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A technique is described that allows the satisfactory working of a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to be checked on a display.
English (United States)
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Digital to Analog Converter Operation Checking
A technique is described that allows the satisfactory working of a digital-to-
analog converter (DAC) to be checked on a display.
Reference pulses at a rate which is related to the anticipated frequency of
operation of the DAC are applied to a chain of frequency dividers, each being a
divider-by-two circuit and providing an output of the chain of dividers. Assuming
the DAC is a twelve-bit DAC, the chain of dividers will be provided with twelve
outputs. The output providing pulses at the highest frequency is applied to the
least significant bit (LSB) input of the DAC while the output providing pulses at
the lowest frequency is applied to the most significant bit (MSB) input of the DAC.
The output from the DAC is applied to an amplifier whose gain varies with
relation to the frequency. This gain variation is provided by a logarithmic gain
feedback connection. In the example shown in the figure in which the pulses at
the highest frequency are applied to the DAC LSB input, the amplifier gain
decreases as the frequency increases. The output from the amplifier is fed to a
spectral analyzer having display capabilities. The amplifier may be replaced by a
band-pass filter operating in the bandwidth edge region where attenuation varies
When the DAC operates satisfactorily, the spectral analyzer displays twelve
rays properly located.
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