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Engineering LibreTexts

18.1: Theory Overview

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  • Like Emitter Bias, Voltage Divider Bias seeks to establish a stable Q point by placing a fixed voltage across an emitter resistor. This will result in a stable emitter current, and by extension, stable collector current and collector-emitter voltage. As beta varies, this change will be reflected in a change in base current. With proper design, this change in base current will have little overall impact on circuit performance. One method of obtaining a stable voltage across the emitter resistor is to apply a stiff voltage divider to the base. “Stiff”, in this case, means that the current through the divider resistors should be much higher than the current tapped off of the divider (the current being tapped off is the base current). By doing so, variations in base current will not excessively load the divider and this will lead to a very stable base voltage. The emitter voltage is one base-emitter drop less, and is the potential across the emitter resistor. Hence, the emitter resistor’s voltage will be kept stable.

    When troubleshooting, circuit faults often result in either shorted or open components. Typically this will alter the circuit radically and push the Q point into either cutoff or saturation. The fault may also alter the DC load line itself. Once the transistor goes into either cutoff or saturation, normal linear operation will be lost.

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