Elektor Team
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I/U curve tracer

driven via the PC printer port

With a set of Maxim A/D and D/A converters and a handful of other components, you can make a curve tracer that can be driven from the printer port of a PC. A simple BASIC program takes care of the communication between the PC and the measurement circuit, and also converts the measured values into graphic form for display on the monitor.Not long ago, it was common practice to measure the I/U characteristics of a semiconductor device using an X-Y oscilloscope and a suitable measuring circuit. An electronics engineer can extract a lot of information about the operation of the semiconductor from these curves.In the present computer age, the I/U curve may well have dropped into obscurity, but it is still useful for evaluating a number of specific semiconductor characteristics. The only difference is that we no longer need an oscilloscope, since we can instead employ the versatile PC.
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