Dc linear coupler

Posted on May 27, 2012

The accuracy of direct linear coupling of analog current signals via an optocoupler is determined by the coupler linearity and its temperature coefficient. Use of an additional coupler for feedback can provide linearity only if the two couplers are perfectly matched and identically biased. These are not practical constraints in most equipment designs and indicate the need for a different design approach. One of the most successful solutions to this problem can be illustrated by using a H23 emitter-detector pair and a L14H4. The H23 detector and L14H4 are placed so both are illuminated by the H23IRED emitter.

Dc linear coupler
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Ideally, the circuit is mechanically designed such that the H23 emitter may be positioned to provide Vqut = 2-8 V when VIN = 0, thereby insuring collector current matching in the detectors. Then all three devices are locked in position relative to each other. Otherwise, R may be adjusted to provide the proper null level, although temperature tracking should prove worse when R is adjusted. Note that the input bias is dependent on power supply voltage, although the output is relatively independent of supply variations. Testing indicated linearity was better than could be resolved, due to alignment motion caused by using plastic tape to lock positions. The concept of feedback control of IRED power output is useful for both information transmission and sensing circuitry.

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