Fall 2017
Approximate contents of your ECE110 Electronics Kit can be found by using the button to open up a new window with the list. Click on a part/sensor to find a datasheet and, often, a tutorial. Many modules will also help you explore a device using your new-found engineering skills!


1. Devices
Module Procedure Description Req Points Prerequisites Expiration Date
A. Understanding Resistance Experiment with the combination of appropriate material and geometry that make a good resistor
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5
none
B. Understanding Capacitance Experiment with the combination of appropriate material and geometry that make a good capacitor
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5
lab 5 or a sense of adventure
C. Understanding Batteries UNDER CONSTRUCTION Experiment with the combination of appropriate material, geometry, and physics that make a source for storing and providing electrical energy
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5
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D. Diodes UNDER CONSTRUCTION Experiment with different types of diodes. Learn the differences between them.
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5
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E. Transistors UNDER CONSTRUCTION Experiment with the input and output characteristics of the most common 3 terminal device - the transistor
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5
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F. Transistors - BJT or MOSFET UNDER CONSTRUCTION Learn more about the difference between these devices that are the same and yet so different. That has to be a song.
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5
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2. Bench Equipment
Module Procedure Description Req Points Prerequisites Expiration Date
A. Oscilloscope's XY mode Learn about the oscilloscope's XY mode while making interesting designs - viva the 80's laser light shows.
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5
lab 5
B. Periodic Time-Varying Signals Experiment with the signal generator and learn common measurements and terminology associated with these signals
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5
lab 5
C. Non-Ideal Behavior of the Bench Equipment (DC) UNDER CONSTRUCTION Build a circuit that causes the multimeter to significantly modify the behavior of the circuit while measuring voltage. Choose a resistor that the DMM cannot measure accurately. These measurements will show you the limitations of the Bench equipment - no real circuit, device, or piece of equipment is ever ideal. But if used properly they can be good approximations.
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5
lab 5
D. Non-Ideal Behavior of the Bench Equipment (AC) UNDER CONSTRUCTION In addition to the considerations addressed in Module 2C, the signal generator and oscilloscope have issues stemming from the fact that they are DIGITAL devices emulating ANALOG devices. A digital signal generator constructs what appears to be a continuous signal with the shape (sine, square, triangular...) choosen by the user. Because this signal is constructed from a finite number of points per period sampling issues occur.
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5
lab 5
E. De-mystifying Ground UNDER CONSTRUCTION Engineers use the term GROUND very loosely. Every chip has a pin to ground. The Arduino has at least 2 pins labeled GND or ground. The wiring in your house is grounded if it meets code. The equipment on your bench may or may not be grounded. Learn the different ways this term is used and how it can help you build circuits that are properly GROUNDED
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lab 5
3. Learn to (carefully) Use the Arduino/Reboard as Bench Equipment
Before beginning these experiments you must set up a computer with the proper software and know how to run it. The lab computers already have this software installed. A references is given that walks you through the process of preparing your personal computer.
Module Procedure Description Req Points Prerequisites Expiration Date
A. Arduino/RedBoard Hookup Guide Set up a home version of the software needed to devlop projects using the RedBoard outside of the lab reference
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B. Arduino as Power Supply Learn to use the voltage regulator onboard the Arduino to supply 3.3V, 5V, and the battery voltage to power your externaal circuitry so you can work at home.
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C. Arduino as Voltmeter Learn to interface with and use the special analog input pins on the Arduino/RedBoard. These pins are the magic inputs that take a continuously varying voltage and convert the sampled signal into 10-bit binary integers - a process which is call Analog-to-Digital Conversion (A/D Conversion). You can use this feature to measure voltages in circuits that you build so you can work at home.
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5
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D. Arduino as Signal Generator Learn to interface with and use the digital output pins on the Arduino/RedBoard to generate square waves with a variable duty cycle or a constructed train of pulses designed by you.
lab 5
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E. Arduino as Oscilloscope Using a simple cut and paste method to capture time-varying signals so you can plot them with MATLAB or Excel.
lab 5
5
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4. Learn Skills Needed to Use the Arduino/Redboard in a Project
Before beginning these experiments you must set up a computer with the proper software and know how to run it. The lab computers already have this software installed. An introductory module is provided that walks you through the process of preparing your personal computer.
Module Procedure Description Req Points Prerequisites Expiration Date
A. Introduction to the Arduino/RedBoard Learn to use the Arduino/RedBoard as an engineer. This module steps you through an introduction to the Arduino as an engineering tool to design embedded systems. In the process you are guided through the parts on the board, the functionality of the pins available on the board, and how to set up a home version of the software needed to develop projects using the RedBoard outside of the lab. You will have all the tools you need to incorporate the board into your projects at an introductory level. You will also get a taste of the world beyond... no
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B. Learn to Control the Arduino Digital Outputs Learn to build a simple circuit, interface it to the Arduino/RedBoard, and to program the board to turn an LED ON and OFF using the digital I/O pins on the board.
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5
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C. Learn to Read Analog voltages using the Arduino A/D pins Learn to interface with and use the special analog input pins on the Arduino/RedBoard. These pins are the magic inputs that take a continuously varying voltage and convert the sampled signal into 10-bit binary integers - a process which is call Analog-to-Digital Conversion (A/D Conversion).
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5
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D. Learn to program the Arduino/RedBoard Learn to program the Arduino using the IDE's full language reference guide. Programming is a paradigm so by learning the simple concepts associated with all programming languages you can learn enough coding to use the Arduino as a fairly sophisticated control circuit supplying the feedback between sensors and switches that input information to the board and the external circuitry. It is much easier than you think. UNDER CONSTURCTION
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5. Understanding Simple Circuits
Module Procedure Description Req Points Prerequisites Expiration Date
A. Resistor Circuits: Current Limiting Learn how to use resistors to limit current to protect low power devices like an LED or any digital device really, from destruction.
reference
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B. Resistor Circuits: Voltage Divider Learn how to use resistors to step down a voltage and to interface with high input impedance devices. High input impedance?
reference
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C. Common uses for Capacitor Circuits UNDER CONSTRUCTION Learn about the types of capacitors and how to use them in simple applications. The most common uses for the capacitor in this lab are as a by-pass capacitor and as a component that can regulate the transient behavior of a circuit.
reference
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none
6. Wall-Following Robot Construction
Module Procedure Description Req Points Prerequisites Expiration Date
A. Build and Motorize car chassis Build the Sparkfun Shadow chassis and get it to move. no 5 none
B. Add Rudimentary Speed Control Build the Sparkfun Shadow chassis and get it to move more slowly. no 5 lab 3 or understanding of resistor networks and Ohm's law
C. Build Motor Drive Circuit (BJT) Add the capablity to control the motors electronically Bipolar Junction Transistors no 5 lab 5
C. Build Motor Drive Circuit (FET) Add the capablity to control the motors electronically using Field Effect Transistors no 5 lab 5
D. Using the Arduino to Drive Vehicle Using the digital ouputs on the Arduino/RedBoard drive the car in a pre-programmed way and learn some Arduino programming at the same time. no 5 lab 5 and module 4B or familiarity with using the digital I/O pins on the RedBoard/Arduino
E. Arduino/RedBoard Wall-Follower Convert the Wall-following design using the oscillator circuit to a design using the Arduino/RedBoard no 5 modules 4B and 4C or familiarity with the digital I/O and analog inputs on the Arduino/RedBoard
7. Sensors, Motors, and Transducers (the stuff in your kit)
Module Procedure Description Req Points Prerequisites Expiration Date
A. Characterizing Resistive Sensors Learn to characterize resitive sensors - the broad class of sensors whose resistance changes in response to environmental simulus. no 5 lab 5
B. Interfacing Resistive Sensors (Digital) Learn to interface the resistive sensors to digital circuitry. no 5 module 6D or familiarity with Arduino Analog Inputs
C. Characterize Active Sensors - Optical Learn to bias the sensors properly and characterize their behavior in response to proximity to objects and to the IR reflectivity to objects. no 5 lab 5
D. Characterize Active Sensors - Ultrasonic Learn to probe the environment with ultrasonic waves much like the SONAR used in submarines. no 5 lab 5, 9
E. Characterize the Electret Microphone Learn to power and bias the Electret Microphone in your kit. no 5 lab 5, 9
8. Useful Circuits for Final Design Process
Module Procedure Description Req Points Prerequisites Expiration Date
A. Using an H-Bridge Add the ability to move motors backwards completely replacing the motor drive circuitry using the common emitter transistor circuit. Additional functionality for half the protoboard real estate. no 5 Familiarity with constucting circuits using ICs and familiarity with using the Digital I/O pins on the Arduino
B. Clipping Circuit Limit the voltage range. no 5 Lab 8
9. PWM Control Via an Active Sensor
Module Procedure Description Req Points Prerequisites Expiration Date
A. The Relaxation Oscillator Learn about the charging and discharging mechanism in the simple oscillator circuit. The oscillator is a fundamental component in many electronic designs.
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5
Lab #6,
Familiarity with diode circuits
B. Voltage Follower Buffer The "Thevenin" equivalent circuits of many waveform sources have high effective resistance. As such, they do not drive low-resistance loads well. This is where we need a "buffer".
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5
Lab#6,
Explore More!:The Relaxation Oscillator
C. Voltage Comparator Our oscillator provides a nearly-triangular voltage waveform as seen at the capacitor. This waveform can be compared to a controlled "reference" voltage to create a PWM waveform with a controlled duty cycle.
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5
Lab#6,
Explore More!: The Voltage-Follower Buffer
Lab #9 (recommended)
D. The Amplifier: Gain and Offset Control Amplifiers are needed in most practical circuit designs. This amplifier not only provides an adjustable gain (amplification), but also allows you to adjust its DC average value (offset).
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5
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E. PWM Control via an Active Sensor The previous modules in this section have provided you with all you need to use an active sensor (one that provides an output voltage in response to some physical change in the environment) to alter the PWM duty cycle. Since PWM signal can drive your wheels, direct the angle of a servo motor, and do many other things, control via an active sensor will open up many final project circuit opportunities.
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5
Explore More!: The Voltage-Follower Buffer
Explore More!: The Voltage Comparator
Explore More!: The Amplifier: Gain and Offset Control