PC/CP120 Digital Electronics Lab

Final lab grades for PC/CP120 are now available. Email me if you want to find out what you got on the labs. - Terry

This is the PC/CP 120 Lab page, created and updated by Terry Sturtevant .
Page last updated Friday May 12, 2017
**Items marked this way are not final.**


Evaluation Methods

Course Material

Week of ... Lab Topic(s) Reference Material
[ this background indicates required reading;
this background indicates optional reading
this background indicates important items
this foreground indicates updated items
this background indicates weekly topics
this foreground indicates unrevised items ]

Integrated circuits
Pinouts, breadboards, and debugger boards

Jan. 5

N2083 Lab bench layout [video]
bench supplies

[FLASH; Sinclair Community College]

This has cool history on where the term "breadboard" came from

Basics of Breadboarding [video]
breaboard history

Collin's Lab: Schematics [video]

How to Wire Circuits from Schematics [video]

Resistors (including arrays), LEDs and switches
Watch videos before lab!
Input device: prototype switch
Output device: LED

Jan. 12

This week you'll learn how some common input and output devices are used. (The debugger board used previously hides some of the details.)

Resistor colour codes   [ July 25, 2003 ]

LEDs [screencast of PDF]

Choosing resistors for LEDs [video]
LED resistors

Switches [screencast of PDF]

Choosing resistors for switches [video]
switch resistor

Introduction to Quartus II
Watch videos before lab!
Design skill: Circuit drawing and simulation

Jan. 19

Drawing a circuit diagram and simulating its operation can be done with software. This week you'll learn how.

Quartus II Introduction
quartus II

Simulating with QSim (version 13)

Timing Diagrams [video]
timing diagram

Quartus II Introduction using the ModelSim Simulator with Forced Outputs   [ May 12, 2017 ]

Using the ModelSim Vector Waveform Editor with Quartus II   [ May 12, 2017 ]

Using Testbenches in Quartus II   [ May 12, 2017 ]

Using Quartus II
Gates with "extra" inputs; strobes, enables, etc.

Jan. 26

Enable, Gate and Strobe inputs [screencast of PDF]
enable, gate, and strobe inputs

Multiplexers [screencast of PDF]


Keypads (with resistor arrays)
Active low signals
"No connection" pins
Watch videos before lab!
Input device: Keypad

Feb. 2
  • Before lab: Read documents (or watch videos) about keypads and then do the quiz on MyLearningSpace.

    The quiz will be available from Friday at 7 p.m. until Monday at 11:30 p.m. It will not be available the day of your lab, so you must do it ahead of time.

  • Review: Debugger boards [HTML]   [ May 12, 2017 ]

  • Review: Switches [PDF]   [ April 6, 2011 ]

    New Device: Keypads [PDF]   [ October 13, 2011 ]
    Keypads [HTML version]   [ May 12, 2017 ]

  • New Device: Resistor Arrays [PDF]   [ April 7, 2011 ]
    Resistor Arrays [HTML version]   [ May 12, 2017 ]

  • New Device: Encoders [PDF]   [ January 27, 2012 ]

  • Lab: Encoders   [ May 12, 2017 ]

This week you'll learn to use a keypad for digital input.

Keypads [screencast of PDF]

Resistor Arrays [screencast of PDF]
resistor array

Encoders [screencast of PDF]

Priority encoders
How to cascade encoders

Gates with "extra" inputs; strobes, enables, etc.
7 segment displays
Push button (or momentary) switches
Watch videos before lab!
Input device: Pushbutton switch
Output device: 7 Segment display

Feb. 9

This week you'll learn to use momentary switches for digital input, and 7 segment displays for output.

Pushbutton Switches [screencast of PDF]

7 Segment Displays [screencast of PDF]
7 segment displays

Testing a Common Cathode 7 Segment Display [video]
common cathode

Testing a Common Anode 7 Segment Display [video]
common anode

Decoders [screencast of PDF]

Enable, Gate and Strobe inputs [screencast of PDF]

Minimal Boolean Expressions [video]
minimizing boolean exprerssions

Karnaugh Maps (K-Maps) [video]
Karnaugh maps

Don't Cares [video]
don't cares in Karnaugh maps

Display decoders
Karnaugh Maps

Reading Week

Feb. 16 READING WEEK - No labs

Assigning pins in Quartus II
Downloading designs into CPLDs
Bargraph LEDs (with resistor arrays)
Output device: Bargraph LED
Design skill: Using programmable logic
Feb. 23

This week you'll learn to use bargraph LEDs for output.

Bargraph LED displays [screencast of PDF]
bargraph LED

Quartus II CPLD Programming
Quartus CPLD

A commercially available board similar to the one you are using is the LC MAXII EPM240 CPLD board.

CPLD Lab Task
Design skill: Good drawing for schematics

Mar. 2

Drawing tips for digital circuits [screencast of PDF]
drawing tips for digital circuits

Design Project
Mar. 9
XOR and XNOR gates in Karnaugh Maps
[PDF; University of Waterloo]
More about XOR and XNOR gates in Karnaugh Maps (starting at page 14)
[PDF; © 2009 Carlton University]

Design Project (continued)
Mar. 16
  • Before lab: Reread documents (or watch videos) about LEDs and prototype switches and then do the quiz on MyLearningSpace.

    The quiz will be available from Friday at 7 p.m. until Monday at 11:30 p.m. It will not be available the day of your lab, so you must do it ahead of time.

  • Project Phase III due (attach checklist )

  • Prepare project Phase IV for two weeks from now
    Phase IV marking

    Note: 1/5 of the project Phase IV mark will be for demonstrating the working prototype with final inputs and outputs in either week 10 or week 11. This is to ensure that all wiring is complete before the final demonstration.

    Sample Phase IV Poster (single output)
    prime number identifier   [ March 7, 2013 ]

  • Project Phase IV Preparation: Week 1

  • New Information: Project layout tips

  • New Information: Prototype options
    • Keypad encoding
      If you want to use a keypad for input, and need all 16 inputs, you can cascade encoders. The parts are in the Quartus II "Maxplus II" libraries, so you can make it part of your circuit.

Glitches and Hazards in Digital Circuits
Eliminating Hazards

Design Project (continued)

Mar. 23
  • Prepare project poster and prototype for next week

    If you are having a poster printed professionally, note that there is often an additional charge for rush jobs, and there may be a normal turnaround time of a day or more. Dont leave it until the day before your presentation to print.

  • Project Phase IV Preparation: Week 2

Tips for poster design
Poster Presentation
Preparing a Poster Presentation
Rock, Paper, Scissors glove

Poster Design: Layout [video]
poster layout

Project Presentation
Mar. 30
  • Project Phase IV: Final Presentation
    You will set up your poster and prototype, and mark other students' projects.

    There will be a deduction from the final project mark of 10% for every 5 minutes of lateness for the final presentation. In other words, 10 minutes late will mean 20% will be deducted from the final project mark. Groups that are on time should not have to wait for others who are late.

    (About 5 minutes at the beginning of the lab will be for setup. Marking will begin after that.)

  • Lab evaluation


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