In fall 2017, the EECS department purchased 40 Digilent Analog Discovery 2 units. EECS students have used these devices to explore circuit concepts. These units interface to a computer via USB and operate at 100 MSPS, providing a two-channel USB digital oscilloscope; two-channel arbitrary function generator; 16-channel digital logic analyzer; 16-channel pattern generator; spectrum analyzer; and DC power supply. The supporting software is free. The Analog Discovery 2 units, digital voltmeters, a breadboard and starter parts kit were made available to all EECS students. By the end of fall 2017, 20 students obtained this gear from the EECS shop. One student said, “The Analog Discovery 2 kit issued to me this fall was very beneficial in learning early circuits and how resistors in series/parallel interact with voltage. (I) would love to see them available to students next year as well. I would for sure check it out again.” At the end the spring 2018 semester, the last IEEE meeting featured a special lab section led by EECS student Zeus Gannon. At this meeting, IEEE members constructed a full bridge rectifier. A short section on the theory of rectifying circuits was presented, followed by a guided lab. Students used the Analog Discovery 2 to generate an AC signal and rectify it into a stable DC voltage. This relied on concepts from EECS 212 - Circuits II and EECS 312 - Electronic Circuits I to create a hardware experience that students would not normally encounter in class. The IEEE student group plans to continue to use its meetings for guided labs using the Analog Discovery 2 next fall.
Jared Coltharp working with an Analog Discovery 2