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Q&A

General Q&A about the design and function of electronic systems, electric power systems and infrastructure, their theory, and tools specific to those fields. Read these guidelines before posting.

71%
+3 −0
4-Layer PCB Routing Question

I am designing a 4-layer PCB that has both analog and digital circuitry throughout it. The analog section involves high return currents as well as ADCs sampling the voltage across sense resistors a...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by jm567‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

57%
+2 −1
Constant Current Load Circuit with Op Amp

Hi, I built a constant current load following the circuit from https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Constant-current-load/ But my op amp gets destroyed after a few minutes. The transistor or the op...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by timelyfiasco‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by coquelicot‭

60%
+1 −0
Complementary transistor pairs - what is the point ?

I understand that some applications require NPN-PNP pairs with identical electrical characteristics. But I would like to understand why.

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by coquelicot‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

60%
+1 −0
Darlington or Sziklai configuration - why and when using complementary pairs?

Why does the Darlington or Sziklai configurations need complementary transistors? For these configurations, when should I use complementary pairs and when could I use not complementary pairs ?

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by coquelicot‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

66%
+2 −0
Amplifier compensation with added resistor across opamp input terminals

This application note from Linear Technology discusses oscillations in opamp circuits and some compensation schemes. One method discussed for reducing phase shifts in the loop gain due to the RC ne...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by rpm_2718‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

66%
+2 −0
How could a damaged wire in split-phase power delivery create these voltages?

Recently, my home suffered a partial power outage, and due to curiosity and a desire to learn more about residential AC power, I'm trying to understand how the event that took place resulted in the...

3 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Joel Lathrop‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

80%
+6 −0
Should I connect signal reference and chassis ground in a battery powered application?

Hello. I have a grounding problem on my acquisition system. I have read many articles, app notes and whatever but still could not find a convincing solution for the topic. The acquisition system is...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by stinf‭  ·  edited 2y ago by stinf‭

71%
+3 −0
Substituting multiple lower voltage resistors for a high voltage resistor.

Certain high voltage resistors are fairly hard to get, such as the HVR37 series from Vishay. I'm looking at redesigning a board that produces 1000V via a transformer, but I want to use parts that ...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by TimH‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

71%
+3 −0
Is it possible to use two zener diodes in series back to back to replace a diac?

I've accidentally burnt my dimmer with a short. It is a common dimmer with a triac/diac/pot of the simplest configuration (the triac is a BTA16). After replacing the triac, this still does not work...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by coquelicot‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Dave Tweed‭

66%
+2 −0
How to avoid shoot-through in MOSFET bridge drivers

I'm using a variable duty cycle square-wave oscillator to drive a half-bridge MOSFET pair like this. Upper MOSFET is P-channel type, lower MOSFET is N-channel type: - And, I think I'm getting shoo...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Andy aka‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Andy aka‭

66%
+2 −0
How do I calculate and manipulate the inductance and capacitance of outputs to a connector on a PCB?

I am designing a PCB that has to have class 1 div 1 associated apparatus (only the outputs to the sensor) certification. Essentially, I am using a boost converter to convert the voltage from a lith...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Hawk2020‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Andy aka‭

71%
+3 −0
Digital circuit that squares a 4-bit input

A few decades ago, I found a digital circuit that squares a 4-bit input in an old textbook (perhaps 1970s or 1980s). (The figure below is not the original. It differs from the original in that it ...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by JRN‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

75%
+4 −0
What benefit has a differential amplifier when measuring a sensor signal?

What benefit has a differential amplifier when measuring the signal from a sensor that is remotely located such as in this example: - Why can't I use an arrangement like this: -

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Andy aka‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Andy aka‭

60%
+1 −0
Humming noise from a boost converter's inductor

My step-up converter makes audible noise both with and without a load.I am almost certain it is the inductor, because when I hold my finger on it I can feel vibration and it gets quieter. Unfortuna...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Kranulis‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

66%
+2 −0
Op-amp output error voltage

I've built a non-inverting op-amp amplifier with a gain of 101 using this circuit: - My input is 10 mV DC and I expected to measure 1.01 volts at the output but I measure 0.81 volts. What has happ...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Andy aka‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Andy aka‭

66%
+2 −0
Switch-off time of relay with flyback diode

When switching a relay there should be a flyback diode. It could be just a diode or diode with resistor in series. I understand there is a difference in the speed of relay switch-off. But what is t...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Chupacabras‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

71%
+3 −0
When to use RTOS?

When should I consider using RTOS in my application? Every microcontroller has a good number of interrupts then what is the need of it?

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by aditya98‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

87%
+12 −0
What is a bootloader, and how would I develop one?

I've heard that a bootloader is code that runs on a microcontroller, and is used to get your application code onto the micro. How does that work? Is there anything special that needs to be done to...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

71%
+3 −0
Electrolytic capacitor lifetime rating

If you search through the electrolytic capacitor offerings from distributors like Farnell, RS, Digikey or Mouser, you find that the maximum life-time rating is commonly quoted as 5,000 or 10,000 ho...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Andy aka‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Andy aka‭

80%
+6 −0
How to access a hardware register from firmware?

When writing firmware in C for a microcontroller, how can I directly access a memory location such as a hardware peripheral register, given its absolute address? Is there a way to do this safely an...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Lundin‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Lundin‭

66%
+2 −0
Low loss impedance matching without a transformer

I have a signal at 10 MHz produced from a 50 Ω source. How can I match that to a 300 Ω load with low losses without using an RF transformer (space constraints)? Are there any circuits and formulas ...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Andy aka‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Andy aka‭

75%
+4 −0
Chokes, Beads and Inductors in Pi-filters

I have seen pi-filters using chokes, ferrite-beads, and plain inductors as the L-element What are the main differences between them? when use one or other?

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by zeke‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

66%
+2 −0
Tools required to burn code in a quad flat microcontroller

I always have a doubt that how do firmware engineers dump code into a quad flat microcontroller? For a starter kit there is already connection like USB or some SPI ,I2C headers to burn the code,als...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by aditya98‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

75%
+4 −0
What are the most common causes of CAN bus communication errors?

I can't get my CAN bus application (ISO 11898-2, classic "high speed CAN") working and I'm receiving various CAN error frames. These error frames manifest themselves as sequences of 6 bits with my ...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Lundin‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Lundin‭

60%
+1 −0
Relationship between bode plot and pole zero diagram

What is the relationship between the pole zero diagram and bode plot? Case example: a 2nd order RLC low pass filter: - $$\dfrac{V_{OUT}}{V_{IN}} = \dfrac{\frac{1}{j\omega C}}{R+j\omega L +\frac{1}...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Andy aka‭  ·  edited 2y ago by ArtOfCode‭

66%
+2 −0
What to check for when buying an electronic component or module?

How can I acquire electronic parts/items/modules and ensure that there is minimal risk of them being unsuitable for my project or design?

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Andy aka‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by manassehkatz‭

71%
+3 −0
Driving relay, transistor keeps failing

I'm trying to drive a relay according to a 5 V digital signal, using this circuit: It works for a while, but then the transistor fails. When I replace the transistor, it works for a while again, ...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

71%
+3 −0
Replacement power supply voltage and current ratings?

If the external power supply to a device fails, and I can't get the exact model, what do I need to specify to get the right replacement? I can re-use the old supply's connector, but what about the...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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