Programmable Gain Amplifiers

Walt Kester and James Bryant

Most data acquisition systems with wide dynamic range need some method of adjusting the input signal level to the analog-to-digital-converter (ADC). Typical ADC full-scale input voltage ranges lie between 2 V and 10 V. To achieve the rated precision of the converter, the maximum input signal should be fairly near its full-scale voltage.

Transducers, however, have a very wide range of output voltages. High gain is needed for a small sensor voltage, but with a large output, a high gain will cause the amplifier or ADC to saturate. So, some type of predictably controllable gain device is needed. Amplifiers with programmable gain have a variety of applications, and Figure 2-32 ...

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