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From: Chuck Simmons
Organization: You jest.
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.61 [en] (X11; U; Linux 2.0.33 i586)
Subject: Re: OP Amp Output Resistance
References: <3D8D30C9.email@example.com> <3D8D4F02.991FC7CA@webaccess.net> <3D8FD91D.2FB63DA8@nospam.com> <3D9073C1.CB29DE92@nospam.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 15:10:31 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 08:10:31 PDT
Fred Bloggs wrote:
> carltons wrote:
> > In article <3D8FD91D.2FB63DA8@nospam.com>, Fred Bloggs
> > wrote:
> > > carltons wrote:
> > >
> > > > You are absolutely right. The output is non linear. I have answered this
> > > > question many times with non-engineers who don't seem to understand how
> > > > the output impedance can go down with something simple like feedback. I
> > > > always say with confidence that the feedback causes the output voltage to
> > > > try to stay at the same level no matter what the load, which would not
> > > > happen without the feedback and all I get are blank stares.
> > >
> > > Why don't you try explaining that the feedback amplifier is amplifying
> > > the scaled error between input and output in such a way as to drive it
> > > to zero, and then since the feedback tap is at the output, the voltage
> > > drop due to output resistance becomes part of the error and is therefore
> > > nulled too. You don't need calculus to understand this basic concept.
> > I've tried that also to no avail. You can show the offset voltage and how
> > it is amplified by the huge gain of the amp and you will still get that
> > weird stare in response. I do believe that you have the right approach
> > here, but I think that most of the people don't get it until long after it
> > is explained, which is okay with me because I want to explain things and
> > if there's a time lag, so what. The goal is to educate, after all.
> > Steve
> Well- operational amplifier theory and understanding is intimately tied
> to feedback theory in general. You might try illustrating feedback
> principles with some of the more easily understood historical examples
> from servo mechanism theory. There is a wealth of interesting circuits
> that were actually used at one time involving positioning systems using
> batteries and potentiometers with feedback driving wipers for voltage
> null. These types of circuits are always interesting, ingenious, and
> readily grasped- as long as you avoid minute details like stiction,
> contact resistance non-linearities, large excursions, and time
> constants. Static graphical analysis is always fun too and is a very
> powerful way of illustrating the linearizing effect of the feedback.
> Your presentation will be on the sterile side if you omit the historical
> background which drove the development of the theory and devices to
> solve some very important practical problems.
You have to be really careful about selecting historical examples
especially from servo systems. Carrier control servos were common from
perhaps 1940 until into the 1970s (there was at least one model of HP
plotter that used 400Hz servo motors and carrier control). Collins Radio
built high power transmitters for the US Army in the 1950s and 1960s
that had hysteresis stablized tuning servos (non-liear control).
Tachometers are still found in some position servos. Aren't you afraid
that someone might ask what the devil the generator is for? Also, the
simple minded view of a torque motor, amplifier and pot to null against
a reference is obviously only conditionally stable (like a needle
standing on its point). A first year physics student can see that
without writing any equations. The internally compensated opamp is
incredibly simple and tame compared to "simple" servo systema.
I would much rather explain opamp applications and operation than
explain any typical position servo. If a person is not clear on opamps,
about the only thing you can say about most servos is, "Trust me, it
I really had to mention this because I once spent more than an hour
explaining to an engineer why a very simple servo I designed worked. He
could not deny that it worked because he had tested it. He could not
understand how my servo controlled to better than 0.05 microns when your
static analysis would show that I could not possibly control to better
than 0.5 microns. People notice things that look strange.
... The times have been,
That, when the brains were out,
the man would die. ... Macbeth
Chuck Simmons firstname.lastname@example.org
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