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Lab 4 Report

Coy Coburn & Kevin Bradshaw

ECEN 214, Section 506
TA: Amir Tofighi Zavareh
Due date: March 4th, 2014

Task 1 Construct the Laser Diode, Photodetector, and current to voltage converter circuit

The purpose of both lab four and five is to design, build, and analyze an electronic
security system. For part one, three out of the five different components of the lab were
constructed and analyzed. These circuits were powered by using the HP Triple Power
supply with the +20 Volt variable knob set to +12 Volts and the -20 Volt variable knob
set to -12 Volts.
After building the circuit in Figure 1 with the LM741 op-amp and making sure the
detector was set to a constant distance away from the laser, the output voltage of the opamp was measured and recorded in Table 4.1.

Figure 1: All three circuit components of Task 1

Then, the output voltage was measured again with the laser being obstructed by a black
journal. This measurement was recorded in Table 4.1. The current through the laser diode
was also measured and recorded in Table 4.2.
These precautions were take while working with this circuit:
o Never look directly into the light beam.
o Turn the power supply off before the changing any connection.
o Change the Voltmeter to Ammeter on the HP DMM correctly.

Task 2 Construct the Amplifier

The circuit in Figure 2 was built on the same breadboard of the three other components of
the security system. This was done by connecting the 6 Volt variable knob on the Triple
Power Supply to the inverting input of another LM741 op-amp. The voltage values in
Table 4.3 were then applied one after another to analyze the output voltage of the opamp. These measurements were then recorded in Table 4.3.

The 6 Volt variable power supply was then disconnected and connected to the output of
the original circuit in Task 1. This was done by connecting the output of the first op-amp
to the input of the second op-amp. The output voltage of the circuit was measured with
and without obstructing the laser, then recorded in Table 4.1.
Figure 2: Amplifier

Task 3 Construct the Comparator

The last circuit constructed in this lab was the comparator with the LM319 op-amp
shown in Figure 3. After building this circuit, the reference voltage of the inverting input
(Vr) was then calculated and measured. These values were recorded in table 4.4.
Figure 3: Comparator

By using the 6 Volt variable supply again, the voltage values in Table 4.5 were applied to
the non-inverting input and recorded in Table 4.5.
The 6 Volt variable supply was then disconnected and connected to the amplifier in Task
2. This was done by connecting the output voltage of the amplifier to the non-inverting
input before the resistor. The output voltages of the comparator with and without the laser
obstructed were then recorded in Table 4.1.

Task 4 Implement a virtual comparator

This last task consisted of connecting the original op-amp circuit in Task 1 to a virtual
instrument on LabView. The output of the op-amp was connected to the input of the
DAC channel AI0 on the NI ELVIS board. Then, the AI0- to the ground on the board.
The HP DMM was connected also to measure voltages.
Using the virtual instrument, the threshold voltages were checked to make sure the laser
was on. The Teachers Assistant was needed for this part because there was an error in
the connection. As a result, there was no recorded measurement for the output of the
DAQ with or without laser obstruction. The Teachers Assistant signed the bottom of
Table 4.5 for this task.

In the lab, the output voltages in Table 4.3 were calculated by using an ideal op-amp and nodal
analysis. In an ideal op-amp, the non-inverting input (Vp) would equal the inverting input (Vn).
Then, by using nodal analysis, from Vn in Figure 2, and the output voltage (VOUT) is solved
algebraically in terms of the variable input voltage (VI):
Vp = Vn = 0
(Vn Vi)/(1 k) + (Vn VOUT)/(22 k) = 0
VI(22) = -VOUT
The reference voltage (Vr) in Figure 3 was also calculated by using op-amp concepts and nodal
(Vr 12V)/(10 k) + (Vr)/(2.2k) = 0
Vr = 2.16 V

After analyzing the results from tasks 1 to 4, it can be said by the data that the signal
amplifier voltage as well as current-to-voltage converter voltage did in fact drop when
the laser was obstructed. With the laser intact, the system would saturate to the 12
volt versus the obstructed laser system, which would then lead to the 0 volt.

Vi vs Vout
Measured Vamp

Calculated Vamp







Vout (V)



Vamp (V )

Given the data from Table 3, the measured and calculated values for the voltage are
very similar to each other, which they should be due to saturation. Where the


measured values of Vout begin to plateau, the last several values for the calculated
voltage are theoretical if there was no saturation to be reached.
The output changes from low to high somewhere between the values of 2V and 3V.
This was given by utilizing the PSPICE function and applying it to the required

Vout comparator vs Vin


Vout (mV)







Vin (V)



While the table reflects the output data taken from the experiment, it seems that the
currents found were differed from the expected results. This can be due to short
circuiting of the system, condensation and burnt out system parts. The graph does
however reveal the expected outlook of the line of results, with a spike during the
increasing from 2 V to 3 V as well as a plateau after passing the 3, which was to be
While task 4s method proved to be quicker and more efficient, task 2 & 3s method
allowed for the tester to actually delve into the details that the system goes through
and can process how the voltage saturation and currents are actually influenced.

In lab 4, it was to be expected to build, design, and analyze some type of electronic security
system utilizing a laser diode, photo detector, operational amplifiers, resistors, a comparator, a
latch, light emitting diodes, and a buzzer. The circuit was to detect an obstruction of the beam
and resulting in an alarm sounding. This lab revealed the workings of an amplifier circuit as well
as its inner mechanics, including the changes in voltage and current flow. While this lab proved
to be beneficial in these understandings, criticisms could be made about the complex building of
the circuit and the high probability of short circuits occurring.