University of Alabama at Birmingham

Revised Nov. 12, 2015
Professor Kenneth A. Kuhn

General Class Information

General Student Information  This is the main student page and has a variety of information you should know.

EE351 Course Syllabus  
This is the course syllabus and rough lab schedule.

Test Scores This is a histogram list of scores in descending numerical order. Absolutely no names, codes, or any identifiers will ever be used that could link a score to a particular student.

EE351 Equation Sheet for Tests  This is a copy of the equations I provide for each test. Use this to study by.

Test Policies
  (On main student page) It is very important that you know and adhere to these!  Also there is a Calculator/Device Usage Policy

EE351 Lab Information The labs will be graded by the lab instructor. You need to hand the lab in by the start of the next lab or by the end of the course for the last lab.  

EE351_handout_links  This is a list of files below that are printed and handed out by the UAB student IEEE.

Latest Class News
Check this area often for updates on assignments, due dates, test dates, error corrections, questions answered, etc.

Tentative Lab Schedule Fall 2015
1  Sept 11 -- Diodes
2  Sept 18 -- Intro to BJT
3 Oct. 2 --  BJT circuits
4 Oct. 23 -- FET circuits
5 Nov. 6 -- Multistage amplifiers
6 Nov. 13 --Frequency Response
7. Monte Carlo -- done at home -- due last night of class

Tentative Class and test schedule (Fall 2015)
Aug. 27  Introduction, amplifier analysis
Sept. 3   Semiconductor physics and diodes
Sept 10   Diode applications and power supplies
Sept 17   BJT Analysis
Sept. 24  BJT Analysis and design
Oct. 1     More BJT Analysis and design
Oct. 8     Problem session -- amplifiers, diodes, and BJTs
Oct. 15   Test 1 and JFET analysis
Oct. 22   JFET design and problems
Oct. 29   Multistage Amplifiers
Nov. 5    Multstage Amplifiers
Nov. 12  Frequency response
Nov. 19  Test 2 (JFET and Multistage) Monte Carlo analysis
Dec. 3     Frequency response and conclusion
Dec. (10, 7:00 to 9:30?)  Final Exam -- comprehensive

Topics for Test 1:
Be able to work dB problems from any perspective -- like the homework
Be able to work black box amplifier circuits -- one and two stages
Transistor bias analysis
Transistor AC analysis -- common-emitter, common-collector
Transistor Bias design -- common-emitter, common-collector
Transistor AC design -- common-emitter -- i.e. calculate RE1 for specified gain

EE351 Test 1 Practice Problems These are excellent problems to be able to work in preparation for the test.
Here are some BJT practice problems:  bjt_practice_problems.pdf

Topics for Test 2:
Be able to do bias and AC analysis for JFET common-source and common-drain amplifiers.  Note: there is a spreadsheet in the JFET section that should be of help.  Be sure to work all H.W. problems.
Be able to do bias design for JFET amplifiers -- be able to calculate either RS or VGG depending on given information.
Be able to do multistage bias and AC analysis -- it is critical to work the homework problems and practice those until you are efficient in time.  Be able to handle both NPN and PNP.

Topics for Final
All topics for test 1
All topics for test 2
Filter capacitor design for power supplies
Frequency response analysis

General Information

The following files are the lecture notes for the course at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.  These notes supplement the text book and are not intended to be a substitute.   Anyone who finds this site is welcome to use the files.   Please report any persistent dead links as I may have missed one as I make updates to the site.

You should definitely print out the instructor's articles as those are very applicable to tests.  You may want to print some of the manufacture's information but it is not necessary to print all of it as that would be a huge number of pages and you would be lost in the wealth of information. Definitely read all of them. Note that the data and application notes include material that is beyond the scope of the class - do not worry about sections that are not applicable.

Be sure to check out the following interview on National Public Radio with Jim Williams who is an analog electronics engineer and works for Linear Technologies Corporation in Milpitas, CA -- the southeastern end of what is known as Silicon Valley.  The audio is about 5 minutes and there are five interesting pictures of Jim's office and home.  Jim is one of the best known analog designers in the world and the interview is very interesting.  Jim has written many articles concerning electronics engineering.
NPR : One Man's Junk Is Another's Marvel

The following companies have excellent web sites with a lot of information.  Their application notes are the basis for many textbooks you could pay a lot of money for.  You can download these for free.  You need to check these sites anytime you need to know anything. National Semiconductor Be sure to check the many features of the Analog University. There is a lot of very useful information – probably the best anywhere on the Internet.  Studying many of the old application notes here (some are part of the course material below) is how your instructor learned what he knows. Analog Devices Linear Technology Corporation Omega Engineering  This company supplies many different types of transducers and also has some excellent application notes. Their web site contains a lot of data and general information.

The following sections of the course are grouped by color which is intended to make it easier to locate material.

Title Page for Notes   This is a title page that goes with the entire note set.

Introduction Notes   These are a few comments that introduce the course.

Note to self: Add notes about Ohm's law, voltage dividers, etc.
Amplifier Fundamentals

Introduction to Decibels  This note describes how to do calculations with decibels.  There are homework problems with answers.

Introduction to Amplifiers  This is an introduction to general amplifier concepts. There are homework problems with answers.
amplifier_calculations.xls  A spreadsheet to assist with doing "black box" amplifier calculations

Distortion of Signals This note discusses the two primary types of distortion that occur in systems and how to measure distortion.

Homework in text book:
Chapter 6 Amplifiers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

Chapter 9 Frequency Response (dB calculations section only): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

Semiconductors and Diodes

Operation of Semiconductor Devices, a simplified explanation  This is a draft of a brief introduction to solid state physics and how diodes and transistors work.  Update Sept. 4, 2015:  The colors in this file are now correct.

Diode Characteristics  This is a draft of some hard to find details about diode characteristics.

Diode Data Curves  There are two sets of actual current verus voltage curves for a variety of common diodes at low and high forward currents.

Diode Dynamic Resistance This hand note has the derivation of the dynamic forward resistance of a diode.

(supplemental) Diode Measurements  This hand note derives a procedure for measuring the junction constant and the reverse saturation current of a diode. A typed version is in the Diode Characteristics note.

(supplemental) Using Newton's Method to Solve the Classic Diode Problem  This note describes how to use Newton's method for solving diode circuits.  Special attention is given to the starting condition to virtually guarantee convergence.

Diode Types  This note briefly describes some common types of diodes from rectifier to light-emitting.

Diode Specifications  This note briefly describes common diode specifications that the student or engineer should be aware of.

Diode Applications   This note shows a variety of applications for diodes in electronic circuits.

Introduction to Power Supplies  This note is a general introduction to the main components of power supplies: transformer, rectifiers, and filter capacitor.

Power Supplies: Filter Capacitor   This note discusses the operation of the filter capacitor in power supplies.

rectifier_filter.xls  This is a spreadsheet for doing exeriments with power supplies.
Rectifier-Filter Spreadsheet Instructions  These are the instructions for using the spreadsheet.

Diode Homework Problems  This is a homework set for diode calculations and includes answers.

Diode Simulation Spreadsheet, diode_plots.xls  This spreadsheet generates a variety of plots of diode characteristics given some basic data.  It was used to generate the plots in the diode_characteristics.pdf above.

Homework in text book:
Chapter 2: pn Junction: 1, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 27 –SPICE.
Chapter 3: The Diode: 3, 4, 14, 15, 16, 17, 53—SPICE.

Lab 1: Diode Circuits  This laboratory exercise introduces the student to a variety of diode circuits.

Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJT)

Introduction to Transistors  This note has some brief introductory comments.

Bipolar Junction Transistor Basics  This note introduces the fundamental math for BJTs.

The study of bipolar junction transistors is divided into four groups as follows:
  • Bias analysis -- simple, only one result.
  • AC analysis   -- simple, only one result.
  • Bias design -- very complicated, many results possible, many things to consider.
  • AC design -- complicated, requires big picture strategy.
BJT Bias Analysis  This note derives the general bias analysis method.

BJT AC Analysis  This note derives the AC characteristics of BJT amplifiers.

BJT Bias Design   This note derives the procedure for temperature stable and beta stable design and also for calculating the bias resistors.  This note does not say where the bias points are -- those are determined in notes below.  This note only describes how to achieve a given bias condition.

Distortion in BJT Amplifiers   This is a general note about how distortion occurs in BJT amplifiers.

Common-Emitter Amplifier Design:

Choosing RC for Common-Emitter and Common-Base Amplifiers

(supplemental) Optimum VBQ and VCQ bias Conditions for Maximum Linear Output for the Common-Emitter Amplifier   This is a long and very mathematical detailed derivation of the optimum bias conditions for linearity.  It is a good example of the type of mathematics required to do real engineering.  Initially, the math explodes in complexity but with the right approach reduces to something very practical.

Designing the AC Gain of a Common-Emitter Amplifier  This note deals with how to calculate RE1 for a specified Av, Avl, or Avn.

Common-Collector Amplifier Design:

Common-Collector Amplifier Design   This is a very detailed design note that addresses the different situations for use as an input stage and an output stage.  For a low-level input stage the input resistance should be as high as practical.  For a high level output stage the linear output signal swing should be as high as practical.

General Notes:

Power Gain of Single Stage BJT Amplifiers This note discusses the ultimate power gain possible for each of the three types of BJT amplifiers, common-emitter, common-collector, and common-base.

BJT General Design   This note discusses some general considerations in BJT design and provides a guide for determining which amplifier type (CE, CB, or CC) is best for a given situation.

(supplemental) Real World Practicalities in Designing Transistor Amplifiers  This is a short note that deals with approaches and decisions you would have to make in the real world.

Homework problems:

Transistor Bias Design and Analysis and Amplifier Analysis

BJT Amplifier Design

BJT Transistor Bias Design for Stability

Homework in text book:
Chapter 4: BJTs: 1, 10, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 23, 31, 33, 34, 49—SPICE.
Chapter 7: Transistor Amplifiers: 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, (14, 16 interesting!) 17, 50—SPICE.

Excel Spreadsheets:

BJT Analysis Spreadsheet  This spreadsheet performs bias analysis and amplifier gain analysis for the standard BJT circuit.  Solutions are provided for common-emitter, common-base, and common-collector as the spreadsheet makes no assumptions as to what type the amplifier actually is.  The user simply selects the appropriate solution set.

bjt_simulator.xlsx (new!) This spreadsheet performs a very complete simulation of common-emitter and common-collector amplifiers including non-linear effects.  It is an excellent learning tool for students to confirm their hand analysis and design.  The spreadsheet also simulates the effects of temperature and beta variations so those can be studied.  I plan to post an experiments guide for a variety of learning experiments as soon as I can.

transistor_designer.xlsx (new!) This spreadsheet implements the design process we study in class for common-emitter and common-collector amplifiers. It walks you through all of the steps in the right sequence. It also analyzes the resulting design so you can see the effect of approximations or even spot errors. I use this sheet to make test problems.

Laboratory Exercises:

Lab 2: Transistor Circuits  This laboratory exercise introduces the student to the simplest transistor circuits, distortion, and temperature stability.

Lab 3: Transistor Amplifiers  This laboratory exercise involves application of the design notes in the class.  A common-emitter and common-collector amplifier is designed, built, and verified.  There is a SPICE assignment too.  The student must perform the design work prior to coming to lab as the designs will take significant time to do.  The purpose of the lab is to verify the design and learn from mistakes.

Junction Field Effect Transistors (JFET)

JFET Basics  This note introduces JFET terminology and shows the derivation of the equations used for mathematical modeling.  A number of plots are shown to illustrate JFET characteristics.

(supplemental) JFET Hand Notes  These are some old hand notes about JFETs.

Measuring IDSS and VP of a JFET  This is a hand note about measuring IDSS and VP of a JFET.

JFET Bias Analysis  This note derives the general bias analysis method.

JFET AC Analysis  This note derives the small signal AC model and the method for determining rin, ro, and Av of JEFT amplifiers.

JFET Bias Design  This note derives the method for bias design.

JFET AC Design  This note discusses issues in AC design for JFET amplifiers.

(supplemental) Distortion in JFET Amplifiers  This is an extensive note that explores linearity and distortion in JFET amplifiers and the bias and signal levels for minimum distortion.

Selected Data for JFETs  This is a short list of data such as IDSS and VP for several common JFETs.

(supplemental) Power Gain of Single Stage JFET Amplifiers  This note explores the ultimate power gain possible for each of the three types of JFET amplifiers, common-source, common-drain, and common-gate.

FET Analysis Spreadsheet This spreadsheet implements the analysis method discussed in the notes for doing bias and AC analysis for common-source, common-drain, and common-gate amplifiers.  This is an excellent web site and has some graphical demonstrations of how field effect transistors work.   This is an excellent application note concerning biasing of jfet amplifiers.

JFET Homework Problems  These are some excellent homework problems with answers.

Homework in text book:
Chapter 5: FETs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24.

Lab 4: Field Effect Transistors    This lab shows how to measure JFET characteristics and involves design of common-source and common-drain amplifiers.
Multistage Amplifiers

Multistage Amplifiers   This is an introduction to multistage amplifiers.

Multistage Analysis Example   This is an example multistage analysis worked out in detail.

There is no homework in the text book on this subject.  The student should carefully analyse and understand the amplifiers in the above example, the lab, and examples worked in class.

Multistage Amplifier Homework Problems   Here are five basic problems with inverses for a total of ten.  This give excellent practice working with PNP and NPN stages.

Lab 5: Multistage Amplifiers This lab illustrates analysis of two multistage amplifiers and also explores differential and common-mode gain in differential amplifiers.

Supplemental Material
(supplemental) Design of Audio Power Amplifiers  This note discusses the design of a simple multistage audio power amplifier.
Frequency Response

Amplifier Frequency Response   This note describes the low and high frequency response of an amplifier and how to make calculations.

Square Wave Testing   This note describes how to use square waves to approximately measure the high and low frequency response of an amplifier.

Frequency Response Homework   -- includes answers.

ce_amplifier.xls This spreadsheet performs frequency response analysis on a single stage common-emitter amplifier using methods discussed in class.  Note that some of the results are estimates and are frequently good but can fail in some cases.  SPICE is the only way to always obtain accurate results.

Homework in text book:
Chapter 9 Frequency Response: 1, 2, 3, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24,25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 33, 34.

Lab 6: Frequency Response The student measures the high and low frequency response of a single stage amplifier and compares the results with SPICE and hand calculations.
Transistor Applications

Homework in text book: Chapter 17 Transistor Circuits: TBD

Monte Carlo Experiment  This lab illustrates the use of the Monte Carlo method to easily do a complex analysis of a transistor design.

Sample Spreadsheet for Monte Carlo Experiment  This is a sample Excel spreadsheet the student can adapt for performing the above lab.


Sample SPICE files from previous classes Use these as examples as they have worked well in the past. None of the circuits apply to current material.

ee351a.cir is a sample file to illustrate use of SPICE with a transistor and frequency response.

lab6a.cir This is a file containing the first circuit in an older Lab 6.

lab6.cir This is a version of the circuit to be designed in an older Lab 6. Note that its gain is around 326 instead of the intended 500. Here are a number of downloadable SPICE programs.

Answers to multistage homework . Depending on how you round off various calculations, your answers may differ a little from these - do not worry about this - I allow for rounding differences on the test. I also put various intermediate results here too. From these results, you can calculate all other voltages you need to check your work

1. Rin = 10.2K, Ro = 2K, A = 1372, IE1 = 191 uA, IE2 = 2.06 mA

2. Rin = 2048, Ro = 58.5, A = 210, IE1 = 980 uA, IE2 = 7.97 mA

3. I made a mistake - the 1K resistor should be 560 Ohms.

Rin = 11.65K, Ro = 560, A = 263, IE1 = 4.04 mA, IE2 = 12.74 mA

4. Rin = 147K, Ro = 93, A = 111, IE1 = 244 uA, IE2 = 324 uA, IE3 = 7.38 mA

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