[sdiy] Ring Modulators with Zener Rings.

mskala at ansuz.sooke.bc.ca mskala at ansuz.sooke.bc.ca
Thu Apr 21 05:22:15 CEST 2016

On Wed, 20 Apr 2016, alfred.pear at gmail.com wrote:
> I also experimented with some 5.1 zener diodes and it didn't seem that
> different from a non-zener..any ideas? 

Every diode in the ring is in parallel with the series combination of the
other three diodes in the opposite direction.  So in order to hit 5.1V
reverse voltage across one diode in the ring, you have to put at least a
third of that, or 1.7V, in the forward direction across at least one of
the other diodes.  You can't do that to a silicon diode without destroying
it.  So about all you can expect from Zener diodes substituted into a ring
modulator is that they'll behave like ordinary silicon diodes; they'll
never hit the voltage range where the Zener effect becomes relevant.

Matthew Skala
mskala at ansuz.sooke.bc.ca                 People before principles.

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