Fast Symmetrical Zener Clipper
Posted on Mar 28, 2013 10063
The problem with using two zeners back to back in series to get symmetrical clamping is that the knee of the
zener characteristics is rather sloppy. Also, charge storage in the zeners causes speed problems and the zeners will have slightly different knee voltages, so the symmetry will not be all that good. This circuit overcomes these problems. By putting the zener inside a diode bridge, the same zener voltage is always experienced. The voltage errors caused by the diodes are much smaller than those caused by the zener. Also, the charge storage of the bridge is much less. By biasing the zener ON all the time, the knee appears to be much sharper.