ASU Fall Semester 2017 Complete

Another semester is done! Down to twelve classes left and excited to be on break. It was tough to keep focused towards the end there with these fifteen week classes. I’d gotten so used to only have to keep focused for 7.5 weeks, but having more time to work through the material was much better. I think the shift to 15 week courses is good.

EEE 241 Fundamentals of Electromagnetics I showed a bit of improvement from the second midterm to the final exam, but wasn’t able to pull off a B unfortunately and walked away with a C. I was six points shy and no curve short of the adjusted grading scale. I think the exam was fair though. It took me a little bit to figure this class out but I have passed it. I definitely don’t have it mastered by any means, but hopefully I’ll have a bit more practicing in my remaining courses. Not sure what more to say about it, it is by the hardest class that I’ve encountered. Perhaps if I had taken it right after MAT 267 and PHY 131 I would have done a bit better? Just not sure.

EEE 334 Circuits II’s final was graded much quicker than I was anticipating and the course grades posted this morning. Despite all the challenges in this course, I was able to get in A! I’m pretty proud of this score. I really enjoyed the labs and the topics covered in Circuits II once I got back into the swing of things. I messed up the logic circuit somehow and need to go back through and see what I did there. It was late when I took the exam and I think I swapped the pull up and pull down transistor networks accidently. Hopefully I’ll see a bit more of those in EEE335 next semester.

Next semester I’ll be taking two of four pathway courses with EEE 333 Hardware Design Language and Program Logic, EEE 335 Analog and Digital Circuits and then EEE 350 Random Signal Analysis is one of the upper division EEE required courses needed. Looks like I will be helping out for EEE120 as well so that will interesting. Rumor has it a few of the labs have been updated and am looking forward to helping out in there again.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back next year once Spring 2018 gets underway.


ASU Fall Semester 2017 Week 15

I’ve been having the worst week keeping focused on school without any new assignments or lectures to work on. I keep finding myself distracted looking at various Raspberry Pi, Arduino, or programming projects I want to mess with over the winter break when I should be studying and preparing for final exams.

I do better in the mornings at least and have been rewatching videos, reworking problems and examples and rereading the text book for EEE241. I keep hoping a light will finally turn on in my head, but so far can’t say it has yet. Short of praying to Lords Faraday, Maxwell, Ampere and Gauss not sure what more can be done and just hoping I can put slightly coherent ink strokes down on my paper in response to the three questions that will be asked. I just need 8 points out of 30 if my math is correct to pull off a C in EEE241 and that is all I want for Christmas.

EEE334 I’m in better shape there and even if I bomb the final, I still walk away with a C. I think I worked out that I can score a 70% on the final and still have an A. Hopefully all the necessary values will be given, the problems will be clear and the clock won’t be too bad. The professor has been MIA for a bit and hasn’t given much information at all short of its cumulative. I have been reviewing the past quizzes and homework assignments in there.

So next week, my plan is to take the EEE241 final on Tuesday night and then EEE334 Wednesday night and that will wrap up the Fall 2017 semester. With any luck grades will be posted by the end of the weekend and then it’s relax and recharge a bit. I’ll put together a final thoughts post once grades are posted.

ASU Fall Semester 2017 Week 14

EEE 241 had only two problems this week for the final homework set. Lectures this week included:

  • Transverse Electromagnetic Waves
  • Polarization of Plane Waves
  • Plane Waves in Lossy Media
  • Propagation in Ionized Gases
  • Group Velocity
  • The Poynting Vector

This wraps up the video lectures for EEE 241. Next week planning to revisit a lot of the lectures and examples to see if I can find the missing pieces.

EEE 334 was a bit busy this week with Quiz #6 and working on the last homework assignment. The homework assignment focused on Chapter 14 on Digital CMOS.

At this point, all assignments have been turned in short of the final exams. Hopefully over the next few days the graders will get scores posted. Next week, my focus will be on reviewing for the final exams. Not much else to say at this point, but definitely will be glad to get these two courses behind me.

ASU Fall Semester 2017 Week 13

EEE 241 Electromagnetics, this week had us looking into:

  • Potential Functions
  • Electromagnetic Boundary Conditions
  • Derivation of Wave Equations
  • Wave Equations and their Solutions
  • Time-Harmonic Fields
  • Source-Free Fields in Simple Media
  • Plane Electromagnetic Waves in Lossless Media

A few more topics than usual, but only three homework problems to work through this week. Next week I will be starting my preparations for the final exam and have one more homework

Most of my time this past week was spent in EEE 334 between the homework set and the last lab. The lab had us looking at a couple of logic circuits. Below are a couple of examples of the circuits that I studied in LTSpice.

Two input NOR circuit
Two input NAND circuit
Two input inverter circuit

I really enjoyed this lab. It was the last lab for EEE 334, but looking ahead, I’m sure will have plenty more with EEE333 and EEE335 next semester.

ASU Fall Semester 2017 Week 12

A little late on getting my weekly update posted. Ended up going up to the mountains Friday and got side tracked by trees and good food and blue skies.

The past week in EEE 334 has been a bit of backtracking. I think I mentioned in a previous post that it seemed like we skipped some material and were a bit ahead. We backtracked this week and the homework assignment due Monday has been looking at discrete amplifiers. Not too bad, but had to go back and look at the lectures a few weeks back.

Tuesday had a quiz that hopefully I did okay on. Grading in EEE334 seems to be taking a long time so probably won’t know for a few more days.

In addition to the quiz and the homework, I got started on the last lab that is due next Thusday. This lab is looking at how to build inverters, NAND and NOR gates with transistors. This has been a really neat lab despite a lab manual that has had a few errors and poorly worded instructions. I’d wondered how all those ICs I’d messed with back in EEE 120 were put together and now getting to see under the hood. I’m almost half way done so should be able to get that all wrapped up over the next few days.

In EEE241, we wrapped up chapter 6 and moved into chapter 7. The topics this week have been on

  • Faraday’s Law of Electomagnetic Induction, Transformers
  • Moving Conductor in a Static and Time-Varying Magnetic Field
  • Maxwell’s Equations

Lots of good stuff there!

ASU Fall Semester 2017 Week 11

I’ve moved into the last full month of the Fall semester as November arrived following the end of October. Hard to believe we’re a few weeks away from final exams and on the home stretch of probably my toughest semester to date.

Let’s start with EEE334 since that had some interesting developments over the past few days. Midterm scores finally posted last weekend and I scored better than I thought. Pulled off a B on the midterm given that the last problem was missing a critical value. The professor decided to give us a midterm retake that we can complete by Monday in order to get 70% of the points missed back. I’ll take it. That should get me an A on the midterm and for an exercise that is 25% of our score definitely helps put me in a good spot if I can keep that up through the remainder of the assignments and final. While the instructor has been challenging to work with, I am really enjoying this material.

This week in EEE334 in addition to the midterm retake, homework 5 and lab 5 were due Monday and Thursday respectively. I was able to get both of those completed and turned in. Hopefully correctly! Homework 5 had a couple of BJT problems and Lab 5 covered Single State MOSFET Amplifiers and DC Biasing.

The lectures for the next two weeks in Circuits II are on BJTs which are Bipolar Junction Transistors. The lectures seemed to note that these were included for completeness and that the MOSFETs studied earlier were the more common. Regardless, they are interesting devices and the lectures covered:

  • Introduction to BJTs
  • Various BJT equations, Large Signal Operation, Current & Voltage Characteristics
  • DC Analysis using BJTs
  • Establishing the DC Bias for BJTs
  • BJT Small Signal Operation (Hybrid Pi and T Models)
  • Common Emitter Bipolar Amplifiers
  • Common Emitter Amplifier with Emitter Degeneration Resistance

EEE241 Electomagnetics continues in Chapter 6 but we’ve been looking at Self-Inductance and Mutual Inductance, Magnetic Energy and Magnetic Forces. I’m a little bit behind on the homework and lectures but the lecture topics this week included:

  • Inductances and Inductors
  • Magnetic Energy
  • Magnetic Forces
  • Forces and Torques in Terms of Stored Magnetic Energy

I need to really start focusing on this material over the next few weeks. I’ve been feeling like a score better than a C is just so far out of my reach and struggling to get motivated. If my math is correct I need 8/30 on the final for a C and a B is 26/30 points and that just seems like a tall order I may not be able to fill. Just can’t seem to figure out what I’m missing on this electromagnetics stuff. I don’t usually struggle so much on material but for some reason this electromagnetics class is just kicking my butt. I’m a little ahead though in Circuits II so plan to take a step back and really go through the material that will show up on the final and see if I can pull a rabbit out of my hat. That’s about all I’ve got for this week, back to the books!

ASU Fall Semester 2017 Week 10

EEE 241 – Fundamentals of Magnetics has been focused this week on Magnetic Response of Materials. Lecture topics this week include:

  • Magnetization and Equivalent Current Densities
  • Magnetic Field Intensity and Relative Permeability
  • Magnetic Circuits
  • Behavior of Magnetic Materials
  • Boundary Conditions for Magnetostatic Fields

Four homework problems, not too bad. I don’t have too much more to say. Just trying to pick up enough to make it through this course and pass.

EEE 334 – Circuits II is still a bit of mess. No Midterm scores yet which is most unusual. Its been over two weeks now. Certainly the longest I’ve ever had to wait in any college course at ASU, UCR, USF or Sac State.

This week I took Quiz 4 on the various Common Source, Common Gate, and Common Drain amplifiers. I think I did pretty good on it, but will hopefully find out in a few days. In addition, I got started on homework 5 and the next set of lectures on Bipolar Junction Transistors and have been busy working away on Lab 5 on the various MOSFET amplifiers. So far, the most complex circuits I’ve built on a breadboard.

Once these classes wrap up, I hope to start putting some posts up with more details on the projects. For now, though back to work to get these assignments wrapped up.