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Transistor Hartley Oscillator

Author: Leonard Krugman







Fig. 6-1. Vacuum tube and
transistor Hartley oscillator circuits.

In the earlier chapters, it was shown that transistor properties, in every important respect, are equivalent to those of the vacuum tube. It is reasonable then to assume that any vacuum-tube oscillator configuration has an equivalent transistor circuit. For example, consider the vacuum-tube oscillator, illustrated in Fig. 6-1 (A), which represents one form of Hartley oscillator. Positive feedback is accomplished by arranging the resonant tank E to be common to both the input grid and output plate circuits. The equivalent transistor circuit using a grounded emitter connection is illustrated in Fig. 6-1 (B). Again, positive feedback is provided by placing the resonant tank so that it is common to both the input base and output collector circuits. If ground is removed from the emitter lead, and placed at the bottom of the tank circuit, the electrical operation of the oscillator is unchanged. Notice that when this circuit is rearranged as illustrated in Fig. 6-1 (C), it is now in the grounded-base connection. While the grid bias of the vacuum-tube oscillator in Fig. 6-1 (A) is regulated by the grid leak resistor RG, the equivalent transistor base in Fig. 6-1 (C) is self-biased through resistor RB. In all three circuits, the battery supply is decoupled by an R-F choke.


The major difference between the operation of the vacuum-tube Hartley oscillator and that employing a transistor lies in the loading effect of the emitter resistance on the tank coil. This resistance is reflected into the tank circuit and acts as an equivalent shunting resistance. The tank is also shunted by the collector resistance, and the equivalent shunt resistance of the resonant circuit becomes transistor_basics_06-4.gif. Oscillation starts when the equivalent shunt resistance of the tank is counterbalanced by the reflected negative-resistance of the emitter. The optimum tap point of the coil (as determined both mathematically and

experimentally) is transistor_basics_06-5.gif, where T is the ratio of the feedback turns included in the emitter circuit to the total number of tank coil turns, and α is the emitter-to-collector current gain. Notice that when α approaches unity, the transistor oscillates at highest efficiency with a center-tapped tank coil. Under this condition the minimum allowable parallel resistance of the tank circuit is transistor_basics_06-6.gif, which sets the Q of the circuit at transistor_basics_06-7.gif, where ω = 27fo, re is the transistor resistance, fo is the resonant frequency, arid L is the inductance of the tank coil. The operating resonant frequency is always lower than the isolated resonant tank frequency, because of the change in effective value of inductance caused by the coil tap.

The disadvantages of tapping the coil can be avoided by using a direct feedback path from the resonant circuit to the input terminal. Figures 6-2 (A) and 6-2 (B) illustrate two such possible arrangements. In both examples, the feedback resistor RP (a choke may be used) and the effective impedance of the resonant circuit form an a-c voltage divider. The value of RF can be adjusted to obtain the required amount of feedback for sustained oscillation.


Fig. 6-2. Direct feedback connections: (A) collector ta base, (B) collector to emitter.


Last Update: 2010-11-17