Testing DAC(digital to analog converter)

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by shantanu, May 26, 2008.

  1. shantanu

    shantanu Thread Starter Member

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    hi,
    I have made current mode DAC chip and got it fabricated. I want to test;

    I am facing certain problems;

    Input to my circuits are both voltage and current (DC), is there any DC current supply lab equipment I didn't find any in my lab which says current supply source ( with DC voltage option).

    2. I am planning to use counter to test my 12 bit and 6 bit DAC can anybody please let me know whether i should use synchronous or asynchronous counter. I am aware of the fact that output will be a ramp voltage ( analog form) .
    Counter's information with specific part no. from any manufacturer will be really helpful.

    " Testing is more complicated then design"
  2. beenthere

    beenthere AAC Fanatic!

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    Resistors make excellent current-to-voltage converters. Do you have an accurate enough bench meter to detect the LSB change out of the DAC?

    Why should the counter matter? If the count changes in a controlled manner, it hardly matters if it is synchronous or not. A couple of thumbwheel switches are really better sources for the conversions, as you have much better contrrol over the digital value.
  3. mik3

    mik3 Senior Member

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    Your inputs will draw as much current they need but you have to supply them with the correct voltage as not to destroy them. Whats components do you use for the inputs?

    You should use a synchronous counter otherwise your output will fluctuate rapidly before the final value of the counter is set on its outputs.
  4. shantanu

    shantanu Thread Starter Member

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    Thanks for the reply. First of all my circuit needs 5 Volts of VDD and I want to have desirable current value to supply. So yes, i can try using resistor but it will be cumbersome since then i have to characterize the channel resistance of MOSFET then calculate the current by using different resistor.

    Is there any other way of supplying desirable current through a DC voltage supply in lab settings.

    I am not using any component as if now for my chip. I thought same thing that a synchronous counter will be more accurate to use, but can anyone tell me specific part no. or how to find it on web.

    I want to supply 1mA current through 5 volts VDD supply to my current input terminal. Is there any way of doing it without using any component and directly using power supply equipments in lab.
  5. mik3

    mik3 Senior Member

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    Some power supply units have current limiting options (for example they can output 5 volts with a maximum current of 1mA), check yours.

    Can you post a schematic of one of your input's circuit to see it?
  6. shantanu

    shantanu Thread Starter Member

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    ok ..I will show you the schematic..... I checked my power supply it does has current limit settings but ...i can't change current and voltage together...there...

    the picture just shows the circuit, consider it having in a DIP chip with Iref/2 as pin for input current and other terminals Iref/4, Iref/8 etc ...being other pins of the chip where I should measure the current in the scope by connecting ammeter between VDD and MOSFET drain.

    thanks
    shantanu
  7. mik3

    mik3 Senior Member

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    You set your voltage and then set the current limit to 1mA. If you short circuit it it should limit the current to 1mA.

    Where is the picture?
  8. thingmaker3

    thingmaker3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Last edited: May 26, 2008
  9. shantanu

    shantanu Thread Starter Member

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    sorry for the delay, I am posting schematic as a .pdf file and coments from my last post....


    the picture just shows the circuit, consider it having in a DIP chip with Iref/2 as pin for input current and other terminals Iref/4, Iref/8 etc ...being other pins of the chip where I should measure the current in the scope by connecting ammeter between VDD and MOSFET drain.

    thanks
    shantanu

    Attached Files:

  10. beenthere

    beenthere AAC Fanatic!

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  11. shantanu

    shantanu Thread Starter Member

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    when you say " current to voltage converter" I presume you are saying that i should use inverse of circuit to supply constant current to my chip , since the input is current coming from a dc source.

    thanks
    shantanu

    " I hate testing "
  12. beenthere

    beenthere AAC Fanatic!

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    Read the article. The converter circuit will take the current output of the DAC and convert it to a proportional voltage.
  13. mik3

    mik3 Senior Member

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    You have to use op-amps to make voltage-to converters, look at the website beenthere said (you find more if you search in google), to control the amount of current at each of your inputs. Otherwise you have to have many power supplies with current limiting option which is expensive.
  14. mik3

    mik3 Senior Member

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    There is something i dont like here. This is a DAC which converts the digital input to an amount of current according yo the value of the digital input, right?

    As far as i know for a DAC you just apply at its inputs a high logic and low logic without "caring" about the amount of current it will draw. So, why do you want to control the current at its inputs?
  15. shantanu

    shantanu Thread Starter Member

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    Hi,
    Thanks for all the input , I had lab supply in school and I tested my current mirror circuit. But I have another problem due to limited component supply.

    I have 4 bit synchronous counter chips from which I have to make a 6 bit counter and one 12 bit counter.... I have part number:- 74LS161A ( its a 4bit synchronous binary counter ).

    I tried going through data sheet of the part there is nothing mentioned about cascading and I am looking on net right now to see if I could find the implementation.

    thanks
    shantanu
  16. SgtWookie

    SgtWookie Expert

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    Pin 15 is the ripple carry output.

    All counters get the same clock pulse.

    The 1st '161: Set pin 10 high using a pull-up resistor; it's the "T" Enable. That enables the ripple carry output; if not high the counter won't count. Pin 7 is the Enable "P"; it should be high when you want your 1st counter to count.

    For the rest of the counters in the chain, set all pin 7's high using pull-up resistors.

    Connect the ripple carry output (pin 15) of the 1st counter to the Enable T (pin 10) input of the 2nd counter. Connect the ripple carry output of the 2nd counter to the next counter's Enable T input, etc.

    They will all then count synchronously.

    Here's a link to Texas Instrument's datasheet:
    http://www.ti.com/lit/gpn/sn74ls161a
    Read the first couple of pages, then skip to the timing diagram on page 11.
    Last edited: May 28, 2008
  17. shantanu

    shantanu Thread Starter Member

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    Thanks for the reply. On the pull up resistor issue ..is it necessary to use pull up resistor...?

    what should i connect parallel inputs too....?

    Actually I want to use counters as ADC for my DAC's input ....

    thanks
    Shantanu
  18. SgtWookie

    SgtWookie Expert

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    If you're trying to build an ADC, you're going about it the "brute force" way. It would be faster to use a successive approximation algorythm.
  19. shantanu

    shantanu Thread Starter Member

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    I am just trying to simulate my chip ..I got from foundry.....I don't want precise ADC ...all i want to do is test my DAC chip which needs digital inputs.

    I though easiest way will be counter .....I am aware of the fact that ..it will generate ramp ...output...

    thanks
    Shantanu
  20. SgtWookie

    SgtWookie Expert

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    OK, sure. Then use the 74161's.

    Instead of pulling the individual Enable P's high, connect them all together. If you want them to count, put a logic "1" on the enable p line.

    Unless you want to preset the counters to a specific value, leave them open. Just use the reset pin (tie those all together, too) to clear the counters.
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