I'm confused about a passage in "The Art Of Electronics", by Horowitz & Hill, regarding protective diodes in transistor switches:
2. If the load swings below ground for some reason (e.g. it is driven from ac, or it is inductive), use a diode in series with the collector (or a diode in the reverse direction to ground) to prevent collector-base conduction on negative swings. 3. For inductive loads, protect the transistor with a diode across the load....
My problems with the above two points are:
Why would/how could the load be "driven by ac"? Wouldn't an ac load pull the collector below ground and thus turn off the transistor on the negative part of the ac cycle? Moreover, how could the load be driven by ac when by construction we're sending a DC current through it?!
I'm having trouble parsing the phrase "use a diode in series with the collector (or a diode in reverse direction to ground)". The language is somewhat ambiguous: does the "or" mean "in other words", or does it mean "alternatively". If the latter, why would you want a diode in the direction of Vcc to ground? If the former, then if I change the phrase to: "use a diode in series with the collector, directed from ground to Vcc", am I changing the meaning? Because that's actually how I understand the phrase!
Bullet points 2 and 3 are very similar. In fact, their conceptual "triggers" overlap, i.e. for "inductive loads", but they suggest different things. For 2 the suggestion is a diode in series with the load (pointing to Vcc) and in 3 the diode is in parallel (again pointing to Vcc). How should I choose between the two? Can someone give an example of an inductive load in which the diode is to be applied in series rather than in parallel? (There is an example for point 3 in the book, but alas not point 2.)
Following is a diagram of what I believe to be the schematic implied by Horowitz point 2. It has been confirmed to be correct by experts.