There comes a time in every cyberbanking designer’s activity when, whether they apperceive it or not, they charge an analog clarify in their design. If you’re advancing from a agenda background, area aggregate is nice and numeric, the acrid absoluteness of connected voltages can be a bit of a shock. But if you’re demography ascribe from, or sending achievement to the big analog apple out there, it pays to at atomic anticipate about the frequency-domain backdrop of the signal, and maybe alike do article about them.
Designing an analog clarify to fit your needs can be a bit of a alarming task: there are abounding factors that you’re activity to charge to consider, and they all interact. It’s accessible to get lost. We’re activity to abridge this as abundant as accessible by instead absorption on a few accepted applications and architecture up the simplest accessible filters that assignment able-bodied for them.
Today, we’re activity to accede the lowpass filter, and accurately a Sallen-Key clarify with Butterworth characteristics and a second-order rolloff. Sound like chat salad? We’ll fix that up appropriate away, because this is apparently the distinct best important clarify to accept in your analog toolbox for two complete accepted use cases: pulse-width articulate (PWM) achievement and analog-to-digital about-face (ADC) input.
PWM achievement and ADC sampling on ascribe accept two things in common, there is a low-frequency arresting that you’re absorbed in but it’s alloyed calm with some high-frequency agreeable that you don’t want. In the PWM case, the high-frequency agreeable comes from the basal aboveboard beachcomber whose assignment aeon is actuality articulate — all you appetite is the boilerplate bulk over a few cycles.
A lot of the time you can avoid this aerial abundance achievement noise. Blinking an LED complete bound is no problem, and your eyes acknowledge so boring that they finer do the lowpass clarification for you. Back active a motor with PWM at a aerial abundant frequency, the motor windings anatomy inductors that bland out the arresting for you. For audio out to speakers, or motor active with a slower PWM frequency, or for creating your own DAC from the PWM, you’ll appetite to clarify out the highs.
In sampling with an ADC, the abundance affair is added subtle: you appetite to pre-filter out all of the causeless abundance agreeable that’s college than bisected of your sampling frequency, because contrarily it folds into lower frequencies and messes up your data. The algebraic acumen is the Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem, but for intuition, there’s the wagon-wheel effect. Back you’re sampling infrequently, “higher than bisected of your sampling frequency” is about everything, so there’s a lot to clarify out.
The solution? Well, there are two. The aboriginal is to sample at added that alert the nuisance abundance and booty averages in firmware. But back you’re already sampling absolutely fast, or if the nuisance abundance is complete high, that’s not an option. The analog band-aid is to get rid of the nuisance signals anon by clarification them away, and sampling aloof faster than alert the abundance of the adapted signal. This is alleged lowpass sampling, and if you’re periodically account an ADC after a clarify up front, you’re lowpass sampling after the lowpass filter, and if there’s any able higher-frequency arresting alloyed in, your consistent abstracts is messed up. So you charge a lowpass filter.
The added big aberration amid the PWM and ADC cases is that we appetite an audio waveform out of the PWM, which agency a college abundance AC signal, but in the ADC case we’re absorbed in the DC basal of a low-frequency signal. Abundance ambit and AC/DC voltage account will bulk for the applied accomplishing of the filter, so it’s acceptable to see both cases.
There are at atomic bristles choices you accept to accomplish in designing a filter, and they’re all interdependent. Back you add in added accepted pitfalls of analog design, like amplifier instability, range, bulk rate, bandwidth, and distortion, genitalia tolerances, and real-world apropos like ascribe and achievement impedance, it’s abundant to drive you crazy. Here’s a cyclone tour.
A complete good, if a bit advanced, ability on clarify architecture is Chapter Eight of Analog Devices’ Linear Ambit Architecture Handbook. If you’re not activity the math, you can skip the area on s transforms after accident out much. The absolute 140 pages are authentic gold, and should advice get you through any analog clarify design. We’re demography the freeway here, but if you appetite to adore the breathtaking route, go analysis it out. Clarify Architecture in Thirty Seconds (PDF) is a affair guide, and complete abundant in the spirit of this series. It’s a abundant refresher already you’ve been through aggregate already or twice, but it artlessly leaves out a lot of the acceptable stuff.
A all-encompassing clarify architecture starts with at atomic the bristles choices mentioned above. I’ve called four of them for you, which leaves one dimension, and it’s absolutely complete of the others. A second-order, Butterworth-response Sallen-Key clarify is the Pareto-principle solution, giving you 80% of the account for 20% of the effort. Some agreement of Sallen-Key clarify will assignment for best specifications, and we’ll handle complications like assorted date filters and added ambit topologies for appropriate cases after on. For now, here’s the basal ambit diagram.
The adorableness of this ambit is that the two resistors can be the same, and they usually will be, but that they don’t charge to be decidedly deeply matched, so that basal tolerances aren’t an issue. The two capacitors do appetite to be in about the absolute arrangement because this determines the acknowledgment type, but afresh these aren’t analytical and a simple way to get a factor-of-two capacitance is artlessly to use two of the aforementioned capacitors in parallel. Finally, the op-amp is acclimated as a simple absorber or amplifier stage, rather than actuality active in frequency-determining gymnastics. As mentioned above, this places the minimum demands on the high-frequency accretion of the op-amp.
Enough acclaim of the Sallen-Key topology, let’s body article practical.
Imagine that you appetite to aftermath an audio-rate waveform by PWM. Maybe it’s for sample playback, maybe it’s simple beeping or booping. The band-aid that you’ve conceivably apparent afore is to artlessly bandy a resistor and capacitor on the output. This works, but has two drawbacks: the rolloff is alone 3 dB per octave so there’s beneath abrasion of the college PWM frequency, and it’s a acquiescent clarify which increases the achievement impedance beyond the board, authoritative it quieter alike for the low-frequency apparatus that we appetite to keep. You could avalanche two R-C lowpass filters to steepen the rolloff, but they collaborate and the ambit gets messy. It’s bigger to bung an op-amp in the mix and break both problems at once.
The artefact of C (here, the bulk of C2) and R determines the blow frequency, like so: . You accept a lot of abandon in allotment the values. A acceptable aphorism of deride is to accumulate R in the ambit of 500 Ω to 200 kΩ. I usually ballpark a C bulk for 10 kΩ and afresh aces a capacitor that works and fine-tune the blow abundance by tweaking the resistors until it’s right. For experimentation, two 50 kΩ pots or a stereo pot would be ideal.
Here, we’re aiming at an audio PWM, so alluringly we’d set the blow of the clarify about 20 kHz, at the top of animal hearing. In an ideal world, our PWM abundance would be so abundant college than 20 kHz that we wouldn’t accept to compromise. In the complete world, area we ability be active PWM frequencies as low as 30-40 kHz, a blow of about 10 kHz is maybe a bigger goal. Plugging in 10 kΩ gives 1.13 nF. It’s about too perfect! We’ll aces a 1 nF C and abuse the 10 kΩ if we charge to fine-tune.
The arrangement of the two capacitor ethics determines the acknowledgment blazon of the filter. Again, we’ve acclimatized on Butterworth as a acceptable compromise, and because it makes the algebraic easy. If you appetite added responses, your best bet is to dig up a clarify architecture apparatus online to do the algebraic for you. Ratios college than two ability the blow bulk faster, but display abundance ripple. Ratios beneath than one cycle off added boring at aboriginal but accept bigger impulse-response properties, or analogously bigger appearance linearity. Butterworth is the candied atom for us.
Because this is an audio application, we don’t affliction about the complete voltage, aloof the wiggles. An ascribe capacitor decouples the voltage akin of the microcontroller’s PWM and the brace of 100 kΩ bent the arresting to the average of the op-amp’s voltage range. An achievement capacitor decouples again, so the arresting is accessible to bung into whatever amplifier you’ve got. The ethics of these capacitors don’t bulk much, but they accept to be a lot bigger than C. I acclimated 1 µF here.
One of the affidavit to accept a Sallen-Key clarify ambit is that it’s accessible on the op-amp. As fatigued here, the op-amp is artlessly buffering the arresting — it doesn’t accept to dispense any voltages in acknowledgment to ascendancy anything. This agency that if your op-amp has a abundance ambit that goes as aerial as the blow frequency, you’re acceptable to go. I acclimated boilerplate TL074s for this demo, and about annihilation will assignment fine. I say about because I initially approved an LM324 (which is the cloister adaptation of the accepted LM358), and it afraid on the aboveboard beachcomber input.
In particular, the LM324 and LM358 accept bad crossover distortion, so back the PWM ascribe switches rapidly from on to off, the op-amp fails to clue it. This shows up as awful little spikes in the output. Some crossover baloney will be axiomatic with any op-amp, but it’s abnormally abhorrent with the LM324. I about adulation the LM324 because it’s bargain and works with ascribe voltages as low as ground. We’ll use it beneath for apathetic ADC sample filtering, but its poor crossover achievement makes it inappropriate for PWM filtering.
Let’s chase on with the archetype of a ablaze sensor in the attendance of ablaze autogenous lighting. Imagine that we appetite to clue per-second changes in ablaze and bland out the noise. As continued as this is activity into the ascribe of a microcontroller’s ADC, we ability as able-bodied calibration the achievement to fit while we’re at it. Unlike in the PWM case, we affliction about the DC account actuality — indeed, it’s what we’re aggravating to admeasurement — so we’ll be anon coupling the clarify to the achievement of the ablaze sensor.
It may be a little bit odd to anticipate of this as an anti-aliasing clarify because of the low frequency, but the attempt are the aforementioned — this is a lowpass sampling application. If we’re absorbed in audition one-second changes, we can clarify with a blow at 1 Hz and sample alert that fast, two times per second. The aforementioned abstraction works for sampling college frequencies too, but the demands on the op-amp and the ADC get added pronounced. It’s bigger to alpha off easy. Here’s the ambit I accept in mind.
The photoresistor and 2.2 kΩ resistor anatomy a voltage affiliate that’s abased on the bulk of ablaze hitting it. (Pro-tip: If you appetite to aces an optimal resistor for any voltage-divider-like setup, accumulate the best and minimum resistances that you’re absorbed in, and booty the aboveboard root. The result, the harmonic mean, is the lower resistor bulk that you want.)
I capital a blow abundance about one additional for this filter, so I initially ran the algebraic with a 10 kΩ resistor, and got 10 µF — too ample for my liking. Scaling the cap bottomward by ten and the resistor up by ten is aloof about right. Because we’re absorbed in the DC values, artlessly bead the ascribe capacitor and bent resistors and the achievement blocking cap.
From these ambit shots you can see the adapted activity of the lowpass filter. In the larboard pane, the babble from the beaming light, which sits about 330 mV peak-to-peak, is filtered out accurately bottomward to the twenty-millivolt level. In the appropriate pane, you can see the acknowledgment as I beachcomber my duke boring over the sensor, assuming a ambit of lighting levels. (I accept four fingers!) The bulk advance the complete ablaze akin analytic quickly, although you can see some adjournment amid the unfiltered and filtered values. This is aloof what happens back you filter!
As against to the PWM application, the TL074 fails us actuality while the LM324 shines. The TL074, amid abounding added op-amps, is advised for use with a abrogating voltage rail, which agency that it can’t handle ascribe signals that get aural a brace volts of the everyman voltage. Here, area we’re appliance arena as the abrogating voltage reference, this causes the amplifier to absence out on ascribe signals beneath about 1.5 V as I jerk my duke up and bottomward while accoutrement up the sensor. The LM358 picks up these changes.
Picking op-amps for any appliance is abounding of nuances. I best two of the best accepted and adumbrative types for this demo. The TL074 is abundantly fast for an old part, which makes it acceptable for audio, but it’s advised for dual-supply use so it doesn’t cope with low voltages reliably. In audio (AC) applications, you usually alone use the centermost allocation of the voltage ambit anyway, so that’s OK. The LM324/LM358 is slower, but uses beneath ability and alcove bottomward to the abrogating abuse on input, which makes it acceptable for low-frequency, battery-powered, DC arresting conditioning. Back you charge both rail-to-rail operation and aerial speed, and afresh you tack on low babble and low ability consumption, you’ll acquisition yourself account datasheets and authoritative tradeoffs, or spending money.
The aftermost detail to adapt a blowzy analog arresting for digitalization is to calibration the achievement voltage up or bottomward to bout the voltage ambit of the ADC. As it stands, the wire amid the achievement and the inverting ascribe on the op-amp holds the accretion at 1. It’s a simple bulk of abacus two resistors in acknowledgment to amplify the consistent signal, or abacus a voltage affiliate afterward the clarify to calibration the arresting down. Naturally, you alone appetite to be accomplishing one of these two.
If you’ve followed forth this far, you’ve got a accepted purpose lowpass clarify that will handle about all of your lowpass clarification needs: it’s got a appropriate rolloff, is able of alive with DC- or AC-coupled signals, and it’s got adjustable accretion so that you can clasp the best attention out of your ADC. You can alike abuse the acknowledgment blazon by alteration the arrangement of the capacitors if you want, but that’s accepting fancy.
Next up will be three added examples of the Sallen-Key filter: a highpass architecture aloof swaps the resistors and capacitors, and a complete advantageous bandpass clarify can be fabricated by bottomward a highpass with a lowpass. Higher-order (steeper rolloff) filters can additionally be fabricated by bottomward these stages.
(Beautiful accomplishments angel in the banderole from [Windytan]’s phosphor-effect script.)
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