Digital Communications Project

Student will use concepts and skills they developed in previous labs to design and build a digital communication device in a project-based lab. Students will compare the benefits of serial and parallel communication methods. Students will also learn the fundamentals of encryption as they build a device that generates, sends, receives and displays serial 8-bit messages.
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This is lab 17 of 17 in the course, Digital Electronics.


In this lab, students will:
  1. Build a transmitter and/or receiver to create a complete communication system.
  2. Explore the similarities and differences between parallel and serial communication.
  3. Explore how flip-flops can be combined to makeshift registers.
  4. Learn how to use a Function Generator to simulate clock pulse.
  5. Have the opportunity to use a standard character-encoding scheme or create their own to send more complicated messages.
  6. Have the opportunity to explore the process of message encryption and decryption.


  • Introductory Physics
  • Circuits 1


Engineering laboratory solution for project-based learning that combines instrumentation and embedded design with a web-driven experience, delivering a greater understanding of engineering fundamentals and system design.

Digital Systems Development Board for NI ELVIS III

An application board for NI ELVIS III that provides students with a comprehensive education in digital electronics with hands-on experiments to interactively demonstrate concepts in the digital domain.


Multisim is a circuit simulation tool built for educators to teach analog, digital, and power electronics by connecting simulation to experimentation. 

Required Software

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  • Multisim 14.0.1 Education or Later - Download
  • NI LabVIEW FPGA Vivado 2014.4 - Download
  • Digilent Hardware Driver (note, the installer above automatically downloads the installer below onto your computer)
    • Navigate to C:\NIFPGA\programs\Vivado2014_4\data\xicom\cable_drivers\nt64\digilent
    • Install install_digilent.exe

Required Hardware

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