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The best way to test cap voltage with adc?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by bonedoc, Jan 6, 2012.

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  1. bonedoc


    Dec 21, 2011
    So, I wanted to create some events in my microchip based on the measurement of a capacitor voltage. The highest charge the cap would see is 300v. So, I thought I would create a voltage divider. With the calculations, R1 and R2 of the divider came to be 59k Ohms and 100 Ohms. This scales down fine for my ADC measurement....but it obviously drains the heck out of the cap I am charging.

    Are there better options for this?

    The only think I could think to do is put huge resistors in the divider to limit current flow.
  2. BobK


    Jan 5, 2010
    What is wrong with putting huge resistors in the divider?

    Microchip ADCs typically need an output impedance of 2500R or less, so you can use anything up to that in the lower resistor, giving you 25 times less current drawn. Or you can use and opamp and even larger resistors.

  3. Resqueline


    Jul 31, 2009
    Yes, why not use 590k & 1k? That'll drain it ten times slower. In fact, I'd start out using a R1 with as high resistance value (MΩ's) I could get, and then calculate R2.
  4. duke37


    Jan 9, 2011
    Thats right.
    !M and 18k would give a division about the same as you have with 1/17 the drain.
  5. bonedoc


    Dec 21, 2011
    LOL....I dont know why I put the low value on R2. However, I recall some issues with the ADC and high resistor values.

    I will probably use 1 MegaOhm for R1, and instead of using 16K-ish on R2, use a 10k Ohm and a 10k variable resistor in series so I can tune the max value to the pic input voltage.
  6. duke37


    Jan 9, 2011
    I was wrong!

    It should be 1M and 1.8k.?
  7. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    It's possible that if you're driving an ADC directly that you need a relatively low impedance source.

    If so, you could use a voltage follower to buffer the voltage from the divider.
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