Monday, December 21, 2009

Circuit Electronics and OpAmp Experiments

Here are a few lab experiments that relate to each of the lab course topics on the site. I was able to pull together five experiments for the Introduction to Circuit Electronics Lab and the remaining five experiments for the Operational Amplifiers Lab. Here is a summary for each of the lab courses and the corresponding links to the individual labs.

Introduction to Circuit Electronics Lab
Resistance Measurements and Color Codes
Linear and Non-Linear Resistance
Series Circuits
Parallel Circuits
Series-Parallel Circuits

Theoretical concepts of basic electronics presented in a laboratory environment and through practical hands-on experiments. Basic fundamentals of engineering practices covering International System of Units, engineering notation and prefixes definitions of current, voltage, resistance, power, work and efficiency, Ohm’s and Kirchhoff’s Laws, series and parallel circuit principles, and series-parallel DC resistive networks are examined.

Operational Amplifiers Lab
Practical Op-Amp Integrator
Practical Op-Amp Differentiator
Differential Amplifier with RE and Current Mirror Biasing
Operational Amplifier Frequency Response
Operational Amplifier Input Offset Parameters

Op-Amp hardware laboratory using experiments, available components and instrumentation to verify lecture course material, Operational Amplifiers. Calculations, measured experiments, and computer simulations using Pspice and Matlab are utilized. Ideal op-amps and operational amplifier model, current-to-voltage and voltage-to-current converters, integrator and differentiator amplifiers, circuit design, BJT Bipolar transistor current mirror, BJT differential pair, small signal equivalent circuit analysis, differential and common mode gains, input impedances, amplifier feedback and stability, ideal closed-loop signal gain, gain sensitivity, bandwidth extension, Bode Plots, Pole Amplifier, phase gain and phase margins, frequency compensation theory, closed-loop frequency response, Miller Effects, Miller Compensation, non-ideal amplifier effects, finite open-loop gain, inverting and non-inverting closed-loop gain, non-zero output resistance, offset voltages, bias currents, slew rate, amplifier temperature effects and Common mode rejection ratio.

And Along Came Winter - Winterizing the Lawn

Preparing for winter varies depending on where you live, but in much of world this means colder temperatures are near and those outside projects are coming to a close. Yet before the cold sets in, there are a number of winter-prep projects many households will certainly undertake.

Winterizing the lawn. Yep, winterizing the lawn can, and often does require more then tossing down a winterizing fertilizer product (Scotts Winterguard Fertilizer or similar). All depends on the age and condition of your lawn, regional location, and a whole host of other factors. But pre-winterizing can also mean aerating the lawn, over-seeding, and providing the soil with the necessary nutrients. This is also a great time to break up any hard clay soil by adding a significant amount of gypsum (I prefer pelletized gypsum that can be distributed with a fertilizer spreader).

You see, a little extra work on the yard in the late fall will significantly improve the overall health of your lawn come next spring. And a healthier lawn equates to less work year after year.

Typically here’s my routine:

Cut the grass as normal, but side eject or mulch cut it (don’t bag it). You want the nutrients in the grass clippings to decompose over the winter. Aerating the lawn is done with a fairly heavy machine that punches nickel size holes, about two-inches into the soil, ejecting a plug of soil and grass that looks like dog-poop. What this does is allow “air” to get down into the soil and grass roots.

Then, depending on the thickness of your lawn and type of grass, over-seeding the yard can and often is beneficial. If you over-seed the same day or two after you aerate, you can use a fertilizer spreader available at any home center to spread the grass seed. Aerating creates holes, and the grass seed will make its way down into these holes, protecting it from washing off the surface, and provides it a home until it germinates next spring.

As I previously mentioned, gypsum can also be added to yards that have hard clay. The gypsum can be spread in the same manner as over-seeding and in many regions putting both down at the same time is a common practice. Gypsum won’t hurt the new grass seed, but fertilizer especially over fertilizing can.

That is, after over-seeding and adding gypsum (if your soil has high levels of clay), it is not recommended to fertilize for up to 30 to 60 days. If you’ve aerated and over-seeded it can take 30 to 45 days for the holes (plugs) to begin to close up and fill in, but it all depends on how much water the lawn gets during this time period. It is best to water often in the weeks following over-seeding. Then in 30 to 45 days fertilizer with a winterize product. It is not recommended to fertilize with a starter fertilizer at this point, you want the grass to go dormant over the winter. In early spring, adding a starter fertilizer if you over-seeded will add that extra pop to the new grass and significantly add to the overall health of your lawn.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Digital Logic Systems Lab Experiments

I added two digital systems labs, one and three. Oddly enough I misfiled lab two so I’ll add that once I locate it (uggg). Also this weekend I was able to put up a communication systems quiz dealing with signal to noise ratios and dB conversions.

Introduction to Logic Analyzers
Synthesis of a Pattern Detector
Quiz 2 - Signal to Noise

Linear Systems Exam Solutions

Back in June I posted two exams and answers, but had to make some corrections and fix a few broken links which is now completed. These additions to the site are located at the following locations below. These are part of the electrical engineering course exams dealing with operational amplifiers and filter component design to include equation sheets and solutions.

Exam 1 - Operational Amplifiers
Exam Notes Page 1 of 8

Exam Notes Page 2 of 8

Exam Notes Page 3 of 8

Exam Notes Page 4 of 8

Exam Notes Page 5 of 8

Exam Notes Page 6 of 8

Exam Notes Page 7 of 8

Exam Notes Page 8 of 8

Exam 2 - Operational Amplifier Filters
Exam Notes Page 1 of 6

Exam Notes Page 2 of 6

Exam Notes Page 3 of 6

Exam Notes Page 4 of 6

Exam Notes Page 5 of 6

Exam Notes Page 6 of 6

Exam Formula Sheet

Saturday, December 19, 2009

College Undergraduate AC Circuit Tests and Labs

Recently I tossed up and made some corrections to the Alternating Current course and laboratory sections on my site. The final two exams have been posted to include the solutions and computations. I also added more lab notes and calculations for the experiment number five. The links to each of the updates are denoted below. Cheers all. Brian

Exam 1 - Circuit Impedance Analysis
Exam Notes Page 1 of 4
Exam Notes Page 2 of 4

Exam Notes Page 3 of 4
Exam Notes Page 4 of 4

Exam 2 - Circuit Branch Analysis
Exam Notes Page 1 of 5
Exam Notes Page 2 of 5

Exam Notes Page 3 of 5

Exam Notes Page 4 of 5

Exam Notes Page 5 of 5

Exam 3 - Circuit Resonance
Exam Notes Page 1 of 5

Exam Notes Page 2 of 5

Exam Notes Page 3 of 5

Exam Notes Page 4 of 5
Exam Notes Page 5 of 5

Series-Parallel Circuits Lab
Circuit 1 - Measured and Calculated Values

Circuit 2 - Measured and Calculated Values

Circuit 3 - Measured and Calculated Values

Circuit 4 - Measured and Calculated Values

Lab Notes Page 1 of 5

Lab Notes Page 2 of 5

Lab Notes Page 3 of 5

Lab Notes Page 4 of 5

Lab Notes Page 5 of 5

AVG Anti-Virus Validates

The award winning antivirus and anti spy ware software AVG, has added a new Trusted Site Ranking for their new version which pre-scans web sites and rates their safety and potential threats. AVG Technologies has rated, ‘Safe and Containing No Active Threats’. Yea.

For the new AVG Antivirus, check out their download page.

Radio Frequency Communication Problems

A little bit back I added even more RF comm. problems and solutions. Two exams and a quiz were added to the communication systems electrical engineering courses page. The test solutions and quiz answers are provided. The quiz is a fundamentals review of waveguide principals. The two exams cover frequency spectrum theory, signal to noise issues, frequency waveforms, and transceiver analysis to include system noise figure calculations. The pages relating to these course addition can be located the link below or from the web site electrical engineering courses page.

Microwave Fundamentals
Microwave Waveguide Quiz

Communications Systems Exam 1
Communications Systems Exam Solutions, Page 1
Communications Systems Exam Solutions, Page 2
Communications Systems Exam Solutions, Page 3
Communications Systems Exam Solutions, Page 4
Communications Systems Exam Solutions, Page 5
Communications Systems Exam Solutions, Page 6
Communications Systems Exam Solutions, Page 7

RF Communications Exam 2
RF Communications Exam Solutions, Page 1
RF Communications Exam Solutions, Page 2
RF Communications Exam Solutions, Page 3
RF Communications Exam Solutions, Page 4
Bessel Functions Table
Spurious Output Table

Satellite Communications HW and OpAmp Text

Keeping pace with getting as much content information as I can put up daily I’ve just added a few more pages; three dealing with Satcom, a Linear Systems Analysis, and OpAmp Exam. The Exam solutions are being processed and should be up soon, but all solutions are provided for the satcom problems. Cheers all from

Operational Amplifiers Test
Shadow Region
Orbital Velocity
Telemetry Timeframe

Speed Performance Specs

This is another weekend of site work and performance optimization for I still don’t have a google page rank which I’m totally in the dark about (gurrrr), any suggestions? But on a positive side of things my sites performance is rocking, with an average load time per page of 2.1 seconds, which is faster then 65% of comparable sites out there. Sense October, the site load performance has been rather stable, with a slow spike back in late September.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Traffic Growing after Site Transition

Over the last few months I pulled down my old site that had a lot of bugs in it and fixed many of the underlying issues. In the process I launched a new site with better content and easier to navigate. The new Free Class Notes Online dot com site is starting to grow in traffic sense the transition, but I’m not there yet. I made the final switch mid November 2009, which you can see based on the traffic pattern jump at the end of November on the attached graphic. My traffic sources are primarily from search engines, some 79.48% for this time period of September 1st through December 16th. Direct traffic accounts for only 8.6%, which is primarily from me working on the site. My objective now is to continue to get as much quality content online while also promoting the site. Cheers all. -Brian

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Broken Link Check for Free Class Notes Online

I just ran several site scans and also included all the external links my site points to using the new version of Xenu Link Checker. I have one page on my AM Transmission home work assignment with a missing graphic, and sense I’m on the road I don’t have access to the hard copy so this will have to wait until I get back east to make this correction.

There are also a few redirected links I need to look over, the list is a bit longer then I want so that’s now on my To Do List. The current stats are: 2004 total URLs of which 99.85% are active, 1135 internal URLs of which 552 are text, and 581 are image files, with a few stragglers.

Carnival Dream Waterslide Video

Almost forgot. A few weeks back I did the sixteen day Carnival Dream Transatlantic cruise from Italy to New York City in the U.S. Fun trip and I grabbed a little video on their new Drainpipe waterslide. I look like a compete dork, but I’m having a blast so that’s all that matters, right. Well enjoy the video, I’m back to coding. Best All. -Brian

Back in Full Swing

There’s been a lot going on the last few months sense my last consulting project; mostly travel and some well deserved fun. A little clear my head time, conferences, and best of all, a lot of time to focus on my sites, especially the project. I just finished up the Tony Robbins Date w/ Destiny conference in Scottsdale Arizona earlier this week; which was incredible and very useful in seeing what values and rules drove my actions, and tweaking them to better align with my overall objective, that’s to provide good and useful content to all of you. Now that I’m back in the swing of things again, I'll be out in Tucson Arizona through years end (unless anything comes up), so keep posted for a lot more site updates and news items I’ll post here. Cheers all. -Brian

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Attending Date with Destiny this Week

Greetings all. I’ll be at the Tony Robbins, Date with Destiny course this coming week in Scottsdale Arizona so there will be no updates for the next 7 to 10 days. I’m totally excited I can barely contain myself; I know it’s going to be Fantastic. Until next week all, have a great one and I’ll be sure to touch base once I jump back into working the site. Cheers all. -Brian

The Miller Effect and Programming Microcontrollers

Over the last few days I’ve made more additions to the site, Microcontrollers Lab course; specifically the first lab experiment, EPLD and EPROM Programming. This lab centers around the topic of programming, Erasable Programmable Logic Devices, and Electrically Programmable Read-Only Memory devices. In addition, I have also added a section on Analog and Semiconductor devices, examining the electrical capacitance effect know as the Miller Effect and the Capacitance Input.

Phase Lock Loop Page Graphics Added

This weekend I added two additional pages to the phase lock loop, reverse engineered integrated circuit experiment, specifically two of the graphic files. I’m also continuing my efforts to correct many of the pages I had header issues with as denoted in a previous blog post. I also noticed (just now as I'm making this post) there is a slight paragraph formatting issue with the lower text on these pages, which I'll have to trace down... hmmm. Anyway, the new pages I just added are:

Phase Detector VCO Feedback Signal Graph
LM565 PLL Implemented using Discrete Devices

Homework Solutions for SATCOM, Solar and Battery Power

Three more homework problems and solutions added to the Satellite Communication class dealing with satellite power issues, and a remaining orbit geometry problem I left out in an earlier post. Spacecraft battery power demands are examined, also a problem looking at the spinner satellite designs solar power efficiency has been provided. These items are located at:

HW 12 - Solar Power
HW 13 - Orbital Geometry
HW 14 - Battery Capacity

Please note, this blog entry is a reprint from my old blog.