# 2N3055 amp with collector on the negative rail?

I

#### Ingen Ingensteds

Jan 1, 1970
0
I'd like to use a 2N3055 in a watertight project box. My project is a
556 timer driving a TIP, which drives a 2N3055 to oscillate a motorcycle
headlamp. The diagram is at http://www.buchanan1.net/modulator.shtml

The need for a watertight enclosure limits my options for heat-sink, as
there would be no airflow to the 3055. I read a note at
http://www.qsl.net/xq2fod/Electron/Ps20/Ps20.html
....that it may be possible to have the collectors of the 2N3055 on the
negative rail, so that they might be affixed to an grounded enclosure.
That would be great for me. However, I'm a bit confused by this. I
thought that the polarity of the base and collector had to be the same,
with respect to the emitter. But the link above seems to imply that the
base can be positive, while the collector and emitter are negative?

I tried this, and got some odd results: usually, my primary 555
oscillator (within the 556) would be stuck open with voltage constantly
on the Output. Twice, the circuit seemed to be working for several
seconds, then quit when I jiggled the wires (going to the
non-oscillating mode). It appeared that this problem might be dependent
on the order in which the positive and negative rails were connected to
the circuit (diode->cap->556) versus the emitter and collector of the
3055. However, I couldn't nail it down from trial and error.

When I reconnect such that the collector is positive, I have no
problems. Any suggestions for using a negative-rail (grounded)
collector on the 3055 would be appreciated! I may try a BUZ71 instead
of the TIP+2N3055, but believe that I will have the same problem (heat).

-Norman Newby

J

#### John Larkin

Jan 1, 1970
0
I'd like to use a 2N3055 in a watertight project box. My project is a
556 timer driving a TIP, which drives a 2N3055 to oscillate a motorcycle
headlamp. The diagram is at http://www.buchanan1.net/modulator.shtml

The need for a watertight enclosure limits my options for heat-sink, as
there would be no airflow to the 3055. I read a note at
http://www.qsl.net/xq2fod/Electron/Ps20/Ps20.html
...that it may be possible to have the collectors of the 2N3055 on the
negative rail, so that they might be affixed to an grounded enclosure.
That would be great for me. However, I'm a bit confused by this. I
thought that the polarity of the base and collector had to be the same,
with respect to the emitter. But the link above seems to imply that the
base can be positive, while the collector and emitter are negative?

I tried this, and got some odd results: usually, my primary 555
oscillator (within the 556) would be stuck open with voltage constantly
on the Output. Twice, the circuit seemed to be working for several
seconds, then quit when I jiggled the wires (going to the
non-oscillating mode). It appeared that this problem might be dependent
on the order in which the positive and negative rails were connected to
the circuit (diode->cap->556) versus the emitter and collector of the
3055. However, I couldn't nail it down from trial and error.

When I reconnect such that the collector is positive, I have no
problems. Any suggestions for using a negative-rail (grounded)
collector on the 3055 would be appreciated! I may try a BUZ71 instead
of the TIP+2N3055, but believe that I will have the same problem (heat).

-Norman Newby

With a Darlington (two-transistor) configuration, Q2 doesn't properly
saturate so it will get pretty hot. And no, you can't ground the
collector.

If you used a big N-channel power mosfet instead of the Darlington,
the 'on' voltage would be very low and you wouldn't near near as much
heat sinking.

You could use a PNP Darlington as a follower, and ground the
collector. It would still dissipate about the same power, but might be
easier to heat sink.

John

J

#### Jamie

Jan 1, 1970
0
if you look closer to that print (power supply) you will see that
the Bridge rectifier is actually connecting the + out to the ground.
thus you can then connect the 2N3055 cans directly to the case.
normally this is only done to get better heat sinking and usually the
inners are not exposed.
what is some what common is to have the - side of the Rectifier
connected to the emmiters of the 2N3055 while the Collects are thus
connected to the gound side. this makes it nice if you have a few
2N3055 hanging off the back and worry less about them hitting gound
points around you. the + side of the rectifier is on the binding post as
the isolated output..
but using that for a motorcycle on the bike it self using its own
power source you may have problems.)

I

#### Ingen Ingensteds

Jan 1, 1970
0
John Larkin wrote:

If you used a big N-channel power mosfet instead of the Darlington,
the 'on' voltage would be very low and you wouldn't near near as much
heat sinking.

Yep, I'm leaning that way. I also noticed that federal regulations
limit the voltage drop through a modulator at 0.45v, which the
Darlington will probably not be able to achieve.
You could use a PNP Darlington as a follower, and ground the
collector. It would still dissipate about the same power, but might be
easier to heat sink.

The main advantage of the NPN Darlington was it's availabitily at the
strip mall for a quick Sunday afternoon project. But if I have to
mail-order, then I might as well try a power MOSFET. It sounds like I
could get a power FET with an isolated flange for easier mounting, or
else a mica insulator and a normal NPN FET; or else use an PNP FET,
which would have the virtue of failing closed, so that the headlight
would still work, and could have the flange mounted to a ground
plane(?). But I'm not sure how to drive a PNP FET (which I think needs
negative voltage on the base?) using a 556 timer (which supplies
positive voltage from its output).

Still pretty new to this fun stuff!

D

#### Dan Dunphy

Jan 1, 1970
0
Here is a link (Kisan) which shows the legal ramifications. This
circuit, in it's present form is not legal becasue it does not have
the light sensing device to turn the modulator off in dim light.
Kisan builds a DOT legal version, called pathfinder. Their customer
service is reputed to be excellent.

This circuit has one other flaw, that of using a darlington. One
should seperate the collectors and put a current limit resistor in the
collector of the 2N3055's driver. It should be large enough so as to
not exceed the base current spec on the 2N3055. This will allow the
2N3055 to saturate, and give a very low voltage drop, when on.
Chances are you will not need a heat sink at all, if you do this. In
fact I suggested this to Jim Buchannon years ago, but he ignored me.
The way he designed this, as you approach saturation, the 2N3055s
driver collector is starved for current, and it will not drive the
output device into complete saturation, Let's assume it goes to .7
volts, x 5 amps = 3.5 watts dissapated in the output device alone.
If you can drive it to .15 volts, at 5 amps, you get .75 watts, a big
difference. In a T3, the 3066 is a 60 watt device, at room temp
(case) if I remember correctly, and at .75 watts it probably won't
hardly get warm. 3.5 watts will burn your fingers.

No you can't tie the collector to the negative rail, NPN's don't work
that way.

Dan

I'd like to use a 2N3055 in a watertight project box. My project is a
556 timer driving a TIP, which drives a 2N3055 to oscillate a motorcycle
headlamp. The diagram is at http://www.buchanan1.net/modulator.shtml

The need for a watertight enclosure limits my options for heat-sink, as
there would be no airflow to the 3055. I read a note at
http://www.qsl.net/xq2fod/Electron/Ps20/Ps20.html
...that it may be possible to have the collectors of the 2N3055 on the
negative rail, so that they might be affixed to an grounded enclosure.
That would be great for me. However, I'm a bit confused by this. I
thought that the polarity of the base and collector had to be the same,
with respect to the emitter. But the link above seems to imply that the
base can be positive, while the collector and emitter are negative?

I tried this, and got some odd results: usually, my primary 555
oscillator (within the 556) would be stuck open with voltage constantly
on the Output. Twice, the circuit seemed to be working for several
seconds, then quit when I jiggled the wires (going to the
non-oscillating mode). It appeared that this problem might be dependent
on the order in which the positive and negative rails were connected to
the circuit (diode->cap->556) versus the emitter and collector of the
3055. However, I couldn't nail it down from trial and error.

When I reconnect such that the collector is positive, I have no
problems. Any suggestions for using a negative-rail (grounded)
collector on the 3055 would be appreciated! I may try a BUZ71 instead
of the TIP+2N3055, but believe that I will have the same problem (heat).

-Norman Newby

My advice may be worth what you paid for it.

L

#### Louis Bybee

Jan 1, 1970
0

Louis--
*********************************************
Remove the two fish in address to respond

D

#### Dan Dunphy

Jan 1, 1970
0
I just looked at the 2N3055 Data sheet. Vsat at 4 A is 1 volt. This
maked the FET in Steinwinkles modified design look like a much better
approach.
Dan

Here is a link (Kisan) which shows the legal ramifications. This
circuit, in it's present form is not legal becasue it does not have
the light sensing device to turn the modulator off in dim light.
Kisan builds a DOT legal version, called pathfinder. Their customer
service is reputed to be excellent.

This circuit has one other flaw, that of using a darlington. One
should seperate the collectors and put a current limit resistor in the
collector of the 2N3055's driver. It should be large enough so as to
not exceed the base current spec on the 2N3055. This will allow the
2N3055 to saturate, and give a very low voltage drop, when on.
Chances are you will not need a heat sink at all, if you do this. In
fact I suggested this to Jim Buchannon years ago, but he ignored me.
The way he designed this, as you approach saturation, the 2N3055s
driver collector is starved for current, and it will not drive the
output device into complete saturation, Let's assume it goes to .7
volts, x 5 amps = 3.5 watts dissapated in the output device alone.
If you can drive it to .15 volts, at 5 amps, you get .75 watts, a big
difference. In a T3, the 3066 is a 60 watt device, at room temp
(case) if I remember correctly, and at .75 watts it probably won't
hardly get warm. 3.5 watts will burn your fingers.

No you can't tie the collector to the negative rail, NPN's don't work
that way.

Dan

My advice may be worth what you paid for it.

My advice may be worth what you paid for it.

F

#### Fritz Schlunder

Jan 1, 1970
0
Ingen Ingensteds said:
When I reconnect such that the collector is positive, I have no
problems. Any suggestions for using a negative-rail (grounded)
collector on the 3055 would be appreciated! I may try a BUZ71 instead
of the TIP+2N3055, but believe that I will have the same problem (heat).

-Norman Newby

Definitely go with the MOSFET solution. Although the author of the webpage
you linked to deserves kudos for making such information available, he is
not very well informed about modern MOSFET technology. His general
impression of MOSFET technology is more applicable to say the early 1980's
timeframe. They have come a very long way since then and have long since
vastly surpassed bipolar junction transistors in this type of application.

However, do not use the BUZ71 MOSFET for this application. That is a really
wimpy and pitiful device and indeed may end up dissipating as much heat as
the 2N3055 in this application. Don't be fooled by the seemingly impressive
14A rating. Just because it is rated for that does not mean it is really
well suited for or even meant to handle 14A.

Use some much more robust device such as the IRFZ48V for instance.

Datasheet at:

http://www.irf.com/product-info/datasheets/data/irfz48v.pdf

This device is rated at 60V with a Rds(on) resistance of 12 milliOhms. When
the device is on the device simply behaves as a resistor of around 12
milliohms (although about twice this at 140 deg. C junction temperature).
When off it behaves as a near infinite value resistance.

If you want to pump say five amps through the device, we can estimate the
continuous DC power loss by using the simple old formula P=I^2 * R. So for
instance at 5A continuous DC current the power loss would be something like
5^2 * 0.012 = 0.3W. Without heatsinking the junction temperature will rise
somewhat and the steady state dissipation will be slightly higher than this,
but in any case this is a very manageable figure. No heatsink will be
necessary at all. It may get a little bit warm to the touch, but still well
within its capabilities. This appears to run the lamp at less than full
duty cycle so the actual dissipation would likely be even less than this.

Or if that bothers you use an even bigger MOSFET still. Some device like
the IRF2804 would certainly be massive overkill for this application (but I
include it in this post to give you an idea of what exists out there in
terms of power MOSFETs):

http://www.irf.com/product-info/datasheets/data/irf2804.pdf

This device is rated at about 2.3 milliohms with a breakdown voltage of 40V.
Steady state DC power dissipation at full duty cycle on with 5A would be
something like 5^2 * 0.0023 = 58 mW. This is negligible and will not
produce any detectable temperature rise.

Both devices and many more are available from Digikey among other
distributors at very reasonable prices.

http://dkc3.digikey.com/pdf/T033/0545-0552.pdf

The IRFZ48V can be had for US $1.05 in single unit quantities or for$0.84
in ten unit quantities.

The IRF2804 is more expensive (and massive overkill for this application) at
$3.33 in single unit or$2.22 in ten unit quantities.

Oh by the way. There is no such thing as a NPN MOSFET or a PNP MOSFET.
There are however N-channel MOSFETs and P-channel MOSFETs. The N-channel
and P-channel devices are however quite analogous to NPN and PNP bipolar
transistors respectively. Most semiconductor devices (both N-channel and
P-channel MOSFETs included) will fail short circuit if you abuse them
excessly. If you massively abuse them beyond simply failing short circuit
sometimes they will act like a fuse and eventually become open circuits, but
this isn't very common when playing with low voltage. The primary advantage
the P-channel MOSFET offers is its ability to switch a load from the high
side. In this case the original schematic was designed for low side
switching using an NPN device, so an N-channel device will make for a fine
replacement.

Once you get some experience using power MOSFETs you will probably end up
wanting to spit at 2N3055 transistors for they are such pitiful devices. I
know I want to.

I

#### Ingen Ingensteds

Jan 1, 1970
0
Louis said:

A 1-page printable version of FMVSS-108, which you can carry under your
seat with your insurance info, is at
http://webbikeworld.com/Motorcycle-technical-articles/Modulator-regs-small.htm

Kisan is well-reputed. Their device modulates at 50:50 mark:space from
full brightness down to 40% brightness at 4hz. The Comagination
VisiPath is cheaper, and modulates down to 17% brightness, the legal
limit for "most obnoxious". These are effective, but can be annoying to
other motorists. I wanted something more subtle. My timer is running
at 4hz, 70:30 mark:space (the legal limit for "least obnoxious"), and
only modulating down to 75% intensity (that is, 75:25 mark:space at
~200hz). I'm pleased with the visual results on my test lamp. I think
a 50% duty cycle modulating down to (say) 90% intensity would also work
well.

that if my voltage is 11.5-14.5v, and lamp load is about 5A, and the my
HFE min-max are 20-70, then I need a base resistor of between
(14.5/(5/20))=46 and ((14.5/(5/70))=203 ohms. 100 ohms sounds
reasonable. So I'm guessing that a 10W 100-ohm power resistor between
the TIP31 emitter and the 2N3055 collector would be sufficient to keep
the 2N3055 base from starving? (or should it be placed between the 12v
rail and the collector of the TIP31?). Then the R2 resistor in
http://www.buchanan1.net/modulator6.gif should probably be changed from
100 to 1k.

This would give the TIP31 "Q1" a load of [email protected] Using the same
calculation (and HFE 10-50), Q1 would need a base resistor "R1" of
1k-6k, such as 2.2k, rather than the 680ohm resistor I have now. But
perhaps this is an incorrect conclusion.

D

#### Dan Dunphy

Jan 1, 1970
0
Sorry,
Here's teh text from the Kisan Web page.

Modulators are legal in all fifty states. Below you will find the
federal Mandate which makes modulators legal. No state can override
the federal law, and therefore any motorcycle can modulate their
modulators meets or exceed the federal standards.

Federal Motor Vehicle Standards

Department of Transportation
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
49 CFR Parts 571
[Docket No. 97-57; Notice 1]
Executive Order 12866

s7.9.1 A headlamp on a motorcycle may be wired to either the upper or
the lower beam from its maximum intensity to a lesser intensity
provided that:
(a) The rate of modulation shall be 240 +/- 40 cycles per minute.
(b) The headlamp shall be operated at maximum power for 50 to 70
percent of each cycle
(c) The lowest intensity at any test point shall be not less than 17%
of the maximum intensity measured at the same point.
(d) The modulator switch shall be wired in the power feed of the beam
filament being modulated and not in the ground side of the circuit.
(e) Means shall be provided so that both the lower beam and the upper
beam remain operable in the event of a modulator failure.
(f) The system shall include a sensor mounted with the axis of its
sensing element perpendicular to the horizontal plane. Headlamp
modulation shall cease whenever the level of light . . . . less then
270 lux.

Partial reprint of:
Federal Registar: Feb. 21 1996 (Volume 61 No. 35)

Louis--
*********************************************
Remove the two fish in address to respond

My advice may be worth what you paid for it.

D

#### Dan Dunphy

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jim Buchannon's design has been around a long time, close to 9 years,
I think. I don't think Rick Steinwinkle's response is much newer.
12 milliohms, now that's more like it.
Dan

Definitely go with the MOSFET solution. Although the author of the webpage
you linked to deserves kudos for making such information available, he is
not very well informed about modern MOSFET technology. His general
impression of MOSFET technology is more applicable to say the early 1980's
timeframe. They have come a very long way since then and have long since
vastly surpassed bipolar junction transistors in this type of application.

However, do not use the BUZ71 MOSFET for this application. That is a really
wimpy and pitiful device and indeed may end up dissipating as much heat as
the 2N3055 in this application. Don't be fooled by the seemingly impressive
14A rating. Just because it is rated for that does not mean it is really
well suited for or even meant to handle 14A.

Use some much more robust device such as the IRFZ48V for instance.

Datasheet at:

http://www.irf.com/product-info/datasheets/data/irfz48v.pdf

This device is rated at 60V with a Rds(on) resistance of 12 milliOhms. When
the device is on the device simply behaves as a resistor of around 12
milliohms (although about twice this at 140 deg. C junction temperature).
When off it behaves as a near infinite value resistance.

If you want to pump say five amps through the device, we can estimate the
continuous DC power loss by using the simple old formula P=I^2 * R. So for
instance at 5A continuous DC current the power loss would be something like
5^2 * 0.012 = 0.3W. Without heatsinking the junction temperature will rise
somewhat and the steady state dissipation will be slightly higher than this,
but in any case this is a very manageable figure. No heatsink will be
necessary at all. It may get a little bit warm to the touch, but still well
within its capabilities. This appears to run the lamp at less than full
duty cycle so the actual dissipation would likely be even less than this.

Or if that bothers you use an even bigger MOSFET still. Some device like
the IRF2804 would certainly be massive overkill for this application (but I
include it in this post to give you an idea of what exists out there in
terms of power MOSFETs):

http://www.irf.com/product-info/datasheets/data/irf2804.pdf

This device is rated at about 2.3 milliohms with a breakdown voltage of 40V.
Steady state DC power dissipation at full duty cycle on with 5A would be
something like 5^2 * 0.0023 = 58 mW. This is negligible and will not
produce any detectable temperature rise.

Both devices and many more are available from Digikey among other
distributors at very reasonable prices.

http://dkc3.digikey.com/pdf/T033/0545-0552.pdf

The IRFZ48V can be had for US $1.05 in single unit quantities or for$0.84
in ten unit quantities.

The IRF2804 is more expensive (and massive overkill for this application) at
$3.33 in single unit or$2.22 in ten unit quantities.

Oh by the way. There is no such thing as a NPN MOSFET or a PNP MOSFET.
There are however N-channel MOSFETs and P-channel MOSFETs. The N-channel
and P-channel devices are however quite analogous to NPN and PNP bipolar
transistors respectively. Most semiconductor devices (both N-channel and
P-channel MOSFETs included) will fail short circuit if you abuse them
excessly. If you massively abuse them beyond simply failing short circuit
sometimes they will act like a fuse and eventually become open circuits, but
this isn't very common when playing with low voltage. The primary advantage
the P-channel MOSFET offers is its ability to switch a load from the high
side. In this case the original schematic was designed for low side
switching using an NPN device, so an N-channel device will make for a fine
replacement.

Once you get some experience using power MOSFETs you will probably end up
wanting to spit at 2N3055 transistors for they are such pitiful devices. I
know I want to.

My advice may be worth what you paid for it.

I

#### Ingen Ingensteds

Jan 1, 1970
0
Dan said:
Here is a link (Kisan) which shows the legal ramifications. This
circuit, in it's present form is not legal becasue it does not have
the light sensing device to turn the modulator off in dim light.\

This circuit has one other flaw, that of using a darlington.

The high voltage drop probably also makes it fall outside FMVSS108,
which states a max. of 0.45 volts dropped.

Also, using the timer configuration listed would yield more than 280hz,
also not within FMVSS108.

Regarding the light sensitivity requirement, I could use an LDR,
transistor and 3 resistors to hot-wire the TIP31 or MOSFET on during the
night-time; or I could use the LDR and a resistor as a pull-down on the
reset pin of the 555 (but I can't remember if lowering the reset pin
would hold the 555 output high or low, or undetermined).

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