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Arbitrary Function Generator Laboratory Project

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.203.1 - 6.203.6



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Paper Authors

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Denny Dailey

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3286

Arbitrary Function Generator Laboratory Project

Denton Dailey Butler County Community College


This paper describes the design and operation of a relatively simple ROM-based arbitrary function generator1 that is suitable for use as an intermediate-level laboratory project in the electronics/electrical engineering technology curriculum. The project integrates many aspects of both analog and digital electronics. From the hardware perspective, the digital portion of the system includes counters, timers, read-only memory (ROM) and a digital- to-analog converter (DAC). The analog portion of the system incorporates operational amplifiers, discrete bipolar transistors and RC filters. This project tends to generate much interest from students, and it provides an effective way of relating many different concepts, such as sampling and quantization, resolution and accuracy, data conversion, lookup tables, linear amplification, summing, buffering and filtering.


Electronics students obtain very valuable experience and skills through the design and construction of one or more projects. It is the author’s experience that the majority of the current incoming electronics technology students have little or no experience in constructing electronic circuits. Prefabricated kits are acceptable for providing some experience with soldering and basic assembly techniques. However, much more is gained when the student designs and constructs a circuit from scratch.

In terms of courses in which the student is required to construct a project of some sort, the major problem that we encounter at the two-year technology or engineering technology level is that the typical sophomore is simply not knowledgeable enough to any design of a significant nature. The function generator project discussed in this paper is simple enough that the instructor can walk through the design process section by section with the students. In lieu of having the students design the circuit from scratch, they can suggest modifications and alternative design approaches for the various sections that make up the project.

Circuit Description

The function generator schematic diagram is shown in Fig. 1. The circuit may be broken into five sections. Each section may be modified or implemented using an alternative

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Dailey, D. (2001, June), Arbitrary Function Generator Laboratory Project Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--8914

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