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RC-coupling

The most commonly used coupling in amplifiers is RC coupling. An RC-coupling network is shown in the illustration. The network of R1, R2, and C1 enclosed in the dashed lines of the figure is the coupling network. You may notice that the circuitry for Q1 and Q2 is incomplete. That is intentional so that you can concentrate on the coupling network. R1 acts as a load resistor for Q1 (the first stage) and develops the output signal of that stage. Do you remember how a capacitor reacts to ac and dc? The capacitor, C1, "blocks" the dc of Q1's collector, but "passes" the ac output signal. R2 develops this passed, or coupled, signal as the input signal to Q2 (the second stage). This arrangement allows the coupling of the signal while it isolates the biasing of each stage. This solves many of the problems associated with direct coupling.

RC-coupled transistor amplifier.

RC coupling does have a few disadvantages. The resistors use dc power and so the amplifier has low efficiency. The capacitor tends to limit the low-frequency response of the amplifier and the amplifying device itself limits the high-frequency response. For audio amplifiers this is usually not a problem; there are techniques for overcoming these frequency limitations. Before you move on to the next type of coupling, consider the capacitor in the RC coupling. You probably remember that capacitive reactance (X C) is determined by the following formula:

This explains why the low frequencies are limited by the capacitor. As frequency decreases, XC increases. This causes more of the signal to be "lost" in the capacitor. The formula for XC also shows that the value of capacitance (C) should be relatively high so that capacitive reactance (XC) can be kept as low as possible. So, when a capacitor is used as a coupling element, the capacitance should be relatively high so that it will couple the entire signal well and not reduce or distort the signal.

Resistive-capacitive (RC) coupled amplifier, using a network of resistors and capacitors By design these amplifiers cannot amplify DC signals as the capacitors block the DC component of the input signal. RC-coupled amplifiers were used very often in circuits with vacuum tubes or discrete transistors. In the days of the integrated circuit a few more transistors on a chip are much cheaper and smaller than a capacitor.
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Fig. 1 THEORY :- When a.c. signal is applied to the base of the first transistor, it is amplified and developed across the out of the 1st stage. This amplified voltage is applied to the base of next stage through the coupling capacitor Cc where it is further amplified and reappears across the out put of the second stage. Thus the successive stages amplify the signal and the overall gain is raised to the desired level. Much higher gains can be obtained by connecting a number of amplifier stages in succession (one after the other). Resistance-capacitance (RC) coupling is most widely used to connect the output of first stage to the input (base) of the second stage and so on. It is the most popular type of coupling because it is cheap and provides a constant amplification over a wide range of frequencies. Fig. 1 shows the circuit arrangement of a two stage RC coupled CE mode transistor amplifier where resistor R is used as a load and the capacitor C is used as a coupling element between the two stages of the amplifier. Frequency response curve The curve representing the variation of gain of an amplifier with frequency is known as frequency response curve. It is shown in Fig. 2. The voltage gain of the amplifier increases with the frequency, f and attains a maximum value. The maximum value of the gain remains constant over a certain frequency range and afterwards the gain starts decreasing with the increase of the frequency. It may be seen to be divided into

three regions. 1) Low frequency range ( <50 Hz ) 2) Mid frequency range ( 50 Hz to 20 KHz ) and 3) High frequency range ( > 20 kHz ).

Fig. 2