at the moment I am busy designing in AD8376 digital controlled VGA in our application. We want to use this OP in an broad band application which mean a frequency range range between some kHz up to 35 MHz.
When studying datasheet I found some questions where I do not find a satisfying answer for. Hope someone is able to put some light in to the dark.
1. To get a higher dynamic range we want to cascade both OPs. Now I get into trouble concerning the bias point for the 2nd stage. Because we also want so see low frequency signals I have to use some resistors instead of inductors but that would mean the load impdedance for the 1st OP is not 150 Ohm any more. So overall gain setting -4..20dB will be different because of load resistor. Is there any good workaround for that issue?
Using an impdenace converter to decouple is no option.
2. Is it possible to put the output of the first stage without using a capacitor to the input stage of the 2nd one?
3. What about the gain calculation. I found the formula on page 12 of AD8376's datasheet saying gain is load depended. In the overwie on the first page this is decribed as "overall gain setting".
So here are some question to use the formula right:
Only the overall achievable gain is influenced by the load. Increasing load resistor will result in a higher gain but reducing the load will result in a smaller gain. But because of the fact that the passive atteniuator will not changed 1dB steps will still remain the same. Is that correct or will the stepsize due to inner circuits also change when changing load?
Is there any disadvantge if we decide to set a different load to achieve a higher gain over all? May this could be an could option to compensate the drop of first stage.
4. Due to low frequencies we want to use bigger capacitors in series with the input stage. Datasheet only mentions 100nF. Is there any good reason why we should not use ceramic capacitors in range of 1- 10uF?
Thanks in advance for your help.
Any hint is very welcomed