ASU Spring 2017 Session B Week 7 Update

This week my head really feels like it is going to implode. I caught another cold and have felt miserable. EEE 202 has had so much information coming at us the last few weeks and the darn lecture videos are so short. I definitely think EEE 202 would be much more enjoyable at a slower pace with time to digest the material over a full semester. So much good stuff and 7.5 weeks just doesn’t do it justice. I really like it, but I need time to think and ponder and assimilate new information and there just hasn’t been a free moment to do much of that.

This week in Circuits I no lab to mess with, but it’s been all about Laplace Transforms. Specifically:

  • Laplace Transform
  • Inverse Laplace Transform
  • Solving Differential Equations with Laplace Transform
  • Circuit Analysis in the Laplace Domain
  • Transfer Functions in the Laplace Domain

The unit step and impulse function showed up as well. I don’t remember seeing those much in MAT 275, but I can see how they can be useful. I have a list of topics I want to review over the summer before Fall starts up. Definitely need to keep practicing so as not to forget before I have four EEE classes in the fall!

So remember that MAT 275 Differential Equation class! Pay attention and learn that Laplace transform stuff in there. It comes back big time for the last week of EEE 202. It’s quite elegant how the different mathematics all come into play in Circuits I.

This week in PHY 241 the class had its last test prior to the final. I did better than I thought I was going to do and pulled a 91/100 somehow. I had a couple of very lucky guesses. The test covered Relativity and Modern Physics from chapters 36-39. In addition to the test, Chapter 40 on Quantum Mechanics in One Dimension was covered and we’ll see a few questions from there on the cumulative final. Feels like there is a whole lot more that could be said on that topic, and just barely scratched the surface there. Feels weird to have all my Mastering Physics homework questions complete, but glad I’ll be applying all that physics knowledge to EEE problems moving forward.

All that remains now for me is to wrap up the finals. Saturday I’ll have my PHY 241 final and Tuesday May 2nd I plan to take EEE 202. PHY 241 is worth 30% and EEE 202’s is worth 40%!. EEE 202 seems extremely high to me, but it is what it is. Hopefully I can make it through them all in one piece. EEE 202 has me a bit nervous, but at least both will be open book and open notes. Not much time to look stuff up, but with only 7.5 weeks, just no way to memorize all the formulas and circuit analysis techniques.

ASU Spring 2017 Session B Week 6 Update

I missed my 10am posting today. To say I’ve been busy this week is an understatement. Ended tonight on a high note and did well on the weekly quiz in EEE 202. This week, EEE 202 has been focused on:

  • Variable Frequency-Response Analysis: Network Functions
  • Frequency Response Using Bode Plot
  • Series Resonant Circuits
  • Parallel Resonant Circuits
  • Filter Networks

I really struggled with the Bode Plots for some reason. Didn’t catch the part about using the magnitude initially and still not 100% comfortable with them. I’m missing something on how they can be drawn quickly by hand to determine what’s happening with a transfer function. I just haven’t had the time I would have liked to really focus on them. I’ll see my cousin the mechanical engineer next week and hope to pick his brain a bit on them and see what he knows…

This week our final lab project was due and it took me a bit longer than usual to piece everything together. Once I got the RC circuit part down, the RL part was pretty straight forward. Had to use a couple of new parts of LTspice, MATLAB and the Digilent Waveforms software. Hopefully I did it all correctly.

I just hope I can pull all these pieces together for the final that is coming up on May 2nd! So much information so quickly.

In PHY 241 this week we went over two chapters

  • Chapter 37 – The Foundation of Modern Physics
  • Chapter 38 – Quantization

In addition, I also knocked out the homework that is due on Monday for Chapter 39 – Wave Functions and Uncertainty. Interesting topics, but again, just wish there was more time to better understand it all and absorb it. More time, more time, more time! I feel like all I have been doing lately is waking up, sitting at my desk and working away and still need more time. So much interesting stuff I wish I could give more attention to!

Next Tuesday, the class has the last test covering the past four chapters, then one more chapter and the final on April 28th-29th. (No it’s not a two day final, probably a 2 hour exam taken either day.) Definitely glad I’m down to 9 more homework problems in Mastering Physics. Its a neat system, but will be glad when I’ve run the physics gauntlet and can turn my attention to EE full time once CHM 114 – Chemistry for Engineers is done over the summer.

ASU Spring 2017 Session B Week 5 Update

It’s been a busy and tough week school wise, but I’m ahead enough that I’m hoping to enjoy the Easter holiday with family and not have to worry about school.

In PHY 241 this week I took the second test on Tuesday. I did well and scored a 101/100. The professor had it 108/100, but I keyed in the wrong value in the calculator and didn’t catch it. Had it down on paper correct. I hate it when that happens, but I’ll gladly take that score and hope to not make that kind of careless mistake again.

With Waves and Optics done, the class turns its attention to relativity and modern physics. Chapter 36 cover’s Einstein’s Principle of Relativity. All new info for me. I remember the famous E=mc² formula, but don’t remember ever really having to work with it. Hopefully over the next few days I’ll better understand it and the other topics discussed like time dilation, the Lorentz transformations and relativistic momentum, velocity and energy. It’s all very interesting stuff.

So far though, PHY 241 has been a much more straight forward set of lectures and homework than the other two classes here at ASU.

EEE 202 was really interesting this week. More crazy math, but once I figured out how to switch my calculator over to polar and work with it, the math was really pretty straight forward. This week the class had us looking at AC Steady State Analysis so thinks like sinusoids and phasors, phasors and complex numbers, impedance and admittance and frequency domain analysis.

The lectures for the class are still far too short but between the recitation sessions and the worked homework solutions I’ve been studying, slowly making my way through the material. Just wish I had more time to really practice and study. I’m having the worst time remembering the different formulas and need to put together another Anki deck. I should have done that sooner, but no use lingering on what I should have done.

This week’s Lab 5 was really neat. It look me a little bit to sort out, but we were studying first order RC and RL circuits. The lab asked us to put simulate them in LTspice, then use MATLAB to plot the response and then finally we built them, setup a custom wave form and then use the oscilloscope to view the waveform.

The waveform was a pretty standard pulse that was on for 100 microsecond then off for a total period of 200 microseconds. It had a 1 microsecond rise and fall though. It took a little bit of tinkering in MATLAB and I learned about the Heaviside capabilities MATLAB has to solve the problem. Once I had the equation for the current, it was pretty straightforward then to find the voltage through the resistor and the inductor or capacitor. It was a nice feeling to see the MATLAB plot match what I had in LTspice when it all came together.

At first I neglected to enter the rise and fall into the waveform and had some really odd oscilloscope readings. It took a little bit to figure out the custom wave form options in the Digilent software, but if anyone is interested, here is an Excel workbook, Graves Lab 5 Waveform, that could be saved as a CSV and then imported into the Digilent Waveform software to save some time. This cleared up the issue and the oscilloscope waveform match the simulation and MATLAB.

Here’s a shot of one of the pretty MATLAB plot:


Good stuff!

ASU Spring 2017 Session B Week 4 Update

I think I’ve just about kicked that cold from last week to the curb. EEE 202 Circuits I has been really interesting and pretty challenging this week. This week the lectures focused on first and second order transient circuits. First order circuits looked at resistor and capacitor or resistor and inductor circuits where the second order circuits were various combinations of RLC (resistor, inductor and capacitor circuits). Differential equations play a very important part in solving these equations in addition to the unit step function.

I am not 100% comfortable with the second order circuits yet. I still think a big part of circuit analysis is practicing and working through as many problems as you can find. The more you do the better you get. I wish I had more time for this EEE 202 class. This is one course I think ASU should have at a full semester, but that is just not in the cards for me. Good news is though that I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve been study, just wish I had more time to study. Seems like I wake up, crack open the books and work most of the day until it is time to go bed and then do it all over again the next day.

This week’s lab had me working through Thévenin, Superposition and Delta-Wye transformation. I’d had a little bit of trouble with the Delta-Wye circuits but after working through the lab, they weren’t so bad. Again the lab centered around using LTspice for the simulating the circuits and then building the circuits on a breadboard and taking measurements with the multimeter and or the Digilent Analog Discovery.

In PHY 241, two chapters were covered – Chapter 21 on Superposition and Chapter 22 on Wave Optics. Some of the theory that was studied way back in FSE 100 on musical instruments was looked at in greater detail which was neat to see again. Standard issue Mastering Physics homework problems that weren’t too bad.

Also, Test 2 is coming up next week on Tuesday so I got started on reviewing the four wave chapters and practice test that the professor posted. Glad this last physics class is almost done!

I think I’ve just about kicked that cold from last week to the curb. EEE 202 Circuits I has been really interesting and pretty challenging this week. This week the lectures focused on first and second order transient circuits. First order circuits looked at resistor and capacitor or resistor and inductor circuits where the second order circuits were various combinations of RLC (resistor, inductor and capacitor circuits). Differential equations play a very important part in solving these equations in addition to the unit step function.

ASU Spring 2017 Session B Week 3 Update

I really hate being sick. I think this is the first time in a few years I’ve had a sinus cold and cough. I’ve been fighting it all week long. Its one of those were you can function, but you still feel horrible, but not horrible enough to be in bed. Hopefully some rest over the weekend will help.

Despite a cold, this week in Physics 241 I took the first exam covering Chapters 16-19. I did okay, but should have done better. Just stupid mistakes on my part rushing through. The exam had four questions from each of the four chapters and for the most part was pretty similar to the practice exam questions with slight twists. There were a couple of sections I should have spent a little bit more time on, but now that I know what to expect on exams, hopefully the next two and the final I can improve on.

After the physics exam I had to immediately turn my attention to the next section which is Chapter 20 on Traveling Waves. The chapter covers:

  • The Wave Model
  • Types of Waves
  • Sound and Light
  • Wave Properties
  • Intensity and Loudness
  • and the Doppler Effect

Timing is good to move into Waves. In EEE 202 Circuits I this week we took a look at some additional analysis techniques as well as inductors and capacitors. The additional analysis techniques we explored covered Equivalence, Linearity, Norton and Thevenin’s Theorem, Superposition and also looked at Maximum Power Transfer. All good stuff. The more problems I work through the better I feel about this circuit analysis stuff.

This week’s EEE 202 lab had us working with the Digilent Analog Discovery’s Wave Form Generator and Oscilloscope. I’m sure there are far more advanced tools out there but so far I’ve been pretty impressed by what that little black box can do. Definitely a handy tool for a student! I’ve never really messed with an oscilloscope so it took me a little bit to figure out how to set it up to display the wave forms. Also figured out that it can perform so math functions like calculate the current through a resistor or the voltage drop, etc. I really had a lot of fun tinkering around and am looking forward to some more complicated labs here in the future.

Back to the wave timing comment I made on physics, now that we have capacitors and inductors to play with looks like we’ll be starting to work more with first and second order transient circuits next week. Should be good stuff!

ASU Spring 2017 Session B Week 2 Update

In PHY 241 this week I continued work on the Thermodynamics chapters and wrapped up all of the homework for the chapters that will be on the first test. Next Tuesday I have my first physics test that will cover Chapters 16-19 in the text book.

Week 2 officially had us working on

  • Chapter 17 – Work, Head, and the First Law of Thermodynamics
  • Chapter 18 – The Micro/Macro Connection

The professor provided some information for Test 1 and a formula sheet we can take advantage of during the exam as well as a practice test so I’ve also been spending time reviewing those problems and working through the end of chapter conceptual questions. This weekend I plan to work through some additional problems to make sure I’ve got everything down as best I can.

I’m ahead on the homework for both classes so its really a matter of just getting practice and understanding the concepts. I think this will be the first weekend in a while where we don’t have something going on with the kids so hoping to get some good study time in.

EEE 202 has been interesting this week. The lab seemed very brief and just introduced us to the breadboard and taking measurements with the Digilent Analog Discovery and a multimeter. Took me longer to find the resistors I needed than to actually do the lab, but things will probably get more challenging in future labs.

I’ve been working a lot of node and mesh analysis problems in the back of the book. On my second quiz attempt I scored 10/10. The node and mesh analysis problems use Linear Algebra which I really enjoyed so its great to see that type of math being applied to EE problems. The circuits I’ve been working are pretty interesting problems and I’m enjoying trying to figure out what the various currents and voltages are throughout.

I think I’m overcomplicating some of the dependent current and voltage source problems. I reached out to the professor and she sent over a couple of additional resources to help me out which was awesome. A lot of this seems to be just getting a lot of practice in.


ASU Spring 2017 Session B Week 1 Update

Session B started up Monday. This session I’m finally in EEE 202 Circuits I! In addition, I am also wrapping up the physics courses needed with PHY 241 Physics III. So far Circuits I has been a bit of a review from PHY 131. Week 1 topics included:

  • Significant Figures
  • Some Basic Concepts
  • Active Circuit Elements
  • Resistors and Ohm’s Law
  • Circuit Topology and Kirchhoff’s Law
  • Single Loop and Single Node-Pair Circuits
  • Resistor Combinations

Circuits I has seven weekly quizzes, six lab reports and a final. Quizzes and Final make up 80% of the grade with labs making up the remaining 20%. All labs and quizzes are due Sunday at midnight AZ time. Usually these online courses have all material available, but this course only has one week available at a time to try and keep everyone on the same page. Hopefully won’t be too hectic trying to get through new material and labs in a week time. I have been pretty good about getting ahead in past courses, but just have to work with how this course is structured.

Some lab materials were required for EEE 202. For the labs materials a standard issue multi-meter, breadboard, Digilent Analog Discovery and the parts kit. All these items were used back in EEE 120 so nothing new to purchase.

Software wise, the course uses LTSpice. The first lab focused primarily on getting acclimated in the software. Pretty neat program and really looking forward to learning more about it. Had an interesting issue that caused me a bit of confusion though with LTSpice. I was working with standard issue resistors and for some reason the program was reporting the current through them with the current having the wrong sign. Simple fix is just to rotate the resistor 180 degrees, but drove me nuts trying to figure out if it was my hand calculation or the simulator. Good to know I wasn’t crazy, but man that was frustrating.

No homework to turn in other than the quizzes and the labs, but there are suggested homework problems to work through and videos showing how to solve. I’ve been spending a lot of time just practicing the end of chapter problems. The text book has a ton of problems to work through which is good.

PHY 241 – Physics III doesn’t have a lab component which is a bit of a relief. The last two physics lab courses took so much time and nice to not have that to worry about. This week focused on Chapter 16 in our text book on a A Macroscopic Description of Matter. Like the other physics courses it uses the Mastering Physics site. Looks like 11-15 problems or so with some problems have a few sub parts. There are 3 tests, 13 chapters and a final for PHY 241.