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What is Clipper Circuit and Its Types?

Author: Apogeeweb Date: 2 Dec 2020  866

diode clipping circuit

Introduction

The diode clipper, also known as a diode limiter, is a wave shaping circuit that limits positive or negative amplitude, or both. A circuit which removes the peak of a waveform is known as a clipper. In electronics, diode clipper circuits are commonly used to process various signals. It is is a circuit designed to prevent a signal from exceeding a predetermined reference voltage level. Clipping changes the shape of the waveform and alters its spectral components.

Clipper Circuits Introduction

Catalog

Introduction

Ⅰ Clipper Circuit Types

1.1 Positive Clipper Circuit

1.2 Negative Clipper Circuit

1.3 Combinational Limiter Circuit

Ⅱ Clipper Circuits Analysis

2.1 Clipper Circuit Structure

2.2 Clipper Circuit Problems

Ⅲ General Forms of Clipper Circuits

3.1 Clipper Circuit Description

3.2 Common Clipper Circuit Forms


Ⅰ Clipper Circuit Types

Diode clipper is a limiting circuit which limits the output voltage. In electronics, a clipper is a circuit designed to prevent a signal from exceeding a predetermined reference voltage level. A basic diode limiter circuit is composed of a diode and a resistor. It is divided into three types: positive clipper circuit, negative clipper circuit and combinational clipper circuit. The positive clipper circuit produces a clipping effect when the input voltage is higher than a certain upper limit value; the negative clipper circuit produces a limit effect when the input voltage is lower than a certain lower limit value; the combinational clipper circuit produces a limit effect when the input voltage is too high or too low. In a positive clipper, the positive half cycles of the input voltage will be removed. During the negative half cycle of the input, the diode is forward biased and so the negative half cycle appears across the output. The clipper circuits are described as following.


1.1 Positive Clipper Circuit

positive clipper

The diode in clipper circuit is connected in series to the input signal and that attenuates the positive portions of the waveform. The positive clamping circuit blocks the input signal when the diode is forward biased. During the negative half cycle of an AC signal, the diode is forward biased and allows electric current through it. In following figure, when the input signal voltage is lower than a preset upper limit voltage, the output voltage will change with the input voltage, however, when the input voltage reaches or exceeds the upper limit, the output voltage will remain at a fixed value, so that the signal amplitude is limited at the output.


1.2 Negative Clipper Circuit

negative clipper

The diode in clipper circuit is connected in series to the input signal and that attenuates the negative portions of the waveform, is termed as negative series clipper. For the figure below, the diode is series to the input and output. If the diode has ideal switching characteristics, when iu is lower than E, D will not conduct, ou=E; when ui is higher than E, D will conduct, ou=iu. The limiting characteristic of this limiter circuit is shown in the figure.


1.3 Combinational Limiter Circuit

dual (combination) clipper

This kind of circuit combines the positive and negative limiters together which shows in the following figure.

 


Ⅱ Clipper Circuits Analysis

2.1 Clipper Circuit Structure

diode clipping circuit

In the circuit, Al is an integrated circuit (a common component), VT1 and VT2 are transistors, Rl and R2 are resistors, and VDl to VD6 are diodes.

Analyzing the effect of VD1 and VD2 in the circuit mainly explains the following points.
1) It can be seen from the circuit that the circuit structure of the two groups of diodes are the same. Both play the same role in this circuit, so the working principle of them are the same.
2) The pin ① is connected to the base of the transistor VT1 through a resistor Rl. Obviously Rl is a signal transmission resistor. The signal output on the pin ① is added to the base of VT1 through Rl (there is no DC blocking capacitor between pin ① and VT1). From this circuit structure, it can be judged that the pin ① is an output signal pin, and it outputs a composite signal of DC and AC. The purpose of determining that the pin ① is to figure out the specific function of the diode VD1 in the circuit.
3) The DC voltage output by pin ① is not high enough to make the external diode in a conducting state. The analysis is: if the DC voltage output by the pin ① is high enough, then VD1, VD2 and VD3 conduct, and the internal resistance becomes small. This will shunt the AC signal output by the pin ① to the ground, so the signal will be attenuated. However, this circuit does not need such attenuation. Therefore, the conclusion drawn from this: VD1, VD2 and VD3 are not turned on by pin ① DC voltage output.
4) The output from pin ① is the superimposed signal of DC and AC, which is added to the base of the transistor VT1 through the resistor Rl. VT1 is an NPN transistor. If the amplitude of the positive half-cycle AC signal added to the base of VT1 is very large, which may burn the VT1. When the negative half-cycle signal added to the base of VT1 is large, which has no effect on VT1, because the negative signal on the base of VT1 reduces current.
Follow the above circuit analysis, it can be judged that VD1, VD2, and VD3 in the circuit has clipper function, to prevent VT1 from burning out.

 

2.2 Clipper Circuit Problems

In the figure, Ul is the DC voltage in the output of pin ①, U2 is the limiting voltage value.

Al① waveform

When the AC voltage in the output signal of pin ① is relatively small, the positive half cycle of the AC signal plus the DC output voltage does not make the VD1, VD2 and VD3 conduction. Therefore, all diodes are cut off, which has no effect on the AC signal output by pin ①. 
Assuming that the positive half-cycle output AC signal by pin ① is very large during a certain period, as shown in the signal waveform, at this time it plus the DC voltage can conduct VD1, VD2 and VD3. If the conduction voltage of each diode is 0.7V, then three diodes is 2.1V. Since the tube voltage drop after conduction is basically the same, that is, the maximum voltage of pin ① is 2.1V. So the excess part of the positive half cycle of the AC signal is limited by the resistor. When the DC and AC output signals at pin ① is less than 2.1V, diodes will not conduct and keep cutoff state, which has no clipping effect on the signal.

For the specific details of clipper circuit, there are several explanations as follows.
1) The negative half cycle large signal output by the pin ④ will not cause VT1 overcurrent, because it will decrease the base voltage of the NPN transistor and the base current, so there is no need to add the limiter circuit.
2) The one-way limiter circuit mentioned above, it can only limit the large signal part of the positive or negative half of the signal, and does not limit the signal in the other half. The other is the combinational limiter circuit, which can limit the positive and negative half-cycle signals at the same time.
3) There are many reasons for the abnormal increase of the signal amplitude. For example, the fluctuation of the power supply voltage cause it to increase a lot at a certain moment, and the large-scale interference pulse from the outside into the circuit also causes a certain increase.
4) After the three diodes VD1, VD2 and VD3 conduct, the sum of the DC and AC voltages on pin ① is 2.1V. This voltage added to the base of VT1 through resistor Rl is maximum, so as to the current of VT1.
5) Since the pin ① is the same as the external circuit of pin ②, the working principle of the limiter circuit is the same. So only one circuit needs to be analyzed when analyzing the circuit.
6) According to the characteristics of the series circuit, the current in the series circuit is equal everywhere. It can be known that the three series diodes VD1, VD2 and VD3 are turned on at the same time, or they will be turned off at the same time. Therefore, in the series circuit, a diode is turned on and other diodes are turned on.


Ⅲ General Forms of Clipper Circuits

3.1 Clipper Circuit Description

There are two types of clippers namely series and parallel. In series clipper, diode is connected in series with the load. In parallel clipper, diode is in parallel to the load.
1) Series clippers: if the diode is connected in series with load resistance
Unbiased series clipper: in that case the circuit diode is connected in series with load resistance and no external voltage is applied to the circuit.
+ve unbiased series clipper: if the +ve portion of output is clipped its called +ve unbiased series clipper.
-ve unbiased series clipper: if the -ve portion of output is clipped its called +ve unbiased series clipper.
Biased series clipper: if in the circuit, diode is connected in series with load resistance and external voltage is applied to the circuit
+ve biased series clipper: if the +ve portion of output is clipped its called +ve biased series clipper.
-ve biased series clipper: if the -ve portion of output is clipped its called +ve biased series clipper.

2) Parallel clippers: if the diode is connected in parallel with load resistance
Unbiased parallel clipper: in that case the circuit diode is connected in parallel with load resistance and no external voltage is applied to the circuit.
+ve unbiased parallel clipper: if the +ve portion of output is clipped its called +ve unbiased parallel clipper.
-ve unbiased parallel clipper: if the -ve portion of output is clipped its called +ve unbiased parallel clipper.
Biased parallel clipper: if in the circuit, diode is connected in parallel with load resistance and external voltage is applied to the circuit
+ve unbiased parallel clipper: if the +ve portion of output is clipped its called +ve biased series clipper.
-ve unbiased parallel clipper: if the -ve portion of output is clipped its called +ve biased series clipper.

 

3.2 Common Clipper Circuit Forms

Series clipper: The diode is connected in series with the load resistance.
Series Positive Clipper
The positive amplitude waveform is cut, and the negative amplitude waveform is retained, as follows:

Series Positive Clipper


Series Positive Clipper with Positive Bias
The positive amplitude waveform is cut, and the offset positive voltage is retained on the negative amplitude waveform, as follows:

Series Positive Clipper with Positive Bias


Series Positive Clipper with Negative Bias
The waveform of positive amplitude is cut, and the negative voltage is shifted based on the waveform of negative amplitude, as follows:

Series Positive Clipper with Negative Bias


Series Negative Clipper
The negative amplitude waveform is cut, and the positive amplitude waveform is retained, as follows:

Series Negative Clipper


Series Negative Clipper with Positive Bias
The negative amplitude waveform is cut, and the positive voltage is offset on the positive amplitude waveform, as follows:

Series Negative Clipper with Positive Bias


Series Negative Clipper with Negative Bias
The negative amplitude waveform is cut, and the negative voltage is offset on the positive amplitude waveform as follows:

Series Negative Clipper with Negative Bias


Shunt clipper: Diode in Parallel with Load Resistance
Shunt Positive Clipper

Shunt Positive Clipper


Shunt Positive Clipper with Positive Bias

Shunt Positive Clipper with Positive Bias


Shunt Positive Clipper with Negative Bias

Shunt Positive Clipper with Negative Bias


Shunt Negative Clipper

Shunt Negative Clipper


Shunt Negative Clipper with Positive Bias

Shunt Negative Clipper with Positive Bias


Shunt Negative Clipper with Negative Bias

Shunt Negative Clipper with Negative Bias


Combination Clipper
When the positive and negative waveforms must be limited, a combinational limiter circuit is required, as follows:

Combination Clipper

Images Reference: Clipper Circuits - Series Clipper, Shunt Clipper, and Dual Clipper

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Diode Limiter and Clipper Circuit

1. What is Clipper and clamper?
The major difference between clipper and clamper is that clipper is a limiting circuit which limits the output voltage while clamper is a circuit which shifts the DC level of output voltage. ... While clamper is used when we need multiples of the input voltage at the output terminal.

 

2. What is the function of clipper circuit?
In electronics, a clipper is a circuit designed to prevent a signal from exceeding a predetermined reference voltage level. A clipper does not distort the remaining part of the applied waveform.

 

3. What is Clipper circuit and its types?
A clipper is a device which limits, remove or prevents some portion of the wave form (input signal voltage) above or below a certain level In other words the circuit which limits positive or negative amplitude ,or both is called chipping circuit. The clipper circuits are of the following types. Series positive clipper.

 

4. What is the difference between a positive clipper and a negative Clipper?
Positive Clipper and Negative Clipper. In a positive clipper, the positive half cycles of the input voltage will be removed. ... During the negative half cycle of the input, the diode is forward biased and so the negative half cycle appears across the output.

 

5. How does diode clipping work?
The Diode Clipper, also known as a Diode Limiter, is a wave shaping circuit that takes an input waveform and clips or cuts off its top half, bottom half or both halves together. This clipping of the input signal produces an output waveform that resembles a flattened version of the input.

 

6. What is the main purpose of a diode limiter?
The diode limiter also called Clipper as it is used to limit the input voltage. A basic diode limiter circuit is composed of a diode and a resistor. Depending upon the circuit configuration and bias, the circuit may clip or eliminate all or part of an input waveform. It limits the output voltage to a specific value.

 

7. What is the purpose of a clamping diode?
The clamping circuit fixes the voltage lower limit to zero, that is, the start of the signal is 0 V. The positive clamping circuit blocks the input signal when the diode is forward biased. During the negative half cycle of an AC signal, the diode is forward biased and allows electric current through it.

 

8. What is a diode clamping circuit?
A clamper circuit shifts the DC level or the reference level of the signal to the desired level without changing the shape of the waveform. The clamper circuit can be designed using the diode, resistor, and the capacitor.

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