Getting The Most Out Of Your Analog Discovery: Lab 3

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Recently I announced that National Instruments has released a set of example labs designed to show you how you can get the full use of your Analog Discovery 2. If you have since forgotten and want to review the summaries and mission of the seven labs, you can check out the original post here.

The table of contents from the 7 free labs.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be covering each lab, the tools it uses, and concepts that can help you teach your students. In my previous post I went over Lab 2: Active and Passive Filters. In this post I’ll be going over Lab 3: Amplifier Frequency Response.

Lab 3 is designed to be included in an intermediate circuits or electronics course.

Lab 3: Amplifier Frequency Response is designed to teach students about the characteristics of amplifier circuits. Just as in passive and active filters, analyzing the frequency response is an important step in designing amplifier circuits. This lab will go through two types of amplifier circuits: a CE amplifier designed with an NPN transistor, and an inverting amplifier designed with an opamp.

This lab utilizes two sets of software, Multisim Live and WaveForms 2015. Multisim Live is a browser-based PC software that allows students to simulate their circuits from their tablet, smartphone, or computer, no matter where they are.

Waveforms 2015 is the software that drives the Analog Discovery 2. For this lab, students will use the power supply and waveform generators to provide the DC and AC input, and oscilloscope and network analyzer to discover the output. All of these tools are available to them on one device, the Analog Discovery 2.

For this lab students use 4 of the 12 tools: the waveform generator and power supplies for inputs, and the network analyzer and oscilloscope to measure the results.

For this lab students will need:

Similar to Lab 2, Lab 3 goes through theory, simulation, and practical analysis.

First, students learn the basics of a common emitter (CE) amplifier, including the frequency response and the low critical frequency, mid-range, and high critical frequency.

 

They then simulate the circuit with Multisim Live.

 

Then they explore an opamp open-loop filter, inverting amplifier characteristics with Multisim Live.

 

They also explore the inside of an opamp and the transistors that make it work the way it does.

Then they continue to use Multisim Live to investigate slew rate.

Finally, the lab goes into building the circuit:

First students must build the CE circuit and connect the Analog Discovery 2. The power supplies and waveform generator provide input, and both oscilloscope channels are used to measure the input and output.

 

Along with analyzing in the time domain, the network analyzer is used to measure the frequency response, which students are asked to compare with their simulation response.

Next, they analyze the opamp inverting amplifier in a similar fashion.

More advanced student can be challenged by considering how they would change their amplifier design in high speed vs low speed applications.

They can use Multisim Live to build and simulate the circuits, and then use the Analog Discovery 2 and WaveForms 2015 to examine their actual behavior. The Network Analyzer provides students with a quick way to verify their circuits behavior and adjust components if needed for more of a rapid prototyping experience.

Stay tuned to the blog next week for Lab 4, or download and checkout the labs yourself. If you are interested in the tools WaveForms has to offer, more information can be found on its Wiki Page.

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When I started school I wasn’t interested in any of things I’m passionate about now. In fact originally I started out wanting to study art. But then I decided I didn’t want to have people telling me what to create, so I changed to music. Then I decided I didn’t want to ruin a hobby by making it my career. At the same time my Physics class was teaching a unit on the physics of music, and I thought that was way interesting, so I changed to physics. Then by the time physics was over I decided that the coolest part of physics was electricity and magnetism, and I may as well get a degree that transfers directly into a career. So while all this was happening, I was attending Shoreline Community College, and during that time I found my passion, or rather presented itself repeatedly, until I realized, maybe I should take a hint from the universe. While at community college, I was asked to help at the high school by tutoring chemistry students. Then I was asked to help at the elementary school by being a math Olympiad coach. I continued both because I found I really enjoyed it. I also had an opportunity, and was hired to be a tutor in the Math Learning Center at the Community College, a job I really loved. At the same time I was working as a Nanny, which I had been doing for several years, the main reason because I could and would answer the hard questions the kids asked honestly (i.e. why is the sky blue). I then was recommended by the patrons of the MLC to the transfer tutoring center (private tutoring,) and developed a wait list of students. Through all these opportunities at some point I realized that I loved watching people go from totally lost, to masters of a subject. I was also forced to admit that having all these opportunities continually renewed, I must have been somewhat good at it. So I decided I wanted to teach, which fits with my mission oriented personality. I saw a serious lack of passionate ECE professors in the institutions I attended. At WSU I continued this trend by being ask to TA for computer science and electrical engineering, being a TA for a total of 4 semesters. This continued by getting an amazing opportunity in my first semester at Washington State University to work at Digilent, an educational company. So even if I didn’t want to teach, turns out I can’t avoid it. Luckily it is my main passion.

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