Problem Getting TIP120 Transistors To Work

Thread Starter

elec_eng_55

Joined May 13, 2018
214
I have an emitter-follower circuit utilizing a TIP120. I have tried half a dozen
different TIP120s with the same result.

The dc voltages are:
Collector 15.00V
Base 1.96V
Emitter 1.22V

Vbe = 0.7V but shouldn't it be 1.4V with a darlington device?

I have also tried different biasing voltages with no luck.
New proto board. No loose connections or wiring issues.

David
 

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Ylli

Joined Nov 13, 2015
1,053
Even with those resistors, the base voltage with the resistor divider shown, should be above 10 volts. You have the circuit wired wrong (perhaps you have the pinouts of the TIP120 wrong) or you have a bad TIP120 in the circuit.
 

ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
6,539
I have an emitter-follower circuit utilizing a TIP120. I have tried half a dozen
different TIP120s with the same result.

The dc voltages are:
Collector 15.00V
Base 1.96V
Emitter 1.22V

Vbe = 0.7V but shouldn't it be 1.4V with a darlington device?

I have also tried different biasing voltages with no luck.
New proto board. No loose connections or wiring issues.

David
What are you trying to accomplish?

I'd go for setting the bias with a pot, you can get something approaching high input resistance by throwing in a bootstrap resistor.
 

Thread Starter

elec_eng_55

Joined May 13, 2018
214
Hi Ylli:

I have tried 6 different new devices. If the pinout for the TIP120 is BCE looking a the label
side of the device then the circuit is wired right.

David
 

ebp

Joined Feb 8, 2018
2,332
Are all of your transistors from the same batch from the same source? A reliable supplier?

I know there was a pinout in a previous thread, but just to confirm:
marked side facing you
leads pointing downward
BCE, left to right

It looks like the voltage across R3 is entirely due to the base current, with no collector current at all. If you omitted R2, the base current would be about (15 - 1.4)V / 11k = 1.24 mA. If you do the arithmetic with your circuit as-is, the emitter current again works out to be equal to what is going into the base.

You could try putting a small resistor, say 100 ohms, between the collector and the supply so you can actually measure/calculate collector current.

With the input signal source disconnected, try omitting R2 and changing R1 to 1k. See what you get for voltages. If you have one rated for adequate power, try reducing R3 to 100 to 200 ohms (you could just parallel 5 1k resistors, assuming what you are already using is rated for at least a quarter of a watt.

Another simple experiment you could try is to make a common emitter circuit with one or two hundred ohms between supply and collector and then see what value of resistor you have to use between the base and the supply to get some reasonable amount of current through the load.
 

Thread Starter

elec_eng_55

Joined May 13, 2018
214
What are you trying to accomplish?

I'd go for setting the bias with a pot, you can get something approaching high input resistance by throwing in a bootstrap resistor.
Hi Ian:

I am just trying to get an emitter follower circuit working in
an attempt to learn how it works. I understand that using
a darlington opposed to a normal BJT will give you a
high current gain and a high input impedance.

David
 

ebp

Joined Feb 8, 2018
2,332
With only 1.3 mA into the base, if there is no collector current, the voltage across the 120 ohm B-E resistor of the output transistor would only be 0.16 V, rather than a normal 0.6-0.7 V, which again agrees pretty closely with what you measured for overall B-E voltage.
 

Thread Starter

elec_eng_55

Joined May 13, 2018
214
Are all of your transistors from the same batch from the same source? A reliable supplier?

I know there was a pinout in a previous thread, but just to confirm:
marked side facing you
leads pointing downward
BCE, left to right

It looks like the voltage across R3 is entirely due to the base current, with no collector current at all. If you omitted R2, the base current would be about (15 - 1.4)V / 11k = 1.24 mA. If you do the arithmetic with your circuit as-is, the emitter current again works out to be equal to what is going into the base.

You could try putting a small resistor, say 100 ohms, between the collector and the supply so you can actually measure/calculate collector current.

I have confirmed the pinout. All devices are from the same supplier. It is a large supplier
but I really don't know if they are reliable. I will say that the employees there are about
as friendly and helpful as a rock.

I will try your suggestions and let you know what I find. Thanks.

With the input signal source disconnected, try omitting R2 and changing R1 to 1k. See what you get for voltages. If you have one rated for adequate power, try reducing R3 to 100 to 200 ohms (you could just parallel 5 1k resistors, assuming what you are already using is rated for at least a quarter of a watt.

Another simple experiment you could try is to make a common emitter circuit with one or two hundred ohms between supply and collector and then see what value of resistor you have to use between the base and the supply to get some reasonable amount of current through the load.
 

danadak

Joined Mar 10, 2018
4,057
I cannot seem to get a TIP120 merged into LTC lib, any black magic trick I should know about ?
Tried the web suggestions, no luck.

I downloaded a ON Semi PSPICE model.lib

Regards, Dana
 

Thread Starter

elec_eng_55

Joined May 13, 2018
214
I cannot seem to get a TIP120 merged into LTC lib, any black magic trick I should know about ?
Tried the web suggestions, no luck.

I downloaded a ON Semi PSPICE model.lib

Regards, Dana
Hi Dana:

It took me forever to get the TIP120 and TIP125 models set up in LTSpice.
I am not sure how I did it but you need to create two "mylib" folders, one in
the "sub" folder and one in the "sym" folder. Then copy the 4 attached files
to the appropriate folders. Hope it works for you.

David
 

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