In Bitscope jitter and nFET Miller plateau, I gave a nice super-resolution plot of the gate voltage on an nFET using the Bitscope and subsequent dejittering of the trigger:
Here is an example of the Vgs voltage of an nFET transistor being driven by an S9013 NPN transistor and a 270Ω pullup (the NPN base was driven by the square wave from my Elenco FG500 function generator, through a 2kΩ resistor). The drain of the nFET had an 8Ω loudspeaker to a 5V USB power line.
But I didn’t give the schematic for the test jig. So here it is:
Something else I didn’t point out in the previous post: the quantization error is still visible in the slow-moving parts of the signal (at the beginning and near the top of the gate charging), but is essentially eliminated in fast-changing portions of the signal. I think that the dejittering and averaging gets good values if the jitter is large enough to move the signal to value that would have a different quantized output, so we are averaging values that are sometimes too high and sometimes too low. But if the jitter doesn’t move the signal that far, then we’re relying entirely on voltage noise to change the quantized output and get averaged out, and the voltage noise seems to be much smaller than the step size of the analog-to-digital converter.
For the book, I might redo the plot using a comparator to drive the nFET, rather than the S9013 NPN transistor, though there is some advantage to leaving the comparator out of the picture, so that students will have to think a bit about their own design, rather than simply copying.
I might want to try slowing down the falling edge, so that Miller plateau is visible on both edges. I could slow down the fall by increasing the size of R2 (reducing the base current from 1.2mA and hence the collector current). I could probably reduce the base current to 200µA and still switch the nFET off, since with a typical current gain of about 120 for the S9103, I should still be able to get a collector current of about 24mA, which is more than 5V/270Ω=18.5mA. Even 100µA may be enough, but then the low voltage on the nFET gate may start creeping up, and we don’t want to leave the nFET partially on. (The same reasoning argues against adding a series resistor between the collector and the gate.)
The current through the S9013 seems to be much larger than available from the LM2903—maybe I should do current vs. voltage (Ic vs Vce) plots for the S9013 with various base-emitter currents, though the data sheet already has a nice plot of that.
I should probably also try using a resistor rather than a loudspeaker as a load, though the inductance of the speaker is helping to limit the current and avoid overloading the USB power supply. With a simple 10Ω resistor, I’d be getting 500mA, which is the USB limit. With the inductive load of the loudspeaker, the current builds up slowly when the nFET is on, and never gets close to what we’d expect from the nominal 8Ω value.
Another thing I might do is to use a hysteresis oscillator to drive the NPN transistor. That would be more in keeping with the minimal-equipment approach I’m going to try to add to the book this summer. (I might also play with a larger voltage for the loudspeaker, since that should give a larger swing on the drain voltage, and hence a clearer Miller plateau.)