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Principles of design of composite instantaneous comparators (a combination of amplitude- and phase- comparison techniques) are laid out to provide directional, directional-reactance, nonoffset-resistance and conductance characteristices. The respective signals provided by the voltage transformer and the current transformer are directly used as relaying signals without resorting to any form of mixing. Phase shifts required, are obtained by using magnetic ferrite cores in a novel manner. Sampling units employing a combination of ferrite cores and semiconductor devices provide highly reliable designs. Special attention is paid to the choice of relaying signals, to eliminate the need for any synchronisation or modification and to avoid `imageÂ¿ characteristics. These factors have resulted in a considerable simplification of the practical circuitry. A thyristor AND circuit is employed in dual comparator units to provide the final tripping, and leads to a circuit which is much less sensitive to extraneous signals than a single-thyristor unit.