164 Instrumentation for Electrical Test and Measurement

For Whom Intended  Engineers, aides and technicians. Some background in electronics is helpful but is not essential. The course will be tailored to student objectives.

Objectives  To provide a basic understanding of electrical measurement systems. To alert the students to the many varieties of meters, 'scopes and transducers available, their operating principles, strengths and weaknesses. To give students enough applications information that they can select optimum meters, transducer, amplifier, recording and readout devices to assemble a system for routine measurements of electrical phenomena.

Electrical InstrumentationBrief Course Description  Mainly lectures, supported by slides, transparencies, videotapes and sample hardware. Students are expected to participate in classroom discussions, as well as read text materials and class notes.

Course 164 presents basic information on selection, application, calibration and usage of modern measurement systems to measure electrical phenomena. The course emphasizes a non-mathematical approach to understanding concepts and mechanisms. A variety of measurands and device types is covered, as well as signal conditioning, recording and analysis.

Participants are encouraged to bring a specific measurement problem to class for use as a case study. The instructor will introduce one or more student problems (and/or a preselected case) on the first day. Each day's course material will further develop the case study. A solution will be given at the end.

Diploma Programs  This course is required for TTi’s Data Acquisition & Analysis Specialist (DAS), Electrical Telecommunications Specialist (ETS), In­stru­mentation Test Specialist (ITS), and Metro­logy/Cali­bration Specialist (MCS) diploma pro­grams. It may be used as an optional course for any other TTi Diploma program.

Related Courses Course 163, Instrumentation for Test and Measurement covers some of the same material, with more emphasis on dynamics. Course 166/164 contains much of course 164, with added material from course 166, Applied Measurements. Both are available as OnDemand Complete Internet courses.

Prerequisites  There are no definite prerequisites, but participation in TTi’s course Electronics for Non-Electronic Engineers or the equivalent would be helpful.

Text  Each student will receive 180 days access to the on-line electronic course workbook. Renewals and printed textbooks are available for an additional fee.

Course Hours, Certificate and CEUs  Class hours/days for on-site courses can vary from 14-35 hours over 2-5 days as requested by our clients. Upon successful course completion, each participant receives a certificate of completion and one Continuing Education Unit (CEU) for every ten class hours.

Course Outline

Chapter 1 - Introduction to Instrumentation for Electrical Test and Measurement

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  • Accurate Measurements
  • Case Study Procedure
  • Sensors and Systems
  • Components of an Instrumentation System
  • Functional Components of a Measurement Chain
  • Basic Radio Telemetry System—Block Diagram
  • Carrier Modulation

Chapter 2 - Types of Data Signals

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  • Periodic Signals
  • Sinusoidal Signals
  • Sine Wave as Projection of Rotating Vector
  • Complex Signals
  • Square Wave Signals
  • Complex Spectrum of a Periodic Time Function
  • Transient Signals
  • Complex (Pyroshock) Time History
  • Random Signals
  • Power Spectral Density
  • Examples of Time vs. Frequency Spectra
  • Understanding rms
  • Average and RMS Values of Common Waveforms
  • Language of Digital Measurement Systems    
  • Digital Data Nomenclature
  • Digital Codes

Chapter 3 - Noise

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  • Noise Signal, Gaussian Distribution
  • Detecting a Weak Signal
  • Noise Calculations
  • Noise Suppression for Sensor Signals
  • Noise Figure and Distortion
  • Electronic Noise Measurements
  • Phase Noise
  • Phase Noise Display
  • Phase Noise in Communications
  • The Noise Corner Frequency
  • External Noise Sources
  • Common Electrical Noise from External Sources
  • Types of Noise
  • Shot (or Schottky) Noise
  • Thermal (or Johnson) Noise
  • Flicker (1/f) Noise
  • Burst Noise
  • Avalanche Noise
  • Noise Should be Viewed as a Vector Quantity
  • Noise Colors

Chapter 4 - Decibels (dB), Logarithmic vs. Linear Scaling, Frequency Spectra, Octaves

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  • Understanding Decibels (dB) and Octaves
    • Decibels—Power Ratio
    • Decibels—Voltage Ratio
    • dB Ratio Conversions
      • Reference Levels for Decibel Notation
      • Adding Two Power Ratios in dB
    • Logarithmic vs. Linear Scaling
  • Introduction to Frequency, Octaves and Sound
    • Sound Perception
      • Frequency Spectra for Various Noise Sources
      • Diatonic Musical Scale
    • Octave
      • 1/3 Octave Bandwidths
      • 1/3 Octave Band Definitions
      • 1/3 Octave Bands, Center Frequency

Chapter 5 - Parameters of Linear Systems

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  • Frequency Response
  • Dynamic Range and Linearity
    • Non-Linear Mechanical System
    • Non-Linear Systems
    • Input-Output Characteristic Curve
    • Distortion of a Sine Wave
    • Typical Linearity Curve of an Instrument
    • Design/Performance Characteristics of Sensors
    • Methods of Computing Linearity
  • Signal and Spectrum Before and After Clipping
  • Effects of Inadequate Frequency Response
  • System Response to a Rectangular Pulse
  • Low-pass, High-pass, Bandpass and Notch Filters
  • Phase Response
  • Response of a Linear Network to a Sine Wave

Chapter 6 - Accuracy, Calibration and Error Assessment

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  • Simple Statistics of Measurement
    • Random Data and the Gaussian Distribution
    • Cumulative Distribution Functions (cdf)
    • Probability Density Functions (pdf)
    • Confidence Levels
  • Types of Error
    • Measurement Error
    • Systematic Error
    • Total System Error: a Function of Elemental Errors
  • Error Assessment
    • “System Accuracy” or “Calibration” Plot
    • Temperature Error
    • Transducer Error

Chapter 7 - Safety, Grounding, Circuit Protection, Input/Output Impedance, Power Transfer

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  • Laboratory Practice—Safety
    • Effects of 60 Hz electric shock on the human body.
    • Safety Rules
  • Grounding
    • Types of Grounds
    • Grounds—Three Wire Outlet
  • Circuit Protection Devices
  • Input Impedance, Output Impedance and Loading
  • Input Impedance
  • Loading Errors
  • Input Impedance and Loading
  • Input and Output Impedance
  • Equivalent Resistance
  • Equivalent Resistance and Output Resistance
  • Power Transfer and Impedance Matching

Chapter 8-1 - Analog and Digital DC and AC Meters

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  • Analog DC and AC Meters
  • D’Arsonval Galvanometer Movement
  • Electrodynamometer Movement
  • Analog DC Ammeters
    • Analog DC Ammeters—Example
    • Analog DC Ammeter—Solution
    • Analog DC Ammeter—Shunts
    • Analog DC Ammeters—Problem
  • Analog DC Voltmeter—Multiplier
    • Analog DC Voltmeter—Sensitivity
    • Analog DC Voltmeter—Problem
    • Sensitivity of a voltmeter
  • AC Ammeters and Voltmeters
    • Alternating Current
    • AC Ammeters and Voltmeters—Problem
    • AC Ammeters and Voltmeters—Solution
  • RMS Responding Meters
  • Peak Responding AC Meters
  • Analog Multimeter
  • Special-Purpose Analog Meters
  • How to Use Meters
  • Meter Errors
  • Digital Electronic Meters

Chapter 8-2 - Digital Measurement Instruments: Digital Multimeter Operation

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  • Digital Multimeter—Agilent 3458A
  • Digital Multimeter—Agilent 34401A
  • Calibrator— Keithley Model 263
  • Current-to-Voltage Converter—SR570
  • Agilent 3458A Digital Multimeter
    • Power Requirements
    • General Purpose Interface Bus (GPIB Bus)
    • Power-on Self Test, Ranging
    • Display, Function Keys
    • Self-Test
    • Remote Operation — GPIB
    • Display/Use GPIB Address
    • Calibration
    • High Resolution Digitizing
  • LabView Graphical Solutions

Chapter 8-3 - Making Measurements with a Digital Multi-meter

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  • Agilent 3458A Digital Multi-meter
  • Connection Configuration
  • Guarding
  • Measuring DC Voltage
  • AC or AC+DC Voltage
  • Measuring DC Current
  • Measuring Resistance
    • 2-wire Ohms Measurements
    • 4-wire Ohms Measurements
  • A/D Converter
    • A/D Reference Frequency
    • A/D Integration Time
    • A/D—Power Line Cycles
    • A/D—Specifying Resolution
  • Autozero Function
  • Offset Compensation
  • Identifying Resistors
    • Color Codes For Resistors and Capacitors

Chapter 8-4 - Guarded Voltmeter

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  • Guard Shields
  • Grounded Measurement
    • Grounded Measurement with a Common-Mode Voltage
  • Floating Measurements
    • Inside an Ideal Floating Voltmeter
    • More Realistic View of a Floating Voltmeter
  • Guarded Voltmeter
    • Connecting the Guard
    • Guard Connection to Low at Voltmeter
    • Guard Connected to Earth Ground
    • Don’t Leave The Guard Open
  • Bridge Measurement
    • Guard Connected to Low at Voltmeter Input
    • Guard Connected to Low at the Bridge
    • Guard Connected to Ground at the Bridge
    • Driving the Guard in a Bridge Measurement
    • Summary

Chapter 9 - Oscilloscopes

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  • Analog Oscilloscopes
    • Analog Oscilloscope Display Screen
    • Analog Display Subsystem
  • Making Measurements with an Analog Oscilloscope
    • Analog Voltage Measurements
    • Analog Time and Frequency
    • Analog Phase Measurements
    • Analog Pulse Measurements
  • Lissajous Patterns
  • Digital Oscilloscope
    • Digital Oscilloscope—Two Channel
    • Digital Oscilloscope Considerations

Chapter 10 - Time and Frequency Measurements

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  • Frequency Measurement
  • Counter Resolution
  • Period Measurement
  • Portable 18-Channel Data Acquisition Recorder
  • Portable Data Acquisition Recorder
  • Portable Hybrid Recorder

Chapter 11 - Power and Energy Measurements

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  • Introduction to Power and Energy Measurements
    • Example
  • Power in AC Circuits
    • Example
    • Single-Phase Power Measurements
    • Errors—Dynamometer Wattmeters
    • Measuring P>avg< and P>apparent< Simultaneously
  • Polyphase Circuits
    • Phasor Voltages
    • Three-phase Y-connected Generator
    • Three-phase Generator Example
    • Three Phase delta-Connected Generator
    • Polyphase Power and Measurements
    • Polyphase Measurements
  • Using a Dynamometer to Measure Power
  • Power Measurements at Higher Frequencies

Chapter 12 - Wheatstone Bridges

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  • Basic Laws of Networks
  • Voltage Divider Circuit
  • Thevenin’s Theorem
  • Methods of Measurement
  • Bridge Circuits
  • Wheatstone Bridge
  • Application of Thevenin’s Theorem in a Wheatstone Bridge Circuit—Example
  • Voltage-Sensitive Bridges
  • Current-Sensitive Bridges
  • Bridge Sensitivity
  • Three-Wire Bridge: Compensation for Leads
  • Effects of Temperature Change on Sensing Resistor
  • Four Sensing Resistors in a Wheatstone Bridge
  • Shunt Calibration
  • Voltage Insertion Calibration
  • Strain Gage Compensation
  • Guidelines for Setting up the Bridge Measurement System
  • Wheatstone Bridge
  • AC Bridges—Classic Inductance Bridges
  • Classic Capacitance Bridges

Chapter 13 - DC and AC Signal Sources

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  • Batteries in Series and Parallel
    • DC Signal Sources
  • Power Supply with a Regulator
  • DC Power Supply Specification
  • How to Use a Power Supply
    • Proper Connections with Multiple Loads
  • Kinds of Oscillators
    • Oscillator Configurations
  • Sweep-Frequency Generators
  • Square Wave
    • Pulse Shape of Square Wave
    • Use of Square Waves in Testing
  • Function Generators
    • Testing with a Function Generator
  • HP 33120A Function Generator
    • Waveforms Generated By Function Generator
    • RMS Waveform
    • Signal Generation Process
    • Equivalent Circuit
    • Output Resistance and Load Resistance
    • Front Panel
    • Front Panel Number Entry
    • Frequency, Amplitude Selection
    • Offset Voltage Selection, Duty Cycle
    • Modification of Standard Waveforms
    • BenchLink and User-defined Arbitrary Waveforms
    • Specifications

Chapter 14 - Sensors / Transducers

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  • It starts with you and the sensor
    • Characteristics of the Ideal Transducer
    • Mechanisms in General
  • Displacement—Direct Measurement
  • Strain Gauge
  • Silicon Semiconductor Transducers
  • Accelerometers
  • Linear Variable Differential Transducer (LVDT)
  • Potentiometric Transducers
  • Piezoelectric Transduction
  • Velocity Sensing Module
  • 4-20 ma loop
  • Temperature Effects
    • Thermoelectric Transducers
    • Thermoresistive Transducers
    • Thermopile

Chapter 15 - Measurement Systems

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  • Conditioning the Signal — Detection
  • DC Carrier Amplifier
  • Carrier Amplifier used with AC-Excited Bridge
  • FM Carrier Amplifier
  • Capacitive Source Impedance
  • Resistive Source Impedance
  • The Bridge Circuit
  • Strain Gage Compensation
  • Equivalent Circuits, Bridge Transducers
  • Shunt Calibration
  • Voltage Insertion Calibration
  • RC High-Pass Filter
  • Amplifier-Source Compatibility
  • Source Shunting Effect
  • Calibrated Zero Suppression
  • Amplifier Characteristics
  • Four Basic Types of Amplifiers
  • Typical Uses of Different Amplifier Types
  • Differential Amplifier
  • Amplifier Compatibility Summary
  • Piezo Voltage Amplifier
  • Impedance Transforming Amplifiers
  • Pieozelectric Transducers with Amplifier
  • Insufficient RC Time Constant
  • Charge Converters
  • Other Amplifier Characteristics
  • Integrating Circuits    
  • High-Pass Filtering & Differentiating Circuits
    • Input/Output Curves for Differentiating Circuits
  • Filtering in General
    • Acoustic Weighting
    • Bandwidth
    • Undamped (high Q) vs. Damped (low Q) Filters
    • Selective Filtering    
  • Filter Characteristics
    • Characteristics of Butterworth Filters
    • Characteristics of Chebyshev Filters
    • Characteristics of Bessel Filters
  • RC and LR Circuits—Charge & Delay Curves
    • Reaction of an R-C Circuit to a Square Wave
  • Sampling Theory: Review
  • Anti-Alias Filters
    • Brick-Wall vs Real Filters
    • Aliasing Analysis
    • Anti-Alias Filters .. Hardware
  • Sensors to Analog-to-Digital (A/D) Converters

Chapter 16 - Avoiding Unwanted Signals

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  • Unwanted Signals
  • Electrical Noise: High Signal Source Impedance
  • Low Signal Source Impedance
  • Source Shunting Effect    
  • Parallel Conductors    
  • Twisted Signal Conductors
  • Microvolt-Level Signal Cables
  • Ground Loops
  • Eliminating Multiple Grounds
  • A Stable System Ground
  • Incorrect Grounding!
  • Correct Grounding!
  • Using the Amplifier Guard Shield
  • Common Mode Rejection
  • Good Wiring Practice Must be Used

Chapter 17 - Spectral and Fourier Analysis

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  • Spectral Analysis: Why and What?
    • Definitions of Various Vibration Signals
    • Phase of Frequency Domain Components
    • Time and Frequency Domain
  • Fourier Analysis
    • Adding Signals—Using RMS Values
    • The Fourier Transform
    • Discrete Fourier Analysis
    • Fast Fourier Transform (FFT)
    • Spectrum Analyzer Block Diagram
  • Spectrum Analyzer Measurements
    • Original Signal
    • Test Setup
    • Corrected Signal
    • Correction Factors
  • Stimulus-Response Measurements
  • Return Loss Measurement
  • Measuring Low-Level Signals
    • Signal after Video Averaging
  • Selecting the Best Display Detection Mode
  • Detection Modes
  • Measuring Burst Signals

Appendix A - Glossary of Terms

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Appendix C - Staticstical Distributions

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  • Areas of the Normal Curve (One-tail)
  • t (Student) Distribution
  • Chi-Square Distribution

Appendix C2 - Understanding Decibels (dB) and Octaves

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Appendix D - ASCII Codes

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Appendix E - Analog Oscilloscope Controls

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Summary and overview

Final Review

Award of Certificates for successful completion


Revised 180806