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The Electronics Laboratory Simulator (ELS)


Introduction

The Center for Innovation in Engineering Education (CIEE) at Vanderbilt University has developed an exciting new computer simulation of an undergraduate electronics laboratory. The Electronics Laboratory Simulator (ELS) is intended as a pre-lab exercise and allows students to work practical exercises at their own pace and desire so that they are up to speed when entering the actual electronics laboratory. The first complete release is ready for dissemination. It runs on a 486 machine (as well as a 386, albeit slow, a math co-processor is strongly recommended).

The Program

The software consists of several executable files and a central database. All of these are combined into one package by running the ELS executable. This setup allows for running ELS:

  1. From the supervising ELS executable, which requires users to log in and logs various data.
  2. As stand alone executables, in which case no data is logged. You can enter a lab at any desired point, however.

When running the ELS executable, each new user is given a lab tour first. This tour is intended to familiarize the new user with the laboratory procedures and environment. After completing this tour, the user can elect to work either any of the nine laboratories or eight tutorials. Several forms of help are available during the exercises.

Acquiring the Software (Trial version)

ELS comes as a set of three installation disks. Version 1.8.3s can be acquired from ftp.vanderbilt.edu using anonymous ftp. A commercial version is available from

Falcon Software, Inc
One Hollis Street
Wellesley, MA 02181
Tel. (617) 235 1767

Please direct any questions to Falcon Software ( FalconInfo@falconsoftware.com) or pjm@vuse.vanderbilt.edu (Pieter J. Mosterman).

Acknowledgments

This research was supported, in part, by NSF project USE-9156244 and the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the software support and laboratory grant provided by Microsoft Corporation and Hewlett-Packard.