ENGR 201: Electrical Fundamentals I

Legacy Course: Do NOT Use!

ENGR 201 is a course intended to teach the basics of DC circuit design and analysis. DC circuit design is important for every type of engineering, whether in mechanical engineering where measuring the heat of a motor is important, or in civil engineering when measuring the strain on a beam is important in analyzing a bridge. The measurements are made using transducers, devices that change some form of energy into electrical energy, many of which are DC elements. The lab for ENGR201 focuses on some of these transducers and how the circuits they are used in are designed. Using your own portable measurement device, the data logger, you will be asked to make some measurements that relate to your field as a final project.

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The DataLogger

Hardware Used

Software Used

DataLogger Firmware Project on BeaverSource

Important Documents

Lab Manual

Complete ENGR 201 Manual

Pre-Lab Section 1

Section 1: Equipment Operation and Safety

The purpose of this lab is to learn how to use the various hardware and software tools used in this course. In addition, safety issues and usage guidelines for these pieces of test equipment will be covered.

  • LTSpice Starter Guide

  • Pre-Lab Section 2

    Section 2: Resistive Sensors and the DataLogger

    In the lecture for this class, you have been learning about resistors and how they work in electronic circuits. You have also been learning how to analyze circuits using Ohm's law and voltage divider equations. In this lab, you will be building resistor circuits and analyzing them using these laws. You will begin the development of resistive sensor circuits that you will use all through this term, to take measurements that pertain to your career path. Also, you will begin using the DataLogger instrument: from setting it up to recording information and storing the data on a computer.

    Pre-Lab Section 3

    Section 3: Major-Specific Project

    In the previous week's lab you learned how to use the DataLogger tool to record and store information. Now you will apply that knowledge to a project that is more relevant to your field of study. Depending on your major you will be assigned one of three projects. Using the resistive sensor circuits you created in section two, you will collect real-world data rather than simply observing changes in voltage and current. Each project incorporates unique elements that will relate what you have learned in ENGR 201 this term to what you might do in the future.

    Pre-Lab Section 4

    Section 4: Modeling and Thevenin Equivalency

    Solar cells are an example of new 'green' technologies that can supply electrical energy without consumption of non-renewable energy sources. These cells however have certain charcateristics that requirethem to be used in a certain way to be most efficent. In this lab we will characterize a solar cell.

    Pre-Lab Section 5

    Section 5: Final Project

    The final project is to monitor an environment for a period of time, and then analyze the data collected. It is entirely self-designed, but should be related to your major. An operational amplifier is used to expand the output range of your sensor circuit, increasing the clarity of your results.


    • Appendix A: Data Logger Usage Guide
    • Appendix B: Schematics
    • Appendix C: Suppliers
    • Appendix D: Parts List


    Useful Tutorials and Links