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# Function Generators

FUNCTION GENERATORS
Function

## generators, which are very

important
and
versatile
instruments.
provide a variety of output waveforms over
a wide frequency range.
The most common output waveforms are
sine, square, triangular, ramp. and pulse.
The frequency range generally extends
from a fraction of a hertz to at least several
hundred kilohertz.

## square, and triangular wave outputs, any of

these may be the primary waveform
generated by the instrument. This primary
waveform can then be applied to the
proper circuitry to generate the remaining
waveforms.

## a sine wave generated with the RC or LC

oscillator circuit.
However, because of difficulties with
amplitude
and
frequency
stability,
particularly at very low frequencies,
oscillators with a sine wave as the primary
output are generally not used.

## of several alternative approaches that can be

used in a basic function generator. The
primary waveform in the circuit shown is a
square wave.

## circuits generating square waves are

simpler and offer significantly better
amplitude and frequency stability than do
circuits generating sine waves.
The first stage, A1, which is a voltage
comparator, generates a square wave
output. The output of A1 is driven to
saturation; therefore, the square wave is
either at + Vcc or - Vcc.

## generates a triangular output. The square

wave is applied to a square-to-sine wave
converter that filters out the odd harmonics
making u the square wave while passing on
only the fundamental sine wave.
The operation of the circuit can be
analyzed by starting at the output of the
comparator, which la at either +Vcc or -Vcc.
Consider V01 to be at Vcc.

## voltage at the inverting input of A, exceeds

the voltage at the noninverting input, which
in this case is at zero volts. The
noninverting input voltage. Vx, is due, in
par, to the voltage V01 and, in part, to the
R1
R2
voltage VV02, Vaccording
expression
V to the
x

cc

R1 R 2

02

R1 R 2

(124)

R1
R2
0 V cc
V02
R1 R 2
R1 R 2

(1-

25)

which simplifies
to
V R V
02

cc

R1
(1-

26)

## maximum amplitude of the triangular

output. V02, which is expressed as
V 02 V cc

R1
R2

(1-27)

## amplitude given by Eq. 1-27. the output of

the comparator changes stars and the
triangular wave begins to decrease linearly.
Since the output is symmetrical about by
Eq.1-27 also expresses the minimum value
of V02 at which switching occurs.

## Fig. 1-10 Waveforms for the function

generator of Fig. 1-9.

## the RC time constant of the integrator. To

obtain an expression for the frequency. we
begin with the expression relating capacitor
current. charge,
q and
i c t time of change:
(1-28)

## The rate of charge

dq i cofdt the capacitor is
(1-29)

dq
i

c
(1-30)
dt

## As the capacitor charges. the relationship

between charge, capacitance, and voltage
across the capacitor plates is

q CV02

(1-31)

ic C

32)

d (V 02 )
dt

(1-

## Since the input resistance of the operational amplifier is

very high. the current through resistor R is approximately
equal to the charging current of the capacitor. Therefore,
we can write
d (V )
iR C

02

dt

(133)

## amplifier is very high. the voltage at the input to the

amplifier is very nearly zero. Therefore
iR

V 0
01
R

(1-34)

1
d (V 02 )
V 01 dt
RC

(1-35)

V02

1
V01
V
dt

01
RC
RC (t )

36)

R1 V 01

t
R 2 RC
(1-37)

Vcc

(1-

t RC

R1
R2

(1-38)

## The development of Eq. 1-38 began with Eq. 1-28. which

allows us to compute the charge on a capacitor after a period of
time t. Equation 1-28 is valid only if the initial charge and,
therefore. the initial voltages on the capacitor are zero.
Therefore, the time t in Eq. 1-38 is the time for the capacitor to
charge from 0 V until switching occurs. which is at one-fourth
cycle as shown in Fig. 1-10.

## capacitor to charge from 0 V until switching occurs. which

is at one-fourth cycle as shown in Fig. 1-10. Since Eq. 138 becomes
R1
T 4 RC
R2

(1-39)

## The frequency which is the reciprocal of the period, is now

R

expressed as
(1-40)

1
2

4 RC R1

EXAMPLE 1-5
Compute the frequency and the peak

circuit shown in
Fig. 1-11.

R1
R2

V 02 V cc

60 k
9V
100 k

(15V )

## Fig.1-12 Laboratory quality function generator. (Courtesy

Exact Electronics.)

This

## laboratory quality instrument

generates sine, square, triangle, ramp, and
pulse waveforms over the frequency range
from 03.001 Hz to 20 MHz. The output
voltage is 30V peak to peak in an open
circuit and 15V peak to peak across a 50-