Section Overview

Welcome to the ECE 111 lab manual! For many students, this may be their first exposure to soldering (pronounced saw-der-ing) and assembling an electrical system. Therefore, this manual has been written with the assumption that the assembler has very little knowledge of these skills.


  • Lab etiquette
  • Resources
  • Soldering
  • Using the resistor value tables
  • programming FRDM-KL46Z


  • KL-46z.
  • USB to Mini Cable
  • ECE111 Tekbots Tool Kit
  • Soldering iron tip and barrel nut
  • Solder

Task 1: Read Lab Rules.

Lab Etiquette

Proper etiquette in the labs is important when working with other students and Teaching Assistants (TAs). Engineers work with many different types of people and need to be able to do so proficiently. Another part of proper lab etiquette is cleanliness in the lab. Engineers work in a variety of spaces; some can work in spaces that are exclusively theirs but many work in shared spaces. When sharing work spaces, respect others that must use that space by keeping it clean and removing messes when finished.


To get the fullest experience out of lab, students are expected to:

  • Prepare for each lab. Students should read each section in the lab manual before going to lab. This ensures all the required tools are prepared and any questions for the TAs are ready.
  • Ask questions. Students should talk to their peers and the TAs when questions arise. Other people will have different perspectives on an issue.
  • Respect their peers. Everybody comes from a different background and has a different level of knowledge but everybody deserves the same level of respect.

Teaching Assistants (TAs)

Teaching Assistants are expected to:

  • Ensure the lab is prepared. TAs make sure the room the lab is located in and the provided materials are prepped for the students during their assigned lab sections.
  • Fairly assess student performance. TAs should outline their requirements for full credit on prelabs and study questions at the beginning of the term and grade to this standard for the term.
  • Help students think through problems in lab. TAs will not give instant answers to problems encountered. They are available to guide students towards the correct answer.


A messy workspace can be a safety hazard and create a chaotic environment. It is much easier to lose a small component when there are other items cluttering the table top. It is also important to keep a workspace clean because there are other classes that use the same room for their labs. Respect the lab and the other people that are working in the lab.

Academic Dishonesty

The following is taken from the Oregon University System, Oregon State University Student Conduct Code.

  1. Academic or Scholarly Dishonesty is defined as an act of deception in which a Student seeks to claim credit for the work or effort of another person, or uses unauthorized materials or fabricated information in any academic work or research, either through the Student’s own efforts or the efforts of another.
  2. It includes:
    • CHEATING – use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information or study aids, or an act of deceit by which a Student attempts to misrepresent mastery of academic effort or information. This includes but is not limited to unauthorized copying or collaboration on a test or assignment, using prohibited materials and texts, any misuse of an electronic device, or using any deceptive means to gain academic credit.
    • FABRICATION – falsification or invention of any information including but not limited to falsifying research, inventing or exaggerating data, or listing incorrect or fictitious references.
    • ASSISTING – helping another commit an act of academic dishonesty. This includes but is not limited to paying or bribing someone to acquire a test or assignment, changing someone’s grades or academic records, taking a test/doing an assignment for someone else by any means, including misuse of an electronic device. It is a violation of Oregon state law to create and offer to sell part or all of an educational assignment to another person (ORS 165.114)
    • TAMPERING – altering or interfering with evaluation instruments or documents.
    • PLAGERISM – representing the words or ideas of another person or presenting someone else’s words, ideas, artistry or data as one’s own, or using one’s own previously submitted work. Plagerism includes but is not limited to copying another person’s work (including unpublished material) without appropriate referencing, presenting someone else’s opinions and theories as one’s own, or working jointly on a project and then submitting it as one’s own work.
  3. Academic Dishonesty cases are handled initially by the academic units, following the process outlined in the University’s Academic Dishonesty Report Form, and will also be referred to SCCS for action under these rules. 500/oar 576/576 015.html


Task 2: Prepare For ECE111 Lab.


Proper preparation allows for a smoother and more efficient lab time. Follow these steps before starting each lab.

  • Start with a clean work space. Electronic components are very small and if dropped, could be easily lost in desk clutter. Therefore, put away papers, keyboards, mice, clothing, etc.
  • Keep electronic parts neatly organized. Often times, parts come neatly packaged and ready for use. Do not dump all of these parts together, such as in a box. Instead, if parts come separated, try to keep them that way. To stay organized, rather than spreading components out across the desk, use a small container. Some people use ice cube trays, kitchen bowls, art supply boxes, or other containers for convenient organization of parts.
  • Care for tools. The quality of electronics assembly is based on personal experience and tools used for assembly. Hence, try to keep tools in the best condition possible. When using cutting tools, try not to cut things that the tools are not designed to cut.
  • Gather all supplies. When working on a project, there is nothing more annoying than not having the parts needed, and having to stop working to go find them. Prevent this frustration by double-checking all supplies before starting. This includes manuals, tools, components, pens, and paper.

How to Solder?

Never touch a component or the tip of the soldering iron while soldering! Return soldering iron to its stand when not in use. In step 5, cover the lead that is being cut to prevent it from flying away. A variety of different soldering tutorials are available online to help with this process. More soldering hints can be found on the TekBots webpage.

How to Solder

Preparing The KL46Z

Some soldering is necessary to prepare the KL46Z for this lab. Male headers need to be soldered into the small holes along the one long side of the KL46Z board. Aquire one 6 by 2 pin and one 8 by 2 pin long strips of male headers; we will only use header rows J3 and J4. Prepare and solder each pin according to the instructions in the previous section.


When soldering the first piece of male header to the KL46Z, it may be beneficial to find something small to put under the other edge of the board to keep the header and the PCB ( Printed Circuit Board) perpendicular.

Ohm's Law

Ohm's Law is the first law we look at in ECE. You will be covering Ohm's law in a number of courses, ECE 111 is the first of them. The law was named after the German physicist Georg Ohm who published a work in 1827 decribing an applied voltage and current through simple electric circuits. Gustav Kirchoff reformulated Ohm's law into the form we know and use today. Ohm's law relates three primary properties of electric components and circiuts. The three properties are:

  • Voltage: Also called potential, is the difference in potential energy of one location compared to another. It is measured in Volts "V", named after Alessandro Volta.
  • Current:  Represents the amount of electrons flowing through a conductor in one second. It is measured in Amperes, often shortend to Amps "A", and is named after Andre-Marie Ampere.
  • Resistance: Decribes how difficult it is for current to flow through a conductor. Measured in Ohms "Ω" and named after Georg Ohm.

Ohm's Law relates these properties in a singal equation, R =V/I . Read more from this source Voltage, Current, Resistance, and Ohm's Law.

Resistor Values

A resistor is a component that limits electrical current. Current creates a voltage drop across the two terminals of the resistor. Most resistors use a pattern of colored strips to indicate the resistance value. The diagram below shows how to read the resistor values.

band indications Resistor Color Code

From the above figure, the color is Red, Black, Green, and Gold Red = 2, Black = 0, Green = 5 (zeros), Gold = ± 5% The resistor value is in between 2, 000, 000 × (1 − 0.05) = 1.9MΩ and 2, 000, 000 × (1 + 0.05) = 2.1MΩ


Making Measurements

Use the resistor in the ECE 111 kit. This exercise uses the Digital Multimeter (DMM) to measure resistance. For instructions on how to use a DMM, reference lab 2.

  • Fill-in the band colors on a paper.
  • Fill-in values of the colors.
  • Write down the complete value.
  • Measure Resistance using DMM: Are the values the same? Are the values within the specified tolerance?

Task 3: FRDM KL46Z test & Software Configuration.


1. Make an account at


2. Open the compiler (upper right corner).


3. Go to the page for your board: (46Z) or (43Z)


4. Click Add to MBED compiler.


5. In the compiler click import (upper left corner).


6. Search for “mbed_blinky” and select the version created by "mbed official”.


7. Click import (upper right corner).


8. Click on the now imported mbed_blinky program on the left side bar.


9. Click compile (top side bar).


10. Plug in your KL 46Z or KL 43Z.


11. Drag the generated .bin file onto your board (it will show up like a USB drive).


TA Signature or Canves Check Off: ___________________ (Board is Prepared/LED Blinking).

Study Questions

Type answers to the study questions below, and turn it in on Canvas. Please keep answers clear and concise. Turn in the questions at the beginning of lab next week. You will be required to type all study questions for the future labs as well.

  1. Soldering can be used for making one-of-a-kind things (prototyping) but there are many other ways of prototyping too. Find two other ways of prototyping electronics circuits.
  2. Use this link FRDM-KL46Z to see details about the KL46Z development board. How much does this board cost ?
  3. List a way you could destroy the FRDM-KL46Z using a motor ? (Don't try to destroy it, we can't replace it for you) ?
  4. Use this link for pinout and more details on the FDRM-KL46Z FRDM-KL46Z| mbed, which pins are connected to the Acceleometer?
  5. What's an accelerometer, you can use this link for help SparkFun accelerometer basics ?
  6. The processor on the FDRM-KL46Z, what is it ? Is it RISC or CISC (Read Chatpter:1) ? 


Measure the resistance of the resistor shown in the next figure. Note: These resistors can be obtained from your TA. Is there anything special about this type of resistor? Type a description and turn it in with the study questions.