# Voltage/current converter opamp circuits

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1 Voltage/current converter opamp circuits This worksheet and all related files are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, version 1.0. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA. The terms and conditions of this license allow for free copying, distribution, and/or modification of all licensed works by the general public. Resources and methods for learning about these subjects (list a few here, in preparation for your research): 1

2 Question 1 Questions Calculate the current through resistor in this opamp circuit for several different values of : R 1 1 kω 3 V 1 kω 2 kω 3 kω 4 kω 5 kω 6 kω I R2 For each value of, what is it that establishes the amount of current through it? Do you see any practical value for a circuit such as this? file Question 2 Explain how the operational amplifier maintains a constant current through the load: R 1 Load V Z A V(OL) β Write an equation solving for the regulated load current, given any relevant variables shown in the schematic diagram (R 1, V Z,, A V (OL), etc.). file

3 Question 3 Explain how the operational amplifier maintains a constant current through the load: R 1 V Z A V(OL) β Load Write an equation solving for the regulated load current, given any relevant variables shown in the schematic diagram (R 1, V Z,, A V (OL), etc.). Also, describe what would have to be changed in this circuit in order to set the regulated current at a different value. file Question 4 At first glance, the feedback appears to be wrong in this current-regulating circuit. Note how the feedback signal goes to the operational amplifier s noninverting () input, rather than the inverting input as one would normally expect for negative feedback: R 1 V Z AV(OL) Load Explain how this op-amp really does provide negative feedback, which of course is necessary for stable current regulation, as positive feedback would be completely unstable. file

4 Question 5 Predict how the operation of this current regulator circuit will be affected as a result of the following faults. Consider each fault independently (i.e. one at a time, no multiple faults): R 1 Load Q 1 D 1 U 1 Resistor R 1 fails open: Zener diode D 1 fails shorted: Resistor fails open: Zener diode D 1 fails open: Load fails shorted: Wire between opamp output and transistor base breaks open: For each of these conditions, explain why the resulting effects will occur. file

5 Question 6 Predict how the operation of this current regulator circuit will be affected as a result of the following faults. Consider each fault independently (i.e. one at a time, no multiple faults): Q 1 D 1 U 1 R 1 Load Resistor R 1 fails open: Resistor fails open: Solder bridge (short) across resistor : Zener diode D 1 fails shorted: Zener diode D 1 fails open: Load fails shorted: Wire between opamp output and transistor base breaks open: For each of these conditions, explain why the resulting effects will occur. file

6 Question 7 The simplest electronic device capable of converting a current signal into a voltage signal is a resistor: V I R (electron flow notation used here) I Precision resistors typically work very well for this purpose, especially when the amount of voltage dropped across it is of little consequence. This is why shunt resistors are frequently used in power circuitry to measure current, a low-resistance shunt resistance element dropping voltage in precise proportion to the current going through it. However, if we cannot afford to drop any voltage across a resistance in the circuit, this technique of current-to-voltage conversion will not be very practical. Consider the following scientific apparatus, used to measure the photoelectric effect (electrons emitted from a solid surface due to light striking it): An impractical way to measure phototube current V R Phototube (electron flow notation used here) The current output by such a phototube is very small, and the voltage output by it is smaller yet. If we are to measure current through this device, we will have to find some way other than a shunt resistor to do it. Enter the operational amplifier, to the rescue! Explain how the following opamp circuit is able to convert the phototube s weak current signal into a strong voltage signal, without imposing any significant resistance into the phototube circuit: 6

7 R Phototube V R file

8 Question 8 Shown here is a simple circuit for constructing an extremely high input impedance voltmeter on a wireless breadboard, using one half of a TL082 dual op-amp: Test probes 6 V - 6 V - 6 V - TL082 0 to 1 ma meter movement - Draw a schematic diagram of this circuit, a calculate the resistor value necessary to give the meter a voltage measurement range of 0 to 5 volts. file

12 Answer 8 1 ma 12 V Test probes TL082-6 V R = 5 kω Follow-up question: determine the approximate input impedance of this voltmeter, and also the maximum voltage it is able to measure with any size resistor in the circuit. Answer 9 Let the electrons themselves give you the answers to your own practice problems! 12

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