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.

Mains Voltage monitor using LM3914

This Circuit helps in the monitoring of mains supply voltage. It does not use a isolation step down transformer. This has to be constructed only by skilled people with knowledge of safety requirements.

C1 limits the current and drops most of the voltage. The zener regulated supply is for the chip. C2 can be raised to 220uF or more if required. The bar mode display may consume more power.

Mains Voltage Power Transformers 

R2-R3-R5-R6 form a voltage divider to get a sample of the input voltage, D11-C3 get the DC value.

Adjust R5 preset with a log Plastic tweaker to get the 5th led to just turn on when input voltage is at 138V AC. This has to be done after PCB is put in a sealed fire-retardant-plastic or epoxy box. drill a hole in box for plastic tweaker.

National LM3914 – Dot Bar Display Driver
This Circuit is Not a Tested Design. It is an Idea for study

Mains Voltage monitor using LM3914

Warning : This Circuit is Mains Operated without Isolation Transformer and will give lethal electric shock if touched when the circuit is turned on. Test circuit only with DC 9V Bench Power Supply to try it out. Do not use 230V AC.

Microohm Meter with LED Analog Bar

This indicates like LM3914 in dot-mode. It is a drawing i made made to troubleshoot a gadget, around two decades ago. Strangely it had a echo of a design i had made into a 7107 dpm years before that. Now i am scanning all my drawing and notes, useful or not. Clean or with errors. Many Errors = 1 Blunder. Some projects i made have been expensive Blunders. So see them with a skeptic eye, fix them, try them. Thats all for now.

See the Circuit Full Size – Microohm Meter with LED Analog Bar

Microohm Meter with LED Analog Bar

This has a 9V battery power. The 555 spins and a negative voltage for Opamp is created. This is a Low Offset amp of OP37 of Precision Monolithics, Inc PMI an early innovator. This diff-amp amplifies the uV of a 4 wire resistance measurement.

Now the current pump is the 2N2222 you see above the OP37. The FET and 555 do synchronous rectification. The LM324 is the Indicator and Analog to LED Dot-Bar Converter. The probes are Gold Plated, or use solid gold pins if you have them in plenty.

Interface ICL7135 Voltmeter to PC

A PC based Analog Voltmeter. The Printer Port or Parallel Port Interface is used to acquire high resolution analog data using ICL7135. This is a method of getting analog data into your PC. This is only of Educational Value. Applications include Data Loggers and PC based Process Monitors, chart recorders. (USB, Wireless Interfaces and Tablet Computers are in vogue today

ICL7135 to Printer port Interface

The four Digit Drive outputs and four BCD outputs of the Multiplexed Display Driver of 7135, along with A-D status output which is also four, are routed to four input pins on printer port via three 74HCT373 Digital Switches. This is because we have less Input pins on Port and 4 are shared by making one 74HCT373 transparent and others High Impedance when PC takes a reading. So the three sets of four outputs of 7135 can be read sequentially.

ICL7135 to Printer port Interface

74HCT139 U9A which is controlled by the PC program can select U3, U4 or U5 for sending data to 4 pins on printer port. Data sent on the eight output pins of printer port can be latched by U10B into U6. This eight outputs of U6 can drive relays or lamps.

The ICL7135 details can be seen here 41/2 A/D with BCD ICL7135 . This Mixed device was far ahead of its times, a product of Intersil.

Three Opamp Differential Instrumentation

This is the best Instrumentation OpAmp, Great CMRR, ensure supply has no ripple and keep analog and digital grounds separate. Ri can be replaced with a trimpot and resistor to alter gain. Connect a preset ends to pins 1 and 8 and preset wiper to VCC for Offset Null when high gains are configured.

Thermocouple and Pt-100 RTD

The Input zeners and diodes form a protective clamp for all voltages above VCC-VDD. If supply is changed to +12 -12 change zeners to 12V zeners. Use similar Zeners at output to protect Output from being zapped by overvoltages or high energy – voltage*frequency transients. Add plastic capacitors across Rf for damping AC operation or ripple. Also avoid floating inputs by providing a bias.

3 Op-Amp Differential Instrumentation Amp

Vout = (Vp – Vn) * (2Rf+Ri)/Ri

Related Reading

Single Digit Voltmeter with LM311

I wanted to design a logic probe as a tutorial, but there were many good ones in the web so i have tried to design a single digit voltmeter. This circuit is a design, i am unable to test it now, later if i test it and find mistakes i will update this page. You can help me by pointing out the errors.

Data Interface – Printer Port, Virtual Instrumentation.

Single Digit Voltmeter with LM311

First bear it in mind that it is a single digit voltmeter which is 0-9 counts only on the positive side, that is it can measure +0 to +9V DC +/- 1V error. That may not be practical for the cost of the components above. It may be used as a toy logic probe. The reason for the circuit is not for usage, but to give design ideas. The methodology used is Gut Feel – Thumb Rule method.

First i explain the simple part, D1 a seven segment common cathode LED display is chosen as CD4511 is a sourcing driver. 4511 can be latched so it has been used here, it decodes binary 4 bit decade info to seven segment output. The four bits are derived from CD4029 up-down clock pulse counter. LM311 is a analog comparator with single supply capability which is the A-D interface.

To avoid resistors for each of the LEDs the LEDs are turned ON-OFF at 10KHz 50% duty cycle. The Nand Schmitt Trigger CD4093 is used as in IC4D as a 10KHz Clock which drives T1 transistor with a resistor R5. On turn on IC4D one input is high which is pin 12 pulled up to +5 and another Pin 13 is Low as C4 is in discharged condition in NAND gate both inputs high, gives a low output, the other combinations the output is high. So the output goes high, this starts charging the cap C4 which soon makes both inputs high, which in turn makes output low starting the discharge of C4. This is now evidently a endless loop, hence it is a oscillator. R*C = T …. 0.01uF * 10K = 100uS or 10KHz as F=1/T approx or better still multiply by 1.1 ?. I am not good at formulae but i manage with a calculator.

The supply and ground pins of CMOS chips have not been shown, see datasheet or earlier circuits.

IC4A is also a oscillator but slower which is good enough, it is slow so that a measurement can be made nearly every second. The IC4A slow clock is read by 4029 which produces a count-down binary nibble at Q1….Q4, This is converted to crude analog with R1…R4. The voltage generated is compared with the voltage you are measuring by LM311 which generates a Latch pulse to 4511 to freeze the reading where both voltages match.

Method of Operation :

IC2 is a Counter in Decade-Down mode and IC3 is a BCD to Seven Segment Decoder which Drives the Display D1. The Circuit is wired in such a way as to keep counting the Pulses from the Clock IC4A. The IC4A which is wired as Schmitt Nand Oscillator Clocks the Counter. Now to understand how this Counter and display works see this Interactive Tutorial Simple Digital Counter. For every pulse at Pin-15 of 4029 the Counter Counts down from 9-8-7-6…. and so on. But the Display is Latched by IC4C, So the Display is static even when counter is running. So while testing counter you can remove IC4C and keep LE Pin-5 of 4511 low to ground. For testing this Circuit you can use the manual clock with a pushbutton (single step) or a slow clock rate 1 Hz as in the Tutorial Simple Digital Counter.

The Transistor T1 and Oscillator IC4D is to chop the power to display at a fast rate, this avoids the adding of seven resistors. This is not required, but it saves power and reduces parts count. IC4B is is like a ON indicator, it is a spare gate.

The BCD value at output of 4029 Q1-Q4, four bits, a nibble, is converted to an analog mV value across R6. The resistors R1-R4 which are connected to Q1-Q4 have weighted resistor values for the BCD 1-2-4-8. By ohms law you can understand that the analog value across R6 is approximately proportional to the BCD value. This circuit is just a single digit A-D converter, not even as good as 4 bit converter. Which means approximate value of analog at R6 will do.

Now lastly LM311 is a Comparator, it compares the Analog BCD reference at Pin-3 and the Attenuated Input signal at Pin-2. Output Pin-7 goes high when Pin-3 voltage becomes less than Pin-2. This is made to a narrow latch pulse by C2-R12-IC4C. The latch pulse freezes the BCD data to display till the next latch pulse. R8-R9 attenuate the 0-9 V DC input to a 1/100 value. The zener Diode Z1 is for protection.

I guess the LM311 circuit should work off a single supply, but a dual supply may be required as voltage levels may be near zero. You must be able to see a staircase waveform or ramp across R6. Narrow Latch pulses at Pin-5 4511 on every ramp cycle.

Simple Millivolt Source for Calibration

This is a modification of a mV Source that can be whipped up easily. You could use a DPM or Multimeter to read the output. The ability of this circuit to perform well depends on the quality of all the MFR resistors and the MultiTurn Pot. Use a Bourns 10T Pot.

Good Soldered Joints, Keep all Resistors and temperature sensitive parts from Transformer and Regulators. Keep Ripple in power supplies low, no EMI tolerated. If you have problems, make a Battery Powered Unit. Shield well in case you are in a Electrically Noisy environment.

Millivolt Source In this link see at bottom this circuit millivolt source, pdf.

I have put a better offset null, OP07 has around 75uV offset error which may show as +/- 1 count error on 4 1/2 DPM 19999 counts. You can skip it if you are using a 3 1/2 digit DPM as the error will not show, even it 4 1/2 it may be upto 2 counts only.

R9, P4 and R10 are for balance and offset as you said you can use it that way. (old circuit)

C7 can be a low leakage plastic cap, even a tantalum electrolytic is ok, aluminum electrolytic may cause a very small error.

Q1 can be any npn that can take 100mA current, do not use RF devices, 2N2222 is best.

If you use a DPM protect DPM inputs with clamping diodes or zeners or an error in bread-boarding may send +/- 12V to DPM and it may be damaged. Some DPMs come with protection like DMMs. use the circuit in del2003.pdf in analog section to make a 4 1/2 DPM.

Also in 2000mV range do not short outputs as the Q1 may get damaged, and in 200mV and 20mV range the output impedance is 10 ohms which is good for calibrating any high input impedance instrumentation like a process indicator etc. loading with 100K 10K will cause error. Most instruments are very high impedance so it is fine.