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From: John Fields
Organization: Austin Instruments,Inc.
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.01 [en] (Win95; U)
Subject: Re: Zener Diode
References: <729f9.59262$2L.firstname.lastname@example.org> <3D7D311E.4EA10829@rica.net>
NNTP-Posting-Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2002 07:09:44 CDT
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Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2002 12:09:44 GMT
> How about using a transistor switch and connecting the zener
> to the base, once the zener starts to conduct it provides a
> bias to the transistor base. The transistor then could switch
> the source across the relay coil. Would this work, if so
> what would be an appropriate transistor and what other
> components would I need.
This is a very bad technique to use because it depends on the sharpness
of the Zener knee and the beta of the transistor to determine where the
switching point will be. Matter of fact, if your source is rising
slowly through 10V you'll run the transistor through its linear region
and, if you don't know what you're doing, it's conceivable you could
lose a bunch of transistors before you came to the realization that the
transistors weren't bad to start with. If you want something that's
going to work, follow Popelish's advice.
Professional circuit designer
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