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Alcos, Hermogenes Jr P.

BSECE-3
Introduction to Alternating Currents and Circuits
Three experiments were performed that would introduce Alternating Currents and
Circuits to ECE Students. The first, introduces the Sinusoidal waveform of the Alternating
Current and the means of obtaining the graph, the second is the introduction of the simple AC
circuits, such as resistive and inductive circuits, and the last, introduces the response of RC
filters.
In the first experiment, the analog trainer’s voltage output was measured using the
multimeter with AC voltage reading and oscilloscope. From the values obtained and comparing
the values of the multimeter and the oscilloscope, both of them produced approximately the
same value, thus the oscilloscope is also a voltmeter. A given circuit was given to have its
current across the resistors measured using the multimeter, and the values were compared to
the computed values obtained using the measured voltage across the resistors using the
oscilloscope. The measured currents obtained from the multimeter and the computed current
using oscilloscope are approximately similar. The oscilloscope cannot directly measure the
current in a circuit, but using the voltage reading across the resistor, one can measure the
current with respect to the resistor. Oscilloscopes can also be used to measure DC voltages, but
its output is that of a half-sine wave.
In the second experiment, a resistive, capacitive and inductive circuit were tested and
had their waveforms obtained. The waveform obtained in the resistive circuit was in-phase, in
the capacitive circuit the output wave is leading by approximately 88.2°, and in the inductive
circuit the output wave is lagging by 90°. The input voltage during this experiment was kept
constant when measuring the output frequency so as to prevent deviation of the output
frequency resulting to fluctuating input voltage.
For the third experiment, a high pass filter, low pass filter and a band pass filter were
constructed and had their input and output frequencies measured. For the low pass filter circuit,
the cut-off frequency is at 530.52 Hz; for the high pass filter circuit, the cut-off frequency is at
1591.55 Hz, and for the band pass filter, the bandwidth is at 4702.2 Hz.
AC Circuits can use Ohm’s Law in computing for the values of a component, especially
for the resistive circuits. However, for capacitors and inductors, getting their reactance is not
normally computed using Ohm’s Law, and therefore uses a special equation to get the
reactance and impedance involving these components. Also, the oscilloscope should be
properly configured to measure the desired conditions, so as to get the readings closer to the
true value and to prevent breaking the oscilloscope.
All three experiments are related in each other, in the aspect that the concept of the
previous experiment can be used in the current experiment. Getting the equation of the sine
function introduced in the first experiment was used in the second experiment in determining the
current equation of the capacitive and inductive circuits, and the properties of the capacitor
observed in the second experiment was used in constructing RC Filters in the third experiment.
The learnings I’ve come to terms with in this experiment is that the AC voltage varies
with respect to time. The reactance and impedance of capacitors and inductors are not

computed normally using Ohm’s Law, having imaginary values, and that filter circuits allow only
certain levels of frequency to pass through, being determined by the orientation of the resistors
and capacitors in the circuit and their values. Learning to measure the voltage readings, the
signal outputs, and obtaining their frequencies are fundamental in constructing basic, and even
more complex circuits. Being able to master these basic skills will be crucial, because these
skills can determine how the circuit will perform, and could therefore dictate the result: is the
circuit performing within the expected result, or should there be revisions on how the circuit is
constructed or the components used. Also, learning the properties and how components behave
when different types of signals are introduced, as a component may behave differently when a
DC or AC signal is introduced.
Learning the introductions to AC circuits is an important step for us ECE engineers. This
fundamental skill is one of the pillars of electronics, because all things learned in this part will be
carried on to the higher level of electronics. Be it from analyzing phasor circuits, to interpreting
signals from advanced circuits, so long as there is an AC signal involved in the circuit, the
foundations will help us understand how the circuit will perform. Thus, I am thankful I’ve
performed these experiments. Being able to learn these skills and understanding why or how
such procedure should be done is the best lesson these three experiments have given to me.