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Flux gate question

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by George Herold, Feb 8, 2013.

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  1. Any fluxgate experts? I recall Jan posted some thing a while back.

    A colleague has made a flux gate by sticking to inductors side by side
    (with the axes in the same direction), but wired so the fields are in
    opposite directions. There’s then a pickup coil that is wrapped
    around the pair (all coils with a common axis).
    I’m trying to understand the ‘scope trace.
    First off the inductors are Bourns 5800-392-RC, L= 3.9mH, R= 8 ohms
    Ioperate=0.1A, Isat=0.2amp The L/R ‘frequency’ is about 300Hz. I’m
    driving them at 200 Hz and monitoring the drive voltage. So there is
    a bit of a phase shift between the displayed voltage and the current
    (which is what I care about.)
    I’ll show a current waveform below. I’ve got a max current of ~0.6A
    about 3x the 10% saturation current.

    Here’s a ‘scope shot with B=0

    So I interpret this trace as follows:
    The two inductors have different saturation currents one inductor
    saturates first, and the pickup coil then sees an increasing B field.
    As the second inductor saturates there is no longer any change in the
    B field. And I’m left with a spike. As the current decreases the
    same thing happens, but in reverse. And I get another spike with the
    opposite sign.
    My question is why do these two pulses have different widths/
    amplitudes. The one for increasing current is always sharper and
    higher. (I tried another pair of inductors same type of behavior.)
    I wondered if it might be the opamp driving the inductors (OPA544)?

    I also measured the current (0.5 ohms in series)
    Here’s the signal with a sine wave
    There a bit of weirdness near the pulses.

    I also did it with a triangle wave drive here,

    For completeness here are pictures with a B field applied in one
    and then reversed

    Is there a ‘physics’ reason for the asymmetry? or just electronics?
    (I was thinking I could try an RC Zobel network in parallel with the

    George H.
  2. Interesting... I'll have to think about it.
    I'm working on the synchronous 2f detection.

    Our 'baby' lockin has no 2f function. I'm thinking of a bridge
    rectifier and a little transformer.

    Does anyone else have this problem? I'd be happy to start using some
    other image hosting site. I liked this one 'cause it's easy for me.
    No registration or other mumbo jumbo.. just upload an image and copy
    the URL.

    George H.
  3. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Nope. Blazingly fast here, loads whambam style as if they were on my

    Here Jim is always razzing me about my computation machine and now _his_
    machine is behaving like a slow-poke, tsk, tsk, tsk ... :)
  4. About a 2-3-second load time for me. Ping is 125-130msec.

    Flickr is about a 35msec ping, less than 1.5 seconds to load.

    How long does it take from your hard drive? ;-)
  5. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Must be something wrong on your side. Or at your ISP but that's not very

    No idea. Normally doesn't matter because you wouldn't even feel 200msec
    latency if the server was at the South Pole, provided that the data
    streams fast enough. I get the same speedy reaction from image servers
    in Europe, when participating in NGs over there. Well, except those that
    are over-fluffified, script-laden or when my firewall stomps on the
    brakes because of nasty stuff in the data.
  6. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Way under a second load time here. Maybe the electrons are freezing a
    bit on the way to Canada. Ping is 191msec, so must be electrically
    farther away from me.

    Flickr is 67msec ping.

    No idea but first I have to find it in the directories and that takes
    time :)
  7. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Nah, ain't happening here. As I said, something must be wrong with the
    computation gear on your side ... <snicker, snicker> :)
  8. Enough chit chat about bayimg. :^)
    Does an inductor behave differently going into saturation versus
    coming out of it? Maybe I could just wind a pickup coil around one
    inductor and see how it behaves.... I stuck an RC zobel across the
    inductors R=16 ohms C = 20uF (C = L/R^2)
    (OK should have been ~30uF) This did absolutely nothing to the pickup

    I guess the difference doesn't really affect the signal, I'd just like
    to understand it.

    George H.
  9. Jeroen

    Jeroen Guest

    When the coils go into saturation, the voltage across them is quite high
    and so is dI/dt. When they come out of saturation, the voltage is much
    closer near zero, and dI/dt is consequently much smaller. At a guess,
    I'd think that the symmetry should be better at 1kHz. Of course, you'd
    need to increase the drive voltage by five times too.

    Jeroen Belleman
  10. Oh, you mean because of the inductance!
    (I've been trying to draw B/H curves with different curvature going
    back and forth, but no hysterisis... didn't work to well)

    At low frequency (~20Hz) they do become more similar.

    * At a guess,
    * I'd think that the symmetry should be better at 1kHz. Of course,
    * need to increase the drive voltage by five times too.

    Hey there's a new 140V opamp... but not much drive current.

    Thanks Jeroen
  11. Thanks Jim, I don't think you need hysteresis to explain it.
    Jereon nailed it for me (I think.)
    It's just the inductance... going into saturation it's pushing me
    and coming out it's sorta holding me back... That snaps up the one
    side and stretches out the other. (excuse my anthropomorphizing)

    George H.
  12. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    I had only three programs that crash. They got voted off the island and
    replaced with similar software of adequate quality. Problem solved. Now
    there is only one (Skype) which I have to keep in order to communicate
    with one engineer. No other crashes whatsoever. It's simple: There is
    software of good quality and then there is software of lesser quality.
  13. I was talking with someone who said the difference between German and
    US companies, is that US companies will ship stuff with software that
    sometimes doesn't work right.

    George H.
  14. Tim Williams

    Tim Williams Guest

  15. Jeroen

    Jeroen Guest

    It's actually the DC resistance of the coils being near the
    average inductive reactance that causes this asymmetry.

    The spikes on the winding common to the two coils occur
    when the current sweeps through some small interval on
    either side of zero, in which one of the coils is deeper
    in saturation than the other. (The region where the B-H
    curve changes slope.)

    At very low frequency, the coil resistance dominates. The
    curve traced out on an I-U plane is a straight line, crossing
    the critical current at equal speed in either direction. The
    spikes are symmetric w.r.t. to peak voltage.

    At high frequency, the inductive reactance dominates, the
    curve on the I-U plane is a (distorted) circle and we're still
    crossing the critical current at equal speed in either
    direction, but now the spikes are symmetric around zero

    In the intermediate frequency case, the critical current
    crossing is unequal in the two directions and one of the
    spikes sits at a lower voltage than the other, taking more
    time to cross the critical current, and yielding a lower,
    longer spike.

    So far for intuition. Next is mathematics or simulation...

    Jeroen Belleman
  16. Grin when he said it I thought of Eagle.
    It may have issues, but it doesn't crash.
    With all previous pcb software my motto was 'save early and often'.
    (mind you I still run version 4.15 from years ago.)

    George H.
  17. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Same here, version 4.16r2, ten years and counting. Anything after that
    wasn't really worth the upgrade for me because they didn't include the
    most predominant missing feature, a hierarchy. But I rather forego a
    hierachy than tolerate crashes.

    Lately there was some talk about a link with LTSpice. No word from their
    engineers about it so I'll wait. If that ever works really seamlessly or
    if hierarchy comes I'll send them a check and upgrade.

  18. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Take the case of triangle drive (TEK0018.BMP) and note the linear
    rise to about the peak (large, first spike).
    Then carefully note the partly exponential current increase as the
    core saturates.
    Fast dropoff at saturation, goes to zero.
    Hysteresis happening here; drive is at slower rate so see slower,
    lower amplitude pulse.
    See same thing with reverse polarity drive.

    Nothing fancy..
  19. John S

    John S Guest

    I did a ping on and got

    A DNS lookup said it is in Stockholm, I think. See
    (watch the wrap)

  20.    Nothing fancy..

    Thanks Robert, It may be 'nothing fancy' for you, but I'm still
    trying to get my head around it. I'm 'mostly clueless', when it comes
    to magnetic materials.
    So let me try this as a hand wavy explanation,
    If I just had one inductor, driven by a voltage source then I'd write
    down the voltage as,

    V = d/dt(L*I) +R*I
    = I*dL/dt + L*dI/dt + R*I

    So as I go into saturation dL/dt is negative. The first term looks a
    bit like a negative resistance. More current is sucked from my voltage
    source. And conversely coming out of saturation the first term is

    I think I'll have to do the one inductor case.
    There's nothing like data to help guide my thinking.
    (I happy it's a 'real physics' thing and not a circuit screw up :^)

    George H.
    - Hide quoted text -
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