The calendar below provides information on the lecture and lab sessions for the course.

week # lectures labs topics new components and applications key dates
1 Lab 1: Course Introduction Course Mechanics

Goals of Subject

Safety Orientation

Fundamental Notions
Current is flow of discrete charges
Voltage is a measure of the (potential) energy of each charge

Ohm's Law

Voltage and Current Dividers
Kirchoff's Voltage and Current Laws
New Components

Power Supply

Banana Cables and Alligator Clips


White Protoboard


Scaling Signals
Homework 1 out
2 Lec 1: Resistors and Diodes Lab 2: Resistors and Diodes Power Dissipation

Resistors, Color Code, Power Rating

Discuss diodes as one-way valves, introduce voltage drop

Demonstrate exceeding the current limit on an LED!

How to specify current-limiting resistors for diodes

Note that reversed LEDs in parallel indicate the direction of current flow

Three-pin Regulator (7805)
New Components

Resistors (show resistors of same value but different power ratings)



78xx Series Voltage Regulators



Power Supplies
Homework 2 out

Homework 1 due
3 Lec 2: Switches, Rectifiers and Function Generators Lab 3: Bridge Circuits Discuss Switches

DPDT Knife Switch as to make AC "square" wave from DC

Introduce Bridge Rectifier
New Components

DPDT Knife Switch

Function Generator


9V Cell


Rectifiers for AC-to-DC Conversion
Homework 3 out

Homework 2 due
4-5 Lec 3: Capacitors

Lec 4: RC Circuits
Lab 4: Oscilloscopes and Capacitors

Lab 5: Filters
Introduce Capacitors

Water Analogy to Storage Tank

Describe their Composition

Discuss Charge Storage and E-field

State q = CV and E = CV2/2

Derive differential equations for RC and show exponentials are solutions
New Components



Filters for: Ripple, Noise Removal, Sig. Detection, Equalization

Regulated Power Supply
Homework 3 due
6 Lec 5: Relays and Transistors Lab 6: Relays and Transistors Electromechanical Relay

How it works

Specifications for Driving Coil

State need for Flyback Diode

Motors and their operation Bipolar Transistors as switches NPN only, properties under

No Bias

Linear Regime

New Components

DC Motor

E-M Relay

NPN Transistor


Control of Lighting, Motion, the Universe, and Everything
Homework 4 out
7 Lec 6: Op-Amps Lab 7: Op-Amps Op-Amps

Golden Rules

Analyze Inverting Amp

Discuss Behavior Near Rails

Some Limits on Applicability of Golden Rules


Rules of Operation

Inverting Circuit

New Components

741 Op-Amp as Amplifier

741 Op-Amp as Comparator


Signal Conditioning, etc.
Homework 4 due
8 Lec 7: Flip-Flops and the 555 Timer Circuit Lab 8: 555 Timer Circuit 555 Timers New Components

555 Timer
9 Lec 8: Final Project Overview Lab 9: Sensors CdS Cells as Sensors New Components

CdS Cell


Many Robotic and Electro-mechanical Applications!
10 Lec 9: Final Project Concepts
11-14 Final Projects Final Projects Final Presentation