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The 'scope contains special circuits which examine the input voltage and

decide when a scan should begin. Their details vary from one
'scope to another and the details aren't important. The most
important triggering controls are the one that selects the trigger
signal input and the one marked Auto. Look for an Auto
button, or a knob called something like Level/Auto. Set this to
Auto. If this doesn't work, you may be putting a signal into one
input, but making the trigger circuits look at the other one for
their cue! As a result they can't see anything and don't know what
to do. See if you can find any triggering controls marked Ch. A,
Ch. B, Alt, etc. Use them to select the channel you are using for
your sinewave signal.
Click HERE to return to the original list of various types of
calculus problems.
Your comments and suggestions are welcome. Please e-mail any correspondence to
Duane Kouba by clicking on the following address :

DERIVATIVES USING THE LIMIT DEFINITION


The following problems require the use of the limit definition of a derivative,
which is given by

.
They range in difficulty from easy to somewhat challenging. If you are going to try
these problems before looking at the solutions, you can avoid common mistakes by
making proper use of functional notation and careful use of basic algebra. Keep in
mind that the goal (in most cases) of these types of problems is to be able to divide
out the
term so that the indeterminant form
circumvented and the limit can be calculated.

of the expression can be

PROBLEM 1 : Use the limit definition to compute the derivative,


f'(x), for

.
Click HERE to see a detailed solution to problem 1.

PROBLEM 2 : Use the limit definition to compute the derivative,


f'(x), for
.
Click HERE to see a detailed solution to problem 2.

PROBLEM 3 : Use the limit definition to compute the derivative,


f'(x), for
.
Click HERE to see a detailed solution to problem 3.

PROBLEM 4 : Use the limit definition to compute the derivative,


f'(x), for

.
Click HERE to see a detailed solution to problem 4.

PROBLEM 5 : Use the limit definition to compute the derivative,


f'(x), for
.
This problem may be more difficult than it first appears.
Click HERE to see a detailed solution to problem 5.

PROBLEM 6 : Use the limit definition to compute the derivative,


f'(x), for
.
Click HERE to see a detailed solution to problem 6.

PROBLEM 7 : Use the limit definition to compute the derivative,


f'(x), for

.
Click HERE to see a detailed solution to problem 7.

PROBLEM 8 : Use the limit definition to compute the derivative,


f'(x), for

.
Click HERE to see a detailed solution to problem 8.

PROBLEM 9 : Assume that

Show that f is differentiable at x=1, i.e., use the limit definition of the
derivative to compute f'(1) .
Click HERE to see a detailed solution to problem 9.

PROBLEM 10 : Assume that

Show that f is differentiable at x=0, i.e., use the limit definition of the
derivative to compute f'(0) .
Click HERE to see a detailed solution to problem 10.

PROBLEM 11 : Use the limit definition to compute the derivative,


f'(x), for
f(x) = | x2 - 3x | .
Click HERE to see a detailed solution to problem 11.

PROBLEM 12 : Assume that

Determine if f is differentiable at x=2, i.e., determine if f'(2) exists.


Click HERE to see a detailed solution to problem 12.

Click HERE to return to the original list of various types of calculus


problems.

Your comments and suggestions are welcome. Please e-mail any correspondence to
Duane Kouba by clicking on the following address :
kouba@math.ucdavis.edu

About this document ...

Duane Kouba
Thu Aug 29 15:10:27 PDT 1996

Experiment 6 The Op Amp & IC Amplifier

Although transistor amplifiers made with discrete components (i.e.


individually packaged) are still used for some special purposes like
high-quality Hi-Fi, most modern signal processing systems use
Integrated Circuits (ICs). The one of the oldest, most commonly used
and cheapest! IC Operational Amplifiers is the SN741. This
experiment uses a 741 as a simple audio-frequency amplifier.
741 Op Amps come in a variety of packages. One of the most
common is an 8-pin Dual-In-Line (DIL) or Dual In-line Plastic (DIP)
package of the kind shown below

The 741 has two signal inputs called inverting and non-inverting.
It also must be powered using two voltage lines that provide 15V.

For this experiment, build the circuit shown in figure 7. As with earlier
circuits, make your circuit look similar to the one in the photographs.
Click on the picture of a camera if you want to see the photos.
Remember to label your circuit and hand it in with your results. You
should be able to work out which pin to connect to what by
comparing this diagram with those for the 741s package and the
wires shown in the photos. If not sure, ask a demonstrator.

The circuit shown in diagram 7 can be used as either an inverting or


a non-inverting voltage amplifier depending on how you apply an
input signal. This is because the Op Amp has the property that its
output depends on the difference in the voltages applied to the pair of
pins, 2 & 3. First, use it as an inverting amplifier by connecting it as
shown below.

The earth symbol shows where we connect 0V (earth) from the


power supply. We also connect the earth leads (outer wires of the coaxial cables) to this point. The live input lead is connected to the
inverting input resistor (shown as A in figure 7).
Measure the voltage gain,
, of the inverting Op Amp,
using sinewaves at 10Hz, 1kHz, 10kHz, and 100kHz. What value
does this gain have at most frequencies?
Remember to check and see if the output is inverted, if so the gain
value should be negative. Also, as usual when making gain
measurements, make sure the output isnt distorted clipped or bent
in any way. If it seems distorted, reduce the amplitude of the signal
until the output looks like a sinewave.
You should find that the gain is fairly uniform at low frequencies,
but tends to fall away at high frequencies. At what frequency
does the gain fall to 70% of its low-frequency value?
What is the peak to peak voltage of the largest output the
amplifier can produce at low frequency (e.g. 300 Hz)? Say why
you think the output is limited to the value.
Now change the connections to your Op-Amp so that the live input
and the earth connections have been swapped over. Your circuit

should now be a non-inverting amplifier as shown below. Repeat the


same gain measurements as before and note your results.

You should find that both the sign and the value of the gain of the
two types of amplifier differ. Say why you think this is the case. (If
unsure, ask a demonstrator.)
Say what change you would make to the circuit you have built if
you wanted to increase the voltage gain of the inverting amplifier
to

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Experiment 3 Resonant Tuned Circuit.

This experiment shows you some of the properties of circuits which


contain resistors, capacitors, and inductors.
Resonance is an important physical phenomenon. It can occur in all
sorts of systems, from a swinging mechanical pendulum to an optical
cavity. In each case it requires a situation where energy is
periodically transferred back and forth between two possible
reservoirs. In the case of a pendulum, energy is transferred from
gravitational potential (i.e. the height of the pendulum mass) to kinetic
and back again. In an optical cavity the transfer is between the
electric and magnetic fields inside the cavity.
When processing electronic signals in analogue form, we often need
to use a filter to select (or reject) a specific band of frequencies. One
of the easiest ways of making a filter for this sort of task is to combine
a resistance, capacitance, and inductance. Diagram 4 shows a
typical arrangement. You should assemble this circuit for
measurement in this experiment. Use a 1,000 pF capacitor for C, a
22 mF inductor for L, and a 10

resistor for R. Use the signal

generator to provide the input signal,

As with the earlier experiments, your circuit should be laid out in a


similar way to the circuit shown in the photographs which you can
see by clicking on the image of a camera.
You should use the generator output which is typically labelled 50
or 600

In this case, the lower wire of the circuit has an earth symbol
attached to remind you that this is meant to be the earth/zero-volts
line. In practice you will connect the line to earth via the outer leads
of the co-axial cables used for the signal generator and scope. Use
both scope leads and channels to observe both
same time.

and

at the

Although this circuit doesn't look anything like an optical cavity, it is


working in a similar way. The capacitor can store energy in the form
of an electric field in between its plates. The inductor can store
energy in the form of a magnetic field around its coil. If you put some
energy into the circuit it will tend to be moved back and forth between
these two components at a frequency which depends upon their
values.
Start by applying a large square-wave input signal with a frequency
of a few hundred hertz. You should see the output voltage ring after
the abrupt input voltage changes which occur at each square wave
edge. This ringing is a damped resonance which occurs whenever
you abruptly try to alter the state of a resonant system. The time
taken to settle down depends upon the amount of damping which,
here, depends upon the resistance, R, in the circuit. Note that the
frequency of the ringing doesn't depend upon the input square wave
frequency. It is characteristic only of the resonant frequency of the
circuit.

Sketch the output waveform and use the 'scope to estimate the
ringing frequency,

, by timing each cycle.

(Caution: the time-base readings will be only be correct if the scope


display is correctly calibrated. Check to see if there is a time knob or
switch setting marked something calibrate and ensure it is set to the
calibrated position before making any timing measurements.)
Now switch over to using sine waves. You should find that the ratio of
depends upon the sinewave frequency
Find the frequency,
Note this frequency.

How does

, where

compare with

is a maximum.

The circuit can be thought of as being in two parts:

Part 1: a resonant circuit made with the L, C, and 22

Part 2: an input series 100k

resistor

resistor.

The properties of the resonant circuit can be examined using this


arrangement because the impedance of a resonant circuit is
frequency dependent. In effect, you have made a potential divider
using a resistor (the 100k ) whose resistance doesn't depend upon
the signal frequency, and a resonant circuit whose impedance does
depend upon the frequency. As a result
varies with the
input frequency in a way which reveals the frequency dependent
behaviour of the resonant circuit.
Take the data to form a table of
frequencies, f, from about

and
to

for a range of

Plot a graph of normalised values of


frequency.

(Here, normalised means divide all the

versus the

values by the

maximum value which occurs at . This means that when the graph
is plotted its peak value will appear to be unity.)
Note the frequencies,
its peak value.

&

where

Note the difference,

falls to

of

between these two frequencies.

This value of
indicates the range of frequencies the circuit will
pass though if used as a bandpass filter.
In theory, the resonant frequency of a weakly damped resonant
circuit should be given by

Calculate the theoretical value of

for your circuit using this

expression. Compare the result with your measured and


values and say how much they differ in percentage terms.
You can also use your data to measure two more properties of your
circuit.
i) The circuit Q".

The Q (or quality factor) of a resonant system is a measure of how


sharp a resonance is. It is an important property of a system
because it depends upon how quickly the system loses stored
energy. The circuit you have been experimenting upon can be used
as band pass filter which will let through signal frequencies

, but

reject frequencies which are very different to . The band width of


the filter i.e. the width of the frequency range passed by the filter
depends upon its Q.
In principle, the quality factor of your resonant circuit can be
calculated in two ways

where R is the dissipation resistance of the resonant circuit, and


the measured frequency width of the resonant peak (at the points

is

below its peak).


Take the measured
and
values from your graph and use
expression 3 to calculate a value of Q.

Compare this with the value you get if you use expression 4 and the
values of the components you are using. You may well find that these
results for Q aren't the same!
Part of the reason for this difference is the fact that the inductor also
has a resistance, which you haven't taken into account. The other
resistances (the 100k , and the input resistance of the 'scope) also
have some effect even through they look as if they're outside the
resonant circuit. However, the main problem is one called the skin
effect. This makes a.c. signals tend to prefer to flow in the outer skin
of a conductor. The higher the frequency, the thinner the skin the
current is confined to. In effect, for an a.c. signal you could remove
the metal inside the wire just leaving a hollow tube of metal. As a
result the wire behaves as if it is becoming thinner (and hence more
resistive) as you increase the frequency. This means that the
behaviour of an inductor which contains a long wire thin wire wound
into a coil can be very different to a plain inductance.
Many textbooks will leave you with the impression that you can
calculate Q just from knowing L and R. The above comparison
should serve as a warning that the actual value of the dissipation

resistance of a circuit isn't always obvious. This is because the


resistance actually experienced by the a.c. signals may not have the
value you expect. In practice, it is better to discover the Q by
measuring

and

and then calculating

ii) The peak impedance.

At any particular frequency, f, the resonant circuit will have an


impedance which we can call

. This reaches its maximum

value,
, at the resonant frequency. As your circuit is a sort of
potential divider you can expect that

where

is the input 100k

series resistor.

Use your (un-normalised) measurements to calculate a value for


at the resonant frequency,

Note for those who know something about a.c. circuit theory. When a circuit
contains inductors or capacitors its impedance,
, is generally complex.
This means that the alternating currents and voltages in it don't always
share the same phase. When using the 'scope to measure
and
you may have noticed their relative phases as well as sizes changing
when you altered the signal frequency. This means that, strictly speaking, in
the above equation ,
, and
should all be considered as
complex numbers. At resonance, however, the impedance of a circuit
always becomes real i.e. purely resistive so we don't need to worry
about this complication.

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Introduction... & general waffle.

To learn practical electronics, all you have to do is follow a few


golden rules. The most important being....

If you have a brain the size of a planet, and the manual dexterity of a
concert pianist we can start you immediately on assembling
microcircuits. (In such a case, this lab is not for you!) If, however, you
seem to have the mind of a gerbil and fingers permanently tied in
knots we may be able to help you...
Firstly, remember that practical electronics is a skill. (Just like being
able to drink two pints of Export in fifteen seconds.) Some people
seem to be born with a flair for it, but the rest of us can learn to do it
given patience and practice. If you don't know already know how, you
will need time to learn to solder, how to lay out circuits, how to read
circuit diagrams, etc. The purpose of this course is to give you a
chance to learn these things.
All of the circuits for this course should be soldered onto the boards
we have provided. Do not use the breadboard (the slab of plastic
with lots of holes) on top of the power supply. Although, at this point,

you may regard this as gratuitous cruelty, this is only part of the
reason. Breadboards are expensive, give poor contacts between
components, and are riddled with stray inductances and
capacitances which sometimes produce odd effects. Once you have
learned how to do it, soldering is a quick and easy way to make
dependable connections between electronic components.
When you start a lab afternoon, switch on your soldering iron,
oscilloscope and signal generator. Leave them on until the end of the
afternoon. This ensures that you won't have to keep wasting time
waiting for them to warm up. What's more, most electronic equipment
wears out faster if you keep turning it on and off, so you're helping to
save money on repairs. (O.K., so our electric bill will be higher, but at
least it helps keep the lab warm in the winter!)
The electronics lab works a little differently to the general Physics
one. This is because the experiments are designed to be cumulative
things you discover in early experiments are needed for later
ones. You should therefore stick to the following general rules:

Write your name on the cover of your lab script. The right-hand
pages of the script give you instructions about the experiments.
Use the blank left-hand pages to record you results, write
answers to the questions in the text, etc. At the end of the set
of lab afternoons this script will be collected and marked. No
name, no mark!

Read the lab script. Obvious really, why do so many people


ignore all these pearls of wisdom? The script gives all the basic
instructions and asks some questions and even some of the
answers! You will be marked for writing down correct answers
to these questions in your write-up.
When in doubt - ASK. The electronics demonstrators are there
to help you. If you don't understand the lab script, or if your
circuit isn't working correctly (or if you aren't even sure what
correctly is), just ask. You don't lose any marks for asking, but
you will if don't ask and end up getting the experiment wrong! If
you can't see a free demonstrator you can ask another student.
This is particularly useful if they seem to be getting along faster
than you (doesn't everyone?). It may reveal that they are just
as puzzled as you. On the other hand, they may give you some
help. (Answering your questions may also slow them up a bit,
and stop them from getting embarrassingly too far ahead of
you!) Mind you, a demonstrator might have given you the right
answer...

Write up your report in the script. Make it clear just what you
have done, what the numbers you are writing down mean, and
what the answers to any questions are. There is no need for
extra bits of paper stuck into the book. If you can't get it all in,
you're writing too much. You don't need to re-write the printed
instructions, but you do need to record enough so a marker
can, six weeks later and without you there to ask, know what
you did and how you got on. There are no marks for stuff we
can't make sense of. Simple sketches of waveforms are
particularly useful when describing what you measured. If you
aren't sure what to include in your write-up, ask us!
No pencil, no scrap paper. It is a bad habit to write preliminary
results in pencil or on scrap paper. Scraps of paper can be lost.
We need to know what you did during the experiment. If you
just write down something like, The resistance I measured was
1k , when the correct answer is, say, 100k we don't know
what mark to give you. Was the error a slip of the calculator, or
did you perform the experiment incorrectly? If you give us your
raw data we can see where you went wrong and give you a
mark. It also gives us some idea of how long the experiment
took you and where the difficulties might be. (...and, yes, you
can use pencil for graphs...)
Write up each section BEFORE going on to the next one. The
course is cumulative. You need to understand earlier sections
and have some of the results before following sections
make sense. i.e. if you don't work things out & write up as you
proceed, you'll end up missing things (mostly marks!)
Attend the lab at the correct times. This gives us a chance to
see how you you are getting on. It also proves you are doing
the work!
Switch your equipment off before you leave. This is a good
safety point. It also stops the batteries in voltmeters, etc, from
flattening overnight.
Always work at the same bench. This is yours for the duration
of the lab session. Although you have to share it with some
other students on other days, so please leave it as tidy as you'd
want them to leave it!

Your aim should be to proceed carefully through the work described


in the script. There is no need to rush through to the end. Your marks
will depend more upon thoroughness and understanding than upon
how far you got. Learning electronics is a step-by-step process. If you

skip a step you will have difficulties later, and make mistakes which
you may not notice.
A common supply of components is kept
for your use. Oh, and when you get a
component out of a drawer or box check
that it is what the label says it is! Some
people (not you, of course) put things
back in the wrong place. Resistors are
colour coded. The code is shown on this
page. If you aren't sure how to read them
(or if you are colour blind) use a DVM or
Avometer to measure their values before
you use them failing that, ask a
demonstrator.

Resistors are normally supplied in


standards sizes and shapes. This shows
itself in two ways. Firstly, their resistance values normally follow the
E12 series; 10, 12, 15, 18, 22, 27, 33, 39, 47, 56, 68, 82, all
multiplied by a power of ten.
So 150k

and also 27k

are E12 standard values, but 35k

isn't.

Secondly, normal resistors are able to bear power dissipations of 1/4watt, 1/2-watt, or 1 watt. The E12 series looks peculiar at first sight,
but each value is around 20% bigger than the last. This means that,
when you choose the closest E12 value to the resistance you really
want you're never forced to use a resistor which is wrong by more
than about 10%.
Report any malfunctions or missing items to a demonstrator or lab
technician. Yes, equipment and components do fail and need to be
repaired/replaced. Don't worry, it happens to other people, too! Don't
just take things from the next bench.

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The Oscilloscope

This section is designed to help you to use the oscilloscope provided


on your bench. Various types of oscilloscope are used in the lab.
They don't all have identical facilities or call their controls the same
names. This makes it impossible to give a precise description of them
all! Fortunately, they have some things in common. If you already
know how to use a 'scope, skip this section.
The object of a 'scope is to give you a picture of how one or two
voltages are varying with time. This is particularly useful when you
want to measure periodic signals like sinewaves. When it is working
properly, it draws a pair of lines, or traces, on the screen which
display the shape of the input signals. The vertical position of a point
on a trace depends upon the voltage, the horizontal position upon
time. The traces are drawn left-to-right at a speed set by the
timebase controls (these are the ones calibrated in units like
milliseconds/cm).
So, if the 'scope screen is blank have you turned it on?... If it is on,
has had a few minutes to warm up, and you still can't see anything, it
may be due to one of the following:
The trace may be amplified too much. This will mean it is trying
to spend all its time above or below the screen! Try turning
down the channel gain knobs. These are usually marked in
units like Volts/cm. A setting like 5V/cm is usually low
enough to see the traces.
The trace position may be wrong. You can think of the 'scope
traces as being graphs of input voltage against time. Time is
scaled along the horizontal (x) axis, and voltage against the
vertical (y) axis. However, the 'scope doesn't show you the
axes or the graph origin. The position controls let you move
the origin around the screen. When you start, it may be set in a
place which causes the 'scope to try and draw traces

somewhere off-screen. Try adjusting these controls to their


middle settings. (They may be called offset or shift controls,
or something like that, on your 'scope.)
The traces may be being drawn too swiftly across the screen. If
the timebase setting is too fast the spot which draws out the
trace may zip across the screen so quickly that it doesn't light it
up properly. Try slowing down the time base setting. i.e., if it
was set at, say, 1 sec/cm, change it to 10 msec/cm.

Hopefully, by now you should see something on-screen even if it is


just one or two flat horizontal lines. To go further you need to put
some sort of signal voltage into the 'scope. When actually using the
'scope, you should alter the brightness, gain, etc, to suit whatever
you are doing. For example, if you turned up the brightness to help
find the trace, it may now be rather high. If so, just turn it down to a
comfortable level. The lab should be well-lit and you shouldn't need
to use the 'scope as an extra light source!
Your 'scope is a dual-trace oscilloscope. This means it can show two
waves on-screen at the same time. It may, however, have been set to
only show one of them. There should be a row of buttons or a knob
somewhere marked with things like, Ch A, Ch B, Chop, Alt. Check
these are set to Chop or Alt to get both traces.
Set up your signal generator to give a sinewave of about 1 kHz of
moderate size (e.g. a Volt or so) and connect it to the 'scope. (If you
have an R.S. signal generator, don't use its TTL output as this can
only provide squarewaves!) One of the traces should now show sines
of life (ouch! sorry about that!).
You can alter the vertical size of the wave using the volts/div
controls. Adjust these so the wave amplitude covers, say, half the
screen. The number of cycles shown across the screen depends
upon the timebase setting. Adjust this so that there are just a few
cycles across the width of the screen. All being well, one trace will
still be flat, and the other will show a clear sinewave pattern. If you
see a jumble of sinewaves or a wave that drifts across the screen
the triggering controls need adjusting. These help the 'scope to
display the waveform by controlling when the instant when each trace
scan begins.
The 'scope contains special circuits which examine the input voltage

and decide when a scan should begin. Their details vary from one
'scope to another and the details aren't important. The most
important triggering controls are the one that selects the trigger signal
input and the one marked Auto. Look for an Auto button, or a knob
called something like Level/Auto. Set this to Auto. If this doesn't
work, you may be putting a signal into one input, but making the
trigger circuits look at the other one for their cue! As a result they
can't see anything and don't know what to do. See if you can find any
triggering controls marked Ch. A, Ch. B, Alt, etc. Use them to select
the channel you are using for your sinewave signal.
The trigger controls also include some filters which are meant to help
when you want to examine some types of complex waveform.
Sometimes they are simply marked High or Low or DC. On other
'scopes they may be called something like TV Frame and are
intended to help when the 'scope is used to repair TV's. It doesn't
matter what they are called, play around with them and choose
whichever gives you the best results.
Oscilloscopes tend to have a front stuffed with knobs and buttons &
every 'scope design has its own combination of mysterious-sounding
names for what they do. Don't be put off. Use a sinewave input and
play around with the 'scope controls until you get a clear display. So
far as we know, no combination of settings causes the 'scope to
explode or fly around the room making whooping noises! (No, don't
take that as a challenge!...)
Health Warning! Some 'scope controls can be uncalibrated. For
example, the gain or timebase rate can be smoothly altered. This is
useful if you want, for example, to adjust a displayed wave so it is
exactly 3 cm divisions high. Note, however, that this means that the
volts/div setting can't now be correct. If you want to use the height to
measure a voltage, or use a horizontal length to measure a time
these controls must be set to calibrated. This is usually marked on
the appropriate knob and is at a click-stop position or at one end
of the knob range. Make sure your controls are calibrated, otherwise
your measurements won't mean anything! You have been warned!

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Soldering

There should be a sponge on the stand of your soldering iron.


Moisten it with some distilled water. Your soldering iron should be hot
by now, if you turned it on while reading page 1! If not, turn it on now
& give it a couple of minutes to warm up.
Once it has warmed up, look at the tip of your iron. Is it shiny with
molten solder, or is it covered with dull crud? Wipe it on the damp
sponge and touch a little fresh solder onto its tip until some melts
onto it. If you melt too much, wipe it off on the sponge. Do not flick it
onto the floor the cleaners don't like it, and it may land on
someone's leg!
When soldering components onto a tracked board, put the leads
through the correct holes and pull them until the component sits
where you want it. (For resistors, capacitors, and inductors, this
normally means the wires should be straight as if pulled tight to hold
the component against the board. For transistors, leave them above
the board a little way as it can be a bad idea to pull their wires too
much.) You may find it a good idea to bend the wires so they are
splayed out to help hold the component and stop it falling out when
you turn over the board.

Make sure the tip of the iron is wet with solder and press it up
against the lead and the track where they meet. Bring the solder into
contact with this join and hold it there until some melts and wets the
wire and track. Remove the strip of solder, then remove the iron.
Sometimes the solder will fail to wet the metal surfaces correctly and
will have a dull or dirty appearance. They can also look more like a
piece of rough coral instead of a smooth frozen droplet. Joints like
this are sometimes mechanically firm (although usually not) but are
poor or intermittent electrical contacts. They are, therefore, bad
news. Bad joints are generally called dry joints. This is because
they can be caused by not heating the solder enough. It then fails to
reach the correct temperature. Alas, you can also get a bad joint if
you over-heat the solder. Another cause is dirt or old solder on the
leads or iron. Whatever the cause, use the iron to remove the cold
solder, clean the iron and have another go.

Circuit Diagrams

Circuit diagrams are a language. You need to learn this language


before the diagrams can be fully understood. This point isn't always
grasped as the diagrams are often described as if they were 'pictures'
of the circuits they represent. But a circuit diagram isn't really a
picture, it's a pattern of standard symbols used to represent the real
thing. It is a bit like Chinese or perhaps like ancient Egyptian

Hieroglyphics. Each symbol means something, and the ways in


which things are linked also means something. However, the diagram
isnt a real map as it doesnt actually show you where things are on
a real circuit board. It is a sort of logical description or cartoon of
reality. As a result, reading and understanding circuit diagrams can
be quite difficult until you learn their language. So don't worry if the
diagrams seem puzzling at first, they aren't always obvious!

Note that when instruments or components are connected together in


a diagram it is often assumed that the bottom line of the drawing is
earth (i.e. it connects points back through a terminal to mains earth).
If you aren't sure about the meaning of a diagram - ask!

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Important Note!

For experiment #1 you should just use a potentiometer and some


leads. There is no need to keep the circuit for the first experiment

once you have finished using it. However for the later experiments
you must keep and hand in your assembled circuit. Label each circuit
board with your name, your bench number, and the day you are doing
the lab. If you dont hand these labelled circuits in with your book you
will not be able to get any marks for the experiment. You have been
warned! Hand in all the circuits with your book at the end of the series
of lab afternoons.

We have provided some photographs to show you what your circuits


should look like. To see the pictures for the current experiment, click
on the image of a camera near this text.
Similar pictures are provided for the other experiments. Use these
picturesas a guide when assembling your circuit, but remember that
in some cases you may be using different actual components. The
photographs are just a guide to show you how components should be
laid out on the board.

Experiment 1 Oscilloscope input resistance.

This section has two purposes. It should help you get used to your
equipment. It also helps you understand the concept of input and
output resistances.

Any piece of equipment which accepts input signals will require both
a voltage and a current to make it work. This is because every signal
must convey some energy/power except the trivial case of the
signal 0 Volts. When you apply an input voltage to, say, an
oscilloscope, it must also draw a small current to make it recognise
that a signal has arrived.
The amount of current required by something to make it respond to a
given voltage depends upon how it has been designed and built. We
don't need to bother about these details, instead we can pretend that
a resistor has been connected between its input terminal and earth,
somewhere inside its box. The better a 'scope or voltmeter is, the
smaller the current it needs to register a given voltage - i.e. the higher
its input resistance. The 'scope will probably have an
AC/DC/Ground switch for each input. You can force the 'scope to
show where 0V is on the screen by setting this to Ground. Then set
it back to DC to use the 'scope - just measure the number of
divisions between where Ground is and the point on the trace whose
voltage you want to measure. For most measurements, these
controls should be left on DC. The AC setting is useful when you
want to watch small variations of a relatively large voltage level, but it
tends to alter the shape of some a.c. waves.
Build the circuit shown in diagram 3 and connect it between the
power supply and 'scope as shown. By adjusting the potentiometer
you can apply any D.C. voltage from 0 to +15V to the scope. Set the
voltage initially to 0 and adjust the vertical position of the trace to sit
on a convenient line.

Measure the input current into the scope for three or four different
input voltages. You can use the 'scope itself to measure the
voltage. Use these values to calculate the 'scope input
resistance.
What is the significance of the order of magnitude of the 'scope
resistance,

Content and pages maintained by: Jim Lesurf (jcgl@st-and.ac.uk)


using TechWriter and HTMLEdit on a RISCOS machine.
University of St. Andrews, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS, Scotland.

Important Note!

For experiment #1 you should just use a potentiometer and some


leads. There is no need to keep the circuit for the first experiment
once you have finished using it. However for the later experiments
you must keep and hand in your assembled circuit. Label each circuit
board with your name, your bench number, and the day you are doing
the lab. If you dont hand these labelled circuits in with your book you
will not be able to get any marks for the experiment. You have been
warned! Hand in all the circuits with your book at the end of the series
of lab afternoons.

We have provided some photographs to show you what your circuits


should look like. To see the pictures for the current experiment, click

on the image of a camera near this text.


Similar pictures are provided for the other experiments. Use these
picturesas a guide when assembling your circuit, but remember that
in some cases you may be using different actual components. The
photographs are just a guide to show you how components should be
laid out on the board.

Experiment 1 Oscilloscope input resistance.

This section has two purposes. It should help you get used to your
equipment. It also helps you understand the concept of input and
output resistances.

Any piece of equipment which accepts input signals will require both
a voltage and a current to make it work. This is because every signal
must convey some energy/power except the trivial case of the
signal 0 Volts. When you apply an input voltage to, say, an
oscilloscope, it must also draw a small current to make it recognise
that a signal has arrived.
The amount of current required by something to make it respond to a
given voltage depends upon how it has been designed and built. We

don't need to bother about these details, instead we can pretend that
a resistor has been connected between its input terminal and earth,
somewhere inside its box. The better a 'scope or voltmeter is, the
smaller the current it needs to register a given voltage - i.e. the higher
its input resistance. The 'scope will probably have an
AC/DC/Ground switch for each input. You can force the 'scope to
show where 0V is on the screen by setting this to Ground. Then set
it back to DC to use the 'scope - just measure the number of
divisions between where Ground is and the point on the trace whose
voltage you want to measure. For most measurements, these
controls should be left on DC. The AC setting is useful when you
want to watch small variations of a relatively large voltage level, but it
tends to alter the shape of some a.c. waves.
Build the circuit shown in diagram 3 and connect it between the
power supply and 'scope as shown. By adjusting the potentiometer
you can apply any D.C. voltage from 0 to +15V to the scope. Set the
voltage initially to 0 and adjust the vertical position of the trace to sit
on a convenient line.
Measure the input current into the scope for three or four different
input voltages. You can use the 'scope itself to measure the
voltage. Use these values to calculate the 'scope input
resistance.
What is the significance of the order of magnitude of the 'scope
resistance,

Content and pages maintained by: Jim Lesurf (jcgl@st-and.ac.uk)


using TechWriter and HTMLEdit on a RISCOS machine.
University of St. Andrews, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS, Scotland.

Experiment 4 Characteristics of a Silicon


Transistor.

Given that a typical home computer contains around a hundred


million transistors (or more!) and ordinary things like TV's and radios
can contain hundreds it's likely that there are many more transistors
on the Earth than people! It's probably a good idea to understand
them...
There are all sorts, shapes, and sizes of transistor. In this lab we will
only consider one basic type, the bipolar transistor. This comes in two
flavours called PNP and NPN. For the following experiments you
should use the BC184L NPN transistors which are available.
When a theoretician presents a series of lectures about bipolar
transistors he or she can usually make them sound very complex!
The good news is that in practice you usually only have to know a
few of the many properties of a transistor. All the other details only
become necessary in that one time in a hundred when you build an
unusual circuit. The basic properties of a BC184L are:
Maximum allowed power dissipation, P = 350 mW

Max. allowed collector current,

= 100 mA

Max. allowed collector-emitter voltage,

Typical current gain,

= 30 V

= 250 to 800

In practice, the transistor has many more properties. Worse still,


many of them vary from transistor to transistor, and may change with
temperature, the applied voltages, etc. Fortunately, we can often
ignore these complications!
The BC184L is built into a standard TO-92 package with three leads.
The diagram below shows what the package looks like and identifies
the leads where B = Base, C = Collector, and E = Emitter.

Connect up the circuit shown in diagram 5 and use it for the following
experiment. For this experiment, just put the transistor on the circuit
board and use the resistors as part of the leads as shown in the
photograph. Once this experiment is complete, you will use the same
transistor and board and add new components to make an amplifier.

As with previous experiments there are some photos to show you


what your circuit should look like. Click on the image of a camera to
see the photos.

Electronic engineers often adopt the convention that upper case


letters, like

or

, are used to signify steady or d.c. values and

lower case ones, like and


, are used to represent small
changes or a.c. quantities. This convention will be used for the
following explanations.
e.g.
signifies the DC voltage as measured between the base and
the emitter of the transistor, whereas
signifies the AC voltage
fluctuations between the collector and the emitter.
Note. When you have finished all these measurements keep your
transistor on its board. You will need it for the next section!
Use your 'scope to measure

and

. Use the Avometer

and DVM (Digital Volt Meter) to measure the currents,

Adjust the 1M

pot to set the base current,

the 2.5k

potentiometer

and

. Use the 1M

time using the 25k


the new values of

, to 2 A. Setting of

pot to increase

pot to set
and

in 2 A steps, each

back to five volts and then noting

. Stop when you either can't make


mA.

back down to 2 A and repeat the process but with

set to 10 volts.

Plot two graphs of your results. One showing how

varies with

for both choices of collector-emitter voltage. The other


showing how
voltages.

to 5 Volts. Make a note of the values of

equal 5 volts or when


Reduce

and

varies with

You should find that the


fairly similar on each graph.

for both collector-emitter

V and

V curves are

Most textbooks bang on at tedious length about h-parameters. The


good news is that you can usually avoid knowing too much about
these and still get circuits to work. One parameter is relatively
important, this is the transistor's
from the equation

Where

value. We can define the

represents a small change in collector current, and

represents a small change in base current. i.e.


represents the
ratio of a change in the base current to the corresponding change in
collector current. The bipolar transistor is a current amplifier. If we
change the base current by an amount,
change by an amount

the collector current will

. Here we can think of the input and

output as the magnitudes of alternating signals. Hence


is
essentially the AC current gain that the transistor can provide. The
transistor provides an output current fluctuation which is

times

bigger than the input current fluctuation. The larger the value of
the more the transistor can amplify a signal.

Use the graphs you have plotted to determine your transistor's


value at

(Remember that
can work out

2 mA when

tells you how quickly

volts.

changes with

from the slope of your graph at

so you

2 mA.)

Compare this with the value at


2 mA on the
volts
curve. You should find that they are fairly similar. Note that the graphs
you have plotted aren't straight lines through the origin. Hence the
transistor's gain does vary with voltage, etc, although it should only
vary gradually at moderate voltages and currents. Note also that the
versus
plots look similar to those you'd get from a diode. This
is because the base-emitter part of a bipolar transistor is a diode!

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Experiment 5 The Transistor Amplifier.

Transistors are used in a great variety of circuits. Fortunately, we can


divide the ways in which they are used into two fairly simple classes:
amplifiers and switches.
Transistors switches form the basis of all modern electronic digital
computers. This particular lab doesn't deal with digital electronics.
Here we will look at an example of using a bipolar transistor in an
amplifier.
Figure 6 illustrates a typical single-transistor amplifier circuit. This
arrangement is often called the common emitter amplifier because
the input voltage to the transistor appears between the base &
emitter, and the output voltage appears between the collector &
emitter i.e. the emitter terminal is shared by (or common to) the
input and output.

Note.
,
, and
are the voltages between each of the
transistor base, collector, and emitter terminals and the ground (zero
volts). They aren't the same thing as
or
which are the
voltages from base-to-emitter and collector-to-emitter! The diagram
also shows the input and output signal AC voltages,
and
.
These aren't equal to
and
because the 01 F capacitors
block any d.c. connection between these potentials. (If you're puzzled
by all this, ask a demonstrator.)
In order to build a working amplifier you have to choose suitable
values for resistors,

, and

. For now, assume that

(i.e. it is a piece of wire). We will want to choose a value for


later, but for now well worry about everything else.
Anyone who has been confused by reading an electronics textbook
will suspect that choosing the right values for the resistors is quite
complicated. However, it is possible to select satisfactory values
using some simple rules. It is worth bearing in mind again that
electronics is a practical subject which shares some things with
cookery! (Transistors can get hot, too...) In particular, there are
situations (and this is one) where there isn't always a single correct
solution for the resistor values you need. It is possible to make a

working amplifier using a wide range of resistor values. For a theorist


or mathematician this can be depressing there isn't one right
answer. For the rest of us it's good news as it means there are a wide
range of values which are OK. It also means that some simple
approximations aren't likely to lead to serious problems.
Experience with bipolar transistors has taught engineers that 9
times out of 10 a good start is to make just three assumptions and
use them as rules unless we know better:
1. The base-emitter voltage will always be about 06 Volts (or 06
for a PNP transistor).
2. The current gain (the
3. The large

value) will be a few hundred.

value means that

, so we can assume

that

If you look at your transistor's characteristic curves you should see


that, although

does depend upon

, over most of the measured

range it is around 06 Volts or so. The


of your transistor will
probably be somewhere in the 200 600 range. So these
approximations are a moderately good place to start in the absence
of any better information.
The resistors in the amplifier circuit will determine the steady bias
voltages and currents,
, , etc. The capacitors in the circuit are
used to control the effects of a.c. signals. Start off by ignoring the
capacitors as they don't affect the way the actual transistor operates.
We can therefore work out all the resistor values, etc, without
bothering about them.
There are various ways to decide what values to choose for the bias
resistors. They all give roughly similar results, and the following
simple argument is about as good as any other.
For the circuit to work as an amplifier we need to make the collector
voltage,
, move up and down in response to any input signal
variations. These changes in collector voltage are coupled out
through the capacitor to provide the output voltage signals,
.
This means that in the absence of any input signal the
transistor should have a moderate set of applied bias

voltages/currents to give
influence of any input.

room to move up and down under the

The circuit is driven by a +15V power line and the collector-emitter


voltage is applied via the two series resistors,
&
. In the
absence of any good reason for making some other choice we might
just as well assume that the available voltage should be shared
equally between

, and the transistor. We therefore want about

5 volts across
, 5 volts across
, and 5 volts between the
collector and emitter. This means that the amplifier should have,
V,

V, and

V.

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Experiment 6 The Op Amp & IC Amplifier

Although transistor amplifiers made with discrete components (i.e.


individually packaged) are still used for some special purposes like
high-quality Hi-Fi, most modern signal processing systems use
Integrated Circuits (ICs). The one of the oldest, most commonly used
and cheapest! IC Operational Amplifiers is the SN741. This
experiment uses a 741 as a simple audio-frequency amplifier.
741 Op Amps come in a variety of packages. One of the most
common is an 8-pin Dual-In-Line (DIL) or Dual In-line Plastic (DIP)
package of the kind shown below

The 741 has two signal inputs called inverting and non-inverting.
It also must be powered using two voltage lines that provide 15V.
For this experiment, build the circuit shown in figure 7. As with earlier
circuits, make your circuit look similar to the one in the photographs.
Click on the picture of a camera if you want to see the photos.
Remember to label your circuit and hand it in with your results. You
should be able to work out which pin to connect to what by
comparing this diagram with those for the 741s package and the
wires shown in the photos. If not sure, ask a demonstrator.

The circuit shown in diagram 7 can be used as either an inverting or


a non-inverting voltage amplifier depending on how you apply an
input signal. This is because the Op Amp has the property that its
output depends on the difference in the voltages applied to the pair of
pins, 2 & 3. First, use it as an inverting amplifier by connecting it as
shown below.

The earth symbol shows where we connect 0V (earth) from the


power supply. We also connect the earth leads (outer wires of the coaxial cables) to this point. The live input lead is connected to the
inverting input resistor (shown as A in figure 7).
Measure the voltage gain,

, of the inverting Op Amp,

using sinewaves at 10Hz, 1kHz, 10kHz, and 100kHz. What value


does this gain have at most frequencies?
Remember to check and see if the output is inverted, if so the gain
value should be negative. Also, as usual when making gain
measurements, make sure the output isnt distorted clipped or bent
in any way. If it seems distorted, reduce the amplitude of the signal
until the output looks like a sinewave.
You should find that the gain is fairly uniform at low frequencies,
but tends to fall away at high frequencies. At what frequency
does the gain fall to 70% of its low-frequency value?
What is the peak to peak voltage of the largest output the
amplifier can produce at low frequency (e.g. 300 Hz)? Say why
you think the output is limited to the value.
Now change the connections to your Op-Amp so that the live input
and the earth connections have been swapped over. Your circuit
should now be a non-inverting amplifier as shown below. Repeat the
same gain measurements as before and note your results.

You should find that both the sign and the value of the gain of the
two types of amplifier differ. Say why you think this is the case. (If
unsure, ask a demonstrator.)

Say what change you would make to the circuit you have built if
you wanted to increase the voltage gain of the inverting amplifier
to

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