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Unit 3: Oscillators

-is an electronic circuit that produces a repetitive electronic signal, often a sine wave or a square wave. The positive feedback results in oscillations in electronic circuits.

Barkhausen Criterion
The condition for oscillations can be explained by the Barkhausen Criterion. 1. The frequency at which a sinusoidal oscillator will operate is the frequency for which the total phase shift introduced, as a signal proceeds from the input terminals, through the amplifier and feedback network and back again to the input, is precisely zero (or an integral multiple of 2. In other words, the frequency of a sinusoidal oscillator is determined by the condition that the loop phase shift is zero.

2. Oscillations will not be sustained if, at the oscillator frequency, the magnitude of the product of the transfer gain of the amplifier and the magnitude of the feedback factor of the feedback network is less than unity.
The condition of unity loop gain -A=1 is called the Barkhausen Criterion. This condition implies that A=1 and that the phase of A is zero. The above principles are consistent with the feedback formula: A f A
1 A

If A = 1, A f which means that there exists an output voltage even in the absence of an externally applied signal voltage.

- produces a cosine function cos (2fct) where fc is pre-specified.

In phase Noninverting Amplifier Vin A Vout

B Positive Feedback Circuit Selective in phase


The principle of a sinusoidal oscillator

The steady state of the oscillation

This uses a resonant LC-circuit to generate a relatively pure frequency (little harmonics). Disadvantages are the nonlinear relationship between LC and frequency and the lack of variable L or C with sufficient range (either L or C needs to be tuned in a 1:100 range to get frequencies between 10 kHz and 100 kHz). Using an LC-oscillator at high frequencies with the double heterodyne method solves both problems to some extent.

L i C
Oscillation in the idealized LC circuit

An LC circuit


1 2 LC
Decayed oscillation due to the existence of resistance in the LC-circuit

-the frequency is inversely proportional to the RC product. The nonlinear (inversely proportional) relationship between the RC product and the frequency is not very convenient. This can be alleviated somewhat by using a logarithmic potentiometer, but in that case the clockwise position of the potmeter corrresponds to the lowest frequency.

The input is shifted 180o through the amplifier stage and 180o again through a second inverting stage giving us "180o + 180o = 360o" of phase shift which is the same as 0o thereby giving us the required positive feedback.

RC Phase-Shift Network

It is stable and provide a well-shaped sine wave output with the frequency being proportional to 1/RC and therefore, a wider frequency range is possible when using a variable capacitor.

However, it is restricted to frequency applications because of their bandwidth limitations to produce the desired phase shift at high frequencies.

Determine the frequency of oscillations of a RC Oscillator circuit having 3-stages each with a resistor and capacitor of equal values. R = 10k and C = 500pF.

-is an oscillator circuit that follows the basic development of a feedback circuit.
The amplifier must supply enough gain to compensate for losses. The overall gain must be unity.

The output of the op-amp is fed to a three-stage RC network, which provides the needed 180 of phase shift (at an attenuation factor of 1/29). If the op-amp provides gain (set by resistors Ri and Rf) of greater than 29, a loop gain greater than unity results and the circuit acts as an oscillator with an oscillator frequency is given by: 1 1

2RC 6


Design a phase shift oscillator for the oscillation frequency 200Hz. Solution: Let C=0.1F

1 2 6 (200 )( 0.1F )


To prevent the loading of amplifier R1 10R.

Therefore R1=33K Therefore RF=29(33K)=957K

Select RF=1M Pot


-is an oscillator circuit that follows the basic development of a feedback circuit.
The amplifier must supply enough gain to compensate for losses. The overall gain must be unity.

R3 R1 C2 R4 R2 C1


1 2 R1C1R2C2

R3 1 fo ; 2 2RC R4
The feedback resistors are R3 and R4. The phase-shift components are R1, C1 and R2, C2.

Examples 1. Calculate the resonant frequency of the Wien bridge oscillator.

page 843

2. Design the RC elements of a Wien bridge oscillator shown above for operation at fo =10 kHz.

Tuned Oscillator Circuits

Tuned oscillators use a parallel LC resonant circuit (LC tank) to provide the oscillations.

Two Common Types 1. ColpittsThe resonant circuit is an inductor and two capacitors.

2. HartleyThe resonant circuit is a tapped inductor or two inductors and one capacitor.

It achieves positive feedback by using an inverting amplifier plus the 180 phase shift across a parallel resonant circuit. Resonant Frequency

1 fo 2 LCeq
Ceq C1C2 C1 C2

Frequency of Oscillation

1 LC1C2 C1 C2

For the Colpitts oscillator shown below has the following circuit values: C1 =750 pF, C2=2500 pF, and L=40 H. Determine the circuit oscillation frequency.

It can also be suitably used for generating RF signals. The frequency can be easily varied by varying the inductances which can be done by making the core movable. Another method of varying frequency is of varying capacitance. It is not suitable for low frequency work because at low frequency, the value of inductance required becomes large. Resonant Frequency


1 2 LeqC

Leq = L1 + L2 + 2M where: M=mutual coupling Frequency of oscillation

1 C ( L1 L2 )

For the Hartley oscillator shown below has the following circuit values: C=250pF, L1=1.5 mH, L2=1.5 mH and M=0.5 mH. Determine the oscillation frequency of the circuit.

The crystal appears as a resonant circuit. The crystal has two resonant frequencies:
1. Series resonant condition RLC determine the resonant frequency The crystal has a low impedance
Series Resonant Frequency : 1 fs 2 LCs

R L Cm Cs

2. Parallel resonant condition RL and CM determine the resonant frequency The crystal has a high impedance
Parallel Resonant Frequency : fp 1 2 LC p Cp C mC s Cm C s

Electrical Equivalent Circuit of a Crystal

The series and parallel resonant frequencies are very close, within 1% of each other.

Example A crystal has these values: L=3H, Cs=0.05pF, R=2k and Cm=10pF. What are the series and parallel resonant frequencies of the crystal?

It is basically a tuned-circuit oscillator using piezoelectric crystal as a resonant tank circuit. It has a high gain so that an output of the square-wave signal results. A pair of zener diodes is shown at the output to provide output amplitude at exactly the Zener voltage (VZ).

Resonant Frequency : fr 1 2 LC Q2 Q2 1