Monostable multivibrators

We`ve already seen one example of a monostable multivibrator in use: the pulse detector used within the circuitry of flip-flops, to enable the latch portion for a brief time when the clock input signal transitions from either low to high or high to low. The pulse detector is classified as a monostable multivibrator because it has only one stable s
Monostable multivibrators - schematic

tate. By stable, I mean a state of output where the device is able to latch or hold to forever, without external prodding. A latch or flip-flop, being a bistable device, can hold in either the "set" or "reset" state for an indefinite period of time. Once its set or reset, it will continue to latch in that state unless prompted to change by an external input. A monostable device, on the other hand, is only able to hold in one particular state indefinitely. Its other state can only be held momentarily when triggered by an external input. A mechanical analogy of a monostable device would be a momentary contact pushbutton switch, which spring-returns to its normal (stable) position when pressure is removed from its button actuator. Likewise, a standard wall (toggle) switch, such as the type used to turn lights on and off in a house, is a bistable device. It can latch in one of two modes: on or off. All monostable multivibrators are timed devices. That is, their unstable output state will hold only for a certain minimum amount of time before returning to its stable state. With semiconductor monostable circuits, this timing function is typically accomplished through the use of resistors and capacitors, making use of the exponential charging rates of RC circuits. A comparator is often used to compare the voltage across the charging (or discharging) capacitor with a steady reference voltage, and the on/off output of the comparator...

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