ECE 486 (Control Systems) - Spring 2019 

Control Systems Lab Guidelines

Dan Block, Control Systems Lab Manager


  • NO FOOD OR DRINK!ABSOLUTELY NO FOOD OR DRINK IN THE LAB. If you have something, please leave it on one of the desks in the center of the room. 


  • No equipment or manuals can be removed from the lab. If any item is found missing, the 24 hour access privilege will be revoked from all students. 


  • Station Shutdown Procedure: 
    1. Turn off amplifier and power supply using ON/OFF switches on front panel.   Don't be a wire breaker!
    2. Shut off other equipment used during lab session.
    3. Shut down Windows.
    4. Put all cables, etc. away (Neatly!).
    5. Shut off bench power (the toggle switch lights up when power is off).


  • Danger, Electricity!Do not "hot wire" equipment. When connecting cables to the amplifier, motor, potentiometer, power supplies, etc., make sure that equipment is powered off. After finishing your wiring, turn on the components you need. If you made a mistake in the wiring, turn off the unit before rewiring! 


  • Do not pull out banana plug cables by their wire. Pull the cables out by gripping onto their connectors and gently pulling them out. (I don't fix cables for a living!) 


  • If you find any equipment or software problems, and you don't find myself or any TA's around, please put a note on them and send an e-mail to your TA or myself. 


  • Use the Buddy System!At least two people must be in the lab at all times. This is a safety measure for when you are working outside of lab hours. 


  • Notes on the DC Motor Amplifier (this amplifier is not used until Lab 4): 
    • Do not use the oscilloscope to measure the voltage across Motor+ and Motor-. Grounding problems arise. Use the DMM if you want to see the voltage applied to the Motor. 
    • If the amplifier POWER ON LED starts blinking on and off, you have likely made a wiring mistake. Quickly turn off power to the amplifier and check your wiring. 
    • Do not connect SIG GND of the amplifier input to POWER GND of the amplifier output. These grounds need to be isolated. 


If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me in room 3005 ECEB. My phone number is 244-8573. You can also send me your suggestions (


Dan Block
Control Systems Lab Manager