AN-276: Analog-to-Digital Conversion Using Voltage-to-Frequency Converters


A voltage-to-frequency converter (VFC) is a device which accepts at its input an analog voltage or current signal and provides at its output a train of pulses or square waves at a frequency which is proportional to the input value. A voltage-to-frequency converter can thus be used as a building block in an analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion system, by using the VFC to clock a counter for a certain period of time (the “count time” or “gate time” or “conversion time”) and reading the output digital word. This digital word will be proportional to the analog input.

There are a number of advantages to using a voltage-to-frequency converter in an analog-to-digital conversion scheme. First, unlike converters based on binary-weighted networks, monotonicity is inherent under all supply and temperature conditions. Second, the fact that the signal is converted to an easily-transmitted serial bit stream allows the analog circuitry (the VFC and analog signal-conditioning circuits) to be located close to the signal source and the digital circuitry (the counter, timing gate and display circuitry) to be located elsewhere. This is especially advantageous when a large number of channels are required; the remote VFCs can be used to provide “converter-per-channel” data acquisition. Finally, since the digital number is accumulated over a large number of cycles, integration of and therefore reduction of unwanted signals is inherent.

The time required to convert an analog signal into a digital word is related to the maximum full-scale frequency of the VFC and the required resolution of the measurement. For example, the Analog Devices AD650 VFC has a full-scale frequency of 1MHz. If this device is used in an application where a resolution of 16 bits, or 1 part in 262,144 will require a count time slightly greater than 0.262 seconds. In general, the required count time for an analog-to-digital conversion using a VFC is:


where N is the number of codes for a given resolution and FSOUT is the VFC full-scale output frequency.

Although VFC-based A/D converters are slower than successive-approximation and flash converters, they are comparable in speed to integrating A/D converters. VFC-based A/D converters are thus well suited for low frequency applications such as temperature and strain-gauge measurements. The resolution that the VFC can provide in these types of applications offsets the relatively long count time required to acquire the digital word corresponding to the analog input value.

The intent of this application note is to demonstrate different methods of using voltage-to-frequency converters as analog-to-digital building blocks. The focus, then, is on interfacing the output of a VFC. For detailed information on handing a variety of types of inputs (temperature, strain-gauge and photodiode signals), it is suggested that the reader consult the individual AD650, AD561 and AD654 data sheets and the AD654 application note, all available from the Analog Devices Literature Center (Phone # (617) 329-4700). Signal multiplexing schemes, isolation circuits, and individual device details are also included in the material listed above.

Pulse Counting

One way to perform an analog-to-digital conversion using a voltage-to-frequency converter is to have a single-chip microcomputer count the number of pulses that occur in a fixed time period. The total number of pulses counted during this period is then proportional to the input voltage of the VFC. For example, if a 1V full-scale input produces a 100kHz signal from the VFC and the count period is 100ms, then the total full-scale count will be 10,000. Scaling from this maximum is then used to determine the input voltage, i.e., a count of 5,000 corresponds to an input voltage of 0.5V.

Figure 1 shows the Analog Devices AD654 VFC output connected to the counter input, T1, of the Intel 8051 microcomputer. The AD654 is a low-cost frequency of up to 500kHz. The 8051 is a member of the Intel MCS-51 family of 8-bit microcomputers whose family members differ mainly in their internal memory capabilities. In the following text, the term “8051” is used to generically refer to all members of the MCS-51 family.

Figure 1. AD654 Pulse Counter.

The analog input of the AD654 in Figure 1 is a 0 to + 1V signal. The timing resistor and capacitor, RT and CT, are selected such that this 0 to + 1V signal seen at Pin 4 results in a 0 to 500kHz output frequency. The pull-up resistor, R3, ensures that the AD654 output meets the logic levels required at T1 (Pin 15) of the 8051.

The 8051 has two 16-bit timer/event counters on-chip (the 8052 and the 8032 have three). These counters, Timer 0 and Timer 1, can be programmed independently to operate as 16-bit time-interval or event counters. The use of Timer 0 and Timer 1 is determined by two 8-bit registers, TMOD (timer mode) and TCON (time control). The TMOD register is shown in Figure 2 below:

Figure 2. 8051 TMOD Register.

“M1” and “M0” are used to select the mode of each timer. Mode 01 configures the timer as a 16-bit time-interval or event counter. “C/T” is the timer or counter selector and is cleared for timer operation. In this application, Timer 0 was configured as the timer (to provide the fixed time interval) and Timer 1 was configured as the counter (to count the pulses). Hereafter, the two timers will be referred to as Timer 0 and Counter 1. When running, Timer 0 increments at a rate equal to the external clock divided by twelve. Using a 12MHz crystal, this corresponds to once every microsecond. “GATE” is the gating control. When this bit is clear, timer/counter “X” is enabled whenever the “TRx” control bit found in the TCON register is set. The “TRx” bit is controlled via software. When the “GATE” bit is set, timer/counter “X” is enabled whenever the “TRx” bit is set and the signal level appearing at the INTx pin (Pin 12 or 13 for Timer 0 or 1, respectively) is high. Thus, when a GATE bit is clear that timer is controlled by software only, and when it is set that timer is controlled by a combination of software and hardware. In this application the GATE bits are clear; however in the next application they will be set.

Table 1 lists the software routine PLSECNT, which counts the number of falling edges that appear at T1 (the Counter 1 input) in a 50ms window. After Counter 1 is cleared, the value 15539 is loaded into Timer 0. Since Timer 0 is a 16-bit timer, the maximum possible count is 65535. With the Timer 0 interrupt enabled, a count of 65535 will cause a jump to the starting address (OBH) of the Timer 0 interrupt service program. With Timer 0 starting at 15539 and incrementing once every µs (based on a 12MHz clock), there will be 49,997 counts or 49.997ms before jumping to the service program. The 3µs difference from 50ms is made up in the speed of the interrupt response. The interrupt response latency ranges from 3µs to 7µs when using a 12MHz crystal. During this 50ms count period, control resides with the main program. Thus the 8051 is not tied up while Counter 1 is counting for 50ms. After the interrupt service is reached, Counter 1 and Timer 0 are stopped and the contents of Counter 1 are moved into RAM, where it may be accessed at the user’s convenience. Control is then returned to the main program for which the subroutine was written. With a maximum frequency of 500kHz and a count window of 50ms, the maximum value of Counter 1 will be 25,000. This provides resolution greater than 14 bits. Appropriate scaling from this 1V full-scale reference point may then be performed in software.

Table 1. 8051 Pulse Count Routine
MOV TMOD, #051H ;Put Time 0 and Count 1 in Mode 01
MOV TL1, #00H ;Initialize Counter 1 Register
MOV TH1, #00H
MOV TL0, #0B3H ;Load Time 0 With 15536 + 3 Will
MOV TH0, #3CH ;Ovflw After 50ms + 3µs Delay
SETB PT0 ;Prioritize Time 0 Interrupt
SETB ET0 ;Enable Timer 0 Interrupt
SETB EA ;Enable Global Interrupt
SETB TR0 ;Start Timer
SETB TR1 ;Start Counter
RET ;Return to Main Program
CLR TR1 ;Stop Counter
CLR TR0 ;Stop Timer
COUNT MOV 50H, TL1 ;Move Counter Contents Into RAM
MOV 51H, TH1
RETI ;Return from Interrupt
ORG 100H
MAIN ;Main Program for Which PLSECNT
;Subroutine Was Written

Period Timing

Another method of performing analog-to-digital conversion using a voltage-to-frequency converter (VFC) and a microcomputer is to have the microcomputer time the period of the VFC output frequency. For example, an output frequency of 25kHz has a period of 40µs. If a timer that is incremented once per microsecond is gated to this signal, a total count of 40 will result. An output frequency of 250Hz has a period of 4ms. The same timer gated to this period signal will then produce a total count of 4000.

One of the advantages of period timing over pulse counting is that the count window is dependent upon the output frequency of the VFC; in many cases the count window will be shorter for period timing than for pulse counting. This will be especially important in systems where a number of channels are being converted. Recall that in the Pulse Counter application the count window was 50ms—whether the output frequency was 50kHz or 50Hz. With Period Timing, the count window is the inverse of the output frequency. Thus, a 50kHz signal will have a count window of 20µ, while 1 50Hz signal will have a count window of 20ms. In fact, it’s not until the output frequency reaches 20Hz that the Period Timing count window is equal to the 50ms Pulse Counter count window.

Figure 3 shows the circuitry necessary to perform an analog-to-digital conversion via period timing using the Analog Devices AD650 voltage-to-frequency converter. The AD650 has a maximum full-scale frequency of 1MHz with a nonlinearity error of 0.1% max at this frequency. The AD650 in Figure 3 is configured such that a 0 to + 10V input will result in a 0 to 50kHz output. Because the AD650’s output is made up of pulses, the SN7474 D-type flip-flop is used to convert these pulses into a square wave. The SN7474 Pin 3 and Pin 5 waveforms sketched in Figure 3 show that the width of either the high-level or low-level output appearing at Pin 5 is the same as one period of the AD650 output frequenct. Note also that when Pin 1 on the SN7474 is held low, Pin 5 is also held low.

Figure 3. AD650 Period Timing.

Recall that the INTO pin (pin 12) on the 8051 us the Timer 0 gate pin. (See Pulse Counter discussion). When the “GATE” bit is set in the TMOD register, Timer 0 will run only when INTO at Pin 12 is high and the TR0 bit in the TCON register has been set via software. Thus, connecting the “Q” output of the SN7474 to the INTO pin on the 8051 will ensure the timer runs for one period of the AD650 frequency.

One problem that could arise is the TR0 bit in software being set in the middle of a high-level edge at the INTO pin. In this case, Timer 0 would run for a fraction of a period rather than one full period. This is countered by tying the 8051 Port 1 Bit 5 (P1.5) pin to the SN7474 CLR pin. When CLR is low and PRE is high, Q is low. When CLR and PRE are both high, Q changes state on every positive edge appearing at the clock (C) pin. Setting P1.5 low, setting TR0 (in software) and then setting P1.5 high will this ensure that Timer 0 runs for one full period.

Table 2 shows the software subroutine PCNT, which increments Timer 0 once per microsecond for one AD650 output frequency period. Note that there are two interrupt service programs, one for INTO and one for Timer 0. The INTO service program is accessed after a negative edge appears at the INTO pin (Pin 12), signifying the end of one period. The timer is then stopped and its contents are loaded in RAM. The user may then access the contents at his convenience.

Table 2. Period Timing Routine
MOV TMOD, #05H ;Put Time 0 in Mode 1, Enable INTO Pin
CLR P1.5 ;Initially Set INTO Pin Low
SETB IT0 ;Specify Edge Triggered Interrupt
MOV TL0, #00H ;Initialize Timer
MOV TH0, #00H
SETB EX0 ;Enable INTO Interrupt
SETB ET0 ;Enable Timer 0 Interrupt
SETB EA ;Enable All Interrupts
SETB TR0 ;Start Timer
SETB P1.5 ;Enable Gate INTO Pin
RET ;Return to Main Program
ORG 03H ;INTO Subroutine Service Program
CLR TR0 ;Start Timer
CLR EA ;Disable Interrupts
AJMP COUNT ;Jump to Count
CLR TR0 ;Stop Timer
CLR EA ;Disable Interrupts
0FLW MOV 60H, #FF ;Load RAM With Overflow
MOV 61H, #FF ;Value
CLR P1.5 ;SET INTO Pin Low
RETI ;Return From Subroutine
COUNT MOV 60H, TH0 ;Load RAM with Counter Contents
MOV 61H, TL0
CLR P1.5 ;Set INTO Pin Low
RETI ;Return From Subroutine
ORG 100H
MAIN ;Main Program for Which
;Subroutine Was Written

The Timer 0 service program serves to limit the count window to approximately 65.5ms. It is accessed when the contents of Timer 0 reach 65536. This will occur when the AD650 input voltage is approximately 3.05mV, or the output frequency is approximately 15.26Hz. This service program then loads the overflow value “65535” into RAM. After both interrupt subroutines, and after initialization of the PCNT subroutine, control returns to the main program for which the subroutine was written. Thus the 8051 is not tied up while the period timing is occurring.

One possible source of error in this application is jitter, which is the range of variation in the period of the output frequency. This variation in period would result in a variation in the number of pulses counted from one period to the next. The Magnitude of this error can be greatly reduced in software by taking the average of a number of period counts and using this average value for calculations.

Complete 16-Bit Resolution Analog-to-Digital System

A complete 16-bit resolution analog-to-digital conversion system is shown in Figure 4. This system uses the Analog Devices AD651 as its VFC. The AD651 is a 2MHz full-scale output synchronous voltage-to-frequency converter, requiring an external clock to generate the full-scale frequency rather than relying on the stability of passive components. This allows the AD651 to achieve linearity and stability far superior to any other monolithic VFC available. Other key elements in this system include an Intersil 7208 single chip counter-decoder-LED driver, a 4MHz TTL oscillator, and two 4020B binary counters.

Figure 4. Complete 16-Bit Analog-to-Digital System.

The AD651 is configured in the 0 to + 10V input, 2MHz output mode. Pull-up resistor, R1, is used to feed the AD651 output frequency directly into the counter input pin of the 7208 counter-decoder-driver. The 4020Bs are 14-stage binary ripple counters which have clock and master reset inputs (Pins 10 and 11), and buffered outputs from the first stage and the last eleven stages. The 4020Bs are used to generate the count window for the 7208. By dividing the 4MHz TTL clock by 218 (two divide by 29 stages cascaded) a 15.2588Hz signal results. The 7208 will count the negative edges of the AD651 output pulses when pin 13 is low. With a 15.2588Hz signal, the count window will be 32.768ms.

Besides being tied to the count enable pin, the 15.26Hz signal is also tied to the 74LS221 dual monostable multivibrator.

Figure 5 shows the purpose of the 74LS221 one-shot. After the count window on the 7208 has been closed (that is, the count enable input has gone high), the data must be latched and then decoded in order to drive the LEDs. After this data has been latched, the counter must then be cleared in order to get an accurate count during the next count window. The purpose of the 74SL221 is to provide the required STORE input and RESET input pulses. Although the 7208 only requires pulse widths greater than 50µs, R3 ⋅ C2 and R4 ⋅ C3 have been selected to provide a pulse width of approximately 500µs.

Figure 5. ICM7208 Timing Diagrams.

The 7208 automatically handles the decoding and driving of the LEDs. The only other components required are resistors R5 and R6 and capacitor C4. These non-critical passive components control the display multiplex rate of the LEDs and were selected following the manufacturer’s guidelines to provide a multiplex rate between 50 and 200Hz.

To achieve maximum performance with the AD651, the fixed gate interval (or the “count window”) should be generated using a multiple of the AD651 SVFC clock input, as was done in this application. Counting in this manner eliminates any errors due to the clock (whenever it be jitter, drift with time or temperature, etc.) since it is the ratio of the clock and output frequencies that is being measured.

The resolution of the A/D conversion, of course, is determined by the clock frequency and the gate time. If, for instance, a resolution of 12 bits is desired and the clock frequency is 1MHz (resulting in an AD651 FS frequency of 500kHz) the gate time will be:


Table 3 shows the relationship between the AD651 clock frequency and gate time for various degrees of resolution. In this application, 16-bits of resolution were desired using a 4MHz clock, making the required gate time 32.77ms.

Table 3. AD651 Clock Frequency and Gate Time Relationships for Various Resolutions
Resolution N Clock Conversion or Gate Time Typ Lin Comments
12 Bits 4096 81.92kHz 100ms 0.002% 50, 60, 400HzNMR
12 Bits 4096 2MHz 4.096ms 0.01%
12 Bits 4096 4MHz 2.048ms 0.02%
4 Digits 10000 200kHz 100ms 0.002% 50, 60, 400HzNMR
14 Bits 16384 327.68kHz 100ms 0.002% 50, 60, 400HzNMR
14 Bits 16384 1.966MHz 16.66ms 0.01% 60HzNMR
14 Bits 16384 1.638MHz 20ms 0.01% 50HzNMR
4 1/2 Digits 20000 400kHz 100ms 0.002% 50, 60, 400HzNMR
16 Bits 65536 655.36kHz 200ms 0.002% 50, 60, 400HzNMR
16 Bits 65536 4MHz 32.77ms 0.02%

Gating Off a Known Interfering Signal

One source of error in analog-to-digital systems is an interfering signal that couples into the analog signal to be converted. For example, undesired coupling of powerline energy often appears as a sine wave riding on top of the DC level to be converted, resulting in an erroneous digital output. Since the frequency of this interfering sine wave is well-known (50 or 60Hz), the errors caused by the pickup can be integrated out by using a gating time equal to a multiple of the period of the sine wave. A replica of the interfering signal can be picked off of a nearby transformer and fed into a phase locked loop, a block diagram of which is shown in Figure 6. This loop provides two output signals – a high frequency clock (at a high harmonic of the interference) and a gating clock (at a lower harmonic of the interference).

Figure 6. Phase Locked Loop.

By using fOUT as the AD651 clock source and by using fIN from the divide by N counter as the count window source, a resolution of one part in 1/2 N is achieved, where N is the “÷N” of the counter. If the count window is level-triggered rather than edge-triggered (as with the 7208), then the resolution will be 1/4 N.

Figure 7 shows the hardware required to implement Figure 6. The MC4044 in Figure 7 contains both the phase detector and the amplifier/filter shown in the block diagram. The interfering signal was 60Hz and was converted into a TTL level signal to feed into the MC4044. Components R1, R2 and C1 were selected to allow for a 50Hz or a 60Hz interfering signal. The error voltage from the MC4044 is then fed into the AD654, which is configured in a 0 to + 1V input, 0 to 500kHz output mode. Because the 74L3333 dual 4-bit binary counters are configured to provide a “÷N” of 8192, the output frequency of the AD654 will be 491520Hz. This signal is used as the clock for the AD651. The output of the second counter is 60Hz and is both fed back into the MC4044 and used as the frequency counter gate signal.

Figure 7. Gating Off a Known Interfering Signal.

In this system it is also possible to get higher resolution by using Pins 10, 9 or 8 of A4 as the frequency counter gate signal. Pin 11, though, must be fed back into the MC4044. From Pin 1 of A3 to Pin 11 of A4, N = 8192 or 213. This will supply 12-bit resolution. Using Pins 10, 9 or 8 to provide the gate frequencies will supply resolutions of 13, 14 or 15 bits, respectively.

MC6801-AD650 Based Analog-to-Digital Conversion

In some applications, it may be necessary to perform an analog-to-digital conversion with a microprocessor that either does not have an on-chip timer/counter, or does not have an available on-chip timer/counter. Using some additional hardware, it’s still possible to count the output pules of a VFC for a fixed period of time and store this count in the microprocessor’s RAM, when the user may access it at his convenience.

Figure 8 shows the circuitry necessary to perform the analog-to-digital conversion using the AD650 VFC and the MC6801µP, and assumes that the on-chip counter is dedicated to another function. The MC6801 is an 8-bit, single-chip microcomputer with 2048 bytes of ROM, 128 bytes of RAM, a serial communications interface and a three function programmable timer. The AD650 VFC is configured in the 0 to + 10V input, 0 to 1MHz output mode.

Figure 8. AD650–MC6801 Analog-to-Digital Conversion System.

The additional hardware necessary to count the output pulses of the AD650 includes two 74590 8-bit binary counters with output registers, one 4020B 14-stage binary counter, one 7474 dual D-type flip-flop with preset and clear, and one inverter of a 74LS04 hex inverter.

The 4020B and 7474 provide the timing signal which tells the counters when to start and stop counting. The input to the 4020B is tied to the ‘E’ Pin (Pin 40) of the MC6801. The signal at the ‘E’ Pin is simply the MC6801 external crystal frequency divided by four, or in this case 1.2288MHz. The 4020B divides the 1.2288MHz signal by 214, which results in a 75Hz signal being fed into Pin 3 of the 7474. The 7474 further divides this signal by four, to 18.75Hz. This signal will appear at Pin 9 depending upon the signal level at Pins 1 and 10. If Pins 1 and 10 are low, Pin 9 will be held at a TTL high. If Pins 1 and 10 are high, the 18.75Hz square wave will appear at Pin 9. When Pin 9 is high, the 74590 counters are disabled and no counting occurs; if the output of Pin 9 is a square wave, the counters will be enabled during the low level of the period and will thus count for 26.67ms. Note that it is Bit 4 of Port 1 (P14) that controls whether the counters will be enabled or not. If this bit is low, no count will occur. Note also that Pin 9 is connected to the external interrupt request (IRQ1) pin of the MC6801 through an inverter. This produces two results when Pin 9 changes from low to high. First, the counters are disabled since CCKEN of A2 is tied to Pin 9. Secondly, the low-to-high transition is inverted and generates an interrupt request on the IRQ1 line. The MC6801 then clears P14 to prevent another count from occurring before the 74590 counter values are read.

All of the counting events are controlled by the signal levels of the different bits of Port 1. By writing different values to Port 1 the 74590 counters are cleared, enabled, disabled, latched, and read. The values which control these functions are shown in Table 4 below.

Table 4. Port 1 Event Control Values
Port 1 Configuration
Events P4 P3 P2 P1 P0 Hex
Clear Counters 0 0 1 1 0 06
Enable Counters 1 0 1 1 1 17
Disable Counters 0 0 1 1 1 07
Latch Data 0 1 1 1 1 0F
Output Hi Byte 0 1 1 0 1 0D
Output Lo Byte 0 1 0 1 1 0B

Table 5 shows the software routine that controls the AD650 pulse counter routine. This routine sets the stack pointer, disables the interrupts, clears the 74590 counters and then enables the interrupts after a delay period (this will be discussed later). After the interrupt request is triggered by a low-to-high transition at Pin 9 of the SN7474, the program counter jumps to the interrupt routine. This routine disables any further interrupts, turns off the 74590 counters and reads the lo and high bytes, interrupt bit on the stacked condition code register is then set and the program counter returns from the interrupt routine.

Table 5. MC6801 Pulse Count Routine
8E 00C0 BEGIN LDS #$C0 Set Stack Pointer
0F SEI Disable Interrupts
86 06 LDAA #$06 Clear Counter
97 02 STAA $02
86 17 LDAA #$17 Turn On Counter
97 02 STAA $02
86 2F LDAA #$2F Insert Delay > 13.33ms To
C6 7F AGN LDBB #$7F Prevent Interrupt Error
0E CLI Allow Interrupt
39 RTS Return From Subroutine
0080 AIRQ1 FD8 LDCNT Define Interrupt Routine
Start Point
0F LDCNT SEI Disable Interrupt
86 07 LDAA #$07 Turn Off Counter
97 02 STAA $02
86 0F LDAA #$0F Latch Data in Counter
97 02 STAA $02
96 06 LDAA $06 Read Byte From Port 3
97 A7 STAA $A7 Store in Location 00A7
B6 0B LDAA #$0B Output Counter Hi Byte
97 02 STAA $02
96 06 LDAA $06 Read Byte From Port 3
97 A6 STAA $A6 Store in Location 00A6
86 07 LDAA #$07 Turn Off Counter
97 02 STAA $02
86 10 LDAA #$10 Set The Interrupt Bit On The
9A BA ORAA $BA Stacked Condition Code Register
3B RTI Register From Interrupt

Two areas in the software routine need to be discussed in further detail – the time delay before enabling the MC6801 interrupt and setting the interrupt bit on the stacked condition code register.

Figure 9 shows the waveforms that will appear around the time the 74590 counters are instructed to start counting by setting Pins 1 and 10 high.

Figure 9. SN7474 Waveforms.

Recall that Pin 9 will only output an 18.75Hz square wave when Pins 1 and 10 held high. Pin 9 will not change state after Pins 1 and 10 go high until the next positive edge occurs at Pin 3. Figure 9 shows the worst case that will happen – Pins 1 and 10 go high just a few nanoseconds after Pin 3 sees a positive going edge. Pin 13.33ms. Also, recall that Pin 9 is fed to the IRFQ1 pin through an inverter, thereby setting the signal level low during the 13.33ms wait state. Since IRFQ1 is level sensitive, allowing an interrupt during this wait state would cause a jump to the interrupt routine before the 26.67ms count window has been opened up. By inserting a delay greater than 13.33ms before allowing the interrupt, the interrupt is enabled during the count window (when Pin 9 is low, and thus the IRFQ1 pin is high). This will ensure that the interrupt routine is accessed after the 26.67ms count window closes.

Setting the interrupt bit on the stacked condition code register is also important. After executing the CLI instruction in software, Bit 4 of the condition code register (CCR) is cleared. This enables the IRQ1 interrupt. Once an interrupt request is detected (a low level at the IRQ1 pin), the CCR is pushed onto the stack in its present state. A total of seven bytes are pushed on the stack and last one pushed is the CCR. Since the stack pointer was set at location 00C0 the location of the CCR is 7 bytes down, or at location 00BA. By 0R’ing 10H with the contents of location 00BA the interrupt is disabled. This will prevent the program counter from jumping into the interrupt routine again right after coming out of it, even though the level sensed at the IRQ1 pin is low. If this bit were not set, the program counter would jump out of the interrupt routine, see that the interrupt enable bit was clear and that the level at the IRQ1 pin was low, and jump right back into the interrupt routine again.



Paul Klonowski