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An Introduction to

Transducers and Instrumentation


Curriculum Manual IT02

2007 LJ Create. This publication is copyright and no


part of it may be adapted or reproduced in any material
form except with the prior written permission of LJ Create.

Lesson Module: 17.50 Version 0


Issue: ME706/F

IT02
An Introduction to Transducers and Instrumentation
Curriculum Manual
Addendum Sheet

Addendum Sheet

Please note that the following warning label has now been added to the D1750
trainer.
This is to indicate the area of moving parts, and that fingers should be kept clear.

Keep fingers clear of all


moving parts

Technical Publications Department


LJ Create

IT02
An Introduction to Transducers and Instrumentation
Curriculum Manual
Contents

Chapter

Contents

Pages

Introduction

............................................................................................. i - iv

Basic Control Systems


Chapter 1

Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used..........1 - 16

Input Transducers
Chapter 2

Positional Resistance Transducers ...................................17 - 32

Chapter 3

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements ...................................33 - 52

Chapter 4

Temperature Sensors ........................................................53 - 76

Chapter 5

Light Measurement...........................................................77 - 98

Chapter 6

Linear Position or Force Applications............................99 - 114

Chapter 7

Environmental Measurement .......................................115 - 126

Chapter 8

Rotational Speed or Position Measurement .................127 - 152

Chapter 9

Sound Measurements ...................................................153 - 162

Output Transducers
Chapter 10

Sound Output................................................................163 - 172

Chapter 11

Linear or Rotational Motion.........................................173 - 190

Display Devices
Chapter 12

Display Devices............................................................191 - 208

Signal Conditioning Circuits


Chapter 13

Signal Conditioning Amplifiers ...................................209 - 234

Chapter 14

Signal Conversions.......................................................235 - 252

Chapter 15

Comparators, Oscillators and Filters ............................253 - 270

Chapter 16

Mathematical Operations .............................................271 - 290

Closed Loop Control Systems


Chapter 17

Control System Characteristics ....................................291 - 300

Chapter 18

Practical Control Systems ............................................301 - 334

An Introduction to Transducers and Instrumentation


IT02
Contents
Curriculum Manual

Appendices
Appendix A

Using a Multimeter...................................................... 335 - 340

Appendix B

The Oscilloscope ......................................................... 341 - 362

IT02
An Introduction to Transducers and Instrumentation
Curriculum Manual
Introduction

Introduction

Introduction
This comprehensive course of study is based on a single panel Transducer and
Instrumentation Trainer, the DIGIAC 1750.
The D1750 unit provides examples of a full range of input and output transducers,
signal conditioning circuits and display devices.
The unit is self-contained and enables the characteristics of many individual
devices to be investigated, building to form complete closed loop systems.
As each item is introduced there is a description of the principles of the device,
together with practical exercises to illustrate its characteristics and applications.
The treatment is non-mathematical and little previous knowledge is assumed,
although it is expected that students will have a basic knowledge of electrical
circuits and units, and electronic components and devices.
It is the intention that at the end of this course the student will, with the knowledge
gained, be able to select suitable components and interconnect them to form
required closed-loop systems.
Although the course has been laid out progressively it is sometimes necessary to
make use of a device before a full investigation has been carried out. For instance,
in order to investigate any input transducer, an input signal may be needed. This
signal may be provided by one of the output transducers not yet covered. Also
signal conditioning and display devices will be needed from an early stage. In the
event of any difficulty, it is recommended that the student should skip forward to
the relevant section to obtain further information.

An Introduction to Transducers and Instrumentation


IT02
Introduction
Curriculum Manual

Test Instruments
A digital multimeter will be required when working through this module. The
meter must have ranges to cover at least:
DC voltage:
DC current:
Resistance:

200mV to 20V
1mA to 100mA
10 to 10M

To complete the exercises you will need to be familiar with connecting, setting the
range and obtaining readings from multimeters. If you are not familiar with the
use of these instruments please refer first to Appendix A before carrying out any
exercises.
Note that some of the exercises in Chapter 4 (Temperature Measurement) will
require the use of two multimeters.
Some examinations of voltage waveforms will be required using an oscilloscope.
You will be expected to be able to make the necessary adjustments and settings to
obtain time related sketches of the waveforms examined. Recommendations for
the settings of the various controls will be given where appropriate. Again, if you
are not familiar with this instrument or the applications of it, please refer to
Appendix B before attempting the relevant exercise.
A function generator will be required to provide sinewave and square wave inputs
to some circuits. This should have a range of frequencies covering at least 10Hz 1MHz, and output of 20Vp-p (with an internal attenuator to allow amplitude
settings), and an output impedance of 50. The output lead should be terminated
in standard 4mm banana plugs for ease of connection directly to the D1750
Trainer panel.

ii

IT02
An Introduction to Transducers and Instrumentation
Curriculum Manual
Introduction

The Module Power Supplies


The D1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer contains all of the power
supplies needed to make it operate. You can switch these power supplies ON and
OFF with the Power Supplies switch located on the rear panel.

Making Circuit Connections


During each Practical Exercise in this manual, you will be asked to make circuit
connections using the 4mm Patching Cords. Whenever you make (or change)
circuit connections, it is good practice to always do so with the Power Supplies
switch in the OFF position. You should switch the Power Supplies ON only after
you have made, and checked, your connections.
Remember that the Power Supplies switch must be ON in order for you to be able
to make the observations and measurements required in the Exercise.
At the end of each Exercise, you should return the 'Power Supplies' switch to the
'OFF' position before you dismantle your circuit connections.

Your Workstation
Depending on the laboratory environment in which you are working, your
workstation may, or may not, be computer managed. This will affect the way that
you use this laboratory manual.
If you are in any doubt about whether your workstation is computer managed, you
should consult your instructor.

iii

An Introduction to Transducers and Instrumentation


IT02
Introduction
Curriculum Manual

Using this Manual at a Computer Managed Workstation


In order to use this curriculum manual at a computer managed workstation you
will require one of the following items:
D3000 Hand-held Data Terminal.
A personal computer (PC) that has been installed with computer managed
student workstation software.
If you are working in a computer managed environment for the first time, you
should first read the operating information that has been provided with your
computer managed workstation. This tell you how to:

Log onto the management system and request work.


Make responses to questions in a computer managed environment.
Hand in your work when completed.
Log off at the end of your work session.

Whenever you see the symbol


in the left-hand margin of this Curriculum
Manual, you are required to respond to questions using your computer managed
workstation. You should also record your responses so that you can review them
at any time in the future.
The following D3000 Lesson Module is available for use with this Curriculum
Manual:
D3000 Lesson Module 17.50

Using this Manual at a Workstation that is not Computer Managed


in the left-hand margin of this Curriculum
Whenever you see the symbol
Manual, you are required to answer a question. If your workstation is not
computer managed, you should record your answer so that it can be subsequently
marked by your instructor.
Good luck with your Studies.

iv

IT02
Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used
Curriculum Manual
Chapter 1

Chapter 1
Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used

Objectives of
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:

State the difference between open loop and closed


loop systems.

Write the expression for the overall gain of a negative


feedback closed loop system.

Calculate the overall gain of a negative feedback


closed loop system from given information.

List the basic components of a closed loop system and


explain their functions.

Explain the meaning of terms associated with control


system equipment.

Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used


IT02
Chapter 1
Curriculum Manual

1.1

Open Loop System


Figure 1.1 represents a block diagram of an open loop system. A reference input,
or command signal, is fed to an actuator which operates on the controlled variable
to produce an output.

Reference I/P
(Command Signal)

Actuator

Controlled
Variable

O/P

Fig 1.1

The output magnitude depends on the magnitude of the reference input signal but
the actual output magnitude for a particular input may not remain constant but
may vary due to changes within or exterior to the system.
For example, in a simple room heating application, a heater set for a certain output
will result in a certain room temperature. The actual temperature will depend on
the ambient temperature outside the room and also whether the doors and
windows are open or closed.

IT02
Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used
Curriculum Manual
Chapter 1

1.2

Closed Loop System


Figure 1.2 shows a basic block diagram of a closed loop control system.
With this system, the output magnitude is sensed, fed back and compared with the
desired value as represented by the reference input. Any error signal is fed to the
actuator to vary the controlled variable to reduce this error.

Reference I/P
Error
Detector

Feedback
signal

Actuator

Controlled
Variable

O/P

Sensor

Fig 1.2

The system thus tends to maintain a constant output magnitude for a fixed
magnitude input reference signal. The feedback signal is effectively subtracted
from the reference signal input to obtain the error signal and hence the system is
referred to as a negative feedback system.
The magnitude of the reference signal required for a particular output magnitude
for a closed loop system will be greater than that required for open loop operation
because the negative feedback reduces the overall gain of the system.

Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used


IT02
Chapter 1
Curriculum Manual

1.3

Gain in an Open Loop System

Gain
G

Input Vi

Output Vo

Fig 1.3

Output Vo = G Vi

1.4

Gain = G

Gain in a Closed Loop System


Error
(Vi - HVo)

Input Vi

Feedback (HVo)

Gain
G

Output Vo

Attenuator
H

Fig 1.4

H = the fraction of the output fed back to the input


The error signal = Vi - HVo
The output Vo = G(Vi - HVo)
= GVi - GHVo
Vo + GHVo = GVi
Vo(1 + GH) = GVi
Vo
G
=
Vi
1 + GH
i.e.

Gain =

G
1 + GH

IT02
Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used
Curriculum Manual
Chapter 1

The gain is therefore reduced, and, if the gain G is very large, the formula
simplifies to:G
1
Gain =
=
GH H
If the gain of the amplifier (G) is high then the overall system gain is dependent
only on the feedback fraction H.

1.5

Examples

1.5a

(i)

An amplifier has a gain (G) of 15 and a feedback loop with an attenuation


1
fraction (H) of .
30
Vo
will be:
The loop gain of the system
Vi
G
15
15
=
=
= 10
1
1 + GH 1 + 15 1
1+
30
2

(ii)

An amplifier with a gain of 100 has 10% negative feedback (H = 0.1).


Vo
The loop gain of the system
will be:
Vi
G
100
100
=
=
= 9.1
1 + GH 1 + 100 0.1 1 + 10
1
Note that
= 10, which is very nearly the same as the loop gain.
H

An amplifier with a gain (G) of 20 has a feedback fraction (H) of 0.15. The
loop gain of the system will be:
a 3
b 4
c 5
d 6.67

Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used


IT02
Chapter 1
Curriculum Manual

1.6

Practical Closed Loop Control System


Figure 1.5 shows a block diagram of a practical closed loop control system. This
shows signal conditioning blocks in the signal paths between the error detector
and the actuator and between the sensor and the error detector.

Reference I/P

Error
Detector

Signal
Conditioning
Signal
Conditioning

Actuator

Controlled
Variable

O/P

Sensor
Signal
Conditioning
Display

Fig 1.5

It also shows a display which indicates the magnitude of the output variable and
includes a signal conditioning block in the display path.
Signal conditioning may consist of signal amplification, attenuation or linearising,
waveform filtering or modification, conversion from analog to digital form, or
may be a matching circuit. These may be necessary to convert the output from one
circuit into a form suitable for the input to the following circuit, or to improve the
system accuracy.

IT02
Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used
Curriculum Manual
Chapter 1

1.7

Controlled Variables
For a particular industrial process there may be more than one controlled variable
and each of the controlled variables will have its own closed loop control system.
The controlled variable may be:Position (angular or linear)
Temperature
Pressure
Flow rate
Humidity
Speed (angular or linear)
Acceleration
Light level
Sound level

The control system may operate using pneumatic, hydraulic or electrical principles
and the sensors used for the measurement of the controlled variable must provide
an output signal in a form suitable for the system in use.
This will normally involve a conversion from one energy system to another and
devices used to accomplish this energy conversion are referred to a
TRANSDUCERS. Sensors and actuators are both forms of transducer, sensors
representing input transducers and actuators representing output transducers.
The DIGIAC 1750 unit is an electrical system and includes a full range of sensors,
actuators, signal conditioning circuits and display devices. Used with this manual,
the unit will introduce the student to the basic principles and characteristics of a
comprehensive range of transducers and their application to practical closed loop
control systems.

Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used


IT02
Chapter 1
Curriculum Manual

A layout diagram of the DIGIAC 1750 unit is shown below in Fig 1.6.

TRANSDUCER AND INSTRUMENTATION TRAINER

DIGIAC 1750

SLOTTED OPTO
SENSOR

DC MOTOR

I/P

REFLECTIVE OPTO SENSORS

INDUCTIVE
SENSOR

POWER

SERVO
POTENTIOMETER

HALL EFFECT
SENSOR

TACHOGENERATOR

O/P

O/P

O/P

LVDT

VARIABLE CAPACITOR

I/P

O/P

STRAIN GAUGE

AIR FLOW SENSOR

I/P

P.I.N. PHOTODIODE

O/P

PHOTOVOLTAIC CELL

O/P

40kHz OSCILLATOR
O/P

FULL WAVE RECTIFIER

IC TEMP SENSORS

I/P

O/P

O/P

GAIN

INT.

REF
+

O/P

O/P

LOW PASS FILTER


O/P
I/P

10
1000
100

NTC THERMISTORS

PLATINUM R.T.D.

F/V CONVERTER

LOUDSPEAKER

I/P
I/P

O/P
I/P

RELAY

A-B

O/P

12k

OUT

SUMMING AMPLIFIER
O/P

104 I IN

0V

SOLENOID

I/P

O/P

Rx

7
8

2
10

100k
0V

10

10k

x100 AMPLIFIER

I/P

POWER AMPLIFIER

O/P

O/P

COUNTER/
TIMER
I/P

8
9
10

10k
+5V

O/P

ELECTRONIC SWITCH
+12V
O/P
I/P

FREE RUN

COUNT

1s

L.E.D. BARGRAPH DISPLAY


I/P

.4

1
100
10

A
OFFSET

GAIN COARSE
0V

DRIVER I.C.

MOVING COIL METER

AMPLIFIER #2

TP1

OFF
ON
HYSTERESIS

+100VIN

AMPLIFIER #1

TIME

I/P

COMPARATOR

O/P
I/P

+VIN

I/P

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

LATCH

I/P

O/P
C

ON

I/P

N.C.

-VIN

B
4

OFF

O/P

I/P

RESET

SLIDE

O/P
I/P

ALARM OSCILLATOR

I/P
+VIN

BUFFER #1

I/V CONVERTER

O/P

INVERTER

I/P

VARIABLE RESISTORS

CARBON TRACK

V/I CONVERTER

A+B+C

BUFFER #2

IN

V/F CONVERTER
O/P

I/P

BUZZER

TIME CONSTANT

I/P

O/P

100ms
1s
10ms

TIME CONSTANT

1V

Fig 1.6

1s
10s
100ms

ULTRASONIC
TRANSMITTER

MICROPHONE

DIFFERENTIATOR
O/P
I/P
dV
T IN
dt

CURRENT AMPLIFIER
I/P

-5V

1
V dt
T IN

RESET

INSTRUMENTATION
AMPLIFIER
O/P
B

A-B

I/P

WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D

I/P

TIME CONSTANT

O/P
O/P

N.O.

HEATER ELEMENT

INTEGRATOR
O/P

100ms
10ms
1s

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
-

SAMPLE AND HOLD


I/P
O/P

ULTRASONIC RECEIVER

VIN

EXT.

+
HUMIDITY SENSOR
I/P

SAMPLE

A.C. AMPLIFIER
O/P
I/P

I/P

TYPE 'K' THERMOCOUPLE

ON

PHOTOTRANSISTOR

LAMP FILAMENT

O/P

O/P

O/P

PHOTOCONDUCTIVE CELL

O/P

PUMP
OFF

40kHz FILTER

AIR VALVE
I/P

I/P

O/P

AIR PRESSURE SENSOR

SIGNAL CONDITIONING CIRCUITS

O/P
+

PRESSURE

FLOW

O/P

LOAD

0/P

O/P
O/P

I/P

O/P

.5

.6

O/P

I/P

.7

O/P
+

.8

.3

.9

.2

1.0

.1

GAIN FINE
TP2

0V

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET
-12V

GAIN COARSE
0V

.5

.6

.8

.3

.9

.2
.1

+
-

1.0

GAIN FINE
+12V

5
-10

.7

0V

JL

5
+10

IT02
Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used
Curriculum Manual
Chapter 1

1.8

Glossary of Terms - Transducers


Transducer:

A device which converts information from one energy system to


another.

Sensor:

A device which senses, or measures, the magnitude of system variables.


Normally they also convert the measured quantity into another energy
system and hence they are also transducers.

Actuator:

A device which accepts an input in one system and converts it into


another energy system, which is normally mechanical. These devices
are also transducers.

Specification:

Data specifying the performance capabilities and requirements of


equipment.

Accuracy:

The error present in a measurement as compared to the true value of the


quantity.

Sensitivity:

The ratio of the output of a device compared to the magnitude of the


input quantity.

Resolution:

The largest change in the input that produces no detectable change in


the output; for example, the degree to which a system can distinguish
between adjacent values or settings.

Range:

A statement of the values over which the device can be used and within
which the accuracy is within the stated specification.

Bandwidth:

The range of input signal frequencies over which a device or circuit is


capable of being operated while providing an output within its stated
specification.

Transfer function: The mathematical relationship between two variables that are related.
Normally the relationship between the input and output of a system.
Linear:

A relationship between two quantities that have a constant ratio; for


example, a graphical straight line relationship.

Non linear:

A relationship between two quantities that cannot be described by a


linear relationship.

Linearity:

A measure of the deviation of a measurement from an ideal straight line


response of the same measurement over the same range.

Response time:

The time taken for the output to reach, or be within a rated percentage
of, a new final value, after the input has been changed.

Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used


IT02
Chapter 1
Curriculum Manual

1.9

Glossary of Terms - Signal Conditioning Circuits


Amplifier:

A circuit having an input and output that are related linearly and
with the output greater than the input. The circuit may operate on
both DC and AC circuits

Offset:

For a DC amplifier, with the input zero, the output may not be zero.
This is referred to as the offset. With these amplifiers, a control is
provided and labeled: "Offset" or "Set Zero" to set the output to
zero with the input zero, before the amplifier is used.

Gain:

The ratio of output to input for a circuit.

Attenuator:

A circuit having an input and an output that are related linearly and
having an output less than the input.

AC Amplifier:

An amplifier that will amplify alternating signals only.

Differential Amplifier: A voltage amplifier having two inputs and where the output voltage
magnitude is proportional to the difference in voltages between the
two inputs.

10

Summing Amplifier:

A voltage amplifier having multiple inputs, the output being


proportional to the sum of the various applied inputs.

Inverter:

A voltage amplifier having the polarity of the output the reverse of


the input. The output magnitude may be the same as the input (gain
of -1), or there may be voltage gain associated with the polarity
reversal.

Power Amplifier:

An amplifier with a large current output capability.

Buffer Amplifier:

An amplifier having unity gain (output = input), and having a high


input impedance and a low output impedance.

Comparator:

A circuit having two inputs A & B and an output that can be in one
of two possible states depending on the magnitudes of the inputs.
With input A greater than B, the output will be in one state
(possibly high voltage). With input A less than B, the output will
be in the alternative state (low voltage).

Oscillator:

A circuit producing an alternating output at a particular frequency.

Alarm Oscillator:

A circuit having an input and an output. With the input magnitude


below a certain level, the output is zero. When the input exceeds
the threshold the output is an alternating voltage.

IT02
Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used
Curriculum Manual
Chapter 1

The transfer characteristic of a non-linear device for increasing


input voltages may be different from the characteristic for
decreasing input voltages. The result is a 'hysteresis loop,' as shown
in figure 1.7(a) below. For a switching circuit, the term 'hysteresis'
normally refers to the input switching voltages. The input voltage to
cause switching for rising input voltages is arranged to be higher
than that to produce switching for falling input voltages (see figure
1.7(b) below). The difference between the input voltages is referred
to as the hysteresis.

Hysteresis:

Output

Output for
falling input

Rising
Voltage
I/P
Output for
rising input

Input
(a)

Hysteresis
Voltage

Switching
Levels

Falling
Voltage

(b)

Fig 1.7

Latch:

A circuit having two possible output states depending on the


magnitude of the input voltage. When operated with the input level
sufficient to change the output to its alternative state, the output is
held (or latched) in this state irrespective of the subsequent
magnitude of the input voltage.

Filter:

Circuit designed to allow signals of a selected frequency range to


pass through and stop all others.

Low Pass Filter:

A circuit allowing low frequency signals to pass while blocking the


passage of higher frequencies.

High Pass Filter:

A circuit allowing high frequency signals to pass while blocking


the passage of lower frequencies.

11

Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used


IT02
Chapter 1
Curriculum Manual

12

Band Pass Filter:

A circuit allowing signals over a selected range of frequencies to


pass while blocking the passage of signals at both lower and higher
frequencies.

Full-Wave Rectifier:

A circuit converting an alternating waveform into a unidirectional


or DC waveform.

V/F Converter:

A circuit converting a DC input voltage to an alternating voltage,


the frequency being dependent on the magnitude of the DC input
voltage.

F/V Converter:

A circuit converting an alternating input voltage to a direct voltage


output, the output voltage magnitude being proportional to the
frequency of the input voltage.

V/I Converter:

A circuit converting an direct input voltage into an output current,


the current magnitude depending on the input voltage.

I/V Converter:

A circuit converting an input current into an output voltage, the


voltage magnitude being dependent on the magnitude of the input
current.

Integrator:

A circuit having an output voltage that is proportional to the


product (input voltage x time).

Differentiator:

A circuit having an output voltage that is proportional to the rateof-change of the input voltage.

Sample and Hold:

A circuit with input and output. In the sample state, the output
voltage is equal to and follows any changes in the input voltage. In
the hold state, the output voltage is held at the value of the input
signal at the instant the "hold" signal was initiated.

Ultrasonic:

A signal at a frequency above the normal audio range and hence


inaudible to the human ear (normally >16kHz).

IT02
Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used
Curriculum Manual
Chapter 1

Student Assessment 1
Reference I/P
1

Actuator

O/P

Sensor

5
Practical Closed Loop Control System
6
Fig 1

1.

In Fig 1 block numbered 1 is a:


a signal conditioner

c
2.

In Fig 1 block numbered 4 is a:


a signal conditioner

c
3.

controlled variable

In Fig 1 block numbered 6 is a:


a signal conditioner

c
4.

controlled variable

controlled variable

display

error detector

display

error detector

display

error detector

A closed loop control system has an open loop gain G and a negative feedback factor H.
The expression for the overall gain of the system with feedback applied is:
H
G
1 + GH
a
b 1 + GH
c
d
1 + GH
1 + GH
G
Continued ...

13

Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used


IT02
Chapter 1
Curriculum Manual

Student Assessment 1 Continued ...


5.

An electrical control system produces an output of 50V for a reference input of 1V


under open loop conditions. If a fraction 0.1 of the output is fed back as negative
feedback to the input, the input reference voltage now required to produce the same
output of 50V is:
a 10V
b 8.33V
c 6V
d 5V

6.

Which of the following is NOT a function of a signal conditioning circuit?


a waveform modification
b error detection

c
7.

amplification

attenuation

The term accuracy refers to the:


a conversion of energy from one form to another

largest change of input that produces no change in the output

error present in a measurement compared to the true value

mathematical relationship between the input and output of a system

8.

A device has an output that is variable in 250 equal increments and has a maximum
output of 10V. The resolution of the device is:
a 0.25V
b 0.1V
c 0.04V
d 0.4V

9.

A filter which passes all signals at frequencies above 10kHz is called a:


a high pass filter
b band pass filter
c low pass filter
d band stop filter

10. An example of a band pass filter response is one which will:


a pass all signals at frequencies below 10kHz

14

pass all signals at frequencies above 12kHz

pass all signals at frequencies below 10kHz and above 12kHz

pass all signals at frequencies below 12kHz and above 10kHz

IT02
Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used
Curriculum Manual
Chapter 1

Student Assessment 1 Continued ...


11. An electrical comparator is a circuit with:
a one input and one output

one input and two outputs

two inputs and one output

two inputs and two outputs

12. A comparator with hysteresis is one which will:


a hold the output state after the input voltages are removed

change output state at precisely the same differential between the input voltages

change output state at different rising input voltage to falling input voltage

change output state if the input signals are within the correct range of frequencies

13. A comparator with latch is one which will:


a hold the output state after the input voltages are removed

change output state at precisely the same differential between the input voltages

change output state at different rising input voltage to falling input voltage

change output state if the input signals are within the correct range of frequencies

14. An open-loop control system is one in which:


a there is not feedback from output back to input

negative feedback is applied from output to input

positive feedback is applied from output to input

there is no connection between input and output

15

Basic Control Systems Equipment and Terms Used


IT02
Chapter 1
Curriculum Manual

16

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

Chapter 2
Positional Resistance Transducers

Objectives of
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:


Describe the basic construction of rotary and slider
variable resistors.
State that the resistance section may be either a carbon
track or wirewound.
Describe the difference between a logarithmic and a
linear track.
Draw the basic characteristics of output voltage
against variable control setting.
Describe the effect on the output voltage of loading
the output circuit.
Compare the application of a carbon track variable
resistor to the wirewound type.

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
Digital Multimeter.

17

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

2.1

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Variable Resistor Construction


A variable resistor consists of a "track" having a fixed overall resistance with a
"wiper" which can be moved to make contact with any point along the track.
In the carbon type, the total track resistance is varied by adjusting the proportion
of non-conducting material to carbon in the compound during manufacture. This
will produce a track of constant resistance along its length, so that any section of
the track will have the same resistance as any other similar section. The track will
be linear.
Variable resistors intended for use in audio applications, where subjective
appreciation of sound amplitude (loudness) is proportional to logarithmic scales,
are made with similar logarithmic (non-linear) scales. The resistance along the
track is not a linear relationship, increasing with the square of the rotation of the
spindle, or movement of the slide wiper (R S2, where S is the setting of the
wiper). A close approximation is made to the ideal logarithmic characteristic by
using three or four sections of track with different resistance slopes.
Non-Linear variable resistors are not suitable as positional transducers and are
therefore not included on the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer facilities.
The track can be laid out on a rotary or a straight base, as in Fig 2.1.
Carbon Tracks
Wiper

Carbon
Track

Wirewound
Carbon
Track

Wiper

Wiper

Wire
Coil

Metal strip
Connections

Slider Type

Connections

Connections

Rotary Types

Fig 2.1

For higher power applications the track may be wire wound, with the wiper
making contact with the top edge of a coil of resistance wire.

18

IT02
Curriculum Manual

2.2

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

Linear Variable Resistor Characteristics


A variable resistor can be used to provide a variable voltage. A steady voltage is
applied across the ends of the fixed track. The wiper then picks off a variable
voltage at the contact point with the track (with respect to the end of the track).
Used in this way the variable resistor is called a potentiometer.
+5V

10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3

0V

+5V
Variable
Contact
Setting

O/P

O/P

2
1

0V

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Variable Contact Setting

Fig 2.2

With a dual polarity voltage source, the polarity and magnitude of the output
voltage will depend on the direction of movement of the wiper from its central
position, as shown in Fig 2.3.
+5V

0V

10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3

-5V

2
1

+5V
Variable
Contact
Setting

O/P
0V
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Variable Contact
Setting

O/P
-5V

Fig 2.3

Note that the position of the variable resistor spindle (or slider) setting is indicated
by the output voltage from the potentiometer.

19

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

2.3

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Practical Exercise
Variation of Output Voltage with Setting of Rotary Potentiometer
C

+12V

CARBON TRACK
5

Digital
Meter

B
A

10

100k

Digital
Meter

0V
0V

+12V

Schematic Diagram

Physical Layout Diagram

Fig 2.4

Locate the 100k variable resistor on the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer (bottom
left-hand corner). Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 2.4 using the power
supply facilities at the bottom of the panel and the 20V DC range of a digital
multimeter.
Set the 100k rotary resistor control fully counter-clockwise to setting 1 as
shown in Fig 2.4. Note that the dial is not marked with numbers on the
printed panel. These numbers have been shown in Fig 2.4 to make it easier
to follow these instructions and collate results.
After ensuring that the voltage adjustment is correctly set switch ON the
power supply (switch on the rear of the unit just above the main power
socket).
Note the output voltage as indicated on the digital multimeter and record in
Table 2.1.
Control Setting
Output Voltage

2
V

3
V

4
V

5
V

6
V

7
V

8
V

9
V

10
V

Table 2.1

Set the rotary control to "2" and repeat the reading, recording the result in
again Table 2.1.

20

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

Repeat the reading and recording for all other settings of the rotary control.
From the results recorded in Table 2.1 plot the characteristic of the 100k
variable resistor on graticule of Graph 2.1 below.
12
11
10
Output
Voltage
(volts)

9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0

8
9
10
resistor setting

Graph 2.1 Characteristic of a Linear Rotary Carbon Potentiometer

Note that it is not easy to be precise with your setting of the variable resistor and
this may result in the plotted points not following a smooth relationship. You
should draw the best compromise to show the characteristic as you believe that it
should be. At the ends of the track the wiper comes into contact with the terminal
connections to the track, causing non-linearity at both ends. From setting 2
through setting 9 the variation of voltage should be fairly linear.
Voltage across this section (V9 - V2) =
Voltage per division (
2.3a

V9 V2
)=
9-2

V
V

Enter your voltage per division.


Switch OFF the power supply.

21

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

2.4

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Practical Exercise
Variation of Output Voltage with Setting of Slide Potentiometer
C

+5V

SLIDE

C
B

V
-5V

10

10k

Digital
Meter

Digital Meter

0V

-5V

0V

Schematic Diagram

+5V

Physical Layout Diagram

Fig 2.5

The 10k slide potentiometer on the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer is just above the
rotary potentiometers. Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 2.5 using the
power supply facilities at the bottom of the panel and the 20V DC range of
your digital multimeter.
Set the 10k slide resistor control to the left to setting 1 as shown in Fig 2.5.
Note that the marked numbers are again not on the printed panel.
Switch ON the power supply.
Note the output voltage as indicated on the digital multimeter and record in
Table 2.2.
Control Setting
Output Voltage

2
V

3
V

4
V

5
V

6
V

7
V

8
V

9
V

10
V

Table 2.2

Set the control to "2" and repeat the reading.


Repeat the readings for all other settings of the slide control, recording the
result in Table 2.2.

22

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

From the results recorded in Table 2.2 plot the characteristic of the 10k
slide resistor with dual polarity supply on graticule of Graph 2.2 below.
+5

Output +4
Voltage
(volts) +3
+2
+1
0

-1
-2
-3
-4
-5

10

resistor setting

Graph 2.2 Characteristic of a Linear Slide Carbon Potentiometer

Switch OFF the power supply and remove the connections between the slide
potentiometer and the power supply panels.
Use the digital multimeter on a suitable range (20k) to measure the
resistance between terminal A and wiper B with the wiper set to position 9:
Resistance R9 =

Move the wiper to position 2 and repeat the resistance measurement:


Resistance R2 =

Resistance between settings 9 & 2 = R9 - R2 =


Voltage between settings 9 & 2 = V9 - V2 =
Voltage per k =
2.4a

V9 -V2
=
(R 9 -R 2 )k

k
V

V/k

Enter your voltage per k.

23

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

2.5

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Effect of Loading
Consider a 10k variable resistor connected to a 10V supply with the wiper in its
central position. There will be a resistance of 5k from the wiper to each end of
the track (Fig 2.6(a)).
If a 5k fixed resistor is connected across the output then it will be in parallel
with the lower half of the potentiometer (Fig 2.6(b)) and will draw current through
the upper half of the potentiometer. This causes a higher voltage drop across the
upper half of the track than the lower half (Fig 2.6(c)).
+10V

+10V

+10V
5k

5k

6.67V

5k

3.33V O/P

5V
5k

O/P

5k
0V

5k

0V

(a)

2.5k

3.33V

0V

(b)

(c)

Fig 2.6

Another way of looking at this is that the shunting effect of the 5k load resistor
is to reduce the total resistance of the lower half to 2.5k (Fig 2.6(c)). Only one
third of the applied voltage will be dropped across the lower half and two thirds
across the upper.
The variations of resistance as the wiper is moved will be quite complex and the
voltage at the output will be non-linear.

24

IT02
Curriculum Manual

2.6

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

Practical Exercise
Effect of Loading on the Potentiometer Output Voltage
With the power supply switched OFF and no connections made to any
components, measure the resistance of the 100k rotary variable resistor
between contact A and the wiper as it is set to the marked points on its scale.
Use a suitable scale (200k) on your digital multimeter and record the
results in Table 2.3 overleaf in the row marked "Load Resistance".
The 100k resistor is to be used as a load resistance across the output of a 10k
position sensing variable resistor.
Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 2.7 but initially leave out the lead from
contact C of the 100k resistor to contact B of the 10k so that the load is
not connected across the output.
C

+12V

CARBON TRACK
5

B
10k

9
1

10

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C
7

B
A

9
1

100k

10

B
A

10k

Digital
Meter

0V

0V

V
Digital
Meter

V
100k

Omit lead
at first

+12V

Schematic Diagram

Physical Layout Diagram

Fig 2.7

Switch the power supply ON and adjust the 10k rotary resistor to give an
output of 6V.
Do not re-adjust this setting during the rest of this exercise.
Set the 100k resistor fully clockwise (10) and connect the missing lead
from contact C of the 100k resistor to contact B of the 10k so that the
load is connected across the output of the positional sensor (10k resistor).
Note the output voltage and record in Table 2.3.

25

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

Control Setting

10

Output Voltage
Load
Resistance

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Table 2.3

Change the setting of the 100k load resistor and record the effect as the
load resistor is set to each marked position in Table 2.3.
From the information in Table 2.3, plot the characteristic of Output Voltage
against Load Resistance on the graticule of Graph 2.3 below:
7
Output
Voltage
(volts)

6
5
4
3
2
1
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70
80
90
100
Load Resistance (k)

Graph 2.3

+12V

MOVING COIL METER


CARBON TRACK
5

8
9

2
1

V
100k

26

B
A

Digital
Meter

10k

-10
+
0V

0V

+12V

Schematic Diagram

Fig 2.8

Digital
Meter

10

10k

0V

Physical Layout Diagram

JL

5
+10

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

Do not alter the setting of the 10k resistor.


With the Load Resistance (100k resistor) removed from circuit connect the
panel mounted Moving Coil Meter as in Fig 2.8 and switch ON the power
supply.
Note the effect on the output voltage reading of having the analog type
meter connected in circuit as well as the digital multimeter.
Multimeter voltage reading with the Moving Coil Meter connected
=

Compare this reading with the results on the characteristic curve of


Graph 2.3 and read off the graph the loading resistance presented by the
Moving Coil Meter to the output:
Loading resistance of the Moving Coil Meter =
2.6a

Enter your value of the loading resistance of the Moving Coil Meter in k.
What you have observed here is a problem which can be very misleading if you
are not aware of the difficulties of using a low impedance meter to take
measurements in a high impedance circuit. The problem can be overcome by using
a Buffer Amplifier.
MOVING COIL METER
CARBON TRACK
5

0V

I/P

10

-10

O/P

BUFFER #1

5
+10

+
+VIN

10k

+12V

0V

JL

Fig 2.9

Modify the circuit to include Buffer #1 as in Fig 2.9 and note the effect on
the output voltage as indicated by both meters.
Output voltage =
2.6b

V (digital)

V (analog)

Enter your value of analog output voltage with Buffer #1 in circuit in volts.

Switch OFF the power supply.


27

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

2.7

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Resolution
Resolution has been defined as the largest change in the input which does not
cause a change in the output. Alternatively it can be defined as the smallest
change in input which does cause a change in output.
For the carbon track resistor this value is very small since the individual particles
of carbon are tiny and variations of resistance can be considered to be infinitely
small. The resolution for a wirewound resistor is not so good, since, as the wiper is
moved, it has to jump from one turn of the wire coil to the next.
The output voltage therefore increases in steps equal to the applied voltage divided
by the number of turns if the wiper only makes contact with one turn at a time.
Wiper
1

(a)

(b)

(c)

Fig 2.10

This may not be quite the case, since the wiper may make contact with two or
more turns at once as in Fig 2.10(b). The mathematical treatment of this will
depend on the thickness of the wire (power rating) and the size of the wiper
contact (current rating).
Multi-turn wirewound tracks will largely overcome this problem.

2.8

28

Comparison of Carbon with Wirewound Track


Carbon

Wirewound

Cheap
Good Resolution
Can be made miniature

High Current Ratings


Durability (Reliability)

IT02
Curriculum Manual

2.9

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

Practical Exercise
Servo Potentiometer
A special positional potentiometer is mounted on the experiment board which has
a very large arc of turning, approaching 360. It is called a Servo Potentiometer.

SERVO
POTENTIOMETER

+5V

2.2k

O/P

20k
V

-5V

0V

O/P

Schematic Diagram

V
Layout Diagram

0V

Fig 2.11

To bring the potentiometer scale into contact with the drive wheel on the shaft,
press and release the mounting at the point arrowed in Fig 2.11. The potentiometer
can then be turned manually with the shaft, using one of the large wheels, such as
the Hall Effect Sensor Disk. The potentiometer can be turned directly from the
dial, manually, if preferred.
The 5V input voltages to the Servo Potentiometer are connected internally.
Connect a digital multimeter on the 20V DC range to the output of the
potentiometer as shown in Fig 2.11.
Turn the potentiometer to find the maximum positive output voltage
position. Note the value of this voltage and the angle, as given on the
potentiometer dial, in the first column of Table 2.4 overleaf.

29

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

150

Control Dial Setting


Output Voltage

120

90

IT02
Curriculum Manual

60

360
0

30

330
-30

300
-60

270
-90

240
-120

210
-150

Table 2.4

Rotate the dial in steps of 30 clockwise from the maximum voltage position
(beginning with 150), noting the output voltage at each step and recording
the values in Table 2.4.
At the final step note the angle from the dial setting and the value of the
maximum negative voltage setting.
From the information recorded in Table 2.4, draw the characteristic of the
output voltage/dial setting of the Servo Potentiometer on the graticule
provided below:

Output
Voltage

+5
+4
+3
+2

-180 -150 -120 -90 -60 -30

+1
-1
-2

30 60 90 120 150 180


Dial
Setting

-3
-4
-5

Graph 2.4 Characteristic of the Servo Potentiometer

2.9a

30

Enter the dial setting in degrees for the maximum positive output voltage.

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

Student Assessment 2
1.

A log. scale (logarithmic) potentiometer is most suitable for use as a:


a linear positional transducer
b linear voltage controller

c
2.

sound volume controller

rotary positional transducer

A variable resistor is stated to be wirewound. It is most likely to be:


a linear because the resistance will be constant along the wire's length

linear as long as it is of the slide (not rotary) type

logarithmic because of the inductance of the coiled wire

non-linear because of the difficulty of making wire of a constant resistance


5

9
1

10

Fig 1

3.

A linear potentiometer (as in Fig 1 above) has control settings of 1-10 and is connected
to a +9V, 0, -9V supply, with the -9V connection made to the end marked setting "1".
The voltage at the setting marked "6" will be:
a -1V
b 0V
c +1V
d +1.8V

4.

A 10k linear potentiometer is connected to a 12V supply. With the output circuit
loaded by a 5k load, the output voltage in the mid position (A) and maximum setting
(B) will be:
a A = 6V, B = 12V b A = 3V, B = 12V c A = 4V, B = 8V d A = 4V, B = 12V

5.

A wirewound variable resistor consists of 1200 turns of wire. Assuming that the wiper
only makes contact with one turn at any time, and the applied voltage across the track is
10V, the resolution in terms of the output voltage will be:
a 8.3mV
b 10mV
c 12mV
d 16.7mV

Continued...

31

Positional Resistance Transducers


Chapter 2

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Student Assessment 2 Continued...

100k

10V

EMF Source

A=1

100k

Buffer Amplifier

Fig 2

6.

The circuit of Fig 2 consists of a source of EMF of 10V with an output resistance of
100k. The Buffer Amplifier has a gain of 1 and an input impedance of 100k, and
is not initially connected to the source. What voltage would you expect to get at:
A - with a digital multimeter with an input resistance of 10M (A1),
A - with a moving coil meter with a resistance of 10k (A2), and
- using the same moving coil meter as in A2 above but connected to the supply via
the buffer amplifier (B):
a A1 = 10V, A2 = 1V, B = 10V
b A1 = 9.9V, A2 = 0.9V, B = 10V

c
7.

32

A1 = 9.9V, A2 = 0.91V, B = 5V

A1 = 10V, A2 = 1V, B = 0.83V

Which of the following is NOT an advantage of the carbon track variable resistor
when compared with the wirewound type?
a cost
b reliability
c small size
d resolution

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

Chapter 3
Wheatstone Bridge Measurements

Objectives of
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:


State the principles of the basic Wheatstone Bridge
circuit for resistance measurement.
Describe the term "null balance".
State and apply the expression for calculating an
unknown resistance from the Bridge values at balance.
Discuss the factors affecting the resolution and
accuracy of measurements.
Discuss the reason for the three-wire resistance
circuit.
Apply null methods to voltage measurements.
Make resistance and voltage measurements using the
DIGIAC 1750 facilities.

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
Digital Multimeter.

33

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

3.1

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Wheatstone Bridge Circuit


Fig 3.1 shows the basic Wheatstone Bridge circuit, consisting of four resistors and
a sensitive center zero meter connected to a DC source.
I
R1
DC
Supply

Im

R3

I2

I1

R2

G
R4

Fig 3.1

R1, R2 & R3 are accurate, close tolerance, resistors. R3 is variable and calibrated
over its full range. R4 is the unknown resistor to be measured.

3.2

Null Balance
During measurement, R3 is adjusted until there is no current (Im) flowing in the
galvanometer circuit. The galvanometer current is zero or "null". Under these
conditions, the bridge is said to be "balanced". Hence the term "null balance".
The purpose of the galvanometer is to "detect" the presence of the null condition.
From the known values of R1, R2 & R3 at balance, the value of R4 can be
calculated from:R2
R4 =
x R3
R1
The ratio of the values of resistors R2:R1 sets the range, so that values of the
unknown resistor R4 which are larger or smaller than the variable resistor R3 can
be measured. There is no limit to the range of values which can be measured.
Any inaccuracy in the values of the ratio arm resistors R1 & R2, and also in the
standard variable resistor R3, will result in errors in the measured value of R4.
Since no current flows in the "null detector" branch at balance no error can be
introduced by this part of the circuit.

34

IT02
Curriculum Manual

3.3

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

Deriving the Formula


With no current in the galvanometer circuit, the voltages at either end of it must be
the same. This means that the voltages across R1 & R2 must be the same and
similarly those across R3 & R4.
With no current in the galvanometer, the current in R1 must be the same as that in
R3 and the current in R2 must equal that in R4.
If current I1 flows in R1 & R3 and current I2 flows in R2 & R4:I1R1 = I2R2..................................................................... (i)
I1R3 = I2R4.................................................................... (ii)
Dividing:

(i) (ii)
I1 R1 I 2 R2
=
I1 R3 I 2 R4

R1 R2
=
R3 R4

R4 =

R2
R3
R1

The unknown resistance R4 depends on the ratio R2:R1 and the value of R3 at
balance. The resistors R1 and R2 are normally referred to as the "ratio arms" of
the bridge.
Note 1. The value of the supply voltage or the magnitude of the currents flowing
in the resistors does not affect the result. This means that the supply voltage
need not be stabilized, and that the circuit currents can be kept to low values
for a component where the self heating effect of the current flowing could
affect the result.
2. The galvanometer current accuracy is unimportant, since, under balanced
conditions, the current in it is zero. The main characteristics required for the
galvanometer are a low resistance and a high sensitivity so that a small
deviation of voltage from zero produces a large scale reading.

35

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

3.4

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The Three Wire Resistance Measuring Circuit


With some resistance transducer circuits, the transducer may be situated a
relatively large distance from the bridge circuit, and the resistance of the
connecting leads may be significant and could affect the results. For these
situations the three wire connection arrangement is used.

R1

R2

DC
Supply

R1
Long leads
2-wire

R3

DC
Supply

R2
G

Long leads
3-wire

R3

(a)

R4

(b)

R4

Fig 3.2

Fig 3.2 (a) shows the circuit with a resistance transducer R4 situated remotely
from the bridge and connected via two wires. The resistance of these wires will be
included in the measurement of R4.
Fig 3.2 (b) shows the three wire arrangement. One of the wires to the transducer is
now included in the R2 circuit and the other is in the R4 circuit. The resistance of
both circuits will therefore be increased equally and the effect on the balance
condition will be minimized, provided that the resistances of R2 and R4 are of
similar magnitudes.
The extra wire in the galvanometer circuit will have no effect on the reading, since
there is no current flowing in it at the balance condition.

36

IT02
Curriculum Manual

3.5

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

The DIGIAC 1750 Facilities


Fig 3.3 shows the Wheatstone Bridge layout provided with the DIGIAC 1750 unit.

Fine
Setting

Coarse
Setting

WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D

unlock

lock

12k

OUT

Switch

IN
1V

0V

Rx

Fig 3.3

A high quality 10-turn potentiometer fulfills the functions of the resistors R1 &
R3 for resistance, or a potentiometer for voltage measurements. The track
resistance of 10k has a maximum non-linearity of 0.25%. The "Fine" dial is
calibrated 0 - 100 in steps of 2, and the "Coarse" reading is calibrated 0 - 10, thus
enabling readings to be estimated from the dial with a discrimination of 1:1000,
representing a resolution of 10.
Reading the dial: If the number in the window (coarse setting) is 3 and the fine
setting is on 74, then the dial reading is 374. The resistance between the 0V
terminal and A (the wiper) is 10 x 374 = 3.74k.

A close-tolerance 12k resistor (R2) and an unknown resistor Rx (R4) are


provided for resistance measurement.
A switch open circuits the unknown resistor Rx to allow the measurement of other
unknown resistors which can be connected between socket C and the 0V terminal.
An accurate standard voltage of 1V is available at socket B.
The moving coil meter can be used as a center zero indicating instrument. Since it
is arranged as a 10V voltmeter its sensitivity is insufficient for a direct application
as a galvanometer. This problem can be overcome by using a differential amplifier
followed by a high gain DC amplifier from the signal conditioning circuits.

37

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

3.6

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Practical Exercise
Measurement of Resistance
Fig 3.4 shows the layout diagram required for setting up the null detector.

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
A-B

MOVING COIL METER


5

AMPLIFIER #2
I/P

-10

O/P

5
+10

+
-

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7

.3

.8

.2

.9
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

0V

JL

Fig 3.4

Initially the amplifier and meter configuration which forms the sensitive
galvanometer must be set up so that zero input produces zero output when the gain
is set to maximum.
Connect the meter and amplifiers as shown in Fig 3.4 with the + & - inputs
to the Differential Amplifier short circuited so that the input is zero. Set the
Amplifier #2 GAIN COARSE control to 10 and the GAIN FINE to 1.0.
Switch the power supply ON and adjust the OFFSET control so that the
moving coil meter indicates approximately zero. Then set the GAIN COARSE
control to 100 and re-adjust the OFFSET control for zero output precisely.
You will find that this adjustment is very sensitive. That is why you were
instructed to obtain an approximate setting with the gain set to 10 first.
Note The setting of the offset control may require adjustment as the temperature
of the unit varies during use and it is advisable to use the above procedure to
check and re-adjust as necessary at regular intervals.

38

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Curriculum Manual

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D

+5V

12k

OUT

A
3

IN
1V

A-B

Rx

0V

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
+

MOVING COIL METER


5

AMPLIFIER #2
I/P

-10

O/P

5
+10

+
-

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7

.8

.3

.9

.2
.1

0V

1.0

GAIN FINE

JL

Fig 3.5

With the switch on the Wheatstone bridge circuit set to IN (connecting the
unknown resistor in circuit) set the Amplifier #2 GAIN COARSE control to 10
and connect the circuit as shown in Fig 3.5.
Adjust the control of the 10-turn variable resistor so that the moving coil
meter reading is approximately zero, then set the GAIN COARSE control to
100. Finally adjust the 10-turn resistor control accurately for zero meter
(null) reading to balance the bridge.
Reading the dial: If the number in the window (coarse setting) is 3 and the fine
setting is on 74, then the dial reading is 374.

Note the resistor dial reading (overleaf).


This represents the resistance R3 in the theoretical circuit considered earlier.

39

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Dial reading

Resistance R3 = 10 x dial reading

Resistance R1 = 10,000 - R3

Resistance R2 = 12,000
Unknown resistance Rx =
3.6a

R2
x R3
R1

Enter your value for the unknown resistor Rx in k.

Carry out further resistance measurements on the 10k slide variable resistor to
obtain familiarity with the equipment and its adjustments as follows:
Set the Wheatstone Bridge switch to OUT to remove the unknown resistor
Rx from the circuit. Connect the 10k Slide variable resistor terminals
A & B to the Wheatstone Bridge circuit connections C & 0V.
With the 10k resistor control set to maximum, measure its resistance as
follows:1.

Check that the amplifier offset is set correctly and adjust if necessary.

2.

With Amplifier #2 GAIN COARSE control set to 10, obtain an


approximate balance by adjusting the 10-turn resistor.

3.

Set Amplifier #2 GAIN COARSE control to 100 and obtain final


balance. Note the dial reading and enter the value in Table 3.1.

Repeat the procedure to measure the resistance of the 10k resistor for all
settings from 9 through 1, recording the dial readings at balance in Table
3.1.
Calculate the resistance corresponding with each reading, recording the
results in Table 3.1. R2 is still 12k.
Note: Since the quoted accuracy of the 10-turn variable resistor is 0.25%, this
represents 1 part in 400. There is no reason for giving results to any more
than four significant figures.
Switch OFF the power supply.

40

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

10k Resistor
Setting

Dial Reading
at Balance

R3
(10 x Dial)

10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

R1
(10k - R3)

R4 =

R2
x R3
R1

Table 3.1

3.6b

Enter your value for the 10k variable resistor at the setting 5 in k.

C
1k
B
A
Fig 3.6

Note that a 1k resistor is connected in series with the wiper of all potentiometers
on the D1750 Trainer. This prevents damage to the potentiometer in the event of
back-driving the output with a voltage, which could otherwise cause a heavy
current to flow as the wiper is moved towards terminal A.

41

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

3.7

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Measurement of Voltage
Method 1
A calibrated variable resistor, standard voltage source and galvanometer are
required, these being connected as shown in Fig 3.7.

+
Unknown
Voltage

Rt
R

+
-

Standard
Voltage

Fig 3.7

The position of the slider of the variable resistor is adjusted until the circuit is
balanced with no current flowing in the galvanometer.
Under these conditions, the voltage across the R section of the variable resistance
is equal to the value of the standard voltage supply. The unknown voltage is
proportional to the total resistance of the variable resistor Rt and the section
resistance R, and can be calculated from:Unknown voltage =

Rt
x Standard voltage
R

The method has disadvantages:1.

The unknown voltage source is loaded by the variable resistor and hence the
voltage may be affected.

2.

The method only allows measurement of voltages greater than the standard
voltage.

This method of measuring potential is the origin of the term "potentiometer" for a
variable resistor. Early models of this measuring instrument were made of a highly
accurate, close tolerance, resistance wire which was stretched between terminals
on a scaled background. It was known as a Slide-Wire Potentiometer.

42

IT02
Curriculum Manual

3.8

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

Practical Exercise
Measurement of Voltage Using Method 1
WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C
7

4
3

9
1

12k

OUT

IN

A
3

10

A-B

10k
1V

V
0V

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
-

0V

Rx

+5V
MOVING COIL METER
AMPLIFIER #2
I/P
-

O/P
+

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.3

.8

.2

.9
.1

5
+10

.7

1.0

GAIN FINE

-10

0V

JL

Fig 3.8

First set the OFFSET control of Amplifier #2 using the same procedure used
in Practical Exercise 3.6:
Switch ON the power supply and with the Differential Amplifier inputs
shorted together and Amplifier #2 GAIN FINE set to 1.0, adjust the OFFSET
for approximately zero output with the GAIN COARSE set to 10. Adjust
finally for zero with the GAIN COARSE set to 100.
Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 3.8 and set the switch on the Wheatstone
Bridge circuit to OUT to disconnect the 12k ratio arm resistor and the
unknown resistor Rx from the circuit.
Set the Amplifier #2 GAIN COARSE to 10 and set the output from the 10k
wirewound resistor to 4V as indicated by the digital meter. This represents
the "unknown" voltage.
Adjust the 10-turn resistor for approximate balance and then obtain final
balance with Amplifier #2 GAIN COARSE set to 100.

43

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Note the dial reading at balance, enter the value in Table 3.2 and calculate
the value of the unknown voltage from:-

1000
x Standard voltage
Dial reading
1000
x 1V
=
Dial reading

Unknown voltage =

Repeat the procedure with the "unknown" voltage input set to each of the
values indicated in Table 3.2, recording the readings and calculating the
voltages for each value.
"Unknown"
Voltage
4.0
3.5
3.0
2.5
2.0
1.5
1.0

Dial Reading
at Balance

Calculated
Voltage
V
V
V
V
V
V
V

Table 3.2

3.8a

Enter your dial reading with the "unknown" voltage set to 2.5V.
The method has the disadvantage of loading the unknown voltage source and this
can be demonstrated as follows:Set the "unknown " voltage to 2.0V and obtain balance conditions.
Now remove the connection from the output of the wirewound resistor
(socket B) to the Wheatstone bridge (socket D) and note the revised value of
the unknown voltage as indicated by the digital voltmeter.

44

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Curriculum Manual

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

"Unknown" Voltage:

3.8b

3.9

When connected to the bridge =

Disconnected from the bridge =

Enter your value of the "Unknown" Voltage when disconnected from the
bridge in V.

Measurement of Voltage
Method 2
This method requires an additional DC source of voltage with a magnitude
exceeding the maximum value of the unknown voltages to be measured and
another variable resistor Rs. The schematic diagram is shown in Fig 3.9.
Rs

+
G

Rt
R

Standard +
Voltage

Unknown
Voltage

Fig 3.9

For measurement of voltages less than the standard voltage, the slider of the
variable resistor is set to its maximum position and, with the galvanometer
connected to the standard voltage source, the value of Rs is adjusted until there is
no current flowing in the galvanometer and the circuit is balanced.

45

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The full resistance Rt is then calibrated to represent the value of the standard
voltage.
To measure an unknown voltage, the galvanometer is connected to the unknown
voltage and the slider position is again adjusted for circuit balance. The section R
at balance represents the magnitude of the unknown voltage.

Unknown voltage =

R
x Standard voltage
Rt

For the measurement of voltages higher than the standard voltage, the variable
resistor can be calibrated against the standard voltage with the slider set to a
position lower than the maximum setting. This setting will now represent a
magnitude equal to the standard voltage.
Balance with an unknown voltage is obtained as before and the unknown voltage
calculated from :-

Unknown voltage =

R(unk no wn connected)
x Standard voltage
R(stand ard connected)

With this method, no current is taken from the unknown voltage source at balance
and hence the circuit is not loaded. The voltage obtained should therefore be
accurate, within the limits of accuracy of the variable resistor.

46

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

3.10 Practical Exercise


Measurement of Voltage Using Method 2
You should be familiar with the procedures for initially setting the amplifier offset
and balancing the bridge circuit by now. Instructions for the procedures will not
therefore be repeated in this exercise.

Measurement of Voltages Less Than the Standard Voltage.


Carry out the OFFSET initializing procedure and then connect the circuit as
indicated in Fig 3.10, using the 100k variable resistor as Rs (Fig 3.9) in the
supply circuit of the additional DC source.
Note that the output of the 10k wirewound variable resistor is not
connected initially. This will be used as the source of the "unknown"
voltage.

WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D

AMPLIFIER #2

12k

OUT

A
3

0V

O/P
+

.4

Rx

OFFSET

.5

.6

.7
.8

.3

1
100
10

A-B

IN
1V

I/P

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
-

.9

.2

GAIN COARSE

1.0

.1

GAIN FINE

MOVING COIL METER


CARBON TRACK
5

7
8

2
1

10

100k

0V

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

8
9
1

10

-10

B
A

10k

0V

5
+10

+
-

+5V

JL

Fig 3.10

Set the 10-turn resistor to its maximum setting (1000) and adjust the setting
of the 100k resistor for balanced conditions, i.e. null indication on the
moving coil (M.C.) meter. Set Amplifier #2 GAIN COARSE control to 10
initially and then finally to 100 during the balancing.

47

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

IT02
Curriculum Manual

When completed, the 10-turn resistor has been calibrated so that full scale
reading of 1000 represents a voltage of 1.000V.
Replace the 1.0V reference voltage source (from the Wheatstone Bridge
circuit) with the unknown voltage output of the 10k wirewound variable
resistor, by moving the lead that is connected to socket A of the Differential
Amplifier FROM socket B of the Wheatstone Bridge circuit TO socket B of
the 10k wirewound variable resistor.
Set the "unknown" voltage to 0.25V as indicated on the digital multimeter.
Adjust the control of the 10-turn resistor for balance and note the dial
reading for this balance condition. This reading will represent the unknown
voltage directly in mV. Record the value in Table 3.3 and compare with the
reading indicated by the digital multimeter.
"Unknown" Voltage Input

0.25V

Dial Reading at Balance

0.40V

mV

0.60V

mV

0.70V

mV

mV

0.80V
mV

0.95V
mV

Table 3.3

Repeat the procedure for other "unknown" voltage inputs given in Table 3.3.
1000
Dial 900
Setting
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0

Graph 3.1

48

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0


"Unknown" Voltage

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

Plot the characteristic of Dial Reading against "unknown" input voltage on


the graticule provided.

3.10a

Read from your Graph 3.1 and enter the Dial Setting corresponding to an
input voltage of 0.53V.
Measurement of Voltages Greater Than the Standard Voltage.
Remove the lead from socket C of the 10k wirewound resistor to socket B
of the 100k resistor to remove the 1V supply.
Replace the 100k resistor used for calibration with the 10k slider unit
and apply the +12V supply to this and the 10k wirewound instead of the
+5V.
Set the control dial of the 10-turn resistor to setting 0100 and connect the A
socket of the Differential Amplifier back to socket B of the Wheatstone
Bridge as shown in Fig 3.10.
Adjust the 10k slider resistor control setting for bridge balance. When
completed, the 10-turn resistance has been calibrated so that a dial reading
of 0100 represents a voltage of 1.00V and a maximum dial reading of 1000
will represent a voltage of 10V.
Remove the 1.0V reference voltage source from socket A of the Differential
Amplifier and connect the "unknown" voltage from socket B of the 10k
wirewound resistor to socket A of the Differential Amplifier.
Apply various "unknown" voltages in the range 0 - 10V to the circuit . Note
the dial reading for balance for each input voltage setting and enter the
values in Table 3.4.
"Unknown"
Voltage Input
Dial Reading
at Balance
Measured Voltage
(Volts)

Table 3.4

49

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Loading Effect
Set the "unknown" input voltage to 5V and note the voltage change on the
digital meter when the lead to the Differential Amplifier is removed.

"Unknown" Voltage:

3.10b

When Connected to the bridge

Disconnected from the bridge

Enter the apparent change of the "Unknown" Voltage in mV when the


amplifier is disconnected from the bridge.
The slight loading effect is due to the input resistance of the Differential
Amplifier.

Notes:

........................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................
50

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Curriculum Manual

Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

Student Assessment 3

1000
+1V

100
G

0V
853

Rx
Unknown

Fig 1

1.

For the circuit of Fig 1, the name of the circuit is:


a wirewound potentiometer
b Wheatstone Bridge
c

slide wire potentiometer

carbon track variable resistor

2.

When the circuit of Fig 1 is balanced, the value of the unknown resistor Rx is:
a 85.3
b 853
c 1172
d 8.53k

3.

For the circuit of Fig 1, if the supply voltage was increased to +2V the effect on the
balance condition would be to:
a double the resistance value
b half the resistance value
c

half the error in the measurement

make no change at all

4.

For the circuit of Fig 1, which of the following components would NOT affect the
accuracy of the measurement?
a 100 resistor
b 853 resistor
c 1000 resistor
d galvanometer G

5.

A resistance transducer is situated at a distance from the measuring bridge and is


connected to it via just two wires, each of which has a resistance of 10. If the
resistance of the transducer is 120, the bridge reading will be:
a 110
b 120
c 130
d 140
Continued ...

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Wheatstone Bridge Measurements


Chapter 3

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Student Assessment 3 Continued ...


6.

If the circuit connection described in question 5 used a three-wire system, the bridge
reading would be:
a 110
b 120
c 130
d 140
Rs

7438

+
G

V1

2562

V1
1.5V

+
-

Fig 2

7.

9.

+
V2

V3

Fig 3

The circuits of Fig 2 and Fig 3 are for measuring:


a Fig 2 voltage, Fig 3 resistance
b Fig 3 voltage, Fig 2 resistance
c

8.

Rt

both voltage

both resistance

When the circuit in Fig 2 is balanced, the value of V1 will be:


a 5.85V
b 4.35V
c 3.9V

d 0.52V

The circuit of Fig 3 is calibrated against a standard voltage (V2) of 1V to a dial setting
of 0200. The dial has a discrimination of 1:1000. To be able to measure the maximum
unknown voltage the value of the additional supply (V1) must be:
a <1V
b >1V
c =2V
d >5V

10. Which of the following is NOT an advantage of the circuit of Fig 3 compared to that of
Fig 2?
a measures higher and lower voltages
b measures resistance
c

52

does not load the voltage source tested

draws no current from the source tested

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

Chapter 4
Temperature Measurement

Objectives of
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:


Describe the characteristics of an IC temperature
sensor.
Describe the construction and characteristics of a
Platinum RTD resistance transducer.
Describe the construction and characteristics of an
NTC thermistor.
Discuss the characteristics of NTC thermistor bridge
circuits.
Describe the construction and characteristics of a
thermocouple.
Deduce temperatures from a voltage reading across a
transducer.

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
2 x Digital Multimeters.
Stopwatch (not supplied).
Scientific Calculator (not supplied).

53

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

4.1

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The DIGIAC 1750 Temperature Transducer Facilities


Fig 4.1 shows the layout of the temperature transducer facilities of the DIGIAC
1750 unit. The active transducers are mounted within a clear plastic enclosure
which contains a heater.

REFERENCE
THERMOCOUPLE
(+ LM335)

TYPE 'K' THERMOCOUPLE

IC TEMP SENSORS
EXT.

O/P

O/P

+
CLEAR
PLASTIC
ENCLOSURE
HEATER

INT.

REF
+

O/P

O/P
A
NTC THERMISTORS
HEATER ELEMENT

PLATINUM R.T.D.
I/P

Fig 4.1

The heated enclosure is provided to raise the temperature of the sensor transducers
to allow measurements to be taken during experiments.
In the case of the NTC thermistors and the thermocouples, an additional, separate
unit is mounted outside the heated enclosure. The externally mounted sensors are
made available for comparison between ambient (room) temperature and the
temperature within the enclosure.
The externally mounted "K" type thermocouple is contained within a package in
contact with an IC temperature sensor (LM335) to act as a thermometer with
voltage output. This will be used in many of the experiments as the reference
(REF) thermometer.
Note: It is important to give the unit time to cool down between the experiments.
This will allow the enclosure to return to ambient temperature.

54

IT02
Curriculum Manual

4.2

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

The IC Temperature Sensor


This is an integrated circuit containing 16 transistors, 9 resistors and 2 capacitors
contained in a transistor type package.
The device reference number is LM335 and it provides an output of 10mV/K.
Measurements of the output voltage therefore indicate the temperature directly in
degrees Kelvin (K). For example, at a temperature of 20C (293K) the output
voltage will be 2.93V.
The circuit arrangement provided with the IC Temperature Sensor on the DIGIAC
1750 unit is shown in Fig 4.2.
+5V
1k

1k
Ext.
O/P

LM
355
0V

Int.
Socket for connection
of external LM335

Fig 4.2

A 2-pin socket is provided for the connection of an external LM335 unit if


desired.
Note An LM335 unit is mounted on the Type "K" Thermocouple panel, external
to the heated enclosure and fitted in a heat sink together with another type
"K" thermocouple, its output being available from the REF socket on that
panel. The output from this can be used as an indication of the ambient
temperature outside the heated enclosure, and that from the INT. socket in
Fig 4.2 indicates the temperature within the heated enclosure.
The output from the REF socket does not give an accurate value of the room
(ambient) temperature when the heater is in use, due mainly to heat passing
along the PCB by conduction from the heater. An LM335 remotely mounted
or some other method is necessary if accurate measurement of ambient
temperature is required.
55

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

4.3

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of an LM335 IC Temperature Sensor
TYPE 'K' THERMOCOUPLE

IC TEMP SENSORS
EXT.

O/P

O/P

INT.

REF
+

O/P

O/P

A
NTC THERMISTORS

PLATINUM R.T.D.
I/P

HEATER ELEMENT

+12V

0V

Fig 4.3

Connect a voltmeter to the circuit (as shown in Fig 4.3), switch the power
supply ON and note the output voltage, this (x100) representing the ambient
temperature in K. Record the value in Table 4.1.
Connect the +12V supply to the heater input socket and note the voltage
reading every minute until the value stabilizes. Record the values in
Table 4.1. (Note C = K - 273.)
Time (minutes)

Voltage
Temperature

1
V

2
V

3
V

4
V

5
V

6
V

7
V

K
C

Table 4.1

4.3a

Enter your temperature reading in C after 5 minutes.


Switch OFF the power supply.

56

8
V

9
V

10
V

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

Exercise 4.3 illustrates the characteristics of the LM335 transducer, indicates the
maximum temperature rise possible using the heater supplied at 12V, and also
gives you an idea of the time scale required for the unit to reach stable conditions.

4.4

The Platinum RTD (Resistance Temperature Detector) Transducer


Laser Trimmed Platinum Film

Ceramic Substrate

Gold Contact Plates


Connections

Fig 4.4

The construction of the Platinum RTD Transducer is shown in Fig 4.4, consisting
of a thin film of platinum deposited on a ceramic substrate and having gold
contact plates at each end that make contact with the film.
The platinum film is trimmed with a laser beam to cut a spiral for a resistance of
100 at 0C.
The resistance of the film increases as the temperature increases. It has a positive
temperature coefficient (PTC).
The increase in resistance is linear, the relationship between resistance change and
temperature rise being 0.385/C.
Rt = Ro + 0.385t
where

Rt = resistance at temperature tC
Ro = resistance at 0C (= 100)

Normally, the unit would be connected to a DC supply via a series resistor and the
voltage developed across the transducer is measured. The current flow through the
transducer will then cause some self heating, the temperature rise due to this being
of the order of 0.005C/mW dissipated in the transducer.

57

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The very simple electrical circuit arrangement of the DIGIAC 1750 unit is as
shown in Fig 4.5.
O/P
RTD
0V

Fig 4.5

The white dot signifies that this is a PTC, not NTC (negative temperature
coefficient) type of resistor which would have a black dot.
In the practical exercise you will connect the platinum RTD in series with a high
resistance to a DC supply and measure the voltage drop across it. Due to the small
variation of resistance, the current change will be negligible and the voltage drop
across the transducer will be directly proportional to its resistance.

Notes:
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................

58

IT02
Curriculum Manual

4.5

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of a Platinum RTD Transducer
SLIDE

IC TEMP SENSORS

EXT.

O/P
INT.
+

10

10k

O/P

V
PLATINUM R.T.D.
HEATER ELEMENT

I/P

0V

+5V

Fig 4.6

Set the slider of the 10k carbon resistor to mid-way and connect the circuit
as shown in Fig 4.6, with the digital multimeter set to its 200mV or 2V DC
range.
Switch ON the power supply and adjust the slider control of the 10k
resistor so that the voltage drop across the platinum RTD is 108mV
(0.108V) as indicated by the digital multimeter.
This calibrates the platinum RTD for an assumed ambient temperature of 20C,
since the resistance of the RTD at 20C will be 108. Note that the voltage
reading across the RTD in mV is the same as the RTD resistance in , since the
0.108
= 1mA.
current flowing must be
108
Note: If the ambient temperature differs from 20C, the voltage can be set to the
correct value for this ambient temperature if desired:
1.

Set the voltmeter to its 20V range and measure the INT output from the IC
Temperature Sensor to obtain the ambient temperature:
Voltage x 100 = temperature in K
Temperature in C = K - 273

2.

RTD resistance = 100 + 0.385 x C. Set the voltage drop across the RTD for
this value.

59

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Connect the voltmeter, set to its 20V DC range, to the INT output of the IC
Temperature Sensor. This represents the RTD temperature (voltage x 100 =
temperature in K). Record the temperature in the first column of Table 4.2.
Connect a second voltmeter, set to its 200mV range, to measure the voltage
output from the RTD transducer. This voltage (in mV) is equal to the RTD
resistance (in ). Record the resistance in the first column of the table.
Connect the +12V supply to the Heater Element input and record the RTD
temperature (in K) and RTD resistance (in ) after each of the times given
in the table.
Time (minutes)
RTD
Temperature
RTD Resistance

10

K
C

Table 4.2

Convert the RTD Temperature into C (K - 273) and add to Table 4.2.
Plot the graph of RTD resistance () against temperature (C) on the axes
provided. Extend your graph down to cover 0C.
130
128
126
RTD
124
Resistance 122
()
120
118
116
114
112
110
108
106
104
102
100
98
0

Graph 4.1

60

10

20

30

40
50
60
RTD Temperature o C

70

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

4.5a

Enter the total change in the resistance of the RTD Transducer over the
temperature range 20-50C in .

4.5b

Is the resistance/temperature characteristic linear?


Yes

4.5c

or

No

Enter your estimated (extrapolated) resistance of the RTD Transducer from


the graph at 0C.
During the exercise, the current flowing was of the order of 1mA. Since the
applied voltage was +5V, the total circuit resistance was therefore of the order of
5k (which you can see from the setting of the 10k slider resistor).
The variation of resistance of the RTD Transducer therefore had little effect on the
circuit current and hence the voltage drop across it represented the resistance
value reasonably accurately.
The current of 1mA in the RTD represents a very low power dissipation in the
RTD. The self-heating effect would produce a temperature rise of 0.02C.
Calculate the power dissipation in the RTD Transducer at a temperature of
50C when the standard circuit current of 1mA flows in it.
Power dissipation in the RTD Transducer =

4.5d

Enter your calculated value of the power dissipated in the RTD Transducer
in W.
Switch OFF the power supply.

61

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

4.6

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The NTC (Negative Temperature Coefficient) Thermistor


The thermistor (thermally sensitive resistor) is manufactured with the intention
that its value will change with temperature. Unlike a normal resistor, a large
coefficient of resistance (change of resistance with temperature) is desirable.
Some are made with resistance which increases with temperature (positive
temperature coefficient, PTC) or decreases (negative temperature coefficient
(NTC). They are made in rod, disc or bead form.
The construction of a typical NTC thermistor is shown in Fig 4.7(a), consisting of
an element made from sintered oxides of metals such as nickel, manganese and
cobalt, with contacts made to each side of the element.

+5V
Th1

active
disc
element

O/P
Th2
Contacts

0V

Construction
(a)

Electrical Circuit
(b)

B
A

Fig 4.7

As the temperature of the element increases, its resistance falls, the resistance/
temperature characteristic being non-linear.
The resistance of the thermistors provided with the DIGIAC 1750 unit is of the
order of 5k at an ambient temperature of 20C (293K).
Two similar units are provided, one being mounted inside the heated enclosure.
This is connected to the +5V supply and designated A. The other is mounted
outside the heated enclosure. It is connected to the 0V (ground) line and is
designated B. The circuit arrangement is shown in Fig 4.7(b).

62

IT02
Curriculum Manual

4.7

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of an NTC Thermistor
The resistance of the NTC thermistor varies over a wide range for the temperature
range available within the heated enclosure. For this reason the method used to
measure the resistance in Exercise 4.5 cannot be used this time.
If resistance readings are to be taken at regular intervals of 1 minute, the readings
must be obtained very quickly.
The method selected connects the thermistor in series with a calibrated resistor to
the +5V supply.
For each reading, the variable resistor is adjusted until the voltage at the junction
of the thermistor and resistor is half of the supply voltage. For this setting there
will be the same voltage drop across the thermistor and the resistor and, since the
same current flows in each, their resistances must be equal.
Hence the value of the resistance read from the calibrated resistor scale is the same
as the resistance of the thermistor.

+5V
n.t.c.
1k

Calibrated
Variable

2.5V

V
+

0V

Schematic Diagram
B

WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D

O/P
A

12k

OUT

A
3

NTC THERMISTORS
HEATER ELEMENT

I/P

IN

1V

0V

Rx

Fig 4.8

63

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 4.8. Set the switch on the Wheatstone
bridge circuit to OUT to disconnect the 12k and Rx resistors from the
circuit, and set the calibrated variable resistor dial reading to approximately
500.
Switch the power supply ON and adjust the resistor control until the voltage
indicated by the voltmeter is 2.5V.
Connect a second voltmeter, set to the 20V DC range, to measure the INT
output of the IC Temperature Sensor. This represents the temperature
(voltage x 100 = temperature in K).
Record the values of temperature (in K) and dial reading in the first column
of Table 4.3.
Time (minutes)
Temperature
(from IC
Transducer)

10

K
C

Dial Reading for 2.5V


Thermistor Resistance
(10 x Dial reading + 1k)

Table 4.3

Connect the +12V supply to the Heater Element input socket and, at oneminute intervals, note the value of the temperature (in K) and the dial
reading to produce 2.5V across the resistance. Record in Table 4.3.
Convert the temperature measurements into C (K - 273) and add to the
table.
For each of the dial readings recorded in Table 4.3, calculate the thermistor
resistance and record in the table.
Note: There is a 1k resistor in the output lead of the variable resistance, so
the thermistor resistance will be 10 x Dial reading + 1k.

Plot the graph of thermistor resistance against temperature on the axes


provided.
Due to the shape of the response characteristic, the device is not suitable for
applications where an accurate indication of temperature is required.
64

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Curriculum Manual

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

7k
6k
Thermistor
Resistance
5k
4k
3k
2k
1k
0

10

20

30

40
50
60
Temperature o C

70

Graph 4.2

4.7a

From your graph, enter the resistance of your thermistor at a temperature of


35 in k.

Thermistors are used in very many electronic circuit applications for the control of
currents and voltages as equipment temperatures vary.
As transducer sensors they are more suitable for applications in protection and
alarm circuits where an indication of temperature threshold is required.
Some thermistors are available which have a rapid change of resistance when the
temperature exceeds a certain value.
Switch OFF the power supply.

65

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

4.8

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Two Thermistor Bridge Circuits


When used for alarm or protection circuits, two thermistors would normally be
used, these being connected in a bridge circuit as shown in Fig 4.9.

Th1 A

DC
Supply

O/P
R

Th2

Fig 4.9

The two resistors R have the same resistance as the "cold" resistance of the
thermistors.
When cold, there will be no output at the connections AB because the bridge will
be balanced under this condition.
As the temperature rises, the resistance of both thermistors will decrease. The
potential of connection A will rise and that of connection B will fall, giving a
larger output than would be obtained with a circuit using only one thermistor.

4.9

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of NTC Bridge Circuits
Two bridge circuits will be investigated, one containing only one thermistor (Th1)
and the other, two.

RV2

DC
Supply

RV1

Th2
(B)

Fig 4.10

66

10k

Th1
(A)

10k

Digital
Multimeter

V
RV3

10k

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

Since the three branches to be used are all in parallel (Fig 4.10) they can be
connected at the beginning and brought into operation simply by moving the null
detector (digital multimeter).
Note that the second thermistor (Th2) is not contained within the heated enclosure
and will therefore not be subjected to the same heating effect as Th1. The circuit
will not be as efficient as can be expected from one in which both thermistors are
mounted in the same temperature environment.
Variable resistors, RV2 & RV3 are adjusted to balance the branch "cold"
resistances (approximately 5k) to give 2.5V at the center-tap, and RV1 is also
adjusted for 2.5V at the wiper.
The circuit will then be ready for heating measurements.
WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D
C

12k

OUT

A
3

TYPE 'K' THERMOCOUPLE


-

IN
1V

0V

O/P
+

Rx

REF
+

SLIDE

C
B

+5V

10

10k

NTC THERMISTORS

8
9

2
1

10

10k

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

B
O/P

B
A

HEATER ELEMENT

I/P

0V

Fig 4.11

Th1, the 10k 10-turn resistor (RV3) and the 10k wirewound resistor (RV1)
form the bridge circuit with one active thermistor.
Th1, the 10k 10-turn resistor (RV3), Th2 and the 10k carbon slide resistor
(RV2) form the bridge with two active thermistors.

67

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 4.11 and set the switch on the
Wheatstone Bridge circuit to OUT.
Switch the power supply ON and adjust the 10k wirewound resistor (RV1)
so that the voltmeter reading is 2.5V. The fixed branch of the bridge is now
set for center balance.
Connect the voltmeter between socket B of the 10k wirewound resistor
(RV1) and NTC thermistor A. Adjust the 10k 10-turn resistor (RV3) on
the Wheatstone Bridge circuit for a voltage reading of zero.
Now connect the voltmeter between socket B of the 10k wirewound
resistor (RV1) and NTC thermistor B. Adjust the 10k carbon slider resistor
(RV2) for an output voltage of zero.
Both bridges are now set for zero output with the thermistors at ambient
temperature.
Connect the voltmeter, set to the 20V DC range, to measure the INT output
of the IC Temperature Sensor. This represents the temperature (voltage x
100 = temperature in K). Record the value in the first column of Table 4.4.
Time (minutes)
Temperature
(IC Temperature
Transducer)
Bridge
Output

10

K
C

1 active NTC

2 active NTC

Table 4.4

Connect a second voltmeter, set to the 2V DC range, between socket A of


the NTC and socket B of the 10k wirewound resistor (RV1). This is the
bridge output for 1 active NTC thermistor. Record your measured voltage in
the table.
Move one of the connections for the second voltmeter from the 10k
wirewound resistor (RV1), to socket B of the 10k slide resistor (RV2).
This is the bridge output for 2 active NTC thermistors. Again record your
measured voltage in the table.

68

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Curriculum Manual

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

Now connect the 12V supply to the heater input and, at one-minute
intervals, record the temperature (in K) from the first voltmeter, and the
bridge outputs for the circuit with 1 active NTC and 2 active NTC
thermistors (by changing the connections for the second voltmeter as you
did before).
Draw graphs of output voltage against temperature for the two bridge
circuits on the same axes provided (Graph 4.3):
2.4
2.2
Output
Voltage 2.0
(volts) 1.8
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0

10

20

30

40
50
60
Temperature o C

70

Graph 4.3

4.9a

From your graph, enter the output voltage for the one transducer bridge at a
temperature of 50 in V.

4.9b

From your graph, enter the output voltage for the two transducer bridge at a
temperature of 50 in V.

Note that the output with two active thermistors is greater than that with only one
thermistor. However, if both active thermistors were at the same temperature, the
output voltage would be twice that for one active thermistor.
4.9c

Is the relationship linear ?

Yes

or

No

Switch OFF the power supply.


69

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

IT02
Curriculum Manual

4.10 Type "K" Thermocouple


Chromel
Wire
Spot-welded
"Hot" junction
Alumel
Wire

"Cold"
junction

Output
Voltage

Fig 4.12

Fig 4.12 shows the construction of a thermocouple, consisting of two wires of


different materials joined by welding together at one end.
For the type "K" thermocouple the two materials are alumel and chromel.
With this arrangement, when the ends that are joined together are heated, an
output voltage is obtained between the other two ends.
The ends that are joined together are referred to as the "hot" junction and the other
ends are the "cold" junction.
The magnitude of the output voltage depends on the temperature difference
between the "hot" and "cold" junctions and on the materials used.
For the type "K" thermocouple the output voltage is fairly linear over the
temperature range 0-100C and of magnitude 40.28 V/C difference between the
"hot" and "cold" junctions.
Two thermocouples are provided with the DIGIAC 1750 unit, one being mounted
within the heated enclosure, this being the active unit which will have its "hot"
and "cold" junctions at different temperatures in operation.
The other unit is mounted outside the heated enclosure and is incorporated in a
heat sink with an LM335 IC Temperature Sensor so that the temperature of the
"cold" junction of the active thermocouple can be measured.

70

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Curriculum Manual

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

The second thermocouple is connected in series with the first with the wires of the
same material connected together. This ensures that the connections to the output
circuit are made from the same material which eliminates the possibility of an
EMF being introduced into the circuit by connections between different materials.
The second thermocouple does not contribute to the output voltage because its
"hot" and "cold" junctions are maintained at the same temperature.
The circuit arrangement is as shown in Fig 4.13.
+5V
Active
Thermocouple

Ref
LM
335
0V

+
Inactive
Thermocouple

O/P

Fig 4.13

Due to the low output voltage of the thermocouple, amplification is required. An


amplifier gain of 200 will give readings within one range of the digital multimeter.
During operation, the temperature of the "cold" junction varies, due mainly to heat
conduction from the heater along the PCB and the junction is in effect "floating".
This is a common occurrence with thermocouple installations where the
thermocouple leads are short.
To overcome the problem, extra leads of the same material or different materials
having the same thermoelectric properties are used to extend the "cold" junction to
a point where a steady temperature can be maintained. These cables are referred to
as "compensating cables".

71

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

IT02
Curriculum Manual

4.11 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a "K" Type Thermocouple
INSTRUMENTATION
AMPLIFIER
O/P

TYPE ' K' THERMOCOUPLE

O/P

O/P
I/P

A -B

+
REF

x100 AMPLIFIER

+100V IN

AMPLIFIER #1
O/P

I/P
-

HEATER EL EMENT

.4
1
100
10

I/P
OFFS ET

GAIN COARS E

0V

.5

.6
.7
.8

.3

.9

.2
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE
V

Fig 4.14

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 4.14, set the voltmeter to the 2V DC
range and set Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE to 10 and GAIN FINE to 0.2.
Switch the power supply ON and set the Amplifier #1 OFFSET control as
follows:
1) Temporarily disconnect the inputs to the Instrumentation Amplifier.
2) Short circuit together the Instrumentation Amplifier input connections.
3) Adjust the OFFSET control for zero indication on the voltmeter.
Re-connect the Thermocouple outputs to the Instrumentation Amplifier as
shown in Fig 4.14. The measured voltage should still be zero with the "hot"
and "cold" junctions at the same temperature.
Connect a second voltmeter, set to the 20V DC range, to the INT. socket of
the IC Temperature Sensor. This represents the hot junction temperature
inside the heated enclosure (voltage x 100 = temperature in K). Record this
in Table 4.5.
Reconnect the second voltmeter to the REF output socket in the Type K
Thermocouple block. This represents the cold junction temperature outside
the enclosure (voltage x 100 = temperature in K). Record this in Table 4.5.
72

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Temp.
K

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

mV

mV

mV

mV

mV

mV

mV

mV

mV

mV

10

Hot Junction
(INT.)
Cold Junction
(REF)
Difference

Thermocouple O/P

mV

Table 4.5

Connect the +12V supply to the heater and at 1 minute intervals, record the
thermocouple output voltage (displayed on the first voltmeter), and the
voltages representing the hot and cold thermocouple junction temperatures
(by changing the connections for the second voltmeter as you did before).
Construct the graph of thermocouple output voltage against temperature
difference between the "hot" and "cold" junctions on the axes provided.
320
300
280
260
240
220

Output 200
Voltage
(mV) 180
160
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

Temperature Difference o C

Graph 4.4

73

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

4.11a

Is the characteristic linear?

Yes
4.11b

IT02
Curriculum Manual

or

No

Deduce from your graph and enter the relationship in mV/C.

Switch OFF the power supply.


The actual value of the transfer characteristic will depend on the gain provided by
the amplifier system at the settings used, which can be adjusted to calibrate the
system as desired.

Notes:
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................

74

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

Student Assessment 4
1.

The output voltages you would expect to obtain from an LM335 Temperature
Transducer at temperatures of (i) 0C, (ii) 50C & (iii) -20C, are:
a (i) 0V, (ii) -0.50V, (iii) +0.20V
b (i) 0V, (ii) +0.50V, (iii) -0.20V

(i) 2.93V, (ii) 3.43V, (iii) 2.73V

(i) 2.73V, (ii) 3.23V, (iii) 2.53V

2.

A platinum RTD Transducer has resistance of 100 at 0C and 138 at 100C. Its
resistance at 50C will be:
a 119
b 138
c 150
d 188

3.

A platinum RTD Transducer has resistance of 100 at 0C and 138 at 100C. The
temperature when its resistance is 115.2 will be:
a 5.78C
b 15.2C
c 30.4C
d 40C

4.

The resistance of an NTC thermistor is 5k at 20C. If its temperature is increased, its


resistance will be:
a less than 5k
b equal to 5k
c greater than 5k d infinite

5.

A thermocouple gives an output of 40V/C difference in temperature between the


"hot" and "cold" junctions. The output voltages expected for the junction temperatures
of (i) "cold" 0C "hot" 50C (ii) "cold" 20C "hot" 70C (i) "cold" 50C "hot" 50C
will be:
a (i) 2V, (ii) 2V, (iii) 0V
b (i) 2mV, (ii) 2.8mV, (iii) 2mV

c
6.

(i) 2mV, (ii) 2mV, (iii) 0V

(i) 200V, (ii) 280V, (iii) 0V

A thermocouple gives an output of 40V/C difference in temperature between the


"hot" and "cold" junctions. The amplifier gain required to enable the thermocouple
circuit to produce an output of 1V for a temperature difference of 100C between the
"hot" and "cold" junctions is:
a 25
b 40
c 250
d 500

Continued ...

75

Temperature Measurement
Chapter 4

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Student Assessment 4 Continued ...

+5V

4k

Th1
O/P

0V
Th2

4k

Fig 1

7.

The characteristics of the devices Th1 & Th2 shown in Fig 1 are such that as the
temperature is increased:
a the voltage across them will rise
b their resistance will increase

their resistance will fall

the current through them will decrease

8.

Two thermistors Th1 & Th2 having resistance 4k at 20C and 1k at 60C are
connected in the bridge circuit shown in Fig 1. The output voltage from the circuit at a
temperature of 20C will be:
a 0V
b 2.5V
c 4V
d 5V

9.

Two thermistors Th1 & Th2 having resistance 4k at 20C and 1k at 60C are
connected in the bridge circuit shown in Fig 1. The output voltage from the circuit at a
temperature of 60C will be:
a 1V
b 2V
c 3V
d 4V

10. The characteristics of an IC Temperature Sensor give an output voltage of:


a 1mV/C
b 10mV/K
c 100mV/C
d 1V/K

76

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

Chapter 5
Light Sensors

Objectives of
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:


Discuss the characteristics of a filament lamp.
Describe the construction and characteristics of a
photovoltaic cell.
Describe the construction and characteristics of a
phototransistor.
Describe the construction and characteristics of a
photoconductive cell.
Describe the construction and characteristics of a
PIN photodiode.

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
Digital Multimeter.
Opaque box to cover the clear plastic enclosure.

77

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

5.1

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The DIGIAC 1750 Opto-Transducer Facilities


Fig 5.1 shows the arrangement of the opto-electronic (light) transducers provided
on the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer.
The opto-sensors are contained within a clear plastic enclosure and can be
illuminated by a lamp which is placed centrally.
CLEAR
PLASTIC
ENCLOSURE

P.I.N. PHOTODIODE

PHOTOVOLTAIC CELL

O/P

O/P
+

O/P

LAMP

PHOTOCONDUCTIVE CELL
LAMP FILAMENT

O/P
PHOTOTRANSISTOR
I/P

Fig 5.1

All semiconductor devices are sensitive to light falling upon them. That is why the
devices (diodes, transistors, IC's) are contained within opaque encapsulations, to
prevent light getting at the active materials.
With some devices, the main effect of light irradiation will be to increase their
conductivity (reduce their resistance). In others either an EMF is generated or
currents are released to flow in an external circuit.

78

IT02
Curriculum Manual

5.2

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

The Incandescent Lamp


The light source to be used in the experiments is a tungsten filament lamp. The
filament glows more brightly as the power feeding the lamp is increased. Two
factors will be affected as the lamp voltage is increased:
1.

The temperature of the filament is proportional to the input power. Power


varies with the square of the voltage, and is also affected by the resistance of
the lamp, which increases as the filament temperature increases (it has a
positive temperature coefficient).

2.

The spectral response of the lamp varies with the filament temperature. At
low temperatures the light is in the infra-red region of the visible spectrum
and the light output gradually increases in frequency (red orange
yellow . . . ) as the temperature is raised.

These factors make it difficult to be too precise about the response of the sensors
which will be investigated.
In order to determine the response of the filament lamp an acceptable reference
must be established. The photovoltaic cell is a linear device, the output short
circuit current being directly proportional to the luminous flux (lux) being
received.

79

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

5.3

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Practical Exercise
The Filament Lamp
MOVING COIL METER
0

5
+10

-10
+

P.I.N. PHOTODIODE

JL

0V

PHOTOVOLTAIC CELL

O/P

O/P
+

O/P
4

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

POWER AMPLIFIER

9
1

10

O/P

O/P

PHOTOCONDUCTIVE CELL

PHOTOTRANSISTOR

I/P

LAMP FILAMENT

I/P

Digital Multimeter

10k

+12V

0V

Fig 5.2

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 5.2 with the digital multimeter
connected as an ammeter on the 200mA range in between the power
amplifier and the lamp filament socket. Switch ON the power supply.
Set the 10k wirewound resistor to minimum for zero output voltage (on the
moving coil meter) from the power amplifier.
Take readings of lamp filament current as indicated on the digital multimeter
as the lamp voltage is increased in 1V steps. Record the results in Table 5.1.
Lamp filament
voltage (volts)
Lamp filament
current (mA)
Lamp filament
power (mW)
Lamp resistance
()
Table 5.1

80

10

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

Calculate the corresponding values of lamp filament power (VxI) and


resistance (VI), recording the results in Table 5.1.
Plot the graphs of lamp power and resistance against applied voltage on the
graticule provided.
800

200

750

190

700

180

Lamp 650
Power
(mW) 600

170

550

150

500

140

450

130

400

120

350

110

300

100

250

90

200

80

150

70

100

60

50

50

Lamp
Resistance
160
()

40
5 6 7 8 9 10
Lamp Voltage (volts)

Graph 5.1

5.3a

From your graph estimate and enter the lamp voltage necessary to give a
power dissipation of 250mW.

5.3b

From your graph estimate and enter the resistance of the lamp filament when
the applied voltage is 4.5V.
Switch OFF the power supply.

81

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

5.4

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Photovoltaic Cell
A photovoltaic cell is one which generates an EMF when light falls onto it.

P-type
Depletion
Layer

N-type

Fig 5.3

One of the regions is made very thin (about one millionth of a meter, 1m). Light
can easily pass through this without much loss of energy. When the light reaches
the junction, at the depletion layer, it is absorbed and the released energy creates
hole-electron pairs which diffuse across the junction.
The thin layer, which is only lightly doped, rapidly becomes saturated and charge
carriers can be released into an external circuit to form a current, pushed around
the circuit by the force (electro-motive force, EMF, electron-moving-force) of the
surplus of charge carriers released by the energy absorbed.
-200
-150
Anode
Current
-100
(microamps)
-50

10,000 lux

2,000 lux

Anode Voltage (volts)

Symbol
+0.5

Fig 5.4

Note that the anode current is shown as negative because the internal current
inside any source of EMF must flow with opposite polarity to the external current,
the electrons arriving at the anode returning to the cathode inside the photo-cell.

82

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Curriculum Manual

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

The lux referred to in Fig 5.4 is the unit of incident light (light arriving at the cell).
O/P

0V
Circuit Arrangement

Fig 5.5
Characteristics of Photovoltaic Cell Type MS5B

Open circuit voltage (in sunlight)


500mV
Short circuit current (in sunlight)
10mA
Peak spectral response wavelength 840nm (IR) Note: IR = infra red
Response time
10 s
Table 5.2

If the output of the cell is short circuited there will be no output voltage at all,
since this will all be dropped internally across the resistance of the cell. The short
circuit output current obtained will vary from zero to maximum according to the
incident light.
The device can be used either as a voltage source or as a current source and is
inherently a linear device. To increase the output voltage, cells may be connected
in series. Parallel connection allows a greater current to be drawn.
When used as an energy source they are known as Solar Cells.
Note:

For the characteristic to be linear it is necessary for the light output of the lamp to
be of constant light frequency (spectral color) and for the light output (in lux) to
be directly proportional to the power input.

83

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

5.5

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Practical Exercise
The Photovoltaic Cell
MOVING COIL METER
0

5
+10

-10
+

P.I.N. PHOTODIODE

JL

0V

PHOTOVOLTAIC CELL

O/P

O/P
+

O/P
WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

POWER AMPLIFIER

4
3

9
1

10

PHOTOCONDUCTIVE CELL

O/P

O/P

PHOTOTRANSISTOR
I/P

LAMP FILAMENT

I/P
A

10k

+12V

0V

Fig 5.6

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 5.6 with the digital multimeter
(ammeter) on the 2mA range to measure the short circuit current between
the Photovoltaic Cell output and Ground. Fit an opaque box over the Clear
Plastic Enclosure to exclude all ambient light.
Switch ON the power supply and set the 10k wirewound resistor to
minimum for zero output voltage from the power amplifier.
Take readings of Photovoltaic Cell Short Circuit Output Current as indicated
on the digital multimeter as the lamp voltage is increased in 1V steps.
Record the results in Table 5.3.
Lamp filament
voltage (volts)
Short Circuit
Output Current
Open Circuit
Output Voltage
Table 5.3

84

10

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

Switch OFF the power supply, set the multimeter as a voltmeter to read the
Open Circuit Output Voltage. Switch ON the power supply and repeat the
readings, adding the results to Table 5.3.
Plot the graphs of Photovoltaic Cell Short Circuit Output Current and Open
Circuit Output Voltage against Lamp filament voltage on the graticule
provided.
1100

1.10

1050

1.05

1000

1.00

950

0.95

900
Photovoltaic Cell
850
Short Circuit
Output Current
800
(A)
750

0.90

700

0.70

650

0.65

600

0.60

550

0.55

500

0.50

450

0.45

400

0.40

350

0.35

300

0.30

250

0.25

200

0.20

150

0.15

100

0.10

50

0.05

Photovoltaic Cell
Open Circuit
Output Voltage
0.80
(volts)
0.75

0.85

0
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Lamp Filament Voltage (volts)

Graph 5.2

85

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

IT02
Curriculum Manual

5.5a

From your graph estimate and enter the short circuit output current in A
when the Lamp filament voltage is 7.5V.

5.5b

Are the graphs linear?

Yes

or

No

Switch OFF the power supply.

5.6

The Phototransistor
The construction and circuit used are shown in Fig 5.7. The device is an NPN
three layer semiconductor device similar to a normal transistor, the regions being
called emitter (e), base (b) and collector (c).
+V

Incident
Light

N
P
N
Lens

Case

e
b

Incident
Light

R
Output
c
e
0V

Fig 5.7

The device differs from the normal transistor in allowing light to fall onto the base
region, focused there by a lens.
The circuit connection is shown in Fig 5.7, the collector being connected to the
positive of a DC supply via a load resistor R. The base connection is not used in
this circuit but is available for biasing to change the threshold level.
With no light falling on the device there will be a small leakage current flowing
due to thermally generated hole-electron pairs and the output voltage from the
circuit will be slightly less than the supply voltage due to the voltage drop across
the load resistor R.

86

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

When light falls on the base region the leakage current increases. With the base
connection open circuit, this current flows out via the base-emitter junction and is
amplified by normal transistor action to give a large change in the collector
leakage current.
With increased current flowing in the load resistor R, the output voltage reduces
and is dependent on the light falling on the device.
Vout = V - Iceo R
where:
V = Supply voltage, Iceo = Collector leakage current, R = Collector load
resistance.

Fig 5.8 shows the circuit arrangement for the DIGIAC 1750 unit.
O/P

c
b

e
0V

Fig 5.8

The main characteristics of the device are:


Type

MEL12

Collector Current

Dark

100nA

(Vce = 5V)

Typical
ambient

3.5mA

Table 5.4

87

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

5.7

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of a Phototransistor
P.I.N. PHOTODIODE

MOVING COIL METER


5

PHOTOVOLTAIC CELL

O/P

O/P

+10

-10

+
+
-

JL

0V

PHOTOCONDUCTIVE CELL

8
9

2
10

10k

PHOTOTRANSISTOR
I/P

SLIDE

O/P

LAMP FILAMENT

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

O/P

C
B

POWER AMPLIFIER
O/P

I/P

10

10k

A
+12V

0V

+5V

Fig 5.9

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 5.9 and set the 10k carbon slider
control to minimum setting (1) so that the Phototransistor load resistance is
approximately 1k (protection resistor only).
Connect the digital multimeter on the 20V DC range to measure the
Phototransistor output voltage. Fit the opaque box over the Clear Plastic
Enclosure to exclude all ambient light.
Switch ON the power supply and set the 10k wirewound resistor to
minimum for zero output voltage from the power amplifier.
Take readings of Phototransistor output voltage as indicated on the digital
multimeter as the lamp voltage is increased in 1V steps. Record the results in
Table 5.5.

88

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Lamp filament
voltage (volts)
Phototransistor
Output Voltage

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

1
V

2
V

3
V

4
V

5
V

6
V

7
V

8
V

9
V

10
V

Table 5.5

Plot the graph of Phototransistor Output Voltage against Lamp filament


voltage on the graticule provided.
5.5
5.0
Phototransistor
4.5
Output
Voltage
4.0
(V)
3.5
3.0
2.5
2.0
1.5
1.0
0.5
0

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Lamp Filament Voltage (volts)

Graph 5.3

5.7a

From your graph estimate and enter the filament input voltage when the
Phototransistor output voltage is 2.5V.

5.7b

As the filament input voltage increases the phototransistor output voltage


'levels out' at approximately:
a 4.5-5.5V
b 3-4V
c 1.5-2.5V
d 0-1.0V

Switch OFF the power supply.

89

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

5.8

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The Photoconductive Cell, LDR


Fig 5.10 shows the basic construction of a photoconductive cell, consisting of a
semiconductor disc base with a gold overlay pattern making contact with the
semiconductor material. The circuit arrangement for the DIGIAC 1750 unit is also
shown.
O/P

Cadmium Sulfide disk

Contact

Contact
0V
Circuit Arrangement

Gold Contact Fingers

Fig 5.10

The resistance of the semiconductor material between the gold contacts reduces
when light falls on it.
With no light on the material, the resistance is high. Light falling on the material
produces hole-electron pairs of charge carriers and reduces the resistance.
Out of the various semiconductor materials available, a cadmium sulfide
photoconductive cell is used on the DIGIAC 1750 unit because it responds to light
with a range of wavelengths similar to those of the human eye (400-700nm).
An alternative name for this device is the Light Dependent Resistor, LDR.

Cell Resistance
Peak Spectral Response

Dark
1M

Ambient (typ.)
400
530nm

Table 5.6

When light is removed from the device, the hole-electron pairs are slow to reform
and the response is sluggish. This is indicated by the large falling response time.

90

IT02
Curriculum Manual

5.9

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of a Photoconductive Cell
P.I.N. PHOTODIODE

MOVING COIL METER


5

PHOTOVOLTAIC CELL

O/P

O/P

+10

-10

+
+
-

JL

0V

PHOTOCONDUCTIVE CELL

8
9

2
10

PHOTOTRANSISTOR
I/P

V SLIDE

O/P

LAMP FILAMENT

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

O/P

C
B

POWER AMPLIFIER
O/P

I/P

10

10k

10k

+12V

0V

+5V

Fig 5.11

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 5.11 and set the 10k carbon slider
control to setting 3 so that the Photoconductive Cell load resistance is
approximately 3k.

+5V

3k

0V
LDR

Output

Fig 5.12

Connect the digital multimeter on the 20V DC range to measure the


Photoconductive Cell output voltage. Fit the opaque box over the Clear
Plastic Enclosure to exclude all ambient light.
Switch ON the power supply and set the 10k wirewound resistor to
minimum for zero output voltage from the power amplifier.

91

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Take readings of Photoconductive Cell output voltage as indicated on the


digital multimeter as the lamp voltage is increased in 1V steps. Record the
results in Table 5.7.
Lamp filament
voltage (volts)
Photoconductive
Cell Output

1
V

2
V

3
V

6
V

7
V

8
V

9
V

10
V

Table 5.7

Plot the graph of Photoconductive Cell Output Voltage against Lamp


filament voltage on the graticule provided.
5.5
5.0
Photoconductive
4.5
Cell
Output
4.0
Voltage
(V)
3.5
3.0
2.5
2.0
1.5
1.0
0.5
0

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Lamp Filament Voltage (volts)

Graph 5.4

5.9a

From your graph estimate and enter the lamp filament voltage when the
circuit output voltage is 3V.

Switch OFF the power supply.

92

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

5.10 The PIN Photodiode


Fig 5.13 shows the construction of the PIN photodiode.

Light

Light

N
Depletion
Layers
Hole

Intrinsic (I)
Region

Lens

P
Electron/Hole pairs
generated in the I region

Electron

Contacts

Fig 5.13

This differs from a standard PN photodiode by having a layer of intrinsic (pure)


silicon, the I region, between the normal P and N regions. The main improvement
of the introduction of the I region is a reduction in the capacitance of the junction,
resulting in a faster response time which can be as high as 0.5ns.
The device can be operated in one of two ways:
(a) as a photovoltaic cell, measuring the voltage output, and
(b) by amplifying the output current and converting it into a voltage.
O/P

0V

Sensitivity
Current Characteristic

0.55A/W
2856KnA/lx

Response Time

3.5ns

Peak Spectral Response

850nm (IR)

Characteristics of a BPX65 PIN Diode

Fig 5.14

Fig 5.14 shows the circuit arrangement and characteristics for the PIN Diode
mounted on the DIGIAC 1750 unit.

93

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

IT02
Curriculum Manual

5.11 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a PIN Photodiode
MOVING COIL METER
5

P.I.N. PHOTODIODE

PHOTOVOLTAIC CELL

O/P

O/P

+10

-10

+
+
-

JL

0V

O/P

PHOTOCONDUCTIVE CELL

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C
7

9
1

10

10k

PHOTOTRANSISTOR
I/P

LAMP FILAMENT
CURRENT AMPLIFIER

O/P

POWER AMPLIFIER

O/P

I/P

O/P

I/P
104 I IN

O/P

AMPLIFIER #1

I/P

.4
1
100
10

A
+12V

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7
.8

.3

.9

.2
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

0V

Fig 5.15

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 5.15, using the Current Amplifier to
measure the current output of the PIN Photodiode.
Use the digital multimeter on the 20V DC range to measure the output
voltage of Amplifier #1. Fit the opaque box over the Clear Plastic Enclosure
to exclude all ambient light.
Switch ON the power supply and set the 10k wirewound resistor to
minimum for zero output voltage from the power amplifier.
Set the GAIN COARSE of Amplifier #1 to 10 and set the GAIN FINE to 1.0.
Check that the OFFSET is giving zero output for zero input and adjust if
necessary.
Take readings of Amplifier #1 output voltage as indicated on the digital
multimeter as the lamp voltage is increased in 1V steps. Record the results in
Table 5.8 in the row labeled PIN Photodiode Current Amp. O/P.

94

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Lamp filament
voltage (volts)
PIN Photodiode
Current Amp. O/P

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

10

PIN Photodiode
Output Voltage
Table 5.8

Transfer the Current Amplifier input and output connections to the Buffer
Amplifier, so that the Buffer Amplifier replaces the Current Amplifier in the
circuit. This will allow you to measure the output voltage of the PIN
Photodiode.
Take readings of PIN Photodiode amplified Output Voltage as the lamp
voltage is again increased in 1V steps. Record the results in Table 5.8 in the
row labeled PIN Photodiode Output Voltage.
Plot the graphs of PIN Photodiode Current Amplifier Output Voltage and
Buffered Output Voltage against Lamp filament voltage on the graticule
provided.

4.5
4.0
PIN Photodiode
Output Voltage 3.5
(V)
3.0
2.5
2.0
1.5
1.0
0.5
0

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Lamp Filament Voltage (volts)

Graph 5.5

95

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

IT02
Curriculum Manual

5.11a

From your graph, estimate and enter the lamp filament voltage when the
circuit output voltage is 2V with the Current Amplifier connected.

5.11b

From your graph, estimate and enter the lamp filament voltage when the
circuit output voltage is 2V with the Buffer Amplifier connected.

5.11c

Are the two graphs similar shapes?

Yes

or

No

Switch OFF the power supply.

Notes:
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................

96

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

Student Assessment 5
1.

As the input voltage is varied, the light output from a filament lamp is:
a directly proportional to the input voltage b of constant color temperature for tungsten

c
2.

a non-linear relationship

reduced as the voltage is increased

The Solar Cell is a form of:


a photovoltaic cell

light dependent resistor

phototransistor

c
3.

photoconductive cell

A photovoltaic cell gives an output of 0.5V for a certain illumination level and is
capable of a current output of 5mA. With two identical units connected (i) in series or
(ii) in parallel the output capability will be:
a (i) V = 0.5V, (ii) I = 5mA
b (i) V = 1.0V, (ii) I = 5mA

(i) V = 0.5V, (ii) I = 10mA

(i) V = 1.0V, (ii) I = 10mA

4.

A phototransistor is connected to a 10V DC supply via a 2k load resistor. For one


level of ambient illumination the collector current is 2mA. The collector voltage will
be:
a 2V
b 4V
c 6V
d 8V

5.

For the phototransistor in question 4 above, if the level of ambient illumination is


doubled and assuming that the device has a linear relationship, you would expect the
collector voltage to be:
a 2V
b 4V
c 6V
d 8V

6.

The Light Dependent Resistor (LDR) is a form of:


a photovoltaic cell
b PIN photodiode

photoconductive cell

phototransistor

Continued ...

97

Light Sensors
Chapter 5

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Student Assessment 5 Continued ...


7.

As the level of illumination on a photoconductive cell is increased:


a its resistance is increased
b a voltage is generated

c
8.

its resistance is reduced

The greatest advantage of a PIN photodiode over an ordinary photodiode is:


a simpler construction
b less semiconductor regions

c
9.

the junction temperature is increased

greater capacitance

faster response times

Examining the characteristics of all of the opto-sensors seems to indicate that:


a there is no similarity between any of them

the lamp has very little light output at low driving voltages

all of the circuits give an increasing output voltage as the illumination is increased

all of the circuits gave a decreasing output voltage as the illumination was increased

10. The characteristics of the PIN photodiode are most similar to those of the:
a photovoltaic cell
b tungsten filament lamp

98

photoconductive cell

phototransistor

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

Chapter 6
Linear Position or Force Applications

Objectives of
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:


Describe the construction, principle and
characteristics of a Linear Variable Differential
Transformer (LVDT).
Describe the construction and characteristics of a
linear variable capacitor.
Describe the construction and characteristics of a
strain gauge.

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
Digital Multimeter.
Oscilloscope.

99

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

6.1

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT)


The construction and circuit arrangement of an LVDT are as shown in Fig 6.1. It
consists of three coils mounted on a common former and having a magnetic core
that is movable within the coils.
Secondaries

Primary
Coil Former

Primary
A

Motion

Core

Magnetic Core

Secondaries
Connections

Fig 6.1

The center coil is the primary and is supplied from an AC supply. The coils on
either side are secondary coils and are labeled A & B in Fig 6.1.
Coils A & B have equal number of turns and are connected in series opposing so
that the output voltage is the difference between the voltages induced in the coils.
Fig 6.2 shows the output obtained for different positions of the magnetic core.
AC Input
A

AC Input
B

Core

Core

Output

Output

I/P

I/P

I/P

+
O/P

+
O/P

+
O/P

(a)
Fig 6.2

Core
Output

100

AC Input

(b)

(c)

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

With the core in its central position as shown in Fig 6.2(b) there should be equal
voltages induced in coils A & B by normal transformer action and the output
voltage would be zero. In practice this ideal condition is unlikely to be found, but
the output voltage will reduce to a minimum.
With the core moved to the left as shown in Fig 6.2(a), the voltage induced in coil
A (Va) will be greater than that induced in coil B (Vb). There will therefore be an
output voltage Vout = (Va - Vb) and this voltage will be in phase with the input
voltage as shown.
With the core moved to the right as shown in Fig 6.2(c) the voltage induced in coil
A (Va) will be less than that induced in coil B (Vb) and again there will be an
output voltage Vout = (Va - Vb) but in this case the output voltage will be
antiphase with the input voltage.
Movement of the core from its central (or neutral) position produces an output
voltage. This voltage increases with the movement from the neutral position to a
maximum value and then may reduce for further movement from this maximum
setting. Note that the phase will remain constant on either side of the neutral
position. There is no gradual change of phase, only an abrupt reversal when
passing through the neutral position.
An amplitude only measurement of the output voltage, such as that provided by a
meter, gives an indication of movement from the neutral position but will not
indicate the direction of that movement. Used in conjunction with a phase
detector, an output can be obtained that is dependent on both magnitude and
direction of movement from neutral position. The oscilloscope gives both phase
and magnitude indications.
Fig 6.3 shows the circuit arrangement and device characteristics of the
DIGIAC 1750 unit.

I/P
O/P

0V

Turns per coil


75
Inductance per coil 68 H
Output Voltage
10mV/mm from neutral
Mechanical Travel 15mm
LVDT Characteristics

Fig 6.3

101

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

6.2

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of a Linear Variable Differential Transformer

LVDT

I/P

VARIABLE CAPACITOR

O/P

I/P

A.C. AMPLIFIER
O/P
I/P

O/P
GAIN

40kHz FILTER

FULL WAVE RECTIFIER


O/P

I/P

O/P
I/P

VIN

10
1000
100

0V
MOVING COIL METER

40kHz OSCILLATOR
O/P

AMPLIFIER #1
I/P

-10

O/P

5
+10

+
-

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7

.8

.3

.9

.2
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

0V

JL

Fig 6.4

In this exercise you will measure the rectified output using the digital multimeter
on the 20V DC range and also amplify and measure it using the M.C. analog
meter, as this gives a better impression of the variation of output voltage with core
position.
Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 6.4 with the digital multimeter on the 2V
DC range to monitor the output of the Full-Wave Rectifier. Switch ON the
power supply.
Set the A.C. Amplifier gain to 1000.
Set the GAIN COARSE control of Amplifier #1 to 100 and GAIN FINE control
to 0.2. Check that the OFFSET control is set for zero output with zero input
and adjust if necessary.
Adjust the core position by rotating the operating screw to the neutral
position. This will give minimum output voltage. Note the value of this
voltage from the digital multimeter and record in Table 6.1.
Rotate the core control screw in steps of 1 turn for 4 turns in the clockwise
direction (when viewing the control from the left-hand side of the D1750
unit) and record your results in Table 6.1. Then turn the control screw in the
counter clockwise direction, again recording the results in Table 6.1.

102

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

Core position (turns from neutral)

Output
Voltage

-4

Digital meter
Analog meter

-3

-2

-1

+1

+2

+3

+4

Table 6.1

Plot the graph of output voltage from the analog meter readings against core
position on the axes provided.
10
Output 9
Voltage
(volts) 8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
-4

-3
-2
-1
0
+1 +2 +3
Core Position (turns from neutral)

+4

Graph 6.1

6.2a

Enter your minimum voltage reading from the digital multimeter in mV.

6.2b

Enter your voltage reading from the M.C. analog meter when the core is
turned 2 turns out (-2) from the neutral position in V.
Switch OFF the power supply.

103

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

LVDT

IT02
Curriculum Manual

A.C. AMPLIFIER
O/P
I/P

VARIABLE CAPACITOR

40kHz FILTER
O/P
I/P

I/P

O/P

I/P

O/P
GAIN

40kHz OSCILLATOR

TP1

0V

10
1000
100

TP2

0V

O/P

CH.1

CH.2

OSCILLOSCOPE

Fig 6.5

Change the circuit to that shown in Fig 6.5 to observe the effect of the
polarity change in the output. Note that test points are provided at the
bottom of the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer panel for connection of oscilloscope
probes.
Note: for the LVDT considered here, unless the two secondary coils are
identical, there will be non-perfect coupling between each secondary coil
and the primary coil, resulting in a frequency-dependent phase shift in the
output voltage (relative to the input voltage).
Set up the oscilloscope as follows:
lock the timebase to CH.1, trigger selector to AC
CH.1 Amplifier on AC input, 50mV/div
CH.2 Amplifier on AC input, 0.5V/div
timebase to 5s/div
position both traces on the center horizontal line of the display
Switch ON the power supply and vary the core position through its full
range and observe the effect on the output voltage as seen on CH.2 of the
oscilloscope display.
Adjust the timebase fine control to give 1 cycles of displayed waveform.
104

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

Sketch the oscilloscope waveforms when the core is turned 2 turns in (+2) from
the neutral position on the graticule provided.

Waveform Sketch 6.1

6.2c

CH.1

The waveform sketch, for perfectly coupled coils, would look most like:
CH.2

CH.1

CH.2

CH.1

CH.1

CH.2

CH.2

Switch OFF the power supply and reset the timebase fine control to the
calibrated position.

Notes:
.................................................................................................................................................................
.................................................................................................................................................................
.................................................................................................................................................................

105

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

6.3

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The Linear Variable Capacitor


Any capacitor consists of two conducting plates separated by an insulator which is
referred to as the dielectric. The capacitance of the device is directly proportional
to the cross sectional area that the plates overlap and is inversely proportional to
the separation distance between the plates.
A variable capacitor can therefore be constructed by varying either the area of
plates overlapping or the separation distance.
Plated Brass Sleeve (fixed plate)

I/P

O/P

length l

Metal Slug
(moving plate)

10k

Spring

0V

(a)

Contacts

(b)

Fig 6.6

Fig 6.6(a) shows the construction of the capacitor fitted in the DIGIAC 1750 unit,
being fitted at the end of the coil former of the LVDT. This uses the magnetic slug
core as the moving plate of the capacitor. The fixed plate consists of a brass sleeve
fitted around the coil former.
The capacitance magnitude depends on the length (l) of the slug enclosed within
the brass sleeve, the capacitance increasing with increase of length l.
Fig 6.6(b) shows the circuit arrangement in the DIGIAC 1750 unit.
The main characteristics of the unit are:
Capacitance (minimum)

25pF

Capacitance (maximum)

50pF

Mechanical travel

15mm

Table 6.2

106

IT02
Curriculum Manual

6.4

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of a Variable Capacitor Transducer
LVDT

I/P

VARIABLE CAPACITOR

O/P

I/P

A.C. AMPLIFIER
O/P
I/P

O/P
GAIN

O/P
I/P

10
1000
100

WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D

40kHz OSCILLATOR
O/P

FULL WAVE RECTIFIER


O/P
I/P
VIN

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
A-B

12k

OUT

IN
1V

+5V

40kHz FILTER

0V

0V

AMPLIFIER #1
I/P

O/P

Rx
-

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7
.8

.3

.9

.2
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

Fig 6.7

The purpose of the Differential Amplifier is to provide a reference to give zero


output voltage at any desired value of input voltage. The reference voltage is
adjusted by the setting of the 10-turn potentiometer.
Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 6.7 with the digital multimeter on the
20V DC range connected to the output of Amplifier #1.
Set the capacitor moving plate fully out to the minimum capacitance
position, and then turn it back in until the marker on the operating control is
first at the top. Now the device is near to its minimum capacitance position.
Set the AC Amp gain to 1000.
Switch ON the power supply and set the GAIN COARSE control of
Amplifier #1 to 100 and GAIN FINE control to 0.4. Check that the OFFSET
control is set for zero output with zero input and adjust if necessary.
Adjust the 10-turn potentiometer on the Wheatstone Bridge panel to give
zero (as near as possible) output from Amplifier #1 (as close to 0V as
possible) as indicated on the digital multimeter.
Turn the operating screw inwards in steps of 1 turn clockwise to increase the
capacitance and at each step note the output voltage and enter the value in
Table 6.3.
107

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

Approximate
Capacitance

IT02
Curriculum Manual

25pF Screw full out, minimum

Turns of screw

Output Voltage

1
V

2
V

3
V

4
V

Screw full in, maximum


5

6
V

7
V

8
V

9
V

50pF
10

Table 6.3
Plot the graph of output voltage against core positions above on the axes
provided:
3.6
3.4
3.2
3.0
2.8
2.6
2.4
Output 2.2
Voltage
(volts) 2.0
1.8
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0

6
7
8
9
10
Core Position (turns in)

Graph 6.2

6.4a

Enter the output voltage when the core is in position 4 above in V.

6.4b

Is the characteristic linear?


Yes

108

or

No

IT02
Curriculum Manual

6.5

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

The Strain Gauge Transducer


Fine Resistance Wire

Fine Resistance Wire

Sensitive Axis

(b)

(c)

(a)
Fig 6.8

Fig 6.8 shows the construction of a strain gauge, consisting of a grid of fine wire
or semiconductor material bonded to a backing material.
When in use, the unit is glued to the beam under test and is arranged so that the
variation in length under loaded conditions is along the gauge sensitive axis
(Fig 6.8(a)).
Loading the beam increases the length of the gauge wire and also reduces its
cross-sectional area (Fig 6.8(c)). Both of these effects will increase the resistance
of the wire.
+5V

Load
Platform

Strain
Gauges

O/P

+
Beam
0V

(a)

(b)

Fig 6.9

The layout and circuit arrangement for the DIGIAC 1750 unit is shown in Fig 6.9.
Resistors are electro-deposited on a substrate on a contact block at the right-hand
end of the assembly.

109

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The gauge is normally connected in a Wheatstone Bridge arrangement with the


bridge balanced under no load conditions. Any change of resistance due to loading
unbalances the bridge and this is indicated by the detector (Galvanometer).

Strain
Gauge

Standard
Resistance
DC
Supply

Dummy
Gauge

Active
Gauge

D
Standard
Resistance

Dummy
D

D
Standard
Resistance

Standard

(a)

Active

Standard

Active

(b)

Dummy

(c)

Fig 6.10

Fig 6.10(a) shows the basic Wheatstone Bridge arrangement with one strain gauge
transducer. This circuit is liable to give inaccurate results due to thermal changes.
A variation of temperature will also produce a change of resistance of the gauge
and this will be interpreted as a change of loading.
To correct for this an identical gauge is used and connected in circuit as shown in
Fig 6.10(b). This gauge is placed near to the other gauge but is arranged so that it
is not subjected to any loading.
Any variation of temperature now affects both gauges equally and there will be no
thermal effect on the bridge conditions. The gauge subjected to loading is referred
to as the active gauge and the other is called the dummy gauge.
The output from the circuit is small and to increase this, four gauges are normally
used with two active gauges and two dummies as shown in Fig 6.10(c).
The DIGIAC 1750 uses two active gauges formed along the axis of the beam and
two dummies formed at right angles to these.
The main characteristics of the device are:
Load capacity

Non-linearity

0.10%

Maximum deflection

0.5mm

Hysteresis

0.03%

Sensitivity

25V/g

Creep

0.05%

Table 6.4

110

100g

IT02
Curriculum Manual

6.6

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of a Strain Gauge Transducer
STRAIN GAUGE

INSTRUMENTATION
AMPLIFIER
O/P
B

O/P

O/P
I/P

A-B

LOAD

x100 AMPLIFIER

+100VIN

MOVING COIL METER


5

AMPLIFIER #1
I/P

-10

O/P

5
+10

+
-

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7

.8

.3

.9

.2
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

0V

JL

Fig 6.11

You will need ten similar weights, such as ten equal value coins, to increase the
loading in regular steps.
Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 6.11 and set Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE
control to 100.
Switch ON the power supply and with no load on the strain gauge platform,
adjust the offset control of Amplifier #1 so that the output voltage is zero.
Place all ten of your weights on the load platform and adjust the GAIN FINE
control to give an output voltage of 7.0V as indicated on the moving coil
meter.
Note that this value of output voltage should cover all ranges of coins within
the setting of the GAIN FINE control.
Place one weight (coin) on the load platform and note the output voltage.
Record the value in Table 6.5 overleaf.
Repeat the process, adding further weights one at a time, noting the output
voltage at each step and recording the values in Table 6.5.

111

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

Number of
coins

Output Voltage

IT02
Curriculum Manual

10

Table 6.5

Plot the graph of output voltage against number of coins on the axes
provided:
Output 7
Voltage 6.5
(volts)
6
5.5
5
4.5
4
3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
0

7
8
9
10
Number of coins

Graph 6.3

112

6.6a

Enter the output voltage obtained with four coins on the platform.

6.6b

Your characteristic sketch is most similar to:

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

Student Assessment 6
1.

A Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT) has two secondary coils A and B.
When the core is moved to be nearest to coil A the voltages induced will be:
a the same in both coils
b greater in coil A than in coil B
c

greater in coil B than in coil A

reduced to zero

2.

A Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT) has its core centralized under the
primary and the voltage induced in one of the secondary coils is 500mV. The voltage
induced in the other coil will be:
a 250mV aiding
b 500mV opposing c 500mV aiding
d 1.0V opposing

3.

A Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT) has its core centralized under the
primary and the voltage induced in one of the secondary coils is 500mV. The secondary
output voltage will be:
a 0V
b 250mV
c 500mV
d 1.0V

4.

The output voltage of a Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT) is taken to


a full-wave rectifier. As the core is moved through the LVDT from one end to the other
the output voltage of the full-wave rectifier will:
a reverse polarity as the core passes through the central (neutral) position
b

remain constant at all positions of the core

gradually reduce from a maximum positive to zero

reduce to minimum and then return to maximum positive again

Continued ...

113

Linear Position or Force Applications


Chapter 6

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Student Assessment 6 Continued ...


5.

The Linear Variable Capacitor mounted on the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer varies in
capacitance by changing:
a the nature of the dielectric
b

varying the distance between the plates

varying the effective cross-sectional-area of the plates

the reactance of the capacitor due to a change in frequency

6.

From the information given in the notes about the main characteristics of the Linear
Variable Capacitor, as the slug is moved the capacitance varies by about:
a 25pF/mm
b 15pF/mm
c 1.67pF/mm
d 0.6pF/mm

7.

When using a circuit similar to that investigated in Practical Exercise 6.4, as the slug
of a Variable Capacitor is moved in towards the middle of the sleeve the output
voltage:
a remains the same b increases
c changes polarity d reduces

8.

The main disadvantage of using a single Strain Gauge in a Wheatstone Bridge


sensing circuit is that it:
a has poor sensitivity
b gives a non-linear response
c

9.

is affected by temperature

cannot be null-balanced

The strain gauge bridge used in the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer has:
a one active and one dummy strain gauges b two active and two dummy strain gauges
c

four active strain gauges

two active and four dummy strain gauges

10. The difference between an active and a dummy strain gauge is that:
a they are made of different materials
b an active gauge is longer than a dummy
c

114

an active gauge is shorter than a dummy

they are mounted in different directions

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Environmental Measurements
Chapter 7

Chapter 7
Environmental Measurements

Objectives of
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:


Describe the construction and characteristics of an air
flow transducer.
Describe the construction and characteristics of an air
pressure transducer.
Describe the construction and characteristics of a
humidity transducer.

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
Digital Multimeter.

115

Environmental Measurements
Chapter 7

7.1

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The Air Flow Transducer

RTD and
Heater

RTD Unheated

Fig 7.1

Fig 7.1 shows the construction of an Air Flow Transducer, consisting of two
RTD's (Resistance Temperature Dependent) mounted in a plastic case. One of the
devices has an integral heating element incorporated with it and the other is
unheated.
The operation of the device uses the principle that when air flows over the RTD's,
the temperature of the heated unit will fall more than that of the unheated unit. The
temperature difference will be related to the air flow rate which will in turn affect
the resistance of the RTD's.
With the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer, the transducers are enclosed in a clear plastic
container and provision is made for air to be pumped over the device.
Fig 7.2 shows the electrical circuit arrangement and main characteristics of the
device in the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer.
+5V
+
RTD

RTD
Heater

116

1W
1.7k
2.1V
1.7V

Voltage change (airflow)

0.06V

Table 7.1

0V

Fig 7.2

Heater power
Output impedance
Output voltage (-). Pump OFF
Output voltage (+). Pump OFF

IT02
Curriculum Manual

7.2

Environmental Measurements
Chapter 7

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of an Air Flow Transducer
AIR FLOW SENSOR

PRESSURE

FLOW

AIR PRESSURE SENSOR

O/P

O/P

PUMP
OFF

+
V

ON

MOVING COIL METER

AMPLIFIER #1
0V

INSTRUMENTATION
AMPLIFIER
O/P
B

I/P

O/P

5
+10

+
-

.4
1
100
10

A-B

-10

+
OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7

.8

.3

.9

.2
.1

0V

1.0

GAIN FINE

JL

Fig 7.3

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 7.3 and set the GAIN COARSE control of
Amplifier #1 to 10 and GAIN FINE control to 1.0. Check that the pump
control is set to OFF.
Set the digital multimeter to the 20V range.
Switch ON the power supply and allow the temperature to stabilize.
Adjust the OFFSET control of Amplifier #1 for zero output continuously
during this time, setting the GAIN COARSE control to 100 when stabilized
conditions are approached.
Set the Flow/Pressure control to FLOW.
Check that the OFFSET control is set for zero output voltage.
Use the digital multimeter to note the voltages at the - and + outputs from
the transducer, then note the Amplifier #1 output voltage displayed on the
Moving Coil Meter. Record the values in Table 7.2 overleaf.

117

Environmental Measurements
Chapter 7

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Switch the pump ON and note the voltages again when conditions have
stabilized, recording the values in Table 7.2
Pump OFF

Pump ON

Transducer - Output Voltage

Transducer + Output Voltage

Amplifier #1 Output Voltage

Table 7.2

The RTD's have a positive temperature coefficient.


7.2a

Which output is connected to the heated RTD, - a or + b ?

Switch OFF the power supply and the pump.

Notes:
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
118

IT02
Curriculum Manual

7.3

Environmental Measurements
Chapter 7

The Air Pressure Transducer


Fig 7.4 shows the construction of an air pressure transducer and also shows the
electric circuit arrangement of the DIGIAC 1750 unit. The device consists of an
outer plastic case which is open to the atmosphere via two ports. Within this case
is an inner container from which the air has been evacuated and a strain gauge
Wheatstone bridge circuit is fitted on the surface.
+5V
Backing Plate
-

Strain Gauge

O/P

Ports

Contacts

Vacuum Cavity
0V

Construction

Electrical Circuit

Fig 7.4

The air pressure in the outer container will produce an output from the bridge and
variation of the pressure will produce a variation of this output.
The transducer output can be calibrated and may be called an absolute pressure
transducer.
Provision is made for air to be fed to the unit from the pump.
The main characteristics of the device are:
Type

SPX200AN

Sensitivity (typical)

300V/kPa

Temperature coefficient

1350ppm/C

Output Voltage (-)


Pump OFF
Output Voltage (+)
Pump ON

2.48V

Voltage difference
Pump OFF
Voltage difference
Pump ON

35mV

Output impedance

1.6k

39mV

2.51V

Table 7.3

119

Environmental Measurements
Chapter 7

7.4

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of an Air Pressure Transducer
AIR FLOW SENSOR

PRESSURE

FLOW

AIR PRESSURE SENSOR

O/P

O/P

PUMP
OFF

ON

INSTRUMENTATION
AMPLIFIER
O/P
B

x100 AMPLIFIER
O/P
I/P

A-B

+100VIN

+
MOVING COIL METER

AMPLIFIER #1
I/P
-

O/P
+

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.3

.8

.2

.9
.1

5
+10

.7

1.0

GAIN FINE

-10

0V

JL

Fig 7.5

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 7.5 and set the Amplifier #1 GAIN
COARSE control to 10 and GAIN FINE control to 0.3. Ensure that the pump
switch is set OFF.
Switch ON the power supply and adjust the OFFSET control of Amplifier #1
for zero output voltage. The unit is now calibrated zero for the current value
of the atmospheric pressure.
Set the Flow/Pressure control to PRESSURE and then switch the pump ON.
The output voltage from the Amplifier #1 will increase. Note the value of
this voltage.
Output voltage (Pump ON) =
7.4a

Enter your value of output voltage with the Pump ON in V.


Note that a large amplification is required due to the low magnitude of the device
output.
Switch OFF the power supply and the pump.

120

IT02
Curriculum Manual

7.5

Environmental Measurements
Chapter 7

The Humidity Transducer


Fig 7.6(a) shows the construction of a humidity transducer, consisting of a thin
disc of a material whose properties vary with humidity. Each side of the disc is
metalized to form a capacitor.

Capacitor
Plates

I/P

O/P

Dielectric
Disc

47k
0V
Contacts

(a)

(b)

Fig 7.6

Variation of humidity of the surrounding air alters the permittivity and/or


thickness of the dielectric material, changing the value of the capacitor. The unit is
housed in a perforated plastic case.
Fig 7.6(b) shows the electrical circuit arrangement for the DIGIAC 1750 unit.
The unit is connected in series with a resistor with the output taken from the
resistor. With an alternating voltage applied to the input, the output voltage will
vary with humidity due to the variation of capacitance of the transducer.

121

Environmental Measurements
Chapter 7

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The main characteristics of the device are:


Type

90001

Capacitance (25C, 45%R/H)

122pF 15%

Sensitivity

0.4pF/%RH

Humidity Range

10%-90% RH

Table 7.4

Note: R/H is Relative Humidity,

Ambient H umidit y
x 100%.
Sat urated Air

The device is slow to respond fully to humidity changes, taking in the order of
minutes, but this will normally be of no consequence in practice since natural
changes in humidity are very slow.
The variation of output voltage from the circuit is only a small percentage of the
output and this is difficult to detect.
In the practical exercise you will use signal processing circuits which are available
on the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer to convert the output to a DC signal, balance out the
standing DC level and thus enable amplification of the small voltage changes.

Notes:
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................
................................................................................................................................................................

122

IT02
Curriculum Manual

7.6

Environmental Measurements
Chapter 7

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of a Humidity Transducer

40kHz OSCILLATOR

A.C. AMPLIFIER
O/P
I/P

HUMIDITY SENSOR
I/P

O/P

O/P
GAIN

+5V

10

O/P

I/P

I/P

VIN

V
DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
-

0V

A-B

B
2

FULL WAVE RECTIFIER


O/P

10
1000
100

SLIDE

40kHz FILTER

10k

MOVING COIL METER


5

AMPLIFIER #1
I/P

-10

O/P

5
+10

+
-

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7

.8

.3

.9

.2
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

0V

JL

Fig 7.7

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 7.7, setting the AC Amplifier gain
control to 10 and the Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE control to 10 and GAIN
FINE to 1.0.
Switch ON the power supply, remove the leads from the Differential
Amplifier inputs and connect a short circuit between them. Adjust the
OFFSET control of Amplifier #1 for zero output. Switch GAIN COARSE to 100
and make a final adjustment.
Replace the connections to the inputs of the Differential Amplifier and
adjust the control of the 10k carbon resistor for zero output from Amplifier
#1. It may be advisable to set the coarse gain to 10 initially and then back to
100 finally during this process.
The bridge circuit is now balanced for the ambient conditions, the Differential
Amplifier input from the 10k variable resistor balancing that from the rectifier.

123

Environmental Measurements
Chapter 7

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Note the output voltage from the rectifier circuit as indicated by the digital
voltmeter.
Output Voltage

Digital Meter

Ambient
Conditions
After Breathing

Moving Coil Meter


0
V

Table 7.5

Now place your mouth near the humidity transducer and breath on it for a
short time. The reading indicated by the Moving Coil Meter will change
slowly.
Note the maximum value of the voltage and also the reading of the digital
voltmeter.
Considering the readings obtained. Which meter do you consider gives a better
indication of the voltage changes:
a the Digital Multimeter, or
b the Moving Coil Meter?
7.6a

Enter your answer, a or b .


The time taken for the output voltage to return to zero after reaching the maximum
voltage illustrates the slow response of the device to humidity changes.
Time taken for output to return to zero =
Was the time taken for recovery less than 10 minutes a , or more b ?

7.6b

Enter your answer, a or b .


Switch OFF the power supply.
Note: It is advisable to check the OFFSET of Amplifier #1 at regular intervals in
case there has been any drift. This can be checked by just removing both of
the input connections from the Differential Amplifier. The OFFSET control
can then be adjusted if necessary.
The ambient humidity conditions should not change during the test, but should a
change occur, the bridge output will not return to zero.

124

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Environmental Measurements
Chapter 7

Student Assessment 7
1.

The operating principle of the Air Flow Transducer relies on the use of:
a strain gauges
b RTD's
c a capacitor
d a pressure pump

2.

The Instrumentation Amplifier used in these experiments is a form of:


a differential amplifier
b bandpass filter
c

3.

AC amplifier

summing amplifier

In Practical Exercise 7.2 (Air Flow Transducer Characteristics) the moving coil meter
was balanced to zero at the start of the experiment using the:
a 10-turn variable resistor on the Wheatstone Bridge panel
b

10k carbon slider potentiometer

balancing inputs on the Instrumentation Amplifier

offset control on Amplifier #1

4.

The operating principle of the Air Pressure Transducer relies on the use of:
a strain gauges
b RTD's
c a capacitor
d a pressure pump

5.

The output from an Air Pressure Transducer device is derived from a:


a series resistor
b series capacitor
c bridge circuit
d x100 amplifier

6.

At the start of the Air Pressure Transducer Characteristic experiment the output of the
device is calibrated zero against:
a relative humidity
b ambient temperature
c

atmospheric pressure

ambient illumination

Continued ...

125

Environmental Measurements
Chapter 7

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Student Assessment 7 Continued ...


7.

The operating principle of the Humidity Transducer relies on the use of:
a strain gauges
b RTD's
c a capacitor
d a pressure pump

8.

The output from a humidity detector circuit varies between DC values of 3.50V and
3.52V over its full humidity range. Which of the following signal processing circuits
would be necessary to provide an output range from 0 - 10V DC?
a AC amplifier
b oscillator
c DC amplifier
d 40 kHz filter

9.

In the Humidity Transducer investigation, the DC component of the full-wave rectifier


circuit was balanced out using:
a 10-turn variable resistor on the Wheatstone Bridge panel
b

10k carbon slider potentiometer

balancing inputs on the Instrumentation Amplifier

offset control on Amplifier #1

10. The device investigated in this chapter with the slowest response time was the:
a Air Flow Sensor
b Air Pressure Sensor
c

126

Strain Gauge

Humidity Sensor

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

Chapter 8
Rotational Speed or Position Measurements

Objectives of
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:


Describe the construction, principles and application
of Slotted Opto Transducers for counting and speed
measurement.
Describe the construction, principles and application
of Reflective Opto Transducers and Gray Coded Disc
for position measurement.
Describe the construction, principles and application
of Inductive Transducers for speed measurement.
Describe the construction, principles and application
of Hall Effect Transducers to speed and positional
measurement.
Describe the construction, principles and application
of a Tacho-Generator to speed measurement.

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
Digital Multimeter.

127

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

8.1

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The Slotted Opto-Transducer


+5V

+12V

Slotted
Aluminum
Disc

Spindle

680
Infra-red
LED
Case

Photo-transistor

O/P
47k

Contacts

470

0V

(a)

(b)

Fig 8.1

Fig 8.1(a) shows the construction of a slotted opto transducer, consisting of a


gallium arsenide infra-red LED and silicon phototransistor mounted on opposite
sides of a gap in the case, each being enclosed in a plastic case which is
transparent to infra-red radiations.
The gap between them allows the infra-red beam to be broken when a solid object
is inserted.
The collector current of the phototransistor is low when the infra-red beam is
broken and increases when the beam is admitted. Positive voltage pulses are
obtained from the emitter circuit of the phototransistor each time the beam is
admitted and hence the device generates pulses which are suitable for counting
rotations.
A slotted aluminum disc connected to the motor shaft assembly rotates in the
transducer gap in the DIGIAC 1750 unit and an LED is provided to indicate when
the slot position allows the beam to be admitted.
Fig 8.1(b) shows the electrical circuit arrangement for the DIGIAC 1750 unit
The main characteristics of the device are:
Type
Output Voltage (beam broken)

0.1V

Output Voltage (beam admitted)

4.9V

Table 8.1

128

K8102

IT02
Curriculum Manual

8.2

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of a Slotted Opto Transducer
SLOTTED OPTO
SENSOR

DC MOTOR

I/P

COUNTER/
TIMER
I/P

O/P

RESET

O/P

FREE RUN

TIME

COUNT

1s

MOVING COIL METER

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C
7

9
1

10

POWER AMPLIFIER

+10

I/P

10k

0V

+12V

-10

O/P

0V

JL

Fig 8.2

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 8.2 and set the 10k wirewound resistor
control fully counter-clockwise for zero output voltage.
Switch ON the power supply.
Rotate the shaft by hand using the large aluminum disc provided with the
Hall effect device. Note and record in Table 8.2 the output voltage from the
Slotted Opto Transducer output socket and also the state of the indicating
LED:
(a) with the beam broken by the aluminum disc, and
(b) with the beam admitted through the slot in the aluminum disc.
Beam Broken
Output Voltage

Beam Admitted
V

LED - ON/OFF
Table 8.2

129

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Set the Timer/Counter to COUNT and FREE RUN. The display should show
zero. If not, press RESET.
Rotate the shaft backwards and forwards by hand so that the slot in the
aluminum disc passes between the opto transducer.
Note the counter display, this should increment by 1 each time the slot is in
line with the transducer beam. This illustrates the use of the opto transducer
for counting applications.
Now adjust the 10k wirewound resistor control to give a drive voltage to
the motor of 2V as indicated by the Moving Coil Meter. The motor should
operate and rotate the shaft.
The counter value will increment once for each revolution of the shaft and
can be used to measure the shaft speed:
Press the RESET button and hold down. With a watch, stop watch if
available, release the reset button at a suitable time and note the count value
after one minute. This value represents the shaft speed in revolutions per
minute (rev/min). Record the value in the last row of Table 8.3.
Motor Drive
Voltage (volts)
Shaft Speed
(rev/sec)
Shaft Speed
(rev/min)

10

Table 8.3

Repeat with a motor drive voltage of 3V and add the result to Table 8.3.
Set the COUNTER/TIMER FREE RUN/1s switch to 1s (1 second). Set the 10k
resistor to give a motor drive voltage of 4V. Press the RESET button of the
counter.
The counter now counts for one second and the count value is "frozen" at the
end of this time. The count displayed represents the number of revolutions
per second of the shaft. Press RESET again. The displayed value should
correspond with the previous value. Record the value in Table 8.3 in the
shaft speed (rev/sec) row.

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Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

Repeat the procedure with the other motor drive voltages shown in Table 8.3
and for each setting note the shaft speed in rev/sec as displayed by the
counter and add to the table. Switch OFF the power supply.
Multiply each recorded rev/sec value by 60 to give the shaft speed in
revolutions per minute (rev/min or rpm) and add to the last row of Table 8.3.
Plot the graph of motor speed in rev/min against drive voltage on the axes
provided:
3000
2800
Motor
Speed 2600
(rev/min) 2400
2200
2000
1800
1600
1400
1200
1000
800
600
400
200
0

7
8
9
10
Motor Drive Voltage (volts)

Graph 8.1

8.2a

From your graph deduce and enter the motor drive voltage needed to give a
speed of 1800 rev/min in V.
Keep the motor drive circuits connected for later experiments.

131

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

8.3

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The Reflective Opto Transducer

Gray Code Disc


Drive Shaft

Infra-red
LED

Phototransistor

Motherboard
Reflective Opto-Sensors

Plan View

Side View (elevation)

Fig 8.3

Fig 8.3 shows the construction of a reflective opto transducer, consisting of an


infra-red LED and phototransistor. This is similar to the slotted opto transducer,
but in this device the components are arranged so that the beam is reflected back if
a reflective surface is placed at the correct distance. A non reflective surface
breaks the beam.
Three separate units are provided with the DIGIAC 1750 unit, being mounted in
line vertically. The reflective surface is a Gray-coded disc, which is fixed
approximately 4mm from the transducers.
With the beam not reflected the output from the phototransistor emitter is low.
When the beam is reflected the output is high.
Three LED's are provided to indicate when the beam is reflected from the
respective transducer unit.
The output A is the least significant bit (LSB) and C is the most significant bit
(MSB).
The Gray code is used for the encoded disc rather than normal binary because only
one digit changes state at any boundary with this code and this minimizes any
possibility of error in identifying the actual position when at a segment boundary.

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Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

The arrangement of the Gray-coded disc and the respective LED outputs is shown
in Fig 8.4.
Gray Code Disc
4

A
B

Position

Fig 8.4

The dark areas break the beam and produce a low output from the associated
transducer and the bright areas reflect the beam and produce a high output.
The DIGIAC 1750 unit operates as a rotational angular position transducer but
similar principles can be used for linear position applications.
Slotted opto devices could be used with a transparent disc (transparent where the
above disc is reflective).

A
B
C
0

Linear Position
Fig 8.5

Fig 8.5 shows a linear Gray-coded track, the A track is the LSB and C the MSB.
The resolution provided with a 3-bit code (3 opto devices) is poor but this can be
improved by increasing the number of devices and tracks.

133

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Note the Gray code pattern:


START
LSB

MSB

REPEATS

1 unit length '0'

2 unit lengths '1'

2 unit lengths '0'

2 unit length '0'

4 unit lengths '1'

4 unit lengths '0'

4 unit length '0'

8 unit lengths '1'

8 unit lengths '0'

Table 8.4

The electrical circuit arrangement for the DIGIAC 1750 unit is shown in Fig 8.6:
+12V

+5V

0V

Fig 8.6

The main characteristics of the device are:


Type
Output Voltage (beam broken)
Output Voltage (beam admitted)
Table 8.5

134

K8711
0.5V
5V

IT02
Curriculum Manual

8.4

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of Reflective Opto Transducers and Gray Code Disc
REFLECTIVE OPTO SENSORS

0V

Fig 8.7

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 8.7 with the digital multimeter on the
20V DC range.
Switch ON the power supply and rotate the drive shaft by hand to alter the
LED states.
Rotate the shaft until it is in the position with all LED's OFF. Use the digital
multimeter to measure the voltage at each of the outputs and record in
Table 8.6.

Output
A
B
C

Output Voltage
LED OFF LED ON
V

Table 8.6

Turn the shaft until all LED's are ON and repeat the readings, recording the
results again in Table 8.6.

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Chapter 8

IT02
Curriculum Manual

With the shaft initially in the position with all LED's OFF, rotate the shaft
counterclockwise, when looking at the coded side of the disc, and note the
state of the LED's at each change of state.
Denote an LED OFF as logic state 0 and LED ON as logic state 1.
Record the values in Table 8.7.
Position

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Table 8.7

Check the sequence against that shown in the table in Fig 8.4.

8.4a

Enter the voltage at the 'B' output when the LED is ON.

8.4b

Enter the voltage at the 'B' output when the LED is OFF.

8.4c

The code which you have recorded for step 6 in the form C B A is:
a 110
b 011
c 101
d none of these
Switch OFF the power supply.

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8.5

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

The Inductive Transducer


Thick slotted disc

10k
O/P
I/P
1mH
Ferrite bobbin

Coil

Fig 8.8

Fig 8.8 shows the construction and electrical circuit arrangement for the Inductive
Transducer provided with the DIGIAC 1750 unit.
This consists of a 1mH inductor and a slotted aluminum disc fitted to the drive
shaft which rotates above the inductor. The inductance of the unit varies with the
position of the slot. With an aluminum disc the inductance increases with the slot
positioned directly above the inductor.
If a magnetic disc was used, the inductance would decrease for the condition when
the slot was above the inductor.
Note that, if unscreened, an inductor will be liable to pick up any stray
interference, such as that which may be generated by the motor commutator
switching. This can generate spurious short duration output pulses which may
need to be suppressed by using a low pass filter.
The main characteristics of the device (in circuit under the disc) are:
Inductance

(under slot)

1mH

Inductance change

(under disc)

7H

Output voltage

(under slot)

6.9mV

Output voltage change (under disc)

2mV

Table 8.8

137

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

8.6

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of an Inductive Transducer
40kHz OSCILLATOR

INDUCTIVE
SENSOR

O/P

A.C. AMPLIFIER
O/P
I/P

40kHz FILTER

FULL WAVE RECTIFIER


O/P

O/P

I/P

I/P

O/P
GAIN

+5V

12k

OUT

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
-

x100 AMPLIFIER
O/P
I/P

A-B

VIN

10
1000
100

WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D
A

I/P

+100VIN

IN
1V

Rx

0V

MOVING COIL METER


5

AMPLIFIER #1
I/P

-10

O/P

5
+10

+
-

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7

.8

.3

.9

.2
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

0V

JL

Fig 8.9

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 8.9. Set the AC Amplifier gain to 1000
and Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE to 10 and GAIN FINE to 1.0. Set the drive
shaft with the disc slot in the top vertical position.
Remove the leads from the input to the Differential Amplifier, short the
inputs together and switch ON the power supply.
Adjust the OFFSET control of Amplifier #1 for zero output.
Replace the leads to the input of the Differential Amplifier and adjust the
control of the 10k 10-turn resistor so that the meter reading is again zero.
The control setting will be critical with such high overall amplifier gains.

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Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

Check the zero reading and then rotate the motor shaft to obtain the
maximum output voltage when the slot is immediately above the Inductive
Sensor. Note the value of this voltage:
Output voltage with slot over the inductor =
8.6a

Enter your maximum value of output voltage in V.


This indicates an application of inductive transducers to proximity detection of
metallic objects. The device can also be used for counting or speed measurement
applications.
Switch OFF the power supply. Retain your circuit, but remove the Moving
Coil Meter from the output of Amplifier #1 and then add the circuits of
Fig 8.10.
LOW PASS FILTER
O/P
I/P
DC MOTOR

I/P

DIFFERENTIATOR
O/P
I/P
dVIN
T
dt

100ms
10ms
1s

100ms
1s
10ms

TIME CONSTANT

To the output
of Amplifier#1
O/P

2
1

10

TIME

RESET

POWER AMPLIFIER

COUNTER/
TIMER
I/P

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

TIME CONSTANT

O/P

COUNT

FREE RUN

1s

MOVING COIL METER

I/P
5

A
-10

10k

5
+10

+
+12V

0V

0V

JL

Fig 8.10

139

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Set the motor speed to zero.


Set the TIME CONSTANT switches of the Low Pass Filter and the
Differentiator to 1s and set the counter to COUNT and 1s.
Switch on the power supply.
Apply 2V input to the DC motor so that the shaft rotates slowly. Press the
counter reset button several times and note the displayed value, this
represents the speed in rev/sec.
Speed of the shaft recorded with the Inductive Sensor =
Remove the lead from the o/p of the Low Pass Filter to the Differentiator
and take the lead from the input of the Low Pass Filter and connect it to the
Differentiator input. Press the Counter RESET button several times and
observe the result. If the result is zero, then refer to the re-calibration
procedure described in the next point and repeat the counts with and without
the Low Pass Filter. When a reading has been observed restore the Low
Pass Filter back into the circuit by moving the lead back and adding the
connection between the Low Pass Filter and Differentiator.
Speed of the shaft recorded without Low Pass Filter =
Re-calibrate the Inductive Sensor circuit by removing the lead from the MC
meter to the Power Amplifier and connecting it between the MC meter and
the output of Amplifier #1. Adjust the control of the 10K 10-turn resistor
so that the meter reading is zero. Then reconnect the MC meter to the Power
Amplifier.
Remove the Counter input lead from the Differentiator output and connect it
to the output from the Slotted Opto Transducer. Press the counter reset
button and note the displayed reading which also represents the shaft speed.
Compare these value with the value obtained from using the Inductive
Sensor.
Repeat the two measurements for the motor input voltages and complete
Table 8.9 on the next page.

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Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

Motor Voltage
Shaft Speed (rev/sec)

2V

4V

7V

10V

Inductive
Transducer
Slotted Opto
Transducer
Table 8.9

8.6b

When the Low Pass Filter was removed from circuit the effect on the Counter
readings was to:
a produce a constant count each time b make no change
c reduce the count

increase the count

You will note that a considerable amount of signal conditioning has been required
for the inductive transducer unit due to the small output voltage available and also
the problem of the susceptibility of the counter to voltage spikes.

Notes:

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Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

8.7

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The Hall Effect Transducer


Magnetic Field
Thick Aluminum Disc
Drive Shaft

+5V

Hall Effect Voltage VH

Current
634SS2

Embedded Magnet

O/P
+

N
S

Hall Effect Sensor


0V

Motherboard

Fig 8.11

Fig 8.11 shows the layout and electrical circuit arrangement of the Hall Effect
Transducer assembly fitted to the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer and illustrates the Hall
Effect principle.
Hall Effect Principle
When current flows through the flat slice of semiconductor at right-angles to a
magnetic field there is a force on each individual electron which tends to move it
in one particular direction (the motor principle).
The current is pushed to one side of the slice. The surplus of electrons on one side
of the slice means that this side is negatively charged, resulting in an EMF across
the slice (the Hall voltage VH) which is at right-angles to both the current and the
magnetic field. The value of this voltage is directly proportional to the strength of
the magnetic field.
The transducer provided on the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer also contains an active
silicon semiconductor device to increase the output voltage and provide
differential outputs, one going more positive and the other more negative (less
positive).
The main characteristics of the device are:
Output voltage (+) (no field)

1.75-2.25V

Output voltage (-) (no field)

1.60V

Output voltage change


Output voltage change (under magnet)
Table 8.10

142

7.5-10.6mV/mT
380mV

IT02
Curriculum Manual

8.8

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

Practical Exercise
The Characteristics of a Hall Effect Transducer
HALL EFFECT
SENSOR

DC MOTOR

I/P

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

POWER AMPLIFIER

9
1

10

O/P

I/P

TIME

RESET

FREE RUN

COUNT

1s

MOVING COIL METER

AMPLIFIER #1

5
+10

-10

O/P

10k

+12V

O/P

I/P

I/P

COUNTER/
TIMER

A-B

O/P

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
-

.4
1
100
10

0V
OFFSET

.5

.6

.7

.9

.2
.1

GAIN COARSE

.8

.3

1.0

GAIN FINE

0V

JL

Fig 8.12

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 8.12. Set the Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE
control to 10, GAIN FINE to 0.8 and the motor drive voltage to zero. Switch
ON the power supply.
Set the drive shaft position so that the magnet in the Hall effect disc is
horizontal (to one side) so that there is no magnetic field cutting the Hall
effect device.
Adjust the OFFSET control of Amplifier #1 for zero output indication on the
Moving Coil Meter.
Note the output voltage from the - and + output sockets of the Hall Effect
device with the digital voltmeter directly on the Hall Effect Sensor panel and
also from the Moving Coil Meter. Record the results in Table 8.11.
Magnetic
Field
None
Maximum

Digital Multimeter
Output Voltage (-) Output Voltage (+)
V

Moving
Coil Meter
0
V
V

Table 8.11

143

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Rotate the disc so that the magnet is directly above the Hall effect device.
This position will be indicated by the maximum output voltage.
Note the voltages again and record in Table 8.11.
These readings illustrate the basic characteristics of the Hall Effect device and
indicate its application to proximity detection. It is also suitable for speed
measurement applications.
With the output of Amplifier #1 connected to the Counter/Timer input set
the controls for COUNT and 1s.
Transfer the digital multimeter to the output of the Power Amplifier and
apply an input voltage of 2V to the motor so that the shaft rotates slowly.
Press the Counter RESET button and note the displayed value, this
representing the shaft speed in rev/sec. Record the result in Table 8.12
Remove the input to the counter from Amplifier #1 and connect it to the
output of the Slotted Opto Transducer unit. Press the counter "reset" button
and note the displayed value, this being the shaft speed for comparison with
the previous reading. Add the value to Table 8.12.
Motor Voltage
Shaft Speed (rev/sec)

2V

4V

7V

10V

Hall Effect
Transducer
Slotted Opto
Transducer
Table 8.12

Repeat the procedure for the other values of motor drive voltage given in
Table 8.12 for comparison. Switch OFF the power supply.
8.8a

Enter your value of output voltage from the (+) O/P of the Hall Effect sensor
with no magnetic field.

8.8b

Enter your value of output voltage from the (+) O/P of the Hall Effect sensor
with maximum magnetic field.
Hall Effect devices are available for proximity detection, linear or angular
displacement, multiplier and current or magnetic flux density measurement
applications.

144

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Curriculum Manual

8.9

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

The DC Permanent Magnet Tacho-Generator


Fig 8.13 shows the construction and electrical circuit arrangement of the DC
Permanent Magnet Tacho-Generator fitted to the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer. This
consists of a set of coils connected to a commutator which rotate inside a
permanent magnet stator.

+12V

Coils

O/P

Commutator
S

Brushes

Permanent Magnet Stator

M
0V

Armature

-12V

Connections

Fig 8.13

The rotating assembly is called the armature. With the coils rotating, an alternating
EMF is generated in them. The commutator converts this to DC.
The magnitude of the generated EMF is proportional to the rate of cutting flux and
therefore to the rotational speed. The polarity depends on the direction of cutting
flux and therefore on the direction of rotation.
The diodes are fitted to limit any voltage spikes that may be generated by the
commutation process (i.e. conversion from AC to DC) to a maximum of 12V.
The main characteristics of the device are:
Open circuit voltage (12V to motor) 10.5V
Short circuit current (12V to motor)

750mA

Output impedance

39

Output noise

200mV p-p

Table 8.13

145

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

IT02
Curriculum Manual

8.10 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Permanent Magnet DC Tacho-Generator
MOVING COIL METER
AMPLIFIER #1
I/P

O/P

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.6

+10

.7
.8

.2

.9
.1

-10

.3

0V

1.0

GAIN FINE

DC MOTOR

I/P

.5

JL
TACHOGENERATOR

SLOTTED OPTO
SENSOR

O/P
O/P

O/P

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

POWER AMPLIFIER

9
1

10

COUNTER/
TIMER

O/P

I/P

FREE RUN

10k

V
+12V

TIME

I/P

RESET

COUNT

0V

Fig 8.14

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 8.14.


Set the COUNTER/TIMER controls to COUNT and 1s.
Set Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE control to 10 and GAIN FINE to 0.1.
Switch ON the power supply.

146

1s

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Curriculum Manual

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

Apply an input to the motor and set the shaft speed to 5 rev/sec (Note:
Table 8.3 and Graph 8.1 may help) as indicated by the counter after pressing
the RESET button. Note the output voltages indicated on the Moving Coil
Meter and record the values in Table 8.14.
Shaft Speed
(rev/sec)

Output Voltage
(Moving Coil Meter)

10

20

30

40

Table 8.14

Repeat the procedure for the other shaft speed settings indicated in
Table 8.14.
Draw the graph of output voltage against shaft speed on the axes provided.
10
Output 9
Voltage 8
(volts)
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0

10

15

20

25 30 35 40
Shaft Speed (rev/sec)

Graph 8.2

8.10a

Is the characteristic linear?


Yes

8.10b

or

No

From your graph estimate and enter your recorded output voltage from the
digital multimeter when the shaft speed is 25 rev/sec.
147

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Calibration of the Moving Coil Meter to Indicate Speed Directly.


The scale to be used is 20V represents 2000 rev/min (100 rev/min/V).

MOVING COIL METER

500
0

-10

0V

1500
5

+8

2000

+10

rev/min

+
-

-7

1000

JL

Fig 8.15

Transfer the connection of the Moving Coil Meter from the input of
Amplifier #1 to the output of Amplifier #1. Set the GAIN FINE control to just
a little above 0.3.
Apply a low input to the motor and set the shaft speed to 5 rev/sec (300
rev/min) as shown on the Counter after pressing RESET. Adjust the OFFSET
control of Amplifier #1 to set the Moving Coil Meter reading to -7V
(Fig 8.15).
Change the motor drive voltage to set the shaft speed to 30 rev/sec (1800
rev/min) as shown on the Counter after pressing RESET. Adjust the GAIN
FINE control of Amplifier #1 so that the Moving Coil Meter indicates +8V
(Fig 8.15).
Repeat both of the above settings and adjustments as often as necessary to
make both of them correct (changing one of them will have altered the other.
Some anticipation may be helpful). The meter will then be calibrated as
shown in Fig 8.15.

148

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Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

Use the calibrated Moving Coil Meter to set the motor speed as shown in
Table 8.15.
Calculate the corresponding speed in rev/sec and then check at each setting
against those obtained from the Opto Transducer and Counter.
Shaft Speed
(rev/min)
Calculated Shaft
Speed (rev/sec)
Shaft Speed from
Counter (rev/sec)

600

1000

1200

1600

Table 8.15

8.10c

Which was easier for setting the motor speed, the calibrated Moving Coil
Meter a , or the Counter b ?

8.10d

Enter your motor speed as indicated on the Counter in rev/sec when the
motor speed was set to 1000 rev/min.

8.10e

Enter your motor speed as indicated on the Counter in rev/sec when the
motor speed was set to 1200 rev/min.

Switch OFF the power supply

149

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Student Assessment 8
1.

For a slotted opto transducer to count revolutions of a shaft it requires a:


a slotted disc
b reflective disc
c non-magnetic disc d magnetic disc

2.

The output voltage generated by the slotted opto transducer used in your experiments
was in the order of:
a 500V
b 50mV
c 5V
d 12V

3.

A shaft speed of 24 rev/sec corresponds to a motor speed in rev/min (rpm) of:


a 240
b 600
c 720
d 1440

4.

Which of the following could NOT be in sequence (one after the other) for a Gray code
output?
a 0 1 1, 0 1 0
b 0 0 1, 0 1 0
c 1 1 0, 1 1 1
d 1 1 1, 1 0 1

5.

The number of outputs generated by a 3-bit Gray code system is :


a 3
b 6
c 8
d 10

6.

Comparing a slotted magnetic disc to a slotted aluminum disc, the effect on the
inductance of the slot passing over an inductive transducer is to:
a increase the inductance in both cases

7.

increase the inductance with a magnetic disc but decrease it with aluminum

decrease the inductance in both cases

decrease the inductance with a magnetic disc but increase it with aluminum

The purpose of the low pass filter used with the inductive transducer was to:
a remove interference pulses
b respond to low revolutions only

150

respond to high revolutions only

display only low revolution counts

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Rotational Speed or Position Measurements


Chapter 8

Student Assessment 8 Continued ...


8.

9.

The purpose of the differential amplifier in the inductive transducer experiment was to:
a respond to both increases or decreases in transducer output voltage

balance out the steady DC component of the rectifier output

invert the polarity of the signal from the transducer

sharpen up the output pulses from the transducer

An output voltage is generated by a Hall effect device when:


a a slot in an aluminum disc passes over it b a magnetic field passes through it

it is exposed to light radiations

an external EMF is applied

10. The expected change in output voltage of an activated Hall effect transducer of the type
fitted on the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer is of the order of:
a 500V
b 500mV
c 5V
d 12V
11. The magnitude of the output voltage generated by a permanent magnet tacho-generator
is dependent on:
a rate of cutting flux
b direction of rotation

frequency of interference pulses

number of commutator segments

12. The purpose of the commutator in a permanent magnet tacho-generator is to:


a increase the magnitude of the output voltage

increase the frequency of the output voltage

stabilize the input voltage

convert the output from AC into DC

151

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Curriculum Manual

Notes:

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152

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Sound Measurements
Chapter 9

Chapter 9
Sound Measurements

Objectives of
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:


Describe the construction and characteristics of a
dynamic microphone.
Describe the construction and characteristics of an
ultrasonic receiver and transmitter.
Compares the various methods of measuring sound
signals.

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
Oscilloscope.
12 inch (30cm) ruler (not supplied).

153

Sound Measurements
Chapter 9

9.1

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The Dynamic Microphone

Fig 9.1

The construction of the dynamic microphone is shown in Fig 9.1(a), consisting of


a coil attached to a thin diaphragm, the coil being suspended in the field of a
permanent magnet.
The diaphragm moves in response to any vibration in the air caused by sound and
moves the coil in the magnetic field. An alternating EMF is induced in the coil, the
magnitude and frequency of which is proportional to the sound vibrations.
The electrical circuit for the device provided with the DIGIAC 1750 unit is shown
in Fig 9.1(b).
A resistor is fitted to provide a load matched to the output impedance of the
microphone.
The main characteristics of the device are:
Output impedance

Typically 200 - 500

Frequency response (-3dB)

100Hz - 10kHz

Output voltage

5mV (normal maximum)

Table 9.1

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9.2

Sound Measurements
Chapter 9

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of a Dynamic Microphone
It is most unlikely that your laboratory will include a broadband constant output
audio generator system/loudspeaker amongst its facilities. Even if it did, a full
acoustic booth would be required, and the noises generated would be unacceptable
for other laboratory users. We are therefore not able to test the full dynamic range
of a microphone, either for frequency or amplitude. It is therefore necessary for us
to limit the investigation to a review of the measurement techniques that can be
adopted, and it is these which will be examined, rather than the microphone itself.

A.C. AMPLIFIER
O/P
I/P

MICROPHONE
O/P

GAIN

FULL WAVE RECTIFIER


O/P
I/P

VIN

10
1000
100

L.E.D. BARGRAPH DISPLAY


I/P

AMPLIFIER #1
I/P
-

O/P
+

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

DRIVER I.C.

MOVING COIL METER

.7

.3

.8

.2

.9

5
-10

1.0

.1

GAIN FINE

O/P
0V

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

5
+10

AMPLIFIER #2
I/P

.7

JL

.8

.3

.9

.2
.1

TP1

0V

1.0

GAIN FINE

Oscilloscope CH.1
Fig 9.2

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Chapter 9

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In this exercise three different forms of monitoring device will be investigated.


The response time of digital multimeters is too slow to make any record of the
signals at all, due to the transient nature of sound.
Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 9.2. Set the AC Amplifier gain control to
1000 and the Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE to 1 and GAIN FINE to 0.4.
The LED bargraph display has an excellent response time and requires 0.5V for
each bar, 5V to light the whole display. This type of device is often used on HI-FI
systems.
Switch ON the power supply. Check the OFFSET control of Amplifier#1 for
zero with the Moving Coil Meter temporarily connected to its output. Note
the display on the Bargraph when the bench is tapped with the finger.
Tap the case of the 1750 unit and observe the effect on the Bargraph display.
Change the GAIN COARSE of Amplifier #1 to 10 and the FINE GAIN to 1.0
then talk, cough, sing or whistle near the unit. You will find that the
bargraph will respond to any sound made, but needs more gain for speech or
whistling.
A Moving Coil Meter is frequently used by sound (audio) engineers to indicate
peak power (PPM, peak power meter), but requires a rectifier and amplifier since
the moving coil meter only responds to DC, and its movement is slow to respond
due to inertia and damping.
The Moving Coil Meter is connected to the AC Amplifier output via the Full
Wave Rectifier and Amplifier #2. Set the GAIN COARSE to 10 and GAIN FINE
to 1.0, and zero the indication of the meter using the OFFSET control. Tap the
baseboard so that all LED's of the bargraph are lit and note the maximum
reading of the Moving Coil Meter.
Maximum voltage indication given by the Bargraph is 5V.
Maximum voltage output (Moving Coil Meter) =
9.2a

156

Enter your maximum voltage indicated by the Moving Coil Meter in V.

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Sound Measurements
Chapter 9

Without any doubt, the oscilloscope is the most versatile device for monitoring
sound, since it is able to give an indication of frequency, waveform and magnitude
of signals and is very sensitive, even to small signals.
Set the timebase of the oscilloscope to 2ms/div and the CH.1 Y1 amplifier to
1V/div.
Generate various types of sound and observe the display on the oscilloscope.
Note that sound engineers, to save their embarrassment, will often count say from one through ten and back again - to test a microphone circuit.
It may be necessary to vary the Y amplifier setting to obtain the most
satisfactory displayed waveform.
Change the timebase setting to 0.5ms/div. and try whistling two different
notes, one low pitch and the other high, and observe the effect on the number
of cycles (frequency) of the displayed waveform.
9.2b

The most commonly observed waveform for all types of sound is a:


a square wave

9.2c

sinewave

triangular wave d

irregular wave

The steadiest, purest waveform was produced by:


a tapping

9.2d

talking

coughing

whistling

The effect of a high-pitched note compared to a low note was to produce:


a the same number of cycles

less cycles, lower frequency

c more cycles, higher frequency

no difference at all

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Sound Measurements
Chapter 9

9.3

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The Ultrasonic Transmitter/Receiver


O/P
Fine Wire
Mesh

I/P

Case
Cavity
Diaphragm
Piezo
Ceramic
Element

Ultrasonic
Receiver

Ultrasonic
Transmitter

0V

0V

Contacts

(a)

(b)

Fig 9.3

The construction of both ultrasonic devices and their electrical circuit


arrangements for the DIGIAC 1750 unit are shown in Fig 9.3.
The receiver and transmitter are almost identical and consist of a slice of ceramic
material with a small diaphragm fixed to it, inside the case of the unit.
The operation of the receiver relies on the principle that certain ceramic materials
produce a voltage when they are stressed. This is referred to as the piezo-electric
principle. Vibration of the diaphragm stresses the ceramic material and produces
an output voltage. The reciprocal applies to the transmitter. An applied alternating
voltage produces stress which causes the ceramic slice to vibrate.
The dimensions of the components are arranged so that there is resonance (best
response) at around 40kHz. This is above the audible range (maximum 20kHz) and
is therefore referred to as ultrasonic. The ceramic slice is arranged in four quarters
which are connected in series for the receiver and in parallel for the transmitter.
The main characteristics of the devices are:
Receiver
Peak resonance (typical)

40kHz

Directional angle
Impedance
Output amplitude
Table 9.2

158

Transmitter
30

30k
5-60mV

500

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Curriculum Manual

9.4

Sound Measurements
Chapter 9

Practical Exercise
Characteristics of an Ultrasonic Transmitter/Receiver
ULTRASONIC
TRANSMITTER

40kHz OSCILLATOR
O/P
I/P

A.C. AMPLIFIER
O/P
I/P

O/P

40kHz FILTER

LOW PASS FILTER


O/P
I/P

FULL WAVE RECTIFIER


O/P

I/P

GAIN

ULTRASONIC RECEIVER

O/P
I/P

VIN

10
1000
100

100ms
10ms
1s

TIME CONSTANT
L.E.D. BARGRAPH DISPLAY
I/P

AMPLIFIER #1
I/P
-

DRIVER I.C.

O/P
+

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

MOVING COIL METER


.7

.8

.3

-10

.9

.2
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

5
+10

+
0V

JL

Fig 9.4

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 9.4. Set the AC Amplifier gain control to
1000 and Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE control to 10 and GAIN FINE to 0.5.
Switch the Low Pass Filter time constant to 100ms.
Switch ON the power supply and adjust Amplifier #1 OFFSET to give zero
output on the Moving Coil Meter.
Note the bargraph display as you move your hand or any other object over
the ultrasonic devices. The display should respond, indicating the receipt of a
signal of frequency 40kHz by the ultrasonic receiver.

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Sound Measurements
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Place a small book (approximately 6 inches (15cm) 4 inches (10cm) or


other flat object 3 feet (90cm) above the Ultrasonic Transducers. Slowly
move the object closer to the transducers, watching the output reading on the
bargraph display, until the object is covering the transducers.

9.4a

At which of the following positions is the maximum output obtained?


a Object in contact with the Ultrasonic Tranducers.
b

Object 4 inches (10cm) above the unit.

Object 12 inches (30cm) above the unit.

Object 3 feet (90cm) above the unit.

Remove any other equipment from the vicinity so that you have free access to the
ultrasonic transmitter/receiver area.
Increase the Amplifier #1 GAIN FINE control to 1.0. Hold a thin object such
as a pencil approximately 6 inches (15cm) above the Ultrasonic Transducers,
move it horizontally and vertically and note the effect on the output
response. This indicates how critical the direction angle is for the device.
9.4b

Is the position of the reflector critical?


Yes

or

No

Put a sheet of paper over the Ultrasonic Transducers to intercept the path and
move your hand up and down above the transducers.
9.4c

Does the beam pass through a piece of paper?


Yes

or

No

In this exercise the received signal has been amplified, rectified, filtered (to
remove all unwanted frequencies) and then amplified again to operate the display.
Pulsed ultrasonic devices can be used for distance measurement to reflecting
surfaces by measurement of the time between the transmission and return of the
pulsed signal.

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Sound Measurements
Chapter 9

Student Assessment 9
1.

The dynamic microphone operates due to:


a a change of resistance
c

the Doppler effect

the piezo electric effect

a conductor cutting magnetic flux

2.

The output impedance of the microphone fitted on the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer is:
a 25 - 75
b 100 - 150
c 200 - 500
d 1500 - 1200

3.

The most versatile test instrument for monitoring sound signals is the:
a digital multimeter b oscilloscope
c LED bargraph
d moving coil meter

4.

The Moving Coil Meter cannot respond to sound signals without a:


a rectifier
b low pass filter
c band pass filter
d 40kHz oscillator

5.

Ultrasonic Receivers and Transmitters rely for their operation on:


a a change of resistance
b the piezo electric effect
c

the Doppler effect

a conductor cutting magnetic flux

6.

The peak resonance of the ultrasonic receiver and transmitter used on the D1750 unit
is at a frequency of:
a 20kHz
b 30kHz
c 40kHz
d 60kHz

7.

Which audio transducer on the D1750 unit has the highest impedance?
a Ultrasonic receiver
b Ultrasonic transmitter
c

8.

Microphone

Low pass filter

The frequency response (-3dB) of the microphone used on the D1750 unit is:
a 0 - 40KHz
b 0 - 10KHz
c

100Hz - 40KHz

100Hz - 10KHz

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Sound Output
Chapter 10

Chapter 10
Sound Output

Objectives of
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:


Describe the construction and characteristics of a
moving coil loudspeaker.
Describe the construction and characteristics of a
buzzer.

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
BNC to 4mm Connecting Lead.
Digital Multimeter.
Oscilloscope.
Function Generator.

163

Sound Output
Chapter 10

IT02
Curriculum Manual

10.1 The Moving Coil Loudspeaker


Paper Cone

I/P

Contacts

100
Loudspeaker

Frame
S
Permanent
Magnet

S
N

Coil

0V

(a)

(b)

Fig 10.1

The construction of a moving coil loudspeaker is shown in Fig 10.1(a). It is


similar to the moving coil microphone. The permanent magnet, coil and
diaphragm are much the same but in this device the diaphragm is attached to a
large paper cone supported by a frame. The cone is free to move with the coil.
Alternating currents flowing in the coil cause it react with the magnetic field and
move in and out. With applied currents at frequencies in the audible range, the
cone movement will cause a variation of pressure in the surrounding air particles
and produce sound waves that are audible to the human ear. If a speaker is placed
in a vacuum, there are no air particules, so the movement of the cone does not
produce any sound.
The electrical circuit of the device fitted to the DIGIAC 1750 unit is shown in
Fig 10.1(b). The 100 resistor is fitted to limit the maximum power dissipation to
100mW, half of the rated value for the loudspeaker.
The main characteristics of the device fitted to the DIGIAC 1750 unit are:
Impedance

Power rating

200mW rms.

Frequency response (-3dB)

400-5000Hz

Table 10.1

Note that the speaker response is well below the maximum frequency detectable
by the human ear (approximately 20kHz).

164

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Curriculum Manual

Sound Output
Chapter 10

10.2 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Moving Coil Loudspeaker
Function
Generator
4

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

POWER AMPLIFIER

9
10

LOUDSPEAKER

O/P
I/P

I/P

10k
0V

MICROPHONE

x100 AMPLIFIER
O/P

O/P

I/P
+100VIN

TP1

0V

CH.1

TP2

Oscilloscope

0V

CH.2

Fig 10.2

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 10.2 and switch ON the power supply.
Set the 10k wirewound variable resistor to position 5 on its scale (see
Fig10.2).
Set the oscilloscope timebase initially to 1ms/div, CH.1 Y amplifier to
5V/div and CH.2 Y amplifier to 0.2V/div.
Set the function generator to 200Hz sinewave output and adjust the
amplitude control to maximum and then adjust the 10k wirewound resistor
to give a signal input of 10Vp-p (2 div.) as seen on CH.1 of the oscilloscope.
The signal input level of 10Vp-p is to be carefully maintained for tests at all
frequencies.
The microphone and its amplifier will pick up all of the background sounds and
interference in the laboratory. Try to ignore these in taking your readings at lower
signal levels. You will be contributing to other peoples background noises, so try
to keep yours to a minimum.

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Sound Output
Chapter 10

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Curriculum Manual

Take readings at each of the frequencies given in Table 10.2, ensuring that
the input signal remains constant at 10Vp-p.
Frequency (Hz)

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

900

1k

2k

3k

Output Voltage
Vpeak-to-peak
Table 10.2

One of your readings should have been much greater than any of the rest.
Return to this frequency and use the fine frequency control on the function
generator to peak the signal to maximum. Record the value in Table 10.3.
Ensure that the timebase controls are in the calibrated settings and measure
the number of divisions taken for one complete cycle. Record in Table 10.3.
Measure the frequency as follows, adding the results to Table 10.3:

One cycle
6.7 div.

Peak Signal
Amplitude
Vp-p

Number of
divisions

Time for
one cycle ()
ms

Frequency
f = 1
Hz

Table 10.3

The time for one cycle is calculated by multiplying by the timebase setting,
for example 6.7 x 0.2ms = 1.34ms.
1
The reciprocal of this gives the frequency:
= 746Hz.
1.34 10 3
Note that this example has been chosen to be different from the result which
you should get.

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Sound Output
Chapter 10

The frequency which you calculate is the natural resonant frequency of the
loudspeaker. The response curve of the loudspeaker has a very pronounced peak at
this frequency. It is caused by the dimensions of the loudspeaker cone, largely the
cone diameter.
Plot the response of the loudspeaker on the axes provided. A logarithmic
scale is used for frequency because this matches the response of the ear.

Output
Voltage
(Vp-p)

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

100

200

500 700 1k

2k

5k 7k 10k
frequency (Hz)

Graph 10.1

If this type of loudspeaker was used for music output then the response of the
electronic driving circuit would need to be shaped to compensate for the response.
This would be done by boosting both the lower and higher frequencies.
If used as an alarm generator then it would be best to choose the resonant
frequency for greatest efficiency, to generate the loudest sound output from a
given power input.
10.2a

Enter your calculated loudspeaker resonant frequency in kHz.


Switch OFF the power supply.

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Sound Output
Chapter 10

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Curriculum Manual

10.3 The Buzzer


The construction of the buzzer used in the DIGIAC 1750 unit is shown in
Fig 10.3(a).
I/P

Diaphragm
Magnet

Spring

Iron core

Circuit board

Coil
0V
Contacts

(a)

(b)

Fig 10.3

A small transistorized oscillator circuit feeds an alternating EMF to an iron cored


coil. The alternating magnetic field produced by the coil attracts and repels a small
permanent magnet attached to a spring. This magnet vibrates against a diaphragm
and creates a loud noise.
In control system applications the device is used as an alarm indication.
The electrical circuit of the device is shown in Fig 10.3(b).
The diode is fitted to prevent damage to the transistorized circuit if the supply is
connected with incorrect polarity. The polarity of the input supply should be
positive. The rated voltage is 12V.
The main characteristics of the device fitted to the DIGIAC 1750 unit are:
Supply voltage

8V

12V

16V (max.)

Supply current

15mA

30mA

400Hz

Output frequency
Output sound level
Table 10.4

168

70dBA at 7.87" (20cm)

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Sound Output
Chapter 10

10.4 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Buzzer

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

POWER AMPLIFIER
O/P A

O/P

I/P

10

I/P

MICROPHONE

BUZZER

10k
0V

COUNTER/
TIMER

+12V
A.C. AMPLIFIER
O/P
I/P

GAIN

10
1000
100

DIFFERENTIATOR
O/P
I/P
dV
T IN
dt

I/P

RESET

100ms
1s
10ms

TIME

FREE RUN

COUNT

1s

MOVING COIL METER

TIME CONSTANT
5
-10

5
+10

+
0V

JL

Fig 10.4

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 10.4. Set the control of the 10k resistor
for zero output voltage (fully counter-clockwise). Connect the digital
multimeter as an ammeter on the 20/200mA range between the output of the
power amplifier and the buzzer to monitor the buzzer current. Set the A.C.
Amplifier to 1000 and the Differentiator to 1s.
Note: When you first switch on, there may be readings on the counter
immediately, due to background noise being picked up by the microphone
and processed by the Counter. The readings should be ignored as they will
not affect the experiment results.

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Sound Output
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Curriculum Manual

Switch ON the power supply and adjust the 10k resistor to increase the
voltage applied to the buzzer. Note the voltage on the Moving Coil Meter at
which the buzzer begins to operate. Press RESET on the Counter to read the
buzzer frequency.
The buzzer begins to operate at

V at a frequency of

Hz

Alter the setting of the 10k resistor to increase the voltage applied to the
buzzer to 4V, 6V, 8V and then 10V as given in Table 10.5. Record the
current and frequency at each step.
Voltage
Current
Frequency

4V

6V

8V

10V

12V

mA

mA

mA

mA

mA

Hz

Hz

Hz

Hz

Hz

Table 10.5

Transfer the positive lead of the digital multimeter from the output of the
Power Amplifier to the +12V socket to bypass the 10k resistor and Power
Amplifier and apply the full 12V directly to the buzzer. Record the current
and frequency again in Table 10.5.
Switch OFF the power supply.

170

10.4a

Enter your minimum voltage for buzzer to operate.

10.4b

Enter your current reading in mA when the applied voltage is 10V.

10.4c

Enter your frequency reading in Hz when the applied voltage is 12V.

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Sound Output
Chapter 10

Student Assessment 10
1.

From this chapter or a previous one, identify a device that emits a sound wave of
constant frequency in the audio range when a DC voltage is applied:
a microphone
b ultrasonic transmitter

c
2.

buzzer

From this chapter or a previous one, identify a device that emits a pressure wave at
higher than audio frequencies:
a microphone
b ultrasonic transmitter

c
3.

loudspeaker

loudspeaker

buzzer

From this chapter or a previous one, identify a device that emits sound waves over a
wide range of audio frequencies:
a microphone
b ultrasonic transmitter

loudspeaker

buzzer

4.

The maximum sound wave frequency which is detectable by a human ear is


approximately:
a 20Hz
b 5kHz
c 20kHz
d 40kHz

5.

The reason for the diode fitted in series with the buzzer in the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer is
to:
a rectify the applied AC

protect the electronic circuit against wrong polarity

convert the output to DC

prevent interference spikes being generated by the buzzer

Continued ...

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Sound Output
Chapter 10

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Curriculum Manual

Student Assessment 10 Continued ...


6.

The resonant frequency of the loudspeaker fitted in the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer is
nearest to:
a 0-200Hz
b 300Hz-950Hz
c 1kHz-1.5kHz
d 2kHz-3kHz

7.

A loudspeaker is fed with a 1kHz signal and placed in a vacuum. The effect would be:
a no sound because a vacuum has no air particles

172

very reduced sound because of the box enclosing the vacuum

increased frequency (pitch) of the note produced by sound waves in a vacuum

an impure tone due to the signal waveform producing the sound

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

Chapter 11
Linear or Rotational Motion

Objectives of
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:


Describe the construction and characteristics of a DC
solenoid.
Describe the construction and characteristics of a DC
relay.
Describe the construction and characteristics of a DC
solenoid air valve.
Describe the construction and characteristics of a DC
permanent magnet motor

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
Digital Multimeter.

173

Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

IT02
Curriculum Manual

11.1 The DC Solenoid


Coil

+12V

Soft iron core/Actuator shaft


I/P

Return spring

End stop

0V

-12V

Case

(a)

(b)

Fig 11.1

The construction of a DC solenoid is shown in Fig 11.1(a), consisting of a soft


iron core and actuator shaft which is free to move inside a coil.
When the coil is energized, the soft iron core is attracted inside the coil and is held
in position. When the coil is de-energized, the core returns to its neutral position
under the action of a return spring.
The voltage required to attract the core into the coil will be less than the rated
value and will depend on the load applied to the actuator shaft. The voltage at
which the core is pulled in by the coil is referred to as the pull-in voltage.
With the coil energized and the core attracted, if the coil voltage is reduced
gradually, when the voltage has fallen sufficiently the core will return to its neutral
position under the action of the spring. This voltage is referred to as the drop out
or release voltage. The release voltage will be much less than the pull-in voltage.
Fig 11.1(b) shows the electrical circuit arrangement of the device fitted to the
DIGIAC 1750 Trainer.
When the coil is de-energized a large EMF can be induced in the coil, the
magnitude depending on the inductance and the rate of change of current. Diodes
are provided to limit the induced voltage to a maximum of 12V.
The main characteristics of the coil fitted to the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer are:
Resistance

50

Pull-in voltage

6V

Coil rating

12V/3W

Release voltage

1V

Table 11.1

174

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

11.2 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a DC Solenoid
SOLENOID
4

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

POWER AMPLIFIER

9
10

O/P

I/P

I/P

10k
0V

MOVING COIL METER

+12V

5
-10

5
+10

+
0V

JL

Fig 11.2

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 11.2 and set the 10k resistor for zero
output voltage (control fully counter clockwise). Connect the digital
multimeter as an ammeter on the 200mA range in between the Power
Amplifier and the Solenoid.
Switch ON the power supply and rotate the 10k resistor control to
gradually increase the voltage applied to the solenoid coil. Note the voltage
at which the iron core of the solenoid is attracted fully into the coil. This
value is the pull-in voltage. Record this voltage and the current in Table 11.2
overleaf.
Note: The core will start to move at a lower value than the pull-in voltage, the
actual pull-in voltage will be the value when you hear the click, as the core
aligns itself inside the coil. In this position you will find a distinct resistance
to pushing the actuator back towards its neutral position.

175

Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Unloaded
Readings
Pull In
Drop-out
(Release)

Voltage

Loaded

Current

Voltage

Current

mA

mA

mA

mA

Table 11.2

With the coil energized and the core in its pulled in position, slowly reduce
the coil applied voltage and note the value at which the core returns to its
neutral position, the drop-out or release voltage. Record voltage and current
again in Table 11.2.
Repeat the process with your finger against the actuator shaft to exert a little
load and note the voltage and current required for pull in and release.
11.2a

With the actuator shaft loaded the effect on the voltage and current required
for pull-in was:
a voltage increased, current reduced b both voltage and current reduced
c voltage reduced, current increased

11.2b

both voltage and current increased

With the actuator shaft loaded the effect on the voltage and current required
for drop-out (release) was:
a voltage increased, current reduced b both voltage and current reduced
c voltage reduced, current increased

Switch OFF the power supply.

176

both voltage and current increased

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

11.3 The DC Relay


+12V
N.O.

I/P

(COM.)
N.C.

0V
Common

Coil
Contacts

N.O.

N.C.

-12V

(a)

(b)

Fig 11.3

The construction of a DC relay is shown in Fig 11.3(a). It consists of a coil with


an iron core which has a soft iron armature attached to a spring which holds it just
above the core.
Changeover contacts are attached to the spring and with the armature in its rest
position it makes contact with one of the terminals. This is referred to as the
normally closed (N.C.) contact. With the coil energized, the core will be
magnetized and attract the soft iron armature. The spring is moved, which breaks
the connection to the N.C. terminal and makes the contact to the other terminal.
This terminal is referred to as the normally open (N.O.) contact.
With this construction, the contacts will bounce for a short period each time they
close or open (make or break) and this can cause problems with some circuits. The
problem can be overcome by using an electronic debounce circuit or a time delay
prior to checking the contact state after operation.
Fig 11.3(b) shows the electrical circuit arrangement of the device fitted to the
DIGIAC 1750 Trainer. The diodes limit any induced voltages to a maximum of
approximately 12V, as for the solenoid device.
The main characteristics of the device fitted to the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer are:
Coil rated voltage

12V

Operate/release time

5ms

Coil resistance

320

Contact rating

12V, 1A

Coil operating voltage

7.5V

Lifetime cycles

5x106

Coil release voltage

1.8V

Table 11.3

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Chapter 11

IT02
Curriculum Manual

11.4 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a DC Relay
P.I.N. PHOTODIODE

PHOTOVOLTAIC CELL

O/P

O/P
+

O/P

O/P
MOVING COIL METER

PHOTOCONDUCTIVE CELL
+12V

LAMP FILAMENT

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C
8

2
10

10k

B
A

I/P

O/P

-10

RELAY

POWER AMPLIFIER

PHOTOTRANSISTOR

N.O.

0V

N.C.

5
+10

I/P
I/P

JL

0V

Fig 11.4

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 11.4 and set the 10k resistor control
for zero output voltage.
Switch ON the power supply. The relay will be in its de-energized state.
Note the state of the Lamp. Lamp ON means that the contacts are closed.
Lamp OFF means that the circuit is broken because the contacts are open.
The relay coil will have pull-in and release voltage characteristics similar to
those for a solenoid.
Determine the pull-in and release voltages and currents for this device by
gradually increasing and decreasing the applied voltage. Record the results
in Table 11.4 opposite.
Note when a change of state of the Lamp connected to the N.O. contact
occurs.
Move the lamp connection to the N.C. terminal and observe the effect on the
lamp switching. Add to Table 11.4.

178

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Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

Lamp state ON/OFF


when connected to:
Voltage
Pull In
Drop-out
(Release)

Current

mA

mA

N.O. contact

N.C. contact

Table 11.4

11.4a

Enter the pull-in voltage for your relay in V.

11.4b

Enter the drop-out current for your relay in mA.


Switch OFF the power supply.

Notes:
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Chapter 11

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Curriculum Manual

11.5 The Air Valve


Coil

Inlet port
Return spring

+12V
I/P

Inlet valve
Cylinder port

0V
Exhaust valve

(a)

-12V

Exhaust port

(b)

Fig 11.5

Fig 11.5(a) shows the construction of the device fitted to the DIGIAC 1750
Trainer. It is similar to the solenoid considered previously, but the soft iron core
now operates on two valves, the inlet and the exhaust valves.
With the coil de-energized the core is held, by the return spring, in the position
with the inlet valve closed and the exhaust valve open. In this position the cylinder
port is connected to the exhaust port outlet.
When the coil is energized, the core is attracted and held in the position with the
exhaust valve closed and the inlet valve open. In this position the inlet port is
connected to the cylinder port
In the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer, the inlet port is connected to the pump and the
cylinder port is connected to a pneumatic actuator. With the pump ON, the
pneumatic actuator will be operated when the coil is energized and illustrates the
principle of electrical control of pneumatic devices.
The electrical circuit arrangement of the device fitted to the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer
is shown in Fig 11.5(b).
The main characteristics of the device are:
Rated voltage

12V

Coil resistance

140

Coil pull-in voltage

8.3V

Coil release voltage

1.7V

Table 11.5

180

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Curriculum Manual

Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

11.6 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of an Air Valve
AIR FLOW SENSOR

PRESSURE

FLOW

AIR PRESSURE SENSOR

O/P

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

ON

2
10

B
A

10k
0V

MOVING COIL METER


POWER AMPLIFIER

O/P

PUMP
OFF

AIR VALVE
I/P

O/P

-10

I/P

5
+10

+
-

+12V

0V

JL

Fig 11.6

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 11.6. Set the 10k resistor control for
zero output voltage (fully counter clockwise) and set the pump control (Air
Pressure/Flow Sensor panel) to PRESSURE.
Switch ON the power supply and then switch the pump ON. The coil is deenergized in this state, the inlet valve is closed, and the pneumatic actuator
will not operate.
Adjust the resistor control to apply 10V to the solenoid coil. The coil will be
energized, the inlet valve will open and the exhaust valve will close. The
pump pressure will be applied to the pneumatic actuator. Observe the effect
on the actuator.
Reduce the voltage and observe the effect on the pneumatic actuator
Switch the pump OFF. Observe the effect on the operation of the pneumatic
actuator with no air pressure when the solenoid voltage is raised and
lowered.

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Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

11.6a

IT02
Curriculum Manual

With the pump OFF the pneumatic actuator:


a still operates but more slowly

operates at a higher voltage

c does not operate at all

operates in reverse

The Air Valve solenoid will have pull-in and release voltages and currents as for
any solenoid. To determine these values for the device:
With the pump switched OFF, increase and decrease the applied voltage
gradually and note the voltages at which switching occurs. You will hear a
faint click when the device switches.
Voltage
Pull In
Drop-out
(Release)

Current

mA

mA

Table 11.6
11.6b

Enter the pull-in voltage for your Air Valve solenoid in V.

11.6c

Enter the drop-out current for your Air Valve solenoid in mA.

11.6d

Using your pull-in figures of voltage and current, calculate and enter the
resistance of your Air Valve solenoid in .
Switch OFF the power supply.

182

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Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

11.7 The DC Permanent Magnet Motor

Coils
Commutator
S

Brushes

Permanent Magnet Stator

Armature
Connections

Fig 11.7

The construction of a permanent magnet DC motor is shown in Fig 11.7. The unit
is identical with the tacho-generator unit but for a motor, a DC supply is fed to the
armature coils.
Current flowing in the armature coils sets up a magnetic field which reacts with
the field of the permanent magnet to produce a force causing the armature to
rotate.
The force acting on the armature is proportional to the current flowing.
When the armature rotates, an EMF is induced in the coils, in exactly the same
way as in the tacho-generator. The self-induced EMF opposes the applied voltage
and is referred to as the back EMF. The armature accelerates until the speed is
such as to produce a back EMF (e) equal to the applied voltage (V) less the voltage
dropped across the armature resistance rai.
V = e + ra i
The speed with no load on the shaft is thus roughly proportional to the applied
voltage.
When a load is applied to the shaft, the speed will tend to fall, reducing the back
EMF. More current flows from the supply and the current self-adjusts to the value
that produces a torque (turning force) just sufficient to balance the load torque.
The speed will fall slightly with load due to the increase in voltage lost across the
armature coils due to the higher current.

183

Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The electrical circuit arrangement of the device fitted to the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer
is shown in Fig 11.8.
+12V
L2

I/P

M
C2
L1
O/P
1

C1
-12V

Fig 11.8

The 1 resistor is fitted in series with the armature to allow monitoring of the
armature current by measurement of the voltage dropped across it. Since the
resistor is 1, voltages measured across it in mV will directly correspond to
currents in mA.
The diodes limit any voltage spikes to a maximum of approximately 12V.
Capacitor C1 provides some noise filtering at the output and the combination L1,
L2 and C2 reduces radiation of radio frequency noise.
The main characteristics of the device fitted to the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer are:
DC resistance
No load current (12V applied)
Stall current (12V applied)
Shaft speed (no load, 12V applied)

120mA
1.93A
2400 rev/min (max.)

Starting torque

7 Ncm/A

Torque constant

3.5 Ncm/A

Time constant
Efficiency
Table 11.7

184

6.2

19.6ms
82% (max.)

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

11.8 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a DC Permanent Magnet Motor
SLOTTED OPTO
SENSOR

DC MOTOR

I/P

COUNTER/
TIMER
I/P

O/P

RESET

O/P

FREE RUN

TIME

COUNT

1s

MOVING COIL METER

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C
7

-12V

V 10

POWER AMPLIFIER
O/P
I/P

-10

0V
0V

+12V

5
+10

+
-

10k

JL

Fig 11.9

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 11.9. Set the 10k resistor control for
zero output voltage, (control fully counter clockwise), and set the counter
controls to COUNT and 1s.
Switch ON the power supply and set the voltage applied to the motor, as
indicated by the Moving Coil Meter, to 10V. The motor should run at a high
speed. Allow it to run for a short time and then note the reading of the digital
voltmeter.
This reading in mV represents the current in mA taken by the motor, since it
is the voltage dropped across a 1 resistor.
Press the Counter RESET button and note the displayed Counter value. This
represents the motor speed in rev/sec. Record the values in Table 11.8
overleaf.
Repeat the procedure, noting the speed and current readings for motor
applied voltages of 8V, 6V, 4V and 2V and record the values in Table 11.8.

185

Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

Motor Applied Voltage

IT02
Curriculum Manual

10V

Armature Current

8V
mA

6V
mA

4V
mA

2V
mA

mA

Speed (rev/sec.)
Speed (rev/min.)
Table 11.8

Multiply the speed in rev/sec by 60 to convert to rev/min and add the results
to Table 11.8.
Slowly reduce the applied voltage until the motor just stops turning and
observe the effect on the voltage and the current.
Stopped voltage =

Stopped current =

mA

Construct the graph of speed in rev/min. against applied voltage and


armature current on the axes provided:

3000

11

12

Applied Voltage (volts)

10

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190 200

2800

Motor
Speed
(rev/min)

2600
2400
2200
2000
1800
1600
1400
1200
1000
800
600
400
200
0

Armature Current (mA)


Graph 11.1

186

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Curriculum Manual

Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

11.8a

From your graph deduce and enter the armature current needed to give a
speed of 1500 rev/min in mA.

11.8b

Examine the two graphs. Which of the following statements is most true?
a they are identical
b shaft speed is directly proportional to the applied voltage
c shaft speed is directly proportional to the armature current
d both characteristics are non-linear

11.8c

As the applied voltage is very slowly reduced, the moment the motor stops the
effect on the armature current is to:
a reduce it directly with the applied voltage
b show a sharp increase due to loss of back EMF
c fall immediately to zero as torque stops
d increase slightly due to reduction in armature resistance
Set the applied voltage to 7V and note the armature current taken and the
shaft speed when the motor is unloaded. Record in Table 11.9.
Applied Voltage =
7V
Armature current

Unloaded

mA

Loaded
400mA

Shaft speed (rev/sec)


Table 11.9

Now place your left hand near the Hall effect disc with the finger nails down
and touching the baseboard of the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer. Move your fingers
gently forward so that your middle finger comes between the Hall effect disc
and the baseboard and exerts a small load on the motor.
Vary the pressure of the load so that the current is approximately 400mA
(0.4V reading on the digital voltmeter) and then note the shaft speed by
pressing the Counter RESET button. Record in Table 11.9.
187

Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

11.8d

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Enter your speed in rev/sec with the motor loaded and the armature drawing
a current of about 400mA.
Set the control of the 10k resistor to the zero output voltage position.
Disconnect socket C of the 10k resistor from the +12V supply and reconnect it to the -12V supply.

11.8e

The direction of rotation is:


a

11.8f

the same as before

reversed

Is the same speed range possible?


Yes

or

No

The characteristics are typical for this size of machine, larger machines would not
have such a large drop in speed with load.
Switch OFF the power supply.

188

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Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

Student Assessment 11
1.

For any solenoid in which a soft iron core is drawn inside a coil, the pull-in current:
a and release current will be the same
b will be greater than the release current
c

2.

will be less than the release current

will depend on the applied voltage

A pneumatic actuator, which is used to indicate gas pressure, is controlled by an


electrically operated air valve in a similar configuration to that used on the D1750 unit.
The actuator will operate:
a if there is both an electrical input and adequate gas pressure.
b

if there is an electrical input but there is no gas pressure.

if there is adequate gas pressure but there is no electrical input.

if neither the electrical input nor adequate gas pressure is present.

3.

A relay has changeover contacts marked N.C. and N.O. When the relay is de-energized
a lamp will operate if it is connected to a supply via:
a neither of them
b N.C.
c N.O.
d either of them

4.

The term N.C. applied to the contacts of a relay means:


a Not Contacted
b Not Changeover
c

5.

Normally Closed

Neither Connection

A solenoid has a coil rated for operation at 10V. You might expect the pull-in and dropout voltages to be:
a pull-in = 12V, drop-out = 5V
b pull-in = 5V, drop-out = 8V
c

pull-in = 10V, drop-out = 3V

pull-in = 5V, drop-out = 2V

Continued ...

189

Linear or Rotational Motion


Chapter 11

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Curriculum Manual

Student Assessment 11 Continued ...


6.

For the Air Valve investigated in this Chapter, if the coil is de-energized the air valve
will:
a not be affected
b rise immediately
c

7.

drop down immediately

fall back slowly

The DC Permanent Magnet Motor investigated in this Chapter is:


a completely unlike the tacho-generator
b

identical to the tacho-generator

similar to the tacho-generator but with the commutator reversed

similar to the tacho-generator but with more coils

8.

A DC Permanent Magnet Motor with an armature resistance of 5, runs at 1200


rev/min. when the applied voltage is 6V. The speed for 12V applied is likely to be:
a 600 rev/min
b 1200 rev/min
c 1800 rev/min
d 2400 rev/min

9.

The voltage applied to the DC Motor in question 8 above is slowly reduced, the motor
stops when the applied voltage is 2V. The armature current will then be:
a 20mA
b 50mA
c 100mA
d 400mA

10. If the DC motor in question 8 is loaded without any increase of applied voltage, the
effect is likely to be:
a reduced speed and increased armature current

190

reduced speed and armature current

increased speed and reduced armature current

increased speed and armature current

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Display Devices
Chapter 12

Chapter 12
Display Devices

Objectives of
this Chapter

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:

Describe the characteristics and application of the


Counter/Timer.

Describe the characteristics and application of the


LED Bargraph Display.

Describe the characteristics and application of the


Moving Coil Meter.

State and calculate the requirement to extend the


voltage range of a Moving Coil Meter.

Select a suitable device for a particular voltage


measurement.

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
Digital Multimeter.
Stopwatch (not supplied).

191

Display Devices
Chapter 12

IT02
Curriculum Manual

12.1 The Timer/Counter

Reset

1 second
Delay

1s
FREE RUN

COUNT

100Hz
Oscillator

TIME

Decade
Counter

Decoder/
Driver

Decade
Counter

Decoder/
Driver

Decade
Counter

Decoder/
Driver

+5V

I/P

&

&

Fig 12.1

A system logic diagram of the Counter/Timer facility provided with the DIGIAC
1750 unit is shown in Fig 12.1. The output display uses three 7-segment LED's.
The unit can be used in three ways:
1. Time measurement, with the controls set to TIME and FREE RUN.
2. Counting (pulses), with the controls set to COUNT and FREE RUN.
3. Frequency (pulses/sec), with the controls set to COUNT and 1s.
In addition, with some signal conditioning, it can be used for voltage
measurement.
The main characteristics of the unit are:
Input impedance
Input voltage levels (TTL)

+5V max.

Timing intervals

10ms

Timing accuracy

5%

Table 12.1

192

1M

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Time

Display Devices
Chapter 12

TIME and FREE RUN

With the input at TTL logic level "1", (+5V), the display increments at 10ms
intervals, or every 1100 second. With the input at logic level "0" (0V), the

displayed value is held.

The unit will therefore display the time in hundredths of a second that the input is
held at logic level "1". Note that with a 3-digit display, the maximum count is 999
and hence one complete cycle from 0-999 will represent 1000 x 10ms = 10s.

Counting

COUNT and FREE RUN

The count increments by 1 each time the input voltage level changes from TTL
logic level "0" to level "1", i.e. on receipt of a positive edge of a pulse of
amplitude 5V. Set in this way the Counter counts input pulses and displays the
total.
With the 3-digit display the maximum count will be 999.

Frequency

COUNT and 1s

The unit counts the number of positive pulses at TTL logic level "1" that are
received at the input in a period of one second, following a RESET of the Counter,
thus giving the count rate in pulses per second, or the frequency in Hz.
Note that you have already used the Counter/Timer to count the number of pulses
received in one minute and to measure frequency in pulses/sec.

193

Display Devices
Chapter 12

IT02
Curriculum Manual

12.2 Practical Exercise


Time Measurement and Counting
COUNTER/
TIMER
I/P

FREE RUN

TIME

AMPLIFIER #2
I/P
-

RESET

O/P
+

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

COUNT

MOVING COIL METER


.7

.8

.3

-10

.9

.2
.1

1s

1.0

GAIN FINE

5
+10

+
0V

JL

Fig 12.2

Time Measurement
z

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 12.2 and switch ON the power supply.
With the Amplifier #2 GAIN COARSE control set to 100 and GAIN FINE to
1.0, adjust the OFFSET control for +5V output. Switch the GAIN COARSE
control to 1. The output voltage will drop to nearly zero.

Set the Counter/Timer controls to TIME and FREE RUN and press the RESET
button. The display should show zero.

Switch the Amplifier #2 coarse gain control to 100. The counter display
should increment at 10ms ( 1100 sec.) intervals. Return the GAIN COARSE
control to 1, the display will be held. This illustrates the application of the
unit to time measurement, the display indicating the number of 10ms
intervals (or the time in hundredths of a second) that the input is held at
+5V.

194

With Amplifier #2 GAIN COARSE set to 1, RESET the Counter display to zero.
Switch Amplifier #2 GAIN COARSE to 100 and note the time taken for the
count to complete one cycle from 0 to 999 and back to 0.

IT02
Curriculum Manual

12.2a

Display Devices
Chapter 12

The time taken for a complete cycle of counting is:


a 10ms
z

100ms

1s

10s

Use the timer facility to time some operations and obtain practice in its use,
such as the time taken for you to verbally count from zero through to 250, or
to write down a long word.

Counting Pulses

12.2b

With the circuit still as shown in Fig 12.2, set the Counter/Timer controls to
COUNT and FREE RUN and RESET the display to zero.

Switch Amplifier #2 GAIN COARSE control from 1 to 100 and back to 1.

The count increments by:


a 1

10

100

1000

Repeat the process, you will find that the count increments for each change
of the gain from 1 to 100, or on the application of a +5V pulse to the counter
input.

Remove the Counter input lead from the output of Amplifier #2 and touch it
on the +5V supply socket.

Return the Counter input lead back to the output of Amplifier #2 and, with
the GAIN COARSE set to 100, alter the OFFSET control to give zero output.
Slowly raise the setting again and watch the Counter display for a response.

Note the threshold level on the Counter input from the indication on the
Moving Coil Meter.

Threshold voltage level =


12.2c

Enter the threshold level for an increment of the count in V.


z

Switch OFF the power supply.

195

Display Devices
Chapter 12

IT02
Curriculum Manual

12.3 Practical Exercise


Frequency Measurement
WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D
C

12k

OUT

O/P

A
3

V/F CONVERTER

I/P

DIFFERENTIATOR
O/P
I/P
dV
T IN
dt

IN

1V

Rx

0V

COMPARATOR

+5V

OFF
ON
HYSTERESIS

100ms
1s
10ms

O/P

TIME CONSTANT

COUNTER/
TIMER
I/P

TIME

RESET

COUNT

FREE RUN

1s

Fig 12.3

The connection of the +5V supply places the 12k fixed resistor in series with the
10k 10-turn resistor to make low voltage settings easier. Switch the unknown
resistor Rx OUT.
A Voltage to Frequency (V/F) Converter is available in the signal conditioning
circuits. This unit converts a DC voltage input to a pulsed output of frequency
1kHz/volt of input. For example, an input of 0.6V will produce an output
frequency of 0.6kHz or 600Hz.
The pulses from the V/F Converter are unsuitable to be fed directly to the input of
the Counter/Timer. The Differentiator and Comparator are used to shape the
pulses from the V/F Converter, so that they may be detected by the
Counter/Timer.
z

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 12.3 and switch ON the power supply.
Set the Counter controls to COUNT and 1s. Set the Differentiator TIME
CONSTANT to 1s and switch OFF the Comparator HYSTERESIS.
Set the 10k 10-turn resistor output voltage to 0.1V, press the Counter
RESET button and note the displayed reading. Enter the value in Table 12.2.

196

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Curriculum Manual

Input Voltage to
V/F Converter
Counter Display
(Hz)

0.1

Display Devices
Chapter 12

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

1.0

Table 12.2

Repeat the procedure for the other voltage settings shown in Table 12.2 and
record the displayed values that are obtained following the pressing of the
reset button.
The accuracy in the calibration of the V/F converter will affect the readings
as will your accuracy in setting the voltages and also the accuracy of the 1s
delay in the Counter/Timer.

12.3a

Enter your Counter Display reading for an input voltage of 0.5V.


In this exercise the V/F converter was used purely as a means of obtaining a
variable frequency. However, the method used also illustrates the
application of the unit to voltage measurement. The displayed Counter
readings represent the voltage in mV, as can be seen from Table 12.2.
The maximum voltage range is limited by the frequency capability of the
counter and the number of digits in the display. The voltage range can be
extended by attenuating the input to the V/F converter using the additional
circuits shown in Fig 12.4. Also, carefully note the change of the voltage
feed to the 10k 10-turn resistor.
WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D
C

12k

OUT

O/P

A
3

V/F CONVERTER

I/P

IN

1V

Rx

0V
BUFFER #1

SLIDE

O/P

I/P
+VIN
1

+12V

10

10k

0V

Fig 12.4

197

Display Devices
Chapter 12

IT02
Curriculum Manual

The Buffer Amplifier is used to reduce the loading on the 10k 10-turn resistor.
The circuit will be calibrated so that a counter display of 600 represents a voltage
of 6V.
z

Connect the additional circuitry shown in Fig 12.4, to the V/F converter
input. The V/F Converter, Differentiator, Comparator and Counter/Timer
remain connected as shown in Fig 12.3. Set the output control of the
10k slide resistor for zero output (to the left).

Set the output voltage from the 10-turn resistor to 6V as indicated by the
digital voltmeter and then slowly adjust the 10k slide resistor until the
Counter display indicates 600 after the RESET button is pressed.
You will find that the setting of the resistor control is very sensitive, it is
possible to set accurately but if it is too difficult, set the value as near as you
can. The unit is now calibrated.

Input Voltage

Set the 10-turn resistor control in steps to each of the other voltage values
indicated in Table 12.3. Note the Counter displayed value after pressing the
reset button. Record the values in Table 12.3.
1

Counter Display

9.5

600

Table 12.3

12.3b

Enter your displayed reading for an input voltage of 3.5V.


Using this principle, the counter could be calibrated for any desired voltage range.
AC measurements are possible if the Full-Wave Rectifier circuit is added and the
unit re-calibrated for RMS values.
z

198

Switch OFF the power supply.

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Display Devices
Chapter 12

12.4 The LED Bargraph Display

Light pipe

LED Chip

Connections

Fig 12.5

The construction of the Bargraph device is shown in Fig 12.5, consisting of 10


separate light emitting diodes (LED's) fitted in a 20-pin package. The light from
each diode is collected by a light pipe and appears at the top surface as a red bar.
A dedicated IC driver chip controls the device and provision is made for adjusting
the voltage levels required for adjacent LED's to light. With the device as fitted to
the DIGIAC 1750 unit the voltage level between adjacent LED's is 0.5V and
hence the minimum voltage for all LED's to light is 5.0V.
The device has a high input impedance, a low time constant, and is suitable for
indication of an approximate and rapidly varying voltage level, but the resolution
is low.
The main characteristics of the device are:
Input impedance

1M

Input voltage range

35V

Accuracy
Segment overlap

2%
1mV

Table 12.4

The unit is adjusted so that an input of +5V just lights the last LED.

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Chapter 12

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Curriculum Manual

12.5 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of an LED Bargraph Display

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

L.E.D. BARGRAPH DISPLAY

I/P
B

2
1

10

DRIVER I.C.

10k

+12V

0V

Fig 12.6

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 12.6. Set the 10k Wirewound resistor
control for zero output voltage (fully counter clockwise).

Switch ON the power supply. Adjust the resistor control to increase the
voltage applied to the bargraph unit gradually and note the voltage values at
which each LED lights. Record the values in Table 12.5.

LED number

Input Voltage

2
V

3
V

4
V

5
V

6
V

7
V

8
V

9
V

10
V

Table 12.5

12.5a

Enter the input voltage required just to light LED number 7 in V.


z

12.5b

Vary the voltage rapidly by rotating the control quickly in both directions
and note how the display follows. Repeat the procedure, this time noting the
display on the digital meter. Switch OFF the power supply.

When the voltage was varied rapidly:


a both displays responded immediately to the variations
b only the LED Bargraph was able to follow the variations precisely
c only the digital multimeter was able to follow the variations precisely
d neither display responded at all

200

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Display Devices
Chapter 12

12.6 The Moving Coil Meter


0

5
-10

Scale

5
+10

Pointer
Radial magnetic field

Soft-iron core
Permanent
Magnet

Hairspring

Pivot

0V

Coil

Connections

Fig 12.7

The construction and electrical circuit arrangement of the moving coil meter fitted
to the DIGIAC 1750 unit are shown in Fig 12.7.
Using the connections + and -, the voltage difference between any two points in a
circuit can be measured. By connecting the - socket to 0V, the voltage of any point
with respect to 0V (ground) can be measured using the + connection.
The moving coil meter consists of a coil suspended between the poles of a
permanent magnet with a pointer attached to the coil which moves over the meter
scale.
The coil is held in its center position by two hairsprings. A set zero screw is
attached to one of the hairsprings for adjustment of the pointer position to zero
with no voltage applied to the meter.
When current is fed to the coil via the hairsprings, a force is produced by
interaction between the current in the coil and the permanent magnetic field, and
the coil rotates. The direction of rotation depends on the direction of the current
through the coil (Fleming's Rule), and the amount of rotation depends on the
magnitude of the current flowing. The coil rotates until the force produced by the
current is balanced by the force exerted by the hairsprings.
The coil is wound on an aluminum former. When the coil rotates, an EMF is
induced in this former, similar to the back EMF induced in the armature coils of a
DC motor. This produces a current and a force opposing the motion of the coil
(Lenz's Law).

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The coil movement is thus damped and allows the pointer to take up its final
position, after a step change of current, with the minimum of oscillation (or
hunting) occurring. The meter movement is a damped control system and this
effect together with the inertia of the coil system limits the response speed of the
pointer.
The hairsprings are fine to allow a large angular movement and high sensitivity.
The amount of coil current needed for full-scale deflection (f.s.d.) will be
determined by the tension of the hairsprings. The current flow in the meter circuit
must be limited to this value of current.
When used as a voltmeter, a series resistor (called a multiplier) is fitted to limit
the current to the value required to produce full-scale deflection. For instance, if
the f.s.d. current for a particular meter is 1mA, then the value of the multiplier
1
(series resistor) must be
or 1k for each volt (1k/V) to be represented
1 10 3
by full-scale deflection. This figure (1k/V) is known as the sensitivity of the
meter. From this figure it is possible to calculate the loading resistance of a meter
when it is operated on any voltage range.
A 10V voltmeter using a 1mA f.s.d. meter would require a multiplier of 10 x 1k
= 10k.
Many analog multimeters are based on a 50A meter movement (50A f.s.d.).
12.6a

Calculate and enter the sensitivity of a 50A meter movement in k/V.


The main characteristics of the meter fitted to the DIGIAC 1750 unit are:
Full-scale current

1mA

Sensitivity

1k/V

Total voltmeter resistance

20k

Accuracy
Table 12.6

202

1-2%

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Display Devices
Chapter 12

12.7 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Moving Coil Meter
MOVING COIL METER
WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

5
+10

-10
B

2
1

10

+12V

Set Zero

10k

0V

-12V

JL

Fig 12.8

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 12.8. Set the resistor control to its
central position and check that the Moving Coil Meter pointer is at zero.
Adjust the Set Zero screw (Fig 12.8) if necessary to set the pointer to zero.
Use only the correct small screwdriver for this task.

Switch ON the power supply. Set the resistor output voltage to 0V as


indicated by the digital multimeter and note the voltage indicated by the
Moving Coil Meter. Enter the value in Table 12.7.

Digital Meter

Moving Coil
Meter

-10

-8

-6

-4

-2

+2
V

+4

+6

+8

+10

Table 12.7

12.7a

Repeat the procedure for all positive values of voltage listed in Table 12.7.

Repeat the procedure for the negative values of voltage indicated in Table
12.7, but setting up with the Moving Coil Meter and reading the digital
multimeter. Record the results in Table 12.7. Switch OFF the power supply.

Which meter gives the greatest resolution (indicates the smallest change)?
a Digital Multimeter

12.7b

Moving Coil Meter

Which meter is the easiest to use to set up a selected voltage?


a Digital Multimeter

Moving Coil Meter

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12.8 Practical Exercise


Extending the Voltage Range of a Moving Coil Meter
MOVING COIL METER
CARBON TRACK
5

7
8

2
1

10

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

+12V

-10

+10

8
9
1

100k

10

+
-

10k
-12V

0V

JL

Fig 12.8

The voltage range of a moving coil meter can be increased by adding a resistor in
series with it to extend the existing multiplier.
z

Connect the 100k variable resistor in series with the Moving Coil Meter as
shown in Fig 12.8. Note that the 12V supplies are being used together as a
single-ended +24V supply.

Switch ON the power supply and use the 10k variable resistor to set the
voltage to 10V as indicated on the digital multimeter.

Adjust the 100k variable resistor so that the Moving Coil Meter reads
+5V.

Keep re-adjusting both settings until they are correct.

When completed, the Moving Coil Meter is calibrated for a voltage range of
20V.
z

Check this by setting the voltage to 20V (digital multimeter) and note the
Moving Coil Meter scale reading. Switch OFF the power supply.

Moving Coil Meter scale reading with 20V applied =


z

12.8a

204

Isolate the 100k Carbon Track Resistor from the circuit and use your
digital multimeter on an Ohms (Resistance) range to measure the resistance
of the part of the 100k variable resistor which was connected into circuit.

Enter your measured value of the 100k variable resistor in k.

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Display Devices
Chapter 12

12.9 Practical Exercise


Comparison of Voltage Display Devices
L.E.D. BARGRAPH DISPLAY
I/P

DRIVER I.C.

+12V

MOVING COIL METER

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

-10
8

2
1

-12V

10

10k

5
+10

B
+
A

0V

JL

Fig 12.9

12.9a

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 12.9. All three voltage display devices
are connected in circuit for comparison of their characteristics.

Switch ON the power supply.

Vary the output voltage slowly over the range 0V through +5V and back to
0V and note the meter indications.

From your observations, which of the following is true?


a the Bargraph is too slow to follow the variations
b the Digital Multimeter responds to the changes accurately and immediately
c both the Moving Coil Meter and the Bargraph follow the variations well
d the Moving Coil and Digital Meters give the best response

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Display Devices
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12.9b

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Vary the output voltage over the same range rapidly and note the readings of
the Moving Coil Meter and Bargraph.

The fastest response came from the:


a Moving Coil Meter
z

Bargraph

Increase the input voltage from 0V to +3V, with the 3V indicating LED of
the Bargraph just on, and note the readings of all the meters. Record the
results in Table 12.8
Voltage indications

Bargraph

All three devices


in circuit
Moving Coil Meter
removed

3V
(sixth bar)

Digital
Multimeter

Moving Coil
Meter
V

Table 12.8

12.9c

Enter your reading from the Moving Coil Meter in V.


z

Remove the lead to the + connection of the Moving Coil Meter thus
disconnecting it from the circuit. Note and record in Table 12.8, the revised
readings of the Digital Multimeter and Bargraph.

12.9d

Enter your reading from the Digital Multimeter in V when the Moving Coil
Meter is removed from circuit.

12.9e

The loading caused by the Moving Coil Meter can be improved by:
a only using it on low voltage ranges b only using it on AC
c using a full-wave rectifier for DC

206

Switch OFF the power supply.

using a buffer amplifier

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Display Devices
Chapter 12

Student Assessment 12
The following questions all relate to devices fitted to, or recommended for use with, the
DIGIAC 1750 Trainer.
1.

For the Counter/Timer unit to measure a period of time, the TIME/COUNT and
FREE RUN/1s switches are set to:
a TIME & FREE RUN
b COUNT & FREE RUN
c

2.

COUNT & 1s

For the Counter/Timer unit to count input pulses, the TIME/COUNT and FREE RUN/1s
switches are set to:
a TIME & FREE RUN
b COUNT & FREE RUN
c

3.

TIME & 1s

TIME & 1s

COUNT & 1s

For the Counter/Timer unit to measure frequency, the TIME/COUNT and FREE RUN/1s
switches are set to:
a TIME & FREE RUN
b COUNT & FREE RUN
c

TIME & 1s

COUNT & 1s

4.

The Counter/Timer display reads 254 when the unit is used to measure time. The
amount of time elapsed is:
a 254s
b 254ms
c 2.54s
d 25.4s

5.

The LED Bargraph is displaying six LED's ON. The input voltage is in the range:
a 2.50-3.45V
b 3.0-3.45V
c 2.75-3.25V
d 6.00-6.45V

Continued ...

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Student Assessment 12 Continued ...


6.

The device with the fastest response time for measurement of voltage is the:
a Moving Coil Meter
b Digital Multimeter
c

7.

Counter/Timer

The f.s.d. current of the Moving Coil Meter is:


a 50A
b 500A
c

Bargraph

1mA

d 10mA

8.

The Moving Coil Meter has a multiplier (series resistor) to range it for 10V. The
value of additional multiplier for a range of 30V is:
a 10k
b 20k
c 30k
d 50k

9.

The best device for monitoring a rapidly, randomly varying voltage would be:
a digital multimeter
b moving coil meter
c

bargraph

oscilloscope

10. The best device for monitoring a slowly varying, precise voltage measurement (such
as that found when adjusting a voltage setting to, say, 3.7V) would be:
a digital multimeter
b moving coil meter
c

bargraph

oscilloscope

11. The best device for monitoring instantaneous repetitive variations of voltage at very
high frequencies would be:
a digital multimeter
b moving coil meter
c

bargraph

oscilloscope

12. The best device for voltage measurements in a high impedance circuit:
a digital multimeter
b moving coil meter
c

208

bargraph

oscilloscope

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Signal Conditioning Amplifiers


Chapter 13

Chapter 13
Signal Conditioning Amplifiers

Objectives of
this Chapter

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:


Describe the characteristics and application of DC
amplifiers.
Explain the term "Offset" and the need for offset
control.
Describe the characteristics and application of an
AC amplifier.
Describe the characteristics and application of a
power amplifier.
Describe the characteristics and application of a
current amplifier.
Describe the characteristics and application of a
buffer amplifier.
Describe the characteristics and application of an
inverter amplifier.
Describe the characteristics and application of a
differential amplifier.

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
Digital Multimeter.
Oscilloscope.
Function Generator.
BNC to 4mm connecting lead.

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Chapter 13

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13.1 DC Amplifiers

I/P

O/P

Fig 13.1

The symbol used for a DC amplifier is shown in Fig 13.1. The device consists of
directly coupled amplifiers (without coupling capacitors) which are therefore
capable of amplifying both DC and AC signals.
There may be many active devices (transistors) in a DC amplifier such as the types
of Integrated Circuit (IC) Operational Amplifier (Op Amp) chosen for the
DIGIAC 1750 Trainer.
The ratio of the output signal voltage to the input signal voltage is referred to as
the voltage gain of the circuit (Av).
With the input to these amplifiers at zero, the output should be zero, but there
could be a small value of voltage. This is more of a problem with high gain
circuits and an offset control may be provided to counteract the effect. This
control is adjusted with zero input, to set the output voltage to zero.
Given data for an amplifier normally specifies the input offset voltage for the
device. This represents the difference in voltage at two input connections that may
be required to produce zero output voltage. The second input connection is not
accessible for the DC amplifiers provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer although
an offset control is provided for Amplifier #1/2 connected internally.
Various DC amplifier circuits are provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer, but
only three are specifically designed for amplification applications, these being:

210

1.

Amplifier #1 having a variable preset gain over the range of 0.1 to 100
approximately. This amplifier is provided with an "offset" control.

2.

Amplifier #2 which is identical to Amplifier #1.

3.

X100 Amplifier which has a fixed gain of 100 and has no offset control.

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Curriculum Manual

Signal Conditioning Amplifiers


Chapter 13

The requirements for an ideal amplifier are:


High input impedance to prevent loading the signal source.
Low output impedance to ensure good transfer of signal to any succeeding
stage and prevent loss of signal.
High gain to reduce the number of amplifier stages required.
Broad bandwidth to ensure that all required signals for a given band of
frequencies are passed without attenuation.
Low distortion so that only the amplitude of the signal is altered (high
fidelity).
Low noise factor to reduce the introduction of unwanted signals or
interference.
Stability. No tendency to self- (spurious) oscillation.
These requirements apply to any type of amplifier, not just to DC amplifiers.
Amplifiers can be connected in cascade (one after another), to increase the overall
gain, if required.
Note The output voltage that can be provided by a DC amplifier cannot exceed
the value of its supply voltage. In the case of the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer the
output voltage is limited to a maximum of approximately 10V.
The main characteristics of these devices are:
Amplifier #1/2

X100 Amplifier

12V

12V

0.1 - 100

100

Voltage gain error (max.)

30%

4%

Output noise voltage (typ.)

10mV

10mV

fully adjustable

30mV

100k

101k

Input signal voltage (max.)


Voltage gain (nominal)

Output offset voltage (max.)


Input impedance
Table 13.1

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13.2 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of DC Amplifiers
SLIDE

B
1

BUFFER #1

10

O/P
I/P

10k

+VIN

MOVING COIL METER


5

AMPLIFIER #1

+5V

I/P

-10

O/P

5
+10

+
0V

.4
1
100
10

-5V
OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7

.8

.3

.9

.2
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

0V

JL

Fig 13.2

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 13.2 with the Amplifier #1 in circuit. Set
the GAIN COARSE control to 100 and GAIN FINE to 1.0 for both amplifiers,
Amplifier #1 and Amplifier #2.
Note that Buffer #1 is needed so that the OFFSET adjustment does not affect
the input voltage.
Switch ON the power supply. Set the 10k variable resistor mid-way for
exactly zero volts output as indicated by the digital multimeter. Adjust the
OFFSET control of Amplifier #1 so that the output voltage is zero (or as near
as it is possible to get to zero).
Increase the input voltage positively and note the output voltage. This
increases to saturation quickly and then remains at this maximum value for
further increase of input voltage. Record the value of this saturation voltage
at the Moving Coil Meter in Table 13.2.
Repeat for the negative saturation voltage, recording again in Table 13.2.
Set the input voltage so that the output voltage is between +7 and +8V
(Moving Coil Meter) and use the digital multimeter to note the values of the
Amplifier #1 input and output voltages. Record the results in Table 13.2.

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Chapter 13

O utp ut voltage
), this representing the maximum gain
Inp ut voltage
with positive polarity possible for the amplifier. Add this to Table 13.2.
Calculate the gain (

Gain (Av) set to


100 x 1.0 = 100
Saturation voltage
Input voltage
Output voltage

Amplifier #1
Positive
Negative

Amplifier #2
Positive
Negative

mV

mV

mV

mV

Voltage gain (Av)


Table 13.2

Repeat with the 10k variable resistor adjusted to give between -7 and -8V,
to determine the gain of the amplifier for negative polarity input signals.
13.2a

Enter your value of positive polarity gain for Amplifier #1 with maximum
gain settings.

13.2b

Enter your value of negative polarity gain for Amplifier #1 with maximum
gain settings.

This dual-polarity operation signifies that the amplifier is capable of amplifying


AC signals as well as DC voltages.
Replace Amplifier #1 in the circuit with Amplifier #2 and repeat the
procedures to adjust the OFFSET and to determine its maximum positive and
negative gain values.
13.2c

Enter your value of positive polarity gain for Amplifier #2 with maximum
gain settings.

13.2d

Enter your value of negative polarity gain for Amplifier #2 with maximum
gain settings.

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Reset both Amplifier #1 and Amplifier #2 GAIN COARSE control to 1 and


GAIN FINE to 0.1 for minimum amplifier gain.
With Amplifier #1 in circuit and an input voltage of +4V approximately,
note and record the values of the input and output voltages in Table 13.3.
Gain (Av) set to
1 x 0.1 = 0.1

Amplifier #1
Positive
Negative

Amplifier #2
Positive
Negative

Input voltage

Output voltage

Voltage gain (Av)


Table 13.3

Reset the input to -4V and repeat the readings, recording the results in Table
13.3.
Change to Amplifier #2 and repeat the readings for both polarities.
Using the values of input and output voltages given in Table 13.3 calculate
the gain for each of the four conditions and add the results to the table.
13.2e

Enter your value of positive polarity gain for Amplifier #1 with minimum
gain settings.

13.2f

Enter your value of negative polarity gain for Amplifier #2 with minimum
gain settings.

Replace Amplifier #2 with the X100 Amplifier. Temporarily ground the


input and note the output voltage with zero input voltage (the output offset
voltage) using the digital multimeter. Use the same 0V patch panel as you
use for the digital multimeter.
Note that there is no offset control with this amplifier. The offset is adjusted
to an acceptably low figure during production.

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Chapter 13

Nominal Gain
(Av) = 100

X100 Amplifier
Positive
Negative

Saturation voltage
Input voltage
Output voltage

mV

mV

Voltage gain (Av)


Table 13.4

Repeat the procedures to measure the saturation voltages and the input and
output voltages with the output set to a value between (7-8)V. Record the
values in Table 13.4.
Calculate the gain for both polarities and add these to Table 13.4.
13.2g

Enter your calculated value for the gain of the X100 Amplifier with positive
polarity.

13.2h

Enter your calculated value for the gain of the X100 Amplifier with negative
polarity.

Compare the results with the amplifier specifications given earlier.


Switch OFF the power supply.

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13.3 The AC Amplifier


The symbol for an AC amplifier is the same as for a DC amplifier.

I/P

O/P

Fig 13.3

The AC amplifier provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer is a two-stage IC


amplifier which has three fixed gain settings, 10, 100 and 1000. The mimic
diagram on the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer shows the capacitors in the input and output
circuits. These capacitors remove any DC level and hence there is no offset
problem with an AC amplifier.
Two of the main aspects of amplifiers are in conflict with each other, gain and
bandwidth. As the gain of an amplifier is increased its bandwidth will be reduced.
It is common to specify a gain bandwidth product for an amplifier. For instance,
an amplifier with a gain bandwidth product of 106 could have a gain of 100 with a
bandwidth of 104 or 10kHz, or a gain of 1000 with a bandwidth of 1kHz.
This is why the amplifier on the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer is a 2-stage circuit; to get a
bandwidth of 16kHz (covering the full audio band) and a gain of up to 1000.
When the gain is switched to 100 (or 10) the bandwidth will be increased.
The main characteristics of the device are:
Input voltage (max.)
Bandwidth (-6dB, gain = 1000)
Maximum gain at 40kHz
Output noise voltage (gain = 1000)

12V

10Hz - 16kHz
225
100mV

Table 13.5

A high proportion of the output noise will be found to be stray pick-up of the
output of the 40kHz oscillator which is adjacent to the AC Amplifier.

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Chapter 13

13.4 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of the AC Amplifier
From Function Generator
SLIDE

A.C. AMPLIFIER
O/P

I/P

B
1

10

10k

GAIN
0V

TP1

0V

10
1000
100

TP2

Oscilloscope

CH.1

0V

CH.2

Fig 13.4

Construct the circuit of Fig 13.4. Set the slider of the 10k variable resistor
to mid-way. This is to operate as a fine amplitude control on the input signal.
Switch the AC Amplifier to maximum gain, 1000.
Switch the output of the Function Generator to a 1kHz sinewave. Switch the
oscilloscope timebase to 0.5ms/div, Y1 amplifier (CH.1) to 10mV/div and
the Y2 amplifier (CH.2) to 5V/div.
Switch ON the power supply and adjust the Function Generator output
amplitude control to obtain 20Vp-p output from the AC Amplifier as
indicated on CH.2 of the oscilloscope. Use the 10k slider variable resistor
for the final adjustment if necessary. Measure the input amplitude (CH.1)
and record in Table 13.6.
Gain setting
Output voltage
Input voltage

1000

100

10

20Vp-p

20Vp-p

20Vp-p

mVp-p

mVp-p

Vp-p

Amplifier gain
Table 13.6

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Switch the AC Amplifier gain to 100 and repeat the setting of the output
voltage to 20Vp-p and again measure the input signal amplitude, changing
the Y1 amplifier setting as required. Record the result in Table 13.6.
Switch the AC Amplifier gain to 10 and repeat the setting and measurement.
O utp ut voltage
) for each setting of the gain
Inp ut voltage
switch and add the results to Table 13.6.

Calculate the amplifier gain (

13.4a

Enter your value of gain at 1kHz with the AC Amplifier set to x100.

Change the Function Generator frequency to 40kHz and the oscilloscope


timebase setting to 5s/div, switch the AC Amplifier gain to 1000 and repeat
the setting and measurement.
Input voltage for 20Vp-p output =

mVp-p

Calculate the amplifier gain at 40kHz.


Amplifier gain at 40kHz =
13.4b

Enter your value of gain at 40kHz with the AC Amplifier set to x1000.

Switch OFF the power supply.

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Chapter 13

13.5 The Power Amplifier


The symbol for a power amplifier is again the same as that for any DC amplifier.

I/P

O/P

Fig 13.5

The main characteristic of a power amplifier is the capability of a large power


output.
In order to do this the output impedance of the amplifier must be very low in order
to provide a heavy current to a load without loss of output voltage across the
output impedance.
The components used must also be capable of dissipating the heat generated in
high current circuits.
The device provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer has unity gain and a
maximum output current of the order of 1.5A.
The main characteristics of the device are as follows:
Input voltage (max.)

12V

Input impedance

100k

Output current

1.5A

Output power (limited by power supply)

9W

Upper -3dB frequency

10.6kHz

Table 13.7

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13.6 Practical Exercise


Application of a Power Amplifier
POWER AMPLIFIER
O/P
I/P

From Function Generator


SLIDE

A.C. AMPLIFIER
O/P

LOUDSPEAKER

I/P

B
1

10

10k

I/P

A
GAIN

0V

TP1

0V

CH.1

10
1000
100

TP2

Oscilloscope

0V

CH.2

Fig 13.6

Connect the circuit of Fig 13.6.


Switch ON the power supply and adjust the Function Generator to give a
sinewave input at 1kHz to the AC Amplifier. Increase the amplitude to give
maximum undistorted output from the amplifier.
Connect the Loudspeaker directly to the output of the AC Amplifier and
observe the effect on the output waveform.

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Chapter 13

With the Loudspeaker connected directly to the output of the AC Amplifier


the waveform looks like:

Transfer the output of the AC Amplifier to the input of the Power Amplifier.
Transfer the oscilloscope CH.2 connection to the output of the Power
Amplifier. Finally connect the output of the Power Amplifier to the
Loudspeaker.
13.6b

With the Loudspeaker connected via the Power Amplifier the waveform
looks like:

Switch OFF the power supply.


Note that you have already used the Power Amplifier for DC applications
when driving the lamp for opto-electronic experiments and for driving the
motor for rotating motion investigations.

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13.7 The Current Amplifier and Buffer Amplifier

I/P

O/P

Fig 13.7

The symbol for a current amplifier is once more the same as for any DC amplifier.
The amplifier converts an input current to an output voltage.
The device provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer is intended for use with the
P.I.N. photodiode, giving an output voltage 10,000 times the input current. An
input current of 1mA (max.) will provide 10V (max.) at the output.
The main characteristics of the Current Amplifier are shown in Table 13.8 below.
The symbol for a buffer amplifier is again as shown in Fig 13.7. These amplifiers
have a high input impedance and a low output impedance and are inserted in the
circuit between a device having a high output impedance and one having a low
input impedance to prevent loading, as shown in Fig 13.8.
Device 1
(High output
impedance)

Buffer

Device 2
(Low input
impedance)

Fig 13.8

The characteristics are similar to those of the Power Amplifier but they have a
much lower output current capability, (of the order of 20mA maximum for the
devices provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer).
Two buffer amplifiers are provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer, Buffer #1 and
Buffer #2 and their main characteristics are shown in Table 13.9.

Input current (max)


Transfer ratio
Table 13.8

222

1mA
10,000V/A

Input voltage (max.)

12V

Input impedance

100k

Input offset voltage

300V

Voltage gain
Table 13.9

1.0

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Signal Conditioning Amplifiers


Chapter 13

13.8 Practical Exercise


Characteristics and Applications of Current and Buffer Amplifiers
SLIDE

CURRENT AMPLIFIER

O/P

B
1

BUFFER #1

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C
7

2
10

10k
0V

104 I IN

10k

MOVING COIL METER

+5V

10

I/P

5
O/P

5
+10

-10

I/P
+VIN

+
-

0V

JL

Fig 13.9

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 13.9 with the Buffer Amplifier out of
circuit initially. Set the 10k wirewound resistor for zero output (control
fully counter clockwise) and the 10k slider resistor for maximum
resistance (slider to right).
Switch ON the power supply and set the output voltage from the 10k
wirewound resistor to 1V as indicated by the digital voltmeter.
Vary the slider resistor control from maximum resistance to minimum and
note the reading of the digital voltmeter. You will note that it falls due to the
increased current loading. Note the lowest value.
10k slider resistance minimum voltage =

The current has varied from 0.1mA to 1.0mA approximately but this has been
sufficient to produce the voltage drop above. The Buffer Amplifier can be used to
reduce this loading effect.

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Disconnect the lead between socket B of the Wirewound Track


potentiometer and socket A of the Slide potentiometer.
Connect socket B of the Wirewound Track to the input socket of Buffer #1.
Connect the output socket of Buffer #1 to socket A of the Slide
potentiometer. Buffer #1 is now connected between the Wirewound Track
potentiometer and the Slide potentiometer.
With the 10k slider control at maximum (slider to right) set the voltage as
indicated by the digital voltmeter to 1.0V. Vary the 10k slider control over
its full range and note the reading of the digital voltmeter.
13.8a

The variation of voltage with the Buffer Amplifier in circuit was:

a >0.5V

<0.5V, >0.3V

<0.3V, >0.1V

virtually nil

Check that the output from the 10k wirewound resistor is still 1.0V and
then remove the digital multimeter from the circuit, switch to a 2mA range
and reconnect it as an ammeter into the circuit between the 10k slider
resistor and the Current Amplifier to monitor the input current.
Set the 10k slider resistor control to each of the settings indicated in
Table 13.10 and for each setting note the input current and the output
voltage for the Current Amplifier.
Resistor setting
Input current
Output voltage

10

mA

mA

mA

mA

mA

mA

Table 13.10

Plot the graph of Output voltage against Input current for the Current
Amplifier.

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Chapter 13

10
9
Output
Voltage 8
(volts)
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0


Input current (mA)

Graph 13.1

13.8b

Is the graph linear?


Yes or No

13.8c

For each 0.1mA of input current the output voltage of the Current Amplifier
changes by approximately:
a 0.1V
b 0.5V
c 1.0V
d 2V

This exercise has illustrated the characteristics of the current amplifier and the
application of a buffer amplifier for circuits requiring a low output current.
Switch OFF the power supply

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13.9 The Inverter


Yet again the symbol is the same as for any amplifier.

I/P

O/P

Fig 13.10

The inverter amplifier, as the name implies, reverses the polarity of the voltage
applied to the input, either DC or AC. The device provided with the DIGIAC 1750
Trainer has a voltage gain of unity.
One aspect of all IC amplifiers which has not been mentioned before is the slew
rate. This imposes a limitation on alternating signals on the rate at which the
output voltage can change with respect to time. You can have either a small signal
voltage at a high frequency or a larger signal voltage at a lower frequency.
This is not quite the same thing as the gain/bandwidth product which was
introduced earlier, as you will see from the experiment which follows.
The main characteristics of the device are:
Input voltage (max.)
Voltage gain

-1.0

Input impedance

100k

Input offset voltage

300V

Slew rate (typ.)


Table 13.11

226

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Signal Conditioning Amplifiers


Chapter 13

13.10 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of an Inverter
INVERTER
O/P
I/P
-VIN

V
-5V

0V

+5V

Fig 13.11

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 13.11.


Switch ON the power supply. With the Inverter input connected to the +5V
supply note the value of the output voltage in Table 13.12.
Inverter input

+5V

Inverter output

-5V
V

Table 13.12

Transfer the Inverter input to the -5V supply and again note the value of the
output voltages.
13.10a

The polarity of the output voltage is:

a the same as the input

opposite to the input

Switch OFF the power supply.


The output voltage magnitude may not be identical with the input due to the offset
voltage. No facility for adjusting this has been provided.

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SLIDE

40kHz OSCILLATOR

B
1

0V

INVERTER

O/P

10

10k

TP1

0V

CH.1

O/P
I/P
-VIN

TP2

Oscilloscope

0V

CH.2

Fig 13.12

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 13.12. Switch ON the power supply.
Set the oscilloscope timebase to 5s/div. and both Y amplifiers (CH.1 &
CH.2) to 0.5V/div.
Adjust the control of the 10k slider resistor to give an input voltage of
1Vp-p.
Sketch the input and output (Output 1) waveforms on the graticule provided:

Input

Output 1

Output 2

Waveform Sketch 13.1

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Chapter 13

Change the Y2 (CH.2) amplifier to 1V/div and increase the setting of the
10k slider resistor until the full effect of the slew rate is observed.
Add a sketch of the output (Output 2) waveform.
13.10b

Your sketched waveforms are most similar to:

Check the slew rate (

13.10c

voltage
) against the specification given earlier.
time ( s)

Enter the value of peak-to-peak output voltage at which the slewing first
occurred with an input signal of 40kHz.

Replace the input to inverter with a 5kHz sinewave output from the Function
Generator.
Increase the amplitude of the signal until slewing again begins to occur.
Note the maximum peak-to-peak value of the undistorted output signal.
13.10d

Enter the value of peak-to-peak output voltage at which the slewing first
occurred with an input signal of 5kHz.

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13.11 The Differential Amplifier

I/P's

O/P

Fig 13.13

The symbol for a differential amplifier is shown in Fig 13.13.


The amplifier has two inputs which can be driven by separate signals. It is called
differential because the output voltage depends on the difference in voltages
applied to the two inputs. If the two inputs are driven by the same signal in phase
then theoretically there should be no output. There will, however, be a small
output the amount being determined by the common mode gain, which is
designed to be as near to zero as possible.
For the device provided on the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer, the output voltage is given
by (VA - VB).
Two differential amplifier circuits are provided, the second being labeled
"Instrumentation Amplifier". This carries out the same basic functions as the
differential amplifier but has an improved (reduced) common mode gain.
The main characteristics of the devices are:
Differential
Amplifier

12V

Input voltage (max.)


Differential gain

1.0

Common mode gain (max.)

0.02

0.006

Input impedance (input A)

200k

100k

Input impedance (input B)


Table 13.13

230

Instrumentation
Amplifier

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Chapter 13

13.12 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Differential Amplifier
SLIDE

C
B

+5V

-5V

10

10k

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

A-B

10

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
-

10k

0V

Fig 13.14

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 13.14 and switch ON the power supply.
Moving the digital voltmeter lead as necessary, set the voltage at input A of
the Differential Amplifier to -3V and input B also to -3V and note the
resulting output voltage. Record the value in Table 13.14.
Step

Input B voltage

-3V

+1V

+4V

+2V

0V

+4.5V

+2V

-2.7V

Input A voltage

-3V

+1V

+4V

+4V

+3V

+2.2V

-3V

+3.6V

Output voltage

Table 13.14

Repeat the procedure for each of the other pairs of inputs in Table 13.14 and
record the output voltage again.

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Chapter 13

13.12a

Enter your output voltage reading for Step 1 in V.

13.12b

Enter your output voltage reading for Step 3 in V.

13.12c

Enter your output voltage reading for Step 5 in V.

13.12d

Enter your output voltage reading for Step 6 in V.

13.12e

Enter your output voltage reading for Step 7 in V.

13.12f

Enter your output voltage reading for Step 8 in V.

13.12g

In Steps 1, 2 & 3 the amplifier was working in:

a differential mode

inverting mode

c common mode

opposing mode

Switch OFF the power supply.

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Chapter 13

Student Assessment 13
1.

2.

3.

The term "input offset voltage" applied to a DC amplifier means the voltage:
a at the input with no signal applied

at the output with no signal applied

needed at the input for zero output voltage

needed at the input with signal applied

The main difference between an AC amplifier and a DC amplifier is that the:


a AC amplifier does not suffer from offset

only the AC amplifier can amplify AC signals

DC amplifier will not pass low frequency signals

gain of an AC amplifier will be greater

The type of amplifier which will pass AC signals is:


a the DC amplifier only
b the AC amplifier only

c
4.

5.

either the DC or the AC amplifier

neither the DC nor the AC amplifier

The purpose of a buffer amplifier is to:


a remove DC signals
from AC signals

increase the signal level at low frequencies

convert positive polarity signals into negative polarity signals

reduce loading on a high impedance source

Comparing a buffer amplifier to a power amplifier, the buffer amplifier will:


a only operate on DC
b deliver less current

only operate on AC

restrict the bandwidth

Continued ...

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Student Assessment 13 Continued ...


6.

A signal source has an open-circuit EMF of 10V and an output impedance of 100k. If
this was connected directly to a 10k load the voltage delivered to the load would be:
a 10V
b 5V
c 1.1V
d <1V

7.

For the situation referred to in question 6 above the type of amplifier which would
restore the voltage delivered to the load would be:
a AC
b buffer
c inverter
d differential

8.

A current amplifier has a transfer ratio of 5000V/A. If the input current is 2mA the
output voltage will be:
a 2.5V
b 5.0V
c 10V
d 10000V

9.

A current amplifier has a transfer ratio of 5000V/A. If the output voltage is 5V the input
current will be:
a 10mA
b 5mA
c 2.5mA
d 1mA

10. A differential amplifier has inputs VA connected to the non-inverting (-) input and VB
connected to the inverting (+) input. The amplifier has unity (1.0) gain. If the input
voltages are VA = +5.0V, VB = +2.0V then the output voltage will be:
a +3V
b +7V
c -7V
d +10V
11. A differential amplifier has inputs VA connected to the non-inverting (-) input and VB
connected to the inverting (+) input. The amplifier has unity (1.0) gain. If the input
voltages are VA = -5.0V, VB = +2.0V then the output voltage will be:
a +3V
b +7V
c -7V
d +10V
12. A differential amplifier has inputs VA connected to the non-inverting (-) input and VB
connected to the inverting (+) input. The amplifier has unity (1.0) gain. If the input
voltages are VA = +5.0V, VB = -5.0V then the output voltage will be:
a 0V
b +5V
c -5V
d +10V

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Signal Conversions
Chapter 14

Chapter 14
Signal Conversions

Objectives of
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:


Describe the characteristics of a voltage to current
converter (V/I).
Describe the characteristics of a current to voltage
converter (I/V).
Describe the characteristics of a voltage to frequency
converter (V/F).
Describe the characteristics of a frequency to voltage
converter (F/V).
Describe the characteristics of a full wave rectifier.

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
Digital Multimeter.
Oscilloscope.

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14.1 Voltage to Current Converter


The voltage to current converter converts an input voltage to an output current.
The device operates as a constant current source within the limits of the supply
voltage. As an example of this, if 20mA is supplied to a load of 50, then the
voltage dropped across the load is:
20x10-3 x 50 = 1.0V.
With the V/I converter supplied from +12V DC this is no problem. If, however,
the load resistance is increased to 1k, then the voltage across the load at 20mA
would be:
20x10-3 x 1000 = 20V,
which the device would be unable to provide from a +12V supply.
A simple block diagram is used to represent the V/I Converter on the DIGIAC
1750 Trainer. The standard symbol for a constant current source is given in
Fig 14.1.

0-24mA

Fig 14.1

The main characteristics of the device fitted to the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer are:
Input voltage range

0-1.5V

Output current range (max.)

0-24mA

Transfer ratio

16mA/V

Table 14.1

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Chapter 14

14.2 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Voltage to Current Converter

O/P

O/P
A

+5V

NTC THERMISTORS
0V

PLATINUM R.T.D.
I/P

HEATER ELEMENT
SLIDE

C
B

V8

10

10k

V/I CONVERTER

O/P
I/P

Fig 14.2

Note that a second meter is shown as an ammeter connected between the output of
the V/I Converter and the load (the heater element on the thermal transducer
panel). If a second instrument is available then the measurements will be
simplified. The instructions will be given assuming that this is not the case.
Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 14.2 and set the 10k resistor for zero
output voltage (slider to left).
Switch ON the power supply. Set the input voltage to the V/I converter to
0.5V.
Remove the digital multimeter from the circuit, range it as an ammeter (up
to 25mA will be needed), and reconnect it in between the output of the V/I
Converter and the load. Measure the load current and record the result in
Table 14.2. Restore the digital multimeter as a voltmeter in the original
position as shown in Fig 14.2.
Input voltage
Output current

0V

0.5V
mA

1.0V
mA

1.5V
mA

mA

Table 14.2

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Repeat the procedure for input voltage settings of 1.0V and 1.5V and record
the results in Table 14.2. Keep the multimeter connected as an ammeter
monitoring the load current after the final reading.
Connect the input of the V/I Converter to 0V (ground) and note the effect on
the output current. Record the result in Table 14.2.
Plot the characteristic of output current against input voltage for the V/I
Converter on the axes provided:
25
Output
Current 20
(mA)
15
10
5
0

0.5

1.0
1.5
Input Voltage (V)

Graph 14.1

14.2a

Is the output current proportional to the input voltage?

Yes

or

No

Calculate the Transfer Ratio from any pair of voltage and current readings.
Transfer Ratio =
14.2b

mA/V

Enter your value of the Transfer Ratio in mA/V.

Restore the input of the V/I Converter to terminal B of the 10k slider
resistor and the input voltage to 1.5V. Transfer the digital multimeter to the
output of the V/I Converter. First unplug the load and note the effect on the
output voltage of the V/I Converter. Then connect the Lamp Filament on the
opto-transducer panel as the load and note the voltage again.

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Signal Conversions
Chapter 14

Is the output voltage constant?

Yes

or

No

Switch OFF the power supply.

14.3 Current to Voltage Converter


The current to voltage converter converts an input current to an output voltage and
is thus the converse of the voltage to current converter.
The V/I and I/V Converters provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer are arranged
to have parameter values that are the reciprocal of each other.
This means that the pair of devices could be used to send a voltage down a long
wire without attenuation, since the current which is launched into the transmission
line at one end must also appear at the termination (except in the unlikely case of
leakage current, which can be restricted by good insulation).

Input
Voltage

V/I
Converter

I/V
Converter

Output
Voltage

Fig 14.3

The actual voltage on the transmission line is irrelevant unless it tries to be greater
than the supply feeding the V/I Converter.
The main characteristics of the I/V converter are:
Input current range
Output voltage range
Transfer ratio

0-24mA (100mA max.)


0-1.5V (6V max.)
62.5mV/mA

Table 14.3

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14.4 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Current to Voltage Converter
SLIDE

V/I CONVERTER

O/P

V
1

0V

10

I/V CONVERTER

I/P

O/P
I/P

10k

+5V

Fig 14.4

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 14.4. Set the 10k slider resistor for
zero output voltage.
Switch ON the power supply.
Set the input voltage to the V/I converter to 0.5V. Transfer the digital
multimeter to the output of the I/V Converter and note the output voltage.
Record the value in Table 14.4.
Repeat the procedure for input voltage settings of 1.0 and 1.5V and enter the
values in Table 14.4.
Input voltage (V/I)
Output voltage (I/V)

0.5
V

1.0
V

1.5
V

Table 14.4

Transfer the input of the V/I converter to 0V (ground) and note and record
the output voltage from the I/V Converter in Table 14.4.
14.4a

Enter your value of output voltage when the input voltage was 1.0V.

Switch OFF the power supply.

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Signal Conversions
Chapter 14

14.5 Voltage to Frequency Converter


This device converts an input voltage to an output frequency, the frequency being
proportional to the input voltage.
The circuit is based on a dedicated (designed for the job) IC type LM331. The
output waveform is in the form of short duration (approximately 60s) negativegoing pulses, the repetition rate of which can be controlled over a very wide range.
The negative excursion duration remains constant as the frequency is increased.
This limits the overall time period of the output waveform to about 85s, or a
frequency of just under 12kHz. The pulse shape is degraded at frequencies above
about 10.5kHz.
The Counter/Timer facility has a limited range, having only a 3-digit display, but
it is better for counting pulses at very low frequencies. The oscilloscope gives a
very good display of the waveform and can also be used for measurement of
higher frequencies.
The main characteristics of the device provided with the DIGIAC 1750 are:
Type

Input voltage (max.)

LM331

12V

Transfer ratio

1kHz/V

Maximum frequency

10kHz

Non-linearity (typ.)

0.024% full scale

Non-linearity (max.)

0.14%

Table 14.5

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14.6 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Voltage to Frequency Converter
WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D

V/F CONVERTER

12k

OUT

A
3

O/P
I/P

DIFFERENTIATOR
O/P
I/P
dV
T IN
dt
100ms
1s
10ms

IN

1V

0V

TIME CONSTANT

Rx
COUNTER/
TIMER

COMPARATOR

+12V

OFF
ON
HYSTERESIS

TP1

0V

I/P

TIME

FREE RUN

O/P

RESET

COUNT

1s

CH.1
Oscilloscope

Fig 14.5

The Counter/Timer is used as a frequency meter to measure the lower output


frequencies, within its range. The Differentiator and Comparator are pulse shaping
circuits to enable the V/F Converter output to trigger the Counter/Timer.
An oscilloscope is used to monitor the output waveform and to determine
frequencies above the range of the Timer/Counter.
Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 14.5. Set the Differentiator control to 1s,
the Counter controls to COUNT and 1s, the Comparator HYSTERESIS OFF and
the 10k 10-turn resistor to zero.
Switch ON the power supply and set the input voltage to 0.2V. Press the
RESET button of the Counter and note the displayed value, which represents
the frequency output of the V/F converter. Record the value in Table 14.6.
Input Voltage (volts)
Output frequency (Hz)
Table 14.6

242

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

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Chapter 14

Repeat the procedure for input voltage settings of 0.4, 0.6, 0.8V and 1.0V
recording the output frequency values in Table 14.6.
Continue with further increased values of input voltage if possible while the
Counter/Timer unit is registering the frequency correctly. The unit may
operate beyond 1kHz, this being signified by the count going through 999.
When the frequency is too high for the counter, the display will only reach a
low value and not pass through 999.
Reset the frequency to 1kHz (1.0V input) and turn your attention to the
oscilloscope. Disconnect the feed to the Differentiator, since the loading
effect will degrade the output waveform of the V/F Converter.
Set the oscilloscope timebase to 0.2ms/div and ensure that the variable
control is in its calibrated position. Set the Y1 amplifier (CH.1) to 2V/div.
You should have a stable trace of 2/3 negative-going pulses of about 5V (2.5
div) amplitude.
Measure the time taken for one cycle along the X axis (for instance, one
cycle covering 2.8 div. would be 2.8 x 0.2ms = 0.56ms) and record this in
Table 14.7. Take the reciprocal of this to convert to frequency (for instance,
1
= 1786Hz or 1.79kHz).
0.56 10-3
Input voltage (volts)

Time for one cycle


Frequency = 1 T

ms

ms

4
s

5
s

6
s

7
s

8
s

9
s

10
s

(kHz)

Table 14.7

Take measurements and calculations at each of the other input voltages


listed in Table 14.7, changing the oscilloscope timebase setting as necessary.
14.6a

Is the output frequency proportional to the input voltage?

Yes
14.6b

or

No

Calculate and enter the Transfer Ratio in kHz/V.

Switch OFF the power supply.

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14.7 Frequency to Voltage Converter


This device converts an input frequency to an output voltage.
Each input pulse triggers a monostable multivibrator to generate a constant period
pulse which pumps one packet of charge into a reservoir capacitor. The voltage
across the capacitor is therefore dependent on how many pulses are received each
second.
For the unit provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer, the parameters are arranged
to be reciprocal to those of the V/F converter.
A communication channel would again be possible with frequency as the
transmission medium.
The main characteristics are:
Input frequency (max.)

10kHz

Transfer ratio

1V/kHz

Time constant

100ms

Settling time

0.7s

Accuracy

0.1%

Output ripple

10mV

Output impedance

100k

Table 14.8

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Chapter 14

14.8 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Frequency to Voltage Converter
WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D

V/F CONVERTER

12k

OUT

A
3

F/V CONVERTER

O/P
I/P

O/P
I/P

IN

1V

Rx

0V

+5V

Fig 14.6

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 14.6. Switch ON the power supply and
set the input voltage to the V/F converter to 1.0V. Note the value of the
output voltage from the F/V converter and record the value in Table 14.9.
Input voltage (V/F)
Output voltage (F/V)

4
V

5
V

Table 14.9

Repeat the procedure for input voltage settings of 2, 3, 4 and 5V.


14.8a

Enter your output voltage when the input voltage is 3V.

You will see from the specification that the output impedance of the F/V
Converter is 100k. If you measure the output voltage using the M.C. meter
the reading will be affected by the low loading impedance. Try it with the
output voltage set 5V, recording the results in Table 14.10.
Instrument

Digital
Multimeter only

Output voltage

M. C. Meter
only

M. C. Meter
via Buffer #1
V

Table 14.10

14.8b

Enter your output voltage reading when using the M. C. Meter via Buffer #1.

Switch OFF the power supply.

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Chapter 14

IT02
Curriculum Manual

14.9 The Full Wave Rectifier


The full wave rectifier converts a sinewave AC input into a series of unidirectional
positive half cycles as shown in Fig 14.7.
The negative half cycles are inverted so that the output is always of one polarity.
+

+
Full Wave
Rectifier

Fig 14.7

With an input DC signal of either polarity the output is always positive, the
magnitude of the output being the same as that of the input signal.
In the case of an input consisting of an AC waveform riding on a DC component,
the output waveform will be a mixture of the input components, the negative
components being inverted to be positive. If the DC component of the input is
greater than the AC component then the same waveform will appear at the output,
but always with positive polarity, irrespective of the polarity of the input.
The circuit is active, containing two operational amplifiers; not just a full-wave
diode bridge, since this cannot be adjusted to compensate for losses. It is not
intended for delivery of DC power.
Measurements of AC quantities using DC instruments are possible with accuracy
using Full Wave Rectifiers.
The main characteristics of the device provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer
are:
Input voltage
Output voltage error
Table 14.11

246

12V (max)
2% (typ.), (6% max.)

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Signal Conversions
Chapter 14

14.10 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Full Wave Rectifier with DC Applied
FULL WAVE RECTIFIER

O/P
I/P

VIN

0V

-5V

+5V

Fig 14.8

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 14.8. Switch ON the power supply and
note the values of the input and output voltages for the Full Wave Rectifier
with +5V applied to the rectifier input. Record the output voltage in Table
14.12.
Input voltage
Output voltage

+5V

-5V
V

Table 14.12

Transfer the input of the Full Wave Rectifier to the -5V supply and repeat
voltage readings, recording the output voltage in Table 14.12 again.
14.10a

Is the output polarity the same for both input polarities?

Yes
14.10b

or

No

Is the output magnitude approximately the same as the input?

Yes

or

No

Switch OFF the power supply.

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Chapter 14

IT02
Curriculum Manual

14.11 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Full Wave Rectifier with AC Applied
SLIDE

40kHz OSCILLATOR

O/P

B
1

A.C. AMPLIFIER
O/P
I/P

10

10k

0V
FULL WAVE RECTIFIER

O/P
I/P

GAIN

10
1000
100

VIN

TP1

0V

TP2

CH.1

Oscilloscope

0V

CH.2

Fig 14.9

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 14.9. Set the gain of the AC Amplifier to
10.
Set the oscilloscope timebase to 5s/div and both Y amplifiers to 1V/div.
Switch ON the power supply and adjust the slider of the 10k resistor so
that the amplitude of the output of the AC Amplifier (CH.1) is the same as
that of the 40kHz Oscillator (CH.2).
Switch the selectors on your Y amplifiers between DC and AC. Any
movement of the waveform on the screen means that there is a DC
component. If there is no DC component the waveform will not move.
14.11a

When switching between AC and DC inputs to the oscilloscope Y amplifiers,


the waveform(s) having a DC component is/are:
a the 40kHz Oscillator
b the AC Amplifier

c both of them

248

neither of them

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Signal Conversions
Chapter 14

Transfer CH.2 of the oscilloscope from the output of the 40kHz Oscillator to
the output of the Full Wave Rectifier.
Sketch the input and output waveforms of the Full Wave Rectifier on the
graticule provided, marking in the amplitude of the waveforms:

Waveform Sketch 14.1

14.11b

Your waveforms (CH.1 at the top) are most like:

Record the DC value of the Full Wave Rectifier output from the digital
multimeter reading, then switch OFF the power supply.
DC value of the Full Wave Rectifier output =
14.11c

The reason for the difference between the amplitude of the output waveform
and the measured DC value on the multimeter is:
a they are both DC quantities

b the multimeter responds to the average of the waveform


c the input waveform is measured in RMS
d the input waveform is measured in peak-to-peak

249

Signal Conversions
Chapter 14

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Curriculum Manual

Student Assessment 14
1.

A Voltage to Current Converter, supplied from a 12V supply has a Transfer Ratio
of 12mA/V. If the input voltage was 1.2V, the short-circuited output current would be:
a 1mA
b 10mA
c 12mA
d 14.4mA

2.

A Voltage to Current Converter, supplied from a 12V supply has a Transfer Ratio
of 12mA/V. If the input voltage was 1.2V, the voltage across a 75 load would be:
a 0.52V
b 1.08V
c 1.2V
d 5.2V

3.

A Voltage to Current Converter, supplied from a 12V supply has a Transfer Ratio
of 12mA/V. If the input voltage was 1.2V, the voltage across a 1k load would be:
a 1.2V
b 8V
c 12V
d 14.4V

4.

A Voltage to Current Converter with Transfer Ratio of 10mA/V is connected in cascade


to a Current to Voltage Converter having a Transfer Ratio of 0.25V/mA. With an input
voltage of 1.5V applied to the input to the V/I Converter, the output voltage from the
I/V converter will be:
a 1.5V
b 2.5V
c 3.75V
d 5.25V

5.

A Voltage to Current Converter with Transfer Ratio of 10mA/V is connected in


cascade to a Current to Voltage Converter. In order for the output voltage from the
I/V Converter to be the same as the input to the V/I Converter the Transfer Ratio
of the I/V Converter would need to be:
a 1V/mA
b 0.1V/mA
c 10mV/mA
d 1mV/mA

6.

A Voltage to Frequency Converter has a Transfer Ratio of 0.5kHz/V. The input


voltage required for an output frequency of 3.5kHz will be:
a 1.75V
b 3.5V
c 4.0V
d 7.0V

7.

The Voltage to Frequency Converter referred to in question 6 is to be cascaded with


a Frequency to Voltage Converter. In order for the output voltage of the system to be
the same as the input voltage, the Transfer Ratio of the Frequency to Voltage
Converter will need to be:
a 0.5V/kHz
b 0.5kHz/V
c 2.0V/kHz
d 3.5V/kHz

250

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Signal Conversions
Chapter 14

Student Assessment 14 Continued ...


The following questions refer to a Full Wave Rectifier similar to the one provided on
the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer.
8.

A Full Wave Rectifier has an input voltage of -5V DC. The output will be:
a -5V
b 0V
c +5V
d 2.5V

0V

0V

(a)

0V

(b)

(c)

Fig 1

9.

The waveform of Fig 1(a) is applied to the input of a Full Wave Rectifier. The output
waveform will be:
a
c
d
b
0V

0V
0V

0V

10. The waveform of Fig 1(b) is applied to the input of a Full Wave Rectifier. The output
waveform will be:
a
c
d
b
0V

0V
0V

0V

11. The waveform of Fig 1(c) is applied to the input of a Full Wave Rectifier. The output
waveform will be:
a
c
d
b
0V

0V
0V

0V

251

Signal Conversions
Chapter 14

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Curriculum Manual

Notes:
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Comparators, Oscillators and Filters


Chapter 15

Chapter 15
Comparators, Oscillators and Filters

Objectives of
this Chapter

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:

Describe the characteristics of a comparator.

Explain the effect of hysteresis on the operation of a


comparator.

Describe the characteristics of an alarm oscillator.

Explain the term "latch" applied to an alarm oscillator.

Describe the characteristics of an electronic switch.

Describe the characteristics of a 40kHz oscillator.

Describe the characteristics of band pass filters.

Describe the characteristics of low pass filters.

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
Digital Multimeter.
Oscilloscope.
Function Generator.
BNC to 4mm connecting lead.

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Chapter 15

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Curriculum Manual

15.1 The Comparator

I/P's

O/P

Fig 15.1

The symbol for a comparator is shown in Fig 15.1. It is the same as for a
differential amplifier but the characteristics of the comparator are different.
The differential amplifier investigated in Chapter 13 had unity gain. The output
voltage was the simple mathematical difference between inputs A and B.
The gain of a comparator is very high, so that only a very small difference between
the two inputs will cause the output to saturate at a voltage near to the supply
voltage, with either polarity. The comparator therefore has two possible output
voltage states:
1.

with input voltage A more positive than B, the output is a maximum


positive.

2.

with input voltage A more negative than B, the output is a maximum


negative.

Only the very slightest variation between the inputs causes the output voltage to
change from one state to the other and the circuit is therefore susceptible to noise
variations.
To overcome this problem, the circuit is modified so that the voltage at A must
rise to a threshold value above B for switching to occur. Similarly, with the
voltage falling, the voltage at A must fall to a different threshold value below B
before the circuit switches back.
This is referred to as hysteresis and the difference in the voltages is referred to as
the hysteresis voltage.

254

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Curriculum Manual

Comparators, Oscillators and Filters


Chapter 15

This is illustrated in Fig 15.2.


Threshold
Voltages

A Voltage
B Voltage

+V

Rising

+V
Input
Voltage

Falling

0V

0V

+V

+V

0V

Output
0V
Voltage

-V

-V

No Hysteresis

With Hysteresis

Fig 15.2

With no hysteresis and voltage A varying, the output changes state frequently.
With hysteresis the output does not change state for small variations of voltage
around the last switching voltage, a large change of voltage is required to cause
switching of the circuit.
The circuit with hysteresis does not respond to any noise with a voltage amplitude
less than the hysteresis voltage.
The main characteristics of the device provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer
are:
Input voltage (max.)

12V

Input offset voltage

9mV

Output Voltage (no load)


Hysteresis voltage (switch ON)

(-11.8) to (+12)V
4.2V

Table 15.1

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Chapter 15

IT02
Curriculum Manual

15.2 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Comparator
+12V
CARBON TRACK
5

7
8

2
10

0V

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

COMPARATOR
OFF
ON
HYSTERESIS

8
9
1

100k

0V

10

10k

O/P

MOVING COIL METER

+5V

-5V

-10

BUFFER #1
O/P

5
+10

I/P
+VIN

0V

JL

Fig 15.3

256

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 15.3. Ensure that the Comparator
HYSTERESIS switch is set to OFF. Set the controls of both resistors fully
counter clockwise.

Switch ON the power supply. The voltage at input B will be 0V, that at A
will be -5V and the output will be approximately -12V.

Gradually rotate the control of the 10k resistor clockwise, making the
voltage at input A (VA) less negative. Note the voltage at which the output
voltage switches polarity with VA rising (VR). Record the value of VR in
Table 15.2. Record also in Table 15.2 the Comparator output saturation
voltage above threshold with VA rising.

Continue to increase input VA and observe the effect on the output voltage
above switching.

IT02
Curriculum Manual

No Hysteresis

Comparators, Oscillators and Filters


Chapter 15

Output
Saturation
Voltage

VB = 0V

VB = +4V

VA

VA

VA rising (VR)

VA falling (VF)

Table 15.2

15.2a

Reduce VA and note the value at which the output voltage switches back to a
negative value with VA falling (VF). Note the value of the comparator output
saturation voltage below threshold with VA falling.

Repeat the procedure with input B set to +4V, noting the switching voltages
at input A. The comparator output voltage values will not alter so there is no
need to record them.

Enter your measured value of the threshold voltage VA when the voltage at
the B input VB = +4V.
z

Set the HYSTERESIS switch in the ON position and repeat the procedure for
voltage settings at the B input of 0V and +4V.

With Hysteresis

Output
Saturation
Voltage

VB = 0V

VB = +4V

VA

VA

VA rising (VR)

VA falling (VF)

Table 15.3

z
15.2b

Switch OFF the power supply

Calculate and enter your measured hysteresis voltage in V.


The circuit will have similar characteristics for all settings of the input voltage at
B. Alternatively, the voltage at A may be set and that at B varied. The value of the
hysteresis voltage can be set in the design stage to any desired value by adjusting
the circuit component values.

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Chapter 15

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Curriculum Manual

15.3 The Alarm Oscillator


The alarm oscillator consists of two stages.

Voltage
Reference
Comparator
I/P

Alarm
Oscillator

O/P

Fig 15.4

The input circuit is a comparator which is followed by the oscillator. With the
input voltage low, the comparator output prevents the oscillator from operating.
Oscillations only occur when the input voltage exceeds a level that is decided by
the circuit component values.
With the "latch" switch in the OFF position, the oscillator will be ON or OFF
depending on whether the input voltage is above or below the threshold level.
With the "latch" switch in the ON position, the oscillator is latched ON by the
input voltage exceeding the threshold. It remains ON continuously, even if the
input voltage is reduced below threshold, until the power supply is turned off.
The unit is used as an alarm indication when the value of a controlled parameter
exceeds a pre-determined level.
The main characteristics of the device provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer
are:
Input voltage (max.)

12V

Trip voltage (threshold)

2.3V

Oscillator frequency
Output impedance
Table 15.4

258

540Hz
4k

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Comparators, Oscillators and Filters


Chapter 15

15.4 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of an Alarm Oscillator
DIFFERENTIATOR
O/P
I/P
dV
T IN
dt

COUNTER/
TIMER
I/P

TIME

100ms
1s
10ms

RESET

TIME CONSTANT

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

9
10

COUNT

ALARM OSCILLATOR
OFF

ON
LATCH

FREE RUN

1s

LOUDSPEAKER

O/P

I/P

I/P

10k
0V

+5V

Fig 15.5

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 15.5. Set the Alarm Oscillator LATCH
switch to OFF and turn the 10k resistor control fully counter clockwise.
Switch the Counter to COUNT and 1s, and the Differentiator to 1s.

Switch ON the power supply and rotate the resistor control slowly clockwise
to gradually increase the input voltage to the Alarm Oscillator. Note the
input voltage threshold at which oscillations start. Record the threshold level
in Table 15.5.
Start
Threshold

Without latch
With latch

Stop
Threshold

Oscillator
Frequency

Hz

Table 15.5

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Chapter 15

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Increase the voltage to maximum and note the effect on the oscillator output.

Now gradually reduce the input voltage and record the voltage threshold at
which the oscillations stop in Table 15.5.

Set the latch switch to ON and repeat the procedure, noting the input voltage
at which the oscillations start and then noting the effect of reducing the input
voltage to zero.

Press the RESET button on the Counter to determine the oscillation


frequency and add this to Table 15.5.

Switch the power supply OFF and then ON again to observe the effect.
Repeat the start and stop actions.

Note: The output sound level will be low due to the high output impedance of the
oscillator. This can be increased if necessary by feeding the loudspeaker via
the power amplifier, but this is not advisable in the laboratory situation.

15.4a

Enter your voltage threshold level with the LATCH OFF.

15.4b

Enter your oscillation frequency from the Counter reading (in Hz).
z

260

Switch OFF the power supply.

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Comparators, Oscillators and Filters


Chapter 15

15.5 The Electronic Switch


A simplified diagram of the Electronic Switch is given in Fig 15.6.
+12V

O/P
Voltage
Reference

I/P

Comparator

Fig 15.6

The series PNP transistor operates as a switch.


When the input voltage to the Comparator (inverting input) is low the Comparator
output is high and the transistor is switched off. If the input voltage is taken above
the threshold established by the reference voltage, the Comparator output switches
low and forward biases the base-emitter junction of the switching transistor to turn
it on and supply voltage to the load.
The maximum permissible output current is limited by the parameters of the series
switching transistor.
The main characteristics of the device provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer
are:
Input voltage (max.)
Trip voltage
Output current (max.)

12V
+2.1V
1A

Table 15.6

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Chapter 15

IT02
Curriculum Manual

15.6 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of an Electronic Switch

O/P

O/P

PHOTOCONDUCTIVE CELL

PHOTOTRANSISTOR
I/P

LAMP FILAMENT

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C
7

9
1

B
A

10

10k

0V

ELECTRONIC SWITCH
+12V
O/P
I/P

+5V

Fig 15.7

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 15.7. Set the resistor control fully
counter clockwise.

Switch ON the power supply and note the output voltage from the electronic
switch. Record in Table 15.7.
Input trip voltage
rising

Output voltage
with input below
trip
V

Output voltage
with input above trip

Input trip voltage


falling

Table 15.7

15.6a

262

Transfer the meter to the Electronic Switch input and increase the input
voltage gradually and note the value of input voltage at which switching
occurs and also the value of the output voltage after switching. Add these to
Table 15.7.

Now gradually reduce the input voltage and note and record the value when
the circuit switches off. Switch OFF the power supply.

Enter your value of trip voltage (input rising).

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Comparators, Oscillators and Filters


Chapter 15

15.7 40kHz Oscillator

Colpitts
Oscillator

Emitter
Follower
Buffer

Output

Fig 15.8

This nominally 40kHz oscillator produces a sinusoidal output of suitable


frequency for use with some of the AC driven transducers provided with the
DIGIAC 1750 Trainer.
The Colpitts oscillator uses an LC tuned circuit with two capacitors in the
feedback loop, giving good stability of oscillation frequency and amplitude.
The effective component values are L = 1mH, C = 15nF giving a design
oscillation frequency of:
1
fosc =
= 41.09 kHz
2 L C
The buffer gives a low output impedance and prevents loading of the oscillator
which might cause frequency shifting.
The main characteristics of the device are:
Output frequency range

37-46kHz

Output frequency (typ.)

41kHz

Output amplitude

6Vp-p

Output impedance

1.1k

Table 15.8

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Chapter 15

IT02
Curriculum Manual

15.8 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a 40kHz Oscillator
40kHz OSCILLATOR

TP1

0V

O/P

Oscilloscope CH.1

SLIDE

C
B

10

10k

0V

Fig 15.9

Connect the circuit of Fig 15.9 with the variable resistor slider to the right
for maximum resistance. The slider resistor will not be used initially.

Set the oscilloscope timebase to 5s/div (calibrated) and the Y1 (CH.1)


amplifier to 1V/div.

Switch ON the power supply.

Note the amplitude of the 40kHz Oscillator output and the time taken for
one cycle. Record these in Table 15.9.
Open circuit
amplitude
Vp-p

Time taken
for one cycle
s

Frequency
kHz

Output
Impedance
k

Table 15.9

264

Calculate the reciprocal of the time taken for one cycle (the time period) to
obtain the frequency and add this to Table 15.9.

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Comparators, Oscillators and Filters


Chapter 15

Measurement of the Output Impedance

Ro

Fig 15.10

Connect socket B of the 10k slider resistor to the output of the 40kHz
Oscillator and reduce its value until the output amplitude of the oscillator
falls to half of the open circuit value. You may find it convenient to change
the setting of the Y1 Amplifier to 0.5V/div to do this measurement. The
display amplitude will then be the same as before.
When this is done the voltage dropped across the 10k slider resistor (R in
Fig 15.10) is the same as the output impedance of the 40kHz Oscillator (Ro).
Since the two resistances are in series, the current through them must be the
same, so their resistances must be the same. This is a standard technique for
measurement of output impedance.

Switch OFF the power supply, disconnect the 10k slider resistor from
circuit (without changing the setting) and measure the resistance of the
section used with your digital multimeter as ohmmeter. Add the result to
Table 15.9.

15.8a

Enter your measured value of the frequency in kHz.

15.8b

Enter your measured value of the output impedance in k.

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Chapter 15

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Curriculum Manual

15.9 Filters

LPF

BPF

BSF

HPF

Fig 15.11

There are four main classifications of filter, specified by the range of frequencies
passed:
1. Low pass filter, LPF, passing all frequencies below the design (cut-off) value.
2. Band pass filter, BPF, passing those frequencies within the design range.
3. Band stop filter, BSF, passing those frequencies outside the design range.
4. High pass filter, HPF, passing all frequencies above the design (cut-off) value.
The symbols used to represent the four types are shown in Fig 15.11.
The cut-off frequency is sometimes called the break or corner frequency and is the
frequency at which the output first falls to -3dB (0.707Vmax) from the mid-band.
Only a bandpass and a low pass filter are provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer.
The main characteristics of these are:
Bandpass Filter

Low Pass Filter

Lower cut-off frequency (typ.)

39.5kHz

Upper cut-off frequency (typ.)

42.5kHz

16, 1.44 or 0.14Hz

10ms, 100ms or 1s

Input impedance

10k

1M

Output impedance

10k

Input voltage (max)

12V

Time constants

Table 15.10

266

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Curriculum Manual

Comparators, Oscillators and Filters


Chapter 15

15.10 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Bandpass Filter
The very low cut-off frequencies of the Low Pass Filter make it difficult to
investigate the response because of the demands which would be made on the
function generator ranges. This investigation is therefore limited to the 40kHz
Bandpass Filter.
Function Generator
SLIDE

C
B

0V

10

40kHz FILTER
O/P
I/P

10k
TP1

0V

CH.1

TP2

Oscilloscope

0V

CH.2

Fig 15.12

Connect the circuit of Fig 15.12. The 10k slider resistor is being used to
provide a convenient monitoring point for the input signal rather than for
signal amplitude adjustment. Set it to about scale point 7.

Set the oscilloscope timebase to 5s/div (calibrated), the Y1 (CH.1)


amplifier to 1V/div and the Y2 (CH.2) amplifier to 0.5V/div. Inject a
sinewave signal of large amplitude at about 40kHz.

Switch ON the power supply.

Adjust the fine frequency control of the function generator to peak the
output of the 40kHz Filter to maximum as seen on CH.2 of the oscilloscope,
then adjust the amplitude to 2.5V peak-to-peak (5 div.) using either the
function generator amplitude control and/or the 10k slider resistor.
If you are unable to obtain 2.5Vp-p from your function generator then the
investigation can be carried out with any convenient lower value but this
may result in some interference with the output signals.

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Calculate the time for one cycle from the oscilloscope display and record
this in Table 15.11.
Peak response

Time period
Frequency

Upper cut-off

Lower cut-off

kHz

kHz

kHz

Table 15.11

Without any further adjustment to amplitude, increase the frequency from


the function generator until the amplitude of the CH.2 waveform is reduced
to 3.5 div. This is a reduction of -3dB (0.707V) from the maximum value
and corresponds to the upper cut-off frequency.

Calculate the time for one cycle again from the oscilloscope display and
record this in Table 15.11.

Reduce the frequency back through the peak and carry on until the
amplitude again falls to 3.5 div. at the lower cut-off frequency. Again record
the time for one cycle in Table 15.11.

Take the reciprocal of the three time periods to find the center frequency and
the upper and lower cut-off frequencies.

15.10a

Enter your upper cut-off frequency in kHz.

15.10b

Enter your lower cut-off frequency in kHz.


z

268

Switch OFF the power supply.

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Comparators, Oscillators and Filters


Chapter 15

Student Assessment 15
Input A
Input B

Inputs

(a)
(b)

Inverting
Input

Non-inverting
Input

(c)
(d)
Fig 1

The following questions 1 - 5 relate to the waveforms given in Fig 1.


1.

Input A is applied to the non-inverting (+) input and Input B to the inverting (-) input
of a differential amplifier which has unity gain. The output waveform is given by:
a waveform (a)
b waveform (b)
c waveform (c)
d none of these

2.

Input A is applied to the non-inverting (+) input and Input B to the inverting (-) input
of a comparator which has latch but no hysteresis. The output waveform is given by:
a waveform (a)
b waveform (b)
c waveform (c)
d waveform (d)

3.

Input A is applied to the non-inverting (+) input and Input B to the inverting (-) input
of a comparator which has hysteresis. The hysteresis levels are shown by the two
horizontal dotted lines on the input waveform diagrams. The output waveform is given
by:
a waveform (a)
b waveform (b)
c waveform (c)
d waveform (d)
Continued ...

269

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Chapter 15

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Student Assessment 15 Continued ...


4.

Input A is applied to the non-inverting (+) input and Input B to the inverting (-) input
of a comparator which has both latch and hysteresis. The hysteresis levels are shown
by the two horizontal dotted lines on the input waveform diagrams. The output
waveform is given by:
a waveform (a)
b waveform (b)
c waveform (c)
d waveform (d)

5.

Input A is applied to the inverting (-) input and Input B to the non-inverting (+) input
of a comparator which has no hysteresis. The output waveform is given by:
a waveform (a)
b waveform (b)
c waveform (c)
d none of these.

6.

An oscillator is a circuit which gives:


a a square wave output
c

7.

an alternating output from a DC input

a sinewave output only

a larger AC output than input

The function of the electronic switch investigated in this chapter is to control:


a small signal circuits from a large input voltage
b

power circuits from a small input switching voltage

main power switching from a low DC source

the power output from a DC motor

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

Fig 2

8.

270

Fig 2(a) represents a:


a high pass filter
b

band stop filter

low pass filter

d band pass filter

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Mathematical Operations
Chapter 16

Chapter 16
Mathematical Operations

Objectives of
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:


Describe the characteristics of a summing amplifier.
Describe the characteristics of an integrator.
Describe the characteristics of a differentiator.
Describe the characteristics and application of a
"sample and hold" circuit.

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
Digital Multimeter.
Oscilloscope.
Function Generator.
BNC to 4mm connecting lead.

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16.1 The Summing Amplifier

V1
V2
V3

R1

I1

R2

I2

R3

I3

I F RF
-

VO

+
VG

Summing
Amplifier

Inverter

Fig 16.1

The gain of an operational amplifier is typically one million. To keep within


saturation limits the input voltage must therefore be less than one millionth of the
output voltage, or a few microvolts. The input voltage is so low that the input is
known as the a virtual ground (VG) (Fig 16.1).
The input impedance of the operational amplifier is very high, typically measured
in M. With an input voltage in V and an input impedance in M, the input
current to the Op Amp is non-existent, or at least negligibly small.
From Kirchhoff's Laws, the current(s) into a junction must be the same as the
current(s) out of the junction, so, since there is no current flowing into the Op
Amp, the feedback current (IF) must be equal to the sum of the three input currents
(I1, I2 & I3).
VO
V
V
V
= 1 + 2 + 3 +....
R F R1 R 2
R3
If all of the resistors are made the same size, then they cancel out in the equation
leaving:
VO = V1 + V2 + V3 + . . . .
The output voltage is the sum of the three input voltages. However, since the
inverting input has been used it will be of opposite sign or polarity, so an inverter
has been added to restore the original polarity. Other input branches may be
added.
The main characteristics for the device provided are:
Input voltage (max.)
Voltage gain
Output voltage (max.)
Table 16.1

272

12V
1.0
(VA + VB + VC) 10V

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Mathematical Operations
Chapter 16

16.2 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Summing Amplifier
SLIDE

C
B

SUMMING AMPLIFIER
O/P

A
B

CARBON TRACK
5

9
1

10

10

10k

A+B+C

C
MOVING COIL METER

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

9
1

100k

10

10k

0V

+5V

5
+10

-10
+
-

-5V

0V

JL

Fig 16.2

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 16.2. Set the variable resistors to their
central positions.
Switch ON the power supply and adjust the controls of the three resistors to
vary the output voltage. Note that variation of any of the input voltages
affects the output voltage.
You will find that increase of input voltage will increase the output voltage
up to a certain maximum (saturation) after which any further increase of
input does not increase the output any more.
Determine this maximum (saturation) output voltage.
Maximum possible output voltage =

Set the Summing Amplifier input voltages to the values indicated in the first
row of Table 16.2. Note the expected output voltage and also note and
record the actual output voltage obtained in Table 16.2.

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Inputs (volts)
B

+1

+1

+1

+2

+1

+3

+2

+4

+3

-3

+4

+2

-3

-2

-2

+3

+5

+4

+3

-5

+4

-3.5

+2.7

-1.4

Output
-(A + B + C)
Voltage
+3V

V
V

Table 16.2

Repeat the procedure for the other settings listed in Table 16.2 to verify that
the output voltage is the sum of the input voltages as long as you keep
within the saturation limits.

274

16.2a

Enter your measured output voltage with the inputs of row 2.

16.2b

Enter your measured output voltage with the inputs of row 4.

16.2c

Enter your measured output voltage with the inputs of row 6.

16.2d

Enter your measured output voltage with the inputs of row 8.

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Mathematical Operations
Chapter 16

16.3 The Integrator


i
Vin

CF

VO

Fig 16.3

An integrator is a circuit having an output voltage that is proportional to the


average of the input voltage multiplied by units of time. In mathematical terms
this is referred to as the integral of the voltage. Note that, in the feedback path, the
resistor has been replaced by a capacitor, since the voltage across a capacitor at
any time depends on the amount of current that has been flowing and the time for
which it has flowed.
Expressed in mathematical terms:
Vc =

1
i. dt , where the symbol
C

means the integral of . . .

The feedback current (i in the above equation) is fixed by the input voltage Vin
V
and the input resistor R (Fig 16.3), i = in . Substituting this into the equation:
R
Vo =

1 Vin
1
. dt =
Vin . dt

C R
CR

The output voltage is the integral of the input voltage, multiplied by a factor,
1
.
CR
With the input voltage constant, the output voltage will increase linearly with
time. The time taken for the output voltage to reach the input voltage is referred to
as the time constant of the circuit and is equal to CR seconds (from the equation).
The maximum possible value of the output voltage is limited by the supply to the
saturation voltage of approximately 11V for the device provided.

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The main characteristics of the device provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer
are:
Time constants (switchable)
Input impedance
Gain error

100ms, 1s & 10s


10k
1%

Table 16.3

Notes:

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Mathematical Operations
Chapter 16

16.4 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of an Integrator
WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D

MOVING COIL METER

12k

OUT

A
3

I/P

IN

1V

0V

INTEGRATOR
O/P
1
V dt
T IN

Rx
RESET

-10

+10

+
-

1s
10s
100ms

JL

0V

TIME CONSTANT

+5V

Fig 16.4

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 16.4. Set the Integrator time constant
switch to 1s.
Switch ON the power supply. Set the input voltage to 1V. Press and hold the
RESET button. This sets the output voltage to 0V. Release the RESET button
and you will note that the output voltage increases and will reach a
maximum value after approximately 12 seconds. Note this maximum value
using the 20V digital meter.
Maximum output voltage =

Press the RESET button and release it to allow the output voltage to increase
from 0V again. Remove the Integrator input lead when the voltage reaches
approximately 5V.
16.4a

When the input lead is removed from the Integrator the output voltage:
a immediately falls to zero

gradually reduces towards zero

c remains where it was

increases to supply voltage

Replace the input lead and observe the effect on the output voltage.

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Chapter 16

16.4b

IT02
Curriculum Manual

When the input lead is replaced the Integrator output voltage:


a continues to increase from where it was
b gradually reduces towards zero
c starts again from zero
d immediately increases directly to supply voltage
The Timer facility of the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer will now be introduced. This
allows you to accurately determine the time taken to reach any given voltage. The
system will be made entirely automatic by using another facility of signal
conditioning circuits, the Comparator.
MOVING COIL METER
WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D

12k

OUT

A
3

I/P

IN
1V

0V

1s
10s
100ms

RESET

COMPARATOR

C
B
7

+12V

10

10k

+10

JL

0V

TIME CONSTANT

SLIDE

1
V dt
T IN

Rx

-10

INTEGRATOR
O/P

OFF
ON
HYSTERESIS

O/P

COUNTER/
TIMER
I/P

RESET

TIME

FREE RUN

COUNT

1s

Fig 16.5

Note that the non-inverting input of the Comparator is taken to a positive


reference voltage, the value of which is determined by the setting of the 10k
slider resistor. If this is set to 10V then the Comparator will give a high output
until the output of the Integrator (which is connected to the inverting input of the
Comparator) exceeds 10V, when the Comparator output will go low.
While the Comparator output is high the Timer is enabled and will count in
hundredths of a second. The moment the output of the Integrator goes above the
Comparator reference voltage (in this case 10V) the Comparator output goes low
and stops the Timer.

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Chapter 16

Construct the additional circuit of Fig 16.5, noting that the supply voltage to
the variable resistors has been changed to +12V.
Reset the input voltage to 1V.
Ignore the Timer function for the moment. Press the Integrator RESET button
and, using the second hand of a clock or watch, note the time after releasing
it that the Integrator output voltage reaches 10V as indicated on the Moving
Coil Meter.
This enables the circuit time constant to be determined. The input voltage is
1V. The output voltage should reach 1V after one time constant and should
reach 10V after 10 time constants. The time constant can therefore be
determined by dividing the time taken by 10. Record the results in row 1 of
Table 16.4.
Switched
time constant

Input
Voltage
(i)

Reference
voltage
(ii)

1s

1V

10V

100ms

1V

10V

100ms

0.2V

5V

10s

5V

2V

Number of
time constants
(iii)
10

Time taken
to reach ref.
(iv)

Calculated
time constant
(v)
s

ms

ms

Table 16.4

Switch the Timer to TIME and FREE RUN. If necessary press RESET to zero
the display.
Move the digital multimeter to terminal B of the 10k slider resistor and
adjust the reference voltage to 10V.
Press the Timer RESET to zero the display. Re-adjust the Integrator input
voltage to 1V, set the time constant to 100ms and VERY BRIEFLY press
its RESET button. You must not hold the RESET button down or the Timer
will be counting too soon. Observe the effect on the Timer. This will count
up from zero until the output voltage of the Integrator exceeds the reference
voltage applied to the Comparator. The display will be in hundredths of a
second. For example, a display of 487 represents 4.87 seconds.

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Chapter 16

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Repeat the test a few times to become familiar with the action. Zero the
Timer each time. Record the result in row 2 of Table 16.4.
Calculate the time constant as follows:
The number of time constants is the reference voltage divided by the applied
voltage:
(iii) = (ii) (i)
The measured time constant is the time taken to reach the reference voltage
divided by the number of time constants:
(v) = (iv) (iii)
Add the calculated time constant to Table 16.4.
With the Integrator time constant still at 100ms, change the input voltage
(10k 10-turn resistor) to 0.2V and the reference voltage (10k slider
resistor) to 5V and repeat the test and calculation. Remember to zero the
Timer each time. Record the results in row 3 of Table 16.4.
Change the Integrator time constant to 10s, the reference voltage (10k
slider resistor) to 2V and the input voltage (10k 10-turn resistor) to 5V and
repeat the test. Record the result in row 4 of Table 16.4.
Calculate the time constant and add to Table 16.4.
Switch OFF the power supply.

280

16.4c

Enter your measured value of the time constant (in seconds) from row 1 of
Table 16.4 when switched to 1s.

16.4d

Enter your measured value of the time constant (in ms) from row 3 of Table
16.4 when switched to 100ms.

16.4e

Enter your measured value of the time constant (in seconds) from row 4 of
Table 16.4 when switched to 10s.

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Mathematical Operations
Chapter 16

16.5 The Differentiator


A simple differentiator is shown in Fig 16.6.

Input

Input

Output

Voltage
across
capacitor
Output
across
resistor

Fig 16.6

The output voltage is proportional to the rate of change of the input voltage.
Examine the waveforms of Fig 16.4. Initially the capacitor is uncharged and there
is similarly no voltage across the resistor.
When the input voltage suddenly rises to a positive value the capacitor voltage
cannot change instantaneously so the full applied voltage appears across the
resistor. Current flows and the capacitor charges.
As the voltage rises across the capacitor it must fall across the resistor, until the
capacitor is fully charged. The time taken for this will depend on the size of the
resistor (controlling the charging current) and the size of the capacitor (how much
charge is needed to raise the capacitor voltage).
One time constant is the time it would take for the capacitor to fully charge to the
applied voltage if the initial current could be maintained. Obviously the current
must reduce as the voltage across the resistor reduces, so the rate of charge falls
away. In theory it never reaches full charge. However, for all practical purposes
full charge is reached after 5 time constants.
The time constant is calculated from the value of the capacitor in farads multiplied
by the value of the resistor in ohms:
time constant t = CR seconds

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Note that for long time constants such as 1s, using a 1F capacitor (typically the
largest value non-electrolytic capacitor) the value of the resistor would need to be
1M. Non-electrolytic capacitors are needed so that the capacitor can be charged
with negative polarity.
The high value of resistor raises the problem of a very high output impedance for
the circuit. If any load was applied to the differentiator the operation would be
seriously affected.
To overcome this problem an active differentiator circuit is used on the DIGIAC
1750 Trainer, consisting of an active differentiator Op Amp followed by a unity
gain buffer stage.
Note that a sudden change of input voltage produces a similar change at the
output, the amplitude of this being limited by the saturation voltage of the
differentiator active circuits.
With the input voltage then held constant, the output voltage falls exponentially,
the rate of fall depending on the circuit time constant, the initial rate of fall aiming
at a time span equal to the time constant.
A steadily changing input voltage results in a constant output voltage, the value
depending on the rate-of-change of the input voltage.
The main characteristics of the device provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer
are:
Input voltage (max.)
Input voltage rate of change (max.)

10-3V/s

Output saturation voltage (typ.)

12V

Output noise (time constant 1s)

50mV

Table 16.5

282

12V

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Mathematical Operations
Chapter 16

16.6 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Differentiator
INTEGRATOR
O/P

WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D
C

12k

OUT

A
3

I/P

IN

1V

0V

DIFFERENTIATOR
O/P
I/P
dVIN
T
dt

1
V dt
T IN

RESET

1s
10s
100ms

100ms
1s
10ms

TIME CONSTANT

Rx

TIME CONSTANT

MOVING COIL METER


5

+12V

-10

5
+10

+
0V

JL

Fig 16.7

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 16.7. Set the time constant controls of
the Integrator and Differentiator to 1s. The Moving Coil Meter is used to
monitor the change of voltage at the Integrator output.
Switch ON the power supply. Set the input voltage to the integrator to 1V,
then transfer the digital multimeter to the output of the Differentiator. Press
and then release the RESET button on the Integrator and note the output
voltage from the Differentiator.
The Integrator output voltage will be changing at 1V/s for approximately
11s and the output from the Differentiator should remain constant during
this time. Note the output voltage.
Output voltage =

16.6a

Enter your value of output voltage during the time the Integrator is charging.

16.6b

When the integrator voltage reaches its maximum value the Differentiator
output voltage:
a falls sharply to zero
b remains constant at the former value
c increases to maximum

falls slowly to zero

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Chapter 16

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Function
Generator
SLIDE

C
B

10

DIFFERENTIATOR
O/P
I/P
dV
T IN
dt

10k

100ms
1s
10ms

TIME CONSTANT
0V

TP1

0V

CH.1

TP2

Oscilloscope

0V

CH.2

Fig 16.8

Change to the circuit of Fig 16.8. Set the function generator to a 30Hz
square wave output. Set the 10k slider resistor to mid-way. Switch the
oscilloscope timebase to 5ms/div chop mode, the Y1 amplifier (CH.1) to
0.5V/div and Y2 amplifier (CH.2) to 2V/div.
Set the Differentiator time constant to 10ms and adjust the signal input
(function generator amplitude control and/or 10k slider resistor) to give an
input signal (CH.1) of 1Vp-p.
Sketch the two waveforms on the graticule provided with the input at the
top:

Waveform Sketch 16.1

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Mathematical Operations
Chapter 16

Compare these waveforms with the theoretical waveforms given in the


previous section (16.5).
The Differentiator will almost certainly be loading the function generator
output to some extent and changing the waveform. Remove the lead to the
Differentiator input and observe the effect on the function generator output
waveform.
This distortion is very common and, as you can see from the output
waveform, does not seriously affect the operation of a differentiator.
16.6c

The output waveform from the function generator with the differentiator
disconnected is most like:
a
c
d
b

16.6d

Your Waveform Sketch 16.1 is most like:

Notes:
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16.7 A Sample and Hold Circuit

Input
Droop

SAMPLE

I/P

Output

O/P

Hold
Sample

Hold
Sample

(a)

Sample

(b)

Fig 16.9

This circuit allows the value of an input signal at any instant of time to be stored
on command and held for processing.
In the sample mode (SAMPLE button pressed), the instantaneous value of the input
signal is tracked at the output. When the SAMPLE button is released the circuit
enters the hold mode and the value of the input at that instant is held as a charge
on a capacitor, Fig 16.9(a).
The capacitor voltage will fall gradually with time as the capacitor discharges
through leakage paths and this fall in voltage is referred to as droop.
Fig 16.9(b) illustrates the characteristics during sample and hold periods of
operation.
The circuit is normally used in connection with analog to digital conversion of a
varying signal. The signal would be sampled frequently and, during the hold time,
the value is digitally encoded.
The main characteristics of the device provided with the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer
are:
Input voltage range (max.)
Input time constant
Droop rate
Table 16.6

286

12V

1ms
10mV/minute

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Mathematical Operations
Chapter 16

16.8 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Sample and Hold Circuit
Function
Generator

SAMPLE AND HOLD

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

5
+10

-10

SAMPLE

10k

0V

JL

0V
TP1

10

MOVING COIL METER

O/P

I/P

0V

TP2

Oscilloscope

CH.1

0V

CH.2

Fig 16.10

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 16.10. Set the function generator output
to 40Hz sinewave with high amplitude. Switch the oscilloscope timebase to
5ms/div, Y1 amplifier (CH.1) to 10V/div, chop mode (near the top of the
screen) and Y2 amplifier (CH.2) to 2V/div, DC input (near the middle).
Switch ON the power supply and adjust the amplitude of the signal (function
generator amplitude control and/or 10k wirewound resistor) to give an
input of 20Vp-p. If your function generator does not give 20Vp-p then use
the AC Amplifier (GAIN = 10) to boost the signal input. Move CH.1 of the
oscilloscope to the output of the AC Amplifier.
Press and release the SAMPLE button to catch a sample of the input voltage
to the circuit. Note that while the SAMPLE button is pressed the input signal
appears at the output (CH.2 of the oscilloscope). When released a random
sample is captured and appears as a DC voltage at the output as indicated by
the meter. Try several times and record the results in Table 16.7.
1
Output voltage

2
V

3
V

4
V

5
V

6
V

7
V

8
V

9
V

10
V

Table 16.7

16.8a

Is the output truly random?

Yes

or

No

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Mathematical Operations
Chapter 16

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Curriculum Manual

Student Assessment 16
1.

A summing amplifier supplied from a 12V power supply has positive unity gain and
three inputs. The value of the output voltage for input voltages +2v, +4V, +1V will be:
a +3.5V
b +7V
c +8V
d -7V

2.

A summing amplifier supplied from a 12V power supply has positive unity gain and
three inputs. The value of the output voltage for input voltages +6v, +4V, +5V will be:
a +15V
b +9.8V
c +12V
d -9.8V

3.

A summing amplifier supplied from a 12V power supply has positive unity gain and
three inputs. The value of the output voltage for input voltages -5v, +4V, +3V will be:
a +2V
b -2V
c +12V
d -12V

4.

A summing amplifier supplied from a 12V power supply has positive unity gain and
three inputs. The value of the output voltage for input voltages -6.3v, +4.5V, -5.2V will
be:
a +3.4V
b -5.6V
c -12V
d -7V

5.

An integrator supplied from a 10V power supply has a time constant of 1s. A constant
voltage of +3V is applied to the input. With the output initially zero, the output voltage
after 1s will be:
a 9V
b 6V
c 3V
d 1V

6.

An integrator supplied from a 10V power supply has a time constant of 1s. A constant
voltage of +3V is applied to the input. With the output initially zero, the output voltage
after 2s will be:
a 12V
b 6V
c 3V
d 1V

7.

An integrator supplied from a 10V power supply has a time constant of 1s. A constant
voltage of +2.5V is applied to the input. With the output initially zero, the output
voltage after 5s will be:
a 12.5V
b 10V
c 7.5V
d 5V

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Mathematical Operations
Chapter 16

Student Assessment 16 Continued ...


8.

An integrator supplied from a 10V power supply has a time constant of 1s. A constant
voltage of +3V is applied to the input. With the output initially +3V, the output voltage
after a further 2s will be:
a 12V
b 10V
c 9V
d 6V

9.

A differentiator has a time constant of 2s. If a voltage is applied to the input which is
increasing steadily at a rate of 4V/s, the output voltage will be:
a steadily decreasing at a rate of 4V/s
b constant at 4V

constant at 8V

steadily increasing at a rate of 4V/s

10. A square wave is applied to the input of a differentiator which has a time constant
which is short compared to the time period of the applied square wave. The waveform
at the output will be:
a

Continued ...

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Chapter 16

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Student Assessment 16 Continued ...

Input

Voltage
(volts)

4Vp-p AC

+4V DC

30

60

90
time ( s)

120

Fig 1

11. The waveform of Fig 1 is applied to the input of a "sample-and-hold" circuit similar
to that on the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer. If the SAMPLE button is pressed and held down
the output will be:
a the DC component of the input only
b the same as the input

the AC component of the input only

zero

12. The waveform of Fig 1 is applied to the input of a unity gain "sample-and-hold"
circuit. If the hold function is engaged 70s after the start of the cycle the output
voltage will be:
a 2V
b 3V
c 4V
d 5V

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Control Systems Characteristics


Chapter 17

Chapter 17
Control Systems Characteristics

Objectives of
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:

Describe the characteristics of an ON/OFF system.

Describe the characteristics of a Proportional system.

Describe the characteristics of an Integral system.

Describe the characteristics of a Derivative system.

Explain that a practical system may incorporate


Proportional, Integral and Derivative components and
be referred to as a 3-term (or PID) controller.

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17.1 A Basic ON/OFF Closed Loop System


A controlled variable is any physical system which we may wish to control, such
as a heated environment (hot water tank), lighting level (PIR controlled lighting),
mechanical systems (speed, position or direction, linear or rotational), and many
more. For instance, the modern airplane is full of electrical control systems.
An error is any difference between a desired result and an actual result. In an
electrical control system the output is converted into an electrical quantity by a
transducer.
Fig 17.1 shows a simple closed loop control system, the error detector detecting
the difference between the actual and the desired value of the controlled variable.
Error
Detector
Reference
Input

Error

Controlled
Variable

Controller

Output

Feedback

Fig 17.1

The output of the controlled variable (the transducer) is compared with a


reference input (command input) and an error signal is fed to the controller
which initiates an actuating signal to alter the state of the controlled variable and
reduce the error, ideally to zero.
In an ON/OFF system the controller will have only two states:

292

1.

With the value of the controlled variable less than that desired, the controller
output is maximum.

2.

With the value of the controlled variable greater than that desired, the
controller output is zero.

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Chapter 17

This method of control is suitable for systems having inertia (a long time constant)
such as the temperature control of a room, using a heater. The method might give
characteristics as illustrated in Fig 17.2.
Initially, the heater is ON and the temperature rises exponentially from its ambient
state. When the desired temperature is reached, the heater is switched OFF.
Maximum

Actual

Temperature
Reference

ON

OFF

ON

OFF

ON
Time

Fig 17.2

The temperature will continue to rise or overshoot for a time due to the residual
heat in the heater, but will eventually fall, the rate of the fall increasing with time.
When the temperature has fallen below the desired value, the heater will again be
switched ON but the temperature will continue to fall for a time before the heater
has any effect.
The resulting characteristic will be as shown in Fig 17.2, with the temperature
varying continuously between two limits, provided that there is no change in the
operating conditions, such as heat loss variations or a change in the thermostat
setting (command input).

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17.2 Proportional Control


With this system of control, the output from the controller is proportional to the
magnitude of the error signal (not just ON or OFF).
Controller output = Kp x Error
where Kp is the proportional gain of the controller
The characteristics of the system depend on the value of Kp.
For large values of gain in the feedback loop the characteristics are similar to
those for ON/OFF control. For small values of gain the system will be sluggish
and very slow to respond.
Output

High gain - underdamped


Critical damping

Reference

Low gain -overdamped

Time
Fig 17.3

Fig 17.3 shows the characteristics of proportional control in response to a step


input (or sudden change) and illustrates that a high gain results in a rapid response
but produces an overshoot of the desired reference setting, together with
oscillations about the reference setting.
Medium gain results in a slower response with minimum overshoot and
oscillations.
Low gain results in a slow response with no oscillations but possibly never
reaching the reference setting.

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The term damping is used to cover the inertia or friction of a feedback system.
Characteristics such as those for high gain in Fig 17.3 are referred to as
underdamped and for low gain, overdamped.
A response which rises most rapidly to the reference with no overshoot is referred
to as critically damped.
The degree of damping is normally referred to in terms of the damping ratio,
which is given the Greek symbol (Zeta). Critical damping has damping ratio of
1.0. For underdamping the damping ratio is less than 1.0 and for overdamping,
greater than 1.0.

Position
Input

Underdamped
Output
Velocity lag

time

Fig 17.4

Fig 17.4 shows the response of a proportional control system to an input varying
with time (ramp input). The output tends to follow the input but, due to inertia
within the system, the error between the input and output quantities has to increase
to a threshold before there is sufficient actuating signal to produce a variation of
the output.
The output will thereafter follow the input but will lag behind the input, this being
referred to as velocity lag. The magnitude of the lag will depend on the gain of the
system, the friction and the output loading.
There may be oscillations in the output characteristic as shown dotted, depending
on the system gain.

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These characteristics mean that pure proportional control is unsuitable for


applications where the input may vary with time. In addition the system has some
disadvantages with constant input (command) conditions.
Consider the system operating with a set input and with the output at the reference
setting so that there is no error. Under these conditions there will be no controller
output.
A load imposed on the output will produce a change of output state. An error
signal will be produced to counteract this and reduce the error, but the output will
not now be at the desired reference state. The error introduced will vary with the
loading imposed on the output.
Proportional control on its own is therefore unsuitable for control applications.
In practice, due to saturation effects within the system, the controller output will
be proportional to the error only over a part of the full range.

Output +

Proportional band
Error

Fig 17.5

This is illustrated in Fig 17.5. The range over which the output is proportional to
the error is referred to as the proportional band.

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17.3 Integral Control


Integral control can be used to eliminate any error present between the reference
and actual output setting. An integrator produces an output that is proportional to
input time and hence, if the error signal is fed via an integrator circuit, its
output will increase with time. With this output fed to the system controller, an
actuating signal will be produced to reduce the error, the time taken depending on
the integrator time constant.
Error Detector
Reference
Input

Error

Integrator

Controller

Controlled
Variable

Output

Feedback
Reference
Input
Output
time
Error

Integrator output

Fig 17.6

Fig 17.6 illustrates the operation of integral control for ramp input conditions.
While there is an error, the integrator output increases. This output, fed to the
controller, produces an actuating signal to correct the error. When the error has
been reduced to zero, the integrator output remains constant, thus compensating
for the velocity error that would have been present without the integral control.
Any further error, however caused, will be automatically compensated, provided
the output required is within the capacity of the integrator circuit.
Normally, the integral control would be combined with proportional control, the
proportional control being the main control and leaving the integral control for
final adjustments of the output setting.

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17.4 Derivative (or Differential) Control


Friction losses in a system produce damping and thus allow operation under
proportional control with a higher system gain, but the introduction of friction
represents a power wastage and increases the time taken to reach stable conditions
following any disturbance.
The same effect can be produced using an adder fed with derivative control, by
feeding back a signal that is proportional to the rate-of-change of the output or the
rate-of-change of the error signal. This is illustrated in Fig 17.7.
Error Detector
Reference
Input

Error
-

Adder
+

Controlled
Variable

Controller

Output

Differentiator
Feedback

Input (i)

Output (ii)

time
Error
(iii)
Rate-of-change
of output
(differential)
(iv)
Actuating
signal
(v)

Fig 17.7

Error (iii) = Input (i) - Output (ii)


Rate-of-change of output (iv) = slope of Output (ii)
Actuating signal (v) = Error (iii) - Rate-of-change of Output (iv)

17.5 PID Controller


A practical system incorporating some elements of Proportional, Integral and
Derivative components may be referred to as a 3-term, or PID, controller.
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Student Assessment 17
1.

2.

An ON/OFF control system is one in which the:


a error detector is switched ON or OFF
b

controlled variable is switched ON or OFF

controlled variable is continuously varied

controlled variable is switched ON when the control system is OFF

A suitable application for a simple ON/OFF control system would be for:


a temperature environment control
b motor speed control
c

3.

light level control

The term proportional control means that the controller output is proportional to the:
a error signal
b supply voltage
c

4.

rotational position control

reference frequency

rate of change of the output

The term integral control means relating the output of the controller to the:
a input amplitude only
b input x time
c

rate-of-change of input

frequency of the input

5.

The term derivative control means feeding back to the error detector a signal
proportional to the output:
a amplitude
b polarity
c rate-of-change
d frequency

6.

When a load is applied to a system with proportional control, the output may have:
a greater amplitude
b a continual error
c

less range of response

a slower response

Continued ...

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Student Assessment 17 Continued ...

0V

7.

Fig 1

0V

Fig 3

0V

Fig 4

0V

0V

0V

The waveform of Fig 2 is applied to the input of an integral controller. The output
waveform will be:
Sat.
Sat.
Sat.
Sat.
a
c
d
b
0V

9.

Fig 2

The waveform of Fig 1 is applied to the input of an integral controller. The output
waveform will be:
a Sat.
c Sat.
d Sat.
b Sat.
0V

8.

0V

0V

0V

0V

The waveform of Fig 3 is applied to the input of a derivative controller. The output
waveform will be:
Sat.
Sat.
Sat.
Sat.
a
c
d
b
0V

0V

0V

0V

10. The waveform of Fig 4 is applied to the input of a derivative controller. The output
waveform will be:
Sat.
Sat.
Sat.
a Sat.
c
d
b
0V

0V

0V

11. A 3-term PID control system is one which uses:


a post-integral differentiation in the feedback loop

300

partially integral design in three blocks

combined proportional, integral and derivative systems

a proportion of input derived feedback

0V

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Chapter 18

Chapter 18
Practical Control Systems

Objectives of
this Chapter

Having studied this Chapter you will be able to:


Describe the characteristics of an ON-OFF
temperature control system.
Describe the characteristics of a light controlled
ON-OFF system.
Describe the characteristics of a positional control
system having:
proportional,
proportional + integral,
proportional + derivative and
proportional + integral + derivative control.
Describe the characteristics of a speed control system.

Equipment
Required for
this Chapter

DIGIAC 1750 Transducer and Instrumentation Trainer.


4mm Connecting Leads.
Digital Multimeter.
Calculator (not supplied).

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18.1 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of an ON/OFF Temperature Control System
TYPE 'K' THERMOCOUPLE

IC TEMP SENSORS

P.I.N. PHOTODIODE

EXT.

O/P

PHOTOVOLTAIC CELL

O/P

O/P

O/P

INT.

REF
+

O/P

O/P

PHOTOCONDUCTIVE CELL
B

O/P

O/P

PHOTOTRANSISTOR
I/P

LAMP FILAMENT

A
NTC THERMISTORS

PLATINUM R.T.D.
4

I/P

HEATER ELEMENT

12k

OUT
IN

1V

0V
DIFFERENTIATOR
O/P
I/P
T

Rx

10k

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
-

100ms
1s
10ms

TIME CONSTANT

V/F CONVERTER
O/P
I/P

COUNTER/
TIMER

INVERTER
O/P
I/P

+100VIN

ELECTRONIC SWITCH
+12V
O/P
I/P

A-B

x100 AMPLIFIER

I/P

O/P

O/P

dVIN
dt

10

A
3

OFF
ON
HYSTERESIS

0V

COMPARATOR

WHEATSTONE BRIDGE
D

+5V

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

I/P

TIME

FREE RUN

COUNT

1s

-VIN

TEMPERATURE INDICATOR

RESET

Fig 18.1

The shaded area within the broken line is a digital thermometer indicating
temperature in increments of 0.1C.
The internal Temperature Sensor is an integrated circuit which gives an output of
10mV/K, so the output at an average room temperature of 20C will be 2.93V.
The 10-turn potentiometer on the Wheatstone Bridge panel is adjusted to give
2.73V to the inverting input of the Differential Amplifier. The output from the
Differential Amplifier will therefore be 0.01V/C, or 0.2V at 20C.
The V/F Converter gives an output of 1kHz/V, so an input of 0.2V will give an
output of 200Hz (200 pulses in one second).

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The Differentiator, x100 Amplifier and Inverter shape the pulses to be compatible
with the Counter/Timer input, which will therefore display 200 for a temperature
of 20C, or the temperature in tenths of a degree. A display of 213 = 21.3C.
Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 18.1. Switch the comparator
HYSTERESIS OFF and set the 10k resistor control fully counter clockwise.
Set the Differentiator to 1s and the Counter/Timer controls to COUNT and 1s.
Remove the output lead from the Electronic Switch while you carry out the
initial setting up.
Switch ON the power supply and adjust the 10k 10-turn potentiometer for
a voltage of 2.73V on the inverting input of the Differential Amplifier. This
will set up the digital thermometer to display the ambient temperature in C.
Press the RESET button on the Counter/Timer each time you need to obtain a
temperature reading.
Transfer the voltmeter to the output of the IC Temperature Sensor and note
the output voltage (You may need to remove one of the leads while you do
this).
I.C. Temperature Sensor output voltage =

Transfer the voltmeter again to the output of the 10k resistor and set the
output voltage to a value 0.2V above the output value obtained from the IC
Temperature Sensor. This sets the reference temperature of the system to
20C above the ambient temperature.
Reference voltage setting =

Restore the output lead to the Electronic Switch to start the heating process.
Note the temperature-time characteristic of the system by noting the
displayed temperature and the heater state (whether ON or OFF) at time
intervals of 30s (0.5 minute).
Note: The heater state will be indicated by the lamp, lamp ON = heater ON and
lamp OFF = heater OFF. Enter the details in Table 18.1.

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Time
(minutes)
Heater State
ON/OFF
Temperature
C

0.5

1.0

1.5

2.0

2.5

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Curriculum Manual

3.0

3.5

4.0

4.5

5.0

5.5

6.0

6.5

7.0

7.5

8.0

8.5

Table 18.1

Plot the temperature-time characteristic on the axes provided:


Temperature
o
C 60
55
50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0 8.5 9.0
time (minutes)

Graph 18.1

Shade in blocks at the bottom of your graph to represent when the Heater
was switched ON.
Mark in a line on your graph to represent the reference temperature setting.

304

18.1a

Enter your value of the temperature variation (maximum - minimum)


around the reference temperature (in C).

18.1b

From your recorded Reference voltage setting on the previous page enter
your reference temperature setting (aiming temperature) in C.

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Chapter 18

If time permits add an alarm circuit to the system. The alarm is to operate if
the temperature exceeds 30C above the ambient temperature.
Select suitable components from the devices available with the DIGIAC
1750 unit, connect, and check the operation of the system by simulating a
fault. Do this by disconnecting the feedback from the Temperature Sensor to
input B of the Comparator. Finally, switch OFF the power supply.

Notes:
.................................................................................................................................................................
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.................................................................................................................................................................
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.................................................................................................................................................................
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18.2 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Light Controlled ON/OFF System
A system is to operate a solenoid. The solenoid is to be ON with the light level
low and is to be automatically turned OFF when the light level exceeds a preset
level.

P.I.N. PHOTODIODE

PHOTOVOLTAIC CELL

O/P

ELECTRONIC SWITCH

O/P

O/P

+12V

COMPARATOR

O/P

OFF
ON
HYSTERESIS

O/P

I/P

O/P

SOLENOID
PHOTOCONDUCTIVE CELL

PHOTOTRANSISTOR

POWER AMPLIFIER

I/P

LAMP FILAMENT
SLIDE

O/P
C

I/P
I/P

B
1

CARBON TRACK
6

7
8

2
10

+5V

0V

10k

MOVING COIL METER


5

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

-10

5
+10

8
9
1

100k

10

10

10k

B
A

+
0V

+12V

JL

Fig 18.2

Connect the circuit shown in Fig 18.2.


Switch the Comparator HYSTERESIS OFF and set the resistor controls as
follows:fully counter clockwise for the carbon track,
fully to the left for the slide,
fully clockwise for the wirewound track.
Switch ON the power supply (the Solenoid should energize).

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Move the slide resistor to the right so that the Solenoid is just de-energized.
This represents the preset conditions for operating the system with the
lighting at the ambient level.
Move your hand over the Photoconductive Cell. You will note that the
Solenoid will change its state as the lighting level falls due to your shadow
(the Solenoid energizes, indicating that the electronic switch is closed).
With no hysteresis in the Comparator circuit, only a small drop in lighting level is
required to produce the change. Introduction of some hysteresis would increase
the lighting change required, but the hysteresis provided with the Comparator is
too great for this application and would operate as a latch.
Cover the opto-sensor clear plastic enclosure with an opaque box to exclude
all ambient light. The Solenoid should immediately energize as the light
level is reduced.
With the voltage applied to the lamp filament at 0V (control of the lamp
voltage is via the 100k carbon track resistor) as indicated on the Moving
Coil Meter, move the slide resistor further to the right until the Solenoid
changes state.
Lamp Filament
Voltage
Slide Resistor
Setting

10

Table 18.2

Adjust the lamp filament voltage to each of the settings given in Table 18.2,
and repeat the procedure noting the slide resistor setting required for a
change of state of the Solenoid. Record the results in Table 18.2.

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Plot the graph of slide resistor setting against lamp voltage on the axes
provided.
10
9
Slide
Resistor
Setting 8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Lamp Filament Voltage (volts)

Graph 18.2

This exercise has illustrated the use of an ON-OFF lighting control system. The
slide resistor can be set to any value, within the range noted, to produce circuit
switching at any desired value of lighting level.
18.2a

From your graph deduce and enter the slide resistor setting corresponding to
a lamp filament voltage of 5V.
Switch OFF the power supply.

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Chapter 18

18.3 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Positional Control System - 1
Proportional Control
SERVO
POTENTIOMETER

DC MOTOR

I/P
POWER AMPLIFIER
O/P

DIFFERENTIATOR
O/P

I/P

I/P
T

O/P

0/P

I/P

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
-

9
1

B
A

10

10k

A-B

A+B+C

C
O/P

-VIN

+5V

AMPLIFIER #1

AMPLIFIER #2

I/P

O/P
+

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

O/P

INVERTER

SUMMING AMPLIFIER

1s
10s
100ms

TIME CONSTANT

A-B

0V

1
V dt
T IN

RESET

TIME CONSTANT

I/P

-5V

INSTRUMENTATION
AMPLIFIER
O/P
B

100ms
1s
10ms

INTEGRATOR
O/P

dVIN
dt

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7

.3

.8

.2

.9
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

MOVING COIL METER

I/P

O/P
+

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

5
-10

5
+10

.7

.3

.8

.2

.9

.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

0V

JL

Fig 18.3

Study the diagram.


The proportional control section runs across the middle of the diagram. The
10k wirewound resistor is the command input. The function of the Differential
Amplifier is to inject a step input voltage later in the investigation. The step
voltage is generated by Amplifier #2 offset voltage, which is the only purpose for
including this amplifier. You will see that it does not need an input for this
purpose.
Integral control will be added later by connecting the Integrator in between the
Error Detector (the Instrumentation Amplifier) and the Summing Amplifier.
Derivative control will also be added later via the Summing Amplifier. The
Inverter in between the Differentiator and the Summing Amplifier is to provide
negative feedback.
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The Summing Amplifier combines all of the control systems as required.


Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 18.3. This circuit is arranged for
proportional control only.
Press the left hand side of the mounting plate of the Servo Potentiometer and
then release it to engage with the drive shaft.
Set Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE control to 10 and GAIN FINE to 0.1 to give an
overall gain of 1.0.
Remove the power connection to the Motor. Switch ON the power supply.
Set Amplifier #2 GAIN COARSE control to 100 and GAIN FINE to 1.0 and
adjust the OFFSET control for an output of +3V. Return the GAIN COARSE
control to 1. The output voltage should fall to near zero volts. Note that
since this +3V step is fed into the system via the inverting input of the
Differential Amplifier the actual step injected will be -3V.
Transfer the Moving Coil Meter to terminal B of the 10k wirewound
resistor. Adjust the setting of the 10k resistor control to its central position
to give 0V output.
Zero the setting of the Servo Potentiometer dial against the pointer.
Transfer the Moving Coil Meter to the output of the Power Amplifier and
adjust Amplifier #1 OFFSET to give 0V. Restore the Motor power
connection.
Rotate the 10k wirewound resistor control slowly over its full travel.
The Motor drive shaft and the Servo Potentiometer dial should rotate and
follow the movement of the command input, although the system may be
sluggish and there will be a lag before the Servo Potentiometer starts to
follow the input setting. This is because the system gain is low, Amplifier #1
gain being set to 1.0.
Amplifier #1 Gain = 1.0
Maximum Dial Reading
(degrees)
Table 18.3

310

Positive

Negative

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18.3a

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Chapter 18

Enter your maximum Servo Potentiometer dial reading with positive input
voltage in degrees when Amplifier #1 gain is 1.0.
Return the 10k resistor to its central position. Set Amplifier #1 GAIN FINE
to 0.5 (overall gain 5) and repeat the procedure. With this higher setting of
the gain control the Servo Potentiometer should follow the input closely for
no load on the drive shaft and it should be possible to obtain the full travel
of the wirewound track resistor in both directions.
Rotate the input control slowly when nearing the end of the travel or the
Servo Potentiometer contact may overshoot and pass the end of the
track, causing the drive shaft to rotate continuously. If this occurs,
return the 10k resistor quickly to its central position.
Note the full range of travel of the Servo Potentiometer against the setting of
the 10k wirewound resistor command input. Record the results in Table
18.4.

Control Setting

0V

Servo-Potentiometer
Dial Reading (deg.)

10

0/
360

Table 18.4
180
Servo Potentiometer
Dial Reading 150
(degrees)
120
90
60
30
0/360
330
300
270
240
210
180
1

8
9
10
Control Setting

Graph 18.3

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Plot the graph of Dial Reading against Control Setting on the axes provided
on the previous page (Graph 18.3).
Repeat the readings in the reverse direction and compare the dial readings
obtained with the previous readings recorded in Table 18.4.
18.3b

Read from your graph and enter the approximate Control Setting for a Servo
Potentiometer dial reading of 90.
Set Amplifier #1 GAIN FINE to 1.0 and use the input command control to
return the Servo Potentiometer dial reading to 0.
Move the Servo Potentiometer dial by rotating the Hall effect disc by hand
and note the total range (for example +20 to -10 = 30, it may not be
symmetrical) over which the dial can be moved without the system
responding and moving the dial back. This value represents a deadband over
which the system does not respond. Record the result in Table 18.5.
Amplifier #1 Gain

10 x 1.0 = 10

10 x 0.5 = 5

10 x 0.1 = 1

Deadband (deg.)
Table 18.5

Repeat the procedure for Amplifier #1 GAIN FINE settings of 0.5 and 0.1,
adding the results to Table 18.5.
18.3c

The effect of system gain on the deadband is:


a high gain gives a small deadband
b high gain gives a large deadband
c gain makes no difference to deadband
d there is no change in deadband below a gain of 5

18.3d

312

Enter your value of deadband in degrees when the gain of Amplifier #1 is 5.

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Chapter 18

Set Amplifier #1 GAIN FINE to 0.1.


Switch the GAIN COARSE control of Amplifier #2 from 1 to 100 and note the
effect on the output shaft position. Return the control to 1 and again note the
effect. Repeat the procedure several times.
Take care not to touch the OFFSET control when you are doing this as
the setting is very critical.
Repeat the procedure with the Amplifier #1 GAIN FINE set 0.5 and then 1.0.
18.3e

The effect of gain on the response to a step input was that the speed of
response was:
a greatest with high gain
b slowest with high gain
c the same for any value of gain

18.3f

18.3g

no response with gain less than 2.5

The effect of gain on the response to a step input was that overshoot was:
a greatest with high gain

least with high gain

c the same for any value of gain

no response with gain less than 2.5

A proportional control system which has low gain in the feedback loop will
have:
a large deadband and underdamped response to a step input
b small deadband and overdamped response to a step input
c large deadband and overdamped response to a step input
d small deadband and underdamped response to a step input

Switch OFF the power supply, but:


Keep the circuit connected if possible for the following Exercises.

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18.4 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Positional Control System - 2
Proportional + Integral Control
SERVO
POTENTIOMETER

DC MOTOR

I/P
POWER AMPLIFIER
O/P

DIFFERENTIATOR
O/P
I/P
dVIN
T
dt

I/P
O/P

0/P

INTEGRATOR
O/P
I/P

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
-

9
1

B
A

10

10k

A-B

A+B+C

C
O/P

-VIN

+5V

AMPLIFIER #1

AMPLIFIER #2

I/P

O/P
+

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

O/P

INVERTER

SUMMING AMPLIFIER

1s
10s
100ms

TIME CONSTANT

A-B

0V

1
V dt
T IN

RESET

TIME CONSTANT

I/P

-5V

INSTRUMENTATION
AMPLIFIER
O/P
B

100ms
1s
10ms

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7

.3

.8

.2

.9
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

MOVING COIL METER

I/P

O/P
+

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

5
+10

.7
.8

.3

.9

.2
.1

5
-10
+
-

1.0

GAIN FINE

0V

JL

Fig 18.4

If necessary, re-connect the circuit as shown in Fig 18.4 (without the


Integrator output connected initially). Re-check the settings as follows:
Remove the power connection to the Motor. Zero the setting of the Servo
Potentiometer dial against the pointer. Ensure that the potentiometer is
engaged with the drive shaft.
Set Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE control to 10 and GAIN FINE to 0.1 to give an
overall gain of 1.0.
Switch ON the power supply.
Connect the Moving Coil Meter temporarily to terminal B of the 10k
resistor and check the setting to its central position to give 0V output.

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Transfer the Moving Coil Meter back to the output of the Power Amplifier
and check the adjustment of Amplifier #1 OFFSET to give 0V.
Transfer the Moving Coil Meter to the output of Amplifier #2, set the GAIN
COARSE control to 100 and GAIN FINE to 1.0 and check the adjustment of the
OFFSET control for an output of +3V. Return the GAIN COARSE control to 1.
This control will again be used to introduce a step input.
Restore the power connection to the Motor. With the Integrator time
constant set to 1s, press and hold the RESET button, connect the Integrator
output lead to the Summing Amplifier input as shown by the arrow in Fig
18.4 and then release the RESET button.
In the event of continuous rotation of the Motor shaft in the following
tests, immediately return the Amplifier #2 GAIN COARSE switch to 1 and
then hold the Integrator RESET button until the shaft becomes
stationary.
Note the effect on the output Servo Potentiometer dial reading when a step
input is applied by switching Amplifier #2 GAIN COARSE to 100 and then
back to 1. Watch the long term effect on the Integrator output voltage (on
the digital voltmeter) and on the dial setting.
18.4a

The Integrator output voltage:


a goes negative and then quickly returns to zero volts
b goes positive and then quickly returns to zero volts
c goes quickly to a positive voltage and then remains constant
d is still varying after two minutes

18.4b

The Servo Potentiometer Dial Setting:


a moves slowly and smoothly towards a target
b moves rapidly towards a target, overshoots and stays there
c moves rapidly towards a target, overshoots and then returns
d moves slowly towards a target in jerking steps
Repeat the procedure with the Amplifier #1 GAIN FINE set 0.5 (overall gain
of 5) and then 1.0 (overall gain of 10) and respond to the following
questions:

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18.4c

With Amplifier #1 gain set to 5 compared to the gain at 1, the effect on speed
of response was:
a faster
b slower
c the same
d no rotation

18.4d

With Amplifier #1 gain set to 5 compared to the gain at 1, the effect was:
a more overshoot

less overshoot

c no overshoot

continuous oscillation

18.4e

With Amplifier #1 gain set to 10 compared to the gain at 5, the effect on speed
of response was:
a faster
b slower
c the same
d no rotation

18.4f

With Amplifier #1 gain set to 10 compared to the gain at 5, the effect was:
a more overshoot

less overshoot

c no overshoot

continuous oscillation

With Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE set to 10 and GAIN FINE to 1.0, repeat the
procedure with the time constant set to 10s and then 100ms and note the
effect.
Count the number of overshoots for each of the time constant settings (if
possible).
18.4g

The time constant which gave the smallest number of overshoots was:
a 1s

10s

100ms

all the same

With the time constant switched to 100ms and Amplifier #1 GAIN FINE set to
0.5, note the effect of displacing the output from its stable position manually
by moving the Hall effect disc about 10 on the dial and then releasing it.
18.4h

A very short time constant may result in:


a no overshoot on return

some overshoot on return

c build up to continuous running

slow response

Switch OFF the power supply but keep the circuit connected if you can.

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Chapter 18

18.5 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Positional Control System - 3
Proportional + Derivative Control
SERVO
POTENTIOMETER

DC MOTOR

I/P
POWER AMPLIFIER
O/P

DIFFERENTIATOR
O/P
I/P
dVIN
T
dt

I/P
O/P

0/P

INTEGRATOR
O/P
I/P

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
-

9
1

B
A

10

10k

A-B

A+B+C

C
O/P

-VIN

+5V

AMPLIFIER #1

AMPLIFIER #2

I/P

O/P
+

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

O/P

INVERTER

SUMMING AMPLIFIER

1s
10s
100ms

TIME CONSTANT

A-B

0V

1
V dt
T IN

RESET

TIME CONSTANT

I/P

-5V

INSTRUMENTATION
AMPLIFIER
O/P
B

100ms
1s
10ms

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7

.3

.8

.2

.9
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

MOVING COIL METER

I/P

O/P
+

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

5
+10

.7

.3

.8

.2

.9
.1

5
-10
+
-

1.0

GAIN FINE

0V

JL

Fig 18.5

If you still have the circuit connected then remove the lead from the
Integrator output to the Summing Amplifier and connect the output from the
Inverter to the Summing Amplifier as shown in Fig 18.5. Otherwise connect
the circuit as shown.
Re-check the settings as follows:
Remove the power connection to the Motor. Zero the setting of the Servo
Potentiometer dial against the pointer. Ensure that the potentiometer is
engaged with the drive shaft.

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Set Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE control to 10 and GAIN FINE to 0.1 to give an
overall gain of 1.0.
Switch ON the power supply.
Transfer the Moving Coil Meter temporarily to terminal B of the 10k
resistor and check the setting to its central position to give 0V output.
Transfer the Moving Coil Meter temporarily to the output of the Power
Amplifier and check the adjustment of Amplifier #1 OFFSET to give 0V.
Transfer the Moving Coil Meter back to the output of Amplifier #2, set the
GAIN COARSE control to 100 and GAIN FINE to 1.0 and check the adjustment
of the OFFSET control for an output of +3V. Return the GAIN COARSE control
to 1.
Restore the power connection to the Motor.
Set the Differentiator time constant to 1s and note the output Servo
Potentiometer response to a step input of +3V applied by changing
Amplifier #2 gain control from 1 to 100 and then back to 1.
Repeat the procedure and note the response for Differentiator time constant
settings of 100ms and 10ms.
18.5a

After the step input has been applied in both directions the Servo
Potentiometer dial reading:
a returns accurately to zero setting
b may not return to zero setting
c returns nearest to zero setting with a time constant of 1s
d overshoots when the time constant is long
With the Differentiator time constant set to 10ms, note the effect of
manually moving the output from its stable position by about quarter of a
turn with the Hall effect disc.

18.5b

Is there any tendency to re-adjust and correct the error?


Yes

318

or

No

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18.5c

Practical Control Systems


Chapter 18

Derivative control affects the response:


a when the output is in the steady state
b during change of output only
c when there is no error signal
d only when the command input is steady

18.5d

Increasing the time constant of the differentiator:


a causes the output to change more quickly
b increases the damping effect
c corrects any steady state error
d results in faster response
Switch OFF the power supply, but
Keep the circuit connected if possible for the next exercise.

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18.6 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Positional Control System - 4
Proportional + Integral + Derivative Control
SERVO
POTENTIOMETER

DC MOTOR

I/P
POWER AMPLIFIER
O/P

DIFFERENTIATOR
O/P

I/P

I/P
T

O/P

0/P

I/P

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
-

9
1

B
A

10

10k

A-B

A+B+C

C
O/P

-VIN

+5V

AMPLIFIER #1

AMPLIFIER #2

I/P

O/P
+

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

O/P

INVERTER

SUMMING AMPLIFIER

1s
10s
100ms

TIME CONSTANT

A-B

0V

1
V dt
T IN

RESET

TIME CONSTANT

I/P

-5V

INSTRUMENTATION
AMPLIFIER
O/P
B

100ms
1s
10ms

INTEGRATOR
O/P

dVIN
dt

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7

.3

.8

.2

.9
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

MOVING COIL METER

I/P

O/P
+

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

5
-10

5
+10

.7

.3

.8

.2

.9

.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

0V

JL

Fig 18.6

Re-construct the circuit of Fig 18.6 if necessary, making sure that the output
of the Inverter is connected to the input of the Summing Amplifier but do
not connect the Integrator to the Summing Amplifier at this stage.
Re-check the settings as follows:
Remove the power connection to the Motor. Zero the setting of the Servo
Potentiometer dial against the pointer. Ensure that the potentiometer is
engaged with the drive shaft.

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Set Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE control to 10 and GAIN FINE to 0.1 to give an
overall gain of 1.0.
Switch ON the power supply.
Connect the Moving Coil Meter temporarily to terminal B of the 10k
resistor and check the setting to its central position to give 0V output.
Transfer the Moving Coil Meter back to the output of the Power Amplifier
and check the adjustment of Amplifier #1 OFFSET to give 0V.
Transfer the Moving Coil Meter to the output of Amplifier #2, set the GAIN
COARSE control to 100 and GAIN FINE to 1.0 and check the adjustment of the
OFFSET control for an output of +3V. Return the GAIN COARSE control to 1.
This control will again be used to introduce a step input.
Restore the power connection to the Motor.
Press the Integrator RESET button and then connect the Integrator output to
the Summing Amplifier input. Set Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE to 10 and
GAIN FINE to 1.0.
Note and record in Table 18.6 the effect of applying a 3V step input to the
system with all the possible combinations of Integrator and Differentiator
time constants to note their effect and determine the combination giving
optimum response, possibly with one small overshoot.

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Test

Integrator
time constant

Differentiator
time constant

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Continuous
Response time
running YES/NO SLOW/MEDIUM/FAST

Number of
Oscillations

1s

10s

100ms

10ms

1s

1s

100ms

10ms

1s

100ms

100ms
10ms

Table 18.6

Check your best results against each other, referring to the question below.
18.6a

Which of the following is the most desirable characteristic for a positional


control system?
a Continuous running
b Slow response time, no oscillations
c Fast response time, no oscillations
d Fast response time, two or more oscillations
Switch OFF the power supply, but
Keep the circuit connected if possible for the next exercise.

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Chapter 18

18.7 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Positional Control System - 5
Use of Velocity Feedback from a Tachogenerator
SERVO
POTENTIOMETER

DC MOTOR

I/P

TACHOGENERATOR

POWER AMPLIFIER
O/P
I/P

O/P
O/P

0/P

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
-

9
1

B
B
A

10

A-B

I/P

1
V dt
T IN

A-B

10k

INTEGRATOR
O/P

INSTRUMENTATION
AMPLIFIER
O/P
B
+

-5V

+5V

B
2

AMPLIFIER #1

10

O/P
-VIN

MOVING COIL METER

AMPLIFIER #2

I/P

O/P

A+B+C

I/P

10k

INVERTER

O/P

TIME CONSTANT

0V
SLIDE

SUMMING AMPLIFIER

1s
10s
100ms

RESET

I/P

O/P

5
-10

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7

.3

.8

.2

.9
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

.4
1
100
10

OFFSET

GAIN COARSE

.5

.6

.7

5
+10

+
.8

.3

.9

.2
.1

1.0

GAIN FINE

0V

JL

Fig 18.7

Construct the circuit shown in Fig 18.7.


If you have retained the former circuit, remove both of the connections
to the Differentiator and add the connection to the Tachogenerator shown in
Fig 18.7. Also add connections from socket B of the slider resistor to the
Inverter input, and from socket A of the slider resistor to 0V. The slider
resistor is used to vary the magnitude of the velocity feedback from the
Tachogenerator. Set its control initially fully to the left, that is, with no
feedback. The system is equivalent to the previous 3-term PID system.

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Re-check the settings as follows:


Remove the power connection to the Motor. Zero the setting of the Servo
Potentiometer dial against the pointer. Ensure that the potentiometer is
engaged with the drive shaft.
Set Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE control to 10 and GAIN FINE to 0.1 to give an
overall gain of 1.0.
Set the Integrator time constant to 10s.
Switch ON the power supply.
With the Moving Coil Meter connected to the output of Amplifier #2, set
the GAIN COARSE control to 100 and GAIN FINE to 1.0 and check the
adjustment of the OFFSET control for an output of +3V. Return the GAIN
COARSE control to 1.
Transfer the Moving Coil Meter temporarily to terminal B of the 10k
resistor and check the setting to its central position to give 0V output.
Reset the Integrator.
Transfer the Moving Coil Meter to the output of the Power Amplifier and
check the adjustment of Amplifier #1 OFFSET to give 0V.
Restore the power connection to the Motor.
Note the output response to a +3V step input for various settings of the
10k slider resistor control to verify that similar responses to those
previously can be obtained. Note: allow the servo potentiometer dial to
return to zero after each step input is applied then removed (manually
turning the Hall Effect disc using the supplied Load Simulator if necessary).
Also, reset the Integrator before each new +3V step input is applied.
Note and record in Table 18.7 opposite the effect of applying a +3V step
input to the system with all the possible combinations of Integrator time
constants and settings of the 10k slider resistor (remembering to zero the
servo potentiometer dial and resetting the integrator between applications of
+3V step inputs).
Note: in cases where overshoot occurs, count the number of oscillations before
steady state is achieved, and in cases where undershoot occurs, estimate the
initial movement as a percentage of the steady state value, by dividing the
initial angle swept (A) by the final angle swept (B) and multiplying by 100
to give the percentage (C).
324

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Test

Integrator
time
constant

10k
Slider
Resistor
Setting

10s

10

4
1s

10

10

11

12

4
100ms

Response
time

YES/NO

SLOW
MEDIUM
FAST

Overshoot
Number of
Oscillations
(if any)

Undershoot
Angles
Swept
(A)
(B)
(C)

13

Continuous
running

Practical Control Systems


Chapter 18

14

15

10

Table 18.7

18.7a

All control systems that have a fast response will overshoot and oscillate
before reaching their final value, regardless of damping.
Yes or No
Switch OFF the power supply

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18.8 Practical Exercise


Characteristics of a Speed Control System
DC MOTOR

I/P

TACHOGENERATOR

SLOTTED OPTO
SENSOR

POWER AMPLIFIER

DIFFERENTIATOR
O/P
I/P

O/P
I/P

O/P
O/P

dVIN
dt
100ms
1s
10ms

O/P

TIME CONSTANT
COUNTER/
TIMER

AMPLIFIER #1
I/P

O/P
I/P

.4

OFFSET

WIREWOUND TRACK
6
5
C
7

B
A

10

10k
0V

I/P

TIME CONSTANT
INVERTER

I/P
2

10

10k

5
+10

SUMMING AMPLIFIER
O/P

A
B
C

O/P

-10

1s
10s
100ms

RESET

SLIDE

1s

MOVING COIL METER

1
V dt
T IN

+12V

COUNT

GAIN FINE

A-B

RESET

.9
1.0

.1

INTEGRATOR
O/P

DIFFERENTIAL
AMPLIFIER
O/P
-

FREE RUN

.8

.2

GAIN COARSE

TIME

.7

.3

1
100
10

.6

.5

A+B+C

+
0V

JL

-VIN

Fig 18.8

Connect the circuit as shown in Fig 18.8 (with the integral and derivative
control components NOT initially connected to the Summing Amplifier).
Set Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE control to 10 and GAIN FINE to 0.1, the
Integrator time constant to 1s, the Differentiator time constant to 10ms, the
Counter/Timer controls to COUNT and 1s and both resistor controls to
minimum, fully counter clockwise or to the left.
Press the mounting plate of the Servo Potentiometer to disengage it from the
drive shaft and thus minimize wear on the unit.
The 20V digital voltmeter is used to monitor the Motor current, indicating the volt
drop across a 1 resistor. The indicated voltage represents current in amperes.
The Moving Coil Meter is used to monitor the drive voltage to the Motor.
The Counter/Timer is used to monitor the Motor shaft speed.

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Chapter 18

Remove the feedback connection from the Tachogenerator to the


Differential Amplifier so that the circuit is operating in open loop. Switch
ON the power supply and set the 10k wirewound resistor control so that
the Motor speed is 15 rev/s as indicated by the Counter/Timer (after pressing
the RESET button). The Motor voltage required is of the order of 4V

Hall effect disc

Motor Load Simulator

Fig 18.9

Load the Motor by placing the Load Simulator vertically on the baseboard
and then moving it forward to apply pressure on the Hall effect disc. You
will find that the Motor can easily be stopped, and the Motor current
increases.
18.8a

Enter your Motor current when the Motor is stalled (in A).
Repeat the procedure with Amplifier #1 GAIN FINE settings of 0.5 and 1.0.
You will find that the amplifier gain only affects the setting of the 10k
wirewound resistor control but has no effect on the Motor characteristic.
Re-connect the Tachogenerator feedback connection to the Differential
Amplifier so that the system is operating in closed loop. Set Amplifier #1
GAIN COARSE control to 10 and GAIN FINE to 0.1 and the Motor speed to
15 rev/s. This will require the same voltage as previously.
Load the Motor as before. You will find that the torque is greater and the
current and voltage applied to the Motor will increase. Note the values of
Motor voltage and current with the Motor stationary and record in
Table 18.8.

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Amplifier #1
gain
Motor voltage
Motor current
Motor speed

IT02
Curriculum Manual

10 x 0.1 = 1

10 x 0.3 = 3

10 x 0.4 = 4

8-10

8-10

rev/s

rev/s

Table 18.8

Increase the GAIN FINE setting to 0.3 and re-adjust the speed to 15 rev/s.
Load the Motor until its applied voltage is 8-10V. The Motor will probably
still rotate. Record the Motor current and speed.
Repeat the procedure with the GAIN FINE set to 0.4 and initial speed to 15
rev/s, recording the results again in Table 18.8.
18.8b

Enter your value of current when the Amplifier gain is 3 and the Motor is
loaded so that the applied voltage is 8-10V.

18.8c

Enter your recorded Motor speed in rev/s when the Amplifier gain is 4 and
the Motor is loaded so that the applied voltage is 8-10V.
With closed loop control, the amplifier gain obviously affects the characteristic,
increase of gain increasing the torque available.
On no-load the Motor may be very noisy at this low speed setting if the gain is
increased much above 0.4, due to small errors producing large power fluctuations.
With Amplifier #1 GAIN FINE set to 0.1 and the Integrator time constant set
to 1s, press and hold the Integrator RESET button, connect the Integrator
output to the Summing Amplifier and then release the RESET button.
Transfer the digital multimeter to the output of the Integrator.
Set the Motor speed to 15 rev/s on no-load and then load the Motor until the
Motor voltage is 8-10V and maintain this loading as constant as possible.
You will note that the Motor speed initially drops, then the Integrator output
voltage increases. The Motor speed then increases again. The Integrator output
voltage then remains constant if the loading is kept constant.
Note and record the speed after loaded conditions have settled down with
the Integrator output voltage risen to about 8.5-9.0V.

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Chapter 18

Motor Speed recovers to

rev/s

Release the load and immediately press RESET on the Counter to read the
Motor speed. Record the Motor speed immediately after releasing the load.
Initial recovery speed =
18.8d

rev/s

Enter the initial recovery speed in rev/s when the load is first released.
After releasing the load the speed initially rises and then the Integrator output falls
gradually and the speed is reduced to the preset value of 15 rev/s again.
Restore the loading and then take note of the time for the Integrator output
voltage to recover to the unloaded voltage after the load is released.
Recovery time on removing the load =

18.8e

Enter the recovery time with an Integrator time constant of 1s in seconds:


Set the Integrator time constant to 100ms and repeat the process.

18.8f

The recovery time with an Integrator time constant of 100ms is:


a shorter

longer

Fast Integral
Speed

the same

zero

Integral Control

Medium Integral

Slow Integral

High gain
Low gain

Proportional
Control

Open loop
LOAD
time

Fig 18.9

Set the integrator time constant back to 1s increase the Amplifier #1 GAIN
FINE control to 0.3 and repeat the process. You will note that the
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characteristics are similar but the response times are shorter due to the
higher gain of the system.
The characteristics of the system are shown in Fig 18.9.
Introduction of derivative control affects the rate of response to transient
conditions in the same way as for the positional control system.
Connect the derivative output from the Inverter to the Summing Amplifier.
Set the Differentiator time constant to 100ms, the Integrator time constant to
100ms, the 10k slider resistor control to the left, so that the derivative
feedback is zero and Amplifier #1 GAIN COARSE control to 10 and GAIN
FINE to 0.3.
Set the Motor speed to 15 rev/sec on no-load and then very briefly increase
the slider to 10, then back to 1 on the slider scale.
You will note that with derivative feedback the Motor operation becomes noisy.
This is due to the voltage spikes generated by the Tachogenerator during the
commutation process, the Differentiator differentiates these and produces large
outputs, making the direct feedback of the derivative signal unsatisfactory. This is
a common problem with derivative feedback systems where there may be noise on
the signal, being differentiated.
To overcome this problem, feed the output from the Differentiator to the
10k slider resistor via the Low Pass Filter to remove the high frequency
spikes. Set the Low Pass Filter time constant to 10ms. You will find that the
10k slider resistor control can now be adjusted over its full range giving
full control over the magnitude of the derivative feedback with a much
smaller increase in noise.
Derivative feedback makes a very small change to the characteristics of the speed
control system.
Move the 10k slider fully to the left. Apply the Load to the Hall Effect disc
briefly and heavily (so that it only just turns) for less than a second, then
release it.

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Chapter 18

When the load is released the motor should be heard to greatly increase in speed
before settling back to the steady state value.
Set the Differentiator to 1s and move the 10k slider resistor control to
around 3-4 and repeat the procedure.
When the load is released, the motor should return to its steady state speed with
much greater control, without greatly increasing in speed.
When the load is removed, the output voltage of the Summing Amplifier should
reduce then oscillate around its steady state value (approximately 4.5V) before
becoming stable. This oscillation is due to the overshoot of the differentiator, then
the integrator and differentiator, trying to increase the speed of the shaft back to its
steady state value.
Repeat the loading of the motor with derivative feedback and watch the
analog M.C. meter for oscillation as the system returns to its steady state
speed.
The effect of derivative feedback on the system is small due to the system's slow
response. For derivative feedback to be effective the time constant of the
differentiator must be matched to the time constant of the system.
Switch OFF the power supply.

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Chapter 18

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Student Assessment 18
1.

A room heating system consists of an electric heater having a constant output when
ON, this being controlled by a thermostat, the contacts operating at 70C. The range
of temperature you expect to measure if a temperature-time characteristic were
measured for the room, the windows and doors remaining closed would be:
a 20 - 70C
b 50 - 70C
c 50 - 90F
d 65 - 75C

2.

For the system described in question 1 above, a plot of the temperature characteristic
when the system is tested when operating normally would look like:
a
c
d
b

3.

In setting up a system you wish to combine the signals from three different sources
together to generate an output. The signal conditioning circuit from those provided
on the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer which you would select for this purpose is the:
a Differential Amplifier
b Instrumentation Amplifier
c

Summing Amplifier

Integrator

4.

One of the three signals referred to in question 3 above has the wrong polarity. The
signal conditioning circuit from those provided on the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer which
you would select for to overcome this problem is the:
a Differentiator
b Inverter
c Buffer
d Integrator

5.

A step input is often used to test the response of a control circuit. This term refers to:
a an abrupt change of voltage level of either polarity

332

a smoothly changing input voltage

repetitive sudden variations of voltage, ON and OFF at regular intervals

a steady increase of voltage from 0V to +3V

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Practical Control Systems


Chapter 18

Student Assessment 18 Continued ...


6.

Derivative control feeds back a signal which is proportional to the output signal:
a rate of change
b amplitude
c frequency
d polarity

Gray Code
Inputs

Control
Photovoltaic
Cell
+5V

A
Zero
Reference Differential
Amplifier

VR

Alarm

0V

Fig 1

7.

Fig 2

A control circuit is required which will always return a rotational position system
to the zero setting of a 3-output Gray-code disc (such as the one on the DIGIAC 1750
Trainer), that is with the three outputs all zero. A suitable circuit for carrying this
out is given in Fig 1. Selecting signal conditioning circuits from the DIGIAC 1750
Trainer, the Control block might contain:
a proportional, derivative and integral controls
b

a summing amplifier

three DC amplifiers

differentiator, integrator and inverter

8.

The component marked A in the circuit of Fig 1, selected from the signal conditioning
circuits of the DIGIAC 1750 Trainer is a:
a power amplifier b AC amplifier
c Buffer
d current amplifier

9.

The effect of changing the setting of variable resistor VR in Fig 2 above might be to
make the Alarm sound:
a above a higher light threshold
b louder
c

below a higher light threshold

intermittently

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Chapter 18

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Notes:
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Using a Multimeter
Appendix A

Appendix A
Using a Multimeter

Units and Quantities


There are three basic quantities to be considered in an electrical circuit:
1.

An EMF is applied to the circuit to provide the force or pressure which


causes the current to flow around the circuit. This EMF is measured in
volts.

2.

The current consists of a quantity of electrons which travel around the


circuit in a given time. This current is measured in amps (amperes).

3.

As the current flows around the circuit it meets up with opposition due to the
resistance of the circuit or its component parts. This resistance is
measured in (ohms).

Multimeters
The term multimeter derives from the ability to use one instrument for a multitude
of different measurements. One instrument is capable of taking measurements of
all three of the above quantities, and switches are provided for a wide range of
values of each quantity, from the very small ( - micro or m - milli) to the large (k
- kilo or M - Mega). Also both direct current and voltage (DC) and alternating
current and voltage (AC) measurements can be taken with the same instrument.

Examine the instrument(s) which you have available and familiarize


yourself with the range switch(es), display and connection sockets/terminals.

= DC

= AC

335

Using a Multimeter
Appendix A

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Types of Meters
There are two basic types of instrument, those which give a digital display of the
reading, and those in which a pointer is moved across a scale by an angle which is
analogous to the quantity being measured.

POWER
OFF

ON

V
200m

V
20

200 1000 750 200

20

200m

20M

200
2m
20m
10A
200m

2M
200K
20K

2K
2
200m

200
200
200 20m
10A

V-

COM

2m

(a) Digital Multimeter


Fig A.1

10A

(b) Analog Multimeter

The digital instrument will be found to be more convenient for taking static
readings of a quantity, their accuracy tends to be very good, and it is less likely
that you will make a mistake in reading the quantity. The analog instrument, on
the other hand, has advantages when reading quantities which are subject to
change during adjustments or otherwise. The load (in terms of current drawn)
presented by the meter to the circuit under test also varies.

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Appendix A

Reading the Analog Scale

Fig A.2

The instrument scale represented above might refer to a meter with ranges 50A,
250A, 2.5mA, 10mA, 25mA, 100mA, 250mA, 1A, & 5A and a selection of
voltage ranges. Assuming that the 2.5mA scale has been selected then the scale
can be read directly in milliamps. The pointer is between 1.5 & 2.0, so the reading
lies between these limits. There are five divisions between 1.5 and 2 on the scale
so each one represents a value of 0.1. The pointer is between the second and third
divisions so the reading is between 1.7 & 1.8, or 1.7+. It is possible to make an
estimate (guess) as to how far it lies between the two divisions, but it is advisable
not to go any further than to say 0.05 (half way), although I am sure that you will
try. So a reasonable reading of the scale would be 1.75mA.
If the selected range is 100mA then the 0-10 scale is used and the pointer is half
way between 6 & 8. The scale reading gives us 7. The scale factor is determined
by dividing the full-scale marked value into the range value, 100mA 10 =
10mA. Multiply the reading by this factor: 7 x 10mA = 70mA.
If the selected range had been 50A then the 0 - 50 scale should be used and the
pointer is half way between 30 and 40. The scale reading gives us 35. The scale
factor is 35 x 1A = 35A.
This is a major disadvantage of the analog multimeter. It is relatively easy to make
an error in interpreting the scale and range settings. This factor alone is
responsible for many people preferring the digital instrument. Try interpreting for
yourself on the assumption that you have selected the 250V range.
You should have arrived at a reading of 175V.

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Appendix A

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Curriculum Manual

Testmeter Connections
1.

Voltage Readings

POWER
OFF

ON

V
200m

V
20

200 1000 750 200

20

200m

20M

(a)

200
2m

2M

20m
10A
200m

200K
20K

2K
2
200m

200
200
200 20m
10A

V-

COM

2m

10A

POWER
OFF

ON

V
200m

V
20

200 1000 750 200

20

200m

20M

(b)

200
2m
20m
10A
200m

2M
200K
20K

2K
2
200m

200
200
200 20m
10A

V-

COM

2m

10A

Fig A.3 - (a) DC and (b) AC Voltmeter Connections

The voltage appears across the component. Therefore the meter must be
connected in parallel with (or across) the component to measure the volt drop
across it with the circuit still connected to the supply.
Note that this is therefore the easiest of readings to be taken, since it involves no
disconnections and is taken with the supply still connected.
Ensure that the correct type AC or DC is selected, and always start with the
highest range and work down unless you have every reason to expect a
reasonably lower voltage. You will never damage a meter by connecting it to a
lower voltage than it is adjusted to display.

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Using a Multimeter
Appendix A

Testmeter Connections
2.

Current Readings

POWER
OFF

ON

V
200m

V
20

200 1000 750 200

20

200m

20M

(a)

200
2m
20m
10A
200m

2M
200K
20K

2K
2
200m

200
200
200 20m
10A

V-

COM

2m

10A

POWER
OFF

ON

V
200m

V
20

200 1000 750 200

20

200m

20M

(b)

200
2m
20m
10A
200m

2M
200K
20K

2K
2
200m

200
200
200 20m
10A

V-

COM

2m

10A

Fig A.4 - (a) DC and (b) AC Ammeter Connections

The current flows around the circuit so it must be broken to allow the meter to
be connected in series with the component under test. The circuit current then also
flows through the meter and it can give an indication of how much this current is.
This is often very inconvenient in practice, since it is not always easy to break into
a circuit in the way required.

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Appendix A

IT02
Curriculum Manual

Testmeter Connections
3.

Resistance Readings

POWER
OFF

ON

V
200m

V
20

200 1000 750 200

20

200m

20M

200
2m
20m
10A
200m

2M
200K
20K

2K
2
200m

200
200
200 20m
10A

V-

COM

2m

10A

Fig A.5 Ohmmeter Connection

It is essential that the resistor to be checked should be isolated from the power
supplies and also desirable, when possible, from the remainder of the circuit.
Analog Multimeter - A battery in the instrument applies a voltage to the resistor
under test and then the instrument measures the current which flows. Since the
battery voltage is known the current flowing can be calibrated into resistance. The
scale is not linear since resistance is inversely proportional to current, zero
resistance resulting in maximum current. A zeroing control is provided to allow
for variation of the battery EMF with ageing.
Digital Multimeter - The instrument contains a constant current generator, this
current being fed to the resistor under test. The instrument measures the voltage
dropped across the resistor and converts this to resistance. Since resistance is
directly proportional to voltage this is a linear function and conversion to a digital
display of resistance is simple.

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The Oscilloscope
Appendix B

Appendix B
The Oscilloscope

How it Works
Your understanding of the operation of this most valuable item of test equipment
will be greatly enhanced if you have at least a superficial knowledge of its
fundamentals.

glass envelope
screen
cathode

grid

focus

Y plates

X plates

electron beam

heater

Fig B.1

The heater, made of tungsten wire, raises the temperature of the cathode, which is
a nickel alloy cylinder coated with a mixture of oxides.
The heated cathode emits electrons which are attracted by the high potentials on
succeeding electrodes to form a divergent electron stream or beam.
The electric field of the focus assembly accelerates the electrons in the beam and
converges them so that they all meet at one spot at the screen.
The internal face of the screen is coated with phosphorescent materials which
glow when bombarded by the electron beam.

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Appendix B

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Curriculum Manual

The grid, which surrounds the cathode, allows control of the number of electrons
leaving the cathode, and therefore the strength of the electron beam, and the
intensity or brightness of the spot. The group of electrodes which generate the
beam are known collectively as the electron gun.
The screen is the faceplate of a glass envelope, which encloses all of the
electrodes. This envelope is evacuated so that there are no gas atoms to impede the
free movement of the electrons in the beam. Any voltage (potential gradient)
across the Y plates will cause the beam to be deflected up or down as it passes
through.
The X plates will have a similar effect in the horizontal direction.
The oscilloscope is therefore capable of drawing graphs with conventional X and
Y axes. The inputs to X and Y channels must be in the form of voltages which can
be applied to the plates.
The primary purpose of the oscilloscope is to allow us to examine electrical
waveforms in a circuit which are readily obtainable in the form of voltage (Y)
against time (X).
The Y drive is therefore already in the correct form - a voltage.
The time scale for the X axis is provided as a function of the oscilloscope's
circuitry known as the timebase. This generates a voltage which is steadily
changing with time. The time is adjustable by front panel controls. The waveform
necessary for this purpose has a sawtooth shape.
voltage
stroke or
scan

flyback

time

Fig B.2

The faceplate is scanned from left to right, relatively slowly, during which time
the waveform to be examined is applied to the Y plates. The flyback is rapid and
the Y signal is suppressed so that it cannot interfere with the forward display.

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The Oscilloscope
Appendix B

Practical Oscilloscope
It is now time to examine the layout of the front panel of a typical oscilloscope
and its controls. These may seem a little awe-inspiring at first, but you will find
that you can easily master them.
All oscilloscopes have the same basic functions. If the instrument which you have
available is substantially different from that shown pictorially here, then you will
find controls which perform the same functions, although they may sometimes
have slightly different labels on them. Start by setting all controls to known initial
conditions as follows:

POWER

X-Y

on/off

TIME/DIV.
SLOPE
+/-

X-POS.
TR

INTENS.

Y-POS. I

.5

X10

CAL.
0.2V
2V

COMPONENT

TESTER

1M

30pF
400Vp-p
max.

AT/NORM.

50

20

10

10
5
2
1

.5

50

20

VAR.
2.5:1

CAL.

mV
CHI/II
TRIG.I/II

Y-POS. II

.2
.1

1
2

50

20
10

10

INV.I

100Vp-p max.

CAL.

VOLTS/DIV.

20

TRIG. INP.

.5

EXT.

.1

LEVEL

ms

.2

10

20
50

VOLTS/DIV.
1

X-MAG.

.5 .2 .1

200

AC
DC
HF
LF
LINE

TRIGGER
SELECTOR

CH.I

100

FOCUS

DC
AC
GD

ms

V
DUAL

10

CH.II
DC
AC
GD

ADD

1M
400Vp-p
max.

CHOP

HOR.
INP.

20

mV

30pF

Fig B.3

The arrowed rectangles and squares are push-on push-off buttons.

Ensure that they are all in their out positions.


There are several round buttons in various colors with an
indicator line on them. Turn all of these so that the line is
pointing vertically upwards. This does not apply to the focus
control.
The pointed triangle on some colored knobs is a calibration
indicator. The coarse setting on the outer switch is only correct
when this arrowhead points to the left. Set them this way now.

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Appendix B

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Curriculum Manual

1
POWER

X-Y

on/off

TIME/DIV.
SLOPE
+/-

X-POS.
TR

INTENS.

Y-POS. I

.5

1M

s
20

10

10
5
2
1

.5

50

20

INV.I

VAR.
2.5:1

CAL.

mV
CHI/II
TRIG.I/II

Y-POS. II

.2
.1

V
DUAL

DC
AC
GD

20

5
10

ADD

1M
400Vp-p
max.

CHOP

HOR.
INP.

20

mV

CH.II

50

10

10
20

100Vp-p max.

CAL.

VOLTS/DIV.

TRIG. INP.

.5

EXT.

.1

10

LEVEL

ms

.2

30pF
400Vp-p
max.

AT/NORM.

50

20
50

VOLTS/DIV.
1

DC
AC
GD

.5 .2 .1

200

AC
DC
HF
LF
LINE

TRIGGER
SELECTOR

CH.I

100

FOCUS

ms

30pF

Fig B.4

Adjust the controls shown in Fig B.4 as follows:

TRIGGER SELECTOR to the upper (AC) position.

Y amplifier inputs both to the lower (GD) position.

TIMEBASE set upwards to the 1ms/div position.

Y AMPLIFIER sensitivity both counterclockwise to the 20V/div


position.

Note that the lower panel in Fig B.4 above contains the controls for two Y
amplifiers. There is provision to operate the oscilloscope with either one or two
traces (graphs) so that two waveforms of the same frequency (or harmonically
related) can be observed at the same time.
This is achieved by switching the electron beam from one trace position to the
other and, at the same time, switching the inputs to the Y plates.
The upper panel contains the controls for the screen and for the timebase settings.
You will also see some controls marked TRIG or TRIGGER. These are to
maintain a stable trace. More will be said about this function later.

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The Oscilloscope
Appendix B

Operation
You are now ready to power up.

Locate the power switch ( 1 in Fig B.5 below) and switch ON.

4
POWER

X-Y

on/off

X-POS.

TIME/DIV.
SLOPE
+/-

TR

INTENS.

ms

.5 .2 .1

AT/NORM.

50

20

10

10

20
50

5
2

100

FOCUS
TRIGGER
SELECTOR

AC
DC
HF
LF
LINE

s
LEVEL

200

.5

ms
EXT.

TRIG. INP.
100Vp-p max.

CAL.

3
Fig B.5

After a brief warm-up period you will find that you have a line across the screen
caused by the spot moving from left to right across the screen under the influence
of the internal timebase.

Adjust the brightness or intensity 2 to give a line of minimum intensity for


comfortable viewing.

Adjust the focus 3 to give the sharpest line.

Adjust the X POSITION 4 to centralize the line across the screen.

Switch the TIMEBASE selector (see Fig B.4) fully counterclockwise to the
200ms/div position.

If you have a watch or clock available with a second hand, time how long it takes
for - say - five passes across the screen. You should find that it takes about ten
seconds for five scans.

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Appendix B

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Curriculum Manual

Timebase
Examine the timebase control switch. This is pointing at 200ms/div. There are ten
divisions across the screen. Count them. So it takes 10 x 200ms for one scan.
2000ms is 2 seconds, so 5 x 2 = 10 seconds for five scans.
Turn the inner variable control clockwise. See that the spot
speeds up. It is possible to set the speed to anything that you
want (within limits) but you only know what speed it is when
the pointer is to the left (the calibrated position).

Return it counter-clockwise.

Look to the left of the tip of the pointer and you will see a C (for calibrated)
under a dot. There is one of these symbols to the left of each of the variable
controls, including the two on the lower panel, to indicate the calibration
position.

Switch the timebase selector to 100ms/div. Note that the spot now travels
across the screen in about one second. Gradually increase the speed.

When you get to 20ms/div the spot has become a short line. This is due to two
factors, one being the afterglow of the phosphor (which takes a small time to die
away) and the other is the persistence of vision (where our eyes retains an image
for a small period of time). This latter is what makes it possible for us to see
apparently moving pictures on a television screen from a rapid sequence of still
pictures.
At 10ms/div the spot becomes a continuous line with a small amount of flicker as
our eyes still try to follow the individual movements of the spot. Beyond this all
we see is a steady line.
When the timebase setting is increased to the maximum of 0.5s/div the screen is
being scanned in five millionths of a second (5s). It is still accurate and linear.

346

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The Oscilloscope
Appendix B

Frequency Measurement
Please note that if it takes 5s (millionths of a second) for one trace and the traces
follow each other continuously then there will be 200,000 scans in one second
(200,000 x 5s = 1s), the frequency is 200kHz.
This concept is the one above all other that newcomers to electronics find most
difficult to accept, the speed at which electronic devices can operate, far, far faster
than our brains want to accept.
The reciprocal of the time taken for one cycle of events is the frequency of that
event. This is important and should be remembered.
frequency =

1
time period

This allows us to make measurements of frequency on an oscilloscope by noting


the time taken for one cycle and then calculating the reciprocal of that time.

6.4 div

Fig B.6

347

The Oscilloscope
Appendix B

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Curriculum Manual

For instance, in the example in Fig B.6 opposite, if the timebase setting is
calibrated and switched to 0.2ms/div then the time taken for the cycle indicated is:
6.4 x 0.2 = 1.28ms
and the frequency of the waveform represented will be:
1
= 781.26 Hz
1.28 x 10 -3

Try the following example for yourself:

Assume that the timebase is correctly calibrated and switched to 20s/div.

Fig B.7

What frequency is represented in Fig B.7 if the two vertical lines represent
one cycle of a waveform?

You should have arrived at about 5.95kHz. The reading of the time scale cannot
be very accurate, certainly not to 5 parts in 600, so it might be better to call this
6kHz.

348

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The Oscilloscope
Appendix B

Y Amplifiers
Turn your attention now to some of the controls on the lower panel, the Y
amplifiers.

Y-POS. I

VOLTS/DIV.
.5

CH.I

1M

30pF
400Vp-p
max.

.5
.1

DC
AC
GD

VOLTS/DIV.

.2

50

20
10

INV.I

CAL.

.1

1
2

50

20
10

10
20

VAR.
2.5:1

mV
CHI/II
TRIG.I/II

Y-POS. II

.2

V
DUAL

10

CH.II
DC
AC
GD

ADD

1M
400Vp-p
max.

CHOP

HOR.
INP.

20

mV

30pF

Fig B.8

1 This is the channel 1 (CH.1) Y amplifier shift or position control. It applies a


direct voltage to the Y plates.

Try this now. Move the trace line up and down.

The effect is that you are applying a signal to the Y plates, only relatively very
slowly. Electronics can do it much faster. Do not try to rotate the knob too quickly
or you may damage the track of the control.

Set the timebase to minimum speed (200ms/div) and try moving the Y1 shift
again. You can almost draw a sinewave, if you are careful, but of course it
dies away very quickly.

349

The Oscilloscope
Appendix B

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Curriculum Manual

Dual Trace Operation


Set the timebase back to high speed at 0.2ms/div and position the trace in the
top half of the screen.

2 Press the button marked DUAL to select both Y traces.

A second trace will now have appeared near to the center of the screen.

3 Move the new trace down to the lower half of the screen with the Y2 shift
control.

Reduce the timebase speed again to 100ms/div.


You will see that the oscilloscope draws the Y1 and Y2 traces alternately.
This is the simplest form of dual mode operation, but is not very satisfactory for
low frequency signal inputs. You would have great difficulty in comparing
waveforms on the two traces.

4 Press the button marked ALT/CHOP (or ADD/CHOP). Both traces are
now drawn simultaneously.

What is happening is that the circuit chops between the two traces very many
times during one scan, so quickly that you cannot see it doing it.
This is the best mode of operation for timebase speeds below 2ms/div.
You will see that operating the ALT/CHOP switch has little effect at timebase
speeds of 2ms/div and above, but the difference is easily observed at 5ms/div and
below.

350

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The Oscilloscope
Appendix B

Voltage Measurements

2
0V
VOLTS/DIV.
0V

Y-POS. I

.5

CH.I
DC
AC
GD
1M

30pF
400Vp-p
max.

VOLTS/DIV.
.5

.2

0V.1

1
2

50

20
10

INV.I

CAL.

mV
CHI/II
TRIG.I/II

.1

50

20
10

10
20

VAR.
2.5:1

Y-POS. II

.2

V
DUAL

10

CH.II
DC
AC
GD

ADD

1M
400Vp-p
max.

CHOP

HOR.
INP.

20

mV

30pF

Fig B.9

1 Set both channel input switches to AC, and

2 both Y amplifier sensitivity switches to 0.1V/div.

3 Plug an oscilloscope probe lead into each of the input sockets.

Adjust the Y shift controls to locate the Y1 trace in the middle of the upper
half of the screen and the Y2 in the lower.
Locate the calibrator (CAL) terminal
lug on the panel just below the
screen and hook the CH.1 probe on.
Note the amplitude given for this
signal besides the terminal(s).
If you have more than one voltage
available, then select the one nearest
to 0.2V.
X-MAG.
X10

CAL.
0.2V
2V

COMPONENT

TESTER

Note: The ground clip is not needed


since this is completed
internally.

Fig B.10

351

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Appendix B

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You will now have a square wave displayed on the upper trace. The vertical edges
of the waveform are so fast that they do not have time to leave any evidence of
their presence. It appears as though the change from negative to positive is
instantaneous. Increasing the brightness to maximum may just show them very
faintly.

Re-adjust for normal intensity.

The waveform should cover two divisions in the vertical direction (2 x 0.1V =
0.2V).

Clip the CH.2 probe on as well.

You now have waveforms displayed on both traces.

Y-POS. I

VOLTS/DIV.
.5

DC
AC
GD
1M

30pF
400Vp-p
max.

.5
.1

CH.I

VOLTS/DIV.

.2

50

20
10

INV.I

CAL.

.1

1
2

50

20
10

10
20

VAR.
2.5:1

mV
CHI/II
TRIG.I/II

Y-POS. II

.2

V
DUAL

10

CH.II
DC
AC
GD

ADD

1M
400Vp-p
max.

CHOP

HOR.
INP.

20

mV

30pF

Fig B.11

352

Press the INVERT 1 button and observe that the CH.1 display is inverted,
the CH.2 trace remaining unaffected.

Increase the CH.1 Y amplifier sensitivity to 50mV/div and observe how


many squares are now covered by the waveform.

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The Oscilloscope
Appendix B

AC/DC Operation
Return both amplifier input switches to the GD (ground) position.
The waveforms are removed.
Using the Y shift (position) controls centralize both traces across the middle
of the screen so that they are overlayed on top of each other.
You should now only be able to see one line.

Return the CH.1 Y amplifier input switch to AC and the waveform


reappears at the center of the screen with the Y2 trace acting as a base (0V)
line.

You are now looking at the AC component of the waveform. However, this
waveform has a DC component equal in amplitude to the peak value of the AC
signal.

Switch the CH.1 Y amplifier input switch to DC.

The waveform moves up to sit on the 0V base line provided by the Y2 trace. The
DC component of the signal is now being passed to the display as well as the AC.
In fact the waveform has two amplitude levels, 0V and 0.2V.
This facility of being able to suppress the DC component if you wish can be very
useful if a small AC component rides on top of a very large DC component. The
AC can be inspected with the amplifier set to a very sensitive setting which would
move the DC component well off the viewable screen area taking the AC
component with it !
Generally speaking, it is better to retain the DC component of any waveform in
the display if you can.

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Frequency Measurement Example


You have already been introduced to this most important aspect of the
oscilloscope's measurement capability.
Let us now use it in practice.
The calibration signal is only intended for checking the sensitivity of the Y
amplifiers and probe compensation.
The frequency of the signal is not precise, and therefore provides us with an
excellent example for practice.

T = Time taken
for one cycle.

Fig B.12

Read off the number of divisions for one complete cycle - T as precisely as
possible along the center line.

Multiply by the setting of the timebase selector to convert this into a time.

Use a calculator to take the inverse (reciprocal

1
) of this to give the
x

frequency.
You should have found a frequency somewhere near 1kHz.

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The Oscilloscope
Appendix B

Trigger

Return the CH.1 Y amplifier input switch to GD and switch the CH.2 input
to AC.

You can see the waveform, but it is not stable. This is because the trigger or
synchronizing facility is automatically allocated to the CH.1 signal until you say
otherwise.

Y-POS. I

VOLTS/DIV.
.5

DC
AC
GD
1M

30pF
400Vp-p
max.

.5
.1

CH.I

VOLTS/DIV.

.2

50

20
10

INV.I

CAL.

.1

1
2

50

20
10

10
20

VAR.
2.5:1

mV
CHI/II
TRIG.I/II

Y-POS. II

.2

V
DUAL

10

CH.II
DC
AC
GD

ADD

1M
400Vp-p
max.

CHOP

HOR.
INP.

20

mV

30pF

Fig B.13

Press the CHI/II TRIG.I/II button.

Trigger control is transferred to the CH.2 input waveform and the signal locks in.
If you now reverse the settings to display the CH.1 waveform with CH.2
grounded, the waveform will be unstable again until you release the CHI/II
TRIG.I/II button again. Automatic triggering is quite a complex operation and it is
worth examining the theory of this a little more closely.

Switch trigger control back to CH.2 to unlock the display.

The displayed trace may be only marginally out of lock, giving a slowly moving
waveform, or it may be considerably out, giving no readable waveform.
Using the timebase fine tuning control (the one with the
arrowhead) try to stop the trace from moving. You will find
that this is very difficult, since the slightest thing will change
the frequency enough to de-synchronize the waveform.

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You will probably find two different settings within the range of the control which
will give you either one complete cycle or one and a half.

Switch control back to CH.1 to lock the trace again.

You find that there are very nearly two complete cycles when the control is in the
properly calibrated position. As the fine timebase control is adjusted when the
waveform is locked, all that happens is that the waveform is stretched or
contracted to display more or less cycles. Note, however, that the trace always
starts with the positive-going edge of the waveform.

Fig B.14

This is the trigger point, at the zero crossing of the test waveform (in a positivegoing direction).
The timebase in the oscilloscope is held off until this point is reached and then
allowed to run. In this way the displayed waveform always starts at the same
point (crossing zero in a positive-going direction) so each successive trace
overlays the previous one and the display appears stationary.
There are several features on the timebase panel which affect the triggering.

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The Oscilloscope
Appendix B

Triggering
3
POWER

X-Y

on/off

X-POS.

TIME/DIV.
SLOPE
+/-

TR

INTENS.

ms

.5 .2 .1

AT/NORM.

50

20

10

10

20
50

5
2

100

FOCUS
TRIGGER
SELECTOR

AC
DC
HF
LF
LINE

200

TRIG. INP.

.5

100Vp-p max.

ms
EXT.

LEVEL

CAL.

Fig B.15

1 AT/NORM. This means Automatic Trigger or NORMal operation. In


automatic triggering (button out) the action is as described above.
With the button pressed the trigger point voltage level is adjustable by the LEVEL
control 2 .
The effect of this is to change the starting point voltage so that the display starts at
any point you choose on the waveform. If you set the level higher or lower than
the extremities of the test waveform then the timebase never triggers and there is
no display, the screen remains blank. With the level button pointing vertically
upwards the trigger point is the zero voltage crossing level.
You cannot see the effect of this control if you only have the calibration waveform
available. The square wave has only two levels, ON or OFF. However, if you have
a signal source with sine or triangular waveform then connect this to one of the Y
channel inputs, adjust for a good display using timebase (X) and sensitivity (Y)
controls, then press the AT/NORM. button and adjust the level control. Observe
the effect and then return the AT/NORM. button to the out position.
The +/- button 3 inverts the display by selecting the zero crossing trigger point
when the waveform is negative going instead of positive.

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With any waveform displayed and locked, press the +/- button and observe.
Return to the out position.

The displayed waveform can be very complex and contain components at many
different frequencies. The automatic trigger circuits are periodic, i.e. they are
sensitive to frequency.
For some displays the trigger circuits may need a little help in the form of
selecting the frequency. The calibration waveform is a middle frequency and any
setting of the TRIGGER SELECTOR 4 except LINE will provide a stable
display. The settings of this selector are:
AC

The alternating component of the test waveform is passed to the trigger


circuits. This will normally cover frequencies from DC to 10MHz.

DC

The DC component passes to the trigger circuits. To use this facility


NORMal triggering must be selected.

HF

Frequencies above 10MHz.

LF

Frequencies below 1kHz. This would normally be used with a complex


wave containing many frequency components where you wish to lock on
to the low frequency component(s) rather than the high, such as an
amplitude modulated carrier wave as used in radio communication.

LINE Many oscilloscopes are used for television servicing, so many are provided
with line synchronizing pulse separators to lock onto these pulses which
define the termination of each line of the picture.

picture
information

line
sync.
pulse
Fig B.16 Television Waveform

358

line
sync.
pulse

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The Oscilloscope
Appendix B

This function will only lock on to short duration (5s) negative-going pulses. It
will sometimes be required to examine waveforms which are too weak to provide
a satisfactory signal to the trigger circuits so that automatic triggering cannot be
achieved.
An alternative source of higher voltage waveform(s) at the same frequency will
often be available.
This alternative source can be fed in directly to the trigger as an "external" trigger
source so that a weak but stable display can be achieved. The EXT. TRIG. button
5 selects this function, but at the same time switches off the internal, automatic
triggering.

Press the EXT. TRIG. button and note that the display is no longer locked.

Take the probe from the CH.2 input and plug it into the EXT. TRIG. input
socket 6 . Couple this to the cal. signal.

Note that the display is again locked and that all of the other triggering functions
can be selected with this input.

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Appendix B

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Component Tester
Many oscilloscopes are provided with this most valuable facility, which enables
the instant display of the characteristics of many electronic components.
An alternating voltage is applied to the component under test and also to the X
plates of the oscilloscope. The current drawn flows in a series resistor mounted
inside the oscilloscope, developing a volt drop across it which is proportional to
the current drawn. This is applied to the Y plates.
The instantaneous values of both voltage applied and current drawn are therefore
plotted.

X-MAG.
X10

CAL.
0.2V
2V

COMPONENT

TESTER

test
component

Fig B.17

Connect the component to be tested as in Fig B.17 above. Testmeter leads


will be ideal for this purpose.

Press the Component Tester button (arrowed).

The characteristic will immediately be displayed.

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The Oscilloscope
Appendix B

With no component connected the display will be the characteristic of an open


circuit, no current, whatever the voltage.
A lead connected between the two terminal sockets indicated will be a short
circuit. Can you anticipate the display?
Here are a few other samples:

Fig B.18

This facility is very useful when troubleshooting.


By now you should feel more confident in the use of your oscilloscope. You will
find it an invaluable instrument in future investigations of electronic circuits.

361

The Oscilloscope
Appendix B

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