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School of Electrical and Information Engineering

The University of Sydney

ELEC3404 Electronic Circuit Design

Laboratory Manual

Semester 1 -2011

Rui Hong Chu

Week Monday Date Laboratory/Tutorial
1 28/2
2 7/3 Exp 1- Laboratory Introduction (Op-amp)
3 14/3
4 21/3 Exp 2 - BJT Amplifier
5 28/3
6 4/4 Exp 3 - MOSFET Differential Amplifier
7 11/4
8 18/4 Project – Power Amplifier
25/4 Easter Break
9 2/5
10 9/5 Project – Power Amplifier (cont.)
11 16/5
12 23/5 Project Demonstration
13 30/5

The class will be split into Wednesday (10am-1pm) and Friday sessions (2-5pm) and run in the
laboraotry EE440, Building J03. Two students are in each experiment group.

The laboratory work of this subject has three experiments and one term project.
 Lab1: Laboratory Introduction – Review of op-amp circuits to be familiar with lab
equipment in Lab 440;
 Lab2: Common mode BJT amplifier;
 Lab3: Differential amplifier and current mirror based on MOSFETs;
 Term project: Audio power amplifier.

Breadboards will be lent to each experiment group in the first lab session and are required to be
returned to the technical officer – Ms. Kavitha Jeevanandam (R441), before the end of

The term project starts in the week 8 and is due in the week 12. Students can get a project kit
from Ms. Kavitha Jeevanandam in the lab440 in the week 8. Details of the project are in the end
of this manual or go

Any inquiries regarding lab matters please contact Dr.Chu on

Laboratory work directly accounts for 30% of the UoS, in which experiments take 15% and the
project takes 15%. The marks are allocated among the three experiments as: 3% marks for Exp1
and 6% for the Exp.2 and Exp.3 respectively. Students should reach a satisfactory standard of
reporting laboratory work. Read the detailed requirements for log books below. In the end of
each lab session, the experiment is assessed on three parts: 1) your own pre-lab work, 2)
observations by lab demonstration staff on your participation in group work in the laboratory
and 3) your record of the experiment written in your own log book. For the project, students

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are required to record details in their individual log books, including design, calculations and
simulations, circuit building, troubleshooting of the circuits, comments, solutions, and
conclusions. The project is assessed in two parts: your individual log book and your group

Students are required to use a proper logbook (bound book). All preparatory and experimental
work and project work must be recorded in it. You should describe, in detail, what you are
doing so that years later you could testify under cross-examination in a court of law if necessary
– these are the skill that you need to develop. Instead of writing your own description you may
refer to this lab manual, provided you also add details such as component values and
interconnections. Generate descriptive headings such as "mid-frequency input resistance" in
addition to any section number

For all practical work you should relate your measurements to theory, and make suitable
comments on the degree of agreement. All work recorded during the laboratory session must be
dated at the beginning, and dated and signed at the end by the student. It must then be also
initialled by one of the laboratory staff.

Your laboratory notebook is to be a chronological record, DO NOT leave blank spaces for
filling in with later results or analysis. If you make a mistake cross out the error with a single
line so that it may still be read. DO NOT use liquid paper or delete supposed errors in such a
manner that they may not be read, as you may later find the material to be useful.

There are pre-lab works for each experiment. The prework must be completed in the logbook
before entering the laboratory.

The prework usually consists of some mathematical analysis that is closely related to the
experimental work and is intended to prepare you for the lab. The labs are designed so that a
student who has done the prework should be able to complete the lab in the allotted time. If you
find that you are having difficulties completing labs then it is probably a good idea for you to
do all of the theoretical work (in addition to the assigned prework) for the experiment before
entering the lab.

To ensure that you can complete the experimental tasks within the allocated lab session, you
could collect all the parts and components from the Lab440 and build the circuits on
breadboards before starting the actual lab. Therefore you have more time on testing in the lab


To be responsible for your own safety and keep the laboratory in a good order, you must
comply with the rules below.
 Solid footwear must be worn by all students inside the laboratory. Staff are required by the
university to ensure that everyone in the laboratory is wearing solid footwear. Students
with bare feet, thongs, sandals, or other forms of open footwear will not be allowed into the

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 No smoking, drinking, or eating is permitted in the laboratory (this includes chewing gum
and confectionaries).
 Act sensibly and tidy up benches after you complete your experiements.
 You should not take equipment from another bench. If something is faulty (or missing) ask
a tutor for assistance.
 There is an emergency stop buttons in the lab. It is to be used in an emergency to cut power
to the entire lab.
 No components and equipment are allowed to take out of the laboratory without the
permission of the technical staff.
You will be asked to leave the laboratory at any time if you offend the rules above.

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Experiment 1. Laboratory Introduction
- Operational Amplifier

 Get familiar with the equipment in the 3rd year electronic laboratory – Lab440, by
reviewing simple op-amp circuits.
 Learn how to use an oscilloscope to measure frequency response and voltage gain for an

1. For an inverting op-amp circuit given below, calculate the voltage gain. Typically with
this circuit you would use an input capacitor to set a Low Frequency 3 dB point
somewhere between 20 - 50 Hz. What value of capacitor is needed in this case?



2. In the Figure below, the open/close loop frequency response for an op-amp is illustrated.
For the close-loop frequency response, estimate its high frequency 3 dB point and marked
on the graph.

3. Apart from the voltage gain and frequency response, another important specification for
an op-amp is the slew rate. How does the slew rate affect the performance of an op-amp?
Find out how to calculate the slew rate and the value for µA741 in the datasheet [1].

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You are going to use a breadboard to set up the circuits. Fig.1 illustrates a simple breadboard,
and the connections of holes and example components [2]. The lines in Fig.1 (b) mean that the
holes are internally connected. A thumb rule of setting up a circuit on a breadboard is that,
using leads short with all components as flat on the board as possible.

Power rail

Fig.1 (a) A simple breadboard (b) holes and components connections

1. Build a non-inverting amplifier shown in Fig.2 on a breadboard. Set up Vin as 1kHz

sinusoidal wave from a function generator and leave the output open-circuit. By
increasing Vin, measure Vout before it gets saturated (waveform of Vout starts to clip off at
top or bottom). Sketch the characteristics of Vout versus Vin and work out the voltage gain.
Calculate the theoretical voltage gain and compare with the measured one. The
specification of 741 [1] says that DC supply voltages should not exceed 15V. What
happens in your measurement when the DC supplies are increased to 20V? Examine it
in the time domain and x-y mode on the CRO.

offset N1 NC
1 8

IN- Vcc+
2 7

3 6

Vcc- offset N2
4 5

Fig.2. Non-inverting input op-amp pin configuration of uA741

2. Connect the non-inverting op-amp with a 1k load shown in Fig.2. Measure voltage gain
(Vout/Vin) versus frequency and sketch the frequency response. To do this, firstly measure
the 3dB cut-off frequencies by the means of 7/5 ratio. Then measure the gain at center
frequency and the frequency bigger and smaller than the higher 3dB and lower 3dB
frequency respectively to quickly plot the frequency response.

3. Build an inverting amplifier shown in Fig.3 on the breadboard. Measure the voltage gain
(Vout/Vin) versus frequency and sketch the frequency response. Mark out the 3-dB cut-off
frequencies on the plot. Calculate the theoretical voltage gain and compare with the
experimental one.

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Fig.3. Inverting input op-amp

4. Build a voltage follower circuit as shown in Fig.4 on the breadboard. Input a square wave
of about 1 kHz from the function generator. Observe the slope of the transitions at the
output and compare it with that of the input square wave. That will give you a "slew rate"
in volts/microsecond of the op-amp. The specification of 741 [1] says to expect 0.5
volts/microsecond - what happens in your measurement?

Fig.4 Voltage follower or unity-gain buffer

[1] Data sheet of 741, available on:
[2] How to use a breadboard, available on:

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Experiment 2. BJT Amplifier

 Learn to design and construct a BJT common emitter amplifier.
 Be able to test performances of an amplifier, such as input/output impedance, voltage gain
and frequency response, and interpret testing results.

Design a common emitter amplifier shown in the Fig.1 using a BC 547 to have an emitter
current of about 1 milliamp.


Cb BC547

Re Ce

c b

Fig.1 BJT common emitter amplifier Leg configuration of BC547 [1]

Design Notes
 Aim for about 10% of VCC across Re. Then choose an E12 value [2] for Re to set the
emitter current of 1mA.
 The base voltage then needs to be at about 2.7 Volts.
 Ensure that the current flow through the voltage divider R1 and R2 is at least 10 times the
base current (which also flows through resistor R1) and this tends to minimize the
possibility that the base current (when varying with AC) will effect the biasing
 Make VCE about the same as the voltage drop across Rc for a largest output swing.

Design Tasks
 Select E12 values for R1, R2, Rc, and Re.
 Choose values for the input and output DC blocking capacitors Cb and Cc so that they do
not affect the circuit performance at 10 kHz.
 Develop the AC equivalent circuit of the amplifier – from which you can predict the
voltage gain, and input and output resistance. These predictions will be compared with
corresponding measurements later on.

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Visit the laboratory prior to your scheduled lab session and get hold of all components that you
need to set up your designed circuit shown in Fig.1 on the breadboard. Think about your layout
(maybe even sketch out some layouts!!), aim to make your leads short with all components as
flat on the board as possible. You may place a bypass capacitor across the power rails. Be
careful to insert the electrolytic capacitors with the correct orientation or they may get hot and
explode. You can do a lot of troubleshooting before the formal lab starts – you can even apply a
9 Volt battery (or even two in series which will get you close to your starting design of 20
Volts) and test DC bias conditions.

There are three parts in this experiment: DC biasing, small signal performance, and large signal
performance of the amplifier.

1. Amplifier Operating Point - DC Biasing Conditions

The amplifier only works when the operating point is biased properly. Therefore it is
important to check the DC biasing of the amplifier before inputting an AC signal from a
function generator. Measure the DC voltage at the base, emitter, and collector (all with
respect to earth or zero volts) by the CRO or DMM. Deduce the emitter current and calculate
DC voltages at base, emitter and collector, respectively to compare with the calculation in
the pre-lab. All of those measurements should be close to your pre-work predictions or else
there is something wrong!

2. Small Signal Measurements

Choose an input signal level which causes no distortion –your output should appear to be a
GOOD sine wave and you should be able to spot the onset of distortion of the output voltage
with your eye – certainly the onset of clipping (flat top or bottom) should be very obvious.
You also can check the distortion by using X~Y mode on the CRO. Connect Vin and Vout
with two channels of the CRO and make it displayed in X~Y mode. You should a straight
line. If not (i.e. it is curved on either end of the line), you need to reduce the input level to
make it linear which indicates no distortion of Vout. In this “small signal” (normally vbe
<20mVpp) region measure the following items.

 AC voltage gain at mid-band frequency

Set up the input at a small signal level and with the mid-band frequency. You can find
the mid-frequency by placing the output voltage in the Y-channel of the CRO and the
input voltage on the X-channel with the CRO in X~Y mode. Adjust the frequency of
the input signal until the ellipse becomes a straight line (no distortion and no phase
shift). If it is a curve then reduce the input amplitude till it is substantially straight.

Measure the output and calculate the voltage gain. Compare with the predictions in
pre-work. Record the waveforms of the output and input in the same coordinate and
comment on the phase relationship.

 Frequency response
Here you need to use/develop common sense to use enough measurement points so
that you are able to sketch frequency response which will fall of (drop) at both the low
frequency and also the high frequency ends. Three points are crucial to locate the
frequency response: mid-band frequency, and lower and higher 3-dB cutoff frequency,
which are corresponding to the max gain and the gain with 3dB drop respectively.
You can use 5/7 approximation to measure lower and upper 3 dB cutoff frequencies:
start at mid-band frequency, make the output cover 7 divisions (peak to peak) on CRO

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by adjusting the vertical scale; increase or decrease frequency until the output drops to
5 divisions; the frequency are corresponding to the higher or lower 3dB cutoff
frequency. The geometric mean of the upper and lower 3dB cutoff frequencies is the

You can also measure the output voltage at the frequency lower and higher than low-
3dB and high-3dB, respectively. With these five points you can sketch the frequency

 Zin (at mid-band frequency)

It is important to know the input and output impedance of an amplifier when designing
a preceding or following stage for it.

In order to measure the input impedance, a schematic circuit diagram in Fig.2 is used,
where a resistor R is inserted externally between the input of the amplifier and the
function generator. The block in dashed line is the amplifier, which is represented by
the input impedance Zin. The value of R is to be chosen properly based on the
predicted input impedance of the amplifier. You need to measure the voltage on both
sides of R (with respect to the ground), that is V1 and V2, and calculate the input
impedance Zin with the value of R. Compare the measured value with the predictions
in the pre-lab and comment on the discrepancy.

Note: To measure the current flowing through the R accurately, you may increase the
amplitude of the signal from the function generator depending on the resistance of R.
However the voltage at the input of the amplifier must be remained as small signal
level, i.e cannot be bigger than 20mVpp.

Fig.2. Input impedance measurement of the amplifier

 Zout (at mid-band frequency)

Fig.3 shows the schematic circuit diagram for measuring the output impedance Zout.
The block in dashed line refers to the amplifier, represented by a voltage source (open-
circuit voltage of the amplifier) in series with the output impedance Zout. Connect the
output terminal of the amplifier with a resistor which is typically in the vicinity of the
value of the Zout. Measure the open circuit voltage at the output of the amplifier
(without connecting the R). Then measure the voltage at the same terminals with the R
connected. You can find out the current flowing through the Zout, and further calculate
the Zout. Compare the measured value with the predictions in the pre-lab and comment
on the discrepancy

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Open Circuit R

Fig.3 Output impedance measurement of the amplifier

3. Large Signal Measurements

A large input signal can cause the amplifier saturated and distorted. In this part of
experiment, you will find out the thresholds to cause the distortion. For a sinusoidal input
at mid-band frequency, increase the amplitude until the collector voltage just clips in one
direction. The voltage from the near clipping peak to the ground is the maximum output
without distortion, also called MOL (max. output level). Increasing the input amplitude
further will eventually cause clipping in the other direction, giving the other MOL. You
also can clearly check the occurrence of the voltage clipping in x~y mode of the CRO,
where the straight line starts to curve at one end. Measure these two maximum outputs,
that is MOL+ and MOL- , and sketch the waveforms. What are the corresponding inputs
for the MOL+ and MOL-, respectively?

[1] Datasheet of BC547, available on:
[2] E12 series resistor, check related information on:

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Experiment 3. Differential Amplifier and
Current Mirror

To understand the important specifications of a long tailed differential amplifier, such as
differential gain, common mode gain, and common mode rejection ratio (CMRR).

1. The circuit below shows a simple MOSFET differential amplifier. Choose values for Rs,
Rg, and Rd to provide a leg current of about 1mA.

Design notes:
 As the input impedance of a MOSFET is very large, to provide a DC potential of 0V
at the gate, Rg should be more than several mega ohms (MΩ) or even directly
grounded. Remember that this is essential to allow DC bias to actually happen!
 Assume the MOSFET Q1 and Q2 are exactly matching, half of this 'leg' current then
flows through each MOSFET so choose an E12 resistor value for Rd which sets the
drain voltage about half way between 0 volts and 10 volt supply.
 Find out the threshold voltage Vt of 2N7000 from the datasheet [1]. Assume the over-
drive voltage Vov is about 1 volt, from the drain current of half of 1mA and
1 W 1 W
I D  kn (VGS  Vt ) 2  kn Vov2 , you can work out VGS and further RS. Use E12 series
2 L 2 L
resistor value for RS to set it close to the calculated one.

3. To improve the common-mode rejection ratio (CMRR), in practice a current mirror is

normally utilised instead of RS to provide the leg current. In the current mirror circuit
shown below, the current flowing through the resistor R is Iref=1 mA. As the gate current
is zero, so the resistance of R can be worked out the drain current of the MOSFET Q3
I D 3  I ref  DD [2]. If Q3 and Q4 are exactly matching, ID4=ID3=Iref .Choose
the closest E12 series resistor for R and verify the current.

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VDD To source
of Q1 and

R Iref


Q3 + Q4


1. Classic MOSFET Differential Amplifier
 Measure DC bias
Build a circuit shown in Fig.1 on a breadboard. Power on the circuit by 10V (DC
supply set up as in Fig.2) and measure the DC biasing at the gate, source and drain and
the leg current to prove that the MOSFET is biased in the saturation region. Compare
the measurements with the calculations in pre-lab work. The pin arrangement of
2N7000 is also illustrated in Fig.2.




1uF 2N7000

Q1 Q2



Fig.1. The circuit for measuring differential voltage gain Fig.2 DC power supply connection

 Measure differential voltage gain

Apply an AC signal from a function generator (FG) to the gate of Q1. The amplitude
of the input should be in the region of "small signal" for the MOSFET (the output is
linearly proportional to the input) and the frequency is at the mid-band (check by x~y
mode on the CRO). Measure the differential voltage gain Ad (=Vout/Vin). Record the
waveforms for Vin and Vout on the same graph and measure the phase relationship.

 Phase relationship between the inverting and non-inverting amplifier

To appreciate the inverting and non-inverting input of the amplifier, there is another
very useful test you can perform in Fig.1. Apply the FG output to the gate of Q2 while

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the gate of Q1 is grounded. Record the waveforms of Vin and Vout and compare the
phase relationships with the measurement above, which should really convince you
about the words used for inverting and non-inverting terminals.

 Measure common mode rejection ratio - CMRR

Apply a common mode input signal as shown in Fig.3 To do this connect the negative
sides of two 1µF capacitor together and then connect with the FG output. Measure the
‘Common Mode’ gain Ac(=Vout/Vin). Calculate the common mode rejection ratio
Note: Due to the common mode gain Ac<1, you may increase the input accordingly to
make the output measurable by the CRO.




1uF 2N7000 1uF

+ +
Q1 Q2

Vin Vin


Fig.3. The circuit for measuring common mode voltage gain

2. Differential Amplifier with a Current Mirror

 Build and measure the current mirror
Construct the current mirror designed in pre-work on the breadboard and use it to
replace the source resistor Rs in Fig.1. The circuit of the differential amplifier with a
current mirror is illustrated completely in Fig.4. Adjust R to get exactly the same DC
current as you had before (you can do this by measuring and getting the same voltage
drop across the drain resistor Rd).

 Measure Ad and Ac and calculate CMRR

Following the procedures in the Part 1, measure the differential voltage gain Ad and
common mode voltage gain Ac (the input signal connected in Fig.4 is for measuring Ad
only) respectively. Calculate the common mode rejection ratio CMRR and compare it
with the CMRR from the Part 1. This comparison should convince you why a current
mirror is used for a differential amplifier in practice.

Note: You may have this all designed and wired in place on your breadboard and
DC performance tested at home or prior to the scheduled lab session so that you
can make best use of your lab time making useful measurements.

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1uF 2N7000

Q1 Q2


R 1mA

Q3 Q4

Fig.4. Differential amplifier with a current mirror and differential input

[1] Datasheet of 2N7000,
[2] Sedra/Smith, Microelectronics Circuits, 5th edition, Oxford University Press, 2004.

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