MOSFETs as Electronic Switches
We want to use transistors to power on/off devices remotely and/or automatically. One useful tool at our disposal is the Metal Oxide Semi-Conductor Field Effect Transistor (MOSFET). There are two primary types of MOSFETs that you should be aware of:
- P-Channel (+)
- N-Channel (-)
Use a P-Channel MOSFET if you would like to switch a circuit before the load and with no power at its gate resulting in an ON switch. Applying voltage to a P-Channel gate will disconnect the load. Normally On
Use a N-Channel MOSFET to switch a circuit at its return or “common” wire. With no power to at its gate results in an OFF switch. Applying voltage to a N-Channel gate will allow current to flow through the transistor. Normally OFF
Hint: A simple way to simulate a load is by adding a resistor.
Now, how do we know how much voltage to apply to the gate? Well.. our goal is to reach the saturation point of the transistor, where the maximum amount of current will flow through the Drain – Source junction:
Critical equation: Vgs = Vds – Vt
Translation: set Gate Voltage equal to Source to Drain Voltage minus Threshold Voltage (or higher)
Refer to component specification sheet for threshold voltage and other information. EXAMPLE
Can’t find the LT Spice components used in this tutorial? Please refer to my previous video for instructions on how to download and install them.