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Real Hardware Based Filter Laboratory Experiments For A Sophomore Linear Systems Course

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.437.1 - 4.437.5

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Paper Authors

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John E. McInroy

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Robert F. Kubichek

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Raymond Jacquot

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

Session 3532

Real Hardware Based Filter Laboratory Exercises for a Sophomore Linear Systems Course

Raymond G. Jacquot, Robert F. Kubichek and John E. McInroy University of Wyoming


The authors report here a modification to enhance a sophomore linear systems course. Students at the sophomore level are rather unsophisticated mathematically and need derivations and discussions of abstract concepts to be anchored in real systems that they can see and put their hands on. To this end the authors report in this paper a set of experiments which provide that foundation.

I. Introduction

At the University of Wyoming, electrical engineering sophomores a take a course in elementary linear systems immediately following their introductory circuit analysis course. The topics for this course are Laplace transforms, system modeling, transfer functions, convolution, frequency response, Fourier series, and filtering of periodic signals. Associated with the course is a laboratory which meets six times in the course of a semester. Due to the early time in the curriculum at which this course is taken, the authors have seen the need to couple the course concepts to physical systems in order to reduce mathematical abstraction. In the past, a paper was presented on a series of physical system experiments that involved a single vehicle suspension system1. This was done primarily as modeling, analysis and simulation with no real hardware on which students could hang their academic hats. Course evaluations were often critical that the laboratories would be better if they were based on some real hardware that students could touch and on which they could make measurements with real instruments. In this respect, this is a case of a well-intentioned effort which was not on target. To address these disturbing criticisms it was decided by the authors to construct several new laboratory exercises that were hardware based and that is the topic of this report. The hardware needed to be sufficiently complicated so that the modeling, analysis, and simulation tasks are not trivial. The hardware also needed to be such that results based on the model correlate well with measurements made on real hardware. To this end, a pair of active filters were designed and synthesized on a small printed circuit board. One of the filters is of first order while the other is of second order type. They may be treated individually or cascaded to form a single third order filter.

II. Course Setting

The course being discussed is a three semester hour course with three lectures weekly and a two hour lab six times during the semester. The course is taken by second semester sophomore electrical engineering majors. The prerequisite courses are a first course in circuit analysis plus ordinary differential equations. Table 1 below gives the topics in the course roughly in the order of coverage. The goal of the laboratory is to expose the students to systems computations

McInroy, J. E., & Kubichek, R. F., & Jacquot, R. (1999, June), Real Hardware Based Filter Laboratory Experiments For A Sophomore Linear Systems Course Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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