166/164 Applied Measurements for Electrical Instrumentation

For Whom Intended  Engineers, scientists, and managers, as well as aides and technicians. This course will be of interest to personnel involved in making or understanding experimental test measurements. Some background in electronics is helpful but is not essential. The course will be tailored to student objectives.

Objectives  This course provides a basic understanding of electrical measurement systems, as well as the engineering concepts for the whole measurement system.. It provides an introduction to the many varieties of meters, 'scopes and transducers available, their operating principles, strengths and weaknesses. A variety of measurands and device types is covered, as well as signal conditioning, recording and analysis. It covers climatic measuring systems and reviews dynamic theory, which is essential for a better understanding of the measurand under consideration.

One of the course objectives is to give students enough applications information that they can select optimum meters, transducer, amplifier, recording and readout devices to assemble a system for routine measurements of electrical phenomena. The problems of signal noise, accuracy and error are covered in some depth before continuing on to spectral analysis, sampling and discussion of aliasing problems, filter types and anti-aliasing solutions.

The uncertainty surrounding the value of the measurand is discussed and an introduction to statistics as applied to engineering is covered.

One of the most difficult tasks for the measurement engineer is the selection of the proper instrumentation system. A procedure for attaining this goal is discussed and a typical instrumentation selection list developed.

While calibration is beyond the scope of this course, a procedure for calibrating a sensor device is developed and discussed.

Electrical InstrumentationBrief Course Description  Mainly lectures, supported by slides, transparencies, videotapes and sample hardware. Students are expected to participate in classroom discussions, as well as read text materials and class notes.

The course emphasizes a non-mathematical approach to understanding concepts and mechanisms.

Participants are encouraged to bring a specific measurement problem to class for discussion.

DIPLOMA programs This course is required for TTi’s Electronic Design Specialist (EDS) and Mech­ani­cal Design Specialist (MDS) Diploma Programs. It satis­fies the course 164 or 166 requirement(s) for TTi’s   Data Acquisition & Analysis Specialist (DAS), Electronic Telecommunications Specialist (ETS), Instrumen­ta­tion Test Specialist (ITS) and Metrology/Calibration Spe­cial­ist (MCS) Diploma Prog­rams, and  may be used as an elective for any other TTi diploma program.

Related Courses Course 164/166 combines Course 164, Electrical Instrumentation for Test & Measurement with course 166, Applied MeasurementsCourse 163, Instrumentation for Test and Measurement covers some of the same material, with more emphasis on dynamics.

Prerequisites  There are no definite prerequisites, but participation in TTi’s course Electronics for Non-Electronic Engineers or the equivalent would be helpful. This course is aimed toward individuals actively involved in related technical fields. 

Text  Each student will receive access to the on-line electronic course workbook, including most of the presentation slides. An initial subscription is included in the price of the course and renewals are available for an additional fee. Printed textbooks are also available for purchase.

Course Hours, Certificate and CEUs Class hours/days for on-site courses can vary from 21–35 hours over 3–5 days as requested by our clients. Upon successful course completion, each participant receives a certificate of completion and one Continuing Education Unit (CEU) for every ten class hours.

Internet Complete Course 166/164 features over 14 hours of video as well as more in-depth reading material. All chapters of course 166/164 are also avail­able as OnDemand Internet Short Topics. See the course outline below for details.

Click for a printable course outline (pdf).


Course Outline

Chapter 1 - Introduction to Instrumentation for Electrical Test and Measurement

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  • Accurate Measurements
  • Case Study Procedure
  • Sensors and Systems
  • Components of an Instrumentation System
  • Functional Components of a Measurement Chain
  • Basic Radio Telemetry System—Block Diagram
  • Carrier Modulation

Chapter 2 - Types of Data Signals

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  • Periodic Signals
  • Sinusoidal Signals
  • Sine Wave as Projection of Rotating Vector
  • Complex Signals
  • Square Wave Signals
  • Complex Spectrum of a Periodic Time Function
  • Transient Signals
  • Complex (Pyroshock) Time History
  • Random Signals
  • Power Spectral Density
  • Examples of Time vs. Frequency Spectra
  • Understanding rms
  • Average and RMS Values of Common Waveforms
  • Language of Digital Measurement Systems    
  • Digital Data Nomenclature
  • Digital Codes

Chapter 3 - Noise

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  • Noise Signal, Gaussian Distribution
  • Detecting a Weak Signal
  • Noise Calculations
  • Noise Suppression for Sensor Signals
  • Noise Figure and Distortion
  • Electronic Noise Measurements
  • Phase Noise
  • Phase Noise Display
  • Phase Noise in Communications
  • The Noise Corner Frequency
  • External Noise Sources
  • Common Electrical Noise from External Sources
  • Types of Noise
  • Shot (or Schottky) Noise
  • Thermal (or Johnson) Noise
  • Flicker (1/f) Noise
  • Burst Noise
  • Avalanche Noise
  • Noise Should be Viewed as a Vector Quantity
  • Noise Colors

Chapter 4 - Decibels (dB), Logarithmic vs. Linear Scaling, Frequency Spectra, Octaves

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • Understanding Decibels (dB) and Octaves
    • Decibels—Power Ratio
    • Decibels—Voltage Ratio
    • dB Ratio Conversions
      • Reference Levels for Decibel Notation
      • Adding Two Power Ratios in dB
    • Logarithmic vs. Linear Scaling
  • Introduction to Frequency, Octaves and Sound
    • Sound Perception
      • Frequency Spectra for Various Noise Sources

Chapter 5 - Parameters of Linear Systems

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  • Frequency Response
  • Dynamic Range and Linearity
    • Non-Linear Mechanical System
    • Non-Linear Systems
    • Input-Output Characteristic Curve
    • Distortion of a Sine Wave
    • Typical Linearity Curve of an Instrument
    • Design/Performance Characteristics of Sensors
    • Methods of Computing Linearity
  • Signal and Spectrum Before and After Clipping
  • Effects of Inadequate Frequency Response
  • System Response to a Rectangular Pulse
  • Low-pass, High-pass, Bandpass and Notch Filters
  • Phase Response
  • Response of a Linear Network to a Sine Wave

Chapter 6 - Accuracy and Error

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  • Accuracy, Calibration and Error Assessment
  • Common Terms
  • Accuracy vs. Precision
  • Classification of Errors
  • Error Assessment
  • Improper Functioning of Instruments
  • Effect of Transducer on Process
  • Dual Sensitivity Errors
  • Minimizing Error

Chapter 7 - Safety, Grounding, Circuit Protection, Input/Output Impedance, Power Transfer

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  • Laboratory Practice—Safety
    • Effects of 60 Hz electric shock on the human body.
    • Safety Rules
  • Grounding
    • Types of Grounds
    • Grounds—Three Wire Outlet
  • Circuit Protection Devices
  • Input Impedance, Output Impedance and Loading
  • Input Impedance
  • Loading Errors
  • Input Impedance and Loading
  • Input and Output Impedance
  • Equivalent Resistance
  • Equivalent Resistance and Output Resistance
  • Power Transfer and Impedance Matching

Chapter 8-1 - Analog and Digital DC and AC Meters

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  • Analog DC and AC Meters
  • D’Arsonval Galvanometer Movement
  • Electrodynamometer Movement
  • Analog DC Ammeters
    • Analog DC Ammeters—Example
    • Analog DC Ammeter—Solution
    • Analog DC Ammeter—Shunts
    • Analog DC Ammeters—Problem
  • Analog DC Voltmeter—Multiplier
    • Analog DC Voltmeter—Sensitivity
    • Analog DC Voltmeter—Problem
    • Sensitivity of a voltmeter
  • AC Ammeters and Voltmeters
    • Alternating Current
    • AC Ammeters and Voltmeters—Problem
    • AC Ammeters and Voltmeters—Solution
  • RMS Responding Meters
  • Peak Responding AC Meters
  • Analog Multimeter
  • Special-Purpose Analog Meters
  • How to Use Meters
  • Meter Errors
  • Digital Electronic Meters

Chapter 8-2 - Digital Measurement Instruments: Digital Multimeter Operation

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00
  • Digital Multimeter—Agilent 3458A
  • Digital Multimeter—Agilent 34401A
  • Calibrator— Keithley Model 263
  • Current-to-Voltage Converter—SR570
  • Agilent 3458A Digital Multimeter
    • Power Requirements
    • General Purpose Interface Bus (GPIB Bus)
    • Power-on Self Test, Ranging
    • Display, Function Keys
    • Self-Test
    • Remote Operation — GPIB
    • Display/Use GPIB Address
    • Calibration
    • High Resolution Digitizing
  • LabView Graphical Solutions

Chapter 8-3 - Making Measurements with a Digital Multimeter

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  • Agilent 3458A Digital Multimeter
  • Connection Configuration
  • Guarding
  • Measuring DC Voltage
  • AC or AC+DC Voltage
  • Measuring DC Current
  • Measuring Resistance
    • 2-wire Ohms Measurements
    • 4-wire Ohms Measurements
  • A/D Converter
    • A/D Reference Frequency
    • A/D Integration Time
    • A/D—Power Line Cycles
    • A/D—Specifying Resolution
  • Autozero Function
  • Offset Compensation
  • Identifying Resistors
    • Color Codes For Resistors and Capacitors

Chapter 8-4 - Guarded Voltmeter

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  • Guard Shields
  • Grounded Measurement
    • Grounded Measurement with a Common-Mode Voltage
  • Floating Measurements
    • Inside an Ideal Floating Voltmeter
    • More Realistic View of a Floating Voltmeter
  • Guarded Voltmeter
    • Connecting the Guard
    • Guard Connection to Low at Voltmeter
    • Guard Connected to Earth Ground
    • Don’t Leave The Guard Open
  • Bridge Measurement
    • Guard Connected to Low at Voltmeter Input
    • Guard Connected to Low at the Bridge
    • Guard Connected to Ground at the Bridge
    • Driving the Guard in a Bridge Measurement
    • Summary

Chapter 9 - Oscilloscopes

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  • Analog Oscilloscopes
    • Analog Oscilloscope Display Screen
    • Analog Display Subsystem
  • Making Measurements with an Analog Oscilloscope
    • Analog Voltage Measurements
    • Analog Time and Frequency
    • Analog Phase Measurements
    • Analog Pulse Measurements
  • Lissajous Patterns
  • Digital Oscilloscope
    • Digital Oscilloscope—Two Channel
    • Digital Oscilloscope Considerations

Chapter 10 - Time and Frequency Measurements

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  • Frequency Measurement
  • Counter Resolution
  • Period Measurement
  • Portable 18-Channel Data Acquisition Recorder
  • Portable Data Acquisition Recorder
  • Portable Hybrid Recorder

Chapter 11 - Power and Energy Measurements

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  • Introduction to Power and Energy Measurements
    • Example
  • Power in AC Circuits
    • Example
    • Single-Phase Power Measurements
    • Errors—Dynamometer Wattmeters
    • Measuring P>avg< and P>apparent< Simultaneously
  • Polyphase Circuits
    • Phasor Voltages
    • Three-phase Y-connected Generator
    • Three-phase Generator Example
    • Three Phase delta-Connected Generator
    • Polyphase Power and Measurements
    • Polyphase Measurements
  • Using a Dynamometer to Measure Power
  • Power Measurements at Higher Frequencies

Chapter 12 - Wheatstone Bridges

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  • Basic Laws of Networks
  • Voltage Divider Circuit
  • Thevenin’s Theorem
  • Methods of Measurement
  • Bridge Circuits
  • Wheatstone Bridge
  • Application of Thevenin’s Theorem in a Wheatstone Bridge Circuit—Example
  • Voltage-Sensitive Bridges
  • Current-Sensitive Bridges
  • Bridge Sensitivity
  • Three-Wire Bridge: Compensation for Leads
  • Effects of Temperature Change on Sensing Resistor
  • Four Sensing Resistors in a Wheatstone Bridge
  • Shunt Calibration
  • Voltage Insertion Calibration
  • Strain Gage Compensation
  • Guidelines for Setting up the Bridge Measurement System
  • Wheatstone Bridge
  • AC Bridges—Classic Inductance Bridges
  • Classic Capacitance Bridges

Chapter 13 - DC and AC Signal Sources

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  • Batteries in Series and Parallel
    • DC Signal Sources
  • Power Supply with a Regulator
  • DC Power Supply Specification
  • How to Use a Power Supply
    • Proper Connections with Multiple Loads
  • Kinds of Oscillators
    • Oscillator Configurations
  • Sweep-Frequency Generators
  • Square Wave
    • Pulse Shape of Square Wave
    • Use of Square Waves in Testing
  • Function Generators
    • Testing with a Function Generator
  • HP 33120A Function Generator
    • Waveforms Generated By Function Generator
    • RMS Waveform
    • Signal Generation Process
    • Equivalent Circuit
    • Output Resistance and Load Resistance
    • Front Panel
    • Front Panel Number Entry
    • Frequency, Amplitude Selection
    • Offset Voltage Selection, Duty Cycle
    • Modification of Standard Waveforms
    • BenchLink and User-defined Arbitrary Waveforms
    • Specifications

Chapter 14 - Sensors / Transducers

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  • It starts with the user and the sensor
    • Characteristics of the Ideal Transducer
    • Mechanisms in General
  • Displacement—Direct Measurement
  • Strain Gauge
  • Silicon Semiconductor Transducers
  • Accelerometers
  • Linear Variable Differential Transducer (LVDT)
  • Potentiometric Transducers
  • Piezoelectric Transduction
  • Velocity Sensing Module
  • 4-20 ma loop

Chapter 15 - Introduction to Measurement Engineering

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  • Definitions
  • Preparing to Make Measurements
  • Open and Closed Loop Systems
  • Analog and Digital
  • Transfer of Energy
  • Measurement System Responses

Chapter 16-1 - Climatic Measurements: Temperature

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00

Chapter 16-2 - Climatic Measurements: Humidity

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00

Chapter 16-3 - Climatic Measurements: Pressure

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OnDemand Short Topics$100.00

Chapter 16-4 - Climatic Measurements: Flow

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OnDemand Short Topics$50.00

Chapter 17 - Review of Dynamic Theory

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  • Laws of Motion
  • Weight, Mass and Gravity
  • Force, Mass and Acceleration
  • Work, Power
  • Energy
  • Linear and Angular Displacement; Linear Velocity
  • Tangential Acceleration
  • Torque
  • Stress and Strain
  • Simple Tension or Compression
  • Shear Strain

Chapter 18 - Reducing Signal Noise

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  • Unwanted Signals
  • Shield Strategies
  • Twisted Pair
  • Electrical Noise: High Signal Source Impedance
  • Low Signal Source Impedance
  • Source Shunting
  • Parallel Conductors
  • Twisted Conductors
  • Microvolt-Level Signal Cables
  • Ground Loops
  • Eliminating Multiple Grounds
  • A Stable System Ground
  • Amplifier Guard Shield
  • Common-Mode Rejection

Chapter 19 - Spectral and Fourier Analysis

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  • Spectral Analysis
  • Sinusoidal, Complex and Random Signals
  • Phase of Frequency Domain Components
  • Time and Frequency Domain
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Adding Two Signals-Using RMS Values
  • The Fourier Transform
  • Discrete Fourier Analysis
  • FFT
  • Classification of Types of Data
  • Random Signals
  • Correlation
  • Cross-Correlation, Coherence
  • Auto Spectral Density (ASD)
  • Power Spectral Density
  • Calculating RMS From PSD

Chapter 20 - Signal Analysis and Aliasing

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  • Signal Acquisition
  • Shannon's Theorem and Corollaries
  • Aliasing Viewed as Folding
  • Where Does the Aliased Data Appear?
  • Example .. Sine Signal
  • Aliasing/Multiple Folding
  • Digitizing "Rules"
  • Interpolation ..When is it Needed?

Chapter 21 - Filters

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  • Integrating and Differentiating Circuits
  • Acoustic Weighting
  • Bandpass Filter
  • Undamped (high Q) vs. Damped (low Q) Filters
  • Selective Filtering
  • Characteristics of Butterworth, Chebyshev and Bessel Filters
  • RC and LR Circuits
  • Anti-Alias Filters
  • Brick-Wall vs Real Filters
  • Aliasing Analysis
  • Anti-Alias Filters-Hardware
  • Filter "Construction"
  • How Filters Behave
  • Group Delay
  • Filter Cutoff Frequency
  • Sampling Ratio Calculation
  • FR/FD Ratio

Chapter 22 - Measurement Uncertainty and Introduction to Statistics

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  • Error and Uncertainty
  • ISO Definitions
  • Simple Statistics of Measurement
  • Probability-Definitions
  • Data Distributions
  • Cumulative Frequency Curve Summation
  • Degrees of Freedom
  • Mean, Median and Mode
  • Standard Deviation
  • Variance
  • Normal Distribution
  • Gaussian Curve
  • Confidence
  • Gaussian (s-Normal) Distribution
  • Special Definitions for Random Vibration
  • Computing the Standard Deviation-Example
  • Confidence Levels

Appendix A - Glossary of Terms

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Appendix B - Standard Deviation Calculation worksheet

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Appendix C - Typical Instrumentation Selection Check List

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Appendix D - Transducer Calibration

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Appendix E - Analog Oscilloscope Controls

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Appendix F - ASCII codes

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Summary and overview

  • Final Review

  • Award of Certificates for successful completion

Click for a printable course outline (pdf).

Revised 180807