Complementary Labs for Electrical Engineering

This diagram depicts the passive filter connection with Analog Discovery 2 for Lab 2.
Complementary Labs for Electrical Engineering provides students with seven labs designed to span multiple courses in a typical four-year Electrical Engineering undergraduate program. These labs are designed to show how the Analog Discovery 2 can be used to complement existing lab setups by providing a way for students to experiment and use hardware at home, without the pressure of having to finish a lab within a dedicated lab period. The labs do not cover a full-semester of topics; instead, they provide instructors with a few ideas on how they could integrate the Analog Discovery 2 into their own courses in order to give students a more holistic engineering experience.
by National Instruments
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LEARNING OBJECTIVES

 
  • Students will learn the theory behind various circuits and electronics applications.
  • Students will complete exercises to simulate, create, and test circuits for specific electronics applications.
  • Students will gain proficiency in using the Analog Discovery 2, Multisim Live, and LabVIEW to perform circuits and electronics experiments at home.
 

COURSE ALIGNMENT

 
Level University
Topic Circuits and Electronics
Style Laboratory
Prerequisite Skills Introductory Circuits, Basic LabVIEW Experience (recommended, but not required)

INCLUDED COURSE MODULES

This lab covers the basic characteristics of RC Circuits, including both DC and AC analysis, simulation, and experimentation. Students will learn about the equations that govern capacitor charging and discharging, the RC circuit time constant, and be introduced to using RC circuits as low-pass and high-pass filters. Advanced students can build on the lab and challenge themselves to design band-pass and band-stop RC filters.
This lab introduces students to the basic terminology and characteristics of filters such as filter slope, passband, stopband, and cut-off frequency. Students will learn about filter transfer functions for passive and active filters as well as higher-order passive filters and apply their knowledge by simulating and building these circuits. Advanced students can challenge themselves by exploring higher-order active filter implementations (such as Chebyshev and Butterworth) and how these implementations maximize different filter characteristics.
This lab introduces students to the importance of frequency response when designing circuits. Students will investigate the frequency response of two amplifier circuits, one made with transistors and the other using op-amps. By comparing how their frequency responses differ while still providing the same overall function, students will learn about how different input frequency ranges affect design considerations. Advanced students can challenge themselves to research high-speed op-amps and compare their designs and specifications to regular op-amps.
This lab guides students in building a full-wave bridge rectifier and in exploring the V-I characteristic of a diode. Students will first simulate and build the rectifier to gain an understanding of the purpose of a rectifier. Then, students will use LabVIEW to explore the individual components of the rectifier in order to visualize and understand how these components limit its operating range. Advanced students can explore ways to overcome the threshold voltage limit when using diodes in a rectifier or learn more about programming practices and user-friendliness.
This lab introduces students to communications theory with amplitude modulation and demodulation. Students will explore the mathematical theory behind amplitude modulation and use the Analog Discovery 2 to visualize the effects of amplitude modulation in the time and frequency domains. Then, students will use LabVIEW to program an AM demodulator and use it to explore and visualize the effects of the modulation coefficient on the quality of the demodulated signal and the effects of different parameters (such as windowing and averaging) on the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). Advanced students can challenge themselves to build a system to send data between two Analog Discovery 2s or to build an analog AM demodulator.
This lab allows students to explore the basics of serial communication using a microcontroller (such as a Digilent chipkit uC32) as the transmitter and the Analog Discovery 2 as the receiver. Students will explore and visualize the effects of different factors (such as baud rates and endian-ness) on serial communications. Advanced students can challenge themselves to build a multi-device transmitter and receiver system or investigate decoding signals from binary back to decimal values.
This lab allows students to explore communication using the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) bus. Students will learn about the basic theory behind SPI communication using a microcontroller (such as an Arduino Uno) as the SPI master and the Analog Discovery 2 as the SPI slave. Using LabVIEW, students will be able to visualize the slave select, clock, and MOSI lines of the SPI bus and learn how to extract the message from these lines. Advanced students can challenge themselves by modifying their code to encode and decode ASCII signals or adding a layer of encryption to protect their data from unwanted observers.

Related Resources

EXPLORE

These labs have related concepts that can expand student experience.

Analog Discovery 2

Gives students access to a 100 MS/s oscilloscope, a logic analyzer, and six other instruments in a pocket-sized lab device.

Multisim Live Premium

Extend circuit design and simulation into the web with this online SPICE circuit simulator that allows anyone on any device to simulate, share, and get ideas from thousands of reference designs.

LabVIEW

An integrated development environment designed specifically for engineers and scientists.

Please see the individual labs for more details.

 

Lab 1: RC Circuits
Hardware Requirements
  • Analog Discovery 2 - NI Edition
  • Prototyping breadboard
  • Wires
  • 1 uF electrolytic capacitor
  • 10 kΩ resistor 
Software Requirements
  • Multisim Live Premium Account
  • Digilent WaveForms 2015

 

 

 

Lab 2: Active and Passive Filters
Hardware Requirements
  • Analog Discovery 2 - NI Edition
  • 1 kΩ resistor x 2
  • 1 uF electrolytic capacitor
  • 10 kΩ resistor
  • 0.1 uF ceramic capacitor
  • Opamp IC (OP27)
Software Requirements
  • Multisim Live Premium Account
  • Digilent WaveForms 2015

 

 

 

 

Lab 3: Amplifier Frequency Response
Hardware Requirements
  • Analog Discovery 2 - NI Edition
  • NPN 2N3904 transistor
  • 741 Op-amp
  • 10 kΩ resistor
  • 1 kΩ resistor x 2
  • 5.6 kΩ resistor
  • 2.2 kΩ resistor
  • 680 Ω resistor
  • 0.8 kΩ resistor
Software Requirements
  • Multisim Live Premium Account
  • Digilent WaveForms 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lab 4: Full-Wave Rectifiers
Hardware Requirements
  • Analog Discovery 2 - NI Edition
  • 1N4001 diodes x 4
  • 100 kΩ resistor
  • 100 Ω resistor
  • 4.7 Ω resistor
Software Requirements
  • Multisim Live Premium Account
  • LabVIEW 2015 or later
  • Digilent WaveForms 2015
  • Digilent WaveForms VIs

 

Lab 5: Amplitude Modulation and Demodulation
Hardware Requirements
  • Analog Discovery 2 - NI Edition
  • Jumper wires

 

Software Requirements
  • LabVIEW 2015 or later
  • Digilent WaveForms 2015
  • Digilent WaveForms VIs
Lab 6: UART Serial Communication
Hardware Requirements
  • Analog Discovery 2 - NI Edition
  • Digilent chipKIT uC32 or other
    LINX supported microcontroller
    Full List Available Here
  • Jumper wires
Software Requirements
  • LabVIEW 2015 or later
  • Digilent WaveForms 2015
  • Digilent WaveForms VIs

 

 

Lab 7: SPI Communication
Hardware Requirements
  • Analog Discovery 2 - NI Edition
  • Arduino Uno or other LINX
    supported microcontroller
    Full List Available Here
  • Jumper wires
Software Requirements
  • LabVIEW 2015 or later
  • Digilent WaveForms 2015
  • Digilent WaveForms VIs

 

 

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