Basic Operational Amplifier Applications
This chapter deals with basic practical applications of operational amplifiers. There are many types available and the different amplifiers are normally distinguished by having specific performance characteristics which are optimised for use in particular kinds of application. In order to simplify experimental procedure the circuits given in the book all use the same amplifier type, the 741. This type was chosen for its ready availability, for the circuit protection which it incorporates and for the fact that it requires no external frequency compensation in most applications. The internal circuit protection means that amplifier damage caused by an inadvertent wrong connection is likely to be avoided. Internal frequency compensation, although it restricts the amplifier slewing rate, simplifies experimental circuits and makes closed loop circuits less prone to instability. The ‘slowing down’ of the amplifier is no real disadvantage for experimental purposes, it serves to emphasise those applications in which amplifier slewing rate is a limiting parameter. If the experimental circuits suggested in the book are to be developed as the basis of practical applications it may be necessary to use an alternative amplifier type in order to meet the requirements of some limiting performance specification. The reader is referred to the appendix and to the author’s earlier book, ‘Operational Amplifiers’, for a treatment of the considerations involved in the selection of an amplifier type for a particular application.
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