Introduction to EE 212 Lab
The goal of this lab course is to illustrate principles from the circuits and
signals classes and teach the use of electronic test equipment.
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
- For each experiment, tape the lab handouts 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
- 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.
- Include a summary giving a brief conclusion of what was accomplished
- Answer questions posed in the lab.
- 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 needed.
- 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 grade.
© Copyright 2003 New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology