NATIONAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Amafel Building, Aguinaldo Highway Dasmariñas City, Cavite
Experiment No. 3 ACTIVE LOWPASS and HIGHPASS FILTERS
Bani, Arviclyn C. Signal Spectra and Signal Processing/BSECE 41A1
July 14, 2011 Score:
Engr. Grace Ramones Instructor
OBJECTIVES:

Plot the gainfrequency response and determine the cutoff frequency of a 

secondorder (twopole) lowpass active filter. Plot the gainfrequency response and determine the cutoff frequency of a 

secondorder (twopole) highpass active filter. Determine the rolloff in dB per decade for a secondorder (twopole) filter. 

Plot the phasefrequency response of a secondorder (twopole) filter. 
SAMPLE COMPUTATIONS:
Computation of voltage gain based on measured value:
Step 3 

A _{d}_{B} = 20 log A 

4.006 
= 20 log A 

4.006 

10 
^{2}^{0} =A=1.586 

Step 14 

A _{d}_{B} = 20 
log A 

3.776 = 20 log A 

3.776 

10 
^{2}^{0} =A 
A = 1.54
Computation of voltage gain based on circuit:
Step 4
A _{v} =1+ ^{R} R ^{1}
2
_{=}_{1}_{+} 5.86 kΩ
10kΩ
=1.586
Computation of percentage difference:
Q in Step 4
Q in Step 6
difference= _{} ^{1}^{.}^{5}^{8}^{6}^{−}^{1}^{.}^{5}^{8}^{6} _{} x100=0
1.586
_{d}_{i}_{f}_{f}_{e}_{r}_{e}_{n}_{c}_{e}_{=}  5.321 kHz−5.305 k Hz
5.321kHz
_{} x 100=0.30
Q in Step 15
difference= _{} ^{1}^{.}^{5}^{4}^{−}^{1}^{.}^{5}^{8}^{6} _{} x100=2.98
1.54
Computation of cutoff frequency:
Step 6 and 17
f c
=
1 = 2 πRC 2π (30kΩ)(0.001 μF) ^{=}^{5}^{.}^{3}^{0}^{5} ^{k}^{H}^{z}
1
Step 11
^{f} c
=
1 = 2 πRC 2 π (1k Ω)(1 pF) ^{=}^{1}^{5}^{9}^{.}^{1}^{5}^{4}^{9} ^{M}^{H}^{z}
1
DATA SHEET:
MATERIALS One function generator One dualtrace oscilloscope One LM741 opamp Capacitors: two 0.001 µF, one 1 pF Resistors: one 1kΩ, one 5.86 kΩ, two 10kΩ, two 30 kΩ
THEORY In electronic communications systems, it is often necessary to separate a specific range of frequencies from the total frequency spectrum. This is normally accomplished with filters. A filter is a circuit that passes a specific range of frequencies while rejecting other frequencies. Active filters use active devices such as opamps combined with passive elements. Active filters have several advantages over passive filters. The passive elements provide frequency selectivity and the active devices provide voltage gain, high input impedance, and low output impedance. The voltage gain reduces attenuation of the signal by the filter, the high input prevents excessive loading of the source, and the low output impedance prevents the filter from being affected by the load. Active filters are also easy to adjust over a wide frequency range without altering the desired response. The weakness of active filters is the upperfrequency limit due to the limited openloop bandwidth (f _{u}_{n}_{i}_{t}_{y} ) of opamps. The filter cutoff frequency cannot exceed the unity gain frequency (f _{u}_{n}_{i}_{t}_{y} ) of the opamp. Ideally, a highpass filter should pass all frequencies above the cutoff frequency (f _{c} ). Because opamps have a limited open loop bandwidth (unitygain frequency, f _{u}_{n}_{i}_{t}_{y} ), highpass active filters have an upper frequency limit on the highpass response, making it appear as a bandpass filter with a very wide bandwidth. Therefore, active filters must be used in applications where the unitygain frequency (f _{u}_{n}_{i}_{t}_{y} ) of the opamp is high enough so that it does not fall within the frequency range of the application. For this reason, active filters are mostly used in lowfrequency applications. The most common way to describe the frequency response characteristics of a filter is to plot the filter voltage gain (V _{o} /V _{i}_{n} ) in dB as a function of frequency (f). The frequency at which the output power gain drops to 50% of the maximum value is called the cutoff frequency (f _{c} ). When the output power gain drops to 50%, the voltage gain drops 3 dB (0.707 of the maximum value). When the filter dB voltage gain is plotted as a function of frequency using straight lines to approximate the actual frequency response, it is called a Bode plot. A Bode plot is an ideal plot of filter frequency response because it assumes that the voltage gain remains constant in the passband until the cutoff frequency is reached, and then drops in a straight line. The filter network voltage gain in dB is calculated from the actual voltage gain (A) using the equation
where A = V _{o} /V _{i}_{n} .
A _{d}_{B} = 20 log A
An ideal filter has an instantaneous rolloff at the cutoff frequency (f _{c} ), with full signal level on one side of the cutoff frequency. Although the ideal is not achievable, actual filters rolloff at 20 dB/decade or higher depending on the type of filter. The 20 dB/decade rolloff is obtained with a onepole filter (one RC circuit). A twopole filter has two RC circuits tuned to the same cutoff frequency and rolls off at 40 dB/decade. Each additional pole (RC circuit) will cause the filter to roll off an additional 20 dB/decade. In a onepole filter, the phase between the input and the output will change by 90 degrees over the frequency range and be 45
degrees at the cutoff frequency. In a twopole filter, the phase will change by 180 degrees over the frequency range and be 90 degrees at the cutoff frequency.
Three basic types of response characteristics that can be realized with most active filters are Butterworth, Chebyshev, and Bessel, depending on the selection of certain filter component values. The Butterworth filter provides a flat amplitude response in the passband and a rolloff of 20 dB/decade/pole with a nonlinear phase response. Because of the nonlinear phase response, a pulse waveshape applied to the input of a Butterworth filter will have an overshoot on the output. Filters with a Butterworth response are normally used in applications where all frequencies in the passband must have the same gain. The Chebyshev filter provides a ripple amplitude response in the passband and a rolloff better than 20 dB/decade/pole with a less linear phase response than the Butterworth filter. Filters with a Chebyshev response are most useful when a rapid rolloff is required. The Bessel filter provides a flat amplitude response in the passband and a rolloff of less than 20 dB/decade/pole with a linear phase response. Because of its linear phase response, the Bessel filter produces almost no overshoot on the output with a pulse input. For this reason, filters with a Bessel response are the most effective for filtering pulse waveforms without distorting the waveshape. Because of its maximally flat response in the passband, the Butterworth filter is the most widely used active filter.
A secondorder (twopole) active lowpass Butterworth filter is shown in Figure 31. Because it is a twopole (two RC circuits) lowpass filter, the output will rolloff 40 dB/decade at frequencies above the cutoff frequency. A secondorder (twopole) active highpass Butterworth filter is shown in Figure 32. Because it is a twopole (two RC circuits) highpass filter, the output will rolloff 40 dB/decade at frequencies below the cutoff frequency. These twopole SallenKey Butterworth filters require a passband voltage gain of 1.586 to produce the Butterworth response. Therefore,
1+¿ ^{R} _{R} ^{1} =1.586
2
A _{v} =¿ 

and 

R 1 
=0.586 

R 2 
At the cutoff frequency of both filters, the capacitive reactance of each capacitor (C) is equal to the resistance of each resistor (R), causing the output voltage to be 0.707 times the input voltage (3 dB). The expected cutoff frequency (f _{c} ), based on the circuit component values, can be calculated from
X
_{c} =R
1
2 π
_{f} _{c} _{C} ^{=}^{R}
wherein,
^{f} c
=
1
2 πRC
FIGURE 3 – 1Secondorder (2pole) SallenKey LowPass Butterworth Filter
FIGURE 3 – 2Secondorder (2pole) SallenKey HighPass Butterworth Filter
LowPass Active Filter
PROCEDURE
Step 1
Open circuit file FIG 31. Make sure that the following Bode plotter settings
are selected: Magnitude, Vertical (Log, F = 10dB, I = 40dB), Horizontal
Step 2
(Log, F = 100 kHz, I = 100 Hz).
Run the simulation. Notice that the voltage gain has been plotted between
the frequencies of 100 Hz and 100 kHz by the Bode plotter. Draw the curve
plot in the space provided. Next, move the cursor to the flat part of the
curve at a frequency of approximately 100 Hz and measure the voltage
Question:
gain in dB. Record the dB gain on the curve plot.
AdB 

dB gain = 4.006 dB 

Is the frequency response curve that of a lowpass filter? Explain why. f 

Yes it frequency response curve that of a lowpass filter. It allows all 
the frequencies below the cutoff frequency and rejects above cutoff
Step 3
Step 4
frequencies.
Calculate the actual voltage gain (A) from the measured dB gain.
A = 1.586
Based
on
the circuit
component values in Figure 31, calculate the
expected voltage gain (A) on the flat part of the curve for the lowpass
Butterworth filter.
A = 1.586
θ = 90.941
Question:
Was the phase shift between input and output at the cutoff frequency what
you expected for a twopole lowpass filter?
Yes, because I am expecting a 90 ^{o} phase at the cutoff frequency.
Step 10
Click Magnitude on the plotter. Change R to 1 kΩ in both places and C to 1
pF in both places. Adjust the horizontal final frequency (F) on the Bode plotter to 20
MHz. Run the simulation. Measure the cutoff frequency (fc) and record your answer.
fc = 631.367 kHz
Step 11 
Based on the new values for resistor R and capacitor C, calculate the new 
cutoff frequency (fc). 

fc = 159.1549 MHz 

Question: 
Explain why there was such a large difference between the calculated and 
the measured values of the cutoff frequency when R = 1kΩ and C = 1pF. Hint: The
value of the unitygain bandwidth, f _{u}_{n}_{i}_{t}_{y} , for the 741 opamp is approximately 1 MHz.
Because of the active filter’s upperfrequency limit there is a large
difference between the calculated and measured cutoff frequency.
The filter cutoff frequency should not exceed the unitygain
frequency f _{u}_{n}_{i}_{t}_{y} .
HighPass Active Filter
Step 12 Open circuit file FIG 32. Make sure that the following Bode plotter settings
are selected: Magnitude, Vertical (Log, F = 10dB, I = 40dB), Horizontal
(Log, F = 100 kHz, I = 100 Hz).
Step 13 Run the simulation. Notice that the voltage gain has been plotted between
the frequencies of 100 Hz and 100 kHz by the Bode plotter. Draw the curve
plot in the space provided. Next, move the cursor to the flat part of the
curve at a frequency of approximately 100 kHz and measure the voltage
gain in dB. Record the dB gain on the curve plot.
AdB
dB gain = 3.776 dB
f
Question: 
Is the frequency response curve that of a highpass filter? Explain why. 
Yes it is a highpass filter. If the frequency is within the limit of f _{u}_{n}_{i}_{t}_{y} it 

will allow all the frequencies above the cutoff frequency and rejects 

frequencies below the cutoff frequency. 

Step 14 
Calculate the actual voltage gain (A) from the measured dB gain. 
A = 1.54
Step 15 
Based 
on 
the circuit component values in Figure 32, calculate the 

expected voltage gain (A) on the flat part of the curve for the high pass 

Butterworth filter. 

A _{v} = 1.586 

Question: 
How did the measured voltage gain in Step 14 compare with the calculated 

voltage gain in Step 15? 

The percentage difference is 2.98%. They are almost equal. 

Step 16 
Move the cursor as close as possible to a point on the curve that is 3dB 

down from the dB gain at the high frequencies. Record the dB gain and 

the frequency (cutoff frequency, f _{c} ) on the curve plot. 

dB gain = 0.741 dB 
f _{c} = 5.156 kHz 

Step 17 
Calculate 
the expected 
cutoff 
frequency 
(f _{c} ) 
based 
on 
the 
circuit 

component values. 

fc = 5305.16477 Hz 

Question: 
How did the calculated value of the cutoff frequency compare with the 

measured value recorded on the curve plot for the twopole lowpass 

active filter? 

Almost the same. The values have a percent difference of 2.89%. 

Step 18 
Move the cursor to a point on the curve where the frequency is as close as 

possible to onetenth fc. Record the dB gain and frequency (f _{c} ) on the 

curve plot. 

dB gain = 36.489 dB 
f _{c} = 515.619 Hz 

Questions: 
Approximately how much did the dB gain decrease for a onedecade 

decrease in frequency? Was this what you expected for a twopole filter? 

The rolloff is ^{≅} 40 dB. This is expected for a twopole filter. 

Step 19 
Change the horizontal axis final setting (F) to 50 MHz on the Bode plotter. 

Run the simulation. Draw the curve plot in the space provided. 

AdB 

Step 20 
Measure the upper cutoff frequency (fc2) and record the value on the 

curve plot. 
fC _{2} = 92.595 kHz
f
Question: Explain why the filter frequency response looked like a bandpass response
when frequencies above 1 MHz were plotted. Hint: The value of the unity
gain bandwidth, f _{u}_{n}_{i}_{t}_{y} , for the 741 opamp is approximately 1 MHz
The curve response is like a bandpass response because active
filters has an upper frequency limit on the highpass response.
CONCLUSION:
I conclude that active filters opamps and other passive elements. Active
filters have several advantages over passive filter such as providing a frequency
selectivity voltage gain, high input impedance, and low output impedance. Active
filter and passive filter frequency response appear alike however because of the
limited openloop of the opamp, active filters appears like a bandpass filter in
upperfrequency.
The capacitor and resistor is inversely proportional to the cutoff frequency.
These affect the active filter a lot. The filter cutoff frequency cannot exceed the
unitygain frequency of the opamp.
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