ECE Undergraduate Laboratories
ECE 392 - Electrical Engineering Laboratory II

INTRODUCTION

This manual is your guide to the second electronics laboratory in the electrical engineering program. It is assumed that by completing the first electronics laboratory course you are familiar with basic electronic measurements and instrumentation, as well as with elements of data analysis, presentation of results, and reporting. These elements will be still emphasized and further developed in this laboratory. Professional engineering practice requires using proper experimental methods and procedures. They include not only good measurement techniques, but also proper recording of all relevant information, preparing tables and graphs, etc. Almost as important as obtaining good data is their proper presentation which often determines success in this laboratory course as it does in engineering practice. Upon completion of the second laboratory course you should be very familiar with effective laboratory practices and professional style data presentation. They will be a great asset in your future.

The manual describes seven sets of experiments most of which require more than a week laboratory session. The eighth set suggests a design project based on the hardware and concepts learned in the course. The manual is not a set of precise recipes. On the contrary, it describes basic circuits and concepts, inviting students to contribute details and solutions. There is often more than one way to achieve a given goal and you are expected to think and decide, for example making choices of the resistors or capacitor values, or even whole circuits. There are thus elements of your own design in every set of experiments. Hint and suggestions are scattered throughout the text.

An effort has been made to "synchronize" the topics of laboratory experiments with the evolving program of EE curriculum. Ideally, the circuit theory should proceed by a couple of weeks its realization in the laboratory. Reaching this goal turned out to be all but impossible and students may have to dig deeper into their notes of electronic courses to find material relevant to current experiments. This, however, should not be a great problem, the laboratory does not require extensive theoretical knowledge.

A number of experiments described in the manual is based on operational amplifier circuits, despite the fact they are not covered extensively in courses given prior to or parallel to this laboratory. This choice was made because of the prominent role of "op-amps" in contemporary analog circuit design. It is in fact easier to build complex circuits with these handy blocks of electronics than it is with discrete transistors. It is even easier to understand how such circuits work once some very basic rules and principles of feedback are known. Do not feel discouraged if you meet a new concept for the first time in this laboratory. In such a case only basics of the topic are required which you will have opportunity to study later in another course.

One required skill is circuit simulation with PSPICE. Familiarity with this important program vary widely among students and this laboratory is a good place to catch-up. The most important insights which you may gain in this laboratory work will come from comparison of the expected (theoretical or computer simulated) circuits performance with experimental data. Details of exporting simulation results to programs, such as MS Excel, for graphic comparison with measuremets are given in this manual in the chapter on simulation. You can download the Pspice Version 9.1 from here.