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Help explain strange behavior of my circuit?

Started by Daniel Pitts March 8, 2013
Hello.

So, I noticed something strange with my circuit, and while I can 
"work-around" it, I'd like to understand what's going on.

I took my LED display project to school so I could use their DC power 
supply.  I found that my project works (MCU runs, the LEDs light up as 
expected, etc...) if I connect it to an already on 3.5v to 4.0v.  If I 
ramp up the voltage, it seems to get stuck, If the voltage goes much 
above 4v, it seems to stop working, and I have to disconnect the power 
supply and lower it back to 4v.

My current block diagram:

   +--------------------+
   | 8x8 RGB LED matrix |
   | Common Cathode per |
   | row                |
   |                    |
   |                    |
   +--------------------+
    ||||    |||||||||||||
    8|||    24 anode pins
    Row|    ||||\|||| \||||
    Select  |||| \||||  \||||
    pins    ||||  \||||  \|||||
    ||||    RED|   \GRN|   \BLU|
    ||||    ||||    \||||   \||||
    |||| [TLC5916]-[TLC5916]-[TLC5916]
    ||||       ||||
   [54HC238]   ||||
    ||         ||||
    ||         ||||   [20MHz xtal][2 caps for 20MHz resonance]
    ||         ||||     |||
    \\       [ATTiny84 MCU]
     -========-/


The way that this works is that each of the TLC5916 chips sink current 
(if all on, that's 24 times current sink from the chips) from the 
specific PIN which is "active" on the 54HC238.

Though the RED is configured for lower current (it is brighter than the 
green and blue for the same current).

I built this before I understood how transistors work and can be applied.

As far as I know, all my chips are rated to run at 5v.  The only thing I 
can think of is maybe the constant current sinks are drawing more 
current from the 54HC238 than it supports, and is causing it to stick?

If I limit the current from the power supply, the starts moving all over 
the place of course, but the circuit seems to continue working. At first 
I thought the crystal oscillator wasn't working at the voltages, but the 
oscilloscope at school shows a great sine wave at 20MHz with a 
peak-to-peak of 5v, regardless of VCC voltage.

I'm wondering if I need to use transistors (MOSFETs maybe) with the gate 
connected to the output of the 54HC238. Thoughts?

Thanks for any comments/suggestions/thoughts.
On Fri, 08 Mar 2013 10:40:17 -0800, Daniel Pitts
<newsgroup.nospam@virtualinfinity.net> wrote:

>Hello. > >So, I noticed something strange with my circuit, and while I can >"work-around" it, I'd like to understand what's going on. > >I took my LED display project to school so I could use their DC power >supply. I found that my project works (MCU runs, the LEDs light up as >expected, etc...) if I connect it to an already on 3.5v to 4.0v. If I >ramp up the voltage, it seems to get stuck, If the voltage goes much >above 4v, it seems to stop working, and I have to disconnect the power >supply and lower it back to 4v. > >My current block diagram: > > +--------------------+ > | 8x8 RGB LED matrix | > | Common Cathode per | > | row | > | | > | | > +--------------------+ > |||| ||||||||||||| > 8||| 24 anode pins > Row| ||||\|||| \|||| > Select |||| \|||| \|||| > pins |||| \|||| \||||| > |||| RED| \GRN| \BLU| > |||| |||| \|||| \|||| > |||| [TLC5916]-[TLC5916]-[TLC5916] > |||| |||| > [54HC238] |||| > || |||| > || |||| [20MHz xtal][2 caps for 20MHz resonance] > || |||| ||| > \\ [ATTiny84 MCU] > -========-/ > > >The way that this works is that each of the TLC5916 chips sink current >(if all on, that's 24 times current sink from the chips) from the >specific PIN which is "active" on the 54HC238. > >Though the RED is configured for lower current (it is brighter than the >green and blue for the same current). > >I built this before I understood how transistors work and can be applied. > >As far as I know, all my chips are rated to run at 5v. The only thing I >can think of is maybe the constant current sinks are drawing more >current from the 54HC238 than it supports, and is causing it to stick? > >If I limit the current from the power supply, the starts moving all over >the place of course, but the circuit seems to continue working. At first >I thought the crystal oscillator wasn't working at the voltages, but the >oscilloscope at school shows a great sine wave at 20MHz with a >peak-to-peak of 5v, regardless of VCC voltage. > >I'm wondering if I need to use transistors (MOSFETs maybe) with the gate >connected to the output of the 54HC238. Thoughts? > >Thanks for any comments/suggestions/thoughts.
I'd guess many LED drivers are on simultaneously under a slow ramp-up, causing either a current or thermal shutdown. You need a power-on-reset that holds all drivers off until, say, 4.5V is reached. I notice a pin on the TLC5916, \OE\(ED2)... use that as the all-off control. One of the test simulations I do on all of my I/C chip designs is a very slow ramp up, watching for latch-ups, etc. Once burned, always wary ;-) ...Jim Thompson -- | James E.Thompson | mens | | Analog Innovations | et | | Analog/Mixed-Signal ASIC's and Discrete Systems | manus | | Phoenix, Arizona 85048 Skype: Contacts Only | | | Voice:(480)460-2350 Fax: Available upon request | Brass Rat | | E-mail Icon at http://www.analog-innovations.com | 1962 | I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.
On 3/8/13 10:49 AM, Jim Thompson wrote:
> On Fri, 08 Mar 2013 10:40:17 -0800, Daniel Pitts > <newsgroup.nospam@virtualinfinity.net> wrote: > >> Hello. >> >> So, I noticed something strange with my circuit, and while I can >> "work-around" it, I'd like to understand what's going on. >> >> I took my LED display project to school so I could use their DC power >> supply. I found that my project works (MCU runs, the LEDs light up as >> expected, etc...) if I connect it to an already on 3.5v to 4.0v. If I >> ramp up the voltage, it seems to get stuck, If the voltage goes much >> above 4v, it seems to stop working, and I have to disconnect the power >> supply and lower it back to 4v. >> >> My current block diagram: >> >> +--------------------+ >> | 8x8 RGB LED matrix | >> | Common Cathode per | >> | row | >> | | >> | | >> +--------------------+ >> |||| ||||||||||||| >> 8||| 24 anode pins >> Row| ||||\|||| \|||| >> Select |||| \|||| \|||| >> pins |||| \|||| \||||| >> |||| RED| \GRN| \BLU| >> |||| |||| \|||| \|||| >> |||| [TLC5916]-[TLC5916]-[TLC5916] >> |||| |||| >> [54HC238] |||| >> || |||| >> || |||| [20MHz xtal][2 caps for 20MHz resonance] >> || |||| ||| >> \\ [ATTiny84 MCU] >> -========-/ >> >> >> The way that this works is that each of the TLC5916 chips sink current >> (if all on, that's 24 times current sink from the chips) from the >> specific PIN which is "active" on the 54HC238. >> >> Though the RED is configured for lower current (it is brighter than the >> green and blue for the same current). >> >> I built this before I understood how transistors work and can be applied. >> >> As far as I know, all my chips are rated to run at 5v. The only thing I >> can think of is maybe the constant current sinks are drawing more >> current from the 54HC238 than it supports, and is causing it to stick? >> >> If I limit the current from the power supply, the starts moving all over >> the place of course, but the circuit seems to continue working. At first >> I thought the crystal oscillator wasn't working at the voltages, but the >> oscilloscope at school shows a great sine wave at 20MHz with a >> peak-to-peak of 5v, regardless of VCC voltage. >> >> I'm wondering if I need to use transistors (MOSFETs maybe) with the gate >> connected to the output of the 54HC238. Thoughts? >> >> Thanks for any comments/suggestions/thoughts. > > I'd guess many LED drivers are on simultaneously under a slow ramp-up, > causing either a current or thermal shutdown. > > You need a power-on-reset that holds all drivers off until, say, 4.5V > is reached. I notice a pin on the TLC5916, \OE\(ED2)... use that as > the all-off control. > > One of the test simulations I do on all of my I/C chip designs is a > very slow ramp up, watching for latch-ups, etc. Once burned, always > wary ;-) > > ...Jim Thompson >
The OE pin is controlled by the MCU (I disable the current sink while I'm switching rows). It should be pulled down by default by the MCU. Actually, now that I think about it, the MCU defaults to high-impedence input mode for each pin, hmm... maybe I need an external pull down resistor on that signal line?
On Fri, 08 Mar 2013 10:58:41 -0800, Daniel Pitts
<newsgroup.nospam@virtualinfinity.net> wrote:

>On 3/8/13 10:49 AM, Jim Thompson wrote: >> On Fri, 08 Mar 2013 10:40:17 -0800, Daniel Pitts >> <newsgroup.nospam@virtualinfinity.net> wrote: >> >>> Hello. >>> >>> So, I noticed something strange with my circuit, and while I can >>> "work-around" it, I'd like to understand what's going on. >>> >>> I took my LED display project to school so I could use their DC power >>> supply. I found that my project works (MCU runs, the LEDs light up as >>> expected, etc...) if I connect it to an already on 3.5v to 4.0v. If I >>> ramp up the voltage, it seems to get stuck, If the voltage goes much >>> above 4v, it seems to stop working, and I have to disconnect the power >>> supply and lower it back to 4v. >>> >>> My current block diagram: >>> >>> +--------------------+ >>> | 8x8 RGB LED matrix | >>> | Common Cathode per | >>> | row | >>> | | >>> | | >>> +--------------------+ >>> |||| ||||||||||||| >>> 8||| 24 anode pins >>> Row| ||||\|||| \|||| >>> Select |||| \|||| \|||| >>> pins |||| \|||| \||||| >>> |||| RED| \GRN| \BLU| >>> |||| |||| \|||| \|||| >>> |||| [TLC5916]-[TLC5916]-[TLC5916] >>> |||| |||| >>> [54HC238] |||| >>> || |||| >>> || |||| [20MHz xtal][2 caps for 20MHz resonance] >>> || |||| ||| >>> \\ [ATTiny84 MCU] >>> -========-/ >>> >>> >>> The way that this works is that each of the TLC5916 chips sink current >>> (if all on, that's 24 times current sink from the chips) from the >>> specific PIN which is "active" on the 54HC238. >>> >>> Though the RED is configured for lower current (it is brighter than the >>> green and blue for the same current). >>> >>> I built this before I understood how transistors work and can be applied. >>> >>> As far as I know, all my chips are rated to run at 5v. The only thing I >>> can think of is maybe the constant current sinks are drawing more >>> current from the 54HC238 than it supports, and is causing it to stick? >>> >>> If I limit the current from the power supply, the starts moving all over >>> the place of course, but the circuit seems to continue working. At first >>> I thought the crystal oscillator wasn't working at the voltages, but the >>> oscilloscope at school shows a great sine wave at 20MHz with a >>> peak-to-peak of 5v, regardless of VCC voltage. >>> >>> I'm wondering if I need to use transistors (MOSFETs maybe) with the gate >>> connected to the output of the 54HC238. Thoughts? >>> >>> Thanks for any comments/suggestions/thoughts. >> >> I'd guess many LED drivers are on simultaneously under a slow ramp-up, >> causing either a current or thermal shutdown. >> >> You need a power-on-reset that holds all drivers off until, say, 4.5V >> is reached. I notice a pin on the TLC5916, \OE\(ED2)... use that as >> the all-off control. >> >> One of the test simulations I do on all of my I/C chip designs is a >> very slow ramp up, watching for latch-ups, etc. Once burned, always >> wary ;-) >> >> ...Jim Thompson >> >The OE pin is controlled by the MCU (I disable the current sink while >I'm switching rows). It should be pulled down by default by the MCU. > >Actually, now that I think about it, the MCU defaults to high-impedence >input mode for each pin, hmm... maybe I need an external pull down >resistor on that signal line?
My general rule of thumb when I have analog controlled by a MCU provided by another designer... I ignore the MCU until my own POR says OK >:-} ...Jim Thompson -- | James E.Thompson | mens | | Analog Innovations | et | | Analog/Mixed-Signal ASIC's and Discrete Systems | manus | | Phoenix, Arizona 85048 Skype: Contacts Only | | | Voice:(480)460-2350 Fax: Available upon request | Brass Rat | | E-mail Icon at http://www.analog-innovations.com | 1962 | I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.
On Fri, 08 Mar 2013 10:40:17 -0800, Daniel Pitts
<newsgroup.nospam@virtualinfinity.net> wrote:

>Hello. > >So, I noticed something strange with my circuit, and while I can >"work-around" it, I'd like to understand what's going on. > >I took my LED display project to school so I could use their DC power >supply. I found that my project works (MCU runs, the LEDs light up as >expected, etc...) if I connect it to an already on 3.5v to 4.0v. If I >ramp up the voltage, it seems to get stuck, If the voltage goes much >above 4v, it seems to stop working, and I have to disconnect the power >supply and lower it back to 4v.
What you describe "sounds like" a properly working shutdown feature, actually. And there is a section called "Overtemperature Detection and Shutdown" in the TLC5916 datasheet.
><snip of diagram>
>The way that this works is that each of the TLC5916 chips sink current >(if all on, that's 24 times current sink from the chips) from the >specific PIN which is "active" on the 54HC238.
I can't find a datasheet on the military version, but the 74HC238 (from NXP) shows the following: Absolute MAX: Io < 25mA Recommended: 2.0 < Vcc < 6.0 Voh spec'd at Io=4mA@Vcc=4.5V and Io=5.2mA@Vcc=6V (Vol is spec'd the same way.) I don't find a shutdown feature on the 74HC238. It's my own intent to permit all of the outputs of the TLC5916 to be active at 100mA each (5 columns at an average of 20mA means 100mA per column) and this means that the high side switch has to handle 800mA in my case. So I am using two external cheap small signal PNPs rather than pay for a high side mosfet or finding a more expensive, less available larger PNP. Each of the two have separate .22 ohm emitter resistors to help them share the current better at higher currents (the resistors won't do as much at lower currents when only one or two of the TLC5816 sinks are active.) There is only a need for one pair of .22 ohm resistors as all of the PNP pairs can share the same set.
>Though the RED is configured for lower current (it is brighter than the >green and blue for the same current). > >I built this before I understood how transistors work and can be applied. > >As far as I know, all my chips are rated to run at 5v. The only thing I >can think of is maybe the constant current sinks are drawing more >current from the 54HC238 than it supports, and is causing it to stick?
Well, you don't specify the constant current you designed (and you can change things using the configuration register, too.) So it's hard to say. But it "sounds like" a designed shutdown, to me. Which makes me think it is the TLC5916, which can actually do that.
>If I limit the current from the power supply, the starts moving all over >the place of course, but the circuit seems to continue working. At first >I thought the crystal oscillator wasn't working at the voltages, but the >oscilloscope at school shows a great sine wave at 20MHz with a >peak-to-peak of 5v, regardless of VCC voltage. > >I'm wondering if I need to use transistors (MOSFETs maybe) with the gate >connected to the output of the 54HC238. Thoughts? > >Thanks for any comments/suggestions/thoughts.
Let's consider what's happening at the RED LED TLC5916 and for a moment assume that you set 20mA for each LED (which will get divided by 8, in terms of average value, I guess.) I'm guessing this because I'm guessing you thought the Absolute MAX rating of 25mA was "okay" (I don't agree.) I really think you can only expect 4mA from the high hide (or low side) output of the HC238. And should design for that. But let's assume you decided you could "pull" 20mA out of it. Your RED LEDs probably have a Vf=2V (or so) at 20mA. The HC238 outputs are said to be, at T=25C, Voh=4.32V typical with Vcc=4.5V and Io=4mA. (worst case Voh=3.98.) Let's assume typical. We get dV=.18V@4mA or 45 ohms at the output. At 20mA, that's a drop of 0.9V. The LEDs drop another 2V, so we are at 2.9V drop already. Let's assume that Vcc=5V for now, with the above calculations remaining. So this leaves 2.1V drop for the internal current sinks. So they have to drop 2.1V@20mA or 42mW each. With 8 of these, that's 336mW for the package. Max power dissipation on a 4-layer board is specified at 600mW. They don't say what it is for a 1-layer board. But mounted on a 1-layer board the TLC5916 says 103C/W, and mounted on a 4-layer board the TLC5916 says 66C/W. From this, I'm guessing that they support 0.6W*66C/W=39.6C rise over ambient. For a 1-layer board, this means 384mW. Note this is close to the above calculated figure of 336mW, for Vcc=5V and 20mA with red leds. The datasheet for the TLC5916 also says that EACH output has it's own sensor. And some of them are surrounded by neighbors and won't have "edge effects" for getting rid of heat. It's possible that some of them heat up more than others. And certainly, as the voltages rise above 5V, there will be still increasing dissipation at the TLC5916, which MUST pick up the remaining voltage, whatever it is, when holding a constant current. As far as the HC238 goes, as I said I don't see "shutdown" in the datasheet. I would guess that the limitations are analog in nature. Jon
On Fri, 08 Mar 2013 10:58:41 -0800, Daniel Pitts
<newsgroup.nospam@virtualinfinity.net> wrote:

><snip> >Actually, now that I think about it, the MCU defaults to high-impedence >input mode for each pin, hmm... maybe I need an external pull down >resistor on that signal line?
That's for the short moment during power-on reset of the micro. But yes, it's wise to have a pull up on active low inputs and a pull down on active high inputs (which may also include a small bypass cap, as well I think, to help hold it down or up while the power supply ramps.) You could use a reset IC and gate its output through an OR to the lines, if you were being terribly safe about it. /OE is active low, though. So that's a pull up, not down. But the datasheet for the TLC5916, page 2, already shows a pull up present on /OE. Jon
On 3/8/13 11:26 AM, Jon Kirwan wrote:
> On Fri, 08 Mar 2013 10:40:17 -0800, Daniel Pitts > <newsgroup.nospam@virtualinfinity.net> wrote: > >> Hello. >> >> So, I noticed something strange with my circuit, and while I can >> "work-around" it, I'd like to understand what's going on. >> >> I took my LED display project to school so I could use their DC power >> supply. I found that my project works (MCU runs, the LEDs light up as >> expected, etc...) if I connect it to an already on 3.5v to 4.0v. If I >> ramp up the voltage, it seems to get stuck, If the voltage goes much >> above 4v, it seems to stop working, and I have to disconnect the power >> supply and lower it back to 4v. > > What you describe "sounds like" a properly working shutdown > feature, actually. And there is a section called > "Overtemperature Detection and Shutdown" in the TLC5916 > datasheet. > >> <snip of diagram> > >> The way that this works is that each of the TLC5916 chips sink current >> (if all on, that's 24 times current sink from the chips) from the >> specific PIN which is "active" on the 54HC238. > > I can't find a datasheet on the military version, but the > 74HC238 (from NXP) shows the following: > > Absolute MAX: > Io < 25mA > > Recommended: > 2.0 < Vcc < 6.0 > Voh spec'd at Io=4mA@Vcc=4.5V and Io=5.2mA@Vcc=6V > (Vol is spec'd the same way.) > > I don't find a shutdown feature on the 74HC238. > > It's my own intent to permit all of the outputs of the > TLC5916 to be active at 100mA each (5 columns at an average > of 20mA means 100mA per column) and this means that the high > side switch has to handle 800mA in my case. So I am using two > external cheap small signal PNPs rather than pay for a high > side mosfet or finding a more expensive, less available > larger PNP. Each of the two have separate .22 ohm emitter > resistors to help them share the current better at higher > currents (the resistors won't do as much at lower currents > when only one or two of the TLC5816 sinks are active.) There > is only a need for one pair of .22 ohm resistors as all of > the PNP pairs can share the same set. > >> Though the RED is configured for lower current (it is brighter than the >> green and blue for the same current). >> >> I built this before I understood how transistors work and can be applied. >> >> As far as I know, all my chips are rated to run at 5v. The only thing I >> can think of is maybe the constant current sinks are drawing more >> current from the 54HC238 than it supports, and is causing it to stick? > > Well, you don't specify the constant current you designed > (and you can change things using the configuration register, > too.) So it's hard to say. But it "sounds like" a designed > shutdown, to me. Which makes me think it is the TLC5916, > which can actually do that. > >> If I limit the current from the power supply, the starts moving all over >> the place of course, but the circuit seems to continue working. At first >> I thought the crystal oscillator wasn't working at the voltages, but the >> oscilloscope at school shows a great sine wave at 20MHz with a >> peak-to-peak of 5v, regardless of VCC voltage. >> >> I'm wondering if I need to use transistors (MOSFETs maybe) with the gate >> connected to the output of the 54HC238. Thoughts? >> >> Thanks for any comments/suggestions/thoughts. > > Let's consider what's happening at the RED LED TLC5916 and > for a moment assume that you set 20mA for each LED (which > will get divided by 8, in terms of average value, I guess.) > I'm guessing this because I'm guessing you thought the > Absolute MAX rating of 25mA was "okay" (I don't agree.) I > really think you can only expect 4mA from the high hide (or > low side) output of the HC238. And should design for that. > But let's assume you decided you could "pull" 20mA out of it. > > Your RED LEDs probably have a Vf=2V (or so) at 20mA. The > HC238 outputs are said to be, at T=25C, Voh=4.32V typical > with Vcc=4.5V and Io=4mA. (worst case Voh=3.98.) Let's assume > typical. We get dV=.18V@4mA or 45 ohms at the output. At > 20mA, that's a drop of 0.9V. The LEDs drop another 2V, so we > are at 2.9V drop already. Let's assume that Vcc=5V for now, > with the above calculations remaining. So this leaves 2.1V > drop for the internal current sinks. So they have to drop > 2.1V@20mA or 42mW each. With 8 of these, that's 336mW for the > package. > > Max power dissipation on a 4-layer board is specified at > 600mW. They don't say what it is for a 1-layer board. But > mounted on a 1-layer board the TLC5916 says 103C/W, and > mounted on a 4-layer board the TLC5916 says 66C/W. From this, > I'm guessing that they support 0.6W*66C/W=39.6C rise over > ambient. For a 1-layer board, this means 384mW. Note this is > close to the above calculated figure of 336mW, for Vcc=5V and > 20mA with red leds.
This is mounted in a breadboard. It likely will not make it out of prototype into a real circuit board, since I was mostly just playing around and have no real application for this project ;-).
> > The datasheet for the TLC5916 also says that EACH output has > it's own sensor. And some of them are surrounded by neighbors > and won't have "edge effects" for getting rid of heat. It's > possible that some of them heat up more than others. And > certainly, as the voltages rise above 5V, there will be still > increasing dissipation at the TLC5916, which MUST pick up the > remaining voltage, whatever it is, when holding a constant > current.
The voltage doesn't even make it to 4.3v before the circuit starts failing.
> > As far as the HC238 goes, as I said I don't see "shutdown" in > the datasheet. I would guess that the limitations are analog > in nature.
That all makes sense. Much more sense now than I would have before I started taking the class I'm taking now (Linear Circuits). Anyway, so it sounds like the 238 chip just isn't meant to source that much current, and I should find some other way to source it. I think when I first read the specs on my 238, I was thinking that the maximum current was how much it would allow through, not something that would cause failure (and probably damage). Thanks for the analysis help here.
On Fri, 08 Mar 2013 11:35:34 -0800, Daniel Pitts
<newsgroup.nospam@virtualinfinity.net> wrote:

>On 3/8/13 11:26 AM, Jon Kirwan wrote: >> On Fri, 08 Mar 2013 10:40:17 -0800, Daniel Pitts >> <newsgroup.nospam@virtualinfinity.net> wrote: >> >>> Hello. >>> >>> So, I noticed something strange with my circuit, and while I can >>> "work-around" it, I'd like to understand what's going on. >>> >>> I took my LED display project to school so I could use their DC power >>> supply. I found that my project works (MCU runs, the LEDs light up as >>> expected, etc...) if I connect it to an already on 3.5v to 4.0v. If I >>> ramp up the voltage, it seems to get stuck, If the voltage goes much >>> above 4v, it seems to stop working, and I have to disconnect the power >>> supply and lower it back to 4v. >> >> What you describe "sounds like" a properly working shutdown >> feature, actually. And there is a section called >> "Overtemperature Detection and Shutdown" in the TLC5916 >> datasheet. >> >>> <snip of diagram> >> >>> The way that this works is that each of the TLC5916 chips sink current >>> (if all on, that's 24 times current sink from the chips) from the >>> specific PIN which is "active" on the 54HC238. >> >> I can't find a datasheet on the military version, but the >> 74HC238 (from NXP) shows the following: >> >> Absolute MAX: >> Io < 25mA >> >> Recommended: >> 2.0 < Vcc < 6.0 >> Voh spec'd at Io=4mA@Vcc=4.5V and Io=5.2mA@Vcc=6V >> (Vol is spec'd the same way.) >> >> I don't find a shutdown feature on the 74HC238. >> >> It's my own intent to permit all of the outputs of the >> TLC5916 to be active at 100mA each (5 columns at an average >> of 20mA means 100mA per column) and this means that the high >> side switch has to handle 800mA in my case. So I am using two >> external cheap small signal PNPs rather than pay for a high >> side mosfet or finding a more expensive, less available >> larger PNP. Each of the two have separate .22 ohm emitter >> resistors to help them share the current better at higher >> currents (the resistors won't do as much at lower currents >> when only one or two of the TLC5816 sinks are active.) There >> is only a need for one pair of .22 ohm resistors as all of >> the PNP pairs can share the same set. >> >>> Though the RED is configured for lower current (it is brighter than the >>> green and blue for the same current). >>> >>> I built this before I understood how transistors work and can be applied. >>> >>> As far as I know, all my chips are rated to run at 5v. The only thing I >>> can think of is maybe the constant current sinks are drawing more >>> current from the 54HC238 than it supports, and is causing it to stick? >> >> Well, you don't specify the constant current you designed >> (and you can change things using the configuration register, >> too.) So it's hard to say. But it "sounds like" a designed >> shutdown, to me. Which makes me think it is the TLC5916, >> which can actually do that. >> >>> If I limit the current from the power supply, the starts moving all over >>> the place of course, but the circuit seems to continue working. At first >>> I thought the crystal oscillator wasn't working at the voltages, but the >>> oscilloscope at school shows a great sine wave at 20MHz with a >>> peak-to-peak of 5v, regardless of VCC voltage. >>> >>> I'm wondering if I need to use transistors (MOSFETs maybe) with the gate >>> connected to the output of the 54HC238. Thoughts? >>> >>> Thanks for any comments/suggestions/thoughts. >> >> Let's consider what's happening at the RED LED TLC5916 and >> for a moment assume that you set 20mA for each LED (which >> will get divided by 8, in terms of average value, I guess.) >> I'm guessing this because I'm guessing you thought the >> Absolute MAX rating of 25mA was "okay" (I don't agree.) I >> really think you can only expect 4mA from the high hide (or >> low side) output of the HC238. And should design for that. >> But let's assume you decided you could "pull" 20mA out of it. >> >> Your RED LEDs probably have a Vf=2V (or so) at 20mA. The >> HC238 outputs are said to be, at T=25C, Voh=4.32V typical >> with Vcc=4.5V and Io=4mA. (worst case Voh=3.98.) Let's assume >> typical. We get dV=.18V@4mA or 45 ohms at the output. At >> 20mA, that's a drop of 0.9V. The LEDs drop another 2V, so we >> are at 2.9V drop already. Let's assume that Vcc=5V for now, >> with the above calculations remaining. So this leaves 2.1V >> drop for the internal current sinks. So they have to drop >> 2.1V@20mA or 42mW each. With 8 of these, that's 336mW for the >> package. >> >> Max power dissipation on a 4-layer board is specified at >> 600mW. They don't say what it is for a 1-layer board. But >> mounted on a 1-layer board the TLC5916 says 103C/W, and >> mounted on a 4-layer board the TLC5916 says 66C/W. From this, >> I'm guessing that they support 0.6W*66C/W=39.6C rise over >> ambient. For a 1-layer board, this means 384mW. Note this is >> close to the above calculated figure of 336mW, for Vcc=5V and >> 20mA with red leds.
>This is mounted in a breadboard. It likely will not make it out of >prototype into a real circuit board, since I was mostly just playing >around and have no real application for this project ;-).
That's even worse, then, I'd guess. So even LESS dissipation is supported.
>> The datasheet for the TLC5916 also says that EACH output has >> it's own sensor. And some of them are surrounded by neighbors >> and won't have "edge effects" for getting rid of heat. It's >> possible that some of them heat up more than others. And >> certainly, as the voltages rise above 5V, there will be still >> increasing dissipation at the TLC5916, which MUST pick up the >> remaining voltage, whatever it is, when holding a constant >> current.
>The voltage doesn't even make it to 4.3v before the circuit starts >failing.
Which could be, because you are using a breadboard.
>> As far as the HC238 goes, as I said I don't see "shutdown" in >> the datasheet. I would guess that the limitations are analog >> in nature. > >That all makes sense. Much more sense now than I would have before I >started taking the class I'm taking now (Linear Circuits). > >Anyway, so it sounds like the 238 chip just isn't meant to source that >much current, and I should find some other way to source it. > >I think when I first read the specs on my 238, I was thinking that the >maximum current was how much it would allow through, not something that >would cause failure (and probably damage). > >Thanks for the analysis help here.
All this is making me "like" my earlier design better. The high side switches never have to dissipate more than 100mA times their voltage drop each. Same with the low side BJTs, as well. Even with everything ON, it's 100mA each. Since package dissipation has to be under 500mW, this means a drop of no more than 5V. But that is a far, far better rating than the TLC5916 can even HOPE to achieve. So, although the parts count and wiring is WORSE, the parts price is less and the capability is still better. Another possibility is to use a shift register (with very low Io capability) and use external BJT current mirrors activated by it, so that it mirrors the TLC5916 design. This uses MORE BJTs on the low side, but I lose all of the separate BJTs for each LED (which may be a net win and certainly is a win regarding the wiring mess.) The price I pay for that is that the high side switches then again have to handle the SUM of the ON LED currents. Which makes them have a "bigger" requirement. (And it slightly complicates my use of a single external current-set resistor.) I have to carefully think about my goals, I guess. Jon
One last thought about the TLC5916. They say 120mA per
output. There are 8 of them. They say that on a 4-layer board
600mW is the max rating. That's 600mW/8/120mA = 625mV per
driver. Current sinks can be built with either BJT or MOSFET,
but with Vce=625mV and BJTs, that would be slightly saturated
operation. Which also makes some sense in a way, as that's
about when the mirror'd currents would go out of spec.

Jon