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Experimental procedures and techniques

The purpose of the laboratory portion of this course is to acquaint the student with:
1. Experimental procedures and techniques as they apply specifically to digital systems.
2. Troubleshooting of digital circuitry when an incorrect output is observed.
3. The characteristics of the digital components and equipment that will be studied.
4. Methods of good record keeping.
1. The laboratory period is 2 hours long, and all required lab work must be completed during
this time.
2. Students will work independently.
3. Each student has the responsibility for coming to the laboratory fully prepared. This
preparatory work is to be documented in the form of a Preliminary Report (Prelab) and
is to be submitted to the lab instructor at a time designated in advance (see the Course
Syllabus for the dates that apply for your lab section). Satisfactory preparation is required
in order to be allowed to perform the experiment. A well-prepared student will be able to
proceed with the laboratory work without delay and with little, if any, assistance from the
laboratory instructors.
4. All equipment required will be available on the laboratory benches. YOU are responsible
for the proper use and care of this equipment. If you do not know how to use the equipment,
ASK the instructor! It is much better to ask than to receive a failing grade for the lab if the
equipment should be damaged due to your negligence. Whenever a student is responsible
for damage to laboratory instruments or equipment the student may be fined. Final
judgment regarding the assessment of these fines rests with the Instructor.
5. A burned-out fuse or IC chip is to be considered as evidence that something is seriously
wrong with the experiment and must be reported immediately to a laboratory instructor.
The instructor will approve the issuance of the proper replacement fuse or IC. A record
will be kept of the number of replacement fuses or ICs required for each student. If, at the
end of the semester, any student has more than a reasonable maximum number of fuses or
ICs, that student will be assessed the cost of the fuses or ICs in excess.
6. In very special cases, such as when there is a failure of the laboratory equipment or a student
is absent for legitimate medical reasons, arrangements can be made with the Instructor to
complete or make-up an experiment during designated make-up an experiment during
designated make-up laboratory periods during the semester.
7. The Laboratory Record of each student, whether completed or not, must be handed to the
laboratory instructor at the end of the laboratory period.
Each student is required to write a brief preparatory report on each experiment and turn it into the
instructor at the time designated. The Preliminary Report must be thorough enough to allow
another student or the instructor to perform the complete experiment using only the report and lab
instruction sheet.
The Preliminary Report should contain the following information:
1. The date the prelab is to be handed in.
2. Identification of the experiment by number and title.
3. Your name.
4. A brief yet informative statement defining the objective of the experiment.
5. A table identifying the equipment required.
6. Circuit diagram(s) and/or wiring diagram(s) showing the detail of the actual
connections to be used. Each piece of equipment or important component such as
switches, LED’s, chip, and pin numbers should be uniquely identified. When
variables such as X, Y, Z or C, B, A are used, they should be put down as well to
show what physical parts represent them. Where instructed, the appropriate Switch
and Logic channel labels should be used in your diagrams. A wiring table should
also be prepared for labs with more than one IC.
7. Work done to complete the objective consisting of- a problem statement, truth
tables, state tables, state diagrams, Karnaugh maps, etc. The variables should be
identified by the same designations as those in the circuit and wiring diagrams so
that each piece of equipment or important component such as switches, LED’s, chip,
and pin numbers is uniquely identified.
8. Predicted results that may be theoretically obtained before any experimental work
is actually performed in the lab should be put in this section. Any intermediate
results, such as those from between gates, should be included. Also answer here
any lab handout questions that ask for your predictions regarding the outcome of
the lab.
A well-prepared Preliminary Report will allow the student to proceed with the laboratory work
without delay and with little, if any, assistance from the laboratory instructors. Again, the purpose
of the Preliminary Report is to supply enough information so that another student or instructor
could perform the entire experiment.
Each student is required to make a written record with a ‘Bic’ type ball-point pen (not felt-tip or
gel) of his/her work during the laboratory period. The laboratory record must be handed to the
laboratory instructor before the student leaves the lab. You MUST use a “Roaring Spring
Compositions” or equivalent, size 9¾” x 7½” commercial notebook with bound pages (DO NOT
buy a spiral notebook!). Such notebooks may be purchased at the bookstore. For each lab you
will be asked to staple your prelab into the notebook before beginning the experiment. Your
notebook will be in your possession only during your lab session. Notes should be made in the
record whenever they are needed to clarify or emphasize what was done and why.
The Laboratory Record should contain the following information:
1. The date the laboratory work was performed.
2. Identification of the experiment by number and title.
3. Your name.
4. A table identifying the equipment required.
5. Circuit diagram(s) and/or wiring diagram(s) showing the detail of the actual
connections used . Each piece of equipment or important component such as
switches, LED’s, chip, and pin numbers should be uniquely identified. When
variables such as X, Y, Z or C, B, A are used, they should be put down as well to
show what phyiscal parts represent them.
6. Original data, consisting of truth tables, timing diagrams, state tables, state
diagrams, etc. The variables should be identified by the same designations as those
in the circuit and wiring diagrams so that each piece of equipment or important
component such as switches, LED’s, chip, and pin numbers is uniquely identified.
When variables such as X, Y, Z or C, B, A are used, they should be put down as
well to show what phyiscal parts represent them. Any intermediate results, such as
those from between gates, should be included. Comparisons to the predicted results
should also go here.
7. Your answers to any questions found within the lab handout.
8. Your troubleshooting procedure (if required) and the changes it yielded as each
change was made.
9. Notes on changes in procedure, difficulties encountered, and the method used to
overcome these difficulties.
10. A discussion of the results.
11. Conclusions and recommendations for further work.
The purpose of the Laboratory Record again is to supply sufficient information in order that a
student’s experimental work may be exactly duplicated so that all observations and data can be

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