Introduction to EE 212 Lab
The general format for your lab notebook:
Keep all lab work in a quad-rule bound notebook with numbered pages.
Include a table of contents at the beginning and record in it the titles
and page numbers of each lab.
Date each page as you use it.
Data, schematics, and final work should go on the right side. Use the left
side for scratch work and possibly for annotation should you leave something
out and need to add it later. Do not do scratch work on scratch paper -
everything you write in the lab should go in your lab notebook.
Hand-written entries should be in ink rather than pencil. Cross out bad work
with a single line through it, rather than blacking it out. When you review
your work, it is sometimes useful to see what mistakes you made, and why.
For each experiment, tape your prelab work in your notebook.
The lab notebook should be neat, but not formal.
The general format for recording steps in the lab:
Briefly record information on your procedure. There should be enough information
so that an engineer not familiar with our lab could reproduce your work.
Draw schematics and block diagrams as you design and build circuits. Show
on schematics the points where measurements were taken.
As you take data, put it neatly in tables and make simple hand-drawn plots
of results near tables if necessary.
Add sketches or printouts of oscilloscope traces where appropriate. Leave
space for computer-generated plots if you want to add these later.
Be sure to include units with all data and all plots.
A summary is not required. If there is something special that
you learned, you might comment on that.
Answer questions posed in the lab.
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Often, you will not be asked a specific question about a part of the lab,
but you are expected to explain and comment on each section. You should look
for key words in the lab handout. One key word is measure. If you
are asked for a measurement, your instructor will expect to see the measured
value in your write-up. If appropriate, the measurements should be presented
in a table. If you make more than one measurement, you should almost always
plot the result, even if you are not explicitly asked to do so. Also, a
measurement should not be presented without an explanation. You could write
"I measured the voltage across the resistor to be 5.13 Volts. This is close
to the value of 5.00 Volts calculated using the voltage divider formula.
The 2.6 % difference is probably due to the 5 % tolerance of the resistors
we use in this lab.'' Or it can be better to show on a schematic what is
being measured and record the measured value, "VR1=5.15 V, expected 5 V,
5 % tolerance of the resistors accounts for difference". The latter is briefer
and there is enough information for reproducing the result. Also, the latter
is quicker to understand than a long description. However, some times long
description are better as well. You choose what gives all the information
Another key word is plot. If you are asked to plot something, you
are also expected to comment on the plot --- for example, do the points fall
on a straight line? If so, why? Be sure to include units with all data
and all plots.
Compare is another key word that requires an explanation. For example,
in Lab 1 you are asked to compare a measured resistance value to the labeled
value of a resistor. It is not sufficient to say "The measured value of 22.7
kohm is close to the labeled value of 22 kohm.'' Instead, you should say
something like "The measured value of 22.7 kohm is 3 % different from the
labeled value of 22 kohm. This is within the 5 % tolerance of the resistors
we use in this lab.''
When you start a lab, your work area will be neat and clean. When you finish,
it is expected that you will leave with your work area neat and clean. Return
any components you used in the lab to the parts bin. Remove all wires you
put on the breadboard, and return them to the wire bin. Make sure multimeter
and scope probes are untangled and placed neatly in the work area. If you
consistently leave your area messy, points will be deducted from your lab