Bypass capacitors on diodes?


2008-03-07 12:46 pm
I saw this on another forum (not a good one for audio unfortunately):


But with my limited knowledge I can't tell if it's beneficial or destructive.

Any comments?
The impedance (and capacitance) of a diode changes very abruptly when it stops conducting (after reverse recovery is completed). This together with a series inductive component usually results in moderate voltage spikes or ringing. A parallel impedance (capacitor) helps to make this change not so abrupt and the spikes smaller.

The ideal solution is not a simple capacitor in parallel with each diode, though. An additional RC may be required to damp ringing. Also, a single C (plus optional RC) in parallel with each transformer secondary should be enough instead of four.
Hi sreten
sreten said:
True. But by deliberately using "poor" capacitors, with low Q at the
frequencies of interest it was found the resistor(s) can be omitted...

Avoid using poor capacitors like ZU5 shown in the picture. Prefer MKP, it sounds better. Calculating optimum snubber and using good capacitors is important event with smooth, fast or Schottky diodes.

I have found that to be true; just a capacitor, no matter what kind, never improved what I saw on the scope. Better off adding the correct capacitor and the right resistor for the application.

I think an RC snubber across the transformer is much more beneficial than caps across diodes, especially when using schottky's.