App note: Building a battery operated auto ranging DVM with the ICL7106

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Intersil’s application note (PDF!) on building a battery operated auto ranging DVM with the ICL7106:

This application note describes a technique for auto-ranging a battery operated DVM suitable for panel meter applications. Also, circuit ideas will be presented for conductance and resistance measurement, 9V battery and 5V supply operations, and current measurement.

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9 Comments

  1. ICL7106 must be at least 20 years old! A classic oldie, or maybe an undead zombie… it will be available for years and years, like a 741. There is a Harris data sheet copyrighted 1993. Anyone has any idea about the first manufacturer and year?

    It’s too bad there is likely little business case to _really_ upgrade this. I’d like to save the environment from buying fewer 9V PP3s, please! :-) :-)

    1. I remember finding some schema of ICL7106 when I first started looking at electronics. I was really thrilled with that IC. :)
      Do you know some similar chips?

    2. I think this app note is basically the business case for an improved ICL7106 replacement, actually. Look at the amont of discrete logic that’s required to to build an auto-ranging meter with one! It’s obvious why there’s a market for more modern chips like the ES51986, and why cheap meters aren’t auto-ranging.

      1. Ya ! 9V batteries probably wherever there is still analog circuitry involved! Like many of my Multi- and other Meters . But excuse me, what is so bad with old zinc coal batteries? Specially if You compare to some more modern , more heavy metal ones ??
        wiki :
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinc–carbon_battery
        , does actually not consider them as a hazardous waste !

      2. Well, my lament is more of a casual reaction, not an engineering analysis… It’s a fair bit of metal for battery casings there, six in a PP3. I measured my cheapo multimeters driving resistance measurement at ~3V. Now there are kitchen timers that use 1xAA or AAA. If a multimeter can run at ~2V with 2xAA perhaps the overall battery consumption will be lower… But I suspect multimeter users aren’t major PP3 users anyway.

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