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2N3904 and 2N3906 Transistor Assortments: Consistency Thereof

A note about building a discrete equivalent of the classic LM3909 prompted me to measure some 2N3904 and 2N3906 transistors:

ESR02 Tester - 2N3904 measurement

ESR02 Tester – 2N3904 measurement

The DC gain and VBE for each flavor look comfortingly uniform:

Transistor measurements - 2N3904 2N3906

Transistor measurements – 2N3904 2N3906

Quite unlike those Hall effect sensors, indeed.

Most of the VBE variation comes from temperature differences: re-measuring the 2N3904 transistors with VBE ≅ 672 mV put them with their compadres at 677 mV.

The 2N3906 transistors have wider gain and VBE variations, so selecting a matched pair for the LM3909 current mirror makes sense.

The sheet inside the lid collects some essential parameters for ease of reference:

            Class   Type   VCE     IC    HFE
1   2N2222    GP     NPN    40    600    100
2   2N3904    LP     NPN    40    200    100
3   2N3906    LP     PNP    40    200    100
4   2N5401    HV     PNP   150    600     60
5   2N5551    HV     NPN   160    600     80

6    A1015    OSC    PNP    50    150     70
7    C1815    OSC    NPN    50    150     70
8     C945    GP     NPN    50    150     70
9    S8050   PP AMP  NPN    40    500    120
10   S8550   PP AMP  PNP    40    500    120

11   S9012   PP AMP  PNP    40    500     64
12   S9013   PP AMP  PNP    40    500     64
13   S9014   LN LF   NPN    50    100    280
14   S9015   LN LF   PNP    50    100    200
15   S9018   VHF OSC NPN    15     50    100

You’re welcome.

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