Edited by Brad Thompson


The best of
8 Check it out at:

design ideas

Impedance transformer flags failed fuse
Kevin Ackerley, Future Electronics, Vancouver, BC, Canada
C2 VCC TOROIDAL 5-TO-1 igure 1 depicts a circuit that detects 10 nF CONNECTOR TRANSFORMER the opening of a miniature circuit R1 TO LOAD breaker or high-rupture-capability CIRCUIT 100k fuse in a high-reliability telecommunicaR5 L2 + L1 3.3k IC1 tions power supply. The circuit generates AD8606 an alarm when a failure changes the imT1 _ C4 R4 pedance of an electromagnetic sensor. 470 nF R2 10k Traditional fault-detection circuits sense 100k the voltage difference developed across VCC LOGIC C3 an open fuse, leakage current flowing D1 OUT 100 nF 1N4148 through a fused circuit, or closure of an R3 D3 R9 + 470 auxiliary (volts-free) contact by an actu1N4148 47k IC2 D2 ator fuse. All three methods suffer from AD8606 Q1 R6 1N4148 _ C1 C5 disadvantages: Voltage-difference circuits 2N3904 100k R8 R7 100 nF 100 nF 10k 4.7k can introduce unacceptable delays as long as 30 minutes because the system’s batteries sustain the bus voltage. Leakagecurrent sensors rely on the presence Figure 1 This sensor circuit operates from a single 5V power supply. of a load that may not be present under certain conditions. Adding auxiliary miniature-circuit-breaker support cir- Under normal operation, an intact fuse which in turn drives a peak detector cuits or special high-rupture-capability or closed circuit breaker completes a low- formed by D3 and C5. Transistor Q1 satuindicator fuses and their connectors can impedance path through T1’s single-turn rates and provides a logic-low signal to an primary (sense) winding. Transformer external alarm. Figure 2 shows a typical significantly increase system cost. Capacitor C4 and the secondary in- action presents a low impedance at the application for sensing backup-batteryductance, L2, of transformer T1 resonate junction of C2, C4, and R5 and reduces the circuit failure. at approximately 42 kHz, a frequency that loop gain around IC1 to an amount To design transformer T1, you calcuminimizes noise production in the audio, insufficient to sustain RF, and psophometric noise bands. Op- oscillation. When a fault occurs erational amplifier IC1 and associated TOROIDAL components form an ac-coupled posi- and interrupts current TRANSFORMER SYSTEM EARTH tive-feedback amplifier with a gain of 20. through T1’s primary + CUSTOMER'S winding, its secondary BATTERY + L0AD STRING 1 impedance increases, allowing full loop gain Impedance transformer flags RECTIFIER 1 – failed fuse ........................................................67 and permitting IC1 to oscillate at 42 kHz, LVD1 Digital waveform generator provides BACKPLANE FUSE which L2 and C4 deterLOAD FUSE flexible frequency tuning for mine. Under fault consensor measurement ....................................68 ditions, T1’s turns ratio BATTERY SHUNT Battery-operated remote-temperature LVD2 LOAD SHUNT injects less than 10 mV sensor drives 4- to 20-mA current loop ....70 of wideband conductPrecision current source ed noise into the dc is software-programmable ..........................72 bus. Capacitor C3 The system wiring diagram shows transformer Figure 2 Publish your Design Idea in EDN. See the couples the oscilT1’s primary winding. Low-voltage-disconnect What’s Up section at lating signal to IC2, a units LVD1 and LVD2 isolate the 48V battery or the customer’s gain-of-3 amplifier, load for maintenance.


December 17, 2004 | edn 67



late the required impedance and turns ratio. Equation 1 describes the basic transformer relationship: (1)

ELEVATION where Z1 is the impedance of the primary winding, Z2 is the impedance of the secondary winding N1 is the number of primary turns, and N2 is the number of secondary turns. Figure 3 Under normal operation with current flowing in the primary winding, The primary winding (battery cable) passes through transformer T1’s center. the secondary impedance comprises the low primary-side impedance plus T1’s teration of T1’s design, but if that data is Also, select a core material that doesn’t leakage reactance. When no current unavailable, you can use Equation 3 to saturate at full primary current. flows in the primary winding, the num- calculate the inductance. Note that the core’s central area must ber of turns in the secondary and the provide clearance for the battery cable (3) toroidal core AL (inductance per turn) (primary winding) and secondary winddetermine the secondary winding L2’s ing. This application uses a Philips 3C85 inductance and number of turns per where e, the effective permeability, equals toroidal ferrite core (part no. TN 16/9.6/ Equation 2: the magnetic constant, 4 10 7Hm 1, I 6.3-3C85) with a secondary winding comis the path length, and A is the cross-sec- prising five turns of 0.2-mm2 insulated (2) copper wire. (Philips, however, has distional area in millimeters squared. Select a core that presents a high val- continued the 3C85 ferrite core. Ferroxwhere N2 is the number of turns around ue of inductance to ensure that the dif- cube’s type 3C90 ferrite may serve as a rethe toroidal core. ference between an open and a closed placement. Specifications are available at Ferrite-core manufacturers publish in- primary circuit causes a large change in Figure 3 shows the ductance-per-turndata that simplifies al- relative secondary-winding impedance. completed transformer.

Digital waveform generator provides flexible frequency tuning for sensor measurement
Colm Slattery, Analog Devices, Limerick, Ireland


ariable-resistance senfrequency and measuring SENSOR ASSEMBLY MOVING OBJECT sors convert a fixed dc exchanges in the phase or amplicitation voltage or current tude of output voltage V2 with respect to excitation voltage into a current or voltage that’s a C L V1. However, this approach straightforward funcFigure 1 limits the sensor’s dynamic tion of the quantity unV1 REFERENCE range and resolution. dergoing measurement. In anVOLTAGE EXCITATION As an alternative, you can other class of sensors, moving VOLTAGE drive the sensor with a sweptobjects or fluids produce a senR V2 SENSOR frequency ac source that tracks sor signal by altering an LC cirOUTPUT the sensor’s resonant-frequencuit’s inductance or capacitance. cy variation. Figure 2 shows Figure 1 shows a basic ac-driven one approach in which IC1, a tuned-circuit proximity sensor, The amplitude and phase of the resonant-circuit sensor’s output DDS (direct-digital synthesis) L and C, and sampling resistor, voltage, V2, vary with moving object’s position. device, produces a sine-wave R. Under static conditions, L and C resonate and provide maximum im- C varies and alters the circuit’s resonant excitation voltage. Lowpass filter IC2 repedance at one frequency. As an object frequency. You can derive the object’s po- moves clock artifacts and harmonics, and approaches the sensor, the value of L or sition by exciting the sensor with a fixed amplifier IC3 drives the sensor.

68 edn | December 17, 2004



er IC4 boosts the sensor’s output voltage, VDD V2, and drives IC5, a dual-channel, 12-bit AMPLIFIER ADC,which simultaneously samples and CLOCK IC2 IC3 IC1 VOUT digitizes reference voltage V1 and IC4’s LOWPASS AD8XX AD9833 output. IC5, a DSP-capable microconFILTER SCLK FSYNC SDI troller, analyzes the sensor output’s amplitude and phase, setting the frequency V1 VDD REFERENCE VDD VOLTAGE of IC1 via alternate programming of either of IC1’s dual frequency-control regVDRIVE SENSOR isters. One of IC6’s serial ports delivers IC5 SPI position data to an external controller. DOA DR0 VA1 IC6 DOB DR1 Using a DDS/DSP combination offers V2 IC4 VA2 ADSP-218X SCLK SCLKO SERIAL AD8XX considerable flexibility when using varCS TFSO DATA SERIAL PORT 0 SIGNAL OUT AD7866 ious types of sensors. For example, cerVOLTAGE AMPLIFIER tain sensors require a relatively narrow but high-resolution range of Figure 2 excitation frequencies, and others may work best with broadly swept A swept-frequency source and a DSP controller combine to offer a versatile sensorexcitation system. excitation.

Battery-operated remote-temperature sensor drives 4- to 20-mA current loop
Scot Lester, Texas Instruments, Dallas, TX


ou can remotely measure temperature using a 4- to 20-mA current loop as long as 4000 feet and a battery-powered, white-light LED driver. You usually configure this equipment to provide a programmable, constant current to an LED from a battery source. The
R1 51.1k

TPS62300 series of ICs, for example, converts a battery voltage of 2.7 to 6.5V into a constant current, which you program using an external resistor and voltage on its ISET pin. The current that normally drives the LED instead powers the loop (Figure 1).

In the sample circuit, which occupies 50 mm2, the LED driver drives the 4- to 20-mA current loop proportionate to a sensed temperature of 10 C at 4 mA and 50 C at 20 mA. The driver applies 0.6V to the ISET pin and monitors current flow from the pin. This current is multi-

2 IN



V+ 0.1 F

R2 29.4k

0.1 F 3 + IC3 5 1 VISET 2 RISET 6.49k

IC4 TPS60230RGT 1 I 2 SET 3 4 5 6 7

1 F


4 _

4 5 IC1

2 1

R3 150k

R4 100k C8 0.015 F

16 EN2 15 EN1 14 GND 13 VIN 12 C2 11 C1 10 C1+ 9 C2+ 0.47 F 0.47 F



GND 17

Figure 1
In this circuit, the LED driver drives the 4- to 20-mA current loop proportionate to a sensed temperature of 10 C at 4 mA and 50 C at 20 mA.


70 edn | December 17, 2004


REF2912 voltage reference, IC2, with the OPA374 op amp to scale the output of the TMP36 to the required voltage for the LED driver, IC4. In general terms, the current in the current loop for the circuit is: loops with as much as 180 of resistance with battery voltages as low as 2.7V. Therefore, the LED driver can drive more than 1500 feet of 24 AWG or 4000 feet of 20 AWG twisted-pair wire with a 100 load resistor at the receiver. You can achieve much longer distances with higher battery voltages. Because this circuit powers the current loop, the battery life for these circuits depends on the measured temperature. For the circuit shown, a loop current of 13.3 mA corresponds to a measured temperature of 25 C. Therefore, using two AA alkaline batteries in series should provide more than 120 hours of remote-temperature monitoring at room temperature. The accuracy for the circuit is about 2.5% of full scale without any calibration. For tighter accuracy, reduce the range of the measured temperature or calibrate the output.

plied by 260 and mirrored to the LED drive output:

Because resistor RISET, which is tied to the ISET pin, is fixed in the example, the output current is proportional to the voltage, VISET, which the output of op amp IC3 determines. Using a 6.49-k resistor for RISET means that VISET needs to be 0.1V to provide 20 mA of loop current and 0.5V to provide 4 mA. The TMP36 temperature sensor, IC1, provides 750 mV of output at 25 C and varies its output voltage by 10 mV/ C. The output of the TMP36 is 0.4V at 10 C and 1V at 50 C. Because these voltages do not directly match the voltage requirements of VISET, you use a

Substituting for the component values shown in the figure yields:

The output of the LED driver can drive

Precision current source is software-programmable
Joe Neubauer, Maxim Integrated Products Inc, Sunnyvale, CA
ith the addition of a few inex- to these devices, besides the hard-wired resistor. The voltage across RSENSE deterpensive miniature components, type, can be one, two, or three wires. IC1, mines current through the pass transisthe hard-wired, voltage-controlled for example, has a three-wire SPI inter- tor, ISET: ISET (VCC - VIN )/RSENSE. The circuit can provide any current levcurrent source of yesterday becomes a face, and provides an end-to-end resistsoftware-programmable voltage-con- ance of 50 k with 256 incremental set- el for which the external components, trolled current source (Figure 1). A digi- tings. Thus, each increment of the digital RSENSE and the pass transistor, can handle the associated power dissipation (P IV). tal potentiometer, IC1 in conjunction potentiometer changes VIN by: with a precision op amp, IC2, sets current Because the ratio setting of digital potenthrough a pass transistor, ISET, and a shunt tiometers is good, with a typical ratioregulator, IC3, provides a constant refermetric resistor temperature coefficient of ence voltage across the digital poten5 ppm/ C), precision and stability for the tiometer. By operating in its linear region, Op amp IC2 regulates current through current source depend primarily on the the transistor controls load current in re- the pass transistor, and the digital poten- precision and stability of IC3 and RSENSE sponse to the applied gate voltage. Each tiometer sets current through the RSENSE combined. incremental step of the digital potenVCC tiometer increases or decreases the wiper RSENSE voltage, VIN , at the op amp’s ISET Figure 1 SHUNT noninverting input. Thus, VIN MAX6138 IC3 varies with respect to the reference voltGND _ age, which in turn remains stable with reIC2 spect to the supply rail: MAX5400 P MAX4165 V


Many types of digital potentiometer are currently available, and the interface

This softwareprogrammable current source applies current to the load in 256 equal increments.





72 edn | December 17, 2004

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful