PC/CP200 Electronics Lab I

This page is being updated for Fall 2014.

Teaching Evaluation Results
Course: PC200ATerranceSturtevantFall2013
11students participated in this survey.
12students were registered in the course.
Summary of scale results are percentages.
1This course contributed to my learning.
2The content of this course is consistent with the course outline and calendar description.
3The instructor is well prepared for each class meeting.
4The instructor gives clear explanations.
5The instructor stimulates my interest in the subject matter of the course.
6The instructor assists students in dealing with course material and concepts.
7The instructor speaks clearly and audibly.
8The instructor gives a clear idea of the requirements in this course.
9The instructor displays an interest in and concern for students.

"The Accessible Learning Centre is looking for a volunteer note-taker for this course. The position can be added to your co-curricular record and to your resume. To help provide this vital service, self-register on your MyLearningSpace home page ("Self-registration" is located in the centre at the top of the MyLS home page)."

This is the Physics/Computing 200 Lab page, created and updated by Nora Znotinas and Terry Sturtevant .
Page last updated Friday May 12, 2017
**Items marked this way are not final.**


Evaluation Methods

Course Material

Week of ... Lab/ Lecture Reference Material
[ white background indicates required reading;
gray background indicates optional reading]

Sept. 8

Fixed Resistors   [ May 12, 2017 ]
Measuring Resistance   [ May 12, 2017 ]
Measuring Continuity   [ May 12, 2017 ]

Resistor colour coding chart
[PDF; NIC Components, May 2004]
Resistor colour codes: 4- band, 5- band
[GIF; © 1996-2003 Electronix Express]
Resistor colour code: 4, 5, 6 band
[JPG; T. May, University of Colorado]
[PDF 50pp, © Wavetek Meterman, 2000]
Wavetek Meterman 33XR Operator's Manual
[PDF 17pp, © Amprobe,]

MAKE presents: The Resistor
Video about resistors
  1. Course Introduction: What's the purpose of PC/CP200? [PDF]   [ May 22, 2014 ]
  2. Safety - Emergency Numbers   [ April 29, 2015 ]

  3. Using lab notebooks
    New Information: Lab Notebook summaries   [ May 12, 2017 ]
    Summary checklist   [ October 1, 2012 ]

  4. Electrical terminology   [ September 9, 2013 ]
  5. Digital multimeters   [ May 24, 2012 ]
    Digital multimeters - handout version   [ May 24, 2012 ]
  6. Resistors and resistance   [ February 29, 2012 ]

    colour code humour

  7. Review: Breadboards [PDF]   [ May 1, 2012 ]
  8. Group exercise: Adapter assessment

  9. Online Quiz: Read over the learning objectives for this course.
    Do quiz on MyLearningSpace between 7 p.m. today and 11:59 p.m. Wednesday evening.
  • Using Breadboards [HTML]   [ May 12, 2017 ]

    Breadboards [screencast of PDF]
    Screencast of PDF document

    Current measurement
    Video about current measurement

Sept. 15

[© 1995-2003 M. W. Davidson, Florida State University]
Measuring DC Voltage   [ May 12, 2017 ]
Measuring DC Current   [ May 12, 2017 ]

Bench supplies in N2083 [video]
Video about lab bench layout

Ohm's Law [java applet; © W. Fendt, 2003 ]
Voltage Circuit Simulator   [java applet; G. Bothune, UOregon]

MAKE presents: Ohm's Law
Video about Ohm's Law

xkcd comic

  1. Show good lab summary from first lab
  2. Kirchhoff's laws   [ May 16, 2011 ]
  3. Kirchhoff's laws example   [ March 14, 2012 ]
  4. Voltage dividers   [ October 1, 2012 ]
  5. Application of voltage dividers - internal resistance   [ June 13, 2014 ]
  6. Online Quiz: Review proper electrical terminology.
    Do quiz on MyLearningSpace between 7 p.m. today and 11:59 p.m. Wednesday evening.

  7. quiz during next week's lecture!

Operating point analysis in CircuitLab [video]
Video about using CircuitLab for operating point analysis

Internal resistance of a voltage source [screencast of PDF]
Screencast of PDF

Sept. 22

GREAT electricity animations! (includes examples) [Arizona State University 2002]
Electrical Circuits Review [pdf 18pp; B. M. Fleischer] - sections B.1 and B.2.1 
Voltage Divider [© 2000, C.R. Nave, Georgia State University]

Potentiometers [video]
Video about potentiometers
Voltage dividers [video]
Video about voltage dividers
  1. Resistive sensors and bridge circuits   [ September 27, 2012 ]
    Resistive sensors and bridge circuits - handout version   [ September 27, 2012 ]
    force-dependent resistor
    strain gauge
  2. Wheatstone bridge animation

    electricity humour

  3. Voltage, current and Ohm's law quiz [sample]

Wheatstone Bridge Animation [screencast of animation]
Screencast of animation

Sept. 29

Wheatstone Bridges: Introduction [©2003 eFunda; Engineering Fundamentals]
Measuring Strain with Strain Gauges [©2005 National Instruments Corporation]
  1. Review of previous quiz
  2. Other components   [ April 23, 2013 ]
    Identifying Capacitor Polarity  [ February 4, 2013 ]
    Diode Measurement  [ May 1, 2014 ]

    diode operation humour

  3. Simple DC circuits quiz

  4. Online Quiz: Review Kirchhoff's laws and their application.
    Do quiz on MyLearningSpace between 7 p.m. today and 11:59 p.m. Wednesday evening.

Identifying Capacitor Polarity [screencast of PDF]
Screencast of PDF document

Diode Measurement [screencast of PDF]
Screencast of PDF document

MAKE presents: The Capacitor
Video about capacitors

MAKE presents: The Diode
Video about diodes

Oct. 6
  • Lab Test: Test 1 - Troubleshooting a circuit
    during lab period (30 minutes)
  • Lab: Other Components  [ May 12, 2017 ]
  • Postlab Requirements: Lab Summary  [ May 12, 2017 ]

Measuring Capacitance   [ May 12, 2017 ]
How Capacitors Work [© 1998 - 2003 HowStuffWorks, Inc.]
Charging and Discharging A Capacitor [© 1995-2003 M. W. Davidson and The Florida State University]
Checking Diodes   [ May 12, 2017 ]
Physics of a Diode [©2003 Marvin Casanova ]
  1. Review of previous quiz
  2. Function generators   [ October 11, 2012 ]
  3. Oscilloscopes   [ October 11, 2012 ]
  4. Sketching AC signals   [ April 19, 2011 ]
  5. Resistive sensors and bridge circuits quiz [sample]


Oct. 13 READING WEEK - No lecture or labs

Oct. 20

Overtones, harmonics, and additive synthesis [video]

DC and AC voltage measurements with an oscilloscope
Video about DC and AC measurements with an oscilloscope

Use of a function generator - Part I
Video about use of a function generator
Use of a function generator - Part II
Video about use of a function generator (supplementary)

MAKE presents: The Oscilloscope
Video about oscilloscopes

Close-up pictures of signal generators we have in the lab:
White case model (Instek GFG-8217A)

Oscilloscope animation (Flash)

TDS210 Series Digital Storage Oscilloscopes [© Copyright Tektronix, Inc.]
Close-up pictures of signal generators we have in the lab:
Old model (Wavetek 182A)
Black case model (Wavetek FG3C)
Grey case model (Wavetek FG3B)

Philips oscilloscope (PM3207)

XYZ's of Signal Sources [pdf 52pp; © 2005, Tektronix, Inc.]
XYZ's of Oscilloscopes [pdf 64pp; © 2001, Tektronix, Inc.] The Cathode Ray Oscilloscope [pdf 6pp, T. Sturtevant]
TDS1000 and TDS2000 Series Digital Storage Oscilloscopes [© Copyright Tektronix, Inc.]
ABCs of Probes [pdf 48pp; © 2005, Tektronix, Inc.]
  1. Review of previous quiz
  2. Static discharge   [ May 18, 2010 ]

    Video about ESD (1/4)
    Video about ESD (2/4)
    Video about ESD (3/4)
    Video about ESD (4/4)
    Video about ESD prevention measures

  3. Online Quiz: Review other components.
    Do quiz on MyLearningSpace between 7 p.m. today and 11:59 p.m. Wednesday evening.


Oct. 27
  • Lab Test: Test 2 - Build a circuit from schematics and provide specified test measurements. The circuit may contain resistors, diodes, LEDs or capacitors. One circuit; one hour.

  • Lab Test: Test 3 - Drawing a circuit schematic from measurements - You will get a black box and you will describe the circuit inside the black box. One box; one hour. Box may contain resistors and diodes (including LEDs).

  1. Reading data sheets   [ October 7, 2013 ]
    sample datasheet (Fairchild)
    sample datasheet (National Semiconductor)
    sample datasheet (International Rectifier)
    sample datasheet (Photonic Detectors)
  2. Logic gate characteristics - voltage   [ February 5, 2014 ]
    Logic gate characteristics - measuring voltage limits   [ November 20, 2014 ]
  3. Logic gate characteristics - propagation delay   [ September 4, 2013 ]
  4. Product Life Cycle (Texas Instruments)
  5. Other components quiz [sample]

Logic Gates
Video showing logic gates created from discrete components

Nov. 3

Understanding and Interpreting Standard-Logic Data Sheets
[PDF 68pp, S. M. Nolan and J. M. Soltero, Texas Instruments, May 2003]
Logic Family Selection Guide
Static Protection Wrist Straps and Grounding Cords

Finding the origin on an oscilloscope in XY mode
Video about finding the origin on an oscilloscope in XY mode
From Electrostatics to ESD [Compliance Engineering, Sept 2000]
About ESD [© Copyright, 1999-2003, Electrostatic Discharge Association ]
  1. Review of previous quiz
  2. Logic gate characteristics - current   [ September 4, 2013 ]
    Logic gate characteristics - measuring current limits   [ September 4, 2013 ]
    datasheets for SN7400, CD4011UB
  3. Signals and scope quiz [sample]

Nov. 10
  • Lab: Logic Gate Characteristics II - Current  [ May 12, 2017 ]
  • There are no postlab requirements for this week's lab.
    Note: If you are missing a previous lab summary, you can write one for this lab.

Input/Output Current and Fan-Out  [© 2003 National Instruments Corporation]
  1. Review of previous quiz
  2. Logic gates III: Open collector and open drain outputs   [ November 13, 2012 ]
    Handout version   [ November 11, 2010 ]
    datasheet for SN7401
  3. Logic gate characteristics IV - Tri-state outputs   [ May 20, 2011 ]
    Handout version   [ May 20, 2011 ]
    Processor internal architecture
    "Standard" Processor internal architecture
    Z80 system architecture (outside mpu)
    Hyperphysics microprocessor page
  4. Logic gate voltage quiz [sample]

  5. Online Quiz: Review oscilloscope operation.
    Do quiz on MyLearningSpace between 7 p.m. today and 11:59 p.m. Wednesday evening.

Nov. 17

Introduction to Wired-OR Outputs and Open-Collector Circuits   [© 2003 National Instruments Corporation]
7401 datasheet   [© 1995 National Semiconductor]

Lecture: practice time in lab for last lab test.

Nov. 24

What is a Tri-state buffer? [© 2003 by Charles C. Lin]

Tristate Buffers
Video about tristate buffers


Lecture: practice time in lab for last lab test.

Dec. 1
  • Lab Test: Test 4 - Measure an unknown signal

    There will be an unknown signal which you will have to display and then measure a parameters; (shape, amplitude, offset, frequency).
    You can practice for this with your partner by having one person set up a signal and then adjust the scope to random settings, and then have the other person find the signal and characterize it.



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