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ELEC253 Electronics: Introduction

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Components and AC circuits: phasors and complex numbers, simple filters and networks. Diodes, transistor circuits, operational amplifiers. Linear and switching power supplies. Digital electronics and microcontrollers. Arduino programming.

The goal of this paper is to provide an introductory understanding of simple, useful electronic circuits, in terms of the underlying DC and AC circuit theory using complex numbers, and to implement simple functionality using a microcontroller. Many circuits and principles are tested in the lab by the student with the aid of comprehensive computer-based virtual instruments, coupled to a breadboard system that allows effective investigation and experimentation.

Paper title Electronics: Introduction
Paper code ELEC253
Subject Electronics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,080.30
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,858.95

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One of PHSI 131, PHSI 132, PHSI 191, PHSI 110 and (MATH 160 or MATH 170)
Schedule C
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator: Assoc Prof Colin Fox
Dr Tim Molteno
Practical Electronics for Inventors by Schertz & Monk - 3rd Edition or later.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
After completing this paper students will be able to:
  1. Understand how electronic circuits and devices can provide high-speed, predictable, reliable functionality
  2. Mathematically analyse simple DC and AC circuits, including the use of complex numbers
  3. Build, debug and understand simple electronic circuits in the lab using a breadboard, electronic components, and virtual test equipment
  4. Present a well-structured report of the results of a laboratory investigation
  5. Understand how to design and program a simple microcontroller circuit to implement basic high-level functionality

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 10:00-10:50 9-13, 19-22
Tuesday 10:00-10:50 9-12, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
P1 Monday 14:00-17:50 10, 12, 19, 21
P2 Tuesday 14:00-17:50 10, 12, 19, 21


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Friday 14:00-14:50 9-12, 18-22