EN123   Lab Guidelines

EN123 labs take place in 095 & 097 (Giancarlo Annex).

Lab Cleanliness: We have as an ideal (more honour'd in the breach than the observance, as Hamlet said...) that the black table tops should, when you leave, be clear of any small parts, components, wire, tools, screws, nuts, solder, etc. Such parts can be (as those expert in household cleaning like to arrange) hampered in various cups, boxes, jars, bowls, etc until eventually returned to their proper bins.

The 095 door can be opened automatically by releasing the strike plate so the door can be pushed open. The door-open hours will be announced at the beginning of the semester and when it makes sense to change them during the term.

When you first enter 095 you'll notice a tin of Altoids, for those interested in annoyance-free conversations.

The phone number in both 095 & 097 is 401 863 9852.
Dial 8 first to get an outside line for local calls.

The temperature control for 095 is across the door from the phone.

The light switches under the temp control can be left on; the lights will turn off automatically if the motion detector in the ceiling senses no activity. If you're in the lab and the lights suddenly go out, wave your arms in the air.

The big refrigerator near the sink in 095 is for storing chemicals; there is a small food frig at the end of the 10' x 4' optical table. If you drink soda or coffee in the lab put your drink container on the floor so spills do not damage keyboards or equipment. In the small refrigerator we keep cans of generic soda (25 cents, in the kitty), if a dollar for a Coke from the vending machine offends you. Please recycle! On top of the small fridge may be aspirin, chewable vit C, and gummy vitamins. If you take a vit C tablet, you can't use scurvy as an excuse.

There are 4 equipment set-ups in 095, each having a computer (with Nat'l Inst 6024E DAQ card installed), digital oscilloscope, Agilent power supply, multimeter, and waveform generator, logic probe, hand-help multimeter, and "blue box" breadboard unit. Between the setups on each side of the room are soldering irons.

Room 097 has 3 similar setups for "overflow" or those interested in a .

The seven computers (095, 097) each have a copy of the Agilent waveform generator Users Manual, and a LabVIEW book, which should stay with each setup.

B-20 Arnold Lab, where we will do two animal experiments, has Gateway computers with NI 6024E cards and connector racks. Of annoyance, the machines in B20 run LabVIEW 7.0, and a conversion to 7.0 is needed for your Lab LT VI.

Computers. The computers run Windows XP; you'll see a desktop icon for LabVIEW on each one. Each computer has in a PCI slot a National Instruments 6024E DAQ card (replacement cost: $800); from the card a cable connects to a green screw terminal block; small screwdrivers for the terminal block are in a blue box on top of the tool chest near the phone in 095.

One of the computers in each room is connected to (big) speakers. Let's say only that computer will be allowed to play music in the lab. There is a JDD playlist on my iTunes account, for default music. If no one else is in the lab, you can rock the basement...

Please do not auto-arrange icons on the desktops or in the folders.
Add bookmarks to the browsers in appropriate folders, or create your own folder.
Please don't download MPG movies.
Do not install Kazaa, Grokster, or any Instant Messaging anything.
At the end of each day we want the computers in sleep mode.
We have no printers in the lab.

» There is a fire extinguisher out the 095 door across the hall to your right.
» On the inputs to the 6024E DAQ (through the green connector card) do not exceed 15 volts plus or minus, or the card inputs may be permanently damaged.
» When removing the DAQ cable from the green connector card, pull on the metal fitting, not on the cable itself! I wouldn't care so much if we had extra cables, and if the cables cost a lot less than $65 each, but a least one student has shown how easy it is to rip the cable out of the connector by pulling on the ribbon cable itself to disconnect!
» Wear safety glasses when soldering or drilling.
» Use a clamp for holding work, esp. for drilling.

Security: Don't leave laptops, cell phones, calculators, iPods or other small attractive devices in plain sight unattended. We're not in a high-crime area, but (especially at the end of the semester) things have disappeared...

Soldering. There are soldering stations in 095 and 097. Ask the TA or JDD for a demo if you've never soldered before. There will be clamps at the soldering stations to help hold your work. The Weller soldering tips we use like to be cleaned on the sponge, which likes to be kept wet (note sink in lab). Avoid touching the soldering iron to insulation or other plastic. If you're soldering stranded wire to a connection, "tin the leads" before making connection: Apply solder to the strands to bind them together. When soldering, hold the hot tip against the work for a few seconds until the solder begins to melt. Allow several more seconds before flexing the leads, so the solder can harden.

When you watch me solder, if too much liquid solder accumulates on the tip, I can be lazy: instead of wiping the tip on the sponge I will flick the solder off onto the floor. Attempt at your own risk.