Academic Request to Enter the ECT Program
Monday, October 22, 2001
Dear Dean Sears,
I am requesting entry into DeVry-Phx’s ECT program. According to Vicki Reeves, I need to document the reasons for my withdrawing from the EET program twice a year apart (Summer 2000 & 2001). In both instances, I felt as if I wasn’t receiving a high degree of “real world” instruction, application, or challenge. I know the classes I was taking were all lower-division courses. Even so, the degree to which they were taught left me wanting more and receiving less in the way of a high quality education.
As I explain what I mean, please keep an open mind. Don’t consider what remarks and observations I make necessarily as constructive “criticism”, but rather as constructive “input”. I’m not against DeVry. Still, my experience has been that anyone outside of the academic or administrative “loop” isn’t considered to have any degree of credibility, even though that person may have first hand knowledge.
There was nothing that was overtly difficult about this course. The only problem for the most part was that you were essentially on your own when it came to figuring out how to do things that you would think you’d be taught to do. In contrast, the GCC digital circuits teacher I had for Spring 2001 gave the class a PowerPoint presentation before we had any labs. The presentation showed how a protoboard is laid out and how to use the portable “trainers” (built-in ps, protoboard, dip switches, etc.). We used Thomas Floyd’s – “Digital Fundamentals” book, which is the same book used in DeVry’s ECT/ET-188 course.
When it came to using the equipment in the EET-122 course, instruction was pretty much non-existent. If you wanted “FYI’s” and “heads up” on how things should be done, what not to do, or nuances you might encounter, you were pretty much out of luck. I learned how to power and ground my ICs correctly at GCC. Due to lack of instruction, I learned how to turn an IC into a hotplate at DeVry by putting 5V to the IC ground leg and grounding the IC voltage leg.
There was no real introduction to the lab equipment we would use most often. A lot of people didn’t know how to use their protoboard. The only person that was really helpful was Mr. Sproul’s FA. On the other hand, Mr. Sproul would give you some quick and glib answer. If you didn’t understand what he said in 5 ns, he’d get impatient and cranky. So he became the last person you’d go to for help. Maybe that was the whole idea.
In the very beginning of the semester, Part-2 of a two-part lab dealt with familiarization of the oscilloscope. It was a rather shabby 4-5 page generic and unspecific introduction to the LG OS-5100 oscilloscope. About 3-4 weeks later, we had an IC lab that included using the oscilloscope again. Everyone was completely lost; the FA was running around helping everyone as best as he could; and I couldn’t help but feel that we had been bushwhacked with a lab we weren’t prepared to do. Well, I wasn’t going to go through this event again.
To avoid another similar situation, I knocked out and formatted an oscilloscope quick reference chart for my 1DDQ group. Luckily, I found a large picture of the LG OS-5100 online after an exhaustive search. So, I took the generic descriptions we had in our Part-2 lab and edited them for the reference sheet. Then I went to the parts department in the DeVry lab and borrowed the OS-5100 manual. Once I had it, I sat down for a few hours and cross-referenced and reformatted what I had used from our Part-2 lab to make sure everything was as accurate as possible.
When I was done, I made 30 front-to-back copies of it and handed it out during our next EET-122 lab session. What I got back in response was, "Wow!", "Cool!", "This is great!", and a very relieved "Thank you so much!". From these responses, I gathered I wasn’t the only one that felt the teaching and support we were receiving was somewhat lacking.
Power On/Off – Turns the oscilloscope on and off.
Intensity – Adjusts the brightness of the screen.
Focus – Makes the trace images look sharper or softer.
Scale Illumination – Adjusts the brightness of the grid.
Cal .5V - Internal calibration waveform. This output terminal provides a standard signal only for calibration purposes. The signal output is a square wave with a frequency of 1 kHz (time/cycle = 1 ms)
AC/DC/GND – AC/DC Coupling-Ground Switch. Determines how the vertical input is coupled to the oscilloscope.
DC Position – DC, AC, or a combination can be fed into the oscilloscope.
AC Position – DC is blocked and only AC is passed.
GND – Grounds the input terminal of the vertical amplifier. It also opens the input terminal on the front panel of the oscilloscope. There is one of these GND switches for each channel.
Volts/Div – Vertical sensitivity switch. Inset knob fine tunes Volts/Div selections.
Various voltage/cm steps.
Only when inset knob is in the CAL position can DC and P-P voltage can be determined accurately.
Changing vertical sensitivity will change the height of the waveform.
Vert. Position (Y) - Shifts the trace images up or down on the screen.
Trigger Source - Synchronizes signal source. Normal operation uses the INT position.
INT Position – The vertical input signal feed for CH1/CH2 is used as the synchronized signal source.
Line Position – Selects trigger source from AC line.
EXT Position – Used when synchronization is from another source. Depending on the desired source, either the EXT. H or the TRIG. IN terminal will get the synched signal.
Trigger Mode – Normal operation setting is AUTO so the sweep generator automatically shows the signal.
Trigger Level – Selects the trigger signal amplitude where the triggering occurs.
Clockwise (+): Trigger point moves toward the positive peak of the trigger signal.
Counter Clockwise (-): Tripper point moves toward the negative peak of the trigger signal.
Hold Off – Allows triggering on certain complex signals by changing the dead time of the main (A) sweep. This avoids triggering on intermediate trigger points within the repetition cycle of the desire display.
^ – Selects the positive or negative slope of the trigger signal for initiating sweep.
Pushed (In): The switch selects the positive (+) slope.
Pulled (Out): The switch selects the negative (-) slope.
Horz. Position (X) – Shifts the trace images to the right or left on the screen. Inset knob fine tunes.
Variable – This should be set all the way to the right until a “click” is heard. Pulling out the knob increases the horz. gain. The Time/cm speed is increased 10x. The sweep rate will then be 1/10th of the indicated value.
Internal Trigger Adjust – Set to Channel 1 or Channel 2 depending on which is being used and desired for display.
A - Time/Division – Used to select the sweep rate of the main (A) time base, the delayed time range, or the delayed-sweep operation and the signal source.
B - Time/Div – Used to select the sweep rate of the delayed (B) time base.
DLY’D Position (Inset) – Determines the exact starting point within the (A) time base delay range that the (B) time base will begin sweeping.
Calibrating the Oscilloscope for Use
Before the Oscilloscope is Turned “On”
Center these control dials
Horizontal Position inner & outer (M)
Vertical Position (H)
Trigger Level inner & outer (K & L)
Turn the CH1 & CH2 inner Volts/Div knobs fully clockwise until they click/indent into position. (G)
Turn the Variable knob all the way clockwise until it clicks/indents into position. (N)
Make sure the Horizontal Display setting is in position “A”, or “B” if needed, but not “X-Y”. (R)
Turn the Vertical Mode switch to CH1. (Between two H’s)
Push the CH1 INT TRIG button so the trace line will be triggered from CH1’s input. (O)
Flip the trigger Mode switch to Auto and the trigger Source switch to INT. (J & I)
Turn on the Power. (A)
Put the CH1 GND switch in the GND position to center the trace line in Step 10. (F)
When the trace line appears, make sure it is centered. To center it, adjust it with the proper Position knob (H: CH 1 or CH2) so it is centered with the middle X-axis graticule line. Once the trace line is centered, press the GND switch again to take it out of grounded mode. Begin using the oscilloscope when it is calibrated properly.
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