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Lab 4: H-Bridge and Open-Loop Speed Control

Timothy Lai (tpl47), Natasha Halarnkar (ngh33), Jonathan Mabuni (jdm427)

Lab 402, TA: Lisa Li, Jordan Chipka

The purpose of this lab was to construct an H-bridge circuit to control the speed and
direction of a DC motor, as well as to learn how to operate it using a Pulse Width Modulated
signal. This lab allowed us to apply previously learned concepts regarding circuits to a real-life
situation, where we could visibly see and observe the results of our circuit set-up. We also got to
use several new circuit components that are commonly used in everyday electronics, like diodes,
transistors, and switches.
Part 1:
An H-bridge is a special circuit configuration that allows for voltage to pass across a load
in either direction. As a result, in relation to motors, it allowed for our DC motor to rotate in
either direction.
The transistors function as the switches that exist within an H-bridge. They can be
commanded to either conduct or not conduct current, depending on their state. If a small current
flows into the base, then a larger current is allowed to pass into the collector and out the emitter
(here, the switch is on). If, however, no current flows into the base, then no current is allowed to
pass through the collector and emitter (the switch is off).
The diode acts to ensure that the current through the transistor flows in only one
direction. In order for the H-bridge to work properly, the current through the circuit must move
in a certain direction. The existence and integration of the diode in the circuit ensures that the
current is moving in the proper direction.
The purpose of RLED is simply to indicate to us in which direction the current is flowing.
Depending on the direction, one of the LEDs will turn on.
Part 2:
In our H-bridge construction, the current flowing into the base of the transistor is 4.23
mA and the current flowing through the DC motor is 52.0 mA. Accordingly, the current flowing
through the DC motor is much greater than the current flowing through the base of the transistor.
This is related to the transistor current amplification constant by I B= C where I B is the

current going through the base of the transistor and C is the current going through the
collector of the transistor. From our recorded values, we get
52.0 mA
= C =
I B 4.23 mA
The specifications of the KSP05 transistor have the value of 50 for the transistor current
amplification constant. Since our calculated value is less than the specified value, this means
that the transistor is saturated. Some sources of error or discrepancy could be that the resistors
arent exactly the value they are supposed to be. Also, there is a small resistance in the wires

which we assume to be ideal. These extra resistances could cause less current to be flowing
through the transistor and motor.
In this H-bridge design, the lower transistors are saturated while the upper transistors are
active. This is determined by the transistor amplification constant determined above. The motor
is an inductor and because of changes in current, there are spikes in voltage across the motor.
When the spikes are large, the current will go through the fly-back diodes instead of the
transistors. This isolates the microprocessor from any voltage spikes by preventing any current
going through P0 or P1. The amplification is illustrated through the current gain in the
Part 3:
75% duty cycle produced the fastest angular speed in the motor, and 25% duty cycle
produced the slowest angular speed in the motor. The higher the duty cycle, the higher the pulse
width relative to the period of the signal waveform, and thus, the larger amount of time that the
signal is high. Controlling the duty cycle can be seen as controlling the average amount of time
that the motor is on for, or the average amount of power delivered to the motor. As a result,
higher duty cycles result in more power being delivered to the motor, and subsequently, higher
angular velocities.
Section 6:

Section 7:

Section 8:

If P0 and P1 were both connected to +5V, the H-bridge would not function properly. In
the lab, we always connected either P1 or P0 to +5V and the other to ground, ensuring a voltage
drop and making sure that the current flows in a single direction. If both are connected to +5V,
the switches on the left or right side are going to be closed. Its not recommended to do this
because connecting both P0 and P1 to +5V could cause the conduction state of the transistors to
be closed switches on the same side of the circuit. This creates a short circuit between Vcc and
the ground which can damage the power supply, which is why it should not be done.
Changing the input frequency changed the behavior of the motor and the LED because the
square wave sends a signal going between two values, a high and a low one, to the transistor
bases. This means that the rotation of the motor is related to the input frequency, with the angular
velocity decreasing as the frequency decreases. As demonstrated the plot below, the behavior at 1
Hz is very different than the previous plots that were set at 50 Hz. The plot below also is not
necessarily accurate, as the frequency was so low that the servo was providing feedback to the
Section 9: