Oscillators are used in many electronic circuits and systems providing the central "clock" signal that controls the sequential operation of the entire system. Oscillators convert a DC input (the supply voltage) into an AC output (the waveform), which can have a wide range of different wave shapes and frequencies that can be either complicated in nature or simple sine waves depending upon theapplication. Oscillators are also used in many pieces of test equipment producing either sinusoidal sine waves, square, sawtooth or triangular shaped waveforms or just a train of pulses of a variable or constant width.
Oscillators are circuits that generate a continuous voltage output waveform at a required frequency with the values of the inductors, capacitors or resistors.
The LC oscillatorsfrequency is controlled using a tuned or resonant inductive/capacitive (LC) circuit with the resulting output frequency being known as the Oscillation Frequency.
Basic LC Oscillator Tank Circuit
The circuit consists of an inductive coil, L and a capacitor, C. The capacitor stores energy in the form of an electrostatic field and which produces a potential (static voltage) across its plates,while the inductive coil stores its energy in the form of an electromagnetic field. The capacitor is charged up to the DC supply voltage,V by putting the switch in positionA. When the capacitor is fully charged the switch changes to position B. The charged capacitor is now connected in parallel across the inductive coil (((so the capacitor begins to discharge itself through the coil))). The voltageacross C starts falling as the current through the coil begins to rise. This rising current sets up an electromagnetic field around the coil which resists this flow of current. When the capacitor, C is completely discharged the energy that was originally stored in the capacitor, C as an electrostatic field is now stored in the inductive coil, L as an electromagnetic field around the coilswindings.
As there is now no external voltage in the circuit to maintain the current within the coil, it starts to fall as the electromagnetic field begins to collapse. A back emf is induced in the coil (e = -Ldi/dt) keeping the current flowing in the original direction. This current now charges up the capacitor, C with the opposite polarity to its original charge.
C continues to charge up until thecurrent reduces to zero and the electromagnetic field of the coil has collapsed completely. The energy originally introduced into the circuit through the switch, has been returned to the capacitor which again has an electrostatic voltage potential across it, although it is now of the opposite polarity. The capacitor now starts to discharge again back through the coil and the whole process isrepeated. The polarity of the voltage changes as the energy is passed back and forth between the capacitor and inductor producing an AC type sinusoidal voltage and current waveform. This then forms the basis of an LC oscillators tank circuit and theoretically this cycling back and forth will continue indefinitely. However, every time energy is transferred from C to Lor from L to C losses occur whichdecay the oscillations.
This oscillatory action of passing energy back and forth between the capacitor, C to the inductor, L would continue indefinitely if it was not for energy losses within the circuit. Electrical energy is lost (in the DC or) real resistance of the inductors coil, in the dielectric of the capacitor, and in radiation from the circuit so the oscillationsteadily decreases until they die away completely and the process stops.
Then in a practical LC circuit the amplitude of the oscillatory voltage decreases at each half cycle of oscillation and will eventually die away to zero. The oscillations are then said to be "damped" with the amount of damping being determined by the quality or Q-factor of the circuit.
The frenquency of the oscillatory...
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