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What is the difference between a H11L1 and H11L1M opto coupler? (I want to use it for MIDI).

Datasheets

If I check the data sheets, I see some different values, but for me it is unclear to know if these will affect the usage for MIDI ...

I want to buy it actually from AliExpress (either the H11L1 or H11L1M), which do not specify a datasheet, but I assume I can consider all H11L1's having the same specs and all H11L1M's (?)

(also I always thought the H would be the manufacturer's 'code'), but H11L1 seems to be from Motorola and H11L1M from Fairchild).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Link the datasheets you are referring to. \$\endgroup\$
    – AKR
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 9:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AKR: Done (I thought all datasheets for a part with the same ID would be similar). \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 19, 2017 at 9:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ General Electric made lots of different H11xxx optocouplers. \$\endgroup\$
    – CL.
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 11:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CL Too bad they didn't make like 3 or 4 of them in one IC. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 19, 2017 at 19:59

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The H11L1 was originally made by General Electric, but cloned by many other manufacturers. Almost everybody also calls it "H11L1" (clones with different names, like the PC900, turned out to have not been as successful).

Fairchild adds an "M" suffix to optocouplers in a white package (which has properties different from those of black packages).

For MIDI, the differences between the clones do not matter. (The PC900 had looser tolerances than the original.) For your purposes, it's actually the same chip.

(As it happens, General Electric's optoelectronics group, after being acquired by Harris and then QTC, ended up at Fairchild. So, technically, H11L1M is the official name nowadays.)

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An H11L1 from any recognized manufacturer will be fine. The part is faster than needed with a good margin.

Also: buy from a proper distributor. Shaving cents by using places like AliExpress is a false economy, what happens if you get knockoffs with different performance? Motorola spun off the semiconductor manufacturing as ON Semiconductor in 1999 so if you find modern parts with their branding, they are fakes.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for accepting my answer, but I do suggest you hold off for a day before doing so. This gives time for competing answers to be posted, and there are many better answerers on here than me. \$\endgroup\$
    – user133493
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 10:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the info ... too bad I live in the Netherlands (don't know if this is equal for other countries). When I go to a nearby shop (there aren't many), I have to pay 2 euro per piece, for AliExpress it's 10x less, also they don't have the exact same type. So in a lot of cases, it's not even possible to find specific parts here, and a factor of 10 is quite normal. Also, if I need to get them from an online webshop from the Netherlands, 5-7 euro shipping cost is added, making like 10 pieces of H11L1 cost even more. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 19, 2017 at 10:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Farnell/RS don't do free shipping for Netherlands? \$\endgroup\$
    – user133493
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 10:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks about the Farnell ... it indeed seems to be free shipping, still the cost is more than 3x as much :-( ... however if I need something faster probably it's good, and of course when I want to make a final product (for myself). So far I'm really a beginner, just breadboarding and playing and learning electronics. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 19, 2017 at 10:21

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