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Experiment 1 — Oscilloscope input resistance.

This section has two purposes. It should help you get used to your equipment. It also
helps you understand the concept of input and output resistances.

Any piece of equipment which accepts input signals will require both a voltage and a
current to make it work. This is because every signal must convey some energy/power
— except the trivial case of the signal “0 Volts”. When you apply an input voltage to,
say, an oscilloscope, it must also draw a small current to make it recognise that a
signal has arrived.

The amount of current required by something to make it respond to a given voltage


depends upon how it has been designed and built. We don't need to bother about these
details, instead we can pretend that a resistor has been connected between its input
terminal and earth, somewhere inside its box. The better a 'scope or voltmeter is, the
smaller the current it needs to register a given voltage - i.e. the higher its input
resistance. The 'scope will probably have an “AC/DC/Ground” switch for each input.
You can force the 'scope to show where 0V is on the screen by setting this to
“Ground”. Then set it back to “DC” to use the 'scope - just measure the number of
divisions between where Ground is and the point on the trace whose voltage you want
to measure. For most measurements, these controls should be left on “DC”. The “AC”
setting is useful when you want to watch small variations of a relatively large voltage
level, but it tends to alter the shape of some a.c. waves.
Build the circuit shown in diagram 3 and connect it between the power supply and
'scope as shown. By adjusting the potentiometer you can apply any D.C. voltage from
0 to +15V to the scope. Set the voltage initially to 0 and adjust the vertical position of
the trace to sit on a convenient line.

Measure the input current into the scope for three or four different input voltages.
You can use the 'scope itself to measure the voltage. Use these values to calculate
the 'scope input resistance.

What is the significance of the order of magnitude of the 'scope resistance, ?

Experiment 2 — The RC Low-Pass Filter

This experiment shows the main properties of capacitors and how they can be used
with resistors to make filters that pass some frequencies and block others. In this case
the capacitor and a resistor are used to make a Low Pass Filter.

You should build your Low Pass filter circuit on one of the pieces of
Tracked Board you have been given. To see photographic images of
what your circuit should look like, just click on the image of a camera
near this text.

The circuit diagram for this circuit is


shown to the left.

As is common in circuit diagrams, the


bottom line in this diagram is assumed
to be the ‘earth’ or ‘0 Volts’ wire.

Build this circuit on a board using a


2·2k resistor and a 0·1 F capacitor. Try to make it look as much like the photo as
you can. Use different colour wires for the input, output and ground leads to make it
easier to tell which is which. It is usually a good idea to adopt a favourite set of
‘usual’ colours for leads as this will help you recognise what you have built. In most
cases, we would recommend using a green-covered wire for ‘earth’ or ‘0 Volts’, and
colours like blue for signal input, yellow for signal output, etc. The precise colours
aren’t important, though. as long as they are consistent and recognisable.

Make a note in your labscript of the wire colours you have used for the circuit.

Connect the signal generator to the input leads ( ). Use both inputs of your ‘scope
so you can observe both the input and output voltages at the same time. In each case
remember that the earth lead of each pair (i.e. the ‘outer’ of the co-axial cables)
should be connected to the earth-line of the circuit, shown as the bottom line of the
diagram. If you can’t see which wire of the coaxial cable is which, remember that the
‘live’ wire usually has a red coloured terminal, and the ‘ground’ wire usually has a
green or black coloured one. If you are not sure, ask a demonstrator to check your
leads.

Apply an input sinewave of approximately 1V peak-to-peak, and use the ‘scope to


note the values of and at a series of frequencies from about 100 Hz up to 5
kHz. Use the ‘scope to measure the frequency by observing the period of the
waveform. Then plot a graph of against frequency.

At what frequency does have the value ?

Draw a line on the graph at the filter’s turn over frequency


Is this reasonably close to the frequency where the output/input ratio is ?

Remember to label your circuit with your name and keep it to hand in with your
script.

Experiment 3 — Resonant Tuned Circuit.

This experiment shows you some of the properties of circuits which contain resistors,
capacitors, and inductors.

Resonance is an important physical phenomenon. It can occur in all sorts of systems,


from a swinging mechanical pendulum to an optical cavity. In each case it requires a
situation where energy is periodically transferred back and forth between two possible
‘reservoirs’. In the case of a pendulum, energy is transferred from gravitational
potential (i.e. the height of the pendulum mass) to kinetic and back again. In an optical
cavity the transfer is between the electric and magnetic fields inside the cavity.

When processing electronic signals in analogue form, we often need to use a filter to
select (or reject) a specific band of frequencies. One of the easiest ways of making a
filter for this sort of task is to combine a resistance, capacitance, and inductance.
Diagram 4 shows a typical arrangement. You should assemble this circuit for
measurement in this experiment. Use a 1,000 pF capacitor for ‘C’, a 2·2 mF inductor
for ‘L’, and a 10 resistor for ‘R’. Use the signal generator to provide the input
signal, .

As with the earlier experiments, your circuit should be laid out in a


similar way to the circuit shown in the photographs which you can see
by clicking on the image of a camera.

You should use the generator output which is typically labelled 50 or 600 .
In this case, the lower wire of the circuit has an earth symbol attached to remind you
that this is meant to be the earth/zero-volts line. In practice you will connect the line
to earth via the outer leads of the co-axial cables used for the signal generator and
‘scope. Use both ‘scope leads and channels to observe both and at the
same time.

Although this circuit doesn't look anything like an optical cavity, it is working in a
similar way. The capacitor can store energy in the form of an electric field in between
its plates. The inductor can store energy in the form of a magnetic field around its coil.
If you put some energy into the circuit it will tend to be moved back and forth
between these two components at a frequency which depends upon their values.

Start by applying a large square-wave input signal with a frequency of a few hundred
hertz. You should see the output voltage ring after the abrupt input voltage changes
which occur at each square wave edge. This ringing is a damped resonance which
occurs whenever you abruptly try to alter the state of a resonant system. The time
taken to settle down depends upon the amount of damping which, here, depends upon
the resistance, R, in the circuit. Note that the frequency of the ringing doesn't depend
upon the input square wave frequency. It is characteristic only of the resonant
frequency of the circuit.

Sketch the output waveform and use the 'scope to estimate the ringing frequency,
, by timing each cycle.
(Caution: the time-base readings will be only be correct if the ‘scope display is
correctly calibrated. Check to see if there is a time knob or switch setting marked
something ‘calibrate’ and ensure it is set to the calibrated position before making any
timing measurements.)

Now switch over to using sine waves. You should find that the ratio of
depends upon the sinewave frequency

Find the frequency, , where is a maximum.


Note this frequency.

How does compare with ?

The circuit can be thought of as being in two parts:

• Part 1: a resonant circuit made with the L, C, and 22 resistor


• Part 2: an input series 100k resistor.

The properties of the resonant circuit can be examined using this arrangement because
the impedance of a resonant circuit is frequency dependent. In effect, you have made a
potential divider using a resistor (the 100k ) whose resistance doesn't depend upon
the signal frequency, and a resonant circuit whose impedance does depend upon the
frequency. As a result varies with the input frequency in a way which
reveals the frequency dependent behaviour of the resonant circuit.

Take the data to form a table of and for a range of frequencies, f, from
about to .
Plot a graph of normalised values of versus the frequency.

(Here, normalised means divide all the values by the maximum value
which occurs at . This means that when the graph is plotted its peak value will
appear to be unity.)

Note the frequencies, & where falls to of its peak value.

Note the difference, between these two frequencies. This value of


indicates the ‘range’ of frequencies the circuit will pass though if used as a
bandpass filter.

In theory, the resonant frequency of a weakly damped resonant circuit should be given
by

Calculate the theoretical value of for your circuit using this expression.
Compare the result with your measured and values and say how much they
differ in percentage terms.

You can also use your data to measure two more properties of your circuit.

i) The circuit “Q".

The Q (or quality factor) of a resonant system is a measure of how ‘sharp’ a resonance
is. It is an important property of a system because it depends upon how quickly the
system loses stored energy. The circuit you have been experimenting upon can be
used as band pass filter which will let through signal frequencies , but reject
frequencies which are very different to . The band width of the filter — i.e. the
width of the frequency range passed by the filter — depends upon its Q.

In principle, the quality factor of your resonant circuit can be calculated in two ways

where R is the dissipation resistance of the resonant circuit, and is the measured

frequency width of the resonant peak (at the points below its peak).

Take the measured and values from your graph and use expression 3 to
calculate a value of Q.

Compare this with the value you get if you use expression 4 and the values of the
components you are using. You may well find that these results for Q aren't the same!

Part of the reason for this difference is the fact that the inductor also has a resistance,
which you haven't taken into account. The other resistances (the 100k , and the input
resistance of the 'scope) also have some effect even through they look as if they're
‘outside’ the resonant circuit. However, the main problem is one called the ‘skin
effect’. This makes a.c. signals tend to prefer to flow in the outer ‘skin’ of a
conductor. The higher the frequency, the thinner the skin the current is confined to. In
effect, for an a.c. signal you could remove the metal inside the wire just leaving a
hollow tube of metal. As a result the wire behaves as if it is becoming thinner (and
hence more resistive) as you increase the frequency. This means that the behaviour of
an inductor – which contains a long wire thin wire wound into a coil – can be very
different to a plain inductance.

Many textbooks will leave you with the impression that you can calculate Q just from
knowing L and R. The above comparison should serve as a warning that the actual
value of the dissipation resistance of a circuit isn't always obvious. This is because the
resistance actually experienced by the a.c. signals may not have the value you expect.
In practice, it is better to discover the Q by measuring and and then calculating
.

ii) The peak impedance.

At any particular frequency, f, the resonant circuit will have an impedance which we

can call . This reaches its maximum value, , at the resonant frequency.
As your circuit is a sort of potential divider you can expect that

where is the input 100k series resistor.

Use your (un-normalised) measurements to calculate a value for at the


resonant frequency, .

Note for those who know something about a.c. circuit theory. When a circuit contains
inductors or capacitors its impedance, , is generally complex. This means that the
alternating currents and voltages in it don't always share the same phase. When using the
'scope to measure and you may have noticed their relative phases — as well as
sizes — changing when you altered the signal frequency. This means that, strictly speaking, in
the above equation , , and should all be considered as complex numbers. At
resonance, however, the impedance of a circuit always becomes ‘real’ — i.e. purely resistive
— so we don't need to worry about this complication.

Experiment 4 — Characteristics of a Silicon Transistor.

Given that a typical home computer contains around a hundred million transistors (or
more!) and ‘ordinary’ things like TV's and radios can contain hundreds it's likely that
there are many more transistors on the Earth than people! It's probably a good idea to
understand them...
There are all sorts, shapes, and sizes of transistor. In this lab we will only consider one
basic type, the bipolar transistor. This comes in two ‘flavours’ called PNP and NPN.
For the following experiments you should use the BC184L NPN transistors which are
available.

When a theoretician presents a series of lectures about bipolar transistors he or she can
usually make them sound very complex! The good news is that in practice you usually
only have to know a few of the many properties of a transistor. All the other details
only become necessary in that “one time in a hundred” when you build an unusual
circuit. The basic properties of a BC184L are:—

• Maximum allowed power dissipation, P = 350 mW


• Max. allowed collector current, = 100 mA
• Max. allowed collector-emitter voltage, = 30 V
• Typical current gain, = 250 to 800

In practice, the transistor has many more properties. Worse still, many of them vary
from transistor to transistor, and may change with temperature, the applied voltages,
etc. Fortunately, we can often ignore these complications!

The BC184L is built into a standard TO-92 package with three leads. The diagram
below shows what the package looks like and identifies the leads where B = Base, C =
Collector, and E = Emitter.
Connect up the circuit shown in diagram 5 and use it for the following experiment.
For this experiment, just put the transistor on the circuit board and use the resistors as
part of the leads as shown in the photograph. Once this experiment is complete, you
will use the same transistor and board and add new components to make an amplifier.

As with previous experiments there are some photos to show you what
your circuit should look like. Click on the image of a camera to see the
photos.

Electronic engineers often adopt the convention that upper case letters, like or
, are used to signify steady or d.c. values and lower case ones, like and ,
are used to represent small changes or a.c. quantities. This convention will be used for
the following explanations.

e.g. signifies the DC voltage as measured between the base and the emitter of the
transistor, whereas signifies the AC voltage fluctuations between the collector
and the emitter.

Note. When you have finished all these measurements keep your transistor on its
board. You will need it for the next section!

Use your 'scope to measure and . Use the Avometer and DVM (Digital
Volt Meter) to measure the currents, and .

Adjust the 1M pot to set the base current, , to 2 A. Setting of the 2.5k
potentiometer to 5 Volts. Make a note of the values of and . Use the 1M
pot to increase in 2 A steps, each time using the 2·5k pot to set back to
five volts and then noting the new values of and . Stop when you either can't
make equal 5 volts or when mA.

Reduce back down to 2 A and repeat the process but with set to 10
volts.

Plot two graphs of your results. One showing how varies with for both
choices of collector-emitter voltage. The other showing how varies with
for both collector-emitter voltages.

You should find that the V and V curves are fairly similar on
each graph.
Most textbooks bang on at tedious length about “h-parameters”. The good news is
that you can usually avoid knowing too much about these and still get circuits to
work. One parameter is relatively important, this is the transistor's value. We can
define the from the equation

Where represents a small change in collector current, and represents a small


change in base current. i.e. represents the ratio of a change in the base current to
the corresponding change in collector current. The bipolar transistor is a current
amplifier. If we change the base current by an amount, the collector current will
change by an amount . Here we can think of the input and output as the
magnitudes of alternating signals. Hence is essentially the AC current gain that
the transistor can provide. The transistor provides an output current fluctuation which
is times bigger than the input current fluctuation. The larger the value of , the
more the transistor can amplify a signal.

Use the graphs you have plotted to determine your transistor's value at
2 mA when volts.

(Remember that tells you how quickly changes with so you can work out

from the slope of your graph at 2 mA.) Compare this with the value at
2 mA on the volts curve. You should find that they are fairly
similar. Note that the graphs you have plotted aren't straight lines through the origin.
Hence the transistor's gain does vary with voltage, etc, although it should only vary
gradually at moderate voltages and currents. Note also that the versus plots
look similar to those you'd get from a diode. This is because the base-emitter part of a
bipolar transistor is a diode!
Experiment 5 — The Transistor Amplifier.

Transistors are used in a great variety of circuits. Fortunately, we can divide the ways
in which they are used into two fairly simple classes: amplifiers and switches.

Transistors switches form the basis of all modern electronic digital computers. This
particular lab doesn't deal with digital electronics. Here we will look at an example of
using a bipolar transistor in an amplifier.

Figure 6 illustrates a typical single-transistor amplifier circuit. This arrangement is


often called the common emitter amplifier because the input voltage to the transistor
appears between the base & emitter, and the output voltage appears between the
collector & emitter — i.e. the emitter terminal is shared by (or ‘common to’) the input
and output.

Note. , , and are the voltages between each of the transistor base,
collector, and emitter terminals and the ‘ground’ (zero volts). They aren't the same
thing as or which are the voltages from base-to-emitter and collector-to-
emitter! The diagram also shows the input and output signal AC voltages, and
. These aren't equal to and because the 0·1 F capacitors block any d.c.
connection between these potentials. (If you're puzzled by all this, ask a
demonstrator.)

In order to build a working amplifier you have to choose suitable values for resistors,
, , , and . For now, assume that (i.e. it is a piece of wire). We
will want to choose a value for later, but for now we’ll worry about everything
else.

Anyone who has been confused by reading an electronics textbook will suspect that
choosing the ‘right’ values for the resistors is quite complicated. However, it is
possible to select satisfactory values using some simple rules. It is worth bearing in
mind again that electronics is a practical subject which shares some things with
cookery! (Transistors can get hot, too...) In particular, there are situations (and this is
one) where there isn't always a single ‘correct’ solution for the resistor values you
need. It is possible to make a working amplifier using a wide range of resistor values.
For a theorist or mathematician this can be depressing — there isn't one ‘right’
answer. For the rest of us it's good news as it means there are a wide range of values
which are ‘OK’. It also means that some simple approximations aren't likely to lead to
serious problems.

Experience with bipolar transistors has taught engineers that — 9 times out of 10 — a
good start is to make just three assumptions and use them as ‘rules’ unless we know
better:—

1. The base-emitter voltage will always be about 0·6 Volts (or 0·6 for a PNP
transistor).
2. The current gain (the value) will be a few hundred.
3. The large value means that , so we can assume that

If you look at your transistor's characteristic curves you should see that, although
does depend upon , over most of the measured range it is around 0·6 Volts or

so. The of your transistor will probably be somewhere in the 200 — 600 range. So
these approximations are a moderately good place to start in the absence of any better
information.

The resistors in the amplifier circuit will determine the steady bias voltages and
currents, , , etc. The capacitors in the circuit are used to control the effects of
a.c. signals. Start off by ignoring the capacitors as they don't affect the way the actual
transistor operates. We can therefore work out all the resistor values, etc, without
bothering about them.

There are various ways to decide what values to choose for the bias resistors. They all
give roughly similar results, and the following simple argument is about as good as
any other.

For the circuit to work as an amplifier we need to make the collector voltage, ,
move up and down in response to any input signal variations. These changes in
collector voltage are coupled out through the capacitor to provide the output voltage
signals, . This means that — in the absence of any input signal — the transistor
should have a ‘moderate’ set of applied bias voltages/currents to give ‘room’ to
move up and down under the influence of any input.

The circuit is driven by a +15V power line and the collector-emitter voltage is applied
via the two series resistors, & . In the absence of any good reason for making
some other choice we might just as well assume that the available voltage should be
shared equally between , , and the transistor. We therefore want about 5 volts
across , 5 volts across , and 5 volts between the collector and emitter. This
means that the amplifier should have, V, V, and V.

The Transistor Amplifier

Choosing Component Values.


From ‘rule 1’ we can now
say that we want the base
voltage, , to be around
5·6 volts. The two base
resistors act as a sort of
potential divider and we
can choose their values to
set the voltage we require.
To do this we need to use
Ohms Law and recognise
that the current through
provides the base
current and the current which goes on through .

From ‘rule 3’ we can also say that we require since the


currents in these resistors will be almost exactly the same and we
want to have 5 volts across each of them (Ohm's Law).

In the previous section you measured your transistor's value at a


particular point on its curves ( mA, V). So let's
choose to try and set the amplifier up with a collector current of
about 2mA. We therefore want the currents passing through and
to be 2mA. You now know the current in each of these resistors
and the voltage across each of them. Using Ohm's Law, what values
do you calculate are required for and ? What is the closest
‘E12’ series value available in the lab? Use this value for the emitter
and collector resistor in your circuit.
Part of the current flowing through will continue on through
and part will enter the transistor to provide its base current. .
Using Ohm's Law again we can say that

where we know that, for to be 5 volts, we want volts, so


we can say that

This gives us two equations but we have three unknowns, , ,


and . To proceed any further we have to choose a sensible value
for one of these.

The best way to proceed is to choose a value for the current, ,


which passes through both resistors. In theory, we can choose any
value we like. However, in practice it turns out to be a good idea to
choose a value since this means that the voltages across the
resistors are largely determined by . This means that any slight
changes in won't mean we've got the wrong results. However, we
don't want to be too big. The reason for this is that we would get a
large current by using very low resistance values. These would
make it difficult to apply an input ac voltage when using the
amplifier.

In practice the simplest convenient choice is to pick something like


so I suggest you choose that. Note, however, that you
could choose almost anything from up to and it
would still probably be possible to make the amplifier work despite
having chosen very different currents and resistor values!
Note. Here I will assume you found that (‘rule 2’). You can

follow the argument I describe below, but substitute the you


measured to get the correct results for your transistor.

A current gain of 400 means that at mA the current entering

the transistor's base is A. Multiplying this by 25


we get 125 A. Putting this into the above equations we get

k and k . What values do you get for your


transistor? What are the closest E12 series values available to use in
your circuit?

You should now have values for , , , and . However, we


now need to decide what to do with ...

is actually quite important as it turns out to control the voltage


gain of the amplifier. To understand why this is true, have another
look at figure 6 and consider what happens when we quickly waggle
the input voltage up an down with an ac signal. In order to change
the voltage across we also have to change the voltage across
as they are connected in parallel. To change the voltage across
we have to move charge in or out of the capacitor. This takes time.
So if we keep changing our mind and waggling the input voltage up
and down quickly we don’t give this a chance to happen.

As a result, for ‘quick’ variations effectively ‘clamps’ the voltage


at the top of and won’t allow it to change. The transistor’s base-
emitter voltage remains about 0·6V. Hence the changes in input
voltage mostly appear as changes in the voltage across .
An input ac voltage, , therefore tends to produce an ac current
variation in of

Since is relatively tiny (hundreds of times smaller than or )


we now expect the same current fluctuation to appear in . So the
voltage across the collector resistor will vary by an amount

So it is the ratio of these two resistors that tends to control the


voltage amplification factor (gain) of the circuit.

Now, provided we choose a value for which reasonably small


compared to , we can leave the other resistor values alone and
not worry that we have changed the DC levels very much. A small
value will also mean a high gain.

What value of will give your amplifier a voltage gain of


around × 20?

Choose the nearest E12 resistor value for your circuit. What
value is this, and what value of gain do you it expect it to
provide?

The Transistor Amplifier

Measuring your amplifier


The capacitors in the circuit affect how it responds to a.c. signals.
The input and output capacitors, and act as ‘d.c. blocks’. They
tend to pass through any voltage fluctuations, but stop any external
connections (to signal generators, 'scopes, etc) from affecting the
d.c. levels in the circuit. Without them, the circuit would be liable to
stop working as soon as you connect anything to it!

The 22 F, , is a ‘shunt’ capacitor. In principle, we could omit ,


but if we did the amplifier voltage gain would be low. Can you
explain why this would be the case?

Build your amplifier using the values you have been given for
the capacitors and the values you have worked out for the
resistors. Build the circuit using the transistor and board from
the previous experiment.

To see photographs of what your circuit should look like,


click on the image of a camera. Make your circuit as
similar as you can to the amplifier shown in the
photographs, but remember that your resistor values
may be different!

As with earlier experiments, you will need to hand in this circuit


when you are finished to get the experiment marked, so make sure
you also put your name on it.

Switch the amplifier on (i.e. connect the power supply +15V & 0V
lines and turn on the power!) and use the DVM to measure , ,
and . You should find that volts and volts. If
they're more than a volt or so away from these values, check you've
built the circuit correctly. If not sure, ask a demonstrator.
Make a note on Diagram 6 of the voltages you measure and
indicate the resistance values in your circuit.

You can now measure the a.c. properties of your circuit. Use your
'scope to observe the input and output voltages, & . Connect
the signal generator to provide an input sinewave signal.

The voltage gain, G, of the circuit can be defined as the ratio

. Plot a graph showing how the gain varies with sinewave


frequency. Plot a couple of dozen values over the range from 10Hz
up to 50 kHz.

Note. The amplifier gain only means something when the amplifier
behaves in a fairly linear manner. If the amplifier's operating point is
very wrong — or if you use too large an input — the amplifier will
visibly distort the signal. Watch out for this on the 'scope trace. The
input should look like a good sinewave. The output should also look
like a sinewave. If the output is visibly ‘flattened’ or ‘clipped’ then
the amplifier is distorting the signal. Reduce the input level until the
output looks OK.

You should find that the gain is quite frequency dependent, so the
size of input you can use without distortion will also depend upon
signal frequency.

Why is the gain frequency dependent? In particular, why does


the gain fall away at low frequencies? What could be done to
improve this?
You should also find that the amplifier tends to invert the signal
— i.e. the output appears 'upside-down'. Why is this?

(If you don't know the answers to these questions, ask a


demonstrator.)

Experiment 6 — The Op Amp & IC Amplifier

Although transistor amplifiers made with ‘discrete’ components (i.e. individually


packaged) are still used for some special purposes like high-quality ‘Hi-Fi’, most
modern signal processing systems use Integrated Circuits (ICs). The one of the oldest,
most commonly used – and cheapest! – IC Operational Amplifiers is the SN741. This
experiment uses a 741 as a simple audio-frequency amplifier.

741 Op Amps come in a variety of packages. One of the most common is an 8-pin
Dual-In-Line (DIL) or Dual In-line Plastic (DIP) package of the kind shown below
The 741 has two signal inputs – called ‘inverting’ and ‘non-inverting’. It also must be
powered using two voltage lines that provide ± 15V.

For this experiment, build the circuit shown in figure 7. As with earlier
circuits, make your circuit look similar to the one in the photographs.
Click on the picture of a camera if you want to see the photos.
Remember to label your circuit and hand it in with your results. You
should be able to work out which pin to connect to what by comparing this diagram
with those for the 741’s package and the wires shown in the photos. If not sure, ask a
demonstrator.
The circuit shown in diagram 7 can be used as either an ‘inverting’ or a ‘non-
inverting’ voltage amplifier depending on how you apply an input signal. This is
because the Op Amp has the property that its output depends on the difference in the
voltages applied to the pair of pins, 2 & 3. First, use it as an inverting amplifier by
connecting it as shown below.

The earth symbol shows where we connect 0V (earth) from the power supply. We
also connect the earth leads (outer wires of the co-axial cables) to this point. The live
input lead is connected to the inverting input resistor (shown as ‘A’ in figure 7).
Measure the voltage gain, , of the inverting Op Amp, using sinewaves
at 10Hz, 1kHz, 10kHz, and 100kHz. What value does this gain have at most
frequencies?

Remember to check and see if the output is inverted, if so the gain value should be
negative. Also, as usual when making gain measurements, make sure the output isn’t
distorted – clipped or bent in any way. If it seems distorted, reduce the amplitude of
the signal until the output looks like a sinewave.

You should find that the gain is fairly uniform at low frequencies, but tends to
fall away at high frequencies. At what frequency does the gain fall to 70% of its
low-frequency value?

What is the peak to peak voltage of the largest output the amplifier can produce
at low frequency (e.g. 300 Hz)? Say why you think the output is limited to the
value.

Now change the connections to your Op-Amp so that the ‘live’ input and the earth
connections have been swapped over. Your circuit should now be a non-inverting
amplifier as shown below. Repeat the same gain measurements as before and note
your results.
You should find that both the sign and the value of the gain of the two types of
amplifier differ. Say why you think this is the case. (If unsure, ask a
demonstrator.)

Say what change you would make to the circuit you have built if you wanted to
increase the voltage gain of the inverting amplifier to .