General-Purpose Alarm


Posted on Feb 5, 2014

The alarm may be used for a variety of applications, such as frost monitor, room temperature monitor, and so on. In the quiescent state, the circuit draws a current of only a few microamperes, so that, in theory at least, a 9 V dry battery (PP3, 6AM6, MN1604, 6LR61) should last for up to ten years. Such a tiny current is not possible when ICs are


General-Purpose Alarm
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used, and the circuit is therefore a discrete design. Every four seconds a measuring bridge, which actuates a Schmitt trigger, is switched on for 150 ms by a clock generator. In that period of 150 ms, the resistance of an NTC thermistor, R11, is compared with that of a fixed resistor. If the former is less than the latter, the alarm is set off. When the circuit is switched on, capacitor C1 is not charged and transistors T1 T3 are off. After switch-on, C1 is charged gradually via R1, R7, and R8, until the base voltage of T1 exceeds the threshold bias. Transistor T1 then comes on and causes T2 and T3 to conduct also. Thereupon, C1 is charged via current source T1-T2-D1, until the current from the source becomes smaller than that flowing through R3 and T3 (about 3 µA). This results in T1 switching off, so that, owing to the coupling with C1, the entire circuit is disabled. Capacitor C1 is (almost) fully charged, so that the anode potential of D1 drops well below 0 V. Only when C1 is charged again can a new cycle begin. It is obvious that the larger part of the current is used for charging C1. Gate IC1a functions as impedance inverter and feedback stage, and regularly switches on measurement bridge R9 R12-C2-P1 briefly. The bridge is terminated in a differential amplifier, which, in spite of the tiny current (and the consequent small transconductance of the transistors) provides a large amplification and, therefore, a high...




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