Basics of a Clipper circuit operation

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by nanobyte, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. nanobyte

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    May 26, 2004
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    I'm refreshing myself with some basic device circuit operation. Does a clipper circuit clip a voltage signal when the diode is reverse bias or forward bias? In an electronics book I'm reading the operation is given that when the diode is reverse bias (not conducting) it clips the signal, but in the diode chapter here at all about circuits the explanation seems to be when the diode is forward bias (conducting) it clips the signal.
     
  2. ronv

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 12, 2008
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    Probably one is a zener diode which breaks down at some voltage set in manufacturing, and the other a normal diode. They are drawn the same sometimes.
     
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  3. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
    13,053
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    A zener diode has a (rated) breakdown voltage at which it conducts in the reverse direction.
    It conducts as a normal diode in the forward direction.
    So if you place a resistor in series with a zener with the anode connected to ground, an input signal to the resistor will be clipped at the zener voltage for a positive signal and at the forward bias voltage (typically about 0.7V) for a negative signal.
     
  4. ScottWang

    Moderator

    Aug 23, 2012
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    The clipper circuits have three different methods to do for what you want, the first is using reverse for positive output, the second is using forward for negative output, the third is to protecting the bjt or op amp from input whatever the positive or negative voltages, or just want to get a small output.
     
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