classic V/I converter

Posted on Feb 9, 2013

Figure 1 shows a classic voltage-to-current (V/I) converter. You can select the resistor values such that the output current in the load, RL, varies only with the input voltage, VIN, and is independent of RL. The circuit is widely used in industrial instruments for supplying a 4- to 20-mA signal. The circuit has its limitations, however, because the resistor values must be quite accurate to obtain a true current source.

The literature describing the circuit provides design methods that are for special cases or are for approximate designs. This Design Idea gives two simple design formulas you can use to determine the component values that produce a true current source. It

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