In Electrical Engineering and Electronic circuits, the terms filter indicates a circuit that is designed to filter a certain range of frequencies. A high-pass filter is the one that attenuates all frequencies below critical frequency and passes all frequencies above the critical frequency. In this article, you’ll learn all about high pass filters.
A high-pass filter’s task is just the opposite of a low-pass filter: to offer easy passage of a high-frequency signal and difficult passage to a low-frequency signal.
Types of High Pass Filters
High pass filters are generally of two types: Inductive and capacitive.
Capacitive High Pass Filter
The capacitor’s impedance (Figure above) increases with decreasing frequency. (Figure below) This high impedance in series tends to block low-frequency signals from getting to load.
capacitive highpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin c1 1 2 0.5u rload 2 0 1k .ac lin 20 1 200 .plot ac v(2) .end
Inductive high-pass filter
The inductor’s impedance (Figure above) decreases with decreasing frequency. (Figure below) This low impedance in parallel tends to short out low-frequency signals from getting to the load resistor. As a consequence, most of the voltage gets dropped across series resistor R1.
inductive highpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 200 l1 2 0 100m rload 2 0 1k .ac lin 20 1 200 .plot ac v(2) .end
Comparison of Capacitive and Inductive High Pass Filters
This time, the capacitive design is the simplest, requiring only one component above and beyond the load. And, again, the reactive purity of capacitors over inductors tends to favor their use in filter design, especially with high-pass filters where high frequencies commonly cause inductors to behave strangely due to the skin effect and electromagnetic core losses.
Cuttoff Frequency of High Pass Filters
As with low-pass filters, high-pass filters have a rated cutoff frequency, above which the output voltage increases above 70.7% of the input voltage. Just as in the case of the capacitive low-pass filter circuit, the capacitive high-pass filter’s cutoff frequency can be found with the same formula:
In the example circuit, there is no resistance other than the load resistor, so that is the value for R in the formula.
Practical Examples of High Pass Filters
Using a stereo system as a practical example, a capacitor connected in series with the tweeter (treble) speaker will serve as a high-pass filter, imposing a high impedance to low-frequency bass signals, thereby preventing that power from being wasted on a speaker inefficient for reproducing such sounds. In like fashion, an inductor connected in series with the woofer (bass) speaker will serve as a low-pass filter for the low frequencies that particular speaker is designed to reproduce. In this simple example circuit, the midrange speaker is subjected to the full spectrum of frequencies from the stereo’s output. More elaborate filter networks are sometimes used, but this should give you the general idea. Also bear in mind that I’m only showing you one channel (either left or right) on this stereo system. A real stereo would have six speakers: 2 woofers, 2 midranges, and 2 tweeters.
For better performance yet, we might like to have some kind of filter circuit capable of passing frequencies that are between low (bass) and high (treble) to the midrange speaker so that none of the low- or high-frequency signal power is wasted on a speaker incapable of efficiently reproducing those sounds.
- A high-pass filter allows for easy passage of high-frequency signals from source to load, and difficult passage of low-frequency signals.
- Capacitive high-pass filters insert a capacitor in series with the load; inductive high-pass filters insert a resistor in series and an inductor in parallel with the load. The former filter design tries to “block” the unwanted frequency signal while the latter tries to short it out.
- The cutoff frequency for a high-pass filter is the frequency at which the output (load) voltage equals 70.7% of the input (source) voltage. Above the cutoff frequency, the output voltage is greater than 70.7% of the input, and vice versa
Article extracted from: Lesson in Electric Circuits AC Volume Tony R Kuphaldt under Design Science License. Some headings are added in article.