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Analog Level by BCD Thumbwheel Switch

BCD Thumbwheel Switch is used to input-set data in digital form, this can be read by digital circuits, uC and uP systems and PLC-SCADA Interfaces.

Temperature Measurement and Control

In the early transition of analog to digital, before uP became acceptable, Digital systems without uP were made, it even had printers, RAM and displays. The uP systems were coming in, uC had not yet come and uP systems had to still win the confidence of the Prudent Industrial Design Engineer.
The drawbacks of uP based systems used in Computers, in those days were.

  • Power Consumption was very high, needed SMPS.
  • Many chips, a CPU had a Retinue of many chips.
  • Large Board, Double or Multi Sided due to Bus.
  • Fussy, Hangs on minor Power Glitches or Resets.
  • Needs Firmware Development and Tight Testing.
  • Investment in all these areas, Tools and Manpower.

These made Industrial Automation with uP a challenge. CMOS digital and mixed devices and custom application devices were more easy to implement and affordable.

Analog Level by BCD Thumbwheel Switch

The coming of Low power CMOS uC changed everything and embedded systems became smaller and robust. These were packable in DIN standard and DIN Rail Mounting enclosures.

Coming back to inputting digital data. CMOS uC and Ni-Cd Battery backed up RAM with keyboards made thumb-wheels and other methods less attractive for digital data inputs. Then the Li-Ion Battery, Flash Memory in Combination with Application Specific uC and SOC have made inputting, retaining digital data very easy and affordable.

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Mini RTD Pt100 Three Wire Transmitter

These are the circuits and boards of a Mini Temperature Transmitter for a Platinum hundred ohms temperature Sensor. Has a 4-20mA sink output. Current Loop can be used for multiple instruments.

Mini RTD Pt-100 Three Wire Transmitter

The customer wanted a two wire system, this needs low power opamps which were ten times the price. If this transmitter works at 3mA it could have been two wire. Those parts were in short supply and the budget of customer was low. So i made it with regular opamps but three wire. The customer was satisfied as he got a cost effective solution. But now the situation of markets and products are different.

Mini RTD Pt-100 Three Wire Transmitter

If you need to transmit the temperature from a high voltage area or toxic environment. You will need to hermetically seal the transmitters, convert the Voltage to frequency, frequency to IR LED flashes or RF. This can be then remotely monitored. Then the transmitter has to be battery-solar operated, low power too. ICL7135 is a simple solution. It has a serial output that can be used to Drive IR Leds. Remotely sense these flashes in a Micro-controller and you have a reading. You may be able to use optic-fibers too. Where volatile liquids are present so that the risks of sparks can be eliminated.

RTD Mains Power Transmitter

This is the same Mini RTD Pt-100 Transmitter but in its case. Encapsulated in epoxy, hermetically sealed against harsh industrial environment. This will work well even near fumes of Ammonia with no corrosion. But not near vapors which can be ignited by sparking as terminals are still open. The side view shows zero and full scale ten turn bourns trimpots heads, for calibration. After cal it can be sealed with RTV compound.

High Resistance Meter

I don’t remember if this circuit worked properly. But a few were made and i might not have shown the modifications that were done to make it work. This was meant to be a portable, low cost, insulation tester for an electrician. If you try it out and debug it it may work well.

High Resistance Insulation Materials

A negative voltage is derived by shifting gnd with two diodes, i feel this did not work very well. Two pins of CD4028 pins are also used to boost the reference to get two extra ranges as 4051 has a 100E on resistance.

High Resistance Meter

The 555 clock makes 4029 counter count. But the clock can be clamped to gnd by a TL062 window comparator. The clock is frozen when the input value to comparator pin 5-2 is within a lower limit and upper limit “window” pin 3-6.

Insulation Tester

The 4029 counter BCD is decoded to decimal by 4028 which drives the LEDs, keep LED drive within 3mA or chip will be loaded. Use high efficiency extra-bright LEDs.

The 4029 BCD also controls a shunt resistor array with CMOS switches 4051. The voltage across shunt is a sample of leakage current. This is compared in the window comparator to freeze the Clock and LED display to give a reading of the leakage current or Insulation Resistance.

Musical Sound to Neon Light Flasher

Neon Light Flasher was made by me when i was young, it was even published in a magazine, i think it will work, it was used on a very old huge ornamental valve philips stereo system in the remote speakers.

Home Made Circuits

Recently i captured this circuit in eagle to publish online, it seems to have a small design error. It worked well for many years. The step-down transformer is used as a step-up here. The secondary winding was around 50mA so the resistance was protecting the 2N2222. (SL100 was used in the original one). C1 and R3 may need tweaking to get the desired adjustment range in R2.

Music Sound to light converter

The voltage across the speaker is fed to C1-Gnd, which blocks DC component. R1, R2, R3 form a threshold bias for T1. 2N2222 chops the 12V DC in tune with the music.

Basics of Electronics

The chopped DC current flowing in the 12V winding of TR1 is stepped up into AC pulses over 100V, this lights the Neon in flashes synchronizing in real-time with the beats. Known Issues – It does not perform well at low Bass like 20Hz.

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Battery Level LED Indicator

This LED Indicator uses a LM339, a quad comparator. LM339 can work on single or dual supplies, it has a open collector output that can drive 15mA, low power consumption. The circuit is an untested design but it should work.

Mains Voltage and Power Circuits – Similar circuits for Mains Voltage Monitoring.

There are many better circuits in the various circuit archives i have linked on the front page, you just have to look around. When you measure the open circuit voltage of a battery with a high impedance DMM (10M), the value may be a bit misleading. Apply a dummy load to bleed the battery a bit so that proper readings can be taken on Load. The load below is a 100 ohms wire-wound fusible ceramic resistor which will heat a bit when you test 12V batteries.
Battery Level LED Indicator

Theory of Operation.

R16 a 5W ceramic wire wound bleeder or dummy load. R15 is a part of an attenuator for obtaining ranges. D2 is a protection clamp diode. R10-D1 forms the 5V reference for comparators. Then an attenuator obtains 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 V steps for each comparator. This circuit is similar to Audio Level meter or VU meter circuit.

Comparators in Interface Circuits

The comparator compares the battery sample voltage to the fixed reference step. If ‘+’ pin is more positive than ‘-‘, or is ‘+’ is more dominant, then output goes floating ‘open collector’, so No LED light . But if ‘-‘ is more dominant the output transistor of comparator goes low impedance or saturates or turns ‘ON’. But only spec current can be switched, do not compare with electrical switch ‘ON’. Also on a dual supply 0V is more dominant or positive compared with -12V, even though it appears -12V is a big number. The direction of current is what decides, all measurements are relative.

AC-AC SSR Solid State Relay

This is a AC Control Input AC Output SSR Solid State Relay. When a Process Controller has an AC output or a system generates an AC signal of above 100V AC to signal the load to turn on, this device can be used. A BTA40-600 and MOC3041 are used in this.

Fire Retardant SSR Enclosures

A high voltage plastic cap limits current to a bridge which generates a small DC from 230 V AC, this drives MOC3041. The rest is the same. It is better to use a DC control SSR where possible. This AC control SSR is used where only an AC control signal is available. The BTA series has the heatsink tab insulated from the Triac chip inside. The BTB needs electrical insulation to the heatsink.


Electrical Control Panel Wiring

These devices BTA40600 and MOC3041 make SSR’s very simple. They have proved very reliable and rugged in the field, overrate your designs, use heat sinks and seal the SSR with thermally conductive epoxy. Alumina with ciba araldite without any other filler or dye is the best way to hermitically seal.

Drive SCR thyristor with 555

This circuit gives a burst of pulses to fire 2 SCRs, when pin 4 is taken to 12V the SCR is turned on, to use this circuit you need 12V short pulses phase shifted with respect to AC sine wave on bridge, like this you can control the bridge from near 0% to near 100% ON.

Drive or Fire Thyristors SCR with Pulses

Drive SCR thyristor with 555

Learn about Thyristors here Power Electronics

That way battery banks can be charged, electroplating can be done, current and voltage can be controlled with opamps, thyristors are very rugged compared to transistors and MOSFETS in that order.