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Teaching Laboratories

The Electronics Department Teaching Laboratories occupy the entire fourth floor of the Physics/Electronics teaching tower and provide laboratory space and equipment for all our teaching from foundation year laboratory classes to Masters degree projects.The laboratories can be used for a variety of activities although they are normally utilised as below:

P/T/401: Foundation, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Year Teaching Laboratory

P/T/410: Final Year Project Laboratory

P/T/411: App Lab and Final Year Project Laboratory

Opening hours

During term time the laboratories are officially open between 0900 and 1700 and closed for lunch between 1230 and 1330 Monday to Friday.  However, the technical staff do work flexi-time and you will find that the laboratories are open and available for use by 0815 on most days and rarely close over the lunch period.

Main Teaching Laboratory P/T/401

The main teaching laboratory provides 50 workstations for undergraduates (2 per workstation) doing electronics laboratory work. Each workstation provides the following test equipment:

  • Tektronix Digital Oscilloscope (50MHz)
  • Multi-output DC Power Supply
  • 10 MHz Signal Generator
  • Two Soldering Irons with integrated fume extraction
  • Pulse Generator
  • Precision AC Voltmeter
  • Digital Multimeter
  • Analogue Multimeter
  • Resistance Box

In addition, each workstation is equipped with a networked Viglen PC system running a range of software for printed circuit board (PCB) design, circuit design and simulation, integrated microcontroller design, word processing and data analysis.  The laboratory is equipped with a duty technician desk, manned throughout all taught laboratory sessions, giving immediate access to personnel able to deal with all technical enquires from the general through to more complex such as suspect equipment failures.

Project Laboratories P/T/410 & P/T/411

The 4th floor also contains two undergraduate project laboratories where undergraduates work on their final year projects using a hot desk methodology.  Secure lockers are provided to ensure safe inter-session project component storage.

There are 42 workstations across the two laboratories, 38 of which are equipped with dual monitor Viglen PC systems. Eighteen of the workstations in one of the laboratories form the Department’s Apple App Development Laboratory, being also equipped with 18 Apple Mac Mini desktop units, 11 iPads, 7 iPods and accompanying Xcode development software environment.

Workstations are fitted with a variety of basic test and measurement equipment including:

  • Tektronix Digital Oscilloscopes (60MHz – 200MHz)
  • Multi-output DC Power Supply
  • Digital Multimeter
  • Function generator

A wide range of more complex test equipment is available for use depending on the precise nature of the project.

Situated in an adjoining office, expert technical assistance is available from the Technical Support Services (TSS) staff throughout the times the project laboratory is open. Final year project students are encouraged to make use of this service as much as possible.

Audio/Visual Equipment

The teaching and project laboratories are equipped with a number of data projectors and screens together with microphone systems and digital visualisers. The whole lab or labs can watch presentations, videos and other demonstrations from their workstations.

Electronic Components

A wide range of electronic components are maintained 'in stock' in the Undergraduate Resource Area on a 'free issue' basis for use during laboratory sessions or other personal work that students may be doing, for example related to the student electronics society: Shocksoc

Components required for final year projects, other than those already available within the 4th floor undergraduate resource area are sourced using the undergraduate component ordering system (UCOS).  The technical staff of the 4th floor are responsible for the administration of UCOS, so if you have any problems or need advice, see the staff in P/T/412. 

Specialist Test Equipment

A wide range of more advanced equipment is available for project work, including:

  • Tektronix DPO4054 Oscilloscope (500MHz 2.5 GHz sampling rate)
  • Tektronix MDO3024 Oscilloscope (200MHz 2.5 GHz sampling rate) Mixed Domain (3GHz Spectrum Analyser)
  • Tektronix MSO2014 Oscilloscope (100MHz 1 GHz sampling rate) Mixed Signal (16 Channel Digital Input)
  • RF Spectrum Analysers (up to 25GHz) with complex vector signal analysis software
  • RF Network Analysers (up to 6GHz)
  • RF Signal Generators (up to 7GHz)
  • RF Power Meters (up to 40GHz)
  • Frequency Counters (up to 18GHz)
  • Arbitrary Waveform Generators (50MHz)
  • Infrared Thermal Imaging Cameras
  • Environmental Temperature Test Chamber (-42°C to +190°C)
  • Audio Spectrum Analysers
  • Wideband Noise Source
  • Logic Analysers with Serial Bus Decode
  • Microcontroller Programmers
  • Programmable Logic Device Programmers
  • Vector Voltmeters
  • Audio Amplifiers
  • Low Distortion Oscillators

Specialist Fabrication Equipment

Also contained within the 4th floor area are several fabrication workshops which offer a number of complex items of equipment which can either, depending on the nature of the equipment be used by undergraduates or, by the technical staff on behalf of undergraduates.

Printed Circuit Board Production Laboratory

This laboratory contains a comprehensive set of PCB production equipment able to produce through-holeplated PCBs.

Equipment includes:

  • Guillotine
  • Dry Film Laminator
  • UV Exposure Unit
  • Spray Developer
  • Spray Etch Machine
  • Through-Hole-Plating Line
  • Vacuum Paste Plating System
  • Curing Oven
  • Range of Ultrasonic Cleaning Baths

Fabrication Workshop

The fabrication workshop, available for student project work, contains a range of electronic and mechanical tools for the construction and testing of electronic systems including packaging into instrument cases or equipment racks.

Equipment available in this area includes:

  • Soldering equipment 
  • Desoldering equipment
  • Surface Mount Assembly equipment
  • BGA Rework Station
  • Precision Liquid Dispensers
  • Paste Stencil Printer
  • Vapour Phase Reflow System
  • Inspection Equipment (Binocular Microscopes and 3D Magnifier)
  • PCB Drills
  • Large Pillar Drill
  • Wide range of mechanical hand tools.

The fabrication workshop also holds a small Tool Makers Lathe and 4 Axis Auto Tool Change CNC Milling Machine which are both used by the technical staff in support of both teaching and research.

Digital Fabrication Lab

One of the project laboratories contains an embryonic digital fabrication laboratory. The lab brings together several items of fabrication equipment as enabling technologies to allow the undergraduates more direct involvement in the design iteration cycle. A high speed Auto Tool Change Router and Drill allows a fast chemical free production of simple PCBs. A CO2 Laser Cutter enables CAD designed cutting and engraving of multi materials from glass through wood, rubber and Perspex and a high resolution Liquid Polymer 3D Plastics Printer enables the realisation of novel and imaginative enclosures and associated support hardware.


Andy White
Technical Operations Manager
tel: +44 (0)1904 322412