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Overview Of A Design Project Developed To Meet 0.5 Credits Of Design Content In An Introductory Electronics Course

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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

1.346.1 - 1.346.5

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Paper Authors

author page

Marvi Teixeira

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

.—. Session 3220 .

Overview of a Design Project Developed to Meet 0.5 Credits of Design Content in an —. . . ..-. Introductory Electronics Course

Marvi Teixeira Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico

Abstract—Afler a revision leading to restructure the curriculum design content, 0.5 credits of design were allocated to an introductory electronics course. What follows is an overview of one of the open ended design projects developed to meet these requirements. Completion of the project involved hand calculations, computer simulation, written documentation and demonstration of a working prototype. The introductory nature of the course in addition to the fact that some students were learning to use the required software for their first time, imposed some limitations on the scope of the project. Team work was emphasized, student response through out the project was evaluated and used to draw some conclusions regarding the overall merits and drawbacks of our approach. Those portions of the project involving design, as currently being defined in the literature, and those involving analysis are clearly pointed out

I. INTROEWCTIO~ .. The project to be reported is a multistage transistor amplifier design subject to several constraints. The course is introductory in nature, feedback and frequency response are postponed for a second quarter, 1 therefore the complexity of the design exercise is limited, however, its value as a design experience and teaching tool remains unmatched. There have been reports in the literature regarding this type of projects but at a level that already includes feedback and frequency response. Proposing a basic design project at an early stage prepares the student to address firther design issues at a second course. A list of constraints, as usually happens in the real word, is presented to the students, fhrther, they have to design in order to meet a set of given specifications or in other words, to provide a desired performance, Despite this design constraints the project is carefilly kept open ended, each team is expected to produce a distinctive original design. Not only component values should be different, but also their amplifier topology is expected to show some differences. Design decisions by the student will be emphasized, the pseudo design or “backward analysis” portions of the project will also be pointed out. Spice, usually Design Center student version for Windows, is used by the students to perform a preliminary test of their design. Fine tuning of the design is also possible at this stage. MathCad is recommended for the design and analysis portion of their work even though any spreadsheet could be used to this end. The design and analysis procedure, developed by the student, when written in MathCad can perform automatic calculations, answer “what if” type of questions and facilitates any trial and error needed for fine tuning. There are also some drawbacks as we shall see later. Many students have used Spice at their introductory circuit analysis course, however, few of them have used MathCad. Despite some complains at having to learn yet another software package, all of them do learn MathCad. A walk through the computer center, at the end of the quarter, invariably shows students taking advantage of their newly acquired skills, for completing projects and laboratories in other areas as well.

{hx~~ 1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings ‘Jlllllllllll.:

Teixeira, M. (1996, June), Overview Of A Design Project Developed To Meet 0.5 Credits Of Design Content In An Introductory Electronics Course Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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