PHYC 306L: Junior Lab


Prof. F. Elohim Becerra
Office: P&A 19
Phone: 505 277-2673


Description of the course

This course provides an introduction to electronics and computer interfaces with LabView. Students in this class will aquire hands-on experience with electrical circuits, electronics, and instrumentation, and will learn how to program interfaces for control and measurements of physical systems.

Pre-requisites: 290. **330: highly recommended.

Lectures/Lab sessions

Monday, 1:00 -- 4:50 pm, ECE 311

Textbook: None

LabView projects will be assigned weekly and are designed to become more sophisticated as your knowledge increases. There will be some classroom instruction, but it is believed that most people learn a new programming language best outside of a formal classroom setting. Just how this works will vary depending on individual learning styles. LabView is a very popular software package and there are a wide variety of resources available. National Instruments includes a step-by-step tutorial with LabView. They also have a series of short videos that introduce the software and explain how it works. A good place to start is here.

LabView: You will need access to LabView. UNM has a site license with National Instruments that runs until December 2016. There are several options:

* Install on your computer; see me for details.

* Available in the computer pods in the ECE building.

* Installed on the computers in PandA Junior Lab (Rm 133). Arrange with me for access.

* You can buy a student copy of LabView 2014 for $20 at this link


LabView Assignment Due
Labview Assignment 1 08/26
Labview Assignment 2 09/12
Labview Assignment 3 09/19
Labview Assignment 4 09/26
Labview Assignment 5
example of front panel

Labview Assignment 6
Labview Assignment 7
LV temperature subVI
Labview Assignment 8
Files: wav1 wav2 wav3 wav4 wav5 wav6 wav7
File for 2 Channels: wav8
Labview Assignment 9 10/31
Labview Assignment10 11/07
Labview Assignment11 11/14
Labview Assignment12
LV heater2 subVI
Labview Assignment13 11/28
Labview Assignment14 12/05

Weekly LabView assignments are due on the Monday after they are assigned before 11:30 am. Work not reviewed by Monday at 11:30 am will not receive credit. Each student is required to have a working VI that can be evaluated by the instructor. Come to my office (or send me an email to set up a time to meet) anytime during the week before the deadline to demonstrate and review your VI. We can also meet in the Junior Lab at PandA (room 133) and use one of those computers.

Review session hours:
Friday 13:00-14:00 pm.
Moday 10:00- 11:30 am.

Electronic Labs

Electronics Labs: Students should work in teams of 2 at a workstation. Teams will change each week. Group collaboration while performing the lab work is encouraged. Everyone should keep a notebook, where students briefly describe the experiment, record their measurements and show their calculations/estimations. Some short report writing and analysis is required and should be emailed to the instructor prior to the next class meeting.

The weekly lab instructions follow (.pdf files):

Lab writeups

Lab writeup   Date
Lab 1 DC circuits 08/22
Lab 2 AC circuits and Oscilloscope 08/29
Lab 3 Capacitors and Inductors in AC circuits 09/12
Lab 4 Capacitors and Inductors in AC circuits 09/19
Lab 5 Capacitors and Inductors in AC circuits 09/26
Lab 6 Diodes 10/03
Lab 7 Transistors 10/10
Lab 8 Opamps I 10/17
Lab 9 Opamps II, Active Filters 10/24
Lab10 Oscillators I 10/31
Lab11 Oscillators II 11/07
Lab12 Timing Sequencer LV light subVI 11/14
Lab13 Hysteretic heater controller 11/21
Lab14 PI controller 11/28
Lab15 Lock-in detection 12/05

Students work in groups of 2 people, and these groups change weakly. The weekly work groups are assigned based on the table here


The labs and LabView assignments will be graded using the following criteria:

* Excellent (E): Produced a working project with excellent conceptual understanding. Did a writeup correctly (if required).

* Good (G): Produced a working project, with some minor conceptual or technical errors. Did a writeup with minor mistakes (if required).

* Insufficient (I): Tried but couldn't make much work. Did the lab, but the writeup (if required) was not correct or not turned in before deadline.

* Unsatisfactory (U): Missed the lab or LabView assignment deadline. Sorry, no makeups.

The final grade will be based on lab work, LabView assignments and quizzes. The contribution to the final grade is as follows:

  1. Lab work and analysis: 25%
  2. LabView assignments: 25%
  3. Quizzes: 50%

The lowest scoring lab and LabView assignment will be dropped. The two lowest scoring quizzes will be dropped. Missed labs, assignments, and quizzes cannot be made-up and will count in the grading.


There will be a short quiz at the start of each class. The quiz will test concepts from the previous week. There will be no makeup quizzes. The best way to prepare for the weekly quiz is to do the LabView assignment and understand what you are building in the lab.

Lecture Slides: (.pdf files)

Lecture Date
Lecture 1 08/22
Lecture 2 08/29
Lecture 3 09/13
Lecture 4 09/19
Lecture 5 09/26
Lecture 6 10/03
Lecture 7 10/10
Lecture 8 10/17
Lecture 9 10/24
Lecture10 10/31
Lecture11 11/07
Lecture12 11/14
Lecture13 11/21
Lecture14 12/05

Additional resources

The art of electronics (3rd Edition): Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill
Introduction to LabView