My prototype PCB has 4 of these amplifiers and transistor circuits on it and when one transistor produces a pulse the others do as well.
I did many tests in the last week, an I isolated the problem to the shown transistor stage. So my guess is right now, that the fast rising collector current of the transistor, causes some short high frequency burst in ground, which is then picked up by the other amplifiers. however I am not able to fully measure this.
I added C2 (and tried different values, to smoothen the pulse flank) as an afterthought and this already improved it, but not for all situations.
So my next idea is, to separate the GND plane of the amplifiers from the transistor stage - this looks to be the best, as when I remove the transistor stage from the PCB, everything works fine.
But here is also where I struggle.
As the emitter of the transistor is kind of on both GND planes and the star point is quite far from the transistor, I struggle on to which GND plane I should connect the emitter. I tend (just by feeling) to choose the 3V3 GND as this current is what causes the problem in the first place and as this current is much higher. However, I am worried, that the "small" current flowing through C1 in a pulse situation, has to go all up to the star ground point and back to the transistor, if I connect it like this.
So the 3 options are:
- connect to 3V3 GND
- connect to 15V GND
- connect to both (but then I guess, I'm back to square 1 as this is already the original layout).
I hope, I described the problem clear enough, otherwise, please let me know in the comments, if need some more information.