be related to each number system
as that number system is introduced. Each of the number systems covered is built
around the following components: the unit, number, and base.
Unit and Number
The terms unit and number when used with the decimal system are almost self-
explanatory. By definition the unit is a single object; that is, an apple, a dollar, a day. A
number is a symbol representing a unit or a quantity. The figures 0, 1, 2, and 3 through
9 are the symbols used in the decimal system. These symbols are called Arabic numerals
or figures. Other symbols may be used for different number systems. For example, the
symbols used with the Roman numeral system are letters, V is the symbol for 5, X for 10,
M for 1,000, and so forth. We will use Arabic numerals and letters in the number system
discussions.
Base
The base of a number system tells you the number of symbols used in that system. The
base of any system is always expressed in decimal numbers. The base of the decimal
system is 10. This means there are 10 symbols – 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 – used in
the system. A number system using three symbols – 0, 1, and 2 – would be base 3; four
symbols would be base 4; and so on. Remember to count the zero or the symbol used for
zero when determining the number of symbols used in a number system.
The base of a number system is indicated by a subscript (decimal number) following the
value of the number. The following are examples of numerical values in different bases
with the subscript to indicate the base.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 3 of 16
10102 is 1010 binary, 101010 is 1010 decimal and 101016 is hexadecimal, all of which
indicate totally different numbers.
You should notice the highest value symbol used in a number system is always one less
than the base of the system. In base 10 the largest value symbol possible is 9; in base 5
it is 4; in base 3 it is 2.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Decimal Numbering System
I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X Roman Numerals – also base 10
Both systems represent a value even though the symbols are different:
IV = 4 VIII = 8 9 = IX
A Unit is a single object or quantity, for example, a dollar, a Litre of fuel, a day.
A numeral is the symbol that represents a unit or quantity, for example, 5 = ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣
Base of a numbering system indicates amount of symbols used in the system:
Base 10, 10 symbols: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Base 8, 8 symbols: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Base 2, 2 symbols: 0 1
Base 16, 16 symbols: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
Base of a number system is indicated by subscript:
7 59210 6 3278 10 100 1012 3AG 57F16
Positional Notation and Zero
You must observe two principles when counting or writing quantities or numerical
values. They are the positional notation and the zero principles. Positional notation is a
system where the value of a number is defined not only by the symbol but by the
symbol’s position. Let’s examine the decimal (base 10) value of 427. You know from
experience that this value is four hundred twenty-seven.
Now examine the position of each number; If 427 is the quantity you wish to express,
then each number must be in the position shown. If you exchange the positions of the 2
and the 7, then you change the value.
Each position in the positional notation system represents a power of the base, or radix.
A power is the number of times a base is multiplied by itself. The power is written above
and to the right of the base and is called an exponent.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 4 of 16

In the bottom example the number 634
8
is equal to 412
10
. Where the 2 in the upper
number indicated 2 times 10, the 3 in the lower number equals 3 times 8, and so on, for
the hundreds columns.

Just as important as positional notation is the use of the zero. The placement of the zero
in a number can have quite an effect on the value being represented. Sometimes a
position in a number does not have a value between 1 and 9. Consider how this would
affect your next pay check. If you were expecting a check for \$605.47, you wouldn’t want
it to be \$65.47. Leaving out the zero in this case means a difference of \$540.00.In the
number 605.47, the zero indicates that there are no tens, and is a very important
numeral to include.
Numbering Systems
Base10system –Decimal– universal method of counting and recording values.
Base 2 system – Binary or Digital – computers perform all calculations and processes in
binary – consequence of transistor state:ONor OFF.
Base 8 system – Octal – Digital numbers are readily converted to octal and octal is far
more easily read and understood than digital. An octal numeral represents 3 binary bits.
Base 16 system – Hexadecimal – Similar to octal in respect to ease of conversion from
binary. A hexadecimal numeral represents 4 binary bits.
The decimal numbering system is of course the system used universally.
Unlike analogue, which uses continuously changing values, digital uses discreet
numerical values to represent waveforms. Those values are not represented by the
familiar decimal numbering system that we use in our daily lives but rather, the binary
number system. To represent 10 different values a computer would need to incorporate
10 levels, for example, brightness of lights, voltages, clock-pulses, and so on. A computer
only works in digital; zeros and ones. This is easily represented, something is either “on”
(1) or “off” (0).
So when you type a decimal number into your calculator, it converts it to digital,
performs the calculation, and then converts the answer back into decimal for display. In
order to comprehend how a computer functions you must have an understanding of the
different numbering systems. In addition to the decimal system we will cover Base 2
(Binary), Base 8 (Octal) and Base 16 (Hexadecimal).

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 5 of 16

As mentioned before, with one digit (a bit, short for binary digit), there are two possible
values. With two bits, there are four possible values. With 3 bits, there are 8 possible
values. With 4 bits (a nibble) there are 16 possible values and so on.

Bit 1
Nibble 0101
Byte 0000 0101
Word 0000 0000 0000 0101

Binary Numbering System
Decimal: 10
4
= 10000 10
3
= 1000 10
2
= 100 10
1
= 10 10
0
= 1
Binary: 2
6
= 64 2
5
= 32 2
4
= 16 2
3
= 8 2
2
= 4 2
1
= 2 2
0
= 1
100012 (Binary Number) = 1710 (Decimal)
This is determined by using the Binary Number Truth Table:
2
7
2
6
2
5
2
4
2
3
2
2
2
1
2
0

128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1
1 0 0 0 1
16 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 1 = 1710
To convert 110011012 to decimal
2
7
2
6
2
5
2
4
2
3
2
2
2
1
2
0

128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1
1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1
128 + 64 + 0 + 0 + 8 + 4 + 0 + 1 = 20510
This is the base 2 system so only two symbols, 0 and 1, are used.
When you are working with the decimal system, you normally don't use the subscript.
Now that you will be working with number systems other than the decimal system, it is
important that you use the subscript so that you are sure of the system being referred to.
As in the decimal number system, the principle of positional notation applies to the
binary number system. The decimal system uses powers of 10 to determine the value of a
position. The binary system uses powers of 2 to determine the value of a position.
The truth table provides a ready reckoner to convert from binary to decimal. Because
each position is the base of the number lifted to a power, for example, 2
1
, 2
2
, 2
3
, 2
4
, and
so on, we simply calculate the values and write them across a page. Below the values
record the number to be converted and then add each of the values which have a 1 in its
column (as displayed above).

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 6 of 16

Decimal to Binary Conversion
There are two basic ways to do decimal-binary conversion. You may find one or the other
easier to understand and use:
Method 1 - Division:
This method repeatedly divides a decimal number by 2 and records the quotient and
remainder. The remainder digits (a sequence of zeros and ones) form the binary
equivalent.
Find the binary equivalent of the decimal number 1910.
The digits in the remainder column form the binary equivalent of the decimal number.
Start with the bottom (last) remainder digit and write the binary number from left to
right: 1 0 0 1 1
2

Method 2 - Subtraction:
The subtraction method involves repeatedly subtracting powers of 2 from the decimal
number. You need to have a list of powers of 2 - up to the highest power of 2 that is less
than or equal to the number you are converting. In our case we are converting decimal
11 - the largest power of two less than or equal to 11 is 8 (2 to the third).
To convert 75
10
to binary:
Refer to the binary truth table:
2
7
2
6
2
5
2
4
2
3
2
2
2
1
2
0

128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1
1 1 1 1
1 0 0 1 0 1 1
Start with the largest power of 2 which can be subtracted from the number to be
converted.
Annotate a 1 in the column under 64 and calculate 75 – 64 = 11
Now what is the highest power of 2 subtractable from 11 …………it’s 8

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 7 of 16

Annotate a 1 in the column under 8 and calculate 11 – 8 = 3
Annotate a 1 in the column under 2 and calculate 3 – 2 = 1
Annotate a 1 in the column under 1 which leaves 1 – 1 = 0 Now fill in all the spaces in
between the 1’s with zeros.
75
10
=1001011
2

Exercises
Convert110010
2
todecimal

Convert100110101111
2
todecimal

Convert273
10
tobinarybythedivisionmethod

Convert597
10
tobinarybythedivisionmethod

Convert5327
10
tobinarybythesubtractionmethod

Convert16384
10
tobinarybythesubtractionmethod

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 8 of 16
Octal Numbering System
Each octal numeral can be represented by 3 binary digits and the two number systems
are readily converted from one to the other by substitution.
So 778 is followed by 1008, in the similar sequence as 9910 is followed by 10010. 1008 is
quite a bit smaller than 10010. 1008 = 6410.
The advantages that a binary number sequence or readout can be displayed as an octal
number which can then be readily converted back to binary, for example, fault isolation.
Instead of displaying 110 011 010 010 111 110
2
8
can be displayed
instead and it is far more easily written and remembered than the binary equivalent.
Writing the binary number would increase the chances of transposing a digit when it’s
copied, plus it is simply a large unwieldy number, difficult to write and difficult to
memorise. 632276
8
, by comparison are more simply remembered.
A common method of interpreting data in aircraft is to memory inspect a computer
memory location, and to interpret the data stored there. Of course the data is stored
digitally. Some aircraft may have computer systems which convert the data into useable
information, but others will simply only provide the digital data as it is stored. It is then
the engineer’s task to interpret the digital data.
The octal numbering system has a base of 8.
Numerals used 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
08 18 28 38 → 78 108 118 128 → 168 178 208 218 → 268 278 308 318 →768 778
1008
Each octal digit represents 3 binary digits:

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 9 of 16
Octal To Decimal Conversions
One method is to convert the octal number to binary, and then convert the binary
number to decimal, as already explained by using the binary to decimal truth table.
To convert straight across, use the octal truth table as explained.

8
5
8
4
8
3
8
2
8
1
8
0

32768
10
4096
10
512
10
64
10
8
10
1
10

Convert2051
8
todecimal:
2051
8
=2x8
3
+0x8
2
+5x8
1
+1x8
0

=2x512
10
+0x64
10
+5x8
10
+1x1
10

=1065
10

Convert362415
8
todecimal:
362415
8
=3x8
5
+6x8
4
+2x8
3
+4x8
2
+1x8
1
+5x8
0

=3x32768
10
+6x4096
10
+2x512
10
+4x64
10
+1x8
10
+5x1
10

=124173
10

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 10 of 16

Decimal to Octal Conversion
There are two basic ways to do decimal-octal conversion. You may find one or the other
easier to understand and use.
Method 1 – Decimal to Binary to Octal
Convert the decimal number to binary as previously explained, and then substitute each
3 binary bits, for an octal digit.
The advantage of this method is that if you learn how to convert everything to and from
digital, you can use digital as the base system and need only remember how to convert
each system to and from digital.
Of the three systems we describe how to convert to and from binary, decimal is the only
difficult method, both octal and hexadecimal are easily converted to and from binary.
Method 2 – Division Method
The division method works on the same basis as the decimal to binary conversions
already covered, but in this case we divide by “8”. All the remainders represent the octal
number.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 11 of 16

Convert110010
2
tooctal

Convert100110101111
2
toOctal

Convert421
8
todecimalusingtheoctaltruthtable

Convert1125
8
todecimalusingtheoctaltruthtable

Convert5327
10
tooctalbythedivisionmethod

Convert16384
10
tooctalbythedivisionmethod

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 12 of 16
The hexadecimal number system is referred to as base16 and uses 16 unique symbols: 0
- 9 and A - F (the radix). This number system is useful because it can represent every
byte (8-bits of binary) as 2 symbols.
Hex uses the first ten numbers of the decimal system: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. The
number 10 has two digits so in hexadecimal it is represented by the letter A. The number
11 by B, 12 by C, 13 by D, 14 by E and 15 by F. This gives sixteen single digit values:
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F. To go higher, to the decimal number 16, we
must use two digits setting the first digit to 1 and increasing the second digit from 0 to F:
10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F
The decimal number 16 would equal 10 in hexadecimal. (1 X 16) + 0. Continuing in the
series, 17 (decimal) would equal 11 (hexadecimal), 18 (decimal) would equal 12
(hexadecimal), and so on until 31 (decimal), which would equal 1F (hexadecimal).
To increment to the number 32, we must change the first digit to 2 and increase the
second digit from F to 0:
20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 2A ...and so on, and so on
SoFF
16
is followed by 100
16
,in the similar sequence as 99
10
is followed by 100
10
.100
16
is
quite a bit larger than100
10
.
100
16
=256
10
.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 13 of 16
One method is to convert the hexadecimal number to binary, and then convert the binary
number to decimal as already explained by using the binary to decimal truth table.
To convert straight across, use the hexadecimal truth table as explained.
The hexadecimal number 20, (2 X 16) + 0, equals 32 in decimal.
The hexadecimal number 9C would equal (9 X 16) + 12 = 156 in decimal.

16
5
16
4
16
3
16
2
16
1
16
0

1 048 57610 65 53610 4 09610 25610 1610 110

Convert B7F216 to decimal:
B7F216 = 11 x 16
3
+ 7 x 16
2
+ 15 x 16
1
+ 2 x 16
0

= 11 x 4 09610 + 7 x 25610 + 15 x 1610 + 2 x 110
= 47 09010

Convert 9B82A16 to decimal:
9B82A16 = 9 x 16
4
+ 11 x 16
3
+ 8 x 16
2
+ 2 x 16
1
+ 10 x 16
0

= 9 x 65 53610 + 11 x 4 09610 + 8 x 25610 + 2 x 1610 + 10 x 110
= 636 97010
To convert a Decimal number to hexadecimal it is quite difficult to use the division
method and divide by 16, but it will work.
Remainders higher than 9 must be represented by the appropriate letter.
Division Method

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 14 of 16

An easier method is to first convert the decimal number to binary.
Convert decimal to binary using either the division or subtraction method.
Substitute each 4 binary bits with a hexadecimal numeral.
18365
10

= 0100 0111 1011 1101
2

= 4 7 B D
16

7985
10

= 0001 1111 0011 00012
= 1 F 3 1
16

Convert00110010
2

Convert100110101111
2

Convert111
16

Convert255
16

Convert5327
10

Convert16384
10

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 15 of 16
Summary
The following text illustrates how to convert everything to binary and vice versa, using
this common language (binary), conversions may be simpler.

Convert48879
10

ConvertDEAF
16
todecimal

Convert100101011110010011
2

Convert255
16
tooctal

Convert86437
10
tooctal

Convert11324
8
todecimal

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 16 of 16
Binary Coded Decimal (BCD)
The decimal number system is easy to use because it is so familiar. The binary number
system is less convenient to use because it is less familiar. It is difficult to quickly glance
at a binary number and recognize its decimal equivalent. For example, the binary
number 1010011
2
represents the decimal number 83
10
.
However, within a few minutes, using the procedures described earlier, you could readily
calculate its decimal value.
The amount of time it takes to convert or recognise a binary number quantity is a
distinct disadvantage in working with this code despite the numerous hardware
Engineers recognised this problem early and developed a special form of binary code that
was more compatible with the decimal system. Because so many digital devices,
instruments and equipment use decimal input and output, this special code has become
very widely used and accepted. This special compromise code is known as Binary Coded
Decimal (BCD).
The BCD code combines some of the characteristics of both the binary and decimal
number systems.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 1 of 14
TOPIC 5.3 – DATA CONVERSION
Data Conversion ............................................................................................................. 2
Operational Amplifiers .................................................................................................... 3
Zero Level Detection ........................................................................................................ 3
Non-zero Level Detection ................................................................................................. 4
Comparator ..................................................................................................................... 5
Non-inverting Amplifier ................................................................................................... 5
Inverting Amplifier .......................................................................................................... 6
Digital-to-Analogue Conversion ....................................................................................... 7
Binary Weighted Resistor D/A Converter ........................................................................ 7
Analogue-to-Digital Conversion ..................................................................................... 10
Flash A/D Converter ..................................................................................................... 11
Flash A/D Converter - Encoder ..................................................................................... 12

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 2 of 14
TOPIC 5.3 – DATA CONVERSION
Data Conversion

Analogue-to-Digital Converter (ADC) and Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC)
Analogue-to-Digital Converters (ADC) and Digital-to-Analogue Converters (DAC) are used
to interface computers to the analogue world so that a computer can monitor and control
a physical variable.
Transducer – the physical variable is normally a non-electric quantity. A transducer is a
device that converts that physical variable into an electrical variable

ADC – The transducer’s electrical analogue output serves as the analogue input to the
ADC. The ADC converts this analogue input into a digital output. This consists of a
number of bits that represent the analogue value, for example, the transducer may
output an analogue voltage range of 800 to 1500 mV which the ADC might convert to
01010000 (80) to 10010110 (150)

Computer – The digital representation from the ADC is processed by the computer. It
may perform calculations or other operations and then output a digital output to
manipulate the physical variable

Digital –to – Analogue Converter (DAC) – The digital output from the computer is
converted to a proportional analogue voltage or current, for example, the computer
output may output a digital range between 00000000 to 11111111, which the DAC
converts to a voltage ranging from 0 to 10 volts

Actuator – The analogue signal from the DAC is often connected to some device used to
physically control or adjust the physical variable

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 3 of 14
Operational Amplifiers
Operational Amplifiers are often used as comparators to compare the amplitude of one
voltage with another. In this application, the op-amp is used in the open-loop
configuration, with the input voltage on one input and a reference voltage on the other.

Operational Amplifier
The term operational amplifier or "op-amp" refers to a class of high-gain DC coupled
amplifiers with two inputs and a single output. The modern Integrated Circuit (IC)
version is typified by the famous 741 op-amp.
Some of the general characteristics of the IC version are:
• High gain, on the order of a million
• High input impedance, low output impedance (Vo = Av x Vin that is, Voltage out =
Gain x Voltage in)
• Used with split supply, usually +/- 15V
• Used with feedback, with gain determined by the feedback network
Zero Level Detection
One application of an op-amp used as a comparator is to determine when an input
voltage exceeds a certain level. Note in the illustration that the inverting input is
grounded to produce a zero level and that the input signal is applied to the non-inverting
input.

Zero Level Detection

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 4 of 14

Because of the high open-loop voltage gain, a very small difference between the two
inputs drives the op-amp into saturation, causing the output voltage to go to its limit.
For example, consider an op-amp having a gain of 100,000. A voltage difference of only
0.25 mV between the inputs could produce an output voltage of 25 Volts if the op-amp
were capable. However, since most op-amps have a maximum output voltage limitation
of +/- 15 V because of their DC supply voltages, the device would be driven into
saturation.
The wave shape illustration shows the result of a sine wave input voltage applied to the
non-inverting input of the zero-level detector. When the sine wave is negative, the op-
amp output is at its maximum negative level. When the sine wave input crosses zero
(going positive), the amplifier is driven to its opposite state and the output goes to its
maximum positive level. The zero-level detector can be used as a squaring circuit to
produce a square wave from a sine wave.
Non-zero Level Detection
The zero-level detector can be modified to detect voltages other than zero by connecting a
fixed reference voltage to the inverting input as shown in figure (a) using a battery. A
more practical arrangement is shown in figure (b) using a voltage divider to set the
reference voltage. A Zener diode can also be used to set the reference voltage.

Figure (a) Battery Reference, Figure (b) Voltage - Divider Reference, Figure (c)
Waveform
As long as the input voltage (Vin) exceeds the reference voltage (Vref), the output goes to
its maximum positive voltage as shown in the waveform illustration.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 5 of 14

Comparator
A more general comparison circuit is shown.

Comparator
This circuit is a true comparator, in that it correctly indicates a voltage comparison
between a reference voltage (Vref) and an unknown input voltage (Vin) at the other. As
with the original zero crossing detector above, the two inputs may be swapped according
to the desired sense of the output. The resistor and Zener diode in the output circuit
convert the full-range output swing to digital levels, if that is desired. However, these
components are not required for the basic voltage comparison.
Because this circuit effectively compares the two input voltages and produces a
corresponding output, it is known as a comparator. Comparators find a wide range of
applications in practical, commercial circuits.
Non-inverting Amplifier
An op-amp connected in a closed-loop configuration as a non-inverting amplifier with a
controlled amount of voltage gain.

Non-inverting Amplifier
The input signal is applied to the non-inverting input (Vin “+”). The output is applied
back to the inverting input (negative “-”) through the feedback circuit (closed loop) formed
by Resistor input (Ri) and Resistor feedback (Rf). This creates negative feedback as
follows. Ri and Rf form a voltage divider circuit which reduces Voltage out (Vout) and
connects the reduced voltage to the inverting input.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 6 of 14
The feedback voltage is expressed as:

The closed-loop gain of the non-inverting amplifier can be calculated with:

Therefore the closed-loop gain can be set by selecting values of Rf and Ri.
Inverting Amplifier

Inverting Amplifier
For an ideal op-amp, the inverting amplifier gain is given simply by:

For equal resistors, it has a gain of -1, and is used in digital circuits as an inverting
buffer. An op-amp inverting amplifier with a gain of one serves as an inverting buffer.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 7 of 14

Digital-to-Analogue Conversion
One common requirement in electronics is to convert signals back and forth between
analogue and digital forms. Most such conversions are ultimately based on a Digital-to-
Analogue Converter (DAC) or D/A converter circuit. Therefore, it is worth exploring just
how we can convert a digital number that represents a voltage value into an actual
analogue voltage.

Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC) or D/A converter
Binary Weighted Resistor D/A Converter
The illustrated circuit is a binary weighted resistor D/A converter and truth table. It
assumes a 4-bit binary number in Binary-Coded Decimal (BCD) format, using +5 volts as
a logic 1 and 0 volts as a logic 0. It will convert the applied BCD number to a matching
(inverted) output voltage. The digits 1, 2, 4, and 8 refer to the relative weights assigned to
each input. Thus, 1 is the Least Significant Bit (LSB) of the input binary number, and 8 is
the Most Significant Bit (MSB).
If the input voltages are accurately 0 and +5 volts, then the "1" input will cause an
output voltage of -5 × (4k/20k) = -5 × (1/5) = -1 volt whenever it is a logic 1. Similarly,
the "2," "4," and "8" inputs will control output voltages of -2, -4, and -8 volts,
respectively. As a result, the output voltage will take on one of 10 specific voltages, in
accordance with the input BCD code.
The operational amplifier is employed as a summing amplifier, which produces the
weighted sum of these input voltages. It may be recalled that the summing amplifier
multiplies each input voltage by the ratio of the feedback resistor Rf to the corresponding
input resistor Rin. In this circuit, Rf = 4 K and the input resistors range from 2.5 K to 20
K, for example, the ‘1’ input has Rin = 20 K, and so the summing amplifier attenuates the
signal so the output is 4/20th (1/5th) that of the input (and inverted). The analogue
output voltage represents the weighted sum of the digital inputs (BCD).

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 8 of 14
Illustration circuit is a binary weighted resistor D/A converter and truth table shows the
conversion for a binary-weighted resistor D/A Converter.

Binary Weighted Resistor D/A converter and Truth Table
The Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC) circuits we have looked at thus far use binary-
weighted resistors to produce the proper weighting of each bit. While this method works
in theory, it has some practical limitations. The biggest problem is the large difference in
resistor values between the LSB and the MSB especially in high-resolution DACs (that is,
many bits). For example, if the MSB resistor is 1 K in a 12-bit binary weighted resistor
DAC, the LSB resistor will be over 2 M. It is very difficult to produce resistance values
over a wide range that maintains an accurate ratio especially with variations in
temperature.

The circuit above performs D to A conversion a little differently. Typically the inputs are
driven by Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor (CMOS) gates, which have low but
equal resistance for both logic 0 and logic 1. Also, if we use the same logic levels, CMOS
gates really do provide +5 and 0 volts for their logic levels.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 9 of 14
Consider that for each input, if it is NOT a HI (+ 5 V), then it is a LO (0 V). The input
circuit is a remarkable design, known as an R-2R ladder network. It has several
advantages over the binary weighted resistor Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC).
Only two resistance values are used anywhere in the entire circuit. This means that only
two values of precision resistance are needed, in a resistance ratio of 2:1. Therefore,
resistance variations due to temperature changes have little effect on the accuracy. This
requirement is easy to meet, and not especially expensive.
We can use the very standard values of 10k and 20k for our resistors. The circuit is
indefinitely extensible for binary numbers. Thus, if we use binary inputs instead of BCD,
we can simply double the length of the ladder network for an 8-bit number (0 to 255) or
double it again for a 16-bit number (0 to 65535). We only need to add two resistors for
The input resistance seen by each digital input is the same as for every other input. The
actual impedance seen by each digital source gate is 3R. The circuit lends itself to a non-
inverting circuit configuration. Therefore we need not be concerned about intermediate
inverters along the way. However, an inverting version can easily be configured if that is
appropriate.
within the same output voltage limits. Additional input bits will simply allow the output
to be subdivided into smaller increments for finer resolution. This is equivalent to adding
inputs with ever-larger resistance values (doubling the resistance value for each bit), but
still using the same two resistance values in the extended ladder.

The basic theory of the R-2R ladder network is actually quite simple. Current flowing
through any input resistor (2R) encounters two possible paths at the far end. The
effective resistances of both paths are the same (also 2R), so the incoming current splits
equally along both paths. The half-current that flows back towards lower orders of
magnitude does not reach the op amp, and therefore has no effect on the output voltage.
The half that takes the path towards the op amp along the ladder can affect the output.
The Most Significant Bit (marked "8" in the figure) sends half of its current toward the op
amp, so that half of the input current flows through that final 2R resistance and
generates a voltage drop across it. This voltage drop (from bit "8" only) will be one-third of
the logic 1 voltage level, or 5/3 = 1.667 volts.
This is amplified by the op amp, as controlled by the feedback and input resistors
connected to the negative ("-") input. For the components shown, this gain will be 3 (refer
to non-inverting amplifiers – Gain).

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 10 of 14

The gain for non-inverting amplifiers can be calculated by:

With a gain of 3, the amplifier output voltage for the "8" input will be 5/3 × 3 = 5 volts.
The current from the "4" input will split in half in the same way. Then, the half going
towards the op amp will encounter the junction from the "8" input. Again, this current
"sees" two equal-resistance paths of 2R each, so it will split in half again. Thus, only a
quarter of the current from the "4" will reach the op amp. Similarly, only 1/8 of the
current from the "2" input will reach the op amp and be counted. This continues
backwards for as many inputs as there are on the R-2R ladder structure.
The maximum output voltage from this circuit will be one step of the least significant bit
below 10 volts. Thus, an 8-bit ladder can produce output voltages up to 9.961 volts
(255/256 × 10 volts). This is fine for many applications. If you have an application that
requires a 0-9 volt output from a BCD input, you can easily scale the output upwards
using an amplifier with a gain of 1.6 (8/5).
We will not perform a detailed analysis of this circuit here, but it can be shown that, in
this instance, the value of Vout is given by the expression:

Where B is the value of the binary input, which can range from 0000 (0) to 1111 (15),
and the denominator is the value of the MSB (8 in this instance with a 4-bit input). With
a 3-bit input, the denominator (MSB value) would be 4.
Analogue-to-Digital Conversion
Analogue-To-Digital Conversion or A/D conversion is a common interfacing process often
used when a linear analogue system must provide inputs to a digital system. Many
methods for A/D conversion are available.
We will cover the basic operation of 2 A/D converter types:
• Flash or simultaneous
• Digital-Ramp or Counter-type
The A/D conversion process is generally more complex and time-consuming than the
Digital-To- Analogue (D/A) process, and many different methods have been developed
and used. It may never be necessary to design or construct an Analogue-To-Digital
Converter (ADC) (they are available as complete packaged units). However, the
techniques that are used provide an insight into what factors determine a ADCs
performance.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 11 of 14

Flash A/D Converter
To convert a digital code to an analogue voltage, we only had to find a way to effectively
assign an appropriate voltage to each bit, and then combine them. But is there some
equally easy way of finding the digital code that corresponds to a given analogue voltage?

Flash A/D Converter
Consider the very simple requirement to determine whether an analogue voltage was
closest to 0, 1, 2, or 3 volts. The result would be stored as a two-bit binary number. The
first step in making this determination might be a set of three comparators, connected as
shown. As the analogue voltage increases, the comparators will, one by one from the
bottom up, change state from false to true. Of course, additional digital circuitry will be
required to encode these signals into the corresponding digital number. But this circuit
forms the sensing array that will determine directly which code will be closest to the
actual analogue voltage.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 12 of 14

This approach will work, and can be expanded to any number of steps for finer
resolution of the analogue voltage. However, as you have probably already perceived,
there is a problem with this approach, in that the number of comparators required
increases exponentially with the number of binary bits used to store the code. Thus,
using this approach to convert a 0 to 9-volt range to a BCD number will require nine
comparators. A 4-bit binary number, counting from 0 to 15, requires 15 comparators.
And a typical 8-bit circuit will require 255 comparators! Clearly this approach becomes
rapidly too expensive for ordinary use, although it is practical if very high speed is
required.
Flash A/D Converter - Encoder
Due to the nature of the sequential comparator output states (each comparator
saturating "high" in sequence from lowest to highest), the same "highest-order-input
selection" effect may be realised through a set of Exclusive-OR gates, allowing the use of
a simpler, non-priority encoder. The encoder circuit itself can be made from a matrix of
diodes, demonstrating just how simply this converter design may be constructed. Not
only is the flash converter the simplest in terms of operational theory, but it is the most
efficient of the ADC technologies in terms of speed, being limited only in comparator and
gate propagation delays. Unfortunately, it is the most component-intensive for any given
number of output bits.

Flash A/D Converter - Encoder
An additional advantage of the flash converter, often overlooked, is the ability for it to
produce a non-linear output.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 13 of 14
With equal-value resistors in the reference voltage divider network, each successive
binary count represents the same amount of analog signal increase, providing a
proportional response. For special applications, however, the resistor values in the
divider network may be made non-equal. This gives the ADC a custom, nonlinear
conditioning behaviour with just a few component value changes.
A slower but much less expensive approach involves the use of a D to A converter and a
single comparator. One of the simplest versions of the general ADC uses a binary counter
as the register and allows the clock to increment the counter one step at a time until Vax
≥ Va. It is called a digital-ramp ADC because the waveform at Vax is a step-by-step ramp.
It may also be referred to as a counter-type ADC. It contains a counter, a DAC, an
analogue comparator, and a control AND gate. The comparator output serves as the
active-LO (low) End Of Conversion (EOC) signal.

If we assume that Va (analogue voltage) is positive, the operations proceeds as follows:
• A START pulse is applied to reset the counter to zero. The HI at START also inhibits
clock pulses from passing through the AND gate into the counter
• With all 0’s at its input, the DAC output will be Vax = 0 Volts
• Since Va > Vax, the comparator output End Of Conversion (EOC) will be HI (high)
• When START returns LO, the AND gate is enabled and the clock pulses now advance
through to the counter
• As the counter advances, the DAC output (Vax) increases one step at a time
• This continues until Vax exceeds Va (typically by 10 to 100 microvolts). At this point,
the comparator changes state and its output goes LO. This will inhibit the flow of
pulses into the counter and thus it stops counting

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-05 Page 14 of 14
• The conversion process is now complete as signalled by the HI to LO transition at
EOC, and the contents of the counter are the digital representation of Va
• The counter will hold the digital value until the next START pulse initiates a new
conversion

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 1 of 35
TOPIC 5.4 – DATA BUSES
Digital Data Transfer ........................................................................................... 3
Serial Data Transfer ............................................................................................. 4
Parallel Data Transfer .......................................................................................... 4
Multiplexing ......................................................................................................... 5
Aircraft Multiplex System ..................................................................................... 6
Data Bus Connectors ........................................................................................... 9
Data Bus Systems: Bus Controller ..................................................................... 10
MIL–STD–1553 Data Bus ................................................................................... 11
MIL–STD–1553 Data Transfer ............................................................................ 14
MIL-STD-1773 ................................................................................................... 16
History of ARINC ................................................................................................ 17
What is ARINC 429? .......................................................................................... 17
ARINC 429 Usage ............................................................................................... 17
Development of ARINC 429 ................................................................................ 18
ARINC 429 Specifications .................................................................................. 18
ARINC 429 Schematic Diagram .......................................................................... 19
ARINC 429 DATA TRANSFER ............................................................................. 21
Data Bus Summary ........................................................................................... 35

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 2 of 35
TOPIC 5.4 – DATA BUSES
In electricity delivery grids from power stations, power it transmitted over heavily
constructed thick power lines designed to carry very high voltages and a large
electrical current. As the power is stepped down, so is the diameter of the wiring
necessary to conduct it efficiently.
Different applications require differing amounts of power, for example, navigation
light runs off 28 VDC, and so does an aircraft starter motor. The navigation light
only draws a very small current though, as is evident by the narrow gauge wiring
providing the power to it. The starter motor though draws a very high current so a
thick cable is necessary for the motor to operate efficiently and generate the torque
required to turn over an aircraft engine.
Both these aircraft applications though use electricity to perform work, hence there
is significant current flow, necessitating appropriately sized wiring to carry the
current required.
An entirely different use for electricity is to transmit signals. Electricity is the ideal
means to transmit information because it travels at the speed of light. Wiring
utilised to transmit data carries only a small negligible current, just sufficient to
switch a transistor ON or OFF, or to carry an audio signal which is then amplified
at its destination.
This lesson deals entirely with transmission of data. Ideally no current flows on a
digital data line, although in reality there is a small flow of current sufficient to at
least forward and reverse bias semiconductor P and N junctions. But data bus lines
are typically very small gauge, and the electrical signal transmitted over them is
typically no higher than 5 volts DC and would look similar to an AC sine wave,
although without any uniformity or sequence. The information transmitted is
actually all the ones and zeros which represent data encoded as a digital signal. The
data is sent in a regulated and uniform sequence between components, where
computer processors at either end decode and utilise the data to produce the
desired outputs, whether it be to display present latitude and longitude on a
horizontal indicator, or to drive a servo motor to regulate fuel flow to an engine.

Electrical Signals through ICs and an Electrical Power Grid

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 3 of 35

Digital Data Transfer
The signal below represents an ideal waveform, below is an example of the more
likely waveform present on the data line. Both represent 1010 0110. Remember, the
voltage produced is as a result of transistor switching ON and OFF and transistors
are not perfect in respect to having instantaneous switching of states from OFF to
fully saturated. They are continually forward and reverse biased, so the wave shape
is in reality more like a distorted AC sine wave. Although the wave shapes are not
perfect, they do function perfectly, and any computer is testament to how well the
digital data transfer works.

In electronic digital systems data in its binary form is represented by the presence
or not of a voltage for each bit at the inputs and outputs of the various circuits.
Typically binary 0 is represented by 0 volts, and binary 1 is represented by 5 volts.
In practical systems any voltage between 0 and 0.8 volts (not sufficient to saturate a
transistor) represents binary 0 and any voltage between 2 and 5 volts represents a
binary 1.

The clock pulse represented on the diagram is basically a representation of the
operating speed of the data bus, and the transmitter and receiver are synchronised
by the same clock pulse. When the transmitter is outputting a high, the receiver
detects it and clocks it through as a 1 to processing circuitry. When data is next
sampled by the receiver the transmitter is outputting a low, and a 0 is clocked
through to the processing circuitry.
In digital, quantities are represented by voltages which have a wide tolerance (for
example, 2-5 volts for a 1, whereas in analogue, voltages must be exact – any
deviation causes errors.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 4 of 35

Serial Data Transfer
In digital computers, enormous amounts of data moves between parts of the
system.
The two basic ways of doing this are by “parallel data transfer” and “serial data
transfer”.
With serial transfer, each bit of data is transferred from a store (or memory location,
illustrated is two bytes of data – 16 bits) in sequence over the same line.
The data is triggered by clock pulses as explained on the previous slide and the
transmitter and receiver are synchronised, with reference to the same clock pulse.
When the data arrives at the receiver it is sequentially stored in memory (2 bytes
worth in this case) before being transferred to processing circuitry in the receiving
component.
The serial bus is one on which the data is transmitted sequentially, one word
following another word. It is commonly used for long distance transmissions.
Advantages of Serial data flow: less hardware, therefore less weight and space for
an installation compared to Parallel data transfer systems. Serial data transfer is
typical of data-bus communications.
Multiplexing is a typical method of speeding up the data transfer capacity of a serial
data bus.

Serial Data Bus
Parallel Data Transfer
With parallel transfer, each bit is taken from a separate circuit (for example –
processing or calculating circuit) and is transmitted over a separate line.

Parallel Data Transfer
Advantages of parallel data transfer: much faster. In the example on the slide, it
would be 16 times faster.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 5 of 35

When considering the time taken to download data from the internet over the serial
connection, imagine how quickly everything would run if there was a parallel
connection. The downside of parallel is of course you need lots more hardware
which takes up space and increases weights, which are two things we don’t want to
do in an aircraft.
Serial data transfer is typical of data-bus communications, whereas once a signal is
inside a computer it is typically processed in parallel. A parallel bus typically
interconnects the internal devices of a computer and has enough wires to transmit
all bits of the word simultaneously. An eight bit parallel bus would be eight times
faster than the serial bus, and a 64 bit parallel bus would be 64 times faster than
its equivalent serial bus.
Multiplexing
transmission medium.
On aircraft, multiplexing greatly decreases the number of wires carrying separate
signals. Using a digital ‘time division” technique, many different signals can be
carried by one conductor. Benefits include a big reduction in the weight of wire
bundles and improved circuit reliability.
The basic principle of multiplexing is where two rotary switches are synchronised in
their switching as they rotate around a series of contacts. The synchronised
rotating contacts connect matching input and output lines in sequence, and data is
transmitted over the common transmission line.

Multiplexing Where Two Rotary Switches are Synchronised
In reality multiplexing is usually done by logic gates responding in sequence to
clock pulse signals. At the multiplexing end, the signal on each input line is
sampled and passed to the common transmission line, when the inputs AND gate is
clocked ON. The sequenced gate outputs are serially transmitted to the
demultiplexer, where the inverse happens. As each AND gate is clocked on, it
passes the signal that is on the transmission line at that time.
This has the effect of transmitting 8 separate inputs through to 8 separate outputs
over the same transmission line.
In aircraft, analogue signals may be multiplexed, but they must first be converted to
digital, transmitted over the multiplexer network, and then converted back to
analogue form once demultiplexed.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 6 of 35

In an aircraft the sequencing controller is replaced by a Bus Controller, and the bus
controller typically receives all the inputs, and distributes outputs and processed
data (after processing data from several inputs) to systems requiring the
information, for example, digitised data to be displayed on a multifunction display,
or calculated air density data for transmission to a thrust computer.

Logic Gate Multiplexing
Aircraft Multiplex System
In the 1950s and 1960s, aviation electronics, referred to as avionics, were simple
stand-alone systems. The navigation, communications, flight controls, and displays
consisted of analog systems. Often these systems were composed of multiple boxes,
or subsystems, connected to form a single system.
Various boxes within a system were connected with point-to-point (analogue)
wiring. The signals mainly consisted of analog voltages, synchro-resolver signals,
and switch contacts. The location of these boxes within the aircraft was a function
of operator need, available space, and the aircraft weight and balance constraints.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 7 of 35

Aircraft Digital, Analogue and Airframe – Engine Sensors
As more and more systems were added, the cockpits became more crowded, the
wiring more complex, and the overall weight of the aircraft increased. By the late
1960s and early 1970s, it became necessary to share information between the
various systems to reduce the number of black boxes required by each system. A
single sensor, for example that provided heading and rate information, could
provide that data to the navigation system, the flight control system, and pilots
display system. However, the avionics technology was still basically analogue, and
while sharing sensors did produce a reduction in the overall number of black boxes,
the connecting signals became a “rat's nest” of wires and connectors.
Moreover, functions or systems that were added later became an integration
nightmare, as additional connections of a particular signal could have potential
system impacts. Additionally, as the system used point-to-point wiring, the system
that was the source of the signal typically had to be modified to provide the
or Output Multiplier Boxes (OMB’s)). Because a single parameter may be required
by several boxes or systems, it was necessary to incorporate Output Multiplier
Boxes (OMB’s) where a single signal (or range of signals, for example, ADC OMB)
would be fed into analogue multipliers, so the signal could be replicated many times
for output to the associated systems requiring the information, for example,
attitude for display, autopilot, radar transmitter stabilisation, and so on. Output
multipliers were large heavy boxes and added to aircraft weight and space
problems, as well as adding complexity to systems operation.
The analogue signals all require dedicated wiring to pass the information from one
box to another. In later day computerised aircraft it would likely be impossible to
design or construct an aircraft with analogue wiring, because too much information
to be handled by analogue wiring is typically transmitted for routine operation of
the avionic systems. The aircraft would be a flying wiring loom.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 8 of 35

Fully Digital Aircraft System
By the late 1970s, with the advent of digital technology, digital computers had
made their way into avionics systems and subsystems. They offered increased
computational capability and easy growth, compared to their analog predecessors.
However, the data signals, inputs and outputs from the sending and receiving
This led to the configuration of a small number of centralized computers (typically
only one or two) being interfaced to other systems and subsystems via complex and
expensive analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters. As time and technology
progressed, the avionics systems became more digitised. With the advent of the
microprocessor, things really took off. A benefit of this digital application was the
reduction in the number of analog signals, and hence the need for their conversion.
An additional side benefit was that digital data could be transferred bi-directionally,
wherein analog data was transferred unidirectional.
Multiplexing is a technique that minimises the amount of wiring required to
transmit information, or commands throughout an aircraft. It is not unique to
aircraft; motor vehicles have also been using multiplexing for many years.
By multiplexing, a Bus Controller manages all communications over the
multiplexing bus. The Bus Controller works similar to a base station radio operator.
In the illustration, Bus Controller is performed by the Flight Management Computer
(FMC). The mission computers control all data transmitted over the multiplexer
busses.
The incorporation of a fully integrated digital avionics system requires a digital data
bus to provide a two way interface between various navigation sensors, computers
and indicators.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 9 of 35

Serial rather than parallel transmission of the data was used to reduce the number
of interconnections (wires) within the aircraft and the receiver/driver circuitry
required with the black boxes.
The interface between each computer and external device is accomplished via the
digital data bus. The bus is made up of a twisted pair of wires which are shielded
and jacketed. The shielding is to provide spike protection and eliminate Electro
Magnetic Field (EMF) induced errors and virtually guarantees accurate
transmissions from each transmitter to its receiver. The wires are twisted so the
magnetic fields induced by the currents flowing through them will cancel each other
out eliminating Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI).
Data may travel one way or in two directions, depending on the system design.
Transmission of data within micro-computers and external transmissions between
other components is accomplished with 8, 16, 32 or 64 bit digital words.

Avionics Data Bus Layout in an Aircraft
Regardless of which system is employed, only one data word will be transmitted on
the data bus at any one time, it is not a free for all, as then the data bus would
simply be a jumble of one’s and zero’s and would be meaningless. All
communication is controlled by either bus controllers or by timing regimes, like a
radio communications system. If several stations transmit over the same frequency
simultaneously – none can be understood – each transmission must be timed to
transmit one at a time, then all radio traffic can be understood.
Data Bus Connectors
The multiplexer bus functions like an arterial highway, and is not designed to
connect to any specific components. The highway is laid, and a bus controller is
connected to manage all data transmitted over the highway. All the peripheral
components are connected to the highway by breakouts (couplers) and perform
similar to telephone extensions connected to an exchange, or computers connected
to a Local Area Network (LAN).

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 10 of 35

Data Bus Connector
Data Bus Systems: Bus Controller
While several terminals may be capable of performing as the Bus Controller, only
one Bus Controller may be active at any one time. The Bus Controller is the only
one allowed to issue commands on the data bus. Commands may be for transfer of
data, or control and management of the bus.

Data Bus Systems and Bus Controller
Bus Controllers manage this by sending out commands to peripheral systems
requesting data which is stored in the memory of the peripheral components, for
example, altitude from the Air Data Computer (ADC). The ADC responds to the
digital command and transmits binary data representing aircraft altitude. The Bus
Controller then updates the Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) altitude
readout by transmitting the digitised altitude value to the EFIS, where the new
altitude value is displayed. Data transmission is strictly controlled by the Bus
Controllers.
There are typically only a few types of word transmitted over digital data busses,
and all communications on specific type data busses are initiated by the Bus
Controller. The commands may be for the transfer of data or the control and
management of the bus (referred to as mode commands. The Bus Controller
commands a remote terminal to transmit data to it. The remote terminal responds
with the information requested.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 11 of 35
The Bus Controller may command a remote terminal to receive data. It sends the
data, for example, digitised information for display by a multi-function display, and
the remote terminal responds when the data transfer is complete to confirm that it
received the information and that no errors were detected in the transmission. In
this way enormous amounts of information are transferred along the data bus all
under the control of the Bus Controller.
Typically, the Bus Controller is a function that is contained within some other
computer, such as a Flight Management Computer (FMC), or a display processor.

Bus Controller and Backup Bus Controller
MIL–STD–1553 Data Bus
MIL-STD-1553 - Military Standard (MIL-STD) defines electrical and protocol
characteristics for a data bus.
The advent of the digital Data Bus alone was still not enough.
A data transmission medium, which would allow all systems and subsystems to
share a single and common set of wires, was needed. By sharing the use of an
interconnect the various subsystems could send data between themselves, and to
other systems and subsystems, one at a time, and in a defined sequence, hence a
data bus.
MIL-STD-1553B defines the term Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) as “the
transmission of information from several signal sources through one
communications system with different signal samples staggered in time to form a
composite pulse train”. This means that data can be transferred between multiple
avionics units over a single transmission media, with the communications between
the different avionics boxes taking place at different moments in time, hence time
division.
MIL-STD-1553 (USAF) was released in August of 1973. The primary user of the
initial standard was the F-16 ‘Fighting Falcon’. Further changes and improvements
were made and a tri-service version, MIL-STD-1553A was released in 1975. The first
users of the “A” version of the standard were the Air Force's F-16 and the Army's
new attack helicopter, the AH-64A “Apache”. With some “real world” experience, it
was soon realised that further definitions and additional capabilities were needed.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) spent three years of concentrated effort
to produce 1553B, which was released in 1978. At that point, the government
decided to “freeze” the standard at the “B” level so as to allow component
manufacturers to develop products and to allow industry to gain some additional
“real world” experience before determining what the next set of changes were to be

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 12 of 35

Data Bus Layout of Aircraft System
Three distinct word types are defined by the standard. These are:
• Command words
• Data words
• Status words
Each word type has a unique format, yet all three maintain a common structure.
Each word is twenty bits in length. The first three bits are used as a
synchronisation field, thereby allowing all device clocks to re-sync at the beginning
of each new word. The next sixteen bits are the information field and are different
between the three word types. The last bit is the parity bit.
Parity is based on odd parity for the single word. The encoder automatically
calculates parity. Odd Parity, that is, there is always an odd number of 1’s in a
word.
Commandwords contain a terminal address which indicates to the remote terminals
which component the command is addressed to.
T/R (Transmit/Receive) bit signifies whether the remote terminal is to prepare to
receive data, or is to transmit data.
Sub-addressmode indicates the memory location the remote terminal is to either
store transmitted data in, or is to transmit data from.
Wordcount indicates how many data words are about to be sent to the Remote
Terminal (RT) or how many words the RT must transmit back to the Bus Controller
(BC).
If the sub-address area contains all zero’s, this indicates the command word is a
mode change, and then the word count block contains data indicating which mode
the Remote Terminal (RT) is to switch to, for example, switch an Inertial Navigation
Unit from alignment mode to navigation mode, or command an ADC to perform a
Built-in-Test (BIT).

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 13 of 35

Data words contain purely data, and are always preceded by a command or status
word to effectively label what data is contained in the data words.
Statuswords contain the terminal address the status word is sent from so the BC
knows who it’s talking to. The remainder of the word basically tells the BC that the
data transfer was completed successfully and that the remote terminal is
serviceable and operating correctly.
BIT encoding for all words is based on Bi-Phase Manchester II format.
A transition of the signal occurs at the centre of the bit time. A logic “0” is a signal
that transitions from a negative level to a positive level. A logic “1” is a signal that
transitions from a positive level to a negative level.

Manchester II Bi-Phase waveform

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 14 of 35
It is important to note that the voltage levels on the bus are not the signalling
media, and that it is strictly the timing and polarity of the zero crossings that
convey information on the bus. That is the ramps up or down indicate a 0 or a 1,
not the magnitude of voltage.
For this reason the 1553 bus is extremely forgiving of conditions that cause the
voltage levels on the bus to vary.
MIL–STD–1553 Data Transfer
The primary purpose of the data bus is to provide a common media for the
exchange of data between systems. The exchange of data is based on message
transmissions. The standard defines ten types of message transmission formats. All
of these formats are based on the three word types just defined.
The message formats are:
3 Mode change transmissions
• BC Commands mode change of RT, without any data being transferred
• BC transmits Mode Change command of RT and transmits data to the RT
• BC transmits Mode Change command of RT and requests data be transmitted
from RT to BC
• BC to RT’s, BC transmitting data
• BC commands RT’s to transmit data to other RT’s
• BC transmits Mode Change command to RT’s without any data being transferred
• BC transmits Mode Change command to RT’s and transmits data to RT’s
There are two message format groups, the information transfer formats and the
broadcast information transfer formats. The information transfer formats are
based on the command/response philosophy in that all error free transmissions
received by a Remote Terminal (RT) are followed by the transmission of a status
word from the terminal to the Bus Controller (BC).
This handshaking principle validates the receipt of the message by the Remote
Terminal. Each of the message formats is summarized in the sections, which follow.

Bus Controller (BC) transmitting data to Remote terminal (RT)
The Bus Controller to Remote Terminal (BC-RT) message is referred to as the

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 15 of 35
The Bus Controller outputs a command word to the terminal defining the Sub
address of the data and the number of data words it is sending (sub address
informs the receiver of the memory location where the data is to be stored).
Immediately (no transmission gap), the number of data words (up to 32) specified in
the command word is sent. The Remote Terminal upon validating the command
word and all data words issues a status word indicating the message was received
and was valid.

Remote terminal (RT) transmitting data to Bus Controller (BC)
The Remote Terminal to Bus Controller (RT-BC) message is referred to as a transmit
command. The bus controller issues only a transmit command word to the Remote
Terminal. The terminal, on validating the command word, transmits its status word
followed by the number of data words requested by the command word.
RemoteTerminal(RT)transmittingdatatoRemoteTerminal(RT)
The Remote Terminal to Remote Terminal (RT-RT) command allows a terminal (the
data source) to transfer data directly to another terminal (the data sink) without
going through the Bus Controller. However, the Bus Controller may also collect the
data and use it. The Bus Controller issues a command word to the receiving
terminal immediately followed by a command word to the transmitting terminal.
The receiving terminal is expecting data, but instead of data after the command
word it sees a command synchronisation (command sync) (the second command
word). The receiving terminal ignores this word and waits for a word with a data
synchronisation (data sync).
The transmitting terminal ignored the first command word (it did not contain the
appropriate terminal address). The second word was addressed to it, so it processes
the command as a RT-BC command by transmitting its status word followed by the
required data words. The receiving terminal; having ignored the second command
word; again sees a command (status) synchronisation (sync) on the next word and
waits. The next word (the first data word sent) now has data sync and the receiving
Remote Terminal starts collecting data. After receipt of all of the data words (and
validating) the terminal transmits its status word.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 16 of 35
MIL–STD–1553Specifications
An example of the standards specified by MIL-STD-1553.

The 1553 bus is bidirectional, in that data flows in both directions (not
simultaneously) from BC to RT and from RT to BC. This means the bus must be
managed by a Bus Controller coordinating all the data traffic. ARINC 429 is simplex
operation. A component transmits data to up to 20 terminals, but data does not flow
in reverse.
As time and technology have progressed avionics systems became more digitised.
With the advent of the microprocessor, things really took off. Small analogue
sensors could incorporate a microprocessor, thus providing a digital output and
negating the requirement for A-to-D and D-to-A converters.
1553 systems incorporated many A-to-D and D-to-A converters, increasing the cost
of installations. With avionics systems now typically producing outputs in digital
format the 1553 standard of installation has fallen behind contemporary digital
avionic system installations.
So although MIL-STD-1553 was a pioneer in digital Data Bus development,
Aeronautical Radio, Incorporated (ARINC) standard installations are now more
typically incorporated in modern commercial aircraft.
MIL-STD-1773
MIL-STD-1773 contains the requirements for utilising a fibre optic "cabling" system
as a transmission medium for the MIL-STD-1553B bus protocol. As such, the
standard repeats MIL-STD-1553 nearly word-for-word. The standard does not
specify power levels, noise levels, spectral characteristics, optical wavelength,
electrical/optical isolation or means of distributing optical power. These must be
contained in separate specifications for each intended use.
Data encoding and word format are identical to MIL-STD-1553, with the exception
that pulses are defined as transitions between 0 (off) and 1 (on) rather than between
+ and - voltage transitions since light cannot have a negative value. Since the
standard applies to cabling only, the bus operates at the same speed as it would
utilise a wire. Additionally, data error rate requirements are unchanged. Different
environmental considerations must be given to fibre optic systems. Altitude,
humidity, temperature, and age affect fibre optics differently than wire conductors.
Power is divided evenly at junctions which branch and connectors have losses just
as wire connectors do.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 17 of 35
History of ARINC
Aeronautical Radio, Incorporated (ARINC) is a major company that develops and
operates systems and services to ensure the efficiency, operation, and performance
of the aviation and travel industries. It was organised in 1929 by four major airlines
to provide a single licensee and coordinator of radio communications outside the
government. Only airlines and aviation-related companies can be shareholders,
although all airlines and aircraft can use ARINC’s services.
ARINC has provided leadership in developing specifications and standards for
avionics equipment, and one of these specifications is the focus of this lesson.
Industry-wide committees prepare the specifications and standards. ARINC
Specification 429 was developed and is maintained by the Airlines Electronic
Engineering Committee (AEEC) comprising members that represent airlines,
government, and ARINC. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA)
in Washington, D.C. also maintains a specification document with ARINC 429
labels: “ARINC 429 General Aviation Subset”.
What is ARINC 429?
ARINC 429 is a specification, which defines how avionics equipment and systems
should communicate with each other. They are interconnected by wires in twisted
pairs. The specification defines the electrical and data characteristics and protocols,
which are used. ARINC 429 employs a unidirectional data bus. Messages are
transmitted at a bit rate of either 12.5 or 100 kilobits per second to other system
elements, which are monitoring the bus messages. Transmission and reception is
on separate ports so that many wires may be needed on aircraft, which use a large
number of avionics systems.
ARINC 429 Usage
ARINC 429 has been installed on most commercial transport aircraft including;
Airbus A310/A320/A330/A340; Bell Helicopters; Boeing 727, 737, 747, 757, and
767; and McDonnell Douglas MD-11. Boeing is installing a newer system specified
as ARINC 629 on the 777. Some aircraft are using alternate systems in an attempt
to reduce the weight of wire needed and to exchange data at a higher rate than is
possible with ARINC 429. The unidirectional ARINC 429 system provides high
reliability at the cost of wire weight and limited data rates.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 18 of 35

Development of ARINC 429
A number of digital transmission system building blocks were available prior to
1984. Many protocols predate ARINC 429 such as ARINC 561, 582, 573, 575 and
419.
The variability of standards doesn't matter where a single user is involved, but is
important when equipment from different suppliers must interact with each other.
Standardisation is beneficial not only to the aircraft integrator, but to the
equipment supplier who can have greater assurance of product acceptability, so
long as it is "on spec". ARINC 429 is the most widely applied Digital Data
Transmission specification for modern transport aircraft.
The existence of ARINC 429 means avionic equipment manufacturers need not have
to make components specific to certain aircraft or manufacturer types. The
alternative with all air carriers utilising different data busses would mean
manufactures of say a laser ring gyro would then need to manufacture variants to
comply with each carriers data bus specifications. By sticking to a standard,
manufacturers can produce standard products which can be incorporated into any
aircraft, thus keeping manufacturing costs down resulting in massive savings to the
airlines purchasing aircraft and spare parts.
ARINC 429 Specifications
Some of the major characteristics include:
• Data bus uses two signal wires
• Word size – 32 bits (1553 was 20 counting polarity and synch)
• Bit Encoding – Bipolar return to zero (1553 was Manchester II Bi-Phase,
triggered by positive (+ve) and negative (-ve) going pulses)
• Simplex Data Bus (1553 was bidirectional data bus)
A Simplex Bus is one on which there is only one transmitter but multiple receivers
(up to a maximum of 20 in the case of 429). There are no Bus Controllers as found
in 1553 buses. Since each bus is unidirectional, a system needs to have its own
transmit bus if it is required to respond or to send messages. ARINC 429 specifies
that bi-directional data flow on a pair of wires is not permitted.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 19 of 35

Requirements for minimum weight and maximum flexibility drove 1553 to operate
at 1Meg on a bidirectional bus, certification requirements drove ARINC 429 to
operate at either 12 to 14.5 or 100 k bit on a simplex bus.
ARINC 429 Schematic Diagram

ARINC 429 Schematic Diagram
This illustration is drawn with outputs represented exiting the side of the boxes,
and inputs entering the top or bottom.
This wiring network looks more complex than the 1553 data bus because data
transfer is only simplex or one way. But the ARINC 429 data bus system does not
require a Bus Controller. Because all data outputs are transmitted over two output
wires, wiring is still kept to a minimum, for example, two wires carry Indicated
Airspeed, True Airspeed, Mach number, Altitude, AOA, OAT, and Built-In Test Data.
If two components need to exchange information, for example, the Flight Controls
Computer (FCC) sends flight control surface position information to the Flight
Management Computer (FMC), and the FMC transmits autopilot commands to the
FCC. In just this case, the FCC output is sent to the FMC, and the FMC output is
sent to the FCC. Following is a list of the basic signal transfer considered in
developing this diagram for instructing purposes:
Flight Control Computer (FCC) Output
Surface Positions and maintenance data sent to FMC for eventual display on a
Multi-Function Display (MFD).
Failure monitoring output sent to Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System
(EICAS), for example, Aileron or Flap, Flight Controls Computer (FCC) Channel Fail.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 20 of 35

Altitude, Airspeed, AOA, Total Temp, and so on, sent to:
• FCC for gain scheduling
• Thrust Management Computer (TMC) for thrust management calculations
• Flight Management Computer (FMC) for eventual display
Failure monitoring output sent to Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System
(EICAS), for example, Angle Of Attack (AOA) sensor fail
Internal Reference System (IRS) Output
Accelerometer outputs detecting yaw, or sideslip sent to TMC to maintain
symmetrical flight
Roll, Pitch, Yaw to FCC for autopilot, and to FMC for display on an MFD
Failure monitoring output sent to EICAS, for example, sensor overheat
Thrust Management Computer (TMC) Output
To Flight Management Computer (FMC) for display on an MFD; Engine Pressure
Ratio (EPR), Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT), and so on
Failure monitoring output sent to EICAS for example, oil pressure low, N2 RPM
high
Flight Management Computer (FMC) Output
Sent to all avionics components for overall system control utilising FMC
display/select panel
Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (EICAS)
In this diagram EICAS has no outputs to other avionic systems, it purely monitors
inputs. Because it has no outputs it has no need of an ARINC 429 output data bus

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 21 of 35

ARINC 429 Specifications
Each aircraft may be equipped with different electronic equipment and systems
needing interconnection. A large amount of equipment may be involved depending
on the aircraft. These are identified in the specification and are assigned digital
identification numbers called Equipment Identification (ID). A partial list of
equipment identified in ARINC Specification 429 is illustrated below along with their

ARINC 429 details a significant amount of specifications, all of which are intended
to set a standard for avionics data bus systems installed in aviation industry
equipment.
ARINC 429 DATA TRANSFER
The Manchester II Bi-Phase coding of the 1553 data bus transferred data (1’s and
0’s) by the shifting polarity of a signal (+ve to –ve = 1and –ve to +ve = 0), and hence
was not reliant upon voltage levels. The ARINC 429 data bus uses Return To Zero
(RTZ) where no signal is relayed by a signal voltage of 0 (zero).

ARINC 429 DATA TRANSFER
The intricacies of the method of data transfer doesn’t really matter to us, as long as
you understand the concept, and realise that both data bus systems (1553 and
ARINC 429) have different signalling methods.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 22 of 35

The fact that signals are transferred by different methods provides evidence of the
flexible nature of digital communications, and as long as all components are
speaking the same language and are synchronised communication will result.

Transmitter communication through Twisted Shielded Pair to Receiver
ARINC 429 is a very simple, point-to-point protocol. There can be only one
transmitter on a wire pair. The transmitter is always transmitting either 32-bit data
words or the NULL state. There may be up to 20 receivers on a wire pair.
In most cases, an ARINC message consists of a single data word. The label field of
the word defines the type of data that is contained in the rest of the word.
Typically, messages are sent repetitively. For example, measured airspeed is
transmitted from the sensor to the instrument at intervals not less than 100
milliseconds or greater than 200 milliseconds. Messages may also be sent in
repetitive word sequences or frames. Messages from each fuel tank level sensor are
sent in sequence, and then the sequence is repeated after a specified time. Once the
63-word sequence to relate all the fuel tank levels is completed, it repeats, starting
over with word 1. Most of the data is in Binary format, but some words are in BCD.
Communications on 429 buses use 32-bit words with odd parity. A low speed-bus
(12 to 14.5 kilobits/sec) is used for general-purpose, low-criticality application, and
a high-speed bus (100 kilobits/sec) is used for transmitting large quantities of data
or flight critical information.
ARINC 429 Words
ARINC Specification 429 specifies amongst other things the codes used as
identifying labels for instructions and the standard types of data used in an aircraft
multiplexing system. It also specifies that the information from the output port of
an avionics system element (e.g. Navigation Computer) be “communicated” over a
single twisted and shielded pair of wires to all other systems elements requiring the
information.
This means the information protocol is specified in ARINC 429, detailing standard
data codes (labels) and formats which are to be incorporated into the data transfer
network.
LABEL–The label is the first 8 bits of a word and identifies the data type and the
parameters associated with it. The label is an important part of the message; it is
used to determine the data type of the remainder of the word and, therefore, the
method of data translation to use. Labels are typically represented as octal
numbers.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 23 of 35

SDI–Bits 10 and 9 provide a Source/Destination Identifier or SDI. This is used for
multiple receivers to identify the receiver for which the data is destined. It can also
be used in the case of multiple systems to identify the source of the transmission.
In some cases, these bits are used for data. ARINC 429 can have only one
transmitter on a pair of wires, but up to 20 receivers.

Data–Bits 29 through 11 contain the data, which may be in a number of different
formats. There are also many non-standard formats that have been implemented by
various manufacturers. In some cases, the data field overlaps down into the SDI
bits. In this case, the SDI field is not used.
SSM–Bits 31 and 30 contain the Sign/Status Matrix or SSM. This field contains
hardware equipment condition, operational mode, or validity of data content. This
refers to Plus, Minus, North, South, Left, Right, and so on, of the Binary Coded
Decimal (BCD) numeric data. It can also refer to the validity of the data and a
failure warning.
Parity–The parity bit functions as explained earlier, for odd parity the parity bit will
be a 1 if there are an even number of 1’s in the preceding part of the data word. The
parity bit will be a zero if there are already an odd number of 1’s in the word. This
means there will always be an odd number of ones in each data word, when the
parity bit is included.
ARINC 429 Data Types
Although the Label, SDI, SSM, and Parity bits remain somewhat fixed in each word,
bits 11 – 29 which contain the data may be laid out in several formats.
Some data is sent in BCD format, where each four binary bits represent a decimal
number, this could be a word transmitted to an MFD for display of Altitude, for
example, 25,786 feet. Remember it is the label identifying the type of data that
advises the receiving unit of which format the data is sent in, hence the importance
of the label. The “label” and the data encoding method are laid down in ARINC 429.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 24 of 35

In the second example a purely binary value is transmitted 0 100 001 100 000 000
000 which equals 13721610 (base 10). This could represent total fuel remaining in
lbs.; again the label identifies the data contained and what it is encoded in. Data
label and encoding is laid down in ARINC 429.
All ARINC data is transmitted in 32 bit words. The data type may be Binary Coded
Decimal (BCD), two’s complement, Binary Notation (BNR), Discrete Data,
Maintenance Data and Acknowledgment, and American Standard Code for
Information Interchange (ASCII).
ARINC incorporated ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
code into ARINC Specification 429. ASCII code is accepted worldwide as the
“International Standard Organisation Code No. 5 (ISO No. 5). It translates all
alphanumeric inputs from the keyboard into the representing binary numbers
required by the system.
ARINC 429 Data Types
There are several basic word formats in 429, for numerical data, discrete, and
alphanumeric data, which are encoded using International Standards Organization
(ISO) Alphabet No.5 (ASCII). All are based on the standard arrangement with a
label, Sign/Status Matrix (SSM) and parity, but there are minor variations between
them depending on the data being transmitted. The label indicates the data type so
the RT can interpret what is sent.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 25 of 35

ARINC 429 Data Types

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 26 of 35

ARINC 429 Labels
ARINC Specification 429 specifies amongst other things the codes used as
identifying labels for instructions and the standard types of data used in an aircraft
multiplexing system. It also specifies that the information from the output port of
an avionics system element (for example, Navigation Computer) be “communicated”
over a single twisted and shielded pair of wires to all other systems elements
requiring the information. This means the information protocol is specified in
ARINC 429, detailing standard data codes (labels) and formats which are to be
incorporated into the data transfer network. The label is the first 8 bits of a word
and identifies the data type and the parameters associated with it. The label is an
important part of the message; it is used to determine the data type of the
remainder of the word and, therefore, the method of data translation to use. Labels
are typically represented as octal numbers.

ARINC 429 Labels
Labels may be associated with more than one equipment type, and the equipment
IDs associated with the examples is illustrated (above). Thus BCD label 010 is
always present latitude, but it can pertain to three different sources, the Flight
Management Computer (002), the Inertial Reference System (004), or Air Data and
Inertial Reference System (ADIRS) (038). BCD label 014 is either Magnetic Heading
from the Inertial Reference System (004), Attitude and Heading Reference System
(005) or Air Data and Inertial Reference System (ADIRS).
This examples also provides additional specifications for the data transmissions,
number of digits used to transfer the data, for present position a +ve data signal
(SSM or just a positive digital number) indicates latitude North, whereas a negative
number indicates latitude South. Data transmission rate means the parameter is
transmitted from the source at a minimum of once every 250 ms (4 /sec) up to a
max of once every 500 ms (twice per second).

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 27 of 35

ARINC 629 History
The new technology, called Digital Autonomous Terminal Access Communication
(DATAC), was originally being developed at Boeing. It was a design for a single,
global data bus that would carry all the information between the different
components of the airplane systems. The data bus consisted of a single twisted pair
of wires, to which all the components that needed to exchange information were
connected. To keep the data from each component from getting jumbled with the
other information being exchanged, each component's data was coded and
"broadcast" in a synchronised order. All the information was transmitted on the
data bus, and each computer or component could be programmed to pull off
whatever information it needed.
The DATAC system was a perfect design for the NASA 737. It would allow a far
greater number of components to be integrated into the aircraft systems, and it
would greatly reduce the amount of time required to add or exchange experimental
equipment. Since the data bus had fewer wires and components, it would also be
lighter and would require less maintenance than a conventional system.
By the beginning of August 1984, DATAC was installed and working in the airplane.
The 737 made an excellent test bed for a new data bus, because the equipment in
the front cockpit remained conventional. Later on, the DATAC technology was
incorporated into Boeing's next jet transport design, the B777.
DATAC worked so well, in fact, that Aeronautical Radio, Inc. (ARINC) used it as the
basis of a new industry data bus standard. ARINC is a not-for-profit organization
owned and supported by the airlines that sets standard specifications for
technology, so the products developed by different manufacturers will be compatible
with all commercial transport aircraft. The specification for the new data bus, called
ARINC 629, was adopted in September1989.

Boeing B777 Cockpit

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 28 of 35

ARINC 629 Interconnection
The ARINC 629 data bus is a time division multiplex system. It is a bidirectional,
distributed control bus capable of supporting up to 120 users at a transmission
rate of 2 Mbps. It includes multiple transmitters with broadcast-type, autonomous
terminal access. Terminals listen to the bus and wait for a quiet period before
transmitting. The users communicate with the bus using a coupler and terminal.
Only one terminal is allowed to transmit at a time. After a terminal has transmitted,
three different protocol timers are used to ensure that it does not transmit again
until all of the other terminals have had a chance to transmit.
The ARINC 629 terminal controller and Serial Interface Module (SIM) are installed
on a circuit board within each Line Replacement Unit (LRU). The SIM interfaces
with the stub cable via a connector on the LRU. The stub cable is then coupled to
the global data bus via a current mode coupler.

ARINC 629 Interconnection
ARINC 629 Interfaces
The ARINC 629 data bus system has these parts:
• Data bus cable
• Current-mode couplers
• Stub cables

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 29 of 35

The ARINC 629 system also includes these components in the LRUs:
• Serial interface modules
• Terminal controllers

629 Data Bus Current Coupler and ARINC 629 LRU
The current-mode coupler connects the bus cable to the stub cable. The stub cables
are for bi-directional data movement between the LRU and the current-mode
coupler. The stub cables also supply power from the LRUs to the current-mode
couplers. A stub cable has four wires; two to transmit and the other two to receive.
An ARINC 629 LRU contains a Serial Interface Module (SIM) and a terminal
controller. These move data between the LRU and the current-mode coupler. Each
LRU has a personality that identifies its purpose and operation. The personality
data is in two parts:
• Transmit personality PROM (XPP)
The terminal controller uses the personality PROMs to control the flow of data
between the LRU and the data bus.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 30 of 35

ARINC 629 Data bus cable
The bus cable moves data between LRUs. A current-mode coupler and a stub cable
attach each LRU terminal to the data bus cable.
A bus cable is a pair of twisted wires with a termination resistor at each end. Each
resistor has a value of about 130 ohms. The left and right systems bus cables have
production break connectors in the middle for easy replacement. The parts of the
system bus cable that are external to the coupler panels have shielding outside.
A bus cable in the 777 may be as long as 180 feet. It connects as many as 46
current-mode couplers.
The cable has a centre conductor covered by a layer of foam. A Teflon skin covers
the foam.

ARINC 629 Message Structure
Data in the ARINC 629 system moves through the data bus cable and other
components as messages. Between each message is a Terminal Gap (TG). A
message is a group of word strings. Each word string has a label word followed by
data words. Each message has a special structure. The structure allows the LRUs
to select and read the message.
Message Structure
A message has up to 31 word strings. There is a 4-bit time gap between each word
string.
A word string begins with a label word. A word string has up to 256 data words.
There is no gap between words in a word string.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 31 of 35

The minimum length message has 1 label and no data words. The maximum length
message has 31 labels with 256 data words following each label, and 30 time gaps
of 4 bits each.
Label Word Structure
A label word is a 20-bit word. It has:
• A 12-bit label field
• A 4-bit label extension field
• A single parity bit
• A 3-bit time hi lo sync pulse
A pulse of one half-bit time, called the Pre-Sync Sync Pulse (PSSP), comes before
the first label word of a message. An approximately one half-bit time Pre-Pre-Sync
Sync Pulse (PPSSP) comes before the PSSP. The PPSSP and the PSSP occur prior to
the 3-bit time hi lo sync pulse.
Data Word Structure
A data word is also a 20-bit word. It has:
• A 16 bit data field
• A single parity bit
• A 3-bit time lo hi sync pulse

Data Word Structure

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 32 of 35

ARINC 629 Timing
Because of the quantity of data that may be on the bus, ARINC 629 uses a time
procedure to prevent accidental signal mixture.
ARINC 629 uses three timers:
• Transmit Interval (TI) timer
• Synchronization Gap (SG) timer
• Terminal Gap (TG) timer
The timers are part of the LRU personality. Each LRU uses all three timers to
isolate data messages.
Transmit Interval (TI)
The TI for any LRU begins the moment the terminal starts to transmit. After the
terminal transmits a message, it must wait the length of time equal to TI before it
transmits again.
All LRUs on a bus have the same TI.
Synchronization Gap (SG)
After the TI, the SG is the longest timer. The SG begins when there is no signal on
the bus. The SG is the same for all LRUs. It has a value larger than the value of the
longest terminal gap used on a given bus.
If a signal comes on the bus before the SG completes, the SG stops. When the SG
completes, it stays reset until the LRU transmits again.
Terminal Gap (TG)
Each LRU on the bus has a special TG.
The TG begins after the SG is complete and no signal is on the bus.
If there is a signal on the bus before the TG completes, the TG stops. It starts again
when there is no signal on the bus. The TG and SG cannot overlap in time. They
must occur in sequence.

ARINC 629 Timing

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 33 of 35

ARINC 629 Timing Mode
The ARINC 629 three timers operate in these two ways:
• Periodic mode
• Aperiodic mode
The periodic mode makes sure that an LRU transmits at a regular time sequence, in
their power-up order.
If an LRU message length increases because of a non-normal condition, the system
changes to aperiodic operation. In aperiodic operation, the LRU transmits in a
different time sequence. In the aperiodic mode, the LRUs transmit in order of
shortest TG to longest TG.
Periodic Mode
The periodic mode is the normal mode of operation. In the periodic mode, an LRU
transmits one time every TI.
The examples show the timing diagram for three LRUs in the periodic mode.

Timing Diagram for Three LRUs in the Periodic Mode
At event 1, all three timers (TI, SG and TG) for LRU 1 are complete and LRU 1 starts
to transmit a message (M). LRUs 2 and 3 stop their TGs when LRU 1 starts to
transmit.
At event 2, LRU 1 no longer transmits, and LRU 2 and 3 start their TG timers.
At event 3, the TG timer for LRU 3 is complete, however TI still continues. LRU 3
does not transmit. The TG timer for LRU 2 continues.
At event 4, the TG timer for LRU 2 is complete. All three timers for LRU 2 (TI, SG
and TG) are complete and the LRU 2 starts to transmit a message, while LRU 3
waits for its TI to complete. LRU 3 stops its TG when LRU 2 starts to transmit.
At event 5, LRU 2 stops transmission and LRU 2 starts its TG timer.
At event 6, the TG timer for LRU 3 completes. For LRU 3, all three timers (TI, SG
and TG) are complete and it starts to transmit a message.
At event 7, LRU 3 no longer transmits, and all three LRUs start their SG timers.
At event 8, all three SG timers are complete and the TG timers start.
At event 9, the TG for LRU 1 completes, TI continues, so it does not transmit.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 34 of 35

At event 10, TG for LRU 3 is complete, the TI continues, so the LRU does not
transmit.
At event 11, the TG for LRU 2 completes, the TI continues, so the LRU does not
transmit.
Back at event 1 when all three timers (TI, SG and TG) for LRU 1 are complete and it
starts to transmit a message. LRU 2 and 3 stop their TGs when LRU 1 starts to
transmit.
Aperiodic Mode
If the sum of all the TGs, transmission times and SG is greater than TI then the
system operates in aperiodic mode.
Aperiodic data is a direct result of a discrete event. It is data that is asynchronous
and updated at a non-uniform rate. For example, aperiodic data can be a position
report in landing gear systems.
Aperiodic data transfers data on events important to airplane operation (In this
example, TG1<TG2<TG3 so that LRU 3 transmits its message first). This data is in
two classes:
• Data to control tasks such as landing gear sensors and flight deck switches
• Data for status information
Aperiodic data also transmits large blocks of data for these functions:
• Operational software
• BITE information

Aperiodic Mode

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-06 Page 35 of 35
Data Bus Summary

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-21-06 Page 1 of 12
TOPIC 5.5.1 – LOGIC CIRCUITS
Basic Gates ............................................................................................................. 2
AND Gate .......................................................................................................... 2
OR GATE .......................................................................................................... 3
Universal Gates ................................................................................................ 4
NAND Gate ....................................................................................................... 5
NOR Gate ......................................................................................................... 5
XOR Gate – Exclusive OR Gate ......................................................................... 5
XNOR Gate – Exclusive NOR Gate ..................................................................... 6
Buffer ............................................................................................................... 7
Inverting Buffer (Inverter).................................................................................. 8
Inverter Symbol ................................................................................................ 9
IEEE Gate Symbols ........................................................................................... 9
Logic Circuits .................................................................................................. 10
Combining Gates Together .............................................................................. 10
Logic with Waveforms ..................................................................................... 10
Logic Circuit Representations ......................................................................... 11
Applications of Logic Circuits in Aircraft Systems ........................................... 12

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-21-06 Page 2 of 12
TOPIC 5.5.1 – LOGIC CIRCUITS
BASIC GATES
These are the basic gates. Basic gates are AND, OR and inverter.

Basic Gates
AND Gate
The output is high only when both inputs A and B are high. Some logic gates can be
produced with just diodes and resistors (called Diode Resistor Logic or DRL).

AND Gate and Equivalent Circuits
Consider that if the input to an input diode is NOT a HI, then it is a LO. If one of the
inputs A or B is grounded, current flows through the diode and the output is at a
low voltage. The only way to get a high output is by having both inputs high. This is
a logical AND function.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-21-06 Page 3 of 12

The illustrated equivalent circuit uses two NPN transistors connected in series.
These are designed to operate as a switch (this is ‘in saturation’). The 10 Kilo ohm
resistors are for input impedance and the 4.7 Kilo ohm resistor is to drop output
signal across. Note that both transistors must be ON to get a HI output. The
illustration is an example of convenient packaging of AND gates in Integrated
Circuit (IC) form (IC7408 AND Gates).

AND gates in Integrated Circuit (IC), AND Gate and Equivalent Circuits - Two NPN
Transistors Connected in Series
OR GATE
The output is high when either or both of inputs A or B are high.
Some logic gates can be produced with just diodes and resistors (called Diode
Resistor Logic or DRL). Whenever one or the other of the inputs A and B are high,
current flows through the associated diode. This brings the output to a high
voltage. This circuit implements a logical OR.

OR GATE and Equivalent Circuits

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-21-06 Page 4 of 12

Note that it is not possible to construct an inverter with only diodes and resistors.
AND and OR functions by themselves are not a complete logic without NOT. Thus,
there are some logic functions that cannot be implemented in Diode-Resistor Logic.
Fortunately, transistors solve these problems.

OR Gates in Integrated Circuits
The illustrated equivalent circuit uses 2 NPN transistors connected in parallel with
Vcc. These are designed to operate as a switch (that is, in saturation).
Note that with either transistor ON, the output will be HI.
Universal Gates
The NAND gate and the NOR gate can be said to be universal gates since
combinations of them can be used to accomplish any of the basic operations and
can thus produce an inverter, an OR gate or an AND gate. The non-inverting gates
do not have this versatility since they can't produce an invert.

Universal Gates – NAND and NOR

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-21-06 Page 5 of 12

NAND Gate

NAND Gates in Integrated Circuit (IC), NAND Gate and Equivalent Circuits - NPN
Transistors Connected in Parallel
The output is high when either of inputs A or B is high, or if neither is high. In
other words, it is normally high, going low only if both A and B are high.
NOR Gate

NOR Gates in Integrated Circuit (IC), NOR Gate and Equivalent Circuits
The output is high only when neither A nor B is high. That is, it is normally high
but any kind of non-zero input will take it low.
The use of transistors for the construction of logic gates depends upon their utility
as fast switches. When the base-emitter diode is turned on enough to be driven into
saturation, the collector voltage with respect to ground may be less than a volt and
can be used as a logic 0 in the TTL logic family.
XOR Gate – Exclusive OR Gate

XOR Gate – Exclusive OR Gate - Equivalent Circuits

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-21-06 Page 6 of 12

The output is high when either of inputs A or B is high, but not if both A and B are
high. Logically, the exclusive OR (XOR) operation can be seen as either of the
following operations:
• AANDNOTBORBANDNOTA
• AORBANDNOTAANDB
Which can be implemented by the gate arrangements shown.
They can also be implemented using NAND gates only.

XOR Gate – Exclusive OR Gate - Equivalent Circuits
The implementation of the Exclusive OR (XOR) operation with just NAND gates
illustrates the function of NANDs as universal gates.
XNOR Gate – Exclusive NOR Gate

XNOR Gate – Exclusive NOR Gate
The output is high when both inputs A and B are high and when neither A nor B is
high.
The exclusive NOR is an exclusive OR followed by an inverter. The illustration is one
way to make it using basic gates.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-21-06 Page 7 of 12

Buffer

Buffer
The buffer is a single-input device which has a gain of 1, mirroring the input at the
output. It has value for impedance matching and for isolation of the input and
output. The basic emitter follower can be used as a buffer. The common collector
amplifier is often called an ‘emitter follower’ since its output is taken from emitter
resistor. It is useful as an impedance matching device since its input impedance is
much higher than its output impedance.

Op-Amp Voltage Follower
An op-amp voltage follower can serve as a buffer. The voltage follower with an ideal
op amp gives simply Vout = Vin, but this turns out to be a very useful service,
because the input impedance of the op amp is very high, giving effective isolation of
the output from the signal source. You draw very little power from the signal
source, avoiding "loading" effects. This circuit is a useful first stage. The voltage
follower is often used for the construction of buffers for logic circuits.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-21-06 Page 8 of 12

Inverting Buffer (Inverter)

Inverting Buffer (Inverter)
The Inverting Buffer is a single-input device which produces the state opposite the
input. If the input is high, the output is low and vice versa. This device is commonly
referred to as just an inverter. A transistor switch with collector resistor can serve
as an inverting buffer. When the switch is open, no current flows in the base so the
collector current is cut off. The resistor Rc must be small enough to drive the
transistor to saturation so that most of the voltage Vcc appears across the load. The
output is taken below the load resistor and can function as an inverting buffer in
digital circuits.

Op-Amp Inverting Amplifier
An op-amp inverting amplifier with a gain of one serves as an inverting buffer. For
an ideal op-amp, the inverting amplifier gain is given simply by:

For equal resistors, it has a gain of -1, and is used in digital circuits as an inverting
buffer.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-21-06 Page 9 of 12

Inverter Symbol
The inverter symbol is utilised as required, but a more common method of
indicating a signal is inverted is simply by the use of an inversion symbol an ‘O’ on
the leg of the device.

Use of Inverter Symbol
IEEE Gate Symbols

IEEE Gate Symbols
Together with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Institute of
ANSI Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) has developed a standard set of
logic IEEE symbols. The most recent revision of the standard is ANSI/IEEE Std 91-
1984, IEEE Standard Graphic Symbols for Logic Functions. It is compatible with
standard 617 of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and must be
used in all logic diagrams drawn for the U.S. Department of Defence. These symbols
are being used more and more as time progresses.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-21-06 Page 10 of 12

Logic Circuits
Logic circuits are used in electronic devices. The building block of ALL logic circuits
is the logic gate. Logic circuits are formed by combining many logic gates. More
complex logic circuits are assembled from simpler ones which in turn are
assembled from gates.
Combining Gates Together
Multiple input gates can be constructed by placing gates in special configurations.

Combining Gates Together
A 3 input AND gate may be constructed using 2 AND gates connected as shown.
A 3 input OR gate may be constructed using 2 OR gates connected as shown.
Logic with Waveforms
The logic waveforms illustrated are applied to the inputs of both an OR and a XOR
gate.

Logic Waveforms Applied to the Inputs of both an OR and a XOR Gate
Note that logic level 1 (HIGH) is represented by +5V and similarly, logic level 0
(LOW) is represented by 0V.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-21-06 Page 11 of 12

Logic Circuit Representations

Logic Circuit Representations
Many circuits in aircraft may be schematically represented by logic circuits:

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-21-06 Page 12 of 12

Applications of Logic Circuits in Aircraft Systems
This is a typical applications of a logic gates/circuit used in aircraft systems. This is
from the A320 Airbus Hydraulic Power system. This application is for the automatic
operation of the BLUE Hydraulic system Electrical Pump (Airbus use colour codes
for systems). An OR gate is used in this instance. The BLUE electric pump will
• Engine1running(>50%)
• Engine2running(>50%)
• Nosegearshockabsorberextended

A320 Airbus Hydraulic Power system (BLUE Electric Pump)
The operation of the system is fully automatic. If necessary (because of fault or
maintenance), it is possible to stop the automatic operation of the system. The
BLUE electric pump automatically starts and supplies the system when any of the
engines starts. If the two engines stop in flight, the BLUE system electric pump will
continue to operate if the AC power supply comes from the Auxiliary Power Unit
(APU). In this case, compression of the nose landing gear stops the electric pump. A
time delay circuit keeps the electric pump in operation for two minutes after
compression of the nose landing gear. This ensures that the electric pump does not
stop immediately when the aircraft lands.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 1 of 24
TOPIC 5.6.1 – BASIC COMPUTER STRUCTURE
Computer Terminology ............................................................................................ 2
Bits, Nibbles and Bytes ..................................................................................... 3
Integrated Circuits – Construction .................................................................... 6
Digital Computers ............................................................................................. 8
Central Processing Units ................................................................................. 10
Control Section ............................................................................................... 11
Arithmetic-Logic Section ................................................................................. 12
Memory (internal storage) Section ................................................................... 12
Operating System ........................................................................................... 12
CPU Development – 80286 Based Computer ................................................... 14
Computer Hardware ....................................................................................... 15
Computer Software ......................................................................................... 16
Software Storage Mediums .............................................................................. 17
Magnetic Core Storage .................................................................................... 19
Magnetic Disc Storage .................................................................................... 19
Magnetic Tape Storage .................................................................................... 20
Semiconductor Storage (Silicon Chip) ............................................................. 20
Classifications of Internal Storage ................................................................... 21
Programmable Read-Only Memory (PROM) ..................................................... 22
Erasable Programmable Read-only Memory (EPROM) ..................................... 23
Random Access Memory (RAM) ....................................................................... 23

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 2 of 24
TOPIC 5.6.1 – BASIC COMPUTER STRUCTURE
Computer Terminology
Transistors are turned ON and OFF by applying a voltage to the base, computers
function utilising only two logic levels, “on” and “off”. This then is why we must
understand the binary numbering system, which only uses two logic levels, 0 and 1,
which represent the transistors being “on” or “off”. A 1, or on or a high is typically
about 5VDC, and a 0, or off or a low is typically 0 (zero) VDC.

Transistors are Turned ON and OFF by applying a Voltage to the Base
A bit of information is the 1 or 0 applied to the transistors, gates, or integrated
circuits of the computer system.

Transistorised Switch Circuit and Transistorised Light Circuit

AND Gate

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 3 of 24

The transistorised light circuit is a simple AND gate. To get the light ON you must
apply a high or 5VDC to both the transistors. In this way logic can be used to
perform a function, the light will only switch ON if both inputs are high. This is a
foundation to all computer processing.
The transistorised switch circuit is also an AND gate. If Switch (SW) 2 is turned ON,
upper transistor forward biases, but current flows through the resistor in parallel
with the bottom transistor, so there is still no change in state measured at the
output by the voltmeter. Both Switch (SW) 1 and SW 2 must be turned on too
forward bias both transistors to produce a change in state at the output.
Bits, Nibbles and Bytes
A bit is not a large enough vehicle to carry much information. With one bit, there
are only two possible values,0and 1. With two bits, there are four possible values:
00,01,10,and11.
With 3 bits, there are 8 possible values:000,001,010,011,100,101,110,and111.
With 4 bits (a nibble) there are 16 possible values,
With 8 bits there are 256 possible values, and so on.
8 bits of information are called a BYTE, (4 bits are called a nibble).
Bit 1
Nibble0101
Byte 00000101
A Byte of information can output 256 possible combinations of bits, and is of far
more use in designing computer components and modules than a bit. A single
character on a keyboard is represented internally as a series of 8 bits, or abyte.
Computers typically store and manipulate bunches of eight bits of data. These eight
bits make up a byte. AMERICAN STANDARD CODE FOR INFORMATION
INTERCHANGE (ASCII) codes use eight bits to represent a single character, such as
the letter A or the number 7. Thus, the computer can store and manipulate an
individual byte (a single character) or a group of bytes (several characters, a word)
at a time. These individual bytes, or groups of bytes, form the basic unit of memory.
Primary storage capacities are usually specified in number of bytes. The symbol "K"
is used whenever we refer to the size of memory, especially when the memory is
quite large. The symbol K is equal to 1,024 units or positions of storage. Therefore,
if a computer has 512K bytes (not bits) of primary storage, then it can hold 512 ×
1,024 or 524,288 characters (bytes) of data in its memory.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 4 of 24

IntegratedCircuits
Gates are constructed utilising transistors as the switching elements. Gates can
then be arranged to perform calculations and processes when configured for the

Integrated Circuits
A range of gates are configured to produce an ‘adder’. The adder which is a series of
gates is then represented by a single symbol, and can be configured into a series of
adders. As components and integrated assemblies are further combined and
arranged, eventually a computer is constructed. The illustration on the slide is not
a representation of the gate circuit – it is provided to illustrate the concept only.
In a computer, single bits of information are rarely referred to, but every function
performed by a computer is done at the most basic level by applying a bit of
information to a transistor.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 5 of 24

DataProcessingCircuits
Transistorised Gates can be linked together to produce circuits which are capable of
performing calculations. When you type numbers into a computer to perform
calculations they are converted to binary, calculated in the processing circuitry, and
the output is converted back into decimal for you to read. The circuits which
perform the calculations are simply logic gates connected so as to produce the
desired outcome. A half adder is used to add two binary digits together. Although by
itself, a half adder is not very useful, it can be used as a building block for larger
The truth table reflects the sum of the two inputs. When adding binary digits, it is
always possible to have a carry. Therefore, any circuit which is going to add must
have a line for carrying on any overflow.
A full adder is used to add three binary digits together. The easiest way to build a
This construction is the reason for the names of the two types of adders: a full
adder is called "full" because all possible values of output can be achieved. While a
half adder can only output 00, 01 and 10 a full adder can also output 11. A half
adder is half of a full adder, since it takes two half adders (and an OR Gate) to make
A half adder can be simply represented as a box with "HA" written in it, just as
integrated circuits are constructed, in the same way a full adder can be represented
as a box with "FA" written in it.
This is typical of almost all electronic applications, rarely are circuits drawn
showing electron flow paths and discrete components (although that is what they
contain) they are simply represented by a bow with inputs and outputs labelled.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 6 of 24

A simple system of four microchips that contain sufficient AND, OR, and NOT gates
to add two two-place binary numbers. As shown, an input of binary "10" + binary
"11" produces a binary output of "101" (or as expressed in decimal terms: 2 + 3 = 5).
These simple logic gates multiplied many-fold are the heart and soul of all
calculators and computers, whether they are processing numbers or alphabetical
letters.
Integrated Circuits – Construction
Up to now the various semiconductors, resistors, capacitors, and so on, in our
discussions have been considered as separately packaged components, called
Discrete Components. Some of the more complex devices contain complete circuits
packaged as a single component. These devices are referred to as Integrated Circuits
and the broad term used to describe the use of these devices to miniaturise
electronic equipment is called Microelectronics.
Activecomponents(transistors, diodes, and so on.)
Passivecomponents(resistors, capacitors, inductors, and so on.)

Active components and Passive components
With the advent of the transistor and the demand by the military for smaller
equipment, design engineers set out to miniaturise electronic equipment. In the
beginning, their efforts were frustrated because most of the other components in a
circuit such as resistors, capacitors, and coils were larger than the transistor. Soon
these other circuit components were miniaturised, thereby pushing ahead the
development of smaller electronic equipment. Along with miniature resistors,
capacitors, and other circuit elements, the production of components that were
actually smaller than the space required for the interconnecting wiring and cabling
became possible. The next step in the research process was to eliminate these bulky
wiring components. This was accomplished with the Printed Circuit Board (PCB).
An integrated circuit is a device that integrates (combines) both active components
and passive components of a complete electronic circuit in a single chip (a tiny slice
or wafer of semiconductor crystal or insulator). Integrated circuits (ICs) have almost
eliminated the use of individual electronic components (resistors, capacitors,
transistors, and so on) as the building blocks of electronic circuits. Instead, tiny
chips have been developed whose functions are not that of a single part, but of
dozens of transistors, resistors, capacitors, and other electronic elements, all
interconnected to perform the task of a complex circuit. Often these comprise a
number of complete conventional circuit stages, such as a multistage amplifier,
logic circuits linear circuits and operational amplifiers (in one extremely small
component). These chips are frequently mounted on a printed circuit board which
plugs into an electronic unit.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 7 of 24

Flip-Flop constructed using four NPN bipolar transistors and two resistors
This integrated circuit was produced in about 1960 by Fairchild Semiconductor. It
is a bistable RS (Reset/Set) Flip-Flop constructed using four NPN bipolar
transistors and two resistors diffused into a single monolithic chip of silicon. The
maximum operating clock speed is 1 megahertz and the delay is 50 nanoseconds.
Integrated circuits have several advantages over conventional wired circuits of
• A drastic reduction in size and weight
• A large increase in reliability
• Lower cost
• Possible improvement in circuit performance
However, integrated circuits are composed of parts so closely associated with one
another that repair becomes almost impossible. In case of trouble, the entire circuit
is replaced as a single component.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 8 of 24

Valves to Micro-Chips in PCB
Integrated circuits are being used in an ever increasing variety of applications.
Small size and weight and high reliability make them ideally suited for use in
airborne equipment, computers, spacecraft, and portable equipment. They are often
easily recognized because of the unusual packages that contain the integrated
circuit. These tiny packages protect and help dissipate heat generated in the device.
One of these packages may contain one or several stages, often having millions of
components.
Digital Computers
Personal computers will be more familiar to you, and the operating principles of
personal computers relate directly to the operating principles of avionics computers.
If we were to define the word computer, we would say a computer is an instrument
for performing mathematical operations, such as addition, multiplication, division,
subtraction, integration, vector resolution, coordinate conversion, and special
function generation at very high speeds. But the usage of computers goes well
beyond the mathematical-operations level. Computers have made possible aviation,
scientific, and commercial advances that before were considered impossible. The
mathematics involved in orbiting a satellite around the earth, for example, would
require several teams of mathematicians for a lifetime. Now, with the aid of
electronic digital computers, the conquest of space has become reality.
Computers are employed when repetitious calculations or the processing of large
amounts of data are necessary. The most frequent applications are found in the
aviation, scientific, and commercial fields. They are used in many varied projects,
ranging from mail sorting, through engineering design, to the navigation of an
aircraft around the world. The advantages of digital computers include speed,
accuracy, reliability, and manpower savings.
The First useful digital computer was the ENIAC, developed in 1945. It weighed 30
tons, took up 1,800 square feet, and used vacuum tubes. It required a staff of six
just to keep it going, and it cost over \$500,000 to build.

First useful digital computer was the ENIAC

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 9 of 24

The first personal computer of note was the Altair 8800 (1975), which was actually
keyboard from separate companies. The cost was \$395, and 2000 were sold, more
than any computer before it. Instructions can be entered with switches at the front
and then run.

Altair 8800 (1975)
The Apple II was introduced in 1977; it came built and self-contained, and cost
\$1298. It introduced some radical features, such as colour graphics. Like many of
the early PCs, the Apple II used a cassette tape interface for storing data/programs.
Commodore PET microcomputers were also of this era
The IBM PC was introduced in 1981, and it soon led to the microcomputer industry
boom. The first PC was based on the 8088 processor, and had 64 KB of RAM, and a
5.25" floppy drive. It cost \$3000. The monitor was extra.

IBM PC was introduced in 1981

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 10 of 24

Central Processing Units
A computer processor is a huge collection of circuits similar to the adders
described, and designed to produce a particular output for certain inputs. A
calculator is one of the simplest processors, its equivalent of a Central Processing
Unit (CPU) is designed to only deal with numbers, and to just perform algebraic
calculations.

A modern computer CPU performs much more complex calculations, but is still
nothing more than a collection of logic circuits configured to produce a desired
outcome.
The brain of a computer system is the CPU; in fact the CPU is the computer which
we generally refer to as the CPU or mainframe. It is the CPU that processes the data
transferred to it from one of the various input devices, and then transfers results of
the processing to one of many output devices.
The inputs can be on any storage medium from punched cards, paper tape, or
magnetic ink to magnetic tape, disk, or drum; or they can be entries from a console
keyboard or a visual display.
The output may be in punched cards or paper tape, on magnetic tape, disk, or
drum, or it may be printed reports or information displayed on a console typewriter
or visual display.
A central control section and work areas are required to perform calculations or
manipulate data.
Inputs are provided to the CPU from any number of sources. The CPU performs
calculations as directed by the software program resident in its memory, and
produces an output which is then transmitted to whatever medium is required.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 11 of 24

Control Section
The control section may be compared to a telephone exchange because it uses the
instructions contained in the program in much the same manner as the telephone
exchange uses telephone numbers. When a telephone number is dialled, it causes
the telephone exchange to energise certain switches and control lines to connect the
dialling phone with the phone having the number dialled. In a similar manner, each
programmed instruction, when executed, causes the control section to energise
certain control lines, enabling the computer to perform the function or operation
indicated by the instruction.
The program is usually stored in the internal circuits of the computer (computer
memory) as the Basic Input Output System (BIOS) or operating system.
In addition to the commands that tell the computer what to do, the control unit also
dictates how and when each specific operation is to be performed. It is also recalls
relevant data from memory and moves it to the appropriate point where the
processing can be accomplished.
The four major types of instructions are:
• Transfer
• Arithmetic
• Logic
• Control
Transfer instructions are those whose basic function is to transfer (move) data from
one location to another.
Arithmetic instructions are those that combine two pieces of data to form a single
piece of data using one of the arithmetic operations.
Logic instructions transform the digital computer into a system that is more than a
high-speed adding machine. Using logic instructions, the programmer may
construct a program with any number of alternate sequences. For example, through
the use of logic instructions, a computer being used for maintenance inventory will
have one sequence to follow if the number of a given item on hand is greater than
the order amount and another sequence if it is smaller. The choice of which
sequence to use will be made by the control section under the influence of the logic
instruction. Logic instructions, thereby, provide the computer with the ability to
make decisions based on the results of previously generated data. That is, the logic
instructions permit the computer to select the proper program sequence to be
executed from among the alternatives provided by the programmer.
Control instructions are used to send commands to devices not under direct
command of the control section, such as input/output units or devices.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 12 of 24

Arithmetic-Logic Section
The arithmetic-logic section performs all arithmetic operations-adding, subtracting,
multiplying, and dividing. Through its logic capability, it tests various conditions
encountered during processing and takes action based on the result.Data flows
between the arithmetic-logic section and the internal storage section during
processing. Specifically, data is transferred as needed from the internal storage
section to the arithmetic-logic section, processed, and returned to the internal
storage section. At no time does processing take place in the storage section. Data
may be transferred back and forth between these two sections several times before
processing is completed. The results are then transferred from internal storage to
an output unit, as indicated by the solid arrow.
Memory (internal storage) Section
The memory (internal storage) section of a computer is essentially an electronically
operated file cabinet. It has a large number (millions or gigabytes) of storage
locations; each referred to as a storage address or register. Every item of data and
filed in a specific storage address and is almost instantly accessible.
All memory sections must contain facilities to store computer data or instructions
until these instructions or data are needed in the performance of the computer
calculations. Before the stored-program computer can begin to process input data,
it is first necessary to store in its memory a sequence of instructions and tables of
constants and other data it will use in its computations. The process by which
Actually, the first step in loading instructions and data into a computer is to
manually place enough instructions into memory using the keyboard or
electronically using an operating system, so that these instructions can be used to
bring in more instructions as desired. In this manner a few instructions are used to
bootstrap more instructions.
Operating System
An operating system is a collection of many programs used by the computer to
manage its own resources and operations. These programs control the execution of
other programs. They schedule, assign resources, monitor, and control the work of
the computer.
Not all computers have operating systems. The computer that controls a microwave
oven doesn't need an operating system. It has one set of relatively simple tasks to
perform, very simple input and output methods (a keypad and a Liquid Crystal
Display (LCD) screen), and simple, never-changing hardware to control.
For computer systems that go beyond the complexity of the microwave, however, an
operating system can be the key to greater operating efficiency and easier
application development. All desktop computers have operating systems. The most
common are Windows, Unix and Macintosh, but hundreds are available depending
on the application utilising the operating system, for example, mainframes,
robotics, manufacturing, real-time control systems and so on.
At the simplest level, an operating system does two things; it manages the hardware
and software resources of the computer system.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 13 of 24
These resources include such things as the processor, memory, disk space, and so
on. It provides a stable, consistent way for applications to deal with the hardware
without having to know all the details of the hardware.
Each desktop computer has a built-in program called "bootstrap loader". When you
turn the computer on, this program tries to load, or "boot" an external operating
system. The term boot comes from the idea of pulling yourself up by your
bootstraps. The computer loads a little program from the disk that tells it how to
load a second, bigger program (the operating system). The operating system then
tells it how to load another program (an applications program or utility program) to
perform a specific job or function.
In physical terms the CPU is the turnstile through which everything must pass.
Regardless of how much information you have to process, it is the turnstile which is
the overriding factor in how quickly the data is processed.

8088 and 80286 Central Processing Units
When a computer is referred to it is typically with reference to the CPU. The IBM PC
was introduced in 1981; its CPU was based on the 8088 processor, and had 64 KB
of RAM.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 14 of 24
The 8088 processor is a 16 Bit processor that has a 16 Bit internal data bus and an
8 Bit external data bus. The 8 Bit external data bus meant that the PC could use
the cheap, readily available old 8 Bit I/O chips, used in the 8 Bit computers.
Some other early Disk Operating System (DOS) computer manufacturers used the
8086 processor instead of the 8088. The 8086 is a true 16 Bit processor with a 16
Bit internal data bus and a 16 Bit external data bus.
CPU Development – 80286 Based Computer
IBM's next development was the IBM AT, released in 1983. The AT used an 80286
processor, a true 16 Bit processor with a 16 Bit external data bus and a 24 Bit
addressable memory space, they were referred to as 286’s. They were superseded by
386’s (In 1987, the "32 Bit" 80386 processor) and 486’s (486 based machines
started off as a 486SX in about 1992 and developed to a 486DX2).
In recent times PC’s are referred to as Pentiums. Intel has changed the naming of
its processor chips with the introduction of the Pentium processor to stop other
manufacturers using the name for their products. If Intel had called this chip the
80586 any other manufacturer could have called its clones of the chip the 80586
also because this is an industry standard naming convention.

386 and 486 processors
386 and 486 processors are 32 bit processors, they work with 32 bit numbers
rather than 16 bit numbers used by the 1
st
and 2
nd
generation PC computers (8088,
8086 and 80286). Pentium is a 64 bit processor and works with 64 bit data. There
was also an 80686 processor available. This computer naming terminology still
refers to the capabilities of the computers CPU. Note that the physical size of the
CPU’s has changed little; more computing power has been packed into the same
space.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 15 of 24

Motherboards
In PC’s the CPU is typically connected to a motherboard. Additionally,
motherboards contain all the interconnecting circuitry and plug-in points for the
remaining electronic circuitry required to operate a modern computer:
• Graphics cards
• Sound cards
• Memory cards, and
• Floppy and CD drives
Also housed within the computer case is a power supply module and a cooling fan
(or fans).
Computer Hardware
Hardware refers to the components and assemblies which make-up the computer.
Hardware is physical pieces of the computer, from a resistor, to the monitor,
keyboard or computer itself.

Computer Hardware
This hardware includes all the mechanical, electrical, electronic, and magnetic
devices within the computer itself (the CPU) and all related peripheral devices
(printers, magnetic tape units, magnetic disk drive units, and so on). A hardware
fault is repaired by a technician relacing an unserviceable component and is
usually identified by a “hard fail”, for example monitor won’t work, lines on monitor,
computer will not run-up, and so on.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 16 of 24

Computer Software
Software plays a major role in computer data processing, without software, the
computer could not perform simple addition. It's the software that makes everything
happen. It takes a program to make the computer function. You load an operating
system into the computer to manage the computer's resources and operations. You
give job information to the operating system to tell it what you want the computer to
do, copy files, run applications, print data, and so on. The operating system
receives and processes the job information and executes the programs according to
that job information. Software can be defined as all the stored programs and
routines needed to fully use the capabilities of a computer.

Computer Software
The hardware remains the same; it is the software that loads the instructions and
the CPU uses to process data.
In the aircraft industry, Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) is commonly used to fault
isolate avionics components and circuitry. The cost of purchasing the ATE is far
outweighed by the cost of purchasing the software to perform the fault isolation.
Aircraft too are loaded with software, from flight management systems computers to
software which is periodically updated to overcome problems or glitches or to
update with more accurate and contemporary data.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 17 of 24

Software Storage Mediums
Reel to Reel; Floppy Discs: 8 inch, 5¼”, 3½”; Cassette Tape; CD, DVD, portable
hard drives and flash drives.
Basic Input Output System (BIOS) is a kind of Flash Memory built onto the
motherboard. The BIOS software has a number of different roles, but its most
important role is to load the operating system. When you turn on your computer
and the microprocessor tries to execute its first instruction, it has to get that
instruction from somewhere. It cannot get it from the operating system because the
operating system is located on a hard disk, and the microprocessor cannot get to it
without some instructions that tell it how. The BIOS provides those instructions
Flash Memory Cards are tiny and have no moving parts. Often they are used in
digital cameras.

Reel to Reel; Floppy Disc and BIOS chip
Secondary Storage – These forms of memory storage are called secondary storage or
auxiliary storage (compared to Random Access Memory (RAM), Read-Only Memory
(ROM), hard drives, and so on. This is memory outside the main body of the
computer (CPU) where we store programs and data for future use. When the
computer is ready to use these programs and data, they are read into internal
storage. Secondary (auxiliary) storage media extends the storage capabilities of the
computer system. We need it for two reasons. First, because the computer's
internal storage is limited in size, it cannot always hold all the data we need.
Second, in secondary storage, data and programs do not disappear when power is
turned off. Secondary storage is non-volatile. This means information is lost only if
you, the user, intentionally erases it. Common magnetic storage methods are
magnetic disk, tape, and drum.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 18 of 24

Memory
All memory (internal storage) sections must contain facilities to store computer data
or instructions (that are intelligible to the computer) until these instructions or data
are needed in the performance of the computer calculations. Before the stored-
program computer can begin to process input data, it is first necessary to store in
its memory a sequence of instructions, and tables of constants and other data it will
use in its computations. The process by which these instructions and data are read
and data into a computer is to manually place enough instructions into memory
using the keyboard or electronically using an operating system (for example DOS),
so that these instructions can be used to bring in more instructions as desired. In
this manner a few instructions are used to bootstrap more instructions. Some
computers make use of an auxiliary (wired) memory (BIOS) that permanently stores

Memory (internal storage)
The memory (internal storage) section of a computer is essentially an electronically
operated file cabinet. It has a large number (usually several hundred thousand) of
storage locations; each referred to as a storage address or register. Every item of
stored or filed in a specific storage address and is almost instantly accessible.
MemoryStorageDevices
For the CPU to control and coordinate all processing activity, it must be able to
locate each instruction and data item in storage. Consider the storage as nothing
more than a collection of letterboxes. Each letterbox has a unique address and
represents a location in memory. Like the mail in your letterbox, the contents of a
storage location can change, but the number on your letterbox or memory address
always remains the same. In this manner, a particular program instruction or data
item that is held in storage can be located by knowing its address. Some computers
can address each character of data in memory directly. Others address computer
words which contain a group of characters at a single address. Each computer word
contains a group of characters at a single address. Some of the more common types
of internal storage media used in today's computers are Magnetic core, Magnetic
tape, Magnetic disk, and Semiconductor.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 19 of 24

Magnetic Core Storage
Although magnetic core storage is no longer as popular as it once was, its concepts
are easily understood and apply generally to the more integrated semiconductor
and bubble-type memories. Magnetic core storage is made up of tiny doughnut-
shaped rings made of ferrite (iron), that are strung on a grid of very thin wires.
Since data in computers is stored in binary form, a two-state device is needed to
represent the two binary digits (bits), 0 for off and 1 for on. In core storage, each
ferrite ring can represent a 0 or 1 bit, depending on its magnetic state. If
magnetized in one direction, it represents a 1 bit, and if magnetised in the opposite
direction, it represents a 0 bit. These cores are magnetized by sending an electric
current through the wires on which the core is strung. It is this direction of current
that determines the state of each core.

Magnetic Core Storage
Core storage is non-volatile - data is retained even if there is a power failure or
breakdown, since the cores store data in the form of magnetic charges rather than
electric current.
Magnetic Disc Storage
The popularity of disk storage devices is largely because of their direct-access
capabilities. Magnetic disks resemble phonograph records, coated with a
magnetisable recording material (iron oxide), but their similarities end there.
Magnetic disks come in many different sizes and storage capacities. They range
from 3 inches to 4 feet in diameter and can store multi-millions of bytes. They can
be portable (removable), or permanently mounted as hard drives. They can be rigid
metal (hard disks) or flexible plastic (floppy disks or diskettes).

Magnetic Disc Storage

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 20 of 24

Music is stored on a phonograph record in a continuous groove that spirals into the
centre of the record. But there are no grooves on a magnetic disk. Instead, data is
stored on all disks in a number of invisible concentric circles called tracks. Each
track has a designated number beginning with track 000 at the outer edge of the
disk. The numbering continues sequentially toward the centre to track 199, or
whatever the highest track number is. No track ever touches another.
Data is written as tiny magnetic bits (or spots) on the disk surface. Eight-bit codes
are generally used to represent data. Each code represents a different number,
letter, or special character. When data is read from the disk, the data on the disk
remains unchanged. When data is written on the disk, it replaces any data
previously stored on the same area of the disk. Characters are stored on a single
track as strings of magnetized bits (0's and 1's). The 1 bits indicate magnetised
spots or ON bits. The 0 bits represent unmagnetised portions of the track or OFF
bits. Although tracks get smaller as they near the centre of the disk, each track can
hold the same amount of data because data density is greater on tracks near the
centre.
Magnetic Tape Storage
Another type of storage device is magnetic tape which is similar to the tape used
with commercial tape recorders. It is used mainly for secondary storage. It differs
from commercial tape in that it is usually wider (ranging from one-half inch to an
inch), and it is manufactured to more rigid quality specifications. It is made of a
MYLAR base coated with a magnetic oxide that can be magnetized to store data.
Magnetic tape comes in a variety of lengths (from 600 to 3,000 feet), and is
packaged in one of three ways: open reel, cartridge, or cassette. Large computers
use standard open reels, ½ inch wide tape, 2,400 feet in length. Magnetic tape units
are categorized by the type of packaging used for the tape. Cartridge tape units can
be used on personal computers to provide backup for hard disk.

On magnetic tape each track is set out as indicated by the illustration. 1’s and 0’s
are recorded as strings of data (Serial access memory). For data to be retrieved, tape
must be cycled through to appropriate position for read/write head to extract data.
Semiconductor Storage (Silicon Chip)
Semiconductor memory consists of millions of tiny electronic circuits etched on a
silicon chip. Each of these electronic circuits is called a bit cell and can represent a
0 or 1 bit, depending on whether or not current is flowing in that cell. Some of the
• Fast internal processing speeds
• High reliability
• Low power consumption
• High density (many circuits)
• Low cost

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 21 of 24

Silicon memory is volatile – data is lost when power is removed. Should the power
on your computer fail and you have no backup power supply, all the stored data is
lost.

Silicon memory is volatile
Classifications of Internal Storage
We have covered some of the general functions of the CPU, the physical
characteristics of memory, and how data is stored in the internal storage section.
Now, we will explain yet another way to classify internal (primary or main) storage.
This is by the different kinds of memories used within the CPU:
• Random-Access Memory (RAM)
• Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EPROM)
In silicon memory devices, usually data is lost when power is removed. Silicon
based ROM differs from silicon based RAM. The term ROM is associated with solid
state memory devices. Only the computer manufacturer can provide these programs
in ROM and once done, they cannot be changed. Consequently, you cannot put any
of your own data or programs in ROM.

In most computers, it is useful to have often used instructions, such as those used
to bootstrap (initial system load) the computer or other specialised programs,
permanently stored inside the computer. Memory that enables us to do this without
the programs and data being lost (even when the computer is powered down) is

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 22 of 24

Many complex functions such as routines to extract square roots, translators for
programming languages, and operating systems can be placed in ROM memory.
Since these instructions are hard wired (permanent), they can be performed quickly
and accurately. Another advantage of ROM is that your computer facility can order
programs tailored for its needs and have them permanently installed in ROM by the
manufacturer – micro programs or firmware.
An alternative to ROM is Programmable Read Only Memory (PROM) that can be
purchased already programmed by the manufacturer or in a blank state. By using a
blank PROM, you can enter any program into the memory. However, once the
PROM has been written into, it can never be altered or changed. The main
disadvantage of PROM is that if a mistake is made and entered into PROM, it
cannot be corrected or erased. Also, a special device is needed to "burn" the
program into PROM.

Programmable Read-Only Memory (PROM) and PROM programmer
PROM is a way of allowing a user to tailor a microcode program using a special
machine called a PROM programmer. This machine supplies an electrical current to
specific cells in the ROM that effectively blows a fuse in them. The process is known
as burning the PROM. This means that once programmed, the memory will act as a
ROM and will not be corrupted or erased erroneously, and will not erase with loss of
power.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 23 of 24

The Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EPROM) was developed to
overcome the drawback of PROM. PROMs can also be purchased blank from the
manufacturer and programmed. Again, this requires special equipment. The big
difference with EPROM is that it can be erased if and when the need arises. Data
and programs can be retrieved over and over again without destroying the contents
of the EPROM. They will stay there quite safely until you want to reprogram it by
first erasing the EPROM with a burst of ultra-violet light. This is to your advantage,
because if a mistake is made while programming the EPROM, it is not considered
fatal. The EPROM can be erased and corrected. Also, it allows you the flexibility to
change programs to include improvements or modifications in the future.

Random Access Memory (RAM)
Another kind of memory used inside computers is called Random-Access Memory
(RAM) or Read/Write Memory. RAM memory is rather like a blackboard on which
you can scribble down notes, read them, and rub them out when you are finished
with them. In the computer, RAM is the working memory. Data can be read
(retrieved) from or written (stored) into RAM just by giving the computer the address
of the location where the data is stored or is to be stored. When the data is no
longer needed, you can simply write over it. This allows you to use the storage again
for something else.
RAM is where all the calculating is done by the processor, storing data which it can
then randomly access instantly. A CPU will run very slowly reading and writing all
calculations direct to a hard drive, as if you were working from a filing cabinet
returning each piece of data accessed before accessing another piece. In this respect
RAM is like your desk space where you perform all you tasks, then store it all back
in the filing cabinet (hard drive) when complete, or when starting another task
(program). RAM is the best known form of computer memory and is considered
"random access" because you can access any memory cell directly if you know the
row and column that intersect at that cell. The opposite of RAM is Serial Access
Memory (SAM). SAM stores data as a series of memory cells that can only be
accessed sequentially (like a cassette tape). If the data is not in the current location,
each memory cell is checked until the needed data is found. SAM works very well
for memory buffers, where the data is normally stored in the order in which it will
be used (a good example is the texture buffer memory on a video card). RAM data,
on the other hand, can be accessed in any order.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-17 Page 24 of 24

Applications of Computer Technology in Aircraft Systems
The aircraft industry has extensively embraced computer technology to provide;
increases in aircraft safety, a reduction in pilot workload, improvements in
operational economies, and allowing passengers to watch live television or turn on a

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 1 of 26
TOPIC 5.10 – FIBRE OPTICS
History of Fibre Optic Technology ............................................................................ 2
Definitions of Common Terms .............................................................................. 3
Attenuation ....................................................................................................... 3
Optical fibre cables .............................................................................................. 3
Optical Fibre Communications System ................................................................ 4
Basic Structure of an Optical fibre ....................................................................... 5
How the cable functions ....................................................................................... 6
Modes of propagation ........................................................................................ 7
Losses ............................................................................................................... 9
Bending Losses ................................................................................................. 9
Dispersion ...................................................................................................... 10
Installation Handling Precautions ................................................................... 11
Optical Fibre Terminations ............................................................................. 11
Fibre End Preparation .................................................................................... 14
Optical Fibre Termination Precautions ............................................................ 15
Fibre Optic Splices ............................................................................................. 16
Fibre Optic Connectors ...................................................................................... 18
Fibre Optic Couplers ....................................................................................... 19
Optical Fibre System Terminals ......................................................................... 22
Optical Sources and Fibre Optic Transmitters ................................................ 22
Optical Detectors and Fibre Optic Receivers ................................................... 23
Advantages of Optical Fibre Cables .................................................................... 24
Aircraft Applications of Optical Fibre ................................................................. 25
Flight Data Recording ..................................................................................... 26

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 2 of 26
TOPIC 5.10 – FIBRE OPTICS
History of Fibre Optic Technology
People have used light to transmit information for hundreds of years. However, it
was not until the 1960s, with the invention of the laser that widespread interest in
optical (light) systems for data communications began. The invention of the laser
prompted researchers to study the potential of fibre optics for data
communications, sensing, and other applications. Laser systems could send a
much larger amount of data than telephone, microwave, and other electrical
systems. The first experiment with the laser involved letting the laser beam transmit
freely through the air. Researchers also conducted experiments letting the laser
beam transmit through different types of waveguides. Glass fibres, gas-filled pipes,
and tubes with focusing lenses are examples of optical waveguides.
Glass fibres soon became the preferred medium for fibre optic research. Initially,
the very large losses in the optical fibres prevented coaxial cables from being
replaced. Loss is the decrease in the amount of light reaching the end of the fibre.
Early fibres had losses around 1,000 dB/km (decibels per kilometre), making them
impractical for communications use. In 1969, several scientists concluded that
impurities in the fibre material caused the signal loss in optical fibres. The basic
fibre material did not prevent the light signal from reaching the end of the fibre.
These researchers believed it was possible to reduce the losses in optical fibres by
removing the impurities. By removing the impurities, construction of low-loss
optical fibres was possible.
There are two basic types of optical fibres, multimode fibres and single mode fibres.
In 1970, Corning Glass Works made a multimode fibre with losses under 20
dB/km. This same company, in 1972, made a high silica-core multimode optical
fibre with 4dB/km minimum attenuation (loss). Currently, multimode fibres can
have losses as low as 0.5 dB/km at wavelengths around 1300 nm. Single mode
fibres are available with losses lower than 0.25 dB/km at wavelengths around
1500 nm (nano metres).
Developments in semiconductor technology, which provided the necessary light
sources and detectors, furthered the development of fibre optics. Conventional light
sources, such as lamps or lasers, were not easily used in fibre optic systems. These
light sources tended to be too large and required lens systems to launch light into
the fibre. In 1971, Bell Laboratories developed a small area Light-Emitting Diode
(LED). This light source was suitable for low-loss coupling to optical fibres.
Researchers could then perform source-to-fibre jointing easily and repeatedly. Early
semiconductor sources had operating lifetimes of only a few hours. However, by
1973, projected lifetimes of lasers advanced from a few hours to greater than 1,000
hours. By 1977, projected lifetimes of lasers advanced to greater than 7,000 hours.
By 1979, these devices were available with projected lifetimes of more than 100,000
hours.
In addition, researchers also continued to develop new fibre optic parts. The types
of new parts developed included low-loss fibres and fibre cables, splices, and
connectors. These parts permitted demonstration and research on complete fibre
optic systems.
Advances in fibre optics have permitted the introduction of fibre optics into present
applications. These applications are mostly in the telephone long-haul systems, but
are growing to include cable television, computer networks, video systems, and data

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 3 of 26

Research should increase system performance and provide solutions to existing
problems in conventional applications. The impressive results from early research
show there are many advantages offered by fibre optic systems.
Definitions of Common Terms
Numerical Aperture (NA) of the fibre defines which light will be propagated and
which will not. NA defines the light-gathering ability of the fibre. Imagine a cone
coming from the core. Light entering the core from within this cone will be
propagated by total internal reflection. Light entering from outside the cone will not
be propagated.
A high NA gathers more light, but lowers the bandwidth. A lower NA increases
bandwidth. NA has an important consequence. A large NA makes it easier to inject
more light into a fibre, while a small NA tends to give the fibre a higher bandwidth.
A large NA allows greater modal dispersion by allowing more modes in which light
can travel. A smaller NA reduces dispersion by limiting the number of modes.
Attenuation
Attenuation is loss of power. During transit, light pulses lose some of their energy.
Attenuation for a fibre is specified in decibels per kilometre (dB/km). For
commercially available fibres, attenuation ranges from approximately 0.5 dB/km for
single mode fibre to 1000 dB/km for large-core plastic fibres.
Optical fibre cables
Imagine a long flexible plastic pipe and the inside surface is coated with a perfect
mirror. If you look in one end of the pipe and several KM away at the other end, a
torch shines into the pipe; you will see the light in the pipe. Because the interior of
the pipe is a perfect mirror, the torches light will reflect off the sides (even though
the pipe may curve and twist) and you will see it at the other end. If the torch were
used to send Morse Code you could communicate through the pipe. This is the
essence of a fibre optic cable.
Making a cable out of a mirrored tube would work, but it would be bulky and it
would also be hard to coat the interior of the tube with a perfect mirror. A real fibre
optic cable is therefore made out of glass. The glass is incredibly pure so that, even
though it is several miles long, light can still make it through (imagine glass so
transparent that a window several miles thick still looks clear). The glass is drawn
into a very thin strand, with a thickness comparable to that of a human hair. The
glass strand is then coated in two layers of plastic (cladding and outer jacket). By
coating the glass in plastic, you get the equivalent of a mirror around the glass
strand. This mirror creates total internal reflection, just like a perfect mirror coating
on the inside of a tube does.
Light traveling through the fibre bounces at shallow angles and stays completely
within the fibre. To send data through a fibre optic cable, analogue signals are
translated into digital signals. A laser at one end of the pipe switches on and off to
send each bit. Modern fibre systems with a single laser can transmit billions of bits
per second – the laser can turn on and off several billions of times per second.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 4 of 26

The newest systems use multiple lasers with different colours (different frequencies)
to fit multiple signals into the same fibre. Modern fibre optic cables can carry a
signal quite a distance – perhaps 100 km (limited by attenuation). On a long
distance line, there is an equipment hut every 70 – 100 km. The hut contains
equipment that picks up and retransmits the signal down the next segment at full
strength.
Optical Fibre Communications System
A fibre optic data link sends data through fibre optic components to an output
device. It has the following three basic functions:
• To convert an electrical input signal to an optical signal
• To send the optical signal over an optical fibre
• To convert the optical signal back to an electrical signal
A fibre optic data link consists of three parts—transmitter, optical fibre, and receiver.
A fibre optic data link needs a transmitter that can effectively convert an electrical
input signal to an optical signal and launch the data-containing light down the
optical fibre. A fibre optic data link also needs a receiver that can effectively
transform this optical signal back into its original form. The electrical signal
provided as data output should exactly match the electrical signal provided as data
input.

Optical Fibre Communications System
Transmitter converts the input signal to an optical signal suitable for
transmission. It does this by varying the current flow through the light source. The
two types of optical sources are light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and laser diodes. The
optical source launches the optical signal into the fibre.
Receiver converts optical signal exiting the fibre back into an electrical signal. An
optical detector detects the optical signal. The receiver should amplify and process
the optical signal without introducing noise or signal distortion. Noise is any
disturbance that obscures or reduces the quality of the signal. An optical detector
can be either a semiconductor Positive-Intrinsic-Negative (PIN) diode or an
Avalanche Photodiode (APD).

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 5 of 26

Fibre optic data link also includes passive components other than an optical fibre
(splices, couplers, connectors). Passive components used to make fibre connections
affect the performance of the data link. These components can also prevent the link
from operating. The optical signal will become progressively weakened and distorted
because of scattering, absorption, and dispersion mechanisms in the optical fibre
cable.
Basic Structure of an Optical fibre
The basic structure of an optical fibre consists of three parts; the core, the cladding,
and the coating or buffer.
The coating (outer jacket) or buffer is a layer of material used to protect an optical
fibre from physical damage. Material used for a buffer is a type of plastic. Buffer is
elastic in nature and prevents abrasions. Buffer also prevents the optical fibre from
scattering losses caused by micro-bends. Micro-bends occur when optical fibre is
placed on a rough and distorted surface.
The core is a cylindrical rod of dielectric material. Dielectric material conducts no
electricity. Light propagates mainly along the core of the fibre. The core is generally
made of glass. The core is surrounded by a layer of material called the cladding.
Even though light will propagate along the fibre core without the layer of cladding
material, the cladding does perform some necessary functions.
The cladding layer is also made of a dielectric material. The index of refraction of
the cladding material is less than that of the core material. The cladding is generally
The cladding performs the following functions:
• Reduces loss of light from the core into the surrounding air
• Reduces scattering loss at the surface of the core
The coating performs the following functions:
• Protects the fibre from absorbing surface contaminants
Optical signals are not confined to the core of the fibre. The modes extend partially
however, high-order modes penetrate further into the cladding material.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 6 of 26

Basic Structure of an Optical fibre

Light Path within Optical Fibre
How the cable functions
Optical fibre cables propagate a light signal that travels down a fibre glass line by
constant refraction off its side walls.
The phenomenon of refraction is used to transfer the light from the source to the
receiver. Radio waves refract when they leave a media and travel through another
media of different density, for example, stick dipped in water appears to bend. The
angle of refraction depends on the wavelength of the signal, in this case light, being
used. The illustration on the slide shows how light transfers down the cable.
The wavelengths used in the optical fibre range are from 600 to 1600 nm, infra-red,
just below the visible light frequency in the electromagnetic spectrum.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 7 of 26

Phenomenon of Refraction
Modes of propagation
Several light frequencies (or colours if it were visible) can be passed down the same
cable simultaneously. Light from each signal source travels down the cable via
differing paths, because the difference in frequencies means the angle of refraction
is different for each frequency. At the receiver end, the receivers pick out the
different frequencies as simply as specific colour in the visible light spectrum can be
determined by the human eye – when flashing lights of different colours are visible
it is not difficult to focus on a specific colour noting the sequence of flashes – fibre
optic receivers function using similar method – they only receive the specific tuned
frequency and ignore all others.
Low-order or direct mode path uses the cable axis. Middle and high order paths use
refraction at different angles. Cables are graded as either graded-index fibre or
single-mode fibres.

Modes of Propagation
Optical fibres are characterised by their structure and by their properties of
transmission. Basically, optical fibres are classified into two types – single mode
fibres and multimode fibres. As each name implies, optical fibres are classified by
the number of modes that propagate along the fibre. The structure of the fibre can
permit or restrict modes from propagating in a fibre. Both fibre types are
manufactured with the same materials, the basic structural difference is the core
size.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 8 of 26

The core size of single mode fibres is small. The core size (diameter) is typically
around 8 to 10 micrometres. The single-mode cable uses only one mode of transfer.
It is a much smaller diameter cable used in long distance communication links.
Single mode fibres have a lower signal loss and a higher information capacity
(bandwidth) than multimode fibres. Single mode fibres are capable of transferring
higher amounts of data due to low fibre dispersion. Basically, dispersion is the
spreading of light as light propagates along a fibre.
As their name implies, graded-index cable (multimode fibres) propagate more than
one mode. Number of modes propagated depends on the core size and Numerical
Aperture (NA).
Multimode fibres can propagate over 100 modes. The larger core size makes it
easier to make fibre connections. During fibre splicing, core-to-core alignment
becomes less critical. Another advantage is that multimode fibres permit the use of
Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs). Single mode fibres typically must use laser diodes.
LEDs are cheaper, less complex, and last longer. LEDs are preferred for most
applications.
Multimode fibres also have some disadvantages. As the number of modes increases,
the effect of modal dispersion increases. Modal dispersion means that modes arrive
at the fibre end at slightly different times.
The graded-index cable has a designed refraction index because the velocity of
propagation increases away from the centre (light wave travels faster near outer
diameter of cable cross section – slower straight through the centre). Although all
modes have different paths, they traverse the cable length in about the same time.
This type is used for short distances and high data transfer rates.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 9 of 26

Losses
Attenuation:
In an optical fibre is caused by absorption, scattering, and bending losses.
Attenuation is the loss of optical power as light travels along the fibre. Attenuation
reduces the amount of optical power transmitted by the fibre. Attenuation controls
the distance an optical signal (pulse) can travel. Once the power of an optical pulse
is reduced to a point where the receiver is unable to detect the pulse, an error
occurs.

Attenuation within Fibre Optics
Absorption:
Is a major cause of signal loss in an optical fibre. Absorption is defined as the
portion of attenuation resulting from the conversion of optical power into another
energy form, such as heat. Absorption in optical fibres is as a result of
imperfections in the structure of the optical fibre, and the presence of impurities
and contamination.
Scattering:
Losses are caused by the interaction of light with density fluctuations within a fibre.
Density changes are produced when optical fibres are manufactured. During
manufacturing, regions of higher and lower molecular density are created (relative
to average density of fibre). Light traveling through the fibre interacts with the
density areas and light is then partially scattered in all directions.
Bending Losses
Bending the fibre also causes attenuation. Bending loss is classified according to
the bend radius of curvature: micro-bend loss or macro-bend loss.
Micro-bends:
Are small microscopic bends of the fibre axis that occur mainly when a fibre is
cabled. Micro-bends can be likened to dents in the cladding and core, so the core is
no longer smooth and linear – like crushing a co-axial cable reducing its Radio
Frequency (RF) handling capabilities. Uneven coating applications and improper
cabling procedures increase micro-bend loss.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 10 of 26

Micro-bends
Macro-bends are bends having a large radius of curvature relative to the fibre
diameter. During installation, if fibres are bent too sharply, macro-bend losses will
occur.
Macro-bends become a great source of loss when the radius of curvature is less
than several centimetres. Light propagating at the inner side of the bend travels a
shorter distance than that on the outer side. This condition causes some of the light
within the fibre to be converted to high-order modes. These high-order modes are
then lost or radiated out of the fibre.

Dispersion
Dispersion spreads the optical pulse as it travels along the fibre. This spreading of
the signal pulse reduces the system bandwidth or the information carrying capacity
of the fibre. Dispersion limits how fast information is transferred. An error occurs
when the receiver is unable to distinguish between input pulses caused by the
spreading of each pulse. The effects of attenuation and dispersion increase as the
pulse travels the length of the fibre. Dispersion loss is caused when different paths
are taken by the various modes of propagation in the cable. A slight variation of the
refractive index with wavelength occurs in the fibre. Dispersion loss also occurs
when some of the light energy travels in the cladding.

Dispersion of Modes in Fibre Optics

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 11 of 26

In addition to fibre attenuation and dispersion, other optical fibre properties affect
system performance. Fibre properties, such as modal noise, pulse broadening, and
polarization, can reduce system performance. Modal noise, pulse broadening, and
polarization are too complex to discuss as introductory level material. However, you
should be aware that attenuation and dispersion are not the only fibre properties
that affect performance.
Installation Handling Precautions
Primary precautions that need to be emphasised when installing fibre optic
systems:
Optical fibres or cables should never be bent at a radius of curvature less than a
certain value, called the minimum bend radius. Bending an optical fibre or cable at
Extremely sharp bends increase the fibre loss and may lead to fibre breakage.
• Fibre optic cables should never be pulled tight or fastened over or through sharp
corners or cutting edges
• Fibre optic connectors should always be cleaned before mating. Dirt in a fibre
optic connection will significantly increase the connection loss and may damage
the connector
• Precautions must be taken so the cable does not become kinked or crushed
during installation of the hardware. Extremely sharp kinks or bends increase the
fibre loss and may lead to fibre breakage
• Only trained, authorised personnel should be allowed to install or repair fibre
optic systems
Optical Fibre Terminations
In fibre optic system design, the launching or coupling of optical power from one
component to the next is important. Fibre optic connections permit the transfer of
optical power from one component to another. Fibre optic connections also permit
fibre optic systems to be more than just point-to-point data communication links.
In fact, fibre optic data links are often of a more complex design than point-to-point

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 12 of 26

A system connection may require a fibre optic splice, connector or coupler.
One type of system connection is a permanent connection made by splicing optical
fibres together. A fibre optic splice makes a permanent joint between two fibres or
two groups of fibres. There are two types of fibre optic splices--mechanical splices
and fusion splices. Even though removal of some mechanical splices is possible,
they are intended to be permanent.

Optical Fibre Terminations
Another type of connection that allows for system reconfiguration is a fibre optic
connector. Fibre optic connectors permit easy coupling and uncoupling of optical
fibres. Fibre optic connectors sometimes resemble familiar electrical plugs and
sockets.

Fibre Optic Connectors
Systems may also divide or combine optical signals between fibres. Fibre optic
couplers distribute or combine optical signals between fibres. Couplers can
distribute an optical signal from a single fibre into several fibres. Couplers may also
combine optical signals from several fibres into one fibre. Fibre optic connection
losses may affect system performance.

Fibre Optic Couplers

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 13 of 26

Poor fibre end preparation and poor fibre alignment are the main causes of coupling
loss. Another source of coupling loss is differences in optical properties between the
connected fibres. If the connected fibres have different optical properties, such as
different numerical apertures, core and cladding diameters, and refractive index
profiles, then coupling losses may increase.
Ideally, optical signals coupled between fibre optic components are transmitted with
no loss of light. However, there is always some type of imperfection present at fibre
optic connections that causes some loss of light. It is the amount of optical power
lost at fibre optic connections that is a concern of system designers.
Fibre-to-fibre connection loss is increased by the following sources:
• Fibre separation
• Lateral misalignment
• Angular misalignment
• Core and cladding diameter mismatch
• Numerical aperture (NA) mismatch – NA defines the light-gathering ability of the
fibre. Imagine a cone coming from the core. Light entering the core from within
this cone will be propagated by total internal reflection. Light entering from
outside the cone will not be propagated
• Refractive index profile difference – Refractive Index: A property of optical
materials that relates to the speed of light in the material versus the speed of
light in a vacuum.
• Poor fibre end preparation

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 14 of 26

Coupling losses are limited by following proper connection procedures and by
reducing fibre mismatches between the connected fibres. This is done by procuring
only fibres that meet stringent geometrical and optical specifications.

Minimise Coupling Losses
Fibre End Preparation
In fibre-to-fibre connections, poor fibre end preparation can result in coupling loss.
A fibre-end face must be flat, smooth, and perpendicular to the fibre's axis to
ensure proper connection. Light is reflected or scattered at the connection interface
unless the connecting fibre end faces are properly prepared. Quality fibre-end
preparation is essential for proper system operation.
Remove fibre buffer and coating material from the end of the optical fibre. Removal
of these materials involves the use of mechanical strippers or chemical solvents.
After removing the buffer and coating material, the surface of the bare fibre is wiped
clean using a wiping tissue. The wiping tissue must be wet with isopropyl alcohol
before wiping.
The next step involves cleaving the fibre end to produce a smooth, flat fibre-end
face. The score-and-break, or scribe-and-break, method is the basic fibre cleaving
technique. The score-and-break method consists of lightly scoring (nicking) the
outer surface of the fibre then placing it under tension until it breaks. A heavy
metal or diamond blade is used to score the fibre. Once scoring is complete, fibre
tension is increased until fibre breaks. Fibre is placed under tension either by
pulling on the fibre or by bending the fibre over a curved surface.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 15 of 26

Under constant tension, the score-and-break method for cleaving fibres produces a
quality fibre end good enough to use for some splicing techniques. However,
additional preparation is necessary to produce reliable low-loss connections when
using fibre optic connectors.

The Score-and-Break method for Cleaving
Polishing:
Polishing the fibre ends removes most surface imperfections introduced by the fibre
cleaving process. Fibre polishing begins by inserting the cleaved fibre into the
ferrule of a connector assembly (where the fibre will remain after it has been
polished – the ferrule is the equivalent of inserting a wire into a socket or pin and
crimping it). A ferrule is a fixture, generally a rigid tube, used to hold the stripped
end of an optical fibre in a fibre optic connector. An individual fibre is epoxied
within the ferrule. The connector with the optical fibre cemented within the ferrule
can then be mounted into a special polishing tool for polishing.
Fibre inspection and cleanliness are important during each step of fibre polishing.
Fibre inspection is done visually by the use of a standard microscope to determine if
the fibre-end face is flat, concave, or convex.

Fibre Polishing
Optical Fibre Termination Precautions
If involved in terminating fibres, the real dangers are related to the small scraps of
glass cleaved off the ends of the fibres being terminated or spliced. These scraps are
very dangerous! The cleaved ends are extremely sharp and can easily penetrate
your skin. If they get into your eyes, they are very hard to flush out. If swallowed –
serious medical consequences can result. Safety glasses are a must!

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 16 of 26

Always follow these rules when working with fibre.
1. Safety glasses must be worn.
2. Dispose of all scraps properly, in a properly marked container.
3. Always work on black pad which makes slivers of glass easier to spot.
4. Do not drop scraps on the floor – they’ll stick in carpets or shoes and be carried
elsewhere.
5. Do not eat or drink anywhere near the work area.
Fibre Optic Splices
A fibre optic splice is a permanent fibre joint whose purpose is to establish an
optical connection between two individual optical fibres. Fibre optic splices also
permit repair of optical fibres damaged during installation, accident, or stress.
Mechanical and fusion splicing are two broad categories that describe fibre splicing
techniques.
Mechanical splice – mechanical fixtures and materials perform fibre alignment and
connection.
Fusion splice – localised heat fuses or melts the ends of two optical fibres together.
Each splicing technique seeks to optimise splice performance and reduce splice
loss. Low-loss fibre splicing results from proper fibre end preparation and
alignment.
Mechanical splice is a permanent connection made between two optical fibres.
Mechanical splices hold the two optical fibres in alignment for an indefinite period
of time without movement. The amount of splice loss is stable over time and
unaffected by changes in environmental or mechanical conditions. If high splice
loss results from assembling some mechanical splices, the splice can be reopened
and the fibres realigned. Realignment includes wiping the fibre or ferrule end with a
soft wipe, reinserting the fibre or ferrule in a new arrangement, and adding new
refractive index material. Once producing an acceptable mechanical splice, splice
realignment should be unnecessary because most mechanical splices are
environmentally and mechanically stable within their intended application. Typical
mechanical splices include glass, plastic, metal, and ceramic tubes; and V-groove
devices.
Materials that assist mechanical splices in splicing fibres include transparent
seal mechanical splices and provide index matching between the connected fibres.
The tools to make mechanical splices are cheap, but the splices themselves are
expensive.

Splicing Process

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 17 of 26

Fusion splicing involves using localised heat to melt or fuse the ends of two optical
fibres together. The splicing process begins by preparing each fibre end for fusion.
Fusion splicing requires that all protective coatings be removed from the ends of
each fibre. The fibre is then cleaved using the score-and-break method. Quality of
each fibre end is inspected using a microscope. In fusion splicing, splice loss is a
direct function of the angles and quality of the two fibre-end faces.
The basic fusion splicing apparatus consists of two fixtures on which the fibres are
mounted and two electrodes. An inspection microscope assists in the placement of
the prepared fibre ends into a fusion-splicing apparatus. The fibres are placed into
the apparatus, aligned, and then fused together. Carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers,
electric arcs, or gas flames are typically used to heat the fibre ends, causing them to
fuse together. The small size of the fusion splice and the development of automated
fusion-splicing machines have made electric arc fusion (arc fusion) one of the most
popular splicing techniques in commercial applications.
By placing the fibre ends between the electrodes, the electric discharge melts or
fuses the ends of each fibre. During fusion, the surface tension of molten glass
tends to realign the fibres on their outside diameters, changing the initial
alignment. When the fusion process is complete, a small core distortion may be
present. Small core distortions have negligible effects on light propagating through
multimode fibres.
Since fusion splicing is inherently permanent, an unacceptable fusion splice
requires breakage and re-fabrication of the splice. In general, fusion splicing takes a
longer time to complete than mechanical splicing. Also, yields are typically lower
making the total time per successful splice much longer for fusion splicing.

Fusion Splicing
Which Splice?
If cost is the issue, fusion is expensive equipment and cheap splices; while
mechanical is cheap equipment and expensive splices. So if you make a lot of
splices (like thousands in a big network) use fusion splices. If you need just a few,
use mechanical splices. Fusion splices give very low back reflections and are
preferred for single-mode high speed digital networks.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 18 of 26

However, they don't work too well on Multimode splices, so mechanical splices are
preferred for Multimode (MM), unless it is an underwater or aerial application,
where the greater reliability of the fusion splice is preferred.
Normally, multi fibre splices are only installed on ribbon type fibre optic cables.
Multi fibre splicing techniques can use arc fusion to restore connection, but most
splicing techniques use mechanical splicing methods. The most common
mechanical splice is the ribbon splice.
A ribbon splice uses an etched silicon chip, or grooved substrate, to splice the
multiple fibres within a flat ribbon. The spacing between the etched grooves of the
silicon chip is equal to the spacing between the fibres in the flat ribbon. Before
placing each ribbon on the etched silicon chip, each fibre within the ribbon cable is
cleaved. All fibres are placed into grooves and held in place with a flat cover.
Typically, an index matching gel is used to reduce the splice loss.

Ribbon Splice
Fibre Optic Connectors
A fibre optic connector is a device that permits the coupling between two optical
fibres or two groups of fibres that can be disconnected. The device must allow for
repeated fibre disconnects/reconnects without significant loss of light transmission.
Fibre optic connectors must maintain fibre alignment during numerous
connections. Fibre optic connector coupling loss results from the same loss
mechanisms described earlier.
Butt-jointed and expanded-beam connectors are two basic types of fibre optic
connectors. Butt-jointed connectors align and bring prepared ends of two fibres into
close contact. End-faces of some butt-jointed connectors touch, but others do not
depending upon the connector design.
Single fibre butt-jointed and expanded beam connectors normally consist of two
Ferrule connectors use two cylindrical plugs (ferrules), an alignment sleeve, and
sometimes axial springs to perform fibre alignment. Precision holes drilled or
moulded through the centre of each ferrule allow for fibre insertion and alignment.
When the fibre ends are inserted, an adhesive (normally epoxy resin) bonds the
fibre inside the ferrule (fibre remains inside ferrule – the ferrule is like the pin
crimped on the end of a wire). The fibre-end faces are polished until they are flush
with the end of the ferrule to achieve a low loss fibre connection. Fibre alignment
occurs when the ferrules are inserted into the alignment sleeve.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 19 of 26
The inside diameter of the alignment sleeve aligns the ferrules, which in turn align
the fibres. Ferrule connectors lock the ferrules in the alignment sleeve using a
threaded outer shell or some other type of coupling mechanism.
Fibre alignment depends on an accurate hole through the centre of the ferrule.
Normally, ferrule connectors use ceramic or metal ferrules.

Butt Type Optical Connector
Expanded-beam connectors use two lenses to first expand and then refocus the
light from the transmitting fibre into the receiving fibre. An expanded-beam
connector uses two lenses to expand and then refocus the light from the
transmitting fibre into the receiving fibre. Expanded-beam connectors are normally
plug-adapter-plug type connections. Fibre separation and lateral misalignment are
less critical in expanded-beam coupling than in butt-jointing. The same amount of
fibre separation and lateral misalignment in expanded beam coupling produces a
lower coupling loss than in butt-jointing. However, angular misalignment is more
critical. The same amount of angular misalignment in expanded-beam coupling
produces a higher loss than in butt-jointing. Expanded-beam connectors are also
much harder to produce.
Present applications for expanded-beam connectors include multi fibre connections,
edge connections for printed circuit boards, and other applications.

Expanded-Beam Connector
Fibre Optic Couplers
Some fibre optic data links require more than simple point-to-point connections.
These data links may be of a much more complex design that requires multi-port or
other types of connections. In many cases these types of systems require fibre optic
components that can redistribute (combine or split) optical signals throughout the
system.
One type of fibre optic component that allows for the redistribution of optical
signals is a fibre optic coupler. A fibre optic coupler is a device that can distribute
the optical signal (power) from one fibre among two or more fibres. A fibre optic
coupler can also combine the optical signal from two or more fibres into single fibre.
Fibre optic couplers attenuate the signal much more than a connector or splice
because the input signal is divided among output ports.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 20 of 26

A Fibre Optic Coupler is a device that can distribute the Optical Signal
Fibre optic couplers can be either active or passive devices. The difference between
active and passive couplers is that a passive coupler redistributes the optical signal
without optical-to-electrical conversion. Active couplers are electronic devices that
split or combine the signal electrically and use fibre optic detectors and sources for
input and output.
An optical splitter is a passive device that splits the optical power carried by a single
input fibre into two output fibres. The input optical power is normally split evenly
between the two output fibres. This type of optical splitter is known as a Y-coupler.
However, an optical splitter may distribute the optical power carried by input power
in an uneven manner. An optical splitter may split most of the power from the input
fibre to one of the output fibres. Only a small amount of the power is coupled into
the secondary output fibre. This type of optical splitter is known as a T-coupler, or
an optical tap.

Y-coupler
An optical combiner is a passive device that combines the optical power carried by
two input fibres into a single output fibre.
An X coupler combines the functions of the optical splitter and combiner. The X
coupler combines and divides the optical power from the two input fibres between
the two output fibres. Similar to a breakout on a data bus, where several device
signals come into a common point for redistribution. Another name for the X
coupler is the 2 X 2 coupler.

X coupler

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 21 of 26

Star and tree couplers are multiport couplers (passive devices) that have more than
two input or two output ports. A star coupler distributes optical power from more
than two input ports among several output ports.

Star Multiport Coupler
A tree coupler splits optical power from one input fibre to more than two output
fibres. A tree coupler may also be used to combine the optical power from more
than two input fibres into a single output fibre. Star and tree couplers distribute
the input power uniformly among the output fibres.

Tree Coupler
Fibre optic couplers should prevent the transfer of optical power from one input
fibre to another input fibre.
Directional couplers are fibre optic couplers that prevent this transfer of power
between input fibres. Many fibre optic couplers are also symmetrical.
Symmetrical couplers transmit the same amount of power through the coupler
when the input and output fibres are reversed.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 22 of 26

Optical Fibre System Terminals
The amount of optical power launched into an optical fibre depends on the radiance
of the optical source. An optical source's radiance, or brightness, is a measure of its
optical power launching capability. Radiance is the amount of optical power emitted
in a specific direction per unit time by a unit area of emitting surface. For most
types of optical sources, only a fraction of the power emitted by the source is
launched into the optical fibre.
Fibre optic transmitters and receivers are modular components. Fibre optic
transmitters and receivers are devices that are generally manufactured with fibre
pigtails or fibre optic connectors. A fibre pigtail is a short length of optical fibre
(usually 1 metre or less) permanently fixed to the optical source or detector.
Manufacturers supply transmitters and receivers with pigtails and connectors
because fibre coupling to sources and detectors must be completed during
fabrication.
Optical Sources and Fibre Optic Transmitters
The fibre optic device responsible for converting an electrical analogue or digital
signal into a corresponding optical signal is a fibre optic transmitter. It converts
electrical signals into optical signals and launches the optical signals into an optical
fibre. Fibre optic data link performance depends on the amount of optical power
(light) launched into the optical fibre.
Semiconductor optical sources suitable for fibre optic systems range from
inexpensive Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) to more expensive semiconductor lasers.
Semiconductor LEDs and Laser Diodes (LDs) are the principal light sources used in
fibre optics.
The output devices from the transmitters generally fall into two categories: optical
connectors and optical fibre pigtails. Optical pigtails are attached to the transmitter
optical source.
The optical source may couple to the output optical connector through an
intermediate optical fibre. One end of the optical fibre is attached to the source. The
other end terminates in the transmitter optical output connector. The optical source
may also couple to the output optical connector without an intermediate optical
fibre. The optical source is placed within the transmitter package to launch power
directly into the fibre of the mating optical connector. In some cases lenses are used
to more efficiently couple light from the source into the mating optical connector.
Fibre optic transmitters come in various sizes and shapes. The least complex fibre
optic transmitters are typically packaged in Transistor Outline (TO) cans or hybrid
microcircuit modules in Dual Inline Packages (DIPs).

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 23 of 26

Fibre Optic Transmitters
Optical Detectors and Fibre Optic Receivers
The optical signals propagating in the fibre become weakened and distorted because
of scattering, absorption, and dispersion. The fibre optic device responsible for
converting the weakened and distorted optical signal back to an electrical signal is a
A fibre optic receiver is an electro-optic device that accepts optical signals from an
optical fibre and converts them into electrical signals. A typical fibre optic receiver
consists of an optical detector, low-noise amplifier, and other circuitry used to
produce the electrical output.

Optical Detectors and Fibre Optic Receivers
The optical detector converts incoming optical signal into an electrical signal
corresponding to the original electrical signal provided to the transmitter. Any
variation of the signal at the receiver end is termed distortion – an undesirable
characteristic. The receiver must replicate the original signal. The amplifier then
amplifies the electrical signal to a level suitable for further signal processing.
The optical detector is a transducer that converts an optical signal into an electrical
signal by generating an electrical current proportional to the intensity of incident
optical radiation. Optical detectors that meet many of these requirements and are
suitable for fibre optic systems are semiconductor photodiodes. The optical fibre is
coupled to semiconductor photodiodes in a similar way that optical sources are
coupled to optical fibres. Semiconductor detectors are designed so that optical
energy (photons) incident on the photo detector produces a current. This current is
called a photocurrent.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 24 of 26

The simplest fibre optic receivers consist of only the optical detector and a load
resistor. However, the output signal of these simple receivers is not in a suitable
form for most types of interfacing circuitry. To produce a suitable signal, a
preamplifier, a post amplifier, and other circuitry are generally included in the
resistor to improve sensitivity.
Fibre optic receivers come in packages similar to those for fibre optic transmitters.

Advantages of using optical fibre cables in communications are:
Lighter weight and smaller size: Using optical fibre cables in avionic systems
instead of copper wires saves substantial weight and space in aircraft
Reduction of cross-talk: No light, therefore no signal, interferes with light on
Immunity to electromagnetic interference: EMI does not affect energy at light
frequencies
Lower signal attenuation: Attenuation figures are approximately 1/100 that of a
typical cable or waveguide at the same frequency over a unit length of line
Wide bandwidth: bandwidths of 100 MHz up to 1 GHz can be obtained using LEDs
and laser light sources. This allows greater signal throughput in a communication
system
Lower cost: Materials used to construct optical fibres is much less than the cost of
copper
Safety: Hazards or short circuits and sparks are eliminated
Corrosion Resistance: Fibre material is inert and therefore corrosion effects are
minimised
optical fibre cable are:
Coupling: from light source to fibre, fibre cable splicing and fibre to detector is very
critical - exacting joints must be accomplished to avoid displacement losses
Special techniques and equipment: must be employed because of the size and
nature of the fibre cable material to achieve the proper coupling
Ultra-clean environment: must be used when terminating to avoid small particle
pollution.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 25 of 26
Aircraft Applications of Optical Fibre
During flight, aircraft avionics transmit and receive RF signals to/from antennas
over coaxial cables. As the density and complexity of on board avionics increases,
the Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) environment degrades proportionally.
The coaxial cables are inherently lossy, limiting the RF signal bandwidth while
Fibre optics communications links can overcome these limitations. Utilising a form
of multiplexing, simultaneous transmission of multiple signals (including RF) can
be achieved over a single optical fibre.
The relatively small size and weight saving of optical fibre makes it ideal for
incorporation in avionics systems where weight and space savings are a premium.
With all the advantages of optical fibre, it has the capacity and preference to
become an integral part of aircraft to carry RF communication between antennas
and the cockpit.

Connection of Communication Systems via Fibre Optics
Concerns arising from airplane crashes have caused fibre optics to be incorporated
into newer fuel measuring systems. Ever since the crash of TWA Flight 800 was
attributed to a spark in one of the fuel tanks, the search has been underway for
safer ways to measure fuel tank quantities.
The Boeing 777 has eleven ARINC 629 data buses and a single optical-fibre data
bus to route data from aircraft systems through the Airplane Information
Management System.
Fibre optic technology has been implemented within diverse areas of the aircraft
vehicle management systems, including propulsion and flight controls. At least four
different fibre-based technologies have been demonstrated in the laboratory and
some have accumulated flight hours while installed in technology demonstration
aircraft.
Hardware and software were developed for optical feedback links in the flight
control system of an F/A-18 aircraft. Developments included passive optical
sensors and optoelectronics to operate the sensors. Sensors with different methods
of operation were obtained from different manufacturers and integrated with
common optoelectronics.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-07 Page 26 of 26
The sensors were the following: Air Data Temperature; Air Data Pressure; Flight
Control Position Sensors, stick and rudder position, and Engine Power Lever
Control Position (all traditionally monitored by LVDT’s). The integrated system was
installed by NASA for flight testing. The most successful sensor approaches were
selected for use in a follow-on program in which the sensors will not just be flown
on the aircraft and their performance recorded; but, the optical sensors will be used
in closing flight control loops (for feedback signals).
Development is underway utilising optical fibre as the basis of helicopter AFCS
primary flight controls (carrying error signals to the servo actuators, as opposed to
just carrying feedback signals as detailed above with respect to the FA-18 AFCS). A
triple-redundant fibre optics network is replacing the fly-by-wire primary flight
controls on the Apache helicopter.
McDonnell Douglas has developed, installed, and tested a number of fibre optic
systems on various commercial and military aircraft, it has become evident that
problems associated with installation and maintenance of fibre optic systems is
perhaps the greatest impediment remaining to their incorporation on aircraft.
Flight Data Recording
In avionics, fibre-optic-based systems are now proving cost-effective for instrument
flight data recording systems installed in new aircraft, and used in upgrading older
aircraft to meet the latest safety requirements.
For aircraft manufactured since August 2000, the parameters that must be
recorded has grown to a total of 88. Clearly, to meet this monitoring requirement
requires a lot of sensors and data movement. In both the upgrading of existing
systems and in the more stringent requirements of newer systems, fibre optics have
proved that they can provide data gathering capabilities that are flexible, affordable,
simple and safe.

Table demonstrating the increase in Data Gathering

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 1 of 35
TOPIC 5.11 – ELECTRONIC DISPLAYS
Light Emitting Diode ............................................................................................... 3
Peak Wavelength Single Coloured (monochromatic) LEDs .................................... 3
Multicolour LEDs / Bi-Coloured LEDs ................................................................. 4
Tri-Coloured LEDs ............................................................................................... 5
7-Segment LED Display Operation .................................................................... 5
Alphanumeric Led Display ................................................................................ 6
Dot Matrix LED Display .................................................................................... 7
Liquid Crystal Displays ........................................................................................ 8
Polarization ....................................................................................................... 8
Liquid Crystal ................................................................................................... 8
Liquid Crystal Reorientation ............................................................................. 9
Liquid Crystal Displays ..................................................................................... 9
7-Segment LCD .............................................................................................. 11
Reflective LCD ................................................................................................ 12
Backlit LCD .................................................................................................... 14
Grey Scale LCDs ............................................................................................. 14
Colour LCDs ................................................................................................... 14
LCD Subpixels ................................................................................................ 15
Colour LCDs ................................................................................................... 15
Cathode Ray Tubes ............................................................................................ 15
Thermionic Emission – Edison Effect .............................................................. 15
Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT) ................................................................................. 17
Electron Gun .................................................................................................. 17
The CRT Screen .............................................................................................. 19
Review ............................................................................................................ 20
Deflection ....................................................................................................... 20
Electrostatic Deflection ................................................................................... 21
Horizontal Deflection ...................................................................................... 22
Vertical Deflection ........................................................................................... 23
Deflection Coils ............................................................................................... 24
Magnetic Deflection ........................................................................................ 25
Summary of CRT Operation ............................................................................ 26
Safety ............................................................................................................. 27

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 2 of 35
Disposal of CRTs............................................................................................. 28
Coloured CRT’s ............................................................................................... 28
Simultaneous Picture Formation .................................................................... 30
Picture Resolution .......................................................................................... 30
Sequential Scanning ....................................................................................... 31
Scanning Raster ............................................................................................. 32
Interlace Scanning .......................................................................................... 33
Aircraft CRTs .................................................................................................. 35
Care of Electronic Instrument Displays ........................................................... 35

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 3 of 35
TOPIC 5.11 – ELECTRONIC DISPLAYS
Light Emitting Diode
The Light-Emitting Diode (LED) is one type of optoelectronic device. The Light-
Emitting Diode (LED) was developed to replace the fragile, short-life incandescent
light bulbs used to indicate on/off conditions on panels.
An LED is a diode which, when forward biased, produces visible light. The light may
be red, orange, yellow, green, blue, white or ultraviolet, depending upon the
material used to make the diode. LEDs emitting a non-visible light in the infra-red
part of the radiation spectrum are also available. These LEDs are invaluable for use
in detection applications when used in conjunction with infra-red detector
components.
The LED is designated by a standard diode symbol with two arrows pointing away
from the cathode. The arrows indicate light leaving the diode. The LED operating
voltage is small; about 1.6 volts forward bias and generally about 10 milliamperes.
The life expectancy of the LED is very long, over 100,000 hours of operation.

An LED and its Schematic Symbol
To turn on an LED you must determine the anode and cathode connections. If you
look closely at the red plastic base of an LED you will notice a "flat" spot. The wire
that comes out beside the flat spot must connect to the "-" side of a power supply,
the other wire to the "+" side.
LEDs are designed to work at very low voltages (~ 2V) and low currents. They will be
damaged if connected to power supplies rated at over 2 volts. LEDs require resistors
to limit current when used with power supplies rated at over 2 volts.
To avoid damaging your components, always check the suppliers or manufacturers
literature for this information.
Peak Wavelength Single Coloured (monochromatic) LEDs
The colour of light is the way we perceive its wavelength. The light radiation
spectrum is expressed in "nanometres" (nm) and was standardised by the
Commission Internationale d'Éclairage (CIE) in 1931.
Unlike incandescent lamps that produce light over a wide spectrum (of which visible
light is only a small segment); LEDs emit light over only a relatively small part of the
radiation spectrum. Peak wavelength is the technical method of defining the colour
emitted by the LED (the wavelength of the emitted light) and is measured in
"nanometres". Typical figures range from 450nm (blue), through 535nm (green),
585nm (yellow), 620nm (orange), 700nm (red), up to 950nm (infra-red).

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 4 of 35

Generally the output is not at one precise wavelength but is distributed over a
narrow range; a graph of intensity against wavelength would show a peak at the
specified wavelength.
The peak wavelength for any LED component is determined by the chemical make-
up of the semiconductor substrate, rather than the current or power dissipated. It
makes no difference if the LED is in a coloured or clear package.
Multicolour LEDs / Bi-Coloured LEDs
Within the LED epoxy package are two separate reverse parallel semiconductor
chips, each producing a different single colour.
At any one instant of time only one of the LED chips can emit light, which one
depends upon the direction of current flowing through the component. Only one
series resistor is required, and is calculated using the same formula for "Calculation
of Series Resistors for LEDs".

Bi-Coloured LEDs
Bi-Coloured LEDs can produce a third colour that is a product of mixing together
the two primary colours. For example, a red and green Bi-Coloured LED can
produce a yellow light. The simplest method to achieve this is to operate the LED
from an AC voltage source. This results in each of the primary colour chips
operating during their respective half cycles of the alternating flow of current, but
the human eye however perceives the rapidly flickering red and green lights as a
constant yellow.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 5 of 35

Tri-Coloured LEDs
Within the LED epoxy package are two separate semiconductor chips that each
produces a different colour. A common lead from the two semiconductor chips is
connected internally to produce a 3 terminal component as illustrated. Both
"common cathode" (illustrated) and "common anode" types are available.

Tri-Coloured LEDs
Used simply these components provide a selectable two-coloured light source by
switching the voltage between the two semi-conductor chips. Alternatively both
semi-conductor chips can be operated simultaneously to mix the two primary
colours. Only one series resistor is required providing that both semi-conductor
chips are never operated simultaneously. Otherwise it is essential that each chip is
protected by its own separate dedicated resistor.
7-Segment LED Display Operation
LEDs are used widely as "power on" indicators of current and as displays for pocket
calculators, digital voltmeters, frequency counters, etc. For use in calculators and
similar devices, LEDs are typically placed together in seven-segment displays. This
display uses seven LED segments, or bars (labelled A through G in the figure),
which can be lit in different combinations to form any number from "0" through "9."

7-Segment LED Display
The schematic shows a common-anode display. All anodes in a display are
internally connected. When a negative voltage is applied to the proper cathodes, a
number is formed. For example, if negative voltage is applied to all cathodes except
that of LED "E," the number "9" is produced. If the negative voltage is applied to all
cathodes except LED "B," the number "6” is produced.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 6 of 35

LED 7-Segment Displays: Common Cathode (CC) and Common Anode (CA)
There are two types of LED 7-segment displays: Common Cathode (CC) and
Common Anode (CA). The difference between the two displays is the common
cathode has all the cathodes of the 7-segments connected directly together and the
common anode has all the anodes of the 7-segments connected together. Shown
above is a common anode seven segment.
As shown above in the CA, all the anode segments are connected together. When
working with a CA seven segment display, power must be applied externally to the
anode connection that is common to all the segments. Then by applying a ground to
a particular segment connection (A-G), the appropriate segment will light up. An
additional resistor must be added to the circuit to limit the amount of current
flowing thru each LED segment.
The above diagram shows the instance when power is applied to the CA connection
and segments B and C are grounded causing these two segments to light up.
A common cathode seven segment is different from a common anode segment in
that the cathodes of all the LEDs are connected together. For the use of this seven
segment display the common cathode connection must be grounded and power
must be applied to appropriate segment in order to illuminate that segment.
Alphanumeric Led Display
Alphanumeric LED displays operate similar to 7-segment. Typically, 16 segments
are used in these displays.

Alphanumeric Led Display

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 7 of 35

Dot Matrix LED Display
The more flexible display which is commonly used to produce the full alpha-
numeric range is the 35-dot matrix in which LED die are mounted in a 7 x 5 array.
With these types of displays, the range of applications increases to a much higher
level as compared to the seven segment display range of use.

Dot Matrix LED Display
Alphanumeric LED displays may be an older technology, but its uses are still
numerous, even with the wide array of new technologies available for displaying
information. Their biggest advantage is cost. For the most part, it is hard to find a
cheaper solution for a design that requires displaying small amounts of
information. Another very good quality is its durability. The only thing to go wrong
is the possibility of a disconnection on connections, because in effect, that's all the
diode is, an electrical connection. These displays are generally very simple to
program. The logic to decode incoming data for the display is very simple that in
fact, a designer can buy a desired decoder fairly cheaply, that is if it doesn't come
with the display. Also because of its simplicity, the maintenance is quite low.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 8 of 35

Liquid Crystal Displays
Polarization
Light is made up of electromagnetic radiation (waves). Light waves can travel in any
direction/orientation.

Polarization
A polarized filter allows only light traveling in one position to pass through. It is
made of parallel micro-sized slits that block out all but one position of wave.
Polarization is the process of causing light to vibrate in one plane only. Cross
polarizing lenses will stop light altogether.
Liquid Crystal
The liquid crystal phenomenon was discovered by H. Reinitzer, an Austrian, in
1888. Liquid crystal is an organic substance that has both solid crystalline and
liquid characteristics within certain temperature ranges. Unlike liquid substances,
liquid crystal demonstrated a crystalline structure and related refraction
characteristics. Depending on the crystalline state, different refraction's are
possible.

Light passes through Liquid Crystal changes when the Liquid is charged with
Electricity

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 9 of 35

In 1968, Williams of RCA Corporation discovered that the way light passes through
liquid crystal changes when the liquid is charged with electricity. Five years later,
Heilmeyer and his colleagues, also from RCA, applied this property in a display
device. Calculators, digital watches, portable word processors, and notebook PCs all
use nematic liquid crystals which change their structure with the application of
electric voltage.
Liquid Crystal Reorientation
When a molecule with such a characteristic is brought in a sufficiently strong
electrical field, they tend to align themselves in the direction of the field. Originally
the orientation is almost flat. When an electrical field with direction E is applied
(represented in red) there is a force T (represented in green) that tends to align the
molecule parallel to the field. When the field is strong enough, the molecule will be
almost parallel to the field.

Liquid Crystal Reorientation
Liquid Crystal Displays
A Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) consists of two plates of glass, sealed around the
perimeter, with a layer of liquid crystal fluid between them. The liquid crystal layer
is a few microns thick. The layer thickness of liquid crystal is approximately 1/10
that of the thickness of an average hair.

Construction of Liquid Crystal Display
Transparent, conductive electrodes are deposited on the inner surfaces of the glass
plates. The electrodes define the segments, pixels, or special symbols of the display.
Next a thin polymer layer is applied on top of the electrodes. The polymer is etched
with channels in order to align the twist orientation of the Liquid Crystal (LC's) helix
shaped molecules. Finally, polarizing films are laminated to the outer surfaces of
the glass plates at 90 degree angles.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 10 of 35

Two Polarizing Films at 90 Degrees
Normally, two polarizing films at 90 degrees should be dark, preventing any
transmission of light but due to the ability of LC to rotate polarized light the display
appears clear. When AC voltage is passed through the LC, the crystals within this
field align so that the polarized light is not twisted. This allows the light to be
blocked by the crossed polarizers thus making the activated segment or symbol to
appear dark.
Liquid Crystal Displays are commonly known as LCDs. Basically, LCDs operate
from a low voltage (typically 3 to 15 V rms), low-frequency (25 to 60 Hz) AC signal
and draw very little current. They are often arranged as 7-segment displays for
numerical readouts. The AC voltage needed to turn on a segment is applied between
the segment and the backplane.

Backplane
The backplane is common to all segments. The segment and backplane form a
capacitor that draws very little current as long as the AC frequency is kept low. It is
generally not lower than 25 Hz, because this would produce visible flicker.
LCDs draw much less current than LED displays and are widely used in battery-
powered devices such as calculators and watches. An LCD does not emit light
energy like an LED, and so it requires an external source of light.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 11 of 35

An LCD segment will turn on when an AC voltage is applied between the segment
and the backplane, and will turn off when there is no voltage between the two.
Rather than generating an AC signal, it is common practice to produce the required
AC voltage by applying out-of-phase square waves to the segment and backplane.
For one segment, a 40 Hz square wave is applied to the backplane and also to the
input of a Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor (CMOS) 4070 exclusive-OR
gate. The other input to the XOR is a CONTROL input that will control whether the
segment is ON or OFF.

A 40 Hz Square Wave is applied to the Backplane
When the CONTROL input is LOW, the XOR output will be exactly the same as the
40 Hz square wave, so that the signals applied to the segment and backplane are
equal. Since there is no difference in voltage, the segment will be off. When the
CONTROL is HIGH, the XOR output will be the INVERSE of the 40 Hz square wave,
so that the signal applied to the segment is out of phase with the signal applied to
the backplane. As a result, the segment voltage will alternatively be at +5 V and at
-5 V relative to the backplane. This AC voltage will turn on the segment.
7-Segment LCD
This same idea can be extended to a complete 7-segment LCD. The Binary Coded
Decimal (BCD) – to - 7-segment decoder/driver supplies the CONTROL signals to
each of seven XORs for the seven segments.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 12 of 35

In general, Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor (CMOS) devices are used to
drive LCDs for two reasons: (1) they require much less power than Transistor–
Transistor Logic (TTL) and are more suited to the battery-operated applications
where LCDs are used; (2) the TTL LOW-state voltage is not exactly Zero (0) V and
can be as much as 0.4 V. This will produce a DC component of voltage between the
segment and backplane that considerably shortens the life of an LCD.

7-Segment LCD
Reflective LCD
Liquid crystal materials emit no light of their own. Small and inexpensive LCDs are
often reflective, which means to display anything they must reflect light from
external light sources. Look at an LCD watch: The numbers appear where small
electrodes charge the liquid crystals and make the layers untwist so that light is not
transmitting through the polarized film.
Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) have become quite common in watches due to the
low electrical power demands of the LCD panel. This panel is composed of two
polarizers that transmit light in perpendicular directions, a mirrored surface and a
layer of liquid crystal material that is sandwiched between two electrically
conducting glass plates. The liquid crystal material used is of the so-called Twisted
Nematic Type.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 13 of 35

Light passes through both polarizers, reflects off the mirrored surface
The liquid crystal molecules in all segments of the panel are precisely aligned in the
absence of an applied voltage. Therefore, the entire panel appears silvery because
light passes through both polarizers, reflects off the mirrored surface, and then
passes back through both polarizers.
If the surfaces of the glass plates that will be in contact with the liquid crystal
molecules are ribbed, the liquid crystal molecules orient in the direction of the
ribbing. Molecules have been oriented in the direction in which the adjacent
polarizer transmits light, and the intervening molecules gradually rotate their
relative orientation to accommodate the 90̊ change from one polarizer to the other.
This gives a silvery appearance to the panel.

Operation of a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 14 of 35

The initial alignment of the liquid crystal molecules is lost when a voltage is applied
to a segment of the panel. That segment will then appear black against a silver
background.
When a voltage is applied to a segment of the display, the precise alignment of the
liquid crystal molecules is lost. This results in the polarized light from the first
polarizer not being rotated by the required 90° to align with the second polarizer.
The second polarizer blocks the passage of light and causes that segment of the
panel to appear black.
Backlit LCD
Function in the same manner as normal type LCDs (including reflective type) except
they use backlighting. Most computer displays are lit with built-in fluorescent tubes
above, beside and sometimes behind the LCD. A white diffusion panel behind the
LCD redirects and scatters the light evenly to ensure a uniform display. On its way
through filters, liquid crystal layers and electrode layers, a lot of this light is lost --
often more than half!

Backlit LCD
Grey Scale LCDs
If we carefully control the amount of voltage supplied to a crystal, we can make it
untwist only enough to allow some light through. By doing this in very exact, very
small increments, LCDs can create a grey scale. Most displays today offer 256
levels of brightness per pixel.
Colour LCDs
An LCD that can show colours must have three sub-pixels with red, green and blue
colour filters to create each colour pixel. Through the careful control and variation
of the voltage applied, the intensity of each sub-pixel can range over 256 shades.
Combining the sub-pixels produces a possible palette of 16.8 million colours (256
Additive colour mixing is the mixing of projected beams of coloured light to form
other colours. Many find this model hard to understand, simply because it doesn't
work as anything you have learned before. But since additive colour mixing is how
the eye (and electronic displays) produce colour, it is an important thing to know.
Using light to create colours – Shine red, green, and blue (additive primary colours)
together to obtain white in the overlap of all three. Conversely, white light can be
split into colours (e.g. prisms, rainbows). You get cyan, magenta, and yellow in the
other overlaps. These are additive's secondary colours. Black is the absence of light

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 15 of 35

LCD Sub-pixels

LCD Sub pixels
Red, Green and Blue stripes are arranged in a regular matrix.
The gaps between pixels (the shadows) are for the drive circuits and wires. The
black lines are significant in that they cannot have their colour changed, yet they
take space. Getting as close as possible to the right colours in the right places is
what image display is all about. Note how sub pixels (magnified) are controlled to
obtain colour and clarity.
Colour LCDs
Colour displays use an enormous number of transistors. For example, a computer
that supports resolutions up to 1,024x768 has 2,359,296 transistors etched on to
the glass (multiply 1,024 columns by 768 rows by 3 sub-pixels). If there is a
problem with any of these transistors, it creates a "bad pixel" on the display. Bad
pixels may appear as a black pixel (no operation of any colour sub-pixel) or a bright
pixel (where one or all of the colours are turned full on) producing a bright single
primary colour or bright white pixel.
Cathode Ray Tubes
Thermionic Emission – Edison Effect
Thomas Edison discovered the principle of thermionic emission as he looked for
ways to keep soot from clouding his incandescent light bulb. Edison placed a metal
plate inside his bulb along with the normal filament. He left a gap, a space, between
the filament and the plate. He then placed a battery in series between the plate and
the filament, with the positive side toward the plate and the negative side toward
the filament. This circuit is shown on the next page. When Edison connected the
filament battery and allowed the filament to heat until it glowed, he discovered that
the ammeter in the filament-plate circuit had deflected and remained deflected. He
reasoned that an electrical current must be flowing in the circuit - even across the
gap between the filament and plate.
Edison could not explain exactly what was happening. At that time, he probably
knew less about what makes up an electric circuit than you do now. Because it did
not eliminate the soot problem, he did little with this discovery. However, he did
patent the incandescent light bulb and made it available to the scientific
community.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 16 of 35

Let's analyse the circuit in the figure below. The heated filament causes electrons to
boil from its surface. The battery in the filament-plate circuit places a positive
charge on the plate (because the plate is connected to the positive side of the
battery). The electrons (negative charge) that boil from the filament are attracted to
the positively charged plate. They continue through the ammeter, the battery, and
back to the filament. You can see that electron flow across the space between
filament and plate is actually an application of a basic law you already know -
unlike charges attract.

Thermionic Emission – Edison Effect
Remember, Edison's bulb had a vacuum so the filament would glow without
burning. Also, the space between the filament and plate was relatively small. The
electrons emitted from the filament did not have far to go to reach the plate. Thus,
the positive charge on the plate was able to attract the negative electrons.
The key to this explanation is that the electrons were floating free of the hot
filament. It would have taken hundreds of volts, probably, to move electrons across
the space if they had to be forcibly pulled from a cold filament. Such an action
would destroy the filament and the flow would cease.
The application of thermionic emission that Edison made in causing electrons to
flow across the space between the filament and the plate has become known as the
Edison effect.
You will remember that metallic conductors contain many free electrons, which at
any given instant are not bound to atoms. These free electrons are in continuous
motion. The higher the temperature of the conductor, the more agitated are the free
electrons, and the faster they move. A temperature can be reached where some of
the free electrons become so agitated that they actually escape from the conductor.
They "boil" from the conductor's surface. The process is similar to steam leaving the
surface of boiling water.
Heating a conductor to a temperature sufficiently high causing the conductor to
give off electrons is called thermionic emission.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 17 of 35

Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT)
Although you may not be aware of this fact, the cathode-ray tube is, in all
probability, the one tube with which you are most familiar. The Cathode-Ray Tube
(CRT ) and the picture tube of a television set are one and the same.

Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT)
Cathode-ray tubes are used in more applications than just television. Cathode-ray
tubes have one function that cannot be duplicated by any other tube or transistor;
namely, they have the ability to convert electronic signals to visual displays, such
as pictures, radar sweeps, or electronic wave forms.
All CRT’s have three main elements: an electron gun, a deflection system, and a
screen.
The electron gun provides an electron beam, which is a highly concentrated stream
of electrons.
The deflection system positions the electron beam on the screen, and the screen
displays a small spot of light at the point where the electron beam strikes it.
The front of the tube is phosphor-coated and when electrons hit it light will be
emitted on the other side (that's the side where you're sitting on).
Electron Gun
The cathode of the electron gun in the CRT is required not only to emit electrons,
but also to concentrate emitted electrons into a tight beam. In electron tubes the
cathode is cylindrical and emits electrons in all directions along its entire length.
This type of cathode is not suitable for producing a highly concentrated electron-
beam. The cathode of the CRT consists of a small diameter nickel cap.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 18 of 35

The closed end of the cap is coated with emitting material. Because of this type of
construction, electrons can only be emitted in one direction.

Cathode of the CRT
Notice that the emitted electrons are leaving the cathode at different angles. If these
electrons were allowed to strike the screen, the whole screen would glow. Since the
object of the electron gun is to concentrate the electrons into a tight beam, a special
grid must be used. This special grid is in the form of a solid metal cap with a small
hole in the centre. The grid is placed over the emitting surface of the cathode and
charged negatively in relation to the cathode. The dotted lines represent the
direction of cathode emitted electron repulsion. This repulsion forces emitted
electrons to the centre and out through the hole in the grid.
Consider an electron leaving from the cathode in an upward direction; its path will
be curved due to electrostatic repulsion. These curving electron paths are due to the
negative potential of the grid coupled with the high positive potential of the anode.
The potential of the anode attracts electrons out of the cathode-grid area toward the
screen. The grid potential may be varied to control the number of electrons allowed
to go through the control-grid opening. Since the brightness or intensity of the
display depends on the number of electrons that strike the screen, the control grid
is used to control the brightness of the CRT.

The potential of the anode attracts electrons out of the cathode-grid area toward the
screen
The proper name, BRIGHTNESS CONTROL, is given to the potentiometer used to
vary the potential applied to the control grid. The control grid actually serves as an
electron lens. It is this electronic lens that you adjust when you turn up the
brightness control on your TV set. Notice that the effect of the grid is to focus the
electron beam at point P. After passing point P, the electrons start to spread out, or
diverge, again. Therefore, it becomes necessary to provide some additional focusing
to force the electrons into a tight beam again. This is done by two additional
positively-charged electrodes as shown in figure. The first electrode is commonly
called the FOCUSING ANODE.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 19 of 35

Generally, the focusing anode is charged a few hundred volts positive with respect
to the cathode. Electrons emitted by the cathode are attracted to the focusing
anode. This is the reason that they travel through the small hole in the grid.
The second electrode, called the ACCELERATING ANODE, is charged several
thousand volts positive in relation to the cathode. Any electrons approaching the
focusing anode will feel the larger electrostatic pull of the accelerating anode and
will be bent through the opening in the focusing anode and will travel into the area
labelled D. You might think that once an electron is in this region, it is simply
attracted to the accelerating anode and that is the end of it. This does not happen.
Because the accelerating anode is cylindrical in shape, the electrostatic field
radiating from it is equal in all directions. Thus, an electron is pulled in all
directions at once, forcing the electron to travel down the centre of the tube. Then,
the electron is accelerated into the accelerating anode. Once it passes the mid-point
(point E), it feels the electrostatic attraction from the front wall of the accelerating
anode, which causes it to move faster toward the front. Once the electron reaches
point F, equal electrostatic attraction on either side of the opening squeezes it
through the small opening in the front of the anode. From there, it is joined by
millions of other electrons and travels in a tight beam until it strikes the screen
(point S).
The CRT Screen
The inside of the large end of a CRT is coated with a fluorescent material that gives
off light when struck by electrons. This coating is necessary because the electron
beam itself is invisible. The material used to convert the electrons’ energy into
visible light is a PHOSPHOR. Many different types of phosphor materials are used to
provide different coloured displays and displays that have different lengths of
PERSISTENCE (duration of display).
The CRT screen can suffer from the effects of secondary emission. In order to reach
the screen, electrons from the cathode are accelerated to relatively high velocities.
When these electrons strike the screen, they dislodge other electrons from the
material of the screen. If these secondary emission electrons are allowed to
accumulate, they will form a negatively-charged barrier between the screen and the
electron beam, causing a distorted image on the CRT screen.
The method used to control secondary emission, which you are already familiar
with, that is, a suppressor grid, is not practical in CRT’s. Instead, a special coating
called an AQUADAG COATING is applied to the inside of the tube.
This coating is composed of a conductive material, such as graphite, and has the
same high-positive potential applied to it that is applied to the accelerating anode.
This allows the aquadag to perform two functions. First, since the aquadag coating
is positive, it attracts the secondary emitted electrons and removes them. Second,
because the aquadag is operated at a high-positive potential and is mounted in
front of the accelerating anode, it aids in the acceleration of electrons toward the
screen.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 20 of 35

Review
Before going on, let's review what you have already learned about CRT operation.
• Electrons are emitted from a specially constructed cathode and move
toward the front of the CRT.
• The number of electrons that leave the area of the cathode is determined
by the potential on the grid - Brightness control.
In addition, the grid concentrates the emitted electrons into a beam.
• The electron beam is focused and accelerated toward the screen by two
electrodes: the focusing anode and the acceleration anode.
• The electron beam strikes the screen and causes a bright spot to appear
at the point of impact - Due to phosphor coating.
• Any electrons released by secondary emission are removed from the tube
Deflection
At this point, you have a bright spot in the centre of the CRT screen. Having
watched TV, you know that a TV picture consists of more than just a bright spot in
the centre of the picture tube. Obviously, something is necessary to produce the
picture. That something is called DEFLECTION. For the CRT to work properly, the
spot must be moved to various positions on the screen. In a TV set for example, the
spot is moved horizontally across the CRT face to form a series of tightly packed
lines. As each line is displayed, or traced, the electron beam is moved vertically to
trace the next line as shown in the figure below. This process starts at the top of the
tube and ends when the last line is traced at the bottom of the CRT screen. Because
the beam is swept very quickly across the CRT and the phosphor continues to glow
for a short time after the beam has moved on, you do not see a series of lines, but a
continuous picture.

Bright spot in the centre of the CRT screen

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 21 of 35

As you should know, there are two ways to move an electron (and thus an electron
beam); either with a magnetic or with an electrostatic field. Because of this, there
are three possible ways to move or deflect an electron beam in a CRT: magnetically,
electromagnetically, and electrostatically. All three ways are used in electronics. In
general, though, electrostatic and electromagnetic deflections are used most often.
Your TV set, for example, uses electromagnetic deflection.
Electrostatic Deflection
Electrostatic Deflection uses principles you are already familiar with. Namely,
opposites attract, and likes repel. Look at view A. Here you see an electron traveling
between two charged plates, H1 and H2. As you can see, before the electron reaches
the charged plates, called DEFLECTION PLATES, its flight path is toward the centre
of the screen. In view B, the electron has reached the area of the deflection plates
and is attracted toward the positive plate, H2, while being repelled from the negative
plate, H1. As a result, the electron is deflected to the right on the inside of the
screen. You, the viewer, will see the spot of light on the left side of the CRT face
(remember, you are on the opposite side of the CRT screen). This is shown in view
C.

Electron traveling between two charged plates, H1 and H2

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 22 of 35

Horizontal Deflection
A spot of light on the left-hand side of the CRT screen, however, is no more useful
than a spot of light in the centre of the screen. To be useful, this spot will have to be
converted to a bright line, called a sweep, across the face of the CRT screen.

Horizontal Deflection
In view A, five electrons are emitted in sequence, 1 through 5, by the electron gun.
The right deflection plate, H 2, has a large positive potential on it while the left
plate, H1 has a large negative potential on it. Thus, when electron 1 reaches the
area of the deflection plates, it is attracted to the right plate while being repelled
from the left plate.
In view B, electron 2 has reached the area of the deflection plates. However, before
it arrives, R1 and R2 are adjusted to make the right plate less positive and the left
plate less negative. Electron 2 will still be deflected to the right but not as much as
electron 1.
In view C, electron 3 has reached the area of the deflection plates. Before it gets
there, R1 and R2 are adjusted to the mid-point. As a result, both plates have 0 volts
applied to them. Electron 3 is not deflected and simply travels to the centre of the
CRT screen.
In view D, electron 4 has reached the area of the deflection plates. Notice that R1
and R2 have been adjusted to make the right plate negative and the left plate
positive. As a result, electron 4 will be deflected to the left.
Finally, in view E, the left plate is at its maximum positive value. Electron 5 will be
deflected to the extreme left. What you see when facing the CRT is a bright
luminous line, as shown in view E.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 23 of 35

While this description dealt with only five electrons, in reality the horizontal line
across a CRT face is composed of millions of electrons. Instead of seeing five bright
spots in a line, you will see only a solid bright line.
In summary, the horizontal line displayed on a CRT or on the face of a television
tube is made by sweeping a stream of electrons rapidly across the face of the CRT.
This sweeping action, or scanning, is performed by rapidly varying the voltage
potential on the deflection plates as the electron stream passes.
Vertical Deflection
As mentioned earlier, a CRT can be used to graphically and visually plot an
electronic signal, such as a sine wave. This is done by using a second set of
deflection plates called VERTICAL- DEFLECTION PLATES. In normal usage, the
horizontal plates sweep a straight line of electrons across the screen from left to
right while the signal to be displayed is applied to the vertical deflection plates.

Vertical Deflection Plates
The box on the left of the CRT labelled HORIZONTAL-DEFLECTION CIRCUITS is an
electronic circuit that will duplicate the actions of R1 and R2 used earlier in making
up a horizontal line. Notice T1; the output of this transformer is applied to the
vertical- deflection plates. The signals applied to the vertical plates are 180º out of
phase with each other. Thus, when one plate is attracting the electron beam, the
other will be repelling the electron beam. Because you are only concerned with what
happens inside the CRT, this circuitry will be eliminated and only the CRT and its
deflection plates will be shown, as in view B.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 24 of 35

View C - The sine wave in the centre of the screen is the signal that will be
displayed as a result of the two 180º out-of-phase sine waves applied to the vertical-
deflection plates. The five spots on the centre sine wave represent the five electrons
used to explain horizontal deflection. Only now these electrons will be deflected
both vertically and horizontally. Time lines T1 through T5 represent the time when
each like-numbered electron reaches the area of the deflection plates. As the
electron beam is swept or deflected horizontally, we will not discuss horizontal
deflection. Just remember that from T1 to T5, the electron beam will be
At time 1 (T1), the sine waves applied to both vertical-deflection plates are at their
null points, or zero volts. As a result, electron 1 is not vertically deflected and
strikes the CRT at its vertical centre. At time 2 (T2), the sine wave applied to the top
plate is at its maximum negative value. This repels electron 2 toward the bottom of
the CRT. At the same time, the sine wave applied to the bottom plate is at the most
positive value, causing electron 2 to be attracted even further toward the bottom of
the CRT. Remember, the beam is also being moved to the left. As a result, electron 2
strikes the CRT face to the right of and below electron 1.
At time 3 (T3), both sine waves applied to the vertical-deflection plates are again at
the null point, or zero volts. Therefore, there is no vertical deflection and electron 3
strikes the CRT face in the centre of the vertical axis. Because the electron beam is
still moving horizontally, electron 3 will appear to the right of and above electron 2.
At time 4 (T4), the sine wave applied to the top vertical- deflection plate is at its
maximum positive value. This attracts electron 4 toward the top deflection plate.
The upward deflection of electron 4 is increased by the negative-going sine wave (at
time 4) applied to the bottom deflection plate. This negative voltage repels electron 4
upward. Thus, electron 4 strikes the CRT face to the right of and above electron 3.
Finally, at Time 5 (T5) both input sine waves are again at zero volts. As a result,
electron 5 is not deflected vertically, only horizontally. (Remember, the beam is
continually moving from right to left).
Deflection Coils
Deflection Coils may also be used in CRTs. These are electromagnets and serve the
same purpose as deflection plates.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 25 of 35

Magnetic Deflection
In order to “trace out” a luminescent display, it is necessary for the spot of light to
be deflected about the horizontal and vertical axes, and for this purpose a beam
deflection system is provided. A moving electron constitutes an electric current so a
magnetic field will exist around it in the same way that a conductor will experience
a deflecting force when placed in a magnetic field so an electron beam can be forced
to move when subjected to electromagnetic fields acting across the space within the
vacuum tube.

Deflection Coils provided around the neck of the tube
Coils are therefore provided around the neck of the tube and are configured by so
that fields are produced horizontally (X axis field) and vertically (Y axis field). The
deflection coils are then connected to the source signal that generates the required
display and the electron beam can be deflected left/right and up/down depending
on the polarities produced by the coils.

Electron Beam can be deflected left/right and up/down depending on the polarities
produced by the coils

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 26 of 35

Summary of CRT Operation

A Schematic Diagram and a pictorial representation of a CRT
Heater - heat source for cathode.
Cathode - source of thermionic emitted electrons, outer surface is coated to ensure
that electron emission is roughly unidirectional.
Control Grid - controls number of electrons that will be fired or emitted.
Focusing Anode - attracts electrons from grid and focuses into beam.
Accelerating Anode - accelerates electrons toward front of tube.
Vertical-Deflection Plates - moves electron beam up and down screen.
Horizontal-Deflection Plates - moves electron beam horizontally across screen.
In most equipment using CRTs, including TV, electronic signals are supplied to
these plates/coils to trace or paint a horizontal line.
Electromagnetic coils may also be used for horizontal and vertical deflection of the
electron beam.
Aquadag Coating - positively charged - eliminates effects of secondary emission
and aids in acceleration of electrons toward screen.
Screen - phosphor coated – glows when struck by electrons.
CRTs operate on 2 principles:
• Thermionic emission
• Electrostatic/electromagnetic attraction and repulsion.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 27 of 35

Internals of a CRT
Safety
There are certain safety precautions you should follow when you work with or
handle the Cathode Ray Tubes. The glass envelope of a CRT encloses a high
vacuum. Because of its large volume and surface area, the force exerted on a CRT
by atmospheric pressure is considerable. The total force on a 10-inch CRT may
exceed 4,000 pounds. Over 1000 pounds is exerted on the CRT face alone.
When a CRT is broken, a large implosion usually occurs. The face of the CRT is
coated with a chemical coating that is extremely toxic. If you are unfortunate
enough to experience an accidental implosion of a CRT and are nicked by one of
these fragments, seek immediate medical aid.
When handling a CRT, you should take the following precautions:
• Avoid scratching or striking the surface of the CRT
• Do not use excessive force when you remove or replace a CRT's deflection
yoke or socket
• Do not try to remove an electromagnetic-type CRT from its yoke until you
have discharged the high voltage from the CRT's anode connector (hole)
• Never hold the CRT by its neck
• Always set the CRT with its face down on a thick piece of felt, rubber, or
smooth cloth
• Always handle the CRT gently. Rough handling or a sharp blow on the
service bench can displace the electrodes within the tube, causing faulty
operation
• Wear safety glasses and protective gloves

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 28 of 35

Disposal of CRTs
One additional handling procedure you should be aware of is how to dispose of a
CRT properly.

Neck of the CRT
Note: Be sure to wear safety goggles.
Place the CRT face down in an empty carton and cover its side and back with
protective material. Carefully break off the plastic locating pin from the base by
crushing the locating pin with a pair of pliers. Brush the broken plastic from the
pin off the CRT base. Look into the hole in the base where the locator pin was. You
will see the glass extension of the CRT called the vacuum seal. Grasp the vacuum
seal near the end with the pliers and crush it.
This may sound a little risky but it isn't. The vacuum seal can be crushed without
shattering the tube. Once the seal has been crushed, air will rush into the tube and
eliminate the vacuum.
Coloured CRT’s
A colour CRT has three electron guns each of which can direct an electron beam at
the screen which is coated with three different types of phosphor material. On being
bombarded by electron beams the phosphors illuminate in each of the three
primary colours, red, green and blue.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 29 of 35

The beam from a particular electron gun assembly must only be able to strike the
small areas or dots of phosphor of one colour, it is not a beam colour that
determines the colour displayed on the screen (each gun just fires electrons), it is
the colour of the phosphor dot that is illuminated.

Electron Beam striking the coloured Phosphor Dot
The tricky part is to make sure each electron gun can only hit the phosphor dots for
its colour. This is done by arranging three dots of different colours in groups, called
triads. Since there are now three electron beams coming from three separate guns,
each hits the phosphors from a slightly different angle. A thin sheet called the
hole for each triad, and is arranged so that each beam can only "see" the phosphor
dots for its colour.

The shadow mask is a thin perforated sheet suspended in front of the phosphor

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 30 of 35

Since the three electron beams go through the shadow mask holes from slightly
different angles, each beam can only light up the dots for its colour.
Simultaneous Picture Formation
Directly facing the scene is a panel holding enough light sensitive electronic devices,
in this case 25 photocells, to be able to cover the whole scene. The light accepted by
each photocell is converted into a separate electrical signal, the more intense the
light, the larger the amplitude of the signal. These signals are conveyed, each by a
separate wire, to a bank of 25 amplifiers. The amplifiers are necessary to increase
the signals to a strength adequate for feeding into an array of 25 more lines
connected to a distant receiver. The link may involve direct contact, as for closed
circuit television, or transmitted communication, as for standard commercial
television.

Simultaneous Picture Formation
At this point the cost of the system is becoming exorbitant. The provision of 25
amplifiers each adjusted to provide exactly the same characteristics as each other
(gain, bandwidth, etc.) is difficult enough, but if transmission is involved, 25
separate frequencies to carry each of the signals will be required, together with an
appropriate aerial system and communications arrangement.
At the receiver, a similar arrangement of amplifiers for every line in the link will be
required. Each of the signals is then fed to a lamp focussed on to its area of the
viewing screen. The larger the amplitude of the signal leaving each amplifier, the
brighter will shine the lamp it controls and the stronger the beam of light which the
lamp throws onto the viewing screen in the corresponding position.
Picture Resolution
The inability to resolve fine detail is, of course, principally due to the comparatively
small numbers of lamps and photocells used in the system. If the number of both
were substantially increased, the resolution of the system would be somewhat
improved.
A revised letter “H” could, for example, be made up of 100 areas of illumination,
instead of only 25. This would involve a corresponding increase in the number of
photocells, lamps, lines and all the other paraphernalia involved in the system.
However, in the end, there would be very little improvement in the picture
resolution. Clearly, for a TV system to be practical some other technique must be
found.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 31 of 35

Sequential Scanning
The disadvantage of the primitive simultaneous image reproduction system can be
greatly reduced by making use of that peculiar property of the eye, persistence of
vision. If signals from the photocells in the camera are not transmitted
simultaneously, but are sent one after the other in very rapid succession,
persistence of vision in an eye at the receiving end, will create the illusion that the
image observed there, is really made up of a large number of simultaneously
produced areas of illumination which are free of flicker.

Sequential Scanning
The method which has been devised of transmitting the photocell signals in rapid
succession is called Sequential Scanning. It is one of the basic principles upon
which all television systems work. Every one of the 25 photocells in the transmitter
is connected to a fast-moving Scanning Switch, which picks up, one after the other,
signals corresponding to the brightness level of the area of the scene which each
individual photocell is watching, and feeds it to a common amplifier.
Connections to the switch are arranged so that signals are collected from the
photocells in sequence, top line first-from left to right, then down to the second line-
from left to right, and so on from top to bottom. When the switch reaches photocell
number 25, in the bottom right hand corner, it flies back very rapidly to number 1
and begins the cycle all over again. The output from the common amplifier is fed to
an aerial and transmitted as a modulated radio frequency signal.
At the receiver, the signals picked up are amplified and then connected to another
switch, synchronised with that in the transmitter, which in turn is connected to a
bank of 25 lamps arranged in the same geometrical pattern as the photocells. The
brilliance of lamp number 4 is thus controlled by the signal produced from
photocell number 4, and so on. The area of the viewing screen which is illuminated
by each lamp corresponds to the same area of the transmitted scene viewed by the
corresponding photocell.
One obvious advantage of this system over the more primitive one is that the
equipment needed is much reduced. Another is that normal radio communication
methods can be applied to the single link between transmitter and receiver. A third
is that a large number of channels can be served without serious problems of
bandwidth.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 32 of 35

The key to the system is perfect synchronization of the scanning switch in the
transmitter with the lamp selector switch in the receiver. Without it, heavy
distortion of the reproduced image will occur.
Scanning Raster
In the picture tube of the TV receiver, the spot is made to move across the screen
very rapidly indeed from left to right, and at the same time in a series of horizontal
lines from top to bottom. When it reaches the bottom right hand corner of the
screen, it is returned very quickly to the top left hand corner, and the scanning
cycle is repeated.
If this sequence is repeated fast enough, about 50 times per second, the whole
screen will have been scanned, and the fluorescence of the top line will have been
renewed by a second scan before the light of the first scan has had time to fade in
the eye of the viewer.
The image presented will be that of a series of parallel lines of light running very
close together almost horizontally across the screen. This presentation, parallel
lines of light having no picture content, is known as the Scanning Raster. A raster
in which the number of lines has been much reduced, for greater clarity. It should
be noted that during the unwanted right to left and bottom to top movement of the
spot, called the Flyback Periods, the electron beam is suppressed altogether, and
produces no trace.

Scanning Raster
The scanning raster movement may be seen as similar to the movement of the eye
in reading the printed page. Starting at the top left hand corner of the page and
scanning fairly slowly left to right, then flying back very quickly to the left hand side
to start again on the next line. It will also be obvious that the page scanning rate is
much lower than the line scanning rate. Notionally, there will be 50 sets of line
scans per second.
The raster, in its normal state, produces only a series of parallel lines of light
running horizontally across the screen, and presents no picture detail at all.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 33 of 35

However, the CRT modulator grid voltage can be varied by the picture signal in
order to vary, or modulate, the brightness of the raster. It can be taken from the
brightest level, called Peak White, to the darkest, called Black, very quickly indeed.
Interlace Scanning
It would appear at this stage that normal TV practice is to cause the beam to scan
the screen at no less than 50 times per second, so that flicker of the image is
avoided. However, a picture repetition frequency as high as 50 per second would
call for a very wide frequency bandwidth for transmission of the video signal, and
would therefore greatly restrict the number of channels which could be
accommodated within a given frequency band. It would also make receiver design
An ingenious way has been found of getting around the bandwidth difficulty, it is
called Interlaced Scanning. Instead of the target in the camera tube and the screen
in the picture tube being scanned in consecutive lines, the beam is first made to
scan all the odd numbered lines, in their proper order, followed by all the even
lines, down to the penultimate line of the raster.

The picture is comprised of two 'Fields', one for the odd lines and one for the even
lines
From there it flies back to the beginning of line 1, and the process is repeated. Thus
the picture is comprised of two 'Fields', one for the odd lines and one for the even
lines.
This technique allows the picture frequency to be lowered to 25 per second,
reducing the bandwidth problem. The interlacing causes each line, apart from top
and bottom, to be formed between two which are fading, it has the effect of cheating
the eye into thinking that the picture is being produced at twice the rate. The result
is a continuous picture without flicker. The half-lines at top and bottom allow
flyback co-ordination without the necessity for special timing elements.
The spot is driven horizontally and vertically by two circuits called timebases. The
Line Timebase moves the spot from left to right and the Field Timebase, from the
top to the bottom. The video signal itself resets the timebases at the appropriate
times to make the spot fly back from right to left and from the bottom to the top.
This part of the raster scanning is called, appropriately, the flyback. The spot is
turned off, or 'blanked' during flybacks. The Field Timebase scans very much slower
than the Line Timebase.

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 34 of 35

At the beginning of a frame the two timebases are both reset so that the spot is at
position (A). Both timebases then start scanning. The video signal triggers line
flybacks at the appropriate time until the end of the first field (odd) is reached.
Half-way through the last line (B), the field timebase is reset. The spot then flies
back to (C), and continues with the remainder of the line, then scans all the even
lines in a similar manner. Because the field timebase was reset half way through a
line, the even field naturally interlaces between the lines of the odd field.
When the spot reaches the end of the final line (D), both timebases are reset, and
the spot flies back to (A), ready for the next frame.
This diagram gives the impression that the scan lines are at an angle. That is
because so few lines are shown for clarity. In fact the angle is much less than 1
degree in reality, and is easily corrected by twisting the coils on the tube that deflect
the electron beam.
The diagram also shows that the visible part of the screen is smaller than the area
of the scanned raster. This is because it actually takes several line-scans for the
frame timebase to fly back to the beginning (rather than the instantaneous paths
shown for clarity on the diagram). The slight 'overscan' on the lines themselves also
allows the spot time to stabilise before starting its active scan.
The PAL system comprises 625 lines, of which 574 are active. National Television
System Committee (NTSC) has 525 lines, of which 485 are active. During the time
of inactive lines, it is customary to find non-image data stored in digital form.
Examples of this are Teletext (Europe) and Vertical Interval Time Code (VITC).
Interlacing then, is a very effective way of reducing the flicker on the picture without
increasing the amount (known as 'bandwidth') of transmitted information. The
problem is it can sometimes produce an undesirable vertical 'bounce' on images
that have strong horizontal detail. Look at the illustration, which shows a magnified
capital F, as it may appear on the screen.

Interlaced Raster

Training Material Only
Date: 2012-12-10 Page 35 of 35

Aircraft CRTs
In an aircraft CRT, the symbol generators control the picture painted on the screen,
controlling the firing of the electron beams at the appropriate coordinates on the
screen grid to paint single colour pictures, which are refreshed about 50 times a
second.

Aircraft CRTs
Some aircraft have only one or two CRT’s, while others with a full glass cockpit
system which may use six or more CRT’s. Modern aircraft display systems may
alternatively be LED / LCD type displays . The electronic instruments that make up
a full glass cockpit come in four main types:
• Electronic Attitude Director Indicators (EADI)
• Electronic Horizontal Situation Indicators (EHSI)
• Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (EICAS) or Electronic Centralized
Aircraft Monitoring system (ECAM)
Care of Electronic Instrument Displays
Electronic displays and instrument panel lighting should wherever possible be
turned down from full brightness to prolong life.
Screens of electronic instruments should be cleaned carefully to avoid scratching.
Typically only side-to-side action is permitted using only a soft lint-free cloth and
approved cleaning detergent/agent.
Avoid touching display screens with your fingers, it introduces smudges.

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 1 of 20
TOPIC 5.12 – ELECTROSTATIC SENSITIVE DEVICES
Static Electricity ...................................................................................................... 2
Induction Induced Static Charges – Simple Induction .......................................... 2
Induction Induced Static Charges – Compound Induction ................................... 3
Metal Oxide Semiconductor (MOS) Devices ............................................................. 5
ESD Sensitivity .................................................................................................... 6
Identification of ESD Susceptible Equipment ....................................................... 7
Classes of Devices ............................................................................................. 7
Circuit Cards .................................................................................................... 7
Types of ESD Damage ....................................................................................... 7
ESD Damage ........................................................................................................ 9
ESD Handling Precautions ................................................................................. 10
ESD Protective Packaging .................................................................................. 12
Anti-Static Bags – Pink Poly ............................................................................... 13
Anti-Static Bags – Metallic ................................................................................. 13
Grid Tape ........................................................................................................ 14
Conductive Transit Trays ................................................................................... 15
Tote Boxes ......................................................................................................... 15
Static Protection in DIP Tubes ........................................................................... 15
Antistatic Shipping Materials ............................................................................. 16
Shipping Boxes ............................................................................................... 16
Antistatic Clamshells ...................................................................................... 16
People are Prime Sources of ESD ....................................................................... 17
Grounding Strap ............................................................................................. 17
Antistatic Gloves ............................................................................................. 17
Finger Cots ..................................................................................................... 17
ESD Safe Smocks ........................................................................................... 17
Heel Strap Grounders ..................................................................................... 18
ESD Safe Work Envelopes ............................................................................... 18
Workshop Antistatic Devices .............................................................................. 19
ESD Protection Requirements ............................................................................ 19
Ionisers ........................................................................................................... 20

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 2 of 20
TOPIC 5.12 – ELECTROSTATIC SENSITIVE DEVICES
Static Electricity
Static electricity is an electrical charge that is at rest, as opposed to electricity in
motion or current electricity. Static charges can be generated by either friction or
induction.
The most common generation of static charge is the friction electricity developed by
rubbing together two non-conductive objects.
This type of static electricity build-up is called a triboelectric charge.
Another way to generate static charge is through induction, which occurs when an
isolated conductive object is brought near another charged object without actually
touching it. The field from the charged object can induce charge to flow if the
isolated object itself touches ground. This flow of charge is an Electrostatic
Discharge (ESD) event. If the isolated object is located very close to ground, the
electric field from the induced charge may break down the air and cause an ESD
event.

Induction Induced Static Charges – Simple Induction
The illustration shows a conductor in the presence of an electrostatic field
emanating from a positively charged source. The resultant separation of positive
and negative charges is defined as simple induction. The free or valance electrons
are attracted toward the positively charged source. The same effect will result if
there is a strong magnetic field in the vicinity.

Induction Induced Static Charges – Simple Induction

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 3 of 20

Upon removal from the field influence the electrons rush back toward the positive
ions to neutralise the imbalanced charge, producing an electric current. This
current may be sufficient to cause ESD damage. The initial separation of the
electrons when the conductor is first introduced to the electrostatic field may also
result in ESD damage.
If a sensitive Integrated Circuit (IC) is placed in the vicinity of a strong magnetic or
electromagnetic field, the IC can be damaged even though no ESD source comes
into contact with the IC. The ESD damage results from the imbalance of charge
within the IC, induced by an external magnetic or electrostatic field.
An electrostatic field can be resident in many non-conductive substances, nylon,
wool, plastics, carpet, etc. So, simply by placing a nylon garment near an IC can
result in some level of damage to the IC. Therefore materials known to be
susceptible to holding significant static charges must be isolated from areas where
sensitive IC’s or components containing IC’s are stored.
This phenomenon is known as Simple Induction.
Induction Induced Static Charges – Compound Induction
If the conductor (Circuit Card) side farthest away from the magnetic or electrostatic
field source is grounded, this provides a path for even more electrons to be
attracted from earth into the conductor, further increasing the electrical potential
resident in the conductor. After disconnecting the ground (moving the circuit card,
but not touching any conductive areas) a net negative charge remains on the
conductor (over-abundance of free electrons), still attracted to the positive source.
When the field is removed, or the conductor is taken from the field, the charges
equalise throughout the conductor (circuit card) resulting in a negative potential
across the conductor surface. This sequence is called compound induction.

Induction Induced Static Charges – Compound Induction
Compound induction in an electronics work shop, or any area where sensitive
electronic equipment is stored can present double jeopardy to static susceptible
items. A conductor with an induced potential gradient between its two extreme
edges can cause ESD damage to sensitive components when the potentials
neutralise. Therefore after the first ESD event (simple induction) and removal of the
field source, the conductor may be left with a possibly damaging voltage level of the
opposite polarity awaiting a second ESD failure upon contact with another neutral
source. Induction-caused failures can occur from induced potentials on a sensitive
item itself. One example could result from a printed circuit board being placed on a
Styrofoam cushion. A charge on the cushion would induce a charge on the board.

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 4 of 20

A person touching the conductive area of the board (a repair technician) could bring
about an ESD failure, even if the person were grounded because the imbalance of
charges in the circuit card (all the electrons near the inducting source) cause a
current to flow from earth into the circuit card from the uncharged or earth
potential (the repair technician) as soon as the device is touched.

Static Voltage Generated
One of the primary ESD control measures is to purge static generative materials
from areas where susceptible items are processed. Notorious static generators
include common insulating materials such as Teflon, Acetate, common plastics,
Polyethylene, Styrofoam, wool, silk, and nylon. These materials tend not only to
generate high potentials but are likely to retain them for considerable time, that is,
minutes to hours.

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 5 of 20
Metal Oxide Semiconductor (MOS) Devices

ESD Damage to MOSFETs
MOSFETs and equipment containing MOSFETs are susceptible to damage from
electrostatic discharge and must be handled with care and with strict adherence to
electrostatic handling precautions. If exposed to a high static charge an arc will
jump through the silicon dioxide insulating layer and either destroy or severely
degrade the operation of the MOSFET.
Parts susceptible to ESD damage are those in any logic family that require small
energies to switch states or small changes of voltage in high impedance lines.
For example:
• N-channel metal oxide semiconductor (NMOS)
• P-channel metal oxide semi-conductor (PMOS)
• Complementary oxide semi-conductor (CMOS)
• Low power transistor-transistor logic (TTL) items
Not only MOS devices are susceptible to ESD damage, but all semiconductor
devices have some susceptibility to ESD damage.

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 6 of 20
ESD Sensitivity
As the human body was originally the most common and damaging source of
electrostatic discharge, the most common measurement of ESD sensitivity is by
Human Body Model (HBM) electrostatic discharge. In this test a charged 100pF
capacitor is discharged into the device via a 1500 ohm resistor. The 100pF
capacitor simulates charged stored on the average human body, and the resistor
simulates the resistance of the human body and skin. The ESD sensitivity of
devices is given as an "ESD withstand voltage", which is the maximum test voltage
at which the device did not suffer damage. Typical Human Body Model (HBM)
withstand voltages of various device technologies are given in the following table.

Human Body Model (HBM) Electrostatic Discharge
As component technology progresses, internal device sizes reduce and become more
ESD sensitive. Many modern components are protected by on-chip protection
circuits, without which they would be extremely sensitive. In most cases the design
goal is to increase the device’s ESD ‘withstand voltage’ to 2 kV (2000 Volts). In some
cases this goal cannot be met for various reasons - there is often a trade-off
between ESD protection and device performance.
DeviceSensitivityClassification
The Human Body Model (HBM) testing standard includes a classification system for
defining the component sensitivity. This classification system has a number of
advantages. It allows easy grouping and comparing of components according to
their ESD sensitivity and the classification gives you an indication of the level of
ESD protection that is required for the component.
In addition to the HBM testing standard there are several others which also produce
classes of sensitivity. We will only present the Human Body Model (HBM) version.

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 7 of 20
Identification of ESD Susceptible Equipment
Classes of Devices
Any component which can be damaged by 16,000 volts or less is considered
sensitive to ESD. These components include microelectronics devices, discrete
semiconductors, film resistors, resistor chips, other thick and thin film devices and
piezoelectric crystals. The three ESD sensitive classifications are as follows:
• Class 1: Extremely sensitive Ranges from 0 to 2 kV
• Class 2: Sensitive Ranges from 2 to 4 kV
• Class 3: Less sensitive Ranges from 4 to 16 kV

Classes of Devices
Circuit Cards
ESD sensitive components installed on circuit cards are still susceptible to ESD.
For that reason, circuit card assemblies are treated as ESD sensitive. Equipment
containing circuit cards with ESD sensitive components, such as computers,
receiver/transmitters, digital display units, encoder/decoders, etc., require special
treatment to prevent ESD from entering through connector receptacles and
damaging sensitive components.
Types of ESD Damage
Early electronic devices and integrated circuits were quite robust. Once an
integrated circuit may have contained several transistors, resistors, capacitors, and
so on, now they contain millions. Miniaturisation of circuits has meant that
components have been reduced in size, and have also become extremely sensitive.
Years ago only significant signals could be amplified. In recent times devices have
become so sensitive that signals that were once too inconsequential to bias a PN
junction can now be applied to extremely sensitive transistors and amplified.
Where circuit switching was in the region of hundreds of time a second, circuits
now switch thousands of times a second, because the responsiveness of
semiconductors has increased significantly. All the improvements in semiconductor
circuitry have meant that the circuits themselves have become extremely sensitive,
and very easy to damage. Where the base of a transistor may be designed to amplify
millivolts, if a static charge of several thousand volts is applied, that transistor will
be destroyed.

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 8 of 20
Static damage to components can take the form of:
• Catastrophic failures - occur in two forms, Direct and Latent
• Upset failures - result in gate leakage.
Direct catastrophic failures occur when a component is damaged to the point
where it is dead now and will never again function. The ESD event may have caused
a junction breakdown, metal melt, or oxide failure. The device's circuitry is
permanently damaged causing the device fail. This is the easiest type of ESD
damage to find since it usually detected during testing.
Latent failures occur when ESD weakens or degrades the component to the point
where it will still function properly during testing, but over time the degraded
component will cause poor system performance and eventually complete system
failure. Latent failures due to ESD occur when a component is sufficiently damaged
to shorten its operational life. The component may only be marginally damaged by
the ESD event and continue to operate for some time. Degradation continues due to
the damaged condition of the component and ordinary operational stress. Because
latent failures occur after final inspection when the component is fitted to an
aircraft, the cost for repair is very high in terms of aircraft downtime and
engineering man-hours needlessly consumed.
Latent failure damage may then test serviceable at the avionics test bench, where
the component will be returned to service no-fault-found, primed to create more
aircraft downtime and lost man-hours.

Latent Failures
An upset failure occurs when an electrostatic discharge has caused a current flow
that is not significant enough to cause total failure, but in use may intermittently
result in gate leakage causing loss of software or incorrect storage of information.
To the user this represents the software glitches and intermittent faults which are
so difficult to replicate and isolate, producing the repetitive snags that plague some
aircraft. Upset or latent failures may pass testing in an avionics workshop, or on
board Built-In-Testing. In other words, static damage may occur that cannot be felt,
seen, or detected through normal testing procedures.

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 9 of 20
ESD Damage
Here are two images showing ESD damage to a C2 Metal Oxide Semiconductor
(MOS) capacitor. What appears to be a slight pinhole on the top image (magnified
175 times) shows to be substantial damage to the trace when examined at 4300X
magnification.
This damage could have been prevented had the appropriate ESD safe-guards been
in place.
The economic necessity for ESD protective measures is clear, particularly as the
costs caused by ESD damage are far higher than the capital investment needed to
provide an ESD-protected work station.
The burnt circuit track is a failed IC that was rejected as low input resistance
(leaky) at a particular input pin. Sectioning identified the partial short through the
silicon from the top creating a well on the track.

C2 Metal Oxide Semiconductor (MOS) Capacitor 175 X Magnification and 4300 X
Magnification
You will have no way of knowing when you cause ESD damage to a component. And
if latent or upset damage has been caused, even testing the component on a
workstation may not detect any failure. The only way of being certain a component
has not been subjected to ESD is to take all precautions to avoid it.

ESD Handling Precautions

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 10 of 20
ESD Handling Precautions
• Do NOT touch the pins of any electronic component
• Do NOT touch the sockets or pins within the plugs of any electronic
equipment
• Discharge any static electricity on yourself by grasping an earthed
conductive surface.
• When removing ESD sensitive equipment from the aircraft, the aircraft
must be grounded and power removed
• Prior to disconnecting the cables from the equipment, touch the metal
case of the equipment to equalise any electrostatic potentials
• Immediately fit conductive covers/caps to disconnected plugs
• When installing electronic equipment on the aircraft, touch the outer
shell of the plug to the outer shell of the equipment mating connector to
equalise electrostatic potentials
• ESD sensitive equipment must not be opened to expose circuit cards
anywhere other than at an ESD workstation
• Place electronic equipment and subassemblies on a grounded anti-static
mat whenever maintenance is performed
• When working with electronic devices (components and cards) – insert
the device into the circuit or connector immediately after removing it
from the protective carrier or packaging
• When shipping or moving any electronic components or circuit cards use
only approved anti-static containers and bags
• Do NOT touch the edge connectors of circuit cards
• Place shorting straps (shunts) across the edge connectors of circuit cards
when the cards are being carried or transported.
• At no time during shipment or storage should packaging identified by an
ESD symbol be opened unless at an ESD workstation
• Never store or place circuit cards or electronic components (aircraft
avionic components) in the vicinity of electrostatic or strong magnetic
fields

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 11 of 20
Work areas where electronic components are often stored and processed must be
designed to minimise generation of electrostatic charges:
• Un-carpeted
• Earthed storage racks
• Earthed anti-static mats on storage shelves
• No magnetic or electrostatic fields in the vicinity

An ESD protected work area should address the following:
• Grounded ESD protective work surface
• ESD safe flooring
• Personnel grounding
• Identification of ESD safe workstations

In work areas where particularly sensitive components are handled (Class 0 and 1):
• Removal or control of static generating sources, e.g. Styrofoam cups,
plastics, etc.
• Usage of ESD smocks
• Installation of air ionizers

When actually removing and installing electronic components on a circuit card, or
fault isolating a circuit card:
• Connect the chassis of all test instruments, soldering iron tips, and your
workbench (if metal) to earth
• Connect yourself to earth with an anti-static wrist strap
• Keep ESD sensitive components in conductive foam or aluminium foil.
This will keep all the pins shorted together so that no dangerous voltages
can be developed between any two pins

FAILURE TO OBSERVE THESE PRECAUTIONS COULD RESULT IN SERIOUS DAMAGE
TO ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS WITH EITHER IMMEDIATE OR LATENT OPERATION
ESD Damage is undetectable by the human eye.
THE ONLY WAY OF BEING CERTAIN A COMPONENT HAS NOT BEEN SUBJECTED
TO ESD IS TO TAKE ALL PRECAUTIONS TO AVOID IT.

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 12 of 20
ESD Protective Packaging
Circuit cards and components must be packaged in ESD protective packaging prior
to leaving the ESD workstation. Static shielding bags which have a static dissipative
inner layer and a conductive outer layer are used for this purpose. Since the days of
Michael Faraday, it has been well known that field induced effects can be prevented
by enclosure in a highly conductive material, thereby creating an electrostatic
The inside layer of the bag is designed to prevent static build up due to the
movement of the component inside the bag. Another layer is made from metal, and
is referred to as a Faraday Cage. This metal layer prevents damage to the bag's
contents due to Induction Charging. The degree of shielding is a function of the
conductivity of the material from which the shield is constructed—the higher the
conductivity, the better the shielding.

ESD Protective Packaging
The other layers of the bag provide strength and a moisture barrier. They must be
non-corrosive and must zip lock or heat seal closed. All static shielding bags are
identified with an ESD caution sticker over the closed seals, so that broken stickers
will become indicators of opened bags. Cushion wrap (bubble wrap) used around
circuit cards must also be made of static dissipative material. Circuit cards may be
packaged in reusable ESD fast pack containers. At the equipment level, conductive
connector receptacle dust caps are used to prevent ESD from entering the
equipment through the connector receptacle and damaging sensitive components.
In cases where conductive dust caps are unavailable, a conductive grid tape may be
used to cover connector receptacles.
The shorting of connecting leads or pins of devices by means of wire, spring clips,
metal foil or by inserting the leads or pins into a conductive foam or material.
For PCBs and card modules having edge connectors, specially formed strips called
“shunts” are placed over connectors to keep them at the same potential.
For complete electronic assemblies, covers or caps made from a conductive material
are placed over the connectors.

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 13 of 20

Anti-Static Bags – Pink Poly
Pink Poly anti-static bags are made from amine-free polyethylene and are
approximately 2 to 6 millimetres thick. The polyethylene resin is impregnated with
an anti-static substance which renders them quasi-conductive. The additive allows
the material to remain transparent and from the colour of the material the bags are
usually referred to as “pink poly”.
Pink Poly anti-static bags are recommended for packaging components with Class
III sensitivity levels.

Pink Poly Anti-Static Bags
They have a shelf life of three years, are not damaged by wrinkling or creasing and
are heat sealable.
They are available with an antistatic zipper allowing frequent opening and closing
without reducing the bags antistatic properties.
Cushion-pack bags are made from “pink poly” foam material - These cushioned
antistatic bags are manufactured with two layers of laminated 4 millimetre
antistatic pink polyethylene and one layer of antistatic cushioning.
The single most important characteristic of a static protective packaging material is
its electrical resistance. The less the resistance around the container, the more
static protection is provided. Antistatic plastics do not provide the electrostatic
shielding required by the extremely fast response of static sensitive devices, this is
achieved by using metallised bags.
Anti-Static Bags – Metallic
These bags are manufactured with a transparent layered laminate that provides
optimum static shielding with maximum visibility. Transparent metallised static
shield bags (similar to reflective black window tinting) are designed for packaging
products that are very sensitive to low-level static discharges (Class 1 sensitivity).
The bag's inner layer prevents static from generating inside the bag. It is bonded to
a metallised polyester layer which provides static shielding of the contents from
external sources. The abrasion resistant exterior helps the bag maintain its static
shielding capabilities even under rugged handling and reuse.

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 14 of 20

These top-of-the-line static shielding bags are transparent for maximum visibility.
Their layered lamination prevents static generation inside and outside of the bag
while the metallised layer offers optimum static shielding. The multi-track,
antistatic zipper is easily opened and closed. This allows the bag to be reused many
times without loss of the antistatic properties.
Grid Tape
Cello-tape is a high risk source of static electricity. Grid Tape is anti-static tape, for
use in ESD sensitive areas.

ESD Conductive Grid Tape is a beige polypropylene, three layer tape with a
conductive grid middle layer. The grid pattern and ESD awareness symbols help
alert recipients that packages contain ESD sensitive components and should be
handled in an ESD safe work area.
Applications for conductive shielding grid tape:
• For applications requiring EMI shielding
• Use in areas where the generation of static electricity is of concern
• Using a grounded dispenser, voltage generated unrolling the tape will
effectively be reduced to zero
• For Securing (bundling) anti-static tubes containing IC’s
• Sealing ESD bags and other ESD packaging / containers
• Use with ESD symbols for ESD awareness
• Attach ESD paperwork to bags or product
• holding notes, etc. in antistatic workstations
• Covers external plugs, holes or connector pins on electronic chassis
(black boxes, and so on) during transportation or storage

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 15 of 20
Conductive Transit Trays
Conductive Transit Trays are used for transporting ESD sensitive components in an
ESD workshop. They reduce the likelihood of building up static charge during
transport around the workshop when all other ESD measures are in place (heel
grounders, ESD smocks, ESD safe flooring, etc.). These trays can be designed for
return and reuse with or without an antistatic lid.

Conductive Transit Trays
Tote Boxes
The primary use for tote boxes is for the in-plant transport of devices and PC
boards to and from the controlled static-safe work stations. A tote box is an
antistatic conductive box with a lid. As in the case of bags, the box must not only
prevent triboelectrically (An electrical charge produced by friction between two
objects) generated charge, but to be effective, it must also shield the components
from external static fields. The theory of shielding effectiveness of bags (more
conductive – more efficient shield) can be extended to cover any closed container,
including a tote box.
They may also be used for storage of small discrete ESD sensitive items at an ESD
workbench. Tote boxes with lids provide greater protection than just a conductive
tray alone.
Static Protection in DIP Tubes
A common carrier used for shipment, storage and automatic handling of Dual-In-
Line Packages (DIPs), is the storage rail or tube. These tubes are fabricated from a
variety of materials including aluminium, plain plastic, carbon loaded plastic, and
antistatic plastic. Although these tubes are rarely "capped" on the ends, they may,
for the purposes of static shielding, be considered as a closed container because of
the relatively small size of the end openings. Therefore, the theory developed for
protective bags can be applied to the DIP tubes as well.

Static Protection in DIP Tubes

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 16 of 20
Antistatic Shipping Materials
There are an enormous amount of products now available with antistatic or ESD
reduction/elimination incorporated. Just a few more examples are:
Shipping Boxes
The black static protected shipping box is an effective means for shipping expensive
circuit boards and devices. These shippers are designed with a conductive layer
buried in the corrugated fibreboard to help dissipate static surfaces. The interior
has special static dissipative foam cushioning on the top and bottom to help protect
against shock and vibration during transportation.
Antistatic Clamshells
Used for packaging circuit boards as a replacement of antistatic bags and foam.

Antistatic Clamshells

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 17 of 20
People are Prime Sources of ESD
Electrostatic charges generated by rubbing or separating materials are readily
transmitted to a person's conductive sweat layer causing that person to be charged.
When a charged person handles or comes in close proximity to an ESD sensitive
component, that component can be damaged by a direct discharge when it is
touched or by subjecting it to an electrostatic field.
Grounding Strap
The wrist strap must have a resistance of 1 Meg-ohm to prevent the worker from
electric shock. These straps are comfortable, adjustable, and you can even snap the
cord off of the wrist band when you have to leave the work-bench for a minute. The
worker must wear the wrist strap directly on his/her skin (not on top of clothing),
and check the conductivity of the wrist strap at least once a day to make sure the
cable is not broken.

The wrist strap at least once a day to make sure the cable is not broken
Antistatic Gloves
Antistatic gloves are ideal for handling delicate sensitive parts, films, electronic
instruments, circuit boards and components. Assembly and repair work in
electronics, telecommunications, precision instrumentation and optics.
Finger Cots
Ideal for ESD-Safe areas, these powder free pink latex finger cots offer a 3
millimetre thickness.
ESD Safe Smocks
To minimise static build-up on normal clothing, and to provide a conductive path
for charges in normal clothing to dissipate to earth (when connected to earth).

ESD Safe Smocks

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 18 of 20

Heel Strap Grounders
As for ESD safe smocks. Provides a conductive path to earth so any charge built up
when walking will be dissipated to earth with each step. ESD safe shoes are also
available, and ESD safe over shoes, that resemble large gumboots.

Heel Strap Grounders
ESD Safe Work Envelopes
ESD Safe Work Envelopes replace plastic envelopes which can develop very high
static charges. They are used to protect maintenance instructions and certification
paperwork utilised in ESD safe work areas.

ESD Safe Work Envelopes

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 19 of 20
Workshop Antistatic Devices
The best ESD controls are not only the ones that protect sensitive components and
equipment but are at hand, readily available, and easily maintained. For these
reasons carpets and tile floors should not be overlooked as sources for electrostatic
control. Existing carpet or tile floors can be easily included into an ESD control
program.
An ESD safe workstation protects your sensitive products by providing pathways to
safely drain damaging static charge to ground. A wrist strap and coil cord remove
static from the person as it is generated. Parts placed on a static dissipative mat
decay their static charge to ground at a safe rate. Both the mat and coil cord are
connected to ground by the Common Ground Cord System.

An ESD Safe Workstation
ESD Protection Requirements
Electronic components are classified into three groups depending on ESD
sensitivity. Each group has different handling requirements. In facilities where
numerous types of electronic assemblies and circuit cards are repaired, it is not
always evident to which ESD sensitivity group a particular assembly belongs.
Consequently, most repair facilities use standard ESD protection procedures based
on the most susceptible device they expect to repair. The ESD workstation is an
essential part of ESD protection and is the only safe location to repair, package, or
handle ESD sensitive components or circuit cards. The purpose of the workstation
is to keep potential differences below the level that can damage ESD sensitive
components. This is accomplished in several ways.
The bench top, floor mat, and a personnel wrist strap are electrically connected
together through resistors to ground. In addition, the floor mat, bench top, chair,
component containers, and all other materials in the area are made from static
dissipative material. No static generators such as plain plastic wrap, styrofoam,
plastic coffee cups, etc., are allowed in the area. Humid air helps to dissipate
electrostatic charges by keeping surfaces moist and increasing surface conductivity.

Training Material Only
Date 2012-12-10 Page 20 of 20
The workstation and surrounding area should be kept between 40 and 60 percent
relative humidity for this purpose. Ionized air generators which produce both
positive and negative ions may be used at the ESD workstation to dissipate any
static charge. Personnel are often required to wear static dissipative smocks and
should avoid wearing synthetic clothing under the smock. ESD workstations must
be periodically monitored to ensure all components are functional.
Ionisers
The action of air ionizers is to add very nearly equal numbers of positive and
negative ions to the air in order to provide charge carriers that increase the
electrical conductivity of the air. If only a small percentage of the air molecules are
ionized (one millionth to 100 millionth of 1%), the time for static discharge is
reduced from hours to seconds.
The theory of operation for one simple type of ioniser is as follows:
A very high voltage (~5-20 kV) is applied to a set of sharp points within the ioniser
and, an intense electric field is established in the very near vicinity (~100 mm.) of
the points. This field accelerates free electrons to a sufficiently high energy to allow
them to ionize molecules that they collide with. When the voltage on the point is
positive, positive ions are repelled into the environment and when the point is
negative, negative ions are delivered.
Corona ionizers are simpler and therefore are cheaper to manufacture. They utilise
a step-up transformer to create the high voltage for ion generation. Because the AC
type ionizer produces the positive and negative ions in sequence from the same
emitter, these ions are separated in time by half of the period of the AC power line
(½ the frequency) (i.e. 1/100 or 1/120 sec.). This means that the waves of positive
and negative ions are rather close to each other, making loss through
recombination a large factor. AC ionizers typically utilise fast airflow velocity to
minimize recombination. This is not always desirable in a clean room environment.