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Getting started with Analog Exploration.

IMPORTANT!!! DO NOT PLUG THE BOARD INTO THE USB PORT YET.

First Lab: For the first lab experiment you will essentially play with the Analog Discovery hardware
and software. We will go over installation and use of the Analog Discovery USB based hardware
platform.

Note all the files needed to run the Analog Discovery are available at Digilentinc.com
are also stored locally in the ‘Analog Discovery Files’ folder on the moodle website for
this lab. Documentation files are also in this folder. We try to keep the moodle website
up to date but it won’t hurt to check the digilentinc site for the newest “Waveforms”
program package. Note that you should be able to run Waveforms with your Analog
Discovery on CAE computers.

Procedure
0. A few IMPORTANT useful definitions.
 A1+: Positive Analog Input 1. Also Known As 1+ or p inputs.
 A1-: Negative Analog Input 1. AKA 1- or n inputs.
 A1+: Positive Analog Input 2. AKA 2+ or p inputs.
 A2-: Negative Analog Input 2. AKA 2- or n inputs.
 AWG1: Arbitrary Waveform Generator 1. AKA W1.
 AWG2: Arbitrary Waveform Generator 2. AKA W2.
 GND: Circuit Ground. AKA ↓, the BLACK wires.

1. Installing Analog Discovery software. IMPORTANT!! Install the software before connecting
the board to the computer. The files are available on the Moodle ECE270 website. The files
you need are in the folder named ‘Analog Discovery Files’. Waveforms is the name of the
program that runs the board. This is the original site for Waveforms software package is:

http://www.digilentinc.com/

2. Plug the Analog Discovery into the USB port.


3. Start Waveforms. You get the window similar to the one shown on
the right. If you don’t have a menu bar press the ‘Alt’ key and it will
appear.
4. Calibrate the Analog Discovery: Why? For most measurements
we want to know what the real voltage is. The Analog Discovery has
an analog to digital converter inside. As the name implies the
converter gives a digital number which represents the value of the
analog voltage that is applied to it. An A/D converter simply
compares the voltage to be measured to a known voltage. Usually
the known voltage is only as accurate as you can pay for. About 1% for this $99 board. It can
be more accurate but the cost goes way up so we don’t usually find accurate DC references on
inexpensive measurement systems. To allow measurements more accurate than 1% we can
adjust the parameters of the measurement system to give the correct answer based on a real
accurate measurement device. A 6 digit multi-meter is a good choice as this measurement
standard. You can use an HP34450A Multi-meter to calibrate your much lower cost
measurement system. You can also use any DVM for which you trust the measurements.
There is calibration wizard hidden in the Tools menu of the Waveforms window.
Tools/DeviceManager/Show Advanced Features>>/Calibrate. You can also get to it choosing
the Device tab on the right side of the window then Manager. Also CTL-M brings the device
manager window up too.

Once you click on Calibrate there is a Wizard Button which walks you through the calibration of
the board. You must do this before running the rest of the labs. WARNING: During calibration
you are asked to connect the inputs to ground. Connect all 4 inputs 1+, 1-, 2+, and 2- to
ground when asked.

What is this GROUND anyway? A practical but not absolute definition for ground with our
circuits is: The voltage node in the circuit to which all the other voltages are referenced. So for
example if we say that we have a 5V signal at node A this really means it is 5V with respect to
a reference node. The reference node is usually called GROUND. So the circuit under test has
this ground reference node and so does the Analog Discovery. They are not the same node!
We usually connect them together so that we can measure voltages of the circuit under test
with respect to its internal reference node using a measurement system with it is own
reference node. Connecting them together is usually safe and allows the measurement device
to read the voltages of the circuit under test with respect to its own ground node.

WARNING. If you don’t complete the calibration completely at one time you will have to start
over to calibrate. Calibrate the system once. This is good enough.

There is a calibration file created which automatically loads when you start Waveforms. Also
the new Analog Discovery boards store the calibration data on the Analog Discovery directly.
This means you can connect the Analog discovery to any computer and the calibration data
goes along with the device. You don’t need to load the file or calibrate again.

5. Waveforms Window Again: When you started Waveforms you got a small window with the
various analog and digital applications that you can run with the board. We will use Scope and
WaveGen of the ‘Analog’ apps this lab. One of the ‘More Instruments’ apps called Network
Analyzer and the Voltage app will be used in a later labs.

6. Setup up a quick measurement using Waveforms:


 Start up the Waveforms application.
 Click on the Scope Icon. The scope window should open.
 Click on the WaveGen icon and the waveform generator window should open up.

Your generator may only show one generator until you turn both on (Use ‘Select Channels’).
Go ahead and setup the sig gens like shown above.

 W1 as marked on the Analog Discovery case is the AWG1 (Arbitrary Waveform Generator
1) output. W1 puts out a signal with respect to the Analog Discovery (AD) GROUND.
 W2 as marked on the Analog Discovery case is the AWG2 (Arbitrary Waveform Generator
1) output. W2 puts out a signal with respect to the Analog Discovery (AD) GROUND.
 1+ and 1- are the channel 1 scope inputs.
 2+ and 2- are the channel 2 scope inputs.
Sometimes the inputs to the scope 1+, 1-, 2+ and 2- are referred to as A1+ A1-, A2+ and A2- in
the lab manuals. A stands for analog and A is used to emphasize this input type.

 Connect The W1 signal to 1+. Use the proto-board and the double male connectors for this.
 Connect 1- to the AD GND. This GND is marked ↓ on the Analog Discovery connector.
 Connect The W2 signal to 2+. Use the proto-board and the double male connectors for this.
 Connect 2- to the AD GND.
 Make sure the Waveform generator has both AWG’s running. Note you can press Run Both or
Press Run AWG1 or 2. It may yield different results when you look at the waveforms on the
scope. Try it.
 Note set AWG1 to a 2KHz 3VP triangle wave. 3VP refers to the peak voltage.
 Set AWG2 to a 2KHz 4 VP sine wave.
 Open the Scope app if it isn’t already running.
 The scope window shown above is what yours will look like when it is running.
 Set the Time/Div to 500uS/div.
 Connect the AWG1 output to a 3.0K resistor.
 Connect the other end of the resistor to the AD GND.
 Connect the AWG2 output to a 100K resistor.
 Connect the other end of the resistor to the AD GND.
 If the calibration is set correctly you should see one 4VP or 8VPP sine wave and a 3VP or 6VPP
triangle wave.
 Change the triangle wave to a 4VP sine wave at 2KHz using the Waveform app.
 IMPORTANT: Click the Stop All button then the Run All button. This starts both generators
with the right phase. The phase for both waveforms is adjustable and the default is 0 degree.
This means the 2 sin wave should be on top of one another.
 Now C1 (Channel1) and C2 (Channel2) should equal 4.00 VP. If the calibration isn’t correct you
should see 2 sine waves in phase with the amplitude of C1 different from C2. Re-calibrate if
there is a significant voltage difference. 1% accuracy is good enough.

Measurement using the Analog Discovery board. You may have noticed the inputs to the
scope are denoted A1+, A1-, A2+ and A2-. A brief description of what this means is in order.

 The input circuitry to the Analog Discovery board is made up of differential inputs.
 Channel 1 (C1): Differential input 1 measures the difference in voltage between A1+ and
A1-. Differential means that the signal on A1- is subtracted from the signal on A1+. This
difference is presented to the input of the scope and measured. The GND reference wire
should be connected to the circuit ground. If you are using AWG1 or AWG2 as the signal
source then the scope GND is already connected to the signal source GND on the Analog
Discovery Board. All AD GND terminals (black wires) are connected together on the
Analog Discovery PC board.

The C2 inputs are the same as the C1 inputs with the exception of the marking. Each input
signal has a 2 instead of a 1. A2+ and A2-.

Mathematical and reference inputs are derived from the C1 and C2 real inputs. These inputs
are composed of different combinations of C1 and C2. You can add, subtract or multiply C1
and C2 in all combinations in simple math mode. Custom math mode has more options than
people should be allowed. Check them out.
7. Explore the measurement choices.
 Set the Frequency of W1 of the Function Generator to 1.000KHz with 0 Phase and 0V DC
offset. Use the Sine waveform with a 1.500 VP output. Note: you have to specify the signal
generator voltage in Volts Peak. You can’t enter it in VPP. So don’t enter 3V and expect to get
3VPP out. Enter 1.5V to get 3VPP out.
 Measure R1 and R2 with the DVM before you build the circuit. You usually can’t measure
resistors when they are in a circuit with other components.
R1 ___________. R2 _____________.

 Calculate the theoretical voltage drop across R1and R2. VR1__________VR2________ (VPP)
 Build the 2 resistor circuit shown in Fig.1. The following ½ page of steps explains how.

Use the shorted points of the proto-board to help connect components together. Look at the proto-
board layout to see which holes are shorted together. It is a link on the moodle website in the lab 0
section called ‘Breadboard layout’.

Figure 1:

 Connect the AWG1 output to R1. Note AWG1 GND is internally connected on the board so
you don’t need to do anything to connect it just connect a GND to R2.

WARNING: do not connect the AWG1 pin to ground. That terminal of the W1 and W2 sig
gens is already connected to ground on the Analog Discovery Board. The yellow sig gen
symbol represents the on board W1 signal generator above. You only need to connect the
W1 yellow wire to the resistor R1.

 You won’t use AWG2 this time.


 Connect A1+ and A1- across R1 as shown.
 Connect the Analog Discovery GND (↓) to the bottom of R2.
 Set C1 (Channel 1) to 20mV/Div.
 Connect A2+ and A2- across R2. Note one end of R2 must be connected to GND.
 Set Ch2 to 500mV/Div.
 Set the Horizontal Time/Div to 500uS.
 Add C1 and C2 peak to peak voltage measurements to the scope display. Use the

button for this. It brings up the Measurements window. Then click on Add to bring
up the Add Measurements Panel.
Add Channel 1/Vertical/Peak to Peak and Channel 2/Vertical/Peak to Peak.

 Measure VR1 and VR2. VR1__________VR2________ (VPP)

8. You will now measure the voltage VR1 using the MATH function and VR2 using C2 directly.
 Set C1 to 500mV/Div.
 Set C2 to 500mV/Div.
 Connect the A1- input wire to GND instead of the resistor.
 Add a simple Math Channel and use C1-C2.
 Add the Math channel to the measurement window. (Click on +Add button and chose Math 1
Peak to Peak. Then click Add selected measurement.

 Measure VAWG1 = VC1, VR2 = VC2 and VR1 = VMATH.

VC1__________, VC2____________, VMATH__________ (VPP)

 How well do these measurements, VR1 and VR2, match the measurements from 7 above?

 Which measurement is less noisy?


 Which measurement do you trust more?

9. Measure the voltage VR1 using the MATH function and VR2 using C2 at 50uS.
 Set the Horizontal Time/Div to 50uS.
 Set Ch1 to 500mV/Div.
 Set Ch2 to 500mV/Div.
 Enable the Math Channel and select Ch1-Ch2.
 Measure VAWG1=VCh1, VR2=VCh2 and VR1=VMATH.

VC1__________, VC2____________, VMATH__________ (VPP)


 How well do these measurements, VR1 and VR2, match the measurements from 8 above?

10. Measure the voltage VR1 using the MATH function and VR2 using C2 at 20uS.
 Set the Horizontal Time/Div to 20uS.
 Set Ch1 to 500mV/Div.
 Set Ch2 to 500mV/Div.
 Enable the Math Channel and select Ch1-Ch2.
 Measure VAWG1=VCh1, VR2=VCh2 and VR1=VMATH.

VC1__________, VC2____________, VMATH__________ (VPP)


How well do these measurements, VR1 and VR2, match the measurements from 9 above?

Comment: It seems that the data presented in the measurement window needs at least 1 complete
cycle of the waveform for the measurements to be somewhat accurate. 5 cycles is better.