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TECHNOLOGY

Amafel Building, Aguinaldo Highway Dasmarias City, Cavite

Experiment No. 3

ACTIVE LOW-PASS and HIGH-PASS FILTERS

2011

Signal Spectra and Signal Processing/BSECE 41A1

July 14,

Score:

Instructor

OBJECTIVES:

Plot the gain-frequency response and determine the cutoff frequency of

Determine the roll-off in dB per decade for a second-order (two-pole)

filter.

Plot the phase-frequency response of a second-order (two-pole) filter.

SAMPLE COMPUTATIONS:

Step 3 Computation of voltage gain based on measured value:

AdB = 20 log A

4.006 = 20 log A

10

4.006

20

= A=1.586

A v =1+

R1

5.86 k

=1+

=1.586

R2

10 k

|1.5861.586

|x 100=0

1.586

difference=

f c=

1

1

=

=5.305 kHz

2 RC 2 ( 30 k ) ( 0.001 F )

kHz

|5.321 kHz5.305

|x 100=0.30

5.321 kHz

%difference=

-36.146 dB 0.968 dB = -37.106 dB

Step 14 Calculated the actual voltage gain (A) from the dB gain

10

3.776

20

=A

A = 1.54

Step 15 Computation of expected voltage gain based on circuit:

A v =1+

R1

5.86 k

=1+

=1.586

R2

10 k

|1.541.586

|x 100=2.98

1.54

difference=

f c=

1

1

=

=5.305 kHz

2 RC 2 ( 30 k ) ( 0.001 F )

|5.1565.307

|x 100=2.87

5.156

difference=

-36.489 dB 0.741 dB = -37.23 dB

DATA SHEET:

MATERIALS

One function generator

One dual-trace oscilloscope

One LM741 op-amp

Capacitors: two 0.001 F, one 1 pF

Resistors: one 1k, one 5.86 k, two 10k, two 30 k

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 op-amps 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 upper-frequency limit due to the limited open-loop

bandwidth (funity) of op-amps. The filter cutoff frequency cannot exceed the

unity-gain frequency (funity) of the op-amp. Ideally, a high-pass filter should

pass all frequencies above the cutoff frequency (f c). Because op-amps have a

limited open-loop bandwidth (unity-gain frequency, f unity), high-pass active

filters have an upper-frequency limit on the high-pass response, making it

appear as a band-pass filter with a very wide bandwidth. Therefore, active

filters must be used in applications where the unity-gain frequency (f unity) of

the op-amp 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/Vin) 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

from the actual voltage gain (A) using the equation

AdB = 20 log A

where A = Vo/Vin.

An ideal filter has an instantaneous roll-off 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 roll-off at -20 dB/decade or higher depending on

the type of filter. The -20 dB/decade roll-off is obtained with a one-pole filter

(one R-C circuit). A two-pole filter has two R-C circuits tuned to the same

cutoff frequency and rolls off at -40 dB/decade. Each additional pole (R-C

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 two-pole 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 roll-off of -20 dB/decade/pole

with a nonlinear phase response. Because of the nonlinear phase response, a

pulse wave shape 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 roll-off 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 roll-off is required. The Bessel filter

provides a flat amplitude response in the passband and a roll-off 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 wave shape.

Because of its maximally flat response in the passband, the Butterworth filter

is the most widely used active filter.

A second-order (two-pole) active low-pass Butterworth filter is shown in

Figure 3-1. Because it is a two-pole (two R-C circuits) low-pass filter, the

output will roll-off -40 dB/decade at frequencies above the cutoff frequency. A

second-order (two-pole) active high-pass Butterworth filter is shown in Figure

3-2. Because it is a two-pole (two R-C circuits) high-pass filter, the output will

roll-off -40 dB/decade at frequencies below the cutoff frequency. These two-

to produce the Butterworth response. Therefore,

1+ RR =1.586

A v =

1

2

and

R1

=0.586

R2

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 (fc), based on the circuit component values, can be

calculated from

X c =R

1

=R

2fcC

wherein,

f c=

1

2 RC

FIGURE 3 1

Filter

FIGURE 3 2

Filter

PROCEDURE

Low-Pass Active Filter

Step 1

Open circuit file FIG 3-1. 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 2

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 gain in dB. Record the dB gain on the curve

plot.

AdB

dB gain = 4.006 dB

Question:

why.

The response curve shown above is a low-pass filter response.

I said so because low-pass filter only allows the frequencies

below the cutoff frequency and block the frequencies above

the cutoff frequency.

Step 3

gain.

A = 1.586

Step 4

expected voltage gain (A) on the flat part of the curve for the lowpass Butterworth filter.

A = 1.586

Question:

How did the measured voltage gain in Step 3 compared with the

calculated voltage gain in Step 4?

There is no difference between the measured voltage gain and

the calculated voltage gain.

Step 5

3dB down from the dB gain at the low frequencies. Record the dB

gain and the frequency (cutoff frequency, fc) on the curve plot.

dB gain= 0.968 dB

fc = 5.321 kHz

Step 6

component values.

fc = 5.305 kHz

Question:

How did the calculated value for the cutoff frequency compare with

the measured value recorded on the curve plot for the two-pole lowpass active filter

The difference between the calculated cutoff frequency and

the measured value has 0.30%. They are almost equal.

Step 7

close as possible to ten times fc. Record the dB gain and frequency

(fc) on the curve plot.

dB gain = -36.146 dB

fc = 53.214 kHz

Questions: Approximately how much did the dB gain decrease for a one-decade

increase in frequency? Was this what you expected for a two-pole

filter?

The dB gain decrease approximately 37.106 dB for a onedecade increase in frequency I am expecting 40 dB decrease

per decade increase in frequency.

Step 8

Click Phase on the Bode plotter to plot the phase curve. Change the

vertical axis initial value (I) to 180 degrees and the final value (F) to

0 degree. Run the simulation again. You are looking at the phase

difference () between the filter input and output wave shapes as a

function of frequency (f). Draw the curve plot in the space provided.

Step 9

frequency (fc). Record the frequency (fc) and phase () on the curve.

fc = 5.321 kHz

= -90.941

Question:

Was the phase shift between input and output at the cutoff

frequency what you expected for a two-pole low-pass filter?

what I expected because the phase at cutoff frequency is 90o

Step 10

Click Magnitude on the plotter. Change R to 1 k 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 = 1k and C

= 1pF. Hint: The value of the unity-gain bandwidth, f unity, for the 741 op-amp is

approximately 1 MHz.

There is a large difference between the calculated and

measured value because the cutoff frequency exceed the

unity-gain frequency of the op-amp. And op-amp has a limited

open-loop bandwidth that causes the active filter to have an

upper-frequency limit.

Step 12

Step 13

Open circuit file FIG 3-2. 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).

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

Question:

why.

The response curve shown above is a high-pass filter response.

I said so because high-pass filter only allows the frequencies

above the cutoff frequency and block the frequencies below

the cutoff frequency.

Step 14

Calculate the actual voltage gain (A) from the measured dB gain.

A = 1.54

Step 15

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

-pass Butterworth filter.

Av = 1.586

Question:

How did the measured voltage gain in Step 14 compare with the

calculated voltage gain in Step 15?

The measured voltage gain and the calculated voltage gain

has a percentage difference of 2.98%. Yet, it is still

approximately the equal.

Step 16

3dB down from the dB gain at the high frequencies. Record the dB

gain and the frequency (cutoff frequency, fc) on the curve plot.

dB gain = 0.741 dB

Step 17

fc = 5.156 kHz

component values.

fc = 5.305 kHz

Question:

How did the calculated value of the cutoff frequency compare with

the measured value recorded on the curve plot for the two-pole lowpass active filter?

They are almost equal. The percentage difference between the

calculated and measured value is 2.89%

Step 18

close as possible to one-tenth fc. Record the dB gain and frequency

(fc) on the curve plot.

dB gain = -36.489 dB

fc = 515.619 Hz

Questions: Approximately how much did the dB gain decrease for a one-decade

decrease in frequency? Was this what you expected for a two-pole

filter?

It decreases 37.23 dB per decade. It is approximate -40 dB per

decade so it was what I am expecting.

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.

fc2 = 92.595 kHz

Question:

response when frequencies above 1 MHz were plotted. Hint: The

value of the unity-gain bandwidth, funity, for the 741 op-amp is

approximately 1 MHz

The filter frequency response appears like a band-pass filter

because the cutoff frequency exceeds the unity-gain frequency

limit on the high-pass response.

CONCLUSION

After performing the experiment, I conclude that active filter uses

op-amps and other passive elements. This filter has several advantages

over the passive filter such as providing a frequency selectivity, voltage

gain, high input impedance, and low output impedance.

However, the

of the limited open-loop funity of the op-amp.

I also notice that the frequency response curve of passive and active

filters appear the same except in high-pass response. In high-pass

response, the frequency looked like a band-pass filter because of the f unity

of the op-amp.

I also notice that two-pole filter which has two R-C circuits rolls-off at

approximately -40 dB per decade. Furthermore, this filter has a phase

frequency response of 90 degrees at the cutoff frequency and 180 degrees

over the frequency range.

Lastly, the circuit we have performed is a Butterworth filter because

it has a passband voltage gain of 1.586. That is why the curve has a flat

amplitude response in the passband and then rolls-off at approximately

-40dB per decade.

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