Electronics and Communications Laboratory
Electronics and Communications Lab is a specialised communications laboratory. It includes all the equipment expected for examining data communications systems plus some computers offering specialised simulation software and TIMS hardware. It also includes hardware control systems such as PLC, LAN, LabView, PIC and many other several boards. Recently, ME1300 transmitter and receiver modules and Agilent N9912 A FieldFox RF analyser have been added to the laboratory.
This laboratory supports a variety of third- and fourth-year courses. This lab provides support to courses such as Communications Engineering Fundamentals, Advanced Communications Engineering, Mobile Radio Communications, Electronic Design, Engineering Electromagnetics, and Electromagnetics Propagation. The lab is equipped with TIMS modeling systems + modules, NI USRP-2920, Keysight N9912A FieldFox RF Analyzer, and DreamCatcher ME1300 Antenna & Propagation, digital oscilloscopes, DC power supplies and function/waveform generators.
TIMS is a telecommunications modelling system. It models mathematical equations representing electrical signals, or block diagrams representing telecommunications systems. TIMS is primarily a hands-on rather than demonstration style teaching system, which combines both the theoretical and practical aspects of implementing systems. TIMS will provide the student with a clearer understanding of the concepts behind telecommunications theory. Physically, TIMS is a dual rack system. The top rack accepts up to 12 Eurocard sized, compatible “black boxes”, or modules. The lower rack houses a number of fixed modules, as well as the system power supply. The modules are very simple electronic circuits, which function as basic communications building blocks. Each module, fixed or plug-in, has a specific function; functions fall into four general categories: Signal Generation – oscillators, etc; Signal Processing – multipliers, filters, etc; Signal Measurement – frequency counter; and Digital Signal Processing. Modules are patched together via the front panel sockets using interconnecting leads, to model the system under investigation.
2) NI USRP-2920
NI USRP-2920 transceivers provide relevant, hands-on laboratory learning in RF and communications as part of an affordable teaching solution. National Instruments leverages the power of NI LabVIEW software and Ettus Research hardware to deliver these affordable software-defined radio (SDR) transceivers for accessible communications experimentation in multiple frequency bands.NI USRP hardware and LabVIEW software offer students a unique and relevant opportunity to experiment with a wide range of real-world signals in introductory communications and digital communications laboratories. With this solution, students can focus on the practical implementation of theoretical algorithms and real-world impairments earlier in the curriculum.
3) N9912A FieldFox Handheld RF Analyzer
Keysight N9912A FieldFox is the world’s most integrated handheld instrument for wireless network installation and maintenance (I&M). FieldFox improves RF field engineers’ and technicians’ productivity to perform base station I&M more efficiently and accurately. Key measurements include cable and antenna test from 2 MHz to 4/6 GHz, spectrum analysis from 100 kHz to 4/6 GHz, vector network analysis, and true average power measurements. The Keysight FieldFox handheld RF analyzer is the first and only RF tool for base station I&M that is calibration-ready at the test port. It combines multiple RF measurement capabilities in one rugged, compact and lightweight package and can tackle complex wireless networks with test times that are more than 50 percent faster than traditional testers. Keysight’s FieldFox is the only handheld analyzer that can make return-loss and distance-to-fault measurements at the same time. This allows users to quickly check system performance and identify potentially degraded system components simultaneously, doubling the efficiency compared to traditional testers.
4) ME1300 Antenna and Propagation
The ME1300 is a ready-to-teach package targeting 3rd or final year undergraduates. This courseware focuses on antenna fundamentals, practical antenna design, and antenna measurement techniques. The training kit consists of an antenna transmitter module and an antenna receiver module, with a Radiation Pattern Plotting (RadPat) software. By using the recommended instrument, the Windows-based antenna radiation pattern plotting software can perform fully automated antenna measurements with selectable resolution (1 to 30 degrees per step).