Test Your EQ (Engineering Quotient)

EQ #30

a—Is it possible to transmit on-off (DC) signals between two pieces of equipment in both directions simultaneously on the same wire, in much the same way that telephones do for audio? b—But doesn’t a true hybrid use transformers, or at least some tricky transformer simulation with op amps to ensure the transmitted signal does not appear on the receive port? Answer 1a—Why not? Hybrids work just as well at DC as they do for audio; you just need a receiver with balanced inputs, like an RS-422 buffer: All resistors are the same value (e.g., 4,700 Ω) and the transmit driver needs to be a voltage source (low impedance). If the transmitter switches between, say, 0 V and 5 V, the opposite receiver will see a voltage differential of 0 V and 2.5 V, respectively, while the local receiver will just see 0V. For long lines, you'll probably want to use lower resistances and you'll want to limit the slew rate of the transmitter so that the receiver doesn’t produce glitches on the transitions of the local transmitter. If the RS-422 receiver is replaced with an op-amp differential amplifier with a gain of 2, then any analog voltage transmitted by one end will be reproduced at the other end. Answer b No. A hybrid is just a bridge circuit, with one arm of the bridge replaced by the line and the termination at the far end. The transmit signal is applied to two opposite corners of the bridge and the receive signal is taken from the other two corners. In order to provide the Tx/Rx isolation, the bridge must be balanced, which in the example above, means that the lower resistor on each side must match the impedance of the line/far end combination. For DC and short lines, a simple resistor suffices. At audio frequencies and with the long unshielded twisted pairs used in telephony, a more complex matching impedance is required. Transformers are used only because it’s the easiest way (and the only passive way) to get a balanced drive and/or recei
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EQ #30

by Circuit Cellar Staff time to read: 2 min