Maxim > Design Support > Technical Documents > Application Notes > Microprocessor Supervisor Circuits > APP 1865
Keywords: watchdog timer, watchdog circuit, watchdog circuits, pin selectable watchdog
Different Ways to Use a MAX6369 Series
Watchdog Timer
Jan 31, 2003
Abstract: The following application note demonstrates various ways to use the MAX6369–MAX6374
series of pin selectable watchdog timers for general purpose, low power, timing functions.
The MAX6369-74 series of pin-selectable watchdog timers are designed to supervise microprocessor
activity and indicate when the system is not working properly. During normal operation, the
microprocessor should repeatedly toggle the watchdog input (WDI) before the selected watchdog timeout
period elapses to indicate that the system is executing code properly. If it fails to do so, the supervisor
asserts a watchdog output (active-low WDO) to signal there is a problem.
This family of watchdog-only supervisors are available in a tiny SOT23-8 packages and have selectable
watchdog timeout periods (1.7ms to 104s (typ) in 7 steps), start-up delays (1.7ms to 104s (typ) in 7
steps) and output pulse widths (1.7ms and 170ms (typ)) depending on the part selected and the state of
3 pins (SEL0, SEL1, SEL2).
The parts can be used for general purpose timing functions especially where current consumption is
important. They only take 8µA typ, 20µA max over temperature (-40°C to +85°C) from a 2.5 to 5.5V
supply. With WDI strapped to GND or VCC the internal timer cycles pulsing active-low WDO low when it
times out. These parts have several advantages over the historical "555" solutions. As well as the lower
supply current (20µA max instead of 120µA max at 5V supply) the overall solution takes much less board
area with the smaller package and the absence of timing resistors and capacitors which have to be large
(100s of µFs) for long periods.
The following circuits show a few examples.
Figure 1 uses MAX6373 set up to pulse active-low WDO low for 170ms every 5.2s. The load is a front
panel "power on" LED with a 1kΩ current limiting resistor. By pulsing the LED rather than having it on
continuously the average current taken reduces by a factor of 30 (2.4mA down to 88µA (80µA + 8µA Iq)
giving an indication the equipment is on without draining the batteries too much. By changing the SET
pins to SET0 = 0V, SET1 = SET2 = VCC the off time can be extended to 17s reducing the average
current to 32µA (24µA + 8µA Iq).
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Figure 1. Blinking LED indicator saves power.
Figure 2 is similar to Figure 1 but uses a MAX6371 to turn on a load for 170ms every 1.7mins (104s).
The load could be a battery powered monitoring circuit that lies idle saving power then wakes up to make
a measurement, then log it or send a warning if it is out of spec. Maybe a water level getting too high.
Figure 2. Pulse load to save power.
Figure 3 uses the MAX6373 with it's SET inputs configured for timer disabled. If SET1 is held low for
longer than the watchdog period (5.2s) then active-low WDO pulses low. This circuit could be used in
applications where a reset button is on a front panel or easily accessible. The button must be held down
deliberately for 5.2s or more to trigger a reset. This can prevent an accidental reset when somebody
knocks the button.
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Figure 3. "Safe" front panel RESET.
Figure 4. Picture of prototype blinking LED circuit.
Related Parts
Pin-Selectable Watchdog Timers
Free Samples MAX6370
Pin-Selectable Watchdog Timers
Free Samples MAX6371
Pin-Selectable Watchdog Timers
Free Samples MAX6372
Pin-Selectable Watchdog Timers
Free Samples MAX6373
Pin-Selectable Watchdog Timers
Free Samples MAX6374
Pin-Selectable Watchdog Timers
Free Samples Page 3 of 4
More Information
For Technical Support:
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Other Questions and Comments:
Application Note 1865:
APPLICATION NOTE 1865, AN1865, AN 1865, APP1865, Appnote1865, Appnote 1865
Copyright © by Maxim Integrated Products
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