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Old 16th November 2018, 10:35 PM   #71
wrenchone is offline wrenchone  United States
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My idea of fun is not groping around in the dark trying to juggle 3 sets of poles plus a couple of zeroes. I will be making the investment for a G-P analyzer in the near future, most likely an HP4194A, which also doubles as an impedance analyzer. Both impedance and G_P functions go out to 40 MHz.
Right now, I'm using the Venable G-P analyzer we have at work, which has 5 MHz capability and costs me nothing.

The first scan I made with original compensation had practically no phase margin and crossed over way too high, directly at odds with the relatively benign-looking time domain response. This may be possibly be due to the LP introduced by the input mosfet pair gate and Miller capacitance and a limited impedance input source. Anyway, here's what I have now after a fair amount of twiddling. The compensation values I'm using now are in the same ballpark as the values I originally used in my simulation to stabilize the design. I'll do the time domain response when I get a chance. I'd like to twiddle the compensation a bit more to get a more benign crossover slope, but 70 degrees of phase margin is not too shabby.
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Old 16th November 2018, 11:58 PM   #72
Mark Johnson is offline Mark Johnson  United States
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Discrete Headphone Amp.
Boy the HP4194A is a wonderful piece of gear! I hope you snag one that needs very little TLC and refurbishment before you can begin using it.

Looking at the blue "phase" line in the plot of #71, it seems to cross 45 degrees at 100 kHz. And that's likely to be a good approximation of the -3dB rolloff point. So we expect the 10%-90% risetime to be somewhere in the vicinity of 3.5 microseconds.

Gain of 10.5X ; bandwidth of 0.1MHz ; risetime of 3.5usec (predicted) ; phase margin of 70 degrees ; %overshoot of only 1.3% (predicted).
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Old 21st November 2018, 04:01 AM   #73
wrenchone is offline wrenchone  United States
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I did some work over the weekend, subbing 3X smaller fets in the output stage to move out the pole introduced by the gate + Miller capacitance. I went from IRF630/9630 t0 610/9610, reducing the capacitance by about a factor of 3.

I also reduced the rails to 16V from 19V, and upped the bias current to 200mA.

These changes allowed me to chip away at the compensation capacitors, increasing bandwidth while retaining (actually increasing) phase margin. The G-P scan also looks more "classic" as a result.

I want to try one more dodge before buttoning this thing up, tinkering with the stoppers on the input differential stage to perhaps push out the bandwidth a bit more.

The attached G-P plot shows a family of curves resulting from successive tinkering with the compensation values. The one of interest is plot #4 (grey/black). That compensation gets me 2.76 MHz gain crossover with 75 degrees phase margin.
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Old 21st November 2018, 09:45 PM   #74
wrenchone is offline wrenchone  United States
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Here's the last pass of compensation tweaks. The amp is going home for some cleanup and installation in an enclosure.. The cases I have in mind for the finished unit will arrive early next week. I was thinking of routing out something nice in oak and sheet metal, but time is of the essence if I want to get this thing ready for Christmas.

I used ferrite beads on the gates of the input mosfet diff pair and got a little more bandwidth. Of the two gain phase curve sets shown, the one of interest is the orange/green pair, with a crossover frequency of 2.98 MHz and 62 degrees of phase margin. A second marker shows the frequency for 45 degrees of phase shift (313 kHz). The rise and fall times are a little under 1 usec.

One more thing I'll be trying over the Thanksgiving holiday is mating the amp with its negative supply DC-DC converter.
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File Type: png hp-amprisefalla.png (41.7 KB, 97 views)
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Old 21st November 2018, 10:06 PM   #75
Mark Johnson is offline Mark Johnson  United States
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The plotted LF gain of +20dB suggests to me that this instrument has plotted the gain and phase of the control system with the loop closed. If were an open loop plot then the LF gain would be at least 30dB higher.

So, if this indeed IS a closed loop plot, you can't really read off the open loop gain margin or the open loop phase margin directly. You'll need to mathematically un-do the loop closure. And I doubt the instrument does this for you automatically, because if it did then the plotted LF gain would be more like +50dB.
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Old 22nd November 2018, 05:02 AM   #76
wrenchone is offline wrenchone  United States
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Of course I'm looking at the gain and phase with the loop closed. Here's what things look like if I break the loop between the output and gain setting network.
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Old 22nd November 2018, 03:13 PM   #77
Mark Johnson is offline Mark Johnson  United States
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That open loop plot certainly shows enormous amounts of open loop phase margin, more than 90 degrees, at the crossover frequency of 200 kHz.

If I had an amplifier with that open loop plot, I would experiment with reducing the dominant pole compensation capacitor by a factor of about 5x. This would move the open loop crossover frequency up to about 1 MHz, where the open loop phase margin is still a quite respectable 75 degrees. More importantly it increases the amount of excess gain (a/k/a "the amount of feedback") by a factor of 5x, which gives a commensurate reduction in distortion. It also speeds up the square wave risetime response by the same factor of 5x.

There may be other not-quite-dominant poles and zeroes which begin to impact the open loop phase margin as you decrease the dominant pole compensation cap, so you may not be able to get the full 5x increase. But more bigger is more better, even if it's not 5x better.

Your amp has a gain of 10.5X and a -3dB bandwidth of 0.2 MHz, for a GBW product of 2.1 MHz. For purposes of comparison, the power amps in Bob Cordell's book have a GBW product of 16 MHz and the ones in Douglas Self's book have a GBW product of 20 MHz. So there is precedent for getting >2.1 MHz with thru hole parts and 2 layer PCBs and low priced non-military components. Even if the synthesized-SIT topology used here limits ultimate GBW, we'd hope to get at least half of what the books-for-beginners get, namely 8 MHz or so. In an optimistic and hopeful mood we could multiply 2.1 MHz by "almost 5x" and get 9 or 10 MHz which would be in that ballpark.
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Old 27th November 2018, 03:30 PM   #78
Mark Johnson is offline Mark Johnson  United States
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Whoops, I double checked the GBW numbers in post #77 and discovered that my memory had failed me. In fact,
* The power amps in Bob Cordell's book have a GBW of 10 MHz

* The power amps in Douglas Self's book have a GBW of 16 MHz
Very sorry for the errors!
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