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Electronics Lab

Dated: 23 - 10 - 2019

Transistor as a Switch
Submitted by

Name Muhammad Moeeze Hassan (30)

Muhammad Ahmad Qamar (17)
Mahmood-ul-Hasnain (09)

Table 11

Batch 17-21

Submitted to: Dr. Muhammad Riaz

1. Abstract
In this experiment, a BJT was observed and its ability to act as a switch was noted. A BJT has
a value of collector current that is high enough to turn on a load. This saturation current was
observed and found out. Base voltage was varied and behavior on the load was observed. An
ac signal was also applied and the frequency was varied to observe the fluctuation of load
between cutoff and saturation region.

2. Objectives
The objectives of the lab are

 To develop and analyze a circuit using Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT) as a switch
 To make a voltage divider to vary base voltage in transistor
 To observe the behavior of the load when an A.C. current of f frequency is applied

3. Introduction
When we want to turn on a load, let’s say an LED, for example, we can use a switch to
manually turn it on and off. This can also be done using a transistor that can turn on and off
the circuit depending on the base voltage that are provided.

Figure 1: BJT as a Switch

A BJT has three nodes. Base, Emitter and Collector. The base of the BJT acts as switch. We
have to make the base current in this condition to be equal to zero for the LED to turn off.
Switching circuits are significantly different than linear circuits. They are also easier to
understand. Before investigating more complex circuits, we will begin by introducing
discrete solid-state switching circuits: those built around BJTs.

A switch consists of a BJT transistor that is alternately driven between the saturation and
cutoff regions. When the input equals -Vin, the base-emitter junction is reverse biased or off
so no current flows in the collector. This is illustrated by the load line shown in the figure.
When the BJT is in cutoff, the circuit (ideally) has the following values:

IC = 0 A
This state is similar to an open switch.

When the input equals +Vin, the transistor is driven into saturation and the following
conditions occur:

VCE ˜ 0V
IC(sat) = VCC/RC

This state is similar to a closed switch connecting the bottom of RC to ground.

Figure 2: Load Line

4. Equipment
 1 BJT 2N222

 3.3K, 220, 1K, 1.5K resistors

 Multimeter

 Oscilloscope

 Connecting wires

 Function Generator


 DC Supply
5. Procedure
 5V DC Supply
1. The circuit was connected as shown in figure below.

Figure 3: LED and BJT circuit

2. Vbb = 5V on base was applied.

3. 12 Vcc was kept constant.
4. A constant load of LED was applied.
5. The behavior of the LED was observed when the Vbb was switched from 5V to

 Voltage Divider.
1. A voltage divider was made, and the output was set to be equal to 3V.
2. The LED behavior was observed and the values of Ic, Ib and Vce were
calculated and measured
 AC via Function Generator
1. An AC square wave output was provided at Vbb and the frequency was varied to
observe the behavior of the LED glow.
2. First it was set to be equal to 1 and then 0.5 which gave time period of 1s and 2s

6. Observations
 Vce was very small at all times when the LED was glowing, suggesting that the
circuit was saturated, and the transistor acted like a closed switch
 When the LED was off it was found that Vce = Vcc
 It was observed that when the input or the base voltages were set to 3V, the LED was
still glowing, suggesting that even a 3V was capable enough to provide an Ib that
could saturate the circuit.
 When we used function generator, during positive half cycle the LED glowed.
 Changing the frequency of the function generator change the glowing pattern of the
7. Results
Ic(sat) = 54mA

 At 5V DC

Measured value of Ib = 1.08 mA

Measured value of Ic = 45mA
Meaured value of Vce = 145 mV

 At 3V DC
Measured value of Ib = 0.57 mA
Measured value of Ic = 45mA
Meaured value of Vce = 202 mV

Voltage Drop in LED = 2V

8. Discussion
The results are coinciding with our expectations. We calculated the Ib(min) that would make
the transistor a closed circuit. The measured value of Ib was always significantly greater than
the minimum value suggesting that the circuit was saturated. It also suggested that Vce ~ 0,
because the load line in figure 2 suggests so. The readings were measured and then compared
to their theoretical counterparts.
When we connected the circuit to 3V, the same behavior was observed that Ib was still
greater than Ib(min). The readings and the theoretical values coincided and hence it was
concluded that the experiment was performed successfully. There were some variations that
might have occurred due to the following reasons

 Current leakages through transistors

 Unknown and non-precise value of Beta
 Voltage drop because of the internal resistances of the wires
 Other internal resistances
 Heating effects
 Fluctuations

The major source of error was the inability to find the Beta value effectively which led to
unverified results in the end. The voltage divider was behaving obnoxiously. When the ac
current was established, the time period wasn’t exact as we expected, which could be due to
faulty instruments.

9. Conclusion
A BJT can act as switch, turning on when it is saturated and turning off when it is in cutoff
region. When the circuit is saturated the value of Vce ~. The transistor can vary between the
cutoff and saturated region depending on the base current. The minimum value of the current
in Ib should always be greater than Ib(min) in order to saturate the circuit and turn the load
on. An ac input allows fluctuations in LED glowing and varying frequency can alter the rate
at which the LED blinks.