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from the EE department...
difference between NPN/PNP Sensors
Sensor technologies. topic
Posted by majid on 8 October, 2006 - 4:57 pm
Dear sir/madam

I want to know what is difference between NPN & PNP sensors & what kind of sensor (NPN/PNP) is better use.

Thanks in advance,
Majid


2 out of 2 members thought this post was helpful...
Posted by Sunnichan on 17 October, 2006 - 7:26 pm
Dear majid, let discuss about sinking and sourcing sensor.

Sinking sensors allow current to flow into the sensor to the voltage common, while sourcing sensors allow current to flow out of the sensor from a positive source. For both of these methods the emphasis is on current flow, not voltage. By using current flow, instead of voltage, many of the electrical noise problems are reduced.

When discussing sourcing and sinking we are referring to the output of the sensor that is acting like a switch. In fact the output of the sensor is normally a transistor, that will act like a switch (with some voltage loss). A PNP transistor is used for the sourcing output, and an NPN transistor is used for the sinking input.

for more details write to me:
confusedsunny@yahoo.co.in


Posted by Mark on 17 August, 2009 - 5:35 pm
Dear Confusedsunny,

I'm a little confused about "A PNP transistor is used for the sourcing output, and an NPN transistor is used for the sinking input".

I drew an image of a sensor with current flowing into it (sinking sensor); and another with current flowing out of it (sourcing sensor). I'm confused about "sourcing output" and "sinking input". Can you explain further?

Thanks, Mark


1 out of 1 members thought this post was helpful...
Posted by curt wuollet on 17 August, 2009 - 9:27 pm
It is confusing, not the least because they use conventional current flow rather than electron flow which reverses the sense of source/sink. It's easiest to think of it in these terms. With a positive supply voltage, a normally biased PNP will have its emitter more positive than its collector. So, a PNP output with an open collector will pull a load positive towards the supply voltage when conducting. This gives what is called a sourcing output. The NPN case is opposite so it's collector will take a load towards ground when conducting. That's why PNP and NPN are sometimes used instead of sourcing/sinking, because they are not ambiguous at least with open collector outputs. Inputs get a little more confusing as some can be strapped to be either sinking or sourcing. In general, a sinking input is one that needs to be pulled up towards the positive supply to be true. And a sourcing input is one that needs to be pulled toward ground to be true. So a Sourcing output would normally be used with a sinking input and vice versa. This all assumes positive logic.

Regards

cww


Posted by Ken Emmons Jr. on 18 August, 2009 - 8:09 am
I didn't think this was a physics forum. Conventional flow vs. Electron flow ... That's taking the explanation a bit too far! :o)

KEJR


Posted by curt wuollet on 18 August, 2009 - 6:47 pm
I am an electronics type, steeped in semiconductor lore. I am not an electrician. Conventional flow doesn't work for semiconductors but, conventions are conventions.

Regards
cww


Posted by William Sturm on 17 August, 2009 - 9:51 pm
An NPN or sinking output accepts voltage and sinks it to ground to complete the circuit. A PNP or sourcing output sources voltage and the external circuit sinks it to ground to complete the circuit. A sourcing circuit would be drawn as voltage->switch->load->ground. A sinking circuit would be drawn as Voltage->load->switch->ground. In these cases, the switch could be a transistor.

Hope this helps,
Bill Sturm


Posted by 300zx on 24 September, 2009 - 5:16 am
That's the best way of explaining it i've read yet excellent


Posted by Leonard on 11 March, 2011 - 11:44 pm
By far the simplest and easily comprehended explanation. Thank you


Posted by JMB on 13 August, 2011 - 7:43 am
NPN needs current and PNP supplies current. that's sinking and sourcing.

sinking means something it will take and sourcing means to provide source to something.


Posted by B-RYE on 4 February, 2013 - 9:44 pm
well said!! Exactly the way I would have answered! Correct, straightforward to the point.


Posted by Richard on 22 November, 2013 - 3:57 am
> An NPN or sinking output accepts voltage and sinks it to ground to
> complete the circuit. A PNP or sourcing output sources voltage and
> the external circuit sinks it to ground to complete the circuit. A
> sourcing circuit would be drawn as voltage->switch->load->ground. A
> sinking circuit would be drawn as Voltage->load->switch->ground. In
> these cases, the switch could be a transistor.

The best explanation Bill. Well done!!!


Posted by ete on 26 June, 2014 - 2:13 am
Hello,
Very good explanation on the sinking and sourcing. So, please correct me if I'm wrong... Meaning to say, for a wiring of field device in a DCS system... Normally the field device screen will be floating and the instrument earth shall be grounded at the System marshalling cabinet at the IE bar. Does this mean that the field device is a sourcing output and the input module is a sinking input?

Thanks in advance guys.


Posted by mahantesh on 4 October, 2011 - 4:23 am
In pnp transistor n-type material is sandwiched between two p-type materials. Where as in npn transistor p type material sandwiched between two n type materials..

in pnp transistor holes are the majority charges carriers & electrons are minority carriers. In npn transistor electrons are majority charge carriers & holes are minority charge carriers


Posted by Eka S on 6 February, 2013 - 4:43 am
Hi,.

for me to easy remember,
Output NPN sensor is Negative (0Volt), and need positive (+24Volt or whatever voltage supply) to make output working. so in the circuit I Pull up (sourcing) output sensor.

for PNP type sensor the output is Positive (+24Volt), and need negative (0volt) to make output working. so in the circuit I pull down (sinking) output sensor.

CMIIW.

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