Notebooks

 

Each student is required to keep a notebook. The notebook may contain.

WORK ON NOTEBOOKS IS PART OF THE CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES. FEEL FREE TO STOP AND WRITE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE AT ANY TIME DURING THE LAB.

 

NEATNESS IS NOT REQUIRED. YOU MAY CROSS OUT BAD IDEAS, ADD COMMENTS OR CLARIFICATIONS IN THE MARGINS.

 

DIAGRAMS, PICTURES AND TABLES ARE EXCELLENT WAYS TO SHOW INFORMATION.

 

 

Lecture notes

The student may decide to record information given during the preliminary discussion of the lab.  It is a good practice to record some of the explanations provided in class. This is entirely up to the student.

 

HOW TO

The student will be introduced to a number of different instruments and tools. Instruction at the time of introduction combined with experience gained using the instrument/tool should give the student a sound basis for understanding how to use the instrument/tool.  It is the responsibility of each student to explore, ask questions and document how to use each instrument/tool. It is the responsibility of each student to improve and expand his/her ability in making measurements or building circuits with these tools. It is strongly advised that the student maintain at least a one-page instruction sheet. If the student is able to use the instruments and the tools provided for the lab then the instructor will not ask to view the HOW TO instruction sheets. If the student is having difficulty then the instructor will ask the student to pull out the HOW TO sheet written by the student. The sheet should demonstrate that the student has been engaged trying to learn how to correctly use the instrument or tool. If the student can’t use and instrument and has not documented efforts to keep records of how to use an instrument, then the instructor will conclude that insufficient effort has been afforded and a written assignment will be given to the student.

 

Examples of HOW TO sheets include:

 

Summary of debugging secrets

It might be useful to consolidate ideas for testing your circuits on one page for easy reference.

 

Important Items - List of things to remember

It might be useful to keep a list of standard pitfalls and things that you tend to forget. For example,

 

 

Understanding Circuit diagrams

It might be useful to create a page of comments that help in understanding and building circuits based on circuit diagrams. The best way to represent this information is to draw pictures and diagrams.

 

EXPLORATORY  ----    REQUIRED

Each student is required to document the work that they do during the lab period. They record this information into their notebooks. These pages should contain:

 

Your instructor will ask periodically to see your notebooks and will expect some exploratory documentation for each week starting at week 2. See examples below.

 

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Week 1  Protoboard (no sheet was required for the first week)

Sept 3, 2002

 

Goals

 

We measured voltages at various point on the protoboard by inserting a wire into one of the holes and measuring the voltage at the end of the wire. We found that if the protoboard provided a path to the red power supply terminal then the voltage read 5.00 V. A picture of the setup is shown below.

 

(hand drawn sketch of voltmeter, protoboard, power supply and wiring)

 

We moved the wire that supplied the connection to the power supply and also the test point. This allowed us to map out the connections that the protoboard can provide. The results are summarized on the lab handout which shows electrical connections as lines.

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Week 2 Circuits with power, resistors and LEDs

Sept 10, 2002

 

Goals

 

We started with resistance and voltage.

 

Conclude that the voltage is the same no matter what resistor we use. This makes sense if we view the resistors as staircases so that with one resistor you must come down the distance you go up.

 

 

Conclude that the voltage adds up along any path. Conclude that the split of the voltage is such that larger resistors get more voltage then smaller resistors. If there are two resistors in series on might find a 1-volt drop across the smaller resistor and a 4-volt drop across the larger. The total is 5 volts and the split is uneven.

 

Class has ended we have not had time to measure current or test out LEDs.

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Week 6 RS Flip-flop

October 6, 2002

 

Goals

 

We discovered and verified the truth table filled in on the handout sheet. Indeed the behavior of the flip-flop can be determined by the behavior of the logic gates that were assembled in building the flip-flop. It is a bit complicated because the outputs are also used, as inputs and therefore a prediction of the behavior cannot be determined easily. We did find that all measurements were completely consistent.

 

We were able to use the flip-flop and switch to turn on/off an LED. DrG explained how the switch should set and reset the flip-flop. This part of the circuit was not completely understood. Following points were noted:

o       Be sure to use the suggested resistor values as they appear on the diagrams.

o       To understand the circuit one needs to know how the logic gate behaves. DrG showed us that we could draw a large resistor as part of the circuit and that we could assume that the inputs behaved in this manner. This is fairly complicated.

 

 

Debugging:

 

Circuit diagrams:

The resistor has to have two paths available, one to the switch and one to the gate but there are several ways to do provide these paths. If you start at the one end  (not the 5V end) of the resistor and find the two required paths without crossing other components (only wire or direct connections) then the circuit is okay.