What is Clipper Circuit or Clippers? Applications, Types

A Clipper circuit is that which modifies an electronic signal by limiting its magnitude within a predetermined reference voltage. Basically, it limits the signal voltage to exceed a certain voltage level by removing or clipping a portion of a signal.

It can be understood with an example such as a clipper circuit having a 5V predetermined voltage. Now a signal is applied to that circuit whose voltage varies from 0 to 12V peak voltage. So, in output, the peak voltage will be up to 5V only. A clipper circuit is also known as a clipping circuit, clippers, limiters, or slicers, etc.

Here, you can see an example of a clipper circuit input-output waveform.

Clipping or Clipper Circuit or clippers example

Clipper remove only a portion of a waveform or signals, but they did not affect the other part or portion of the signal. Here, you can see the shape of the waveform is changed. So, it can be called as a wave shaping circuit also.

Clipping circuits are generally made up of linear elements such as resistors and non-linear elements such as Diode, Transistors. remember that they did not use any energy storing element such as capacitors.

Types of Clipper Circuit

According to the component used, clipper circuits are classified into three major types such as

  1. PN Junction Diode Clipper - PN Junction Diodes and resistors are used to build the circuit.
  2. Zener Diode Clipper -- Zener diodes are used to build the circuit
  3. Op-Amp Precision Clipper - Operational Amplifier circuit acts as a clipping circuit. By connecting some additional elements, and a feedback path to the OpAmp, the clipper circuit is built.
According to the positioning of the diode clipper can be classified into two types,

  1. Series Clippers - here the diode is connected in series with the load resistance
  2. Shunt Clippers - here the diode is connected in parallel with the load resistance

How a Clipper works?

Let;'s take a circuit diagram of clipper to understand its working principle. Here, you can see a basic diode clipper circuit diagram.

Clipper Circuit or Clipping Circuit Diagram

This circuit can clip the positive or negative half cycle of the input signal waveform according to the direction the diode is connected. In the above circuit diagram, the diode is connected in such a direction that the clipper will remove the portion of the positive half cycle. Now, if we change the direction of the diode in the opposite, it will remove the negative half cycle of the input signal.

Also, you can see here a positive reference voltage is applied. This is to set the predetermined reference clip voltage. A positive reference voltage is used for the positive half cycle and a negative reference voltage is used for the negative half cycle. Also, a potentiometer can be used with the reference voltage source to vary the reference voltage.

Clipper circuit built with a PN Junction diode or Zener diode is cost effective but they provide lower efficiency. On the other hand, clipper circuit using an operational amplifier is costly but it provides so many additional function and high efficiency. Of course, the OpAmp clippers have more complex circuitry than others.

Clipper Circuit Applications

1. Clipper circuits are widely used in signal receiving and signal transmitting devices, communication systems.

2. Clipping circuits are used for over-voltage protection, voltage limiting, etc.

3. Clippers are used for waveform modification, filtering, etc.

4. Clipper circuit is used to receive a predetermined input signal in an electronic processing circuit from a high range or Different variation signals.

5. Clipper Circuits are used for Wave Shaping applications.

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What is Clipper Circuit or Clippers? Applications, Types What is Clipper Circuit or Clippers? Applications, Types Reviewed by Author on November 05, 2021 Rating: 5
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