PC/CP220 -- Digital Electronics Laboratory

Lab Tools and Learning Materials

All of the information for these labs and all of the available electronic resources are on the lab website. I've tried to make it as complete as possible, so that you only have to look in one place for anything relevant to the labs. If you find any other resources that are particularly useful, let me know.

Course Description: Introduction to digital logic: logic gates; combinational circuit analysis using boolean algebra and Karnaugh maps; number systems and codes; minimization techniques applied to combinational logic systems; flip-flops, multivibrators, counters and shift registers.
Prerequisites: none
Lab Instructor: Terry Sturtevant
Office: N2092A
Ext: 2049
Office Hours: by appointment
Enrollment: no more than 20 per lab section  
Learning Objectives: By the end of this course, you should be able to:
  • Read pin diagrams for integrated circuits and correctly identify pin numbers
  • Create a truth table or logic equations for a combinational logic circuit from a description of the circuit's behaviour
  • Test logic equations using a computer algebra system
  • Wire circuits on a breadboard following a schematic diagram
  • Use various input and output devices in a digital circuit, such as switches, keypads, LEDs, 7 segment displays, etc.
  • Understand the purpose of resistors in digital circuits with switches and LEDs
  • Adapt wiring depending on whether signals are active HIGH or active LOW
  • Debug a circuit systematically by tracing signals though a circuit to find where they deviate from expectations and then determining the causes of any discrepancies
  • Draw and simulate combinational logic circuits
  • Create technical documentation for phases of a design project
Lab Overview and Approach/Framework: In the lab component of a course most of your learning will happen through your hands-on experiences in the lab. The videos and other on-line documents have been chosen to give you the background you will need to prepare you for the labs.

The labs are the hands-on portion of the course. You must be prepared to discuss and demonstrate your circuit design before leaving the lab. When leaving the laboratory ensure that you switch off and unplug all equipment and that your work area is left tidy and clean. At the end of each lab, you should put away all components in the designated area. Some labs require some form of work to be handed in. Please check the exact details on the lab website each week.

Students will work with partners. If you would prefer to work on your own, this is permissible if there are enough laboratory stations. The lab instructor should be informed of any reason for absence, such as illness, as soon as possible. Marks will be taken off for absence with no reasons.

For safety and hygiene reasons, absolutely no food or drinks are allowed in the lab. The lab should be kept tidy at all times.

The Lab Instructor will make alternate arrangements in case of equipment failure, holidays, illness, etc.

Lab work builds upon previous work: if you fall behind, you stay behind, so keep on top of things. If you are taking too much time to do your work, then you didn't understand something, you didn't remember something, or you don't know how to handle a tool. Get help immediately!

Labs start the first week of classes

Attendance is taken at all lab sessions.


At the end of this course you will get a detailed, anonymous evaluation to fill out, where you can indicate your opinion on many aspects of the labs. This is one of the most important resources to help me improve the labs each time I teach them.
Web Page: http://denethor.wlu.ca/pc220/
Student Evaluation: There are three different types of assessment that will happen in this course;
  • online quizzes that ensure that you are prepared for the labs
  • exercises that introduce you to lab skills and techniques
  • a design project that brings all of your knowledge together in order to solve a realistic problem
They will normally be collective; i.e. you will work with a partner or in a group and you will all get the same mark.
Marking Scheme: 10%

MyLearningSpace quizzes (after studying the appropriate pre-lab material)

  • allows you to make good use of lab time



Lab exercises

  • Introduction: 6.25%
  • Maxima/Circuitverse Introduction: 6.25%
  • Inputs and Outputs: 6.25%
  • Encoders and Keypads: 6.25%
  • Maxima Example: 6.25%
  • Decoders and 7-segment Displays: 6.25%
  • Circuitverse Example: 6.25%
  • Tinkercad Introduction: 6.25%

Lab project

  • Phase I: 10%
  • Phase II: 10%
  • Phase III: 20%
Labs : Due Date
(week of)
  Jan. 3 Introduction
  Jan. 10 Maxima/Circuitverse Introduction
  Jan. 17 Inputs and Outputs
  Jan. 24 Project Phase I
  Jan. 31 Encoders and Keypads
  Feb. 7 Maxima example
  Feb. 14 Decoders and 7-segment displays
  Feb. 21 Reading Week - No labs
  Feb. 28 Project Phase II
  Mar. 7 Circuitverse example
  Mar. 14 Tinkercad introduction
  Mar. 21 Work on project Phase III
  Mar. 28 Project final submission
Lab evaluation


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