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ECE 3741 Experiment 3: Summing and Differential Op-Amp


Inverting Summing Amplifier

Figure 1: Inverting Summing Amplifier

Figure 1 shows the circuit schematic for a three-input inverting op-amp summer. The output
voltage is related to the sum of the input voltages. The output voltage is given by


Each input voltage is multiplied by a gain then added to form the output voltage. The minus sign
in the equation indicates that this is an inverting summer.
This circuit is a three-input inverting summer. Additional inputs may be had by connecting
additional input resistors R4, R5, etc. to the inverting node of the op-amp. Or, input resistors may
be removed for fewer inputs.
Draw the circuit schematic of a single input inverting summing amplifier. This circuit is what
type of circuit that you have seen before? What is the gain of this circuit?

Construct the summing amplifier shown in Figure 1. Set FG CH1 to produce a 1 kHz, 500
mVpp sine wave. Set CH2 to produce a 1 kHz, 2 Vpp square wave with -90 of phase. Set the
+6 V terminal of your DC Power Supply to produce a +4 V DC voltage.
Calculate the gain that is applied to each input of the summing amplifier. Remember that this is
an inverting summer; sign of the gain matters.

Vg1 Gain: _____________________________________________________________________

Vg2 Gain: _____________________________________________________________________

Vg3 Gain: _____________________________________________________________________

Capture and print the display. On the printed display, label which inputs contribute to which
parts of the waveform for instance, if there is an obvious DC offset, write Vg# component of
output signal. Label all other relevant parts of your printout and title it.
Show your working circuit to your instructor for a check-off.

Check-off: ____________________________________________________________________

Difference Amplifier

Figure 2: Difference Amplifier

Figure 2 shows the circuit schematic of an op-amp difference amplifier. This circuit is also
known as a differential amplifier or diff amp. Its output voltage is the amplified difference of its
two input voltages, V1 and V2. V1 is the inverting input. V2 is the non-inverting input.
The output voltage is given by


In this equation, V2 V1 is the input differential voltage to the circuit. The gain of the diff amp is

Figure 3: Difference Amplifier

Figure 3 shows the circuit schematic of a diff amp with a voltage divider input circuit. Assemble
this circuit. Use the 741 op-amp. Connect FG CH1 to the circuit input node Vg; make sure the
output load is set to High Z. Set FG CH1 to produce a 1 kHz 1 Vpp sine wave. Connect the
output node Vo of the circuit to scope CH2 and the input node Vg to scope CH1. Adjust the
scope display such that several cycles of the resulting waveform are clearly visible on-screen.
Capture the display; print, title, and label it.
In the circuit, the voltage divider formed from resistors RA and RB attenuates the function
generator voltage signal Vg. The unattenuated signal is applied to the V1 input of the diff amp.
The attenuated signal at the output of the voltage divider is applied to the V2 input of the diff
On the figure, Label the input and output of the voltage divider. Label the unattenuated input
signal and the attenuated input signal.

Calculate the theoretical ratio of the attenuated input to the unattenuated input.

For this 1Vpp Vg signal, what is the expected voltage difference between the V1 and V2 nodes?

Turn on the Agilent 34401A Digital Multimeter (DMM) and set the DMM to measure an AC
voltage (AC V). Measure the input differential voltage (the difference between the two input
voltages) by measuring the AC voltage across RB with the DMM. Measure the AC voltage from
the output node to ground with the DMM. Note that AC voltages measured with the DMM are
RMS (root mean square) voltages.

Measured input differential voltage: ___________________________

Measured output voltage: ___________________________________

Calculate the experimental differential voltage gain:

Calculate the theoretical differential voltage gain:

Replace the resistor RB with a short circuit; this makes the two inputs to the differential
amplifier the same. Use the DMM to measure the RMS value of the output voltage. To do this,
set the DMM to AC (AC V) and connect the red lead to the output of the amplifier and the black
lead to ground. Measure the RMS value of the input voltage. The common mode gain is the
measured RMS voltage of the output divided by the RMS voltage of the input with RB a short

Measured input voltage: __________________________________________________________

Measured output voltage: _________________________________________________________

Calculate the common mode gain:

Calculate the common mode rejection ratio as the ratio of the differential gain to the common
mode gain:

Demonstrate the properly functioning circuit to the laboratory instructor. Do not dismantle this
circuit. Retain this circuit for use in the next section.

Check-Off: ___________________________________________________________________

Design Problem

Figure 4: Design Problem Circuit

The goal of this design is to use a differential amplifier to measure the current through a resistor
in a series circuit.

You are to design the circuit shown in Figure 4 using the values for Rtest and the DC voltage
supplied by your laboratory instructor. Choose values for R1 and R2 such that the output voltage
of the amplifier is equal to -100 times the current in amps through the Rtest resistor. For
example, if the current through Rtest is 25mA, then the output voltage is -2.5 V. Use resistor
values of 500 or greater for R1 and R2.
For sake of accuracy, you should measure the actual resistance of the Rtest resistor with the
DMM, as well as the resistors you use for R1 and R2; this is because printed resistance values
are only within a certain error percentage of their labeled values. They are not exact. In other
words, make sure that the measured resistance results in the desired theoretical gain.

Rtest resistor, actual resistance: ___________________________________________________

Calculate the diff amp gain necessary to achieve the desired output voltage:

Choose/calculate/explain how values for R1 and R2 are chosen. Choose values that are available
in the laboratory supply.

R1 chosen theoretical resistance: ___________________________________________________

R2 chosen theoretical resistance: ___________________________________________________

R1 measured resistance:__________________________________________________________
R2 measured resistance:__________________________________________________________

Calculate the theoretical current that should flow through Rtest resistor, based on the theoretical

Verify your design with the laboratory instructor for a check-off.

Check-Off: ___________________________________________________________________

Construct the circuit that you have designed.

Use the Digital Multimeter to measure the voltage across the Rtest resistor, and then use the
measured resistance of this resistor to calculate the actual current.

Measure the voltage output of your circuit with the DMM _____________________________

What is the error percentage of the output, compared to the DMM measured results?

Demonstrate your measurements and the functioning circuit to the laboratory instructor. Answer
any questions about your design posed by the instructor.

Check-Off: ___________________________________________________________________

Clean up your lab bench. Remove all circuits and wires from the breadboard. Place used
components in the used component bins. Return all cables to the cable racks. Turn off all

Check-off: ___________________________________________________________________

Turn in this completed lab report to the lab instructor, with any required printouts or
captured plots attached.