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Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Slavko Vorkapitch, Oct 4, 2003.

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  1. Hi - I am reading up on small signal models where for example a shunt
    capacitor is placed across the resistor to ground at the emitter end
    of a basic class A amplifier - so I understand the desireability of
    eliminating unwanted AC signals but wouldn't the connection to ground
    eliminate ALL signals - both DC and AC without a shunt capacitor ?
    Maybe this is too mathematically simple ..

    Thanks in advance,
    El Squid
  2. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

    When current flows through the unbypassed emitter resistor, a voltage is
    developed across it which reduces the base-to-emitter voltage
    differential, thereby reducing (but not eliminating) the collector
    current. When the emitter resistor is bypassed with a capacitor, the
    reactance of the capacitor decreases as frequency increases, the effect
    being to lower the value of the emitter resistance (impedance) as
    frequency increases.
  3. John Fortier

    John Fortier Guest

    Capacitors have an impedance (read resistance in this case) which is
    inversely proportional to the frequency in question. All capacitors have a
    theoretically infinite resistance at DC and at DC the emitter resistance
    will simply be the value of the emitter resistor plus the intrinsic
    resistance of the emitter itself.

    The impedance of a capacitor is determined by the formula Xc = 1/2*Pi*F*C,
    so it can be seen that with F at zero, the impedance will be infinite.

    As the frequency increases, the impedance of the bypass capacitor decreases,
    following the above formula, until it reaches a stage where it is
    insignificant compared to the intrinsic resistance of the emitter. At this
    frequency the AC gain of the amplifier is greatest.

    The DC conditions, however set the bias on the transistor, which, together
    with collector resister and the biasing on the base, will determine the DC
    voltage of the collector. Without the emitter resistor the biasing on the
    amplifier would be dependent on the emitter intrinsic resistance, which is
    very variable.

    Try for basics which
    will explain all of this, probably a lot better than I can.


  4. I'm having trouble understanding what you are asking.

    Are you asking us to explain why a common emitter amplifier without an
    emitter resistor still amplifies?

    If you want the reason, based on some rules of thumb (which are based on the
    physics), the answer is easy:

    let Zc = 1/(2.PI.F.C.j), where F is the signal frequency.
    this is the impedance of the cap.

    then if Re is parallel to Zc, then Rt = Re||Zc = (Re.Zc)/(Re + Zc)

    You can see that if Zc gets small, (which it will when the frequency goes
    up, since its inversely proportional to F) then Rt goes down.

    Since the gain of the amp is Rc/(re + Rt), that higher frequency makes the
    gain go up. re is just the intrinsic emitter resistance, which is 25/Ic mA.

    If there isn't any Rc, then just set that to zero in the above equations,
    and note that the gain goes up, since then Rt = 0, so G = Rc/re.

    This is all based on a transistor model called the ebers-moll equation,
    which you can search for if you need more information.

    Bob Monsen
  5. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Roughly, the current gain of a transistor class A amplifier, is RB /
    RE+h. With a capacitor across RE, the gain of the stage goes up because
    now the emitter circuit effectively no longer has RE (the current gain is
    now only limited by the current gain of the transistor that you are
    using). While this increases the current gain of the stage, it also
    decreased the linearity of the stage.
    Roughly, the voltage gain of the stage is RC/RE+h. So as RE goes down,
    voltage gain goes up.
    RB = Base resistor
    RE = Emitter resistor
    RC = Collector resistor
    h = 26 / emitter current in milliampers

    With RE not having a capacitor across it, the gain of the stage is very
    much effected by the current gain of the transistor. Without a capacitor
    across the emitter resistor, the stage gain is controlled primarily by
    the resistors.
    Hope this helps,
  6. Brian

    Brian Guest

    The last paragraph should have read:

    With RE having a capacitor across it, the gain of the stage is very much
    effected by the current gain of the transistor. Without a capacitor across
    the emitter resistor, the stage gain is controlled primarily by the
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