Asee peer logo

Real Time, Remote Circuits And Electronics Laboratories For Distance Learning

Download Paper |


1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.479.1 - 3.479.6

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

J. Michael Heneghan

Download Paper |

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

Session 3226, Paper 1

Real Time, Remote Circuits and Electronics Laboratories for Distance Learning

Prof. J. Michael Heneghan Department of Electrical Engineering St. Cloud State University St. Cloud, MN


Employing distance education techniques in teaching electrical engineering courses will continue to grow. One of the major obstacles in distance education is providing relevant, hands-on laboratories for students. This project is aimed at giving students real-time access to standard laboratory instrumentation and electronic circuits via the internet. Students manipulate real instruments such as oscilloscopes and function generators with mouse clicks, change circuit measurement points, modify circuit connections, and adjust component values. The oscilloscope waveforms and meter readings are measured by real instruments in a central laboratory and the resulting data are sent back to the student’s computer for display. The student can view a list of which experiments are currently available and select an experiment to run. The student activity is recorded for evaluation by the instructor.


The growing trend of distance education can severely limit a student’s access to real laboratory equipment. Remote laboratory experiments have been developed that allow students to gain access to real electronic instruments on a schedule that best suits their needs. The remote student can control and observe real electronic instruments, circuits and circuit elements in the same manner that a traditional, in-lab, student can. This is not a simulated laboratory experience.

Accurate, graphical representations of the specific electronic instruments used in the lab and a circuit schematic are shown on the remote PC monitor. The student can manipulate the knobs on each instrument and make measurements at various points on the schematic.

An example of a remote lab is an operational amplifier configured as Butterworth low pass filter. The student has complete control of the plus and minus power supplies and can verify the supply settings by connecting a digital multimeter to the power supply pins on the opamp. The frequency, offset and wave form of the input function generator can be controlled by the remote student. Channels 1 and 2 on the oscilloscope can be connected to any point on the circuit by the student using mouse clicks. The oscilloscope horizontal time base, the vertical volts/division, vertical position, trigger source and level, and the AC/DC/Gnd switches are all remotely controllable.

Heneghan, J. M. (1998, June), Real Time, Remote Circuits And Electronics Laboratories For Distance Learning Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 1998 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015