Getting The Most Out Of Your Analog Discovery: Lab 6


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 5: Amplitude Modulation and Demodulation. In this post I’ll be going over Lab 6: UART Serial Communication.

Lab 6 is designed for a microcontroller or embedded systems course.

Lab 6: UART Serial Communication is designed to introduce students to serial communication, specifically with the example of UART. Students will learn about different ways to send serial data, the properties of serial UART communication, and see the effect of start bits, stop bits, synchronization bits, and baud rate. By the end of this lab, they will be able to send, receive, and decode a serial signal.

This lab utilizes 1 set of software: LabVIEW.

LabVIEW is a development environment design specifically to accelerate the productivity of engineers and scientists. It features a graphical programming syntax that makes it simple to visualize, create, and code engineering systems.

Lab 6 uses the logic analyzing features of the Analog Discovery 2 to receive and decode UART signals.

For this lab students would need:

Similar to Lab 5, Lab 6 goes through theory, simulation, and practical analysis.

The lab starts by discussing the theory behind UART communication, and the components that define it’s behavior.

Students are asked to numerically analyze UART signals by adjusting the parameters.

Next, the lab moves onto analysis of real UART signals.

Using LabVIEW, students will set up the microcontroller to send a UART signal. That signal will then be received by the Analog Discovery 2.

Students are given a VI to start with, so they can quickly send signals and start analyzing the data.

Next, students are asked to set up a specific UART signal to be sent, and set up the LabVIEW interface to receive and decode that signal.

For more advanced students, additional challenges can be provided by asking them to decode ASCII character transmission.

Stay tuned to the blog next week for Lab 7, or download and checkout the labs yourself. If you are interested in the tools that the Analog Discovery 2 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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