[sdiy] Will clamping diode work when power is off?

ShedSynth shedsynth at gmail.com
Fri Jun 18 12:45:24 CEST 2021


Thank you to everybody who replied.

 

I want to use both GATE inputs and CV inputs to Arduino analog inputs, I apologise for my previous misleading diagram.

I have also thought of a likely use-case: using a drum machine as GATE input or an external controller as CV input, and switching those on before the modular rack.

 

I have now decided to go with this plan rather than the transistor idea:



https://shedsynth.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/input-protection-schematic-clampzener.png

 

I’ve been testing this, risking life and limb and a £3 Arduino Nano.

 

When the module is powered: the Schottky diodes clamp neatly to the 0V and +5V rails and the Zener stays quiet.

 

When the module is not powered: if -ve voltage the lower diode clamps and if +ve the Zener catches it.

In this case the Nano (& other components) might flicker into life as the input gets above 3V, but mine seems to have survived so far.

 

The transistor circuit had 3 disadvantages:

1: When the module is not powered: the Arduino input could be +0.7V, greater than the Vcc + 0.5V limit.

2: Analog inputs were compressed as the transistor turned on.

3: The trimmer adjustment would be risky.

 

Thanks yet again,

Al

 

From: John Luciani <jluciani at gmail.com> 
Sent: 16 June 2021 19:14
To: ShedSynth <shedsynth at gmail.com>
Cc: *SYNTH DIY <synth-diy at synth-diy.org>
Subject: Re: [sdiy] Will clamping diode work when power is off?

 

Rather than a transistor + resistor I would use a diode connected

between +5V (cathode) and Arduino input (anode). I also like to 

split the series resistance so that one resistor will limit the

current from the input through the diodes and the second limits the current from

a clamped condition into the Arduino input.

 

John L

 

On Wed, Jun 16, 2021 at 12:53 PM ShedSynth via Synth-diy <synth-diy at synth-diy.org <mailto:synth-diy at synth-diy.org> > wrote:

I hope you won't mind me exhuming my old question again.

 

My friend Tim suggested using a BC557 to actively clamp the input to the supply rail:



https://shedsynth.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/adsr-a-schematic-gate-to-d2-2-2.png

 

If the voltage on the emitter goes above the voltage on the base (+5V when the module is powered, 0V when not powered) the transistor will conduct to ground, clamping the input.

I believe it will clamp to Vbe (about 0.7V) above the base voltage, so I planned to use a preset resistor P1 to set the clamp within the safety limit of the Arduino inputs (VDD + 0.5V).

 

I’d be interested in comments, particularly about behaviour when the circuit isn’t powered – the original question.

 

Thanks,

Al

 

-----Original Message-----

From: ShedSynth <mailto:shedsynth at gmail.com <mailto:shedsynth at gmail.com> > 

Sent: 30 May 2021 09:16

To: mailto:synth-diy at synth-diy.org <mailto:synth-diy at synth-diy.org> 

Subject: RE: [sdiy] Will clamping diode work when power is off?

 

Thank you to everybody for the replies.

 

I have previously experimented with a 5.1V Zener across Arduino inputs: GATE inputs triggered successfully but CVs appeared not to be read linearly by the analog inputs.

I'll experiment with clamping each input through diodes to a Zener to 0V, if I understood that suggestion correctly.

 

I'll experiment to measure current through a Zener across 0V and +5V when the module is powered normally.

 

I hadn't understood the reason for the diodes across voltage regulators.

 

The use-case is that I have two boxes which share the same 19V DC supply and are normally switched on and off together as a single unit.

I noticed the issue when I switched off the second box to fiddle with a module under test, while it was still connected to the CV from an LFO module in the first box.

To me this seems like a common risk when fiddling, less so when actually playing any music (and for me that ratio is about 90/10%).

 

I want to mitigate against likely mistakes in the expected range -12V to +12V.

 

So far I seem to have got away with it, although I'm now trying to remember when and how I broke the voltage regulator in the only Arduino that has failed on me so far - that still works on USB power, not on +12V.

 

Spotting the issue, and your replies, has helped me understand some fundamentals.

Thank you all again,

Al

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Synth-diy <mailto:synth-diy-bounces at synth-diy.org <mailto:synth-diy-bounces at synth-diy.org> > On Behalf Of MTG

Sent: 29 May 2021 17:46

To: mailto:synth-diy at synth-diy.org <mailto:synth-diy at synth-diy.org> 

Subject: Re: [sdiy] Will clamping diode work when power is off?

 

This is a cool idea, but I'm curious about the OP's problem. What's the use-case here where part of the rig is powered? Is this just power-on-off timing situation or is powering part of the system a normal part of using it?

 

 

On 5/29/2021 5:10 AM, S Ridley via Synth-diy wrote:

> 

> Another option is to invert the gate in the software, use the pin's 

> internal input pull-up and use an npn transistor to switch it to 0v.

> I suppose current might flow through the BC junction if the power is 

> off, but you'd be using a much higher base resistor on the input so 

> current through that route can be minimised.

> 

> Steve

> 

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