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Basic Operation

Author: Leonard Krugman

If the control of an oscillator can be maintained by simple high or low resistance values in the three transistor electrode arms, the substitution of series and parallel L-C resonant circuits in their place is a natural step. The insertion of a parallel resonant circuit in the base lead will cause the circuit to oscillate at the resonant frequency because of the tank's high impedance at resonance. On the other hand, placing a series L-C circuit in the emitter or collector arms will cause oscillation at the resonance frequency due to the tank's characteristic low impedance at that point. Fig. 6-6 illustrates the a-c equivalent circuit of a negative-resistance oscillator that includes all three methods of controlling oscillation. Since L-C resonant circuits produce sine waveforms, the oscillators using L-C resonant tanks are generally referred to as sine-wave oscillators.


Fig. 6-6. Basic impedance controlled negative resistance oscillator.

The use of only the point-contact transistor for the negative-resistance oscillator is readily explained on an electronic basis. Assume that for the conventional grounded base connection, a disturbance or electrical charge of some sort causes an a-c emitter current to flow. This results in an amplified collector current ic = αie in the collector circuit. Since there is no phase inversion, the current flows through the base in phase with the emitter current. If the base resistance is large, the regenerative signal will be larger than the original signal. This increased current is again amplified, causing a greater collector current to flow, which again is fed back to the emitter, and so forth. In a short time, the current passes out of the linear dynamic operating range, and the circuit breaks into oscillation. The frequency of this oscillation is determined by the time constant of the circuit. In brief then, the point-contact transistor is capable of basic oscillation, without external feedback path, because of its ability to provide current gain and internal feedback path without phase reversal through the base lead.

Last Update: 2010-11-17