Instructor: Dr. Farid Farahmand


Monday 9:00 - 11:50 am, Wednesday 10:00-10:50 pm

Class Location:

Salazar Hall 2003


2010 A Salazar (office hours)


 (707) 664-3491


Web page:

Course Overview:

Lecture, 1 hour, Laboratory, 3 hours. This 2-unit course is designed to introduce principles of electrical engineering to the students and expose them to the electronics,tools, and computer lab environment. This course is only for students majoring in Electrical Engineering. The EE students will become familiar are given opportunity to design and build some simple analog and digital circuits and make measurements using various types of lab equipment.  As part of the laboratory work, students are also required to work in a teams and complete a real engineering design for someone with special needs. Read more about what engineers do....;

Course Textbook:

There is no textbook for this class. The necessary course material will be posted on the course web site. However, students are expected to spend a small amount of money to purchase necessary materials for their final design project.

Media Coverage:

Grading Policy:

The final grade in this course is the sum of grades received during the lecture and laboratory activities.

Lecture Section (50 percent of the grade):

Quiz (4-8 quizzes) / Homework /


Class Extra Credit * +3%
Exam 40%

Unexcused Absence

-4% per day**


Lab Section (50 percent of the grade):

Completion of labs


Final Design Project/User Manual


Team Blog/You Tube/Progress Report Posts


Class Extra Credit *


Unexcused Absence

-4% per day**

* You can also consider volunteering in Engineering Club. ES Lecture Series, or Tutoring in Math and Science Courses. Maximum of 3% to the total class grade.

** If you are late more than 15 minutes without prior notice, you will be considered to be absent.

Extra Credit: All extra credits must be pre-approved by the instructor. The topic for the extra credit should be submitted/discussed to/with the instructor no later than Oct. 22. Consider attending ES Lecture Series (please have a faculty sign the Signup sheet every time you attend the talk) for extra credit. Maximum extra credit can be earned in this course is 3%.

Homework: Occasionally, students must submit homework assignment or complete the lab assignment at home. All submissions must be TYPED, and have a cover sheet (include name, course number, and the topic of the assignment, e.g., DC Lab, number conversion). All assignments must be submitted at the beginning of the class.

Quiz: Generally, we will have ONE quiz per month. If students arrive late, more quizzes will be given. All quizzes must be taken promptly at the beginning of the class. Students arriving late will not be given extra time to complete the quiz. The lowest quiz grade can be dropped. Some quizzes maybe online using Moodle. All students are responsible to know how to use Moodle.

Exam: There may be one/two exams in this class. Each exam will cover the materials covered during the laboratory or lectures. Each exam may include a practical section related to the laboratory activities. Absent students will NOT be allowed to retake the exam under any circumstances unless they provide a written evidence describing the circumstances.

Lab Activity: All students are expected to complete each lab assignment during the designated laboratory time. Absent students will NOT be allowed to redo the lab activity under any circumstances unless they provide a written evidence describing the circumstances.

Final Design Project: The final project will be based on the current needs of students enrolled at Sidekicks program. The design project must be completed in groups with no more than three members. The group design solution must follow the client's specified requirements nd needs.The project will have both mechanical and electrical aspects. The project grade will be for the entire group. The best project (determined by the client) will receive A+ grade. The second best project with receive A, and so on. Please note if your group project does not work, the group does not receive a grade for the project! Each project must accompany a User Manual, which clearly identifies how the design operates, its safety measures, and ways to trouble shoot it. Note: Although the final grade for the design project will be based on selecting the best design, all groups are highly encouraged to communicate with one another and assist each other in every possible way. Remember: Things you should know about the user and overall project:

  • Are they right handed or left handed?
  • How easy is it for them to activate the machine? Can they press the switch?
  • How tall are they?
  • Can you get their attention to press the switch?
  • Is the system loud enough?
  • What should be the size of the mahine? Too big can make it scary!
  • Is it easy enough to activate the system?
  • If the system is too large and heavy it may require lots of power!

IMPORTANT: In order to fully understand the nature of the project, groups may require attending the Sidekicks program one or two Saturdays; in return we two classes. All students are encouraged to use the discussion group to exchange ideas and information.

Design Project Grade: The project grade will be based on the following criteria:

  • how closely the design matches the client's requirement; (10%)
  • how user friendly the design is; (10%)
  • how accurately the design process is described in the weekly blog; (5%)
  • how reliable the design is; (5%)
  • how well the team interacted together and everyone participated. (10%)

Blog Page: Each group is required to have a blog page for the final project. One easy way to create a blog is to use Google's blogger. You can watch video tutorial to learn more. Here is my blogger example for the ES Department. Here is a cool example of a student project blog. All progress reports have to be posted on the blog. Teams are expected to have weekly post in their blogs. A team's blog must contain the following items:

  • Team's name;
  • Members;
  • Project objective;
  • All Progress reports;
  • User manual (including all safety measures)
  • YouTube presentation of the project

YouTube Presentation: Each project must have a YouTube presentation (5-10 min. long). ALL group members must be present for the YouTube presentations. 

Simulators: There are many interesting simulators you can use for your project in order to better understand the topics (e.g., understanding the mechanics of a throwing machine and the difference between different approaches) Here are some examples:

Place to Buy Parts: Here are some local places you can search for parts

  • Harbor Freight is where you can find all kinds of lights and tools and things for very cheap
  • Interstate Batteries is also a good place for cheap batteries and chargers. You have to ask them for the batteries that go to like a UPS or security system.
  • Some cool and inexpensive electronic kits

Previous Projects: Over the past several years students enrolled in ES110 have completed similar final projects. Here are the links to previous projects: (we would like to thank John Collins for his assistance in helping our students)

Fall 2009

Project Focus: Building a functional throwing machine with a simple push button.

Group 1:
Group 2:
Group 3:
Group 4:
Group 5:
Fall 2010 Project Focus: Building a functional device that moves the ball. Various user interfaces can be considered.

Group 1:
Group 2:
Group 3: 
Group 4: 
Group 5: 
Group 6:!

Fall 2012 Project Focus: Building a functional device with special effect, such as light and noise, that moves the ball. Various user interfaces can be considered. Pictures of presentations
*** This project has been posted on Discovery Press web page ***

Moodle Training

To access the training videos, students can use their Seawolf ID to login to Moodle 2 Essentials for Students. Quicktime is required. Faculty and staff also have access to these videos.

Links to this video collection can be found in the following places.

Tentative Weekly Schedule:

Week Lectures / Labs Resources Assignments
Aug 22 Welcome / Syllabus / Complete the information form Read more about what engineers do.  
Aug 27 Welcome survey: please comeplte it! Join the discussion group with a valid email address. Check out the existing messages.
Sep 3 Monday: Labor Day Holiday    

Project Description by Dr. Elaine McHugh

Pre Project Survey
Sep 10

Breadboard Watch this video - using breadboard


Learn about different carriers in Engineering and Engineering Technology
  • Form a group. Submit the link to your blog page
  • Review previous designs

Sep 17

September 15: Second Sidekicks meeting. Attend and visit students with special needs. [++]    Pictures - All students MUST attend. Make sure you signup!  

Some ideas for designing the throwing machine / Pneumatic Potato Accelerator / Air Cannon / Items you can use for the project

 (More Simulators HERE)


Do the Practice Quiz - must be typed

Using Breadboard Video / Part 2

  Sep 24 September 22: Third  Sidekicks meeting. Attend and visit students with special needs. Last Chance!  
  • Presentation by Dr. Elisa about Diversity in Engineering companies
  • Practice Questions - Measure Power!
  • Solar Power Laboratory


First assignment is due - only answer the questions at the end! /

POST a 1-2 page summary of the project

Complete the Project_Progress_Report for each group.

Introduction to the machine shop / make sure you are available on designated Saturdays!

What machine shop can do for you!

Oct 1
  • Solar Power Laboratory - Part 2
  • Introduction to AC power / Inverters
How to use a scope

POST Engineering requirements for your project.

Oct 8  


Watch the Story of Stuff .....Full Version

Oct 15
  • Build your own light detector.
  • Create your own Circuit Lab account (use Firefox browser or latest IE)
  • Use this circuit example to create your own circuit.
  • Visit the workshop
  • Learn about different sensors!

Quiz: Electric Symbols, Scientific Notations, Relays, Photoresistors, Voltage Dividers, Frequency and period, Total Resistance, Ohm's law, Breadboarding

POST Engineering requirements / First  progress report on` your project. Oral report is required.

Oct 22  

Last chance to submit a proposal for extra credit.

POST pictures of the First Prototype

Oct 29 Last Sidekicks meeting. Attend to test the first prototype. At least one representative of each group MUST participate***  

POST What did you learn after your interaction. Clearly identify what more need to be done. Oral report is required.

Quiz: Electric Symbols, Scientific Notations, Relays, Photoresistors, Voltage Dividers, Frequency and period, Total Resistance, Ohm's law, Breadboardin, Transistors, AC signals

 Nov. 5 Introduction to LabVIEW - Lectures

 Nov. 12    
POST Progress on the second prototype.
Second Prototype must be submitted to the class. Bring everything you ave to class!  
Nov 26

Capacitor Decharging

How RC time constant is measured

Capacitor Quiz - Try it!

Complete the Flashing LED Lab Experiment



Video to build a Leyden Jar

Dec 3 December 1: Final Prototype; Present the Final Product to the Client. ALL students MUST Attend on Saturday!    

Dec 10 Final Exam / Laboratory / Web page and blog must be completed. YouTube presentation must be ready.  

*All labs were designed by Mr. Shahram Marivani.  (more)

**  Absolutely no late submissions will be accepted!
+ Thought by Dr. Ali Kujoory.
++ All students are required to go to second or third Sidekicks meeting to meet the students with special needs.
*** Students are highly encouraged to attend the last Sidekicks meeting to test their first prototype.

Learning Objectives:

Week Topic
1 DC / Concept of simualtion / Basic circuits / Ohm's law /
2 Breadoards / Multimeters/ recording measurements / plotting graphs / power generators / Sensors (photo-resistors / piezo )
3 & 4 Alternative enery / Power consumption / reading your electric bill / Solar power / AC-DC converters /
5 & 6 AC signal / Simulation / Tones and sound / Flashing light / Scope / Signal generator / Oscilators / 555 Chip / Mulitsim / (transistors and diodes)
7 & 8 What is a DAC / working with labview / Using a DAQ / Analog-to-digital converters
9 & 10 Microcontrollers / Introduction to sensors / writing programs /

This is the link to other introduciton to engineering projects.

Combining arduino and labview here is more infor from NI: