Clipping Detector Circuit

• Engineering

Homework Statement

I am building an audio equalizer as a project for class, consisting of a summing amplifier with variable gain for the bass, midrange, and treble frequencies. I also have the option to include a clipping/overload detector, though I have already chosen parameters that will not allow the output to go over 2 volts, given a maximum 3V input.

 To clarify, I've already built the equalizer; I'm just trying to implement the clipping detector.

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The Attempt at a Solution

Could I implement this with a transistor, and if so, how? One of the stipulations of the assignment is also to use as few and as simple components as possible, so is there a solution comprised of solely R(L)C components?

I'm not really sure how to calculate the values at which current in a transistor are switched, so if I could get some pointers that would be helpful. Thanks!

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MATLABdude
Well, since this is homework, I'll just give you a hint: what is the definition of clipping (relative to your power rails) and how might you use, say, a comparator or op-amp to detect this?

Ah...wonder why I didn't see that before...

Thanks!

MATLABdude
Ah...wonder why I didn't see that before...

Thanks!
Experience. Also, TA'ing a senior, build-yourself-some-electronics lab. Actually, I forgot a point. What's the likelihood that your signal will exceed your supply rails? How would you go about getting the comparator / op-amp to trigger at a voltage a little less (maybe a lot less, depending on your expected maximum output voltage) than your supply rail?

Since the output is never more than around 2V, very little chance, as my rails are set to 12 and -12 Vcc. If it did, I could just make a voltage divider by running a resistor with an appropriate value to ground, right?

MATLABdude