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Hardware Homework Using A Student Data Acquisition System

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.234.1 - 1.234.7



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Paper Authors

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Christopher G. Braun

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

Session 1532

Hardware Homework using a Student Data Acquisition System

Christopher G. Braun Colorado School of Mines

Overview A project developed by a student team under close guidance of a faculty member is underway to build a very affordable yet highly functional data acquisition system. Our plan is to introduce this system to our students in the Engineering Division's six week long Summer Field Session for students between their Sophomore and Junior year. Each student would buy and build their own data acquisition system. In conjunction, other Field Session modules would teach C++ programming and interfacing, and then use this data acquisition system in a motor control application.

The following semester, students will return with their own data acquisition system which will be used in their laboratories, at home, or for their own projects such as their Senior Design. Once each student possess their own data acquisition system, then the faculty here foresee dramatic changes we can make in the curriculum to take advantage of this new capability.

Motivation Students in engineering and science classes use computers and data acquisition systems for measurement and control in many, if not most, of their laboratory classes. The type of measurements/control range from chemical processing to materials fatigue testing to PWM motor control. In many instances, however, the students and faculty are forced to make do with a limited number of laboratory stations and time. This constricts projects to be narrow, focused and often simplistic in order to finish in the allotted time. [1] An alternative approach has been discussed by Hagler to give the students the tools so that they can do "hardware homework." This allows the students to do some of their laboratory work outside of the laboratory class. There are several significant benefits from this approach. These include: • Giving the students a higher level of understanding • Allowing the students the flexibility to explore different ways of accomplishing the same task • Allowing them to work more at their own time and pace • Reducing the resources needed to outfit a laboratory • Allowing the students to apply their classroom knowledge to situations outside of class • Providing a higher feeling of control and overall enjoyment

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Braun, C. G. (1996, June), Hardware Homework Using A Student Data Acquisition System Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6081

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