The EZ Amp provides a convenient manner in which to experiment with operational amplifiers and to prototype circuit applications using them. Circuit patterns are provided for mounting op-amps that use a 14-pin DIP package. This includes a very large selection of standard part types.
In electronic prototyping, it is convenient to have the use of some mechanism to add circuits in a non-permanent manner, for testing. There exist many so-called “prototyping boards”, consisting of a sea of push-pin contacts that allow a circuit to be built in a very temporary manner.
Although prototyping boards are useful tools, they do not provide suitable connections for sensitive circuits involving amplifiers. Poor quality contacts and long lead wires may negatively affect the performance of the circuit. Even when the prototyping board provides adequate technical performance, it is not acceptable for inclusion as a design element for higher level prototyping.
The EZ-Amp provides a new step between “haywiring” and the final circuit. It can be used to breadboard multiple channels of analog signal conditioning in a manner suitable for all but the final step of packaging.
Any op-amp that has the most commonly used pin patterns for quad op-amps can be used.
All 14 pins of the op-amp socket are brought to a 16-pin IDC header. Connections to this header may be through standard IDC cabling, including DB-15 connectors, or through direct soldering to the hole patterns.
Power is supplied through multiple avenues. A USB socket is provided solely as a power connection. This enables a lap top computer, phone charger or powered USB hub to be used as a convenient source of 5 VDC power.
The 5 VDC is used to power a DC-DC converter that produces +/- 15 VDC for bipolar applications. An alternate power connection method is to bring power through the IDC header, eliminating the need for the USB connector and the DC-DC converter.
Applications requiring other voltage combinations, such as +/- 12V, 5V and ground or higher voltages may be connected through the header. Pads are provided for three fixed resistors, one potentiometer and one capacitor, for each opamp.
Virtually any op-amp circuit type can be implemented with these elements. Most op-amp circuits employ some sort of feedback, so the pads for one of the resistors is hard wired from input to output.
For those applications where a direct connection is required, the resistor may be replaced with a jumper. For applications that require adjustable gain, a trimmer potentiometer can be installed using the pads provided.
For applications requiring some form of integration or differentiation function, a capacitor may be installed in the provided pads.
|1||+5VDC||2||Amp C out|
|3||Amp C -in||4||Amp C + in|
|5||Amp D out||6||V-|
|7||Amp D + in||8||Amp D - in|
|9||Amp A + in||10||Amp A - in|
|11||Amp A out||12||V+|
|13||Amp B - in||14||Amp B + in|
|15||Ground||16||Amp B out|
There are many excellent tutorials available on the Internet for learning and using op-amps, but one of the best is AN-31. This is an application note available from Texas instruments, at no cost, that provides sample connections for a wide variety of useful circuits.