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Product Design - Industrial Automation and Instrumentation. -

Constant Current Source for LED

This article will explain the way a simple transistor based current source is designed, this will give an idea on how some components can be used in a practical way to make the circuit do some function, the objective is not design but to become familiar with the basic ideas.

Design of a Constant Current Source

In the circuit the LED is used as a reference so to keep it cool a 2.2K is chosen. (20V – 1.6V) / 2.2K = 8.3mA on the high side and when voltage is 10V the current will be 3.8mA min.

Constant Current Source for LED

You should know that the LED forward drop can change with ambient light as it is photo sensitive and will vary with temperature.

The circuit can be improved by using a zener in place of the LED or better still a temperature compensated reference like LM336.

Operating Current of LM336 is 400uA to 10mA, 20V The max. voltage 20V / 3.3K = 6mA. so within limits. Then you can compute the rest, wire it up to see if your design works.

Using Thermocouple with DMM or DVM

In the circuit, use only metal film resistors (MFR) of 1 per cent tolerance, as this is an instrumentation application. Power supply should be a stable +5V, -5V supply, for which one can use 7805 and 7905 regulators.

The inputs TC+ and TC- terminals should go to a 4-way barrier terminal block, the 2 extra terminals are used to mount TH1 Cu thermistor. This forms an isothermal block, which is good enough.

A simple way to make a TH1 Cu thermistor, is to take a 1 Meg-ohm 2W resistor as a former and wind 2 meters of 46 SWG enameled copper (Cu) wire (5.91 ohm/meter) over it. This gives a 12-ohm value. Terminate wire ends on resistor leads.

Thermocouple Temperature using DPM or DMM

Test and Calibration –

For calibration, you will need a DMM-DPM and a milli-volt source (as shown in the Fig.). First connect source to terminals TC+ and TC-, then set source to 0.00 mV (verify with DMM for zero). The output across +out and -out (use DMM) terminals must be mV representing the room temperature (RT). For example, if RT is 30° C (use a glass thermometer) then +out should be 30mV at 0mV input. Adjust VR1 till 30mV is read at +out terminal. This is ‘zero cal’.

Digital 5V Power Supply using L296

This circuit is derived from an application note of L296, It is a Power Switching Regulator from ST. The advantage of using a switching regulator is that there is not much Heat Dissipation in this circuit.

Switching Battery Charger with L296 – del20031

Digital 5V Power Supply using L296

If you had to build the same with a series regulator, it would be very big due to external transistor and a huge heat sink. This circuit takes a small place on PCB, efficiency is high so power is saved and reliability of product improves, lastly the thermal gradients within the cabinet is avoided so that any form of drift or component specs variation can be avoided.

L296 and L296P are stepdown power switching regulators 4 A at a voltage variable from 5.1 V to 40 V.  External programmable limiting current. Soft start, remote inhibit, thermal protection, a reset output for microprocessors.

The Schottky rectifier BYW80 is used as it switches very fast 200V-20A-35nS. The Inductor and Capacitor is for the filter to get a ripple free DC from the Chopped DC output. There may be a small high frequency ripple riding on the DC signal of 5V in most SMPS circuits. So for very sensitive circuits use extra filters and shields.

The Current output is limited, and can be reduced further with a resistor from Pin 4 to ground. Also if the feedback to Pin 10 is thru a Voltage Divider then more voltage can be set at the output. See the datasheet and application notes for other design details and circuits.

Analog Mux for Data Acquisition Systems

Here is a 4-20 mA In/Out Analog Mux with Cascade option. This is a simple circuit i designed to make a Automation System within a budget.

Mixed Circuits Analog with Digital

Analog Mux using 4051

This takes 4-20mA from many Transmitters and gives out just one 4-20 mA output. The Mux is done with a digital byte or word. This is a slow scanner as process is slow, that way many analog inputs can be multiplexed and sent into one analog input of a D/A. In near real time systems a faster mux could be used or mux totally avoided. This was made in some numbers, so the pcb is better than others.

4-20mA Multiplexer Circuit – pdf

Simple High speed data switch

This circuit is a small representation of a very low cost printer sharer. It has no Active Devices only diodes.

Simple High speed data switch

Pot the product in epoxy with a black dye, they serve the purpose. Output impedance of this circuit is high, sink is 220K source is 3.9K+ so use some buffers or drivers at Output. If Buffers are omitted, then fix this unit on the printer port connector of Computer.

when Enable A is at float-high impedance or low the output O1-O4 is not influenced by A1-A4 inputs. If Enable A is made logic high or 5V then A1-A4 is available at O1-O4.

By turning Enable A or Enable B high, you can route the data A1-A4 or B1-B4 to the output O1-O4, you can also mix data and you can expand to any number of input sets or data width. 1N4148 is fast, 4nS, that makes this data switch quite fast. This circuit cannot drive long printer cables without drivers. They will load the output.

5V -1A Power Supply using LM2575

A Power Transistor which is having a drop of 4 Volts across it and passing 3 amps thru it, may dissipate around 12 Watts of Heat, This is the problem in Series Regulators. While a Saturated Transistor or Mosfet with 1 Volts across and 3 Amps Thru will be just 3 Watts. But then a fully on transistor or mosfet cannot be controlled or regulated, for that we turn it ON and OFF very fast so that the right amount of current or voltage is delivered.

Power Electronic Circuits  

5V -1A Power Supply using LM2575

The way this is done is PWM – Pulse Width Modulation. In this the mosfet or transistor is switched ON-OFF at say 100 kHz, but the ON duration is varied to control the output. The longer the duration of ON time more energy or punch is transferred. Switching losses will be present depending on how fast the rise and fall times of the pulses are.

The Pulsed AC or Chopped DC can be smoothed to the Average with Inductors and Capacitors. The reactive pulses of the Inductor has to be absorbed by a Schottky Rectifier 1N5817 — 20V-1A fast switching diode with low switching losses.

This circuit is derived from an application note of LM2575, It is a Power Switching Regulator from National Semiconductor The details are here LM2575

3-1/2 Digit ICL7107 DPM Digital Panel Meter

This is a Digital Panel Meter based on ICL7107. This was the workhorse Digital Readout chip before Low power uC designs were developed. Even now it is the easiest way an analog parameter can be displayed in an instrument.

Instrumentation and Measurement Circuits

3-1/2 Display is just enough resolution for recording process data or troubleshooting equipment. With 4-1/2 you notice the problems of thermoelectric EMF of probes and connectors. That is one reason gold plating is used another being low contact resistance. In 4 1/2 the reading can change due to contact resistance too, if the input impedance of the analog signal conditioning is low or the protection diodes, RC filter caps are leaky.

ICL7107 DPM When you measure an analog parameter from a sensor; you attenuate or amplify it, to scale to the A/D converter range. You also need to protect or isolate the analog front end from high energy mis-connections, which will happen during field use. The operator should not get injured from any high energy leakage while measuring.

Resolution is the finest detail you can enumerate in a parameter or object. You can say the crowd was 3000 or 4000 people. Here 1000 is the resolution, finer data does not matter here. You would also hear things like, there were 80 to 90 boys in that classroom. 10 is the resolution there.

Accuracy is how precise a statement or number is. If there was 85 boys in that class, the above statement is accurate. If there was 65 boys, the measuring method or process needs calibration or examination.

In this circuit, the plastic caps should be of very low leakage. Multilayer plastic caps are good for instrumentation.