Laboratory Assignments

During the initial part of the course (the first half of the semester), you will perform and turn in six laboratory experiments. They start out as fairly simple "cook-book" experiments and progress into design exercises. Labs #1, #5 and #6 require check-offs. These laboratories will be handed out in class on Friday, except for Lab #1, and the write-ups will be due at 1:00 pm in the TA's office on Friday of the following week.

Credit for late submissions will be rare, unless a written medical excuse is provided, and for family emergencies and job interviews. Note: you should expect that these laboratory assignments will take you on the order of 10 hours a week, on average. You will find it very difficult to finish them properly unless you start them early and plan on devoting a significant amount of time to them. The first lab is a long one, and you have a week and a half to complete it.


You are expected to maintain a laboratory notebook to record all of your work in the laboratory. Since you will need your notebooks for each of the assignments, you may either separately write up your solutions to the assignments and/or hand in Xeroxes of the appropriate pages of your laboratory notebooks for your laboratory write-ups. In some cases, you may find that the record of your work in your notebook is difficult to follow, due to "false starts", the presence of many "scratch" calculations, etc. In these cases, you may want to summarize your work on a particular problem in your notebook and hand in a Xerox of the summary pages.

In any event, your submissions must be neat and clearly organized. You will not get credit for work if the TA cannot follow what you did. Be sure that you have a backup copy of anything you hand in, in case something gets lost or damaged!! Although you should feel free to discuss your work with your fellow students and of course the staff of 6.101, you are expected to work individually on each laboratory and the work which appears in your lab write-ups should be your own.

The subjects covered by the six labs are presented below:

Laboratory guidelines (PDF)


RF transmission and reception; Q and bandwidth of tuned circuits; AM (diode) detection


Log amplifier; rectifier diodes and rectifier rower supplies; Zener diodes; bipolar and FET characteristics using the Tektronix curve tracer

Please also see Kruger, Anton. "Reverse Recovery Time." June 16, 1999.



DC biasing considerations in bipolar and FET amplifiers; "Wind your own inductor"; how capacitors affect low frequency response; using an FET as an analog switch


Operational amplifiers: inverting configuration, output offset, gain, bandwidth, slew rate, saturation; comparing the LM741 & LF356; inverting adder; voltage follower; Schmitt trigger; integrator, differentiator; precision rectifier; adding push-pull output stages


Op-amp and discretes power amp with improved push-pull output stages; two-transistor differential amplifier; bipolar and FET current sources; 555 sawtooth generator and VCO


Series-pass DC voltage regulator; low-battery indicator; three-input op-amp mixer and gain control stages for Lab #5 power amp



Lab Kits

Students at MIT taking the course must fill out a form and pay for the kit prior to receiving it. You will receive a box of components along with your lab kit, that you may keep after completing 6.101.

Many other components will be available in building 38, on the 5th floor stockroom window on a no-charge basis, and each group will be allowed to spend $100 on parts for its project. Most 5% resistor values and 20% capacitor values, along with other semiconductor parts, are provided in parts drawers in the lab, next to the 6.101 TA office on the fifth floor and also on the sixth floor. Please use up the parts in your kit before you start to use the ones in the lab.

In addition, you will be expected to read the Electrical Safety Rules that we will hand out and fill out and sign the form on the last page. Detach this form and have it ready to turn in when you go to sign out a lab kit.

Your account will be charged if your lab kit is not returned by the due date at the end of the semester. A late fee of $25.00 will be retained when your kit is finally returned. Your account will also be charged directly for books borrowed and not returned.

Lab Kit Warnings (PDF)