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MEASUREMENTS OF ELECTRICAL AND M A G N E T I C Q U A N T I T I E S

HIGHLY STABLE SOURCE OF MILLIVOLT REFERENCE VOLTAGES

B. A. Kuznetsov and V. F. Sen'ko UDC 621.387.322.2

The quality criteria of the balanced-type of stabilizers depend in many respects on the
stability of the characteristic for the reference-voltage source. The types 2SI07A, 2SI13A,
and 2SI19A silicon voltage-stabilizing diodes have a rather high dynamic resistance and a
substantial voltage--temperature coefficient so that their use as reference-voltage sources
does not give the desired results.
A circuit is shown in Fig. 1 for a reference-voltage source that provides stable volt-
ages in the order of 0.2-2 V when the supply voltage and the ambient temperature vary over
wide ranges.
The reference-voltage source is a voltage stabilizer of the balanced type in which the
measuring element is a tunnel diode. The control elements, like the stabilizers in [i], op-
erate in a high-frequency switching mode that establishes a substantial pulsation on the out-
put voltage. The measuring element in this circuit (the tunnel diode) functions as a genera-
tor of nearly sinusoidal oscillations having an amplitude that depends on the location of the
initial operating point along the volt-ampere characteristic of the tunnel diode. The voltage
obtained by rectifying the high-frequency oscillations runs between 0.14 and 0.2 V, and after
being amplified by transistor T: it controls a regulating transistor as in the usual balanced-
type stabilizer.
The special features in the selection of operating conditions for a tunnel diode on dc
are illustrated in Fig. 2. The operating point (the "quiescent" point) is selected on the
negative part of the volt--ampere characteristic at a current magnitude Iq= (0.8 to 0.9)Imax~
The generator as used in the circuit with the series circuit LchC2 produces sinusoidal
oscillations when the equilibrium condition for the amplitude is
Lch~ RIRd~C. (I)
and the equilibrium condition for the phase is

~2-- ]'~LJ 1--'lRdl '

where R = r c h + R 2 R a / ( R 2 + R a ) , C =C2 + C d, and IRd[ is the modulus of the differential resis-


tance of the diode at the operating point.
Under steady-state operating conditions for the generator the inequality of Eq. (i) shifts
to the equality Lch =RIRdlav C due to the increase in IRd[ as the amplitude of the oscilla-
tions increases.
If the equilibrium condition for the amplitude is satisfied with a small reserve; i.e.,
Lch= (3 to 4)RIRdlC , then the voltage amplitude of the generator will be determined by the
position of the points a and b in Fig. 2 and
AU
I Rdlav= AI "

When the load voltage changes, the position of the operating point for the tunnel diode
0 (Fig. 2) is changed and the amplitude of the generator steady-state oscillations is altered
accordingly.

Translated from !zmeritel'naya Tekhnika, No. i, pp. 63-64, January, 1977.

This material is protected b y copyright registered in the n a m e o f Plenum Publishing Corporation, 227 West 1 7th Street, N e w York, N. Y.
10011. N o part o f this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any f o r m or b y any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, microfilming, recording or otherwise, w i t h o u t written permission o f the publisher. A copy o f this article is
available f r o m the publisher f o r $ Z 50.

103
o

Go

Uout
lg =~2-2V
Uin=
=2,4-8V
7~ ch ['5

Fig. i
Ra

T"
-- g

Fig. 2
Inasmuch as the tunnel diode is operating in an amplifier circuit for a slowly changing
supply voltage, the change in the amplitude of the generator's oscillations is then equal to

AUra = AU L ]Rdl __ AU L Rs IRd] .


IRdI--R R2+Ra iRd[--R
The oscillation frequency of the generator is several megahertz and therefore the volt-
age change on capacity CI (see Fig. i) is practically equal to AU c = AUm; i.e., the transfer
factor of the measuring element in this circuit is

IRd[ Ra
Kmea= IRdI--R R2 +Ra

When R is properly chosen, Kme a can be greater than unity.


In other respects the circuit operates like the usual balanced type of stabilizer [2].
The output voltage is adjusted by means of the resistor R2. To ensure that the control tran-
sistor operates on the linear part of the characteristic, the stabilizer is loaded with a
small value of current I L (in the order of 20 mA).
It was demonstrated in [2] that the principal temperature instability of a voltage sta-
bilizer is due to the temperature variation of the reference voltage and the "base-- emitter"
voltage of the amplifying transistor. In the proposed circuit these two factors depend on
the variation of the same voltage -- the voltage of the tunnel-diode generator. The tempera-
ture variation of the base current in the amplifying transistor can be made a negligible quan-
tity by means of a low-resistance divider Ra and R3 and by making Kme a close to unity. Con-
sequently, the temperature instability of the proposed stabilizer is practically determined
by only the temperature coefficient of the voltage for the reference-voltage source, i.e.,
by the coefficient of the tunnel diode.
By the use of gallium-arsenide tunnel diodes in the circuit as the measuring element it
has been possible to obtain a very small voltage--temperature coefficient because in the tem-
perature range from --30 to +80~ the Ima x for gallium-arsenide tunnel diodes decreases alto-
gether by several percentage points [3], which does not affect the amplitude of the steady-
state oscillations from the generator.
The proposed circuit has the following parameters: range of output voltage adjustment-
0.2 to 2 V; instability of the output voltage when the input voltage is varied over a range
from 2.4 to 6 V -- no more than I mV; instability of the output voltage when the ambient tem-
perature is varied from I0 to 60~ -- no more than I mV.
There are practically no pulsations in the output voltage.
It has been shown that the use of a reference-voltage source to balance the constant
component which is equal to 0.45 V has excellent stability of the parameters and that the in-
strument is reliable.

104
The proposed circuit can be employed as an independent low-voltage source having a sta-
bilization factor of 50 to i00 when the load current varies from 0 to 250 mA~ This is due
to the fact that a change in the load resistance has some effect on the generator's excita-
tion conditions. When the value of R L is unchanged, the circuit has the parameters indicated
above.
LITERATURE CITED
i. I . I . Belopol'skii et al., Stabilizers for Low and Millivolt Voltages [in Russian],
Energiya, Moscow (1974).
2. S . D . Dodik and E. I. Gal'perin (editors), Electric Power Supplies Using Semiconductor
Devices. Design and Calculation [in Russian], Soy. Radio, Moscow (1969).
3. V . V . Voskresenskii and L. M. Ivanitskii, Application of Tunnel Diodes in Pulse Tech-
nology [in Russian], Svyaz., Moscow (1974).

HIGH-SPEED DIGITAL dc VOLTMETER

A. S. Nagaikin, G. I. Eremina, A. M. Gordienko, UDC 621.317.725.024.083.92


and A. L. Torchin

In many cases the rate of voltage measurement affects the completeness of information
on processes recorded by electronic instruments. The authors developed a highly accurate
digital voltmeter having small measurement time.
In mass-produced digital voltmeters of types F30 and R385, the time of one measurement
is more than 20 msec. High speed depends mainly on the rate of charging of the counter by
pulses bearing information on comparison of the input voltage with the reference signal; the
latter may vary with time linearly, stepwise, or according to any other law convenient for
converting the input analog signal to a digital code. It is well known that stepwise conver-
sion of the reference voltage to the binary code provides considerable decrease in measure-
ment time. Our instrument uses a stepwise law of change (increase) of the reference signal,
which differs slightly from that of the binary code. This difference is occasioned by the
need to simplify slightly the conversion of the binary code to the binary-- decimal, which is
required for control of the digital indicator lamps. For this purpose the bits in the code-
to-analog (C--A) converter, used to form the reference signal, have weights increasing ac-
cording to the law I--2--4--8, i0--20--40--80, i00--200...
Each group of four triggers Tg in the C--A converter constitutes a decade, within which
the weights of the bits vary according to a binary law.
The block diagram of the digital voltmeter (Fig. i) with three-digit readout shows a
shaper S consisting of a multiphase multivibrator, as well as a C--A converter, a comparison
circuit CC, an input amplifier A whose function is to convert the heteropolar input signal
to a unipolar output, a decoder Dec for conversion from binary-coded decimal to decimal, and
a register comprising three decades Dcl, Dc2, and Dc3 of triggers with AND gates; its func-
tions are to control the C--A converter and store the measured quantity in the binary--deci-
mal code.
The digital voltmeter operates in the following manner. On receipt of the signal pulse
Start, the mu!tiphase multivibrator successively, beginning with the most significant bit,
sets each bit trigger of the C--A converter in the "i" state. The output voltage of the
C--A converter is compared with the voltage being measured U x by using CC. If the lats
voltage is less than the reference voltage, a signal will appear at the output of CC, which,
applied to the AND gate together with a time pulse from the multiphase multivibrator, drops
the trigger to the "0" state. If the voltage being measured exceeds the reference voltage,

Translated from Izmeritel'naya Tekhnika, No. I, pp. 65-66, January, 1977.

This material is protected by copyright registered in the name o f Plenum Publishing Corporation, 227 West 1 7th Street, N e w York, N. Y.
10011. N o part o f this publication may be reproduced, stored in a re trieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, microfilming, recording or otherwise, without written permission o f the publisher. A copy o f this article is
available f r o m the publisher for $ Z 5 0 .

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