How to build Operational Amplifier (Op-Amp) Basics

December 29, 2010 - category: General electronics

Circuit diagram

Operational Amplifier (Op-Amp) Basics-Circuit diagram

The op-amp is basically a differential amplifier having a large voltage gain, very high input impedance and low output impedance. The op-amp has a "inverting" or (-) input and "noninverting" or (+) input and a single output. The op-amp is usually powered by a dual polarity power supply in the range of +/- 5 volts to +/- 15 volts. A simple dual polarity power supply is shown in the figure below which can be assembled with two 9 volt batteries.

Inverting Amplifier:

The op-amp is connected using two resistors RA and RB such that the input signal is applied in series with RA and the output is connected back to the inverting input through RB. The noninverting input is connected to the ground reference or the center tap of the dual polarity power supply. In operation, as the input signal moves positive, the output will move negative and visa versa. The amount of voltage change at the output relative to the input depends on the ratio of the two resistors RA and RB. As the input moves in one direction, the output will move in the opposite direction, so that the voltage at the inverting input remains constant or zero volts in this case. If RA is 1K and RB is 10K and the input is +1 volt then there will be 1 mA of current flowing through RA and the output will have to move to -10 volts to supply the same current through RB and keep the voltage at the inverting input at zero. The voltage gain in this case would be RB/RA or 10K/1K = 10. Note that since the voltage at the inverting input is always zero, the input signal will see a input impedance equal to RA, or 1K in this case. For higher input impedances, both resistor values can be increased.

Noninverting Amplifier:

The noninverting amplifier is connected so that the input signal goes directly to the noninverting input (+) and the input resistor RA is grounded. In this configuration, the input impedance as seen by the signal is much greater since the input will be following the applied signal and not held constant by the feedback current. As the signal moves in either direction, the output will follow in phase to maintain the inverting input at the same voltage as the input (+). The voltage gain is always more than 1 and can be worked out from Vgain = (1+ RB/RA).

Voltage Follower:

The voltage follower, also called a buffer, provides a high input impedance, a low output impedance, and unity gain. As the input voltage changes, the output and inverting input will change by an equal amount.

circuit from http://www.bowdenshobbycircuits.info/

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