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CCOG for MT 111A Fall 2023

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Course Number:
MT 111A
Course Title:
DC and AC Electronics Intro
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces fundamentals of DC and AC electronics in the context of electromechanical (mechatronic) systems. Includes using common instruments to measure and test DC and AC circuits. Emphasizes diagnosis of shorted and opened passive components as part of series or parallel electric combinations. Prerequisites: MTH 58 or MTH 60, or any course for which MTH 58 or MTH 60 is a prerequisite, or equivalent placement, and (WR 115 and RD 115) or IRW 115 or equivalent placement. Prerequisites/concurrent: MT 106 or MTH 65, or any math course for which MTH 65 is a prerequisite, or equivalent placement. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

The course has a strong emphasis on the operation of test instruments such as the multi-meter, oscilloscope, clamp-meter( watt-meter) as used in diagnosing and troubleshooting DC and AC circuits at the component level. 

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Analyze and measure current, voltage, and power in DC and AC circuits appropriate for mechatronics.
  2. Test, diagnose, and troubleshoot DC and AC circuits consisting of resistors, inductors, and capacitors. 
  3. Identify the hazards of working with DC and AC circuits and practice safety protocols and standards common to the electromechanical manufacturing industry. 

Aspirational Goals

The course is designed to help students who have little or no background in electronics develop skills they need in order to  successfully work in any automated-manufacturing industry.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

One midterm one final exam on paper and one final practical exam should be expected. 
The emphasis of each of these examinations is on electronic test equipment 
proper usage and DC and AC circuit troubleshooting at the component level.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

1.0 Electro-Mechanical Systems
     1.1 Recognize the complexity of a system.
     1.2 Draw the difference between electrical or mechanical parts and an electromechanical  system.  
      1.3 Introduction to a set of  electrical instruments used in the electro-mechanical industry  such as the multimeter, oscilloscope, RLC meter, the DC power supply and AC function generators.
      1.4 Learn the symbols of some electronic symbols such as R, L, DC power supply, AC power supply, LED’s, fuse, circuit breakers, 
     1.5 Start interpreting electric schematics.

2.0 Electrical Parameters  
        2.1 Define the terms: voltage, current, resistance, and power.
        2.2 Use the units associated with voltage, current, resistance, and power
        2.3 Measure resistance using a digital multimeter.
        2.4 Perform continuity tests using a digital multimeter.
        2.5 Measure voltage between two points using a digital multimeter.
        2.6 Given two of the three electrical parameters (voltage, current, and resistance), use Ohm's Law to compute the value of the third electrical parameter.

3.0        DC versus AC
         3.1 Identify the major differences between the two systems (DC and AC) of electric power.
       3.2 Characteristics of AC current, voltage and power, with emphasis on frequency and RMS values.
       3.3 Given a graph of a sinusoidal waveform, determine the peak amplitude, period, and frequency and calculate the rms value from the peak amplitude.
       3.4 Standard values of frequency and RMS values in the USA and around the world.
       3.5 Measure the RMS value and frequency of the most common single-phase AC power outlet.
       3.6 Color coding of a mono-phase and poly-phase systems. 
       3.7 Mono-phase systems versus poly-phase systems.
       3.8 Delta and Y triple phase configurations.
       3.9 Fuses and circuit breakers, why we need them both.
       3.10 Hazards present when working with DC versus AC electrical systems.
4.0 Passive Components
 4.1 Explain the difference between passive and active components.
 4.2 Explain the difference between linear and nonlinear components.
 4.3 Define resistance, introduce the resistor as a linear passive component.
 4.4 Measure resistance and proper use of the unit Ω.
 4.5 Define the inductance, introduce the inductor as a nonlinear passive component.
 4.6 Measure inductance using the RLC meter and proper use of the unit H.
 4.7 Behavior of R in DC versus AC circuits.
 4.8 Behavior of L in DC versus AC circuits.
 4.9 Applications of resistors as in current limiter for an LED.
 4.10 Applications of inductors as in electronic switches such as electric relays.
    4.10.1 Relay diagrams and symbols
    4.10.2 Electromagnetism at work
    4.10.3 The relay used as an actuator
    4.10.4 Types of relay contacts SPDT, DPDT, etc…
    4.10.5 Build and troubleshoot relay circuits 
5.0 Series Circuits (resistors and inductors) DC and AC
    5.1 Identify series circuit elements.
    5.2 The very specific characteristics of a series circuit: the overall resistance is larger than any individual resistance, the current is constant.
    5.3 State and prove through measurements Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law.
    5.4 Determine and measure the equivalent resistance for a series connection of two or more resistances.
    5.5 Clarify the concept of the output versus the input of a series circuit.
    5.6 Determine and measure the equivalent voltage for a series connection of one DC voltage applied in series to an AC sinusoidal signal.
    5.7 Use the voltage divider equation to estimate the voltage drops across elements in a series circuit. Then measure the voltage drops.
   5.8 Determine the effect of "open circuits" and "short circuits" in a series circuit through demonstrations, measurements and minimal calculation based on Ohm’s law.
   5.9 Learn how to diagnose a “broken series circuit” based on recognizing the specific impact of a short or open in a series circuit.

6.0 Parallel Circuits DC and AC
  6.1 The advantage and the popularity of parallel circuits versus series circuits.
  6.2 Recognize when two circuit elements or groups of circuit elements are connected in parallel.

  6.3 The very specific characteristics of a parallel circuit: the overall resistance is smaller than any individual resistance, the voltage is constant.
  6.4 Recognize through measurements of current the applicability of Kirchhoff's Current Law at any node in a parallel circuit.
  6.5 Determine the equivalent resistance of two or more resistors connected in parallel.
  6.6 Determine the effect of "open circuits" and "short circuits" in a parallel circuit through demonstrations, measurements and minimal calculation based on Ohm’s law.
  6.7 Learn how to diagnose a “broken parallel circuit” based on recognizing the specific impact of a short or open in a parallel circuit.

7.0 Power Distribution

7.1 Understand the efficiency of an electric circuit as the ratio between Pout and Pin.
7.2 Power dissipated in a DC circuit, measured in W.
7.3 Power dissipated (real power measured in W) and power stored (reactive power measured in VAR’s) in an AC circuit.
7.4 The apparent power delivered by the AC source (measured in VA).
7.5 Measure power of an AC circuit using the wattmeter.
7.6 Define and measure the power factor of an AC circuit using the wattmeter.
7.7 Measure AC current in the range of Amps by using the clamp-meter.
7.8 Power distribution in AC.
7.9 Introducing the transformer as a key part in power transmission.
     7.9.1 How magnetism helps stepping up or stepping down the voltage.
     7.9.2 How to determine the primary versus the secondary through both measurements and also visual inspection.
     7.9.3 Three-phase versus single-phase transformers.
7.10 Determine the key technical characteristics of a transformer (such as turn ratio, primary and secondary R) through measurements.