EE-Kit Quick Start Guide

A quick start guide for the 2021 EE-kit


Introduction


Hi There! Welcome to this Quick Start Guide for the 2021 version of the EE kit. This quickstart guide contains a list of the components of the kit, a brief explanation of how the components work or what they are, and lastly a reference to the datasheet where applicable.

Have fun using this kit, and don't hesitate to experiment with the components yourself! There are a lot of great projects you could make with this kit, so go and discover what you can make!

Getting Started

Always check the datasheet before using a component in this kit. This quickstart guide is only for reference and only you are responsible for all and any consequences of using this kit.

As you have already found this guide we can safely assume you have already opened the case and have peeked inside already. Your kit should look something like this:

General overview of the kit

The kit consists of a few categories of modules and components. The microcontroller/breadboard modules, the sensors/actuators and the electrical components. The microcontroller/breadboard components are there to help you prototype. They can for example be used to program your microcontroller or supply power to your components. Lastly, there are some accessories for the ADALM2000.

The sensors and actuators allow you to interface between the real world and the electrical world. These can be used in combination with the electrical components and the microcontroller to interface with the world.

Lastly, the electrical components help you build the systems you design. Whether you need to amplify, illuminate or time, the components you need are in here.

Make sure to prepare the adapter-pcb's for the ADALM2000 as you will need those to connect the ADALM2000 to your breadboard! Instructions to do so are found in the ADALM2000 Accessories Section.


Contents of the 2021 EE-kit (list)

As you have already found this guide we can safely assume you have already opened the case and have peeked inside already. Your kit should look something like this:

Components 1: Microcontroller & Breadboard
  • 1x NodeMCU development board
  • 1x USB A-microB Cable, 40 cm
  • 1x Breadboard
  • 1x 30 pin flat cable
  • 1x 2W power brick (15V)
  • 1x Breadboard power supply
  • 1x Assortment of jumper wires
  • 1x Mini grabber jumper wire set
  • 2x BNC oscilloscope probe
  • 1x Solid copper pcb
  • 1x 12V 1A DC Power supply
  • 1x Breadboard Adapter PCB
  • 1x ADALM flatcable adapter PCB
  • 1x Case
  • 1x Stores prototype board
Components 2: Sensors and Actuators
  • 1x Microphone
  • 2x NTC 100K
  • 1x RC servo, mini (SG90)
  • 1x DC motor
  • 1x Battery Clip 9V
  • 2x Pushbutton
  • 1x Piezo Buzzer
  • 2x LDR
Components 3: Discretes and IC's
  • 5x Opamp TLC272
  • 1x Instrumentation amp INA126
  • 1x Resistor Set
  • 1x Nonpolar capacitor set ceramic
  • 1x Polar capacitor set
  • 1x Inductor set
  • 1x Transistors set
  • 1x Thick copper wire
  • 1x LED set
  • 2x Diode set
  • 1x Timer NE555
  • 2x 10K Potentiometer
  • 1x Photodiode
  • 2x 1x15 Header
  • 2x 2x15 Header
  • 1x 3.5mm Jack plug
  • 1x PPPC152LJBN-RC

Components: Microcontroller and Breadboard

NodeMCU Microcontroller -

The NodeMCU Microcontroller is a single core 80MHz ESP8266 microcontroller with integrated WiFi. You can easily program it using the arduino IDE and its many libraries. Another popular option is running MicroPython on the microcontroller, though this is an advanced usecase.

Please see the NodeMCU Section for more information.

Pin functions Datasheet

Breadboard -

This breadboard may be used to prototype your designs without soldering. It contains multiple power and signal strips that can be used to connect components. Click the buttons below to see the layout of the strips and an example of a circuit. The breadboard comes with a bundle of wires and clips.

The breadboard does not come with the plugs installed and without the feet in place. The feet can be placed on the bottom with the pre-applied glue. You will also have to assemble the banannaplugs yourselves, but this is very simple.

Breadboard Lanes System example Clips and Cables

Breadboard Powersupply -

This miniature power supply is designed to plug into the power lanes of your breadboard. A 12V 1A DC adapter is provided to be used with this powersupply. The supply can provide either 5V or 3.3V to the power lanes of your breadboard. It also features an usb port that provides 5V to any usb device. Click the button below to see which part does what and how to set the voltages.

Physical Layout

Power Converter 15V -

This power converter converts 5V into +/- 15V. This allows you to use opamps without biassing your input signals to a level between V+ and GND. Please note that this converter can only supply 50mA to your project! The pinouts can be found in the datasheet below.

Datasheet

STORES Prototype Board -

This prototype board is a great tool to solder your designs using through-hole components. Solder your components by inserting them through the holes, and solder them to the copper pads on the bottom. Bridge the pads to make connections to other components and build your design!

This design allows you to split the PCB in 4 pieces by breaking them along the scored lines.


Solid Clad Copper PCB -

This copper clad PCB is a PCB with a solid copper layer. This PCB can and will be used as a ground plane for RF circuits in the third module. It can also be used to etch a pcb design into.

Components: Sensors and Actuators

Microphone -

This electret microphone is a sensor that turns soundwaves into a voltage signal. It can be used with the example schematic. You may need to amplify the signal using an op-amp depending on the application.

Example Schematic Datasheet

100K NTC Thermistor -

This sensor is a variable resistor that varies its resistance with the temperature of the bead. At room temperature (25 degrees centigrade) the resistance is 100Kohm. The resistance goes up as the temperature drops and vice versa. The exact T/R curve can be calculated or read from a table in the datasheet. The curve can be calculated with parameters found in the datasheet and the formula below.

To get a voltage signal proportional to temperature, the NTC may be used in a voltage divider.

Example Schematic Formula Datasheet

SG90 RC Servo -

This servo motor is used in applications where actuation to a certain angle is needed. It does not work like a normal motor as it cannot fully rotate around its axis, but has a certain range of motion.

The servo has three wires, orange, red and brown. These are expecting a control input, power and ground respectively. The control input is a PWM signal, from which the desired angle of the servo arm is set. Below you will find an ESP8266 library that may help you control the servo motor.

Datasheet NodeMCU Servo Library (External Link)

DC Motor -

This DC motor is one of the simpelest to drive motors. It accepts a DC voltage at its terminals, the polarity of which determines the direction the motor spins. When used in a system, a flyback diode is required for back-EMF protection. To control the motor with a digital signal, the schematic below can be used.

Example Schematic Datasheet

9V Battery Clip -

Used to connect 9V batteries to your projects. The red wire connects to the positive terminal of the battery, the black wire connects to the negative terminal of the battery.


Pushbutton -

This momentary push button will connect the terminals on the two sides when pressed down. The button can be used in a breadboard or prototpe board. The pinout button below shows the pinout of the button.

Pinout

Piezo Buzzer -

This buzzer has a piezo element inside. This crystal element expands and contracts by applying a voltage to is. Supplying a square wave to the buzzer will generate a sound.

Current amplification may be nessecary to drive the buzzer. The circuit found below may be used to drive the buzzer.

Example Schematic Datasheet

LDR -

This light dependent resistor can be used to make a system light sensitive. The resistance of the LDR changes with illumination, where the resistance drops when illuminated and vice versa. The datasheet provides several suggested uses depending on the application.

Datasheet

Photodiode -

The photodiode contains a P-N junction that generates an electrical current when photons hit it. In layman's terms; it generates electricity with light, just like a solar panel does. Typical applications for a photo diode are for example CD players, smoke detectors and IR receivers.

Datasheet

Components: Discretes and IC's

Resistors -

The following resistor values are included in the kit:
1R11R24R75R610R16R33R47R91R100R
120R150R160R200R220R270R300R330R470R560R
680R750R820R1K1.5K1.6K2K2.2K2.7K3.3K
3.9K4.7K5.1K6.2K7.5K9.1K10K11K18K22K
47K51K82K100K220K470K1.2M2.7M3.6M4.3M

Resistors are components that limit current based on the resistance R and voltage V. The relation between resistance, voltage and current is set in Ohm's law, R=U/I. Resistors contain a colour code to depict their resistance value. A datasheet and insightful graphic are provided below. Below you will also find a figure that helps you determine the resistance of resistors with a 3 or 4 band code.

Resistor Graphic Colour codes Datasheet

Potentiometers -

Potentiometers or potmeters or pots are variable resistors that vary their resistance by turning a knob. A classic potentiometer has three pins, two of them connected to a the two ends of a resistive trace, and a wiper pin that rides on that resistive trace. By turning the knob, the wiper changes position on the resistive trace, which changes the resistance between the wiper pins and the outer pins.

A visual is provided which explains the abovementioned story for a 60Kohm potentiometer connected to 5V.

A potentiometer can be used as a 2 pin variable resistor by ignoring one of the outer pins or shorting the wiper pin with one of the outer pins. In this case it may be wise to put a resistor in series, as this setup may produce a short when turning the knob such that the resistance becomes very low.

Datasheet Wiper visual

Capacitors Ceramic -

The following ceramic capacitors are included in the kit:
15p20p30p47p100p220p470p1.0n2.2n3.3n
4.7n6.8n8.2n10n22n33n47n68n82n100n
220n330n470n860n1u

A capacitor is a passive electrical component that is able to store energy in an electric field, similar to a battery but they are able to release the charge (Q) much faster. The amount of energy it is able to store is measured in Farads (F). Grossly simplified: it blocks DC and is able to pass AC, making it a common component in filters. A ceramic capacitor is built from one or multiple layers of metal, separated by a dielectric, in this case ceramic. Ceramic capacitors are non-polarized and traditionally lower in capacity than electrolytic capacitors.

Datasheet Capacitor visual

Capacitors Electrolytic -

The following electrolytic capacitors are included in the kit:
1uF10uF22uF47uF100uF470uF

A capacitor is a passive electrical component that is able to store energy in an electric field, similair to a battery but they are able to release the charge (Q) much faster. The amount of energy it is able to store is measured in Farads (F). Grossly simplified: it blocks DC and is able to pass AC, making it a common component in filters. An electrolytic capacitor is built from one or multiple layers of rolled up metal, separated by a diëlectric. Electrolytic capacitors are polarized and have a stripe on the side of the negative lead.

Datasheet Capacitor visual

Inductors -

The following inductor values are included in the kit:
100uH470uH10mH22mH47mH100mH

An inductor is a passive electrical component that is able to store energy in a magnetic field. The amount of energy it is able to store is measured in Inductance (L). Grossly simplified: it resists changes in current and acts as a short when the electric field is maximized. An inductor is built from one or multiple turns of copper wire, most often wound around a metal core. Inductors are non-polarized.

Inductor visual LC visual

Diodes -

The following diodes are included in the kit:
SB2401N41481n4001

Diodes are passive devices that allow current to flow one way, but not the other. The current flows from anode to cathode, where the cathode is indicated by a stripe on the component. Diodes produce a voltage drop of around 0.6V and a given maximum current. The IV curves, forward voltage and maximum current are all stated in the datasheet.

SB240 Datasheet 1N4148 Datasheet 1N4001 Datasheet

LED's -

LED's are diodes that emit light when current passes through them. They work like diodes, with similair IV curves and general behaviour. LED's do however feature a higher forward voltage, which varies with LED type and colour. The LED's in this kit come in 3 sizes 5mm and 3mm. A safe maximum current for these LED's is 15mA and the forward voltage can be measures with a multimeter. A resistor is needed to limit the current through the LED, an example schematic is provided below.

Example Schematic

Transistor NPN -

NPN transistors included in this kit:
BC550BD139BF1992N3904TIP3055

A NPN transistor is a passive current amplifying component. The exact workings of a transistor is outside the scope of this quick start guide, but the crude explanation is as follows. When a small current flows from the base to the emitter, a larger current (some scalar times the smaller current) flows from collector to emitter. The transistor is in essence two diodes back to back, meaning that for example there is a small voltage drop (approx 0.6V) between the base and emitter. The amplification factor and all the relevant graphs and data to design a current amplifier are included in the datasheet.

Current Flow BC550 Datasheet BD139 Datasheet BF199 Datasheet 2N3904 Datasheet TIP3055 Datasheet

Transistor PNP -

PNP transistors included in this kit:
BC560BD140TIP2955

A PNP transistor is a passive current amplifying component. The exact workings of a transistor is outside the scope of this quick start guide, but the crude explanation is as follows. When a small current flows from the collector to the base, a larger current (some scalar times the smaller current) flows from collector to emitter. The transistor is in essence two diodes back to back, meaning that for example there is a small voltage drop (approx 0.6V) between the base and collector. The amplification factor and all the relevant graphs and data to design a current amplifier are included in the datasheet.

Current Flow BC560 Datasheet BD140 Datasheet TIP2955 Datasheet

MOSFET N-channel -

N-channel MOSFETs included in this kit:
STP16NF06LBS170IRF530

A n-channel MOSFET, or Metal-Oxide-Silicon Field-Effect Transistor, is a passive device that can regulate the electric conduction between the drain and the source pin by varying the voltage between the gate and the source pin. The exact working of a MOSFET is outside the scope of this guide, but the crudely simple explanation is that a MOSFET can be used as an electronic switch by applying the right voltage to the gate. In the case of a N-MOS, this "Gate-Source voltage" is a positive voltage. Always check the datasheet for details to properly design a system around a MOSFET!

STP16NF06L Datasheet BS170 Datasheet IRF530 Datasheet

MOSFET P-channel -

P-channel MOSFETs included in this kit:
ZVP2106AIRF550

A p-channel MOSFET, or Metal-Oxide-Silicon Field-Effect Transistor, is a passive device that can regulate the electric conduction between the drain and the source pin by varying the voltage between the gate and the source pin. The exact working of a MOSFET is outside the scope of this guide, but the crudely simple explanation is that a MOSFET can be used as an electronic switch by applying the right voltage to the gate. In the case of a P-MOS, this "Gate-Source voltage" is a negative voltage. Always check the datasheet for details to properly design a system around a MOSFET!

ZVP2106A Datasheet IRF550 Datasheet

272 Opamp -

This kit contains the classic 272 opamp. An operational amplifier is an active device that can amplify electrical signals. It is meant to be used with a feedback system containing for example resistors, capacitors or inductors. Different feedback systems can be used to achieve different behaviour. Most often you will find feedback systems to achieve a buffer, (inverted)amplification and active filters.

Example schematics for different applications are found below, as well as the datasheet for the included opamp.

Buffer Example Inverting Amplifier Example Non-Inverting Amplifier Example Integrating Amplifier Example TLC272 Datasheet

INA129 Instrumentation Amplifier -

This kit contains the INA129 chip. Instrumentation amplifiers (INA) are active components that can amplify electrical signals. Unlike the opamp, it does not need a feedback circuit, as it has one on the chip. INA's are well known for their differential gain and common-mode-rejection capabilities. This allows them to amplify very small signals while rejecting any common-mode signals. Please see the datasheet for typical applications and other nessecary details.

INA129 Datasheet

555 Timer -

A 555 timer is an IC that can provide an adjustable square wave. The classic "555" name origins in the internals of the chip, where three internal 5Kohm resistors are used to determine the characteristics of the output square wave. 555 Timers are traditionally used with two resistors and two capacitors to create an astable oscillator circuit.

NE555 Datasheet Chip Pinout Example Schematic

CD4066BE Quad Bilateral Switch -

A CMOS switch is a digital IC that can be used to switch low level, low power signals. This chip contains 4 CMOS switches that can be controlled with logic signals at the control pins.

CD4066BE Datasheet Chip Pinout Example Schematic

Jack Plug -

This jack plug can be used to connect any device with an headphone output to your circuits. Please make sure to always DC decouple the jack terminals from your system with a capacitor to avoid magic smoke escaping from your expensive devices.

Pinout and Soldering Layout

Copper Wire -

This lacquered 1mm thick copper wire can be used to create your own low-inductance inductors. You can wind a fine air-core inductor by winding the wire around a nice pen. Unrelated fact; a Scintilla pen is 10.4mm, or 104e-4 meters in diameter near the clip. The button below provides an example on how to calculate the inductance of an air-core inductor is provided.

Inductance Calculation

NodeMCU Microcontroller

Installation

Arduino IDE installation:

To program the NodeMCU microcontroller you will need to install the ArduinoIDE. Please download the latest version with the button below. Choose the correct version for your system but DO NOT download the windows app version! Install the IDE using the correct installer for your system.

Arduino IDE (Latest)(External Link) Arduino IDE (1.8.15)(Win/Lin/Mac Mirror)

Now please follow the steps below to add the NodeMCU boards to the Arduino IDE:

  1. In your Arduino IDE, go to File> Preferences
    Step 1
  2. Enter https://arduino.esp8266.com/stable/package_esp8266com_index.json into the “Additional Board Manager URLs” field as shown in the figure below. Then, click the “OK” button. If you have additional boards already installed, separate the URL's with a comma.
    Step 2
  3. Open the Boards Manager. Go to Tools > Board > Boards Manager. Then search for ESP8266 and press install button for the "ESP8266 by ESP8266 Community"
    Step 3.1 Step 3.2

You have now installed the ESP8266 boards, incuding your NodeMCU board! You can now start your coding your very first project on this versitile microcontroller.

Overview of the NodeMCU Microcontroller


The NodeMCU Microcontroller is a single core, 80MHz microcontroller based on the ESP8266 with integrated WiFi. You can easily program it using the arduino IDE and its many libraries. Another popular option is running MicroPython on the microcontroller, though this is an advanced usecase.

Programming the microcontroller

Programming the microcontroller is very easy. After writing and compiling your code in the Arduino IDE, you can connect the NodeMCU board to your computer with the supplied usb cable. You may then select the board in the board settings (Select NodeMCU V1), as well as the correct COM port. In contrast to the ESP32 microcontroller, the ESP8266 does not need to be put into programming mode, but one can upload a sketch at any given time. Once ready to upload, upload your code to the board by clicking the arrow button in the IDE. Once programming is done, the MCU resets automatically and starts running your code.

Using the microcontroller

The microcontroller has a lot of I/O pins that can be used for all sorts of things. It features UART, ISP, I2C, ADC and DAC pins The image below tells you which pin can be used for what.

Please note that the microcontroller works on 3.3V. The 5V from the USB connection is converted to 3.3V with the onboard LDO. You may provide 2.6-3.6V to the Vin pin of the microcontroller.

The I/O pins of the NodeMCU are also 3.3V, and are NOT 5V tolerant. You WILL damage the device if 5V is connected directly to any of the NodeMCU pins other than the USB port.

DO NOT use the Vin pin and usb connection simultaneously, as this may damage your equipment.

Your first code upload

A great piece of code to test your IDE and NodeMCU is the WiFiScan sketch. It uses the WiFi.h library to scan for 2.4G WiFi networks in your area. To upload this code to the NodeMCU, connect the ESP to your computer, open the sketch in the Arduino IDE from the example menu (see the image below), and upload the code by clicking the arrow button in the IDE.

After uploading your code as described in the previous section, your microcontroller will send its output to the serial monitor. Open the serial monitor by clicking the button and have a look at your first running piece of code! It should look something like the image below. Please note the baudrate on the bottom right and set it to "115200" to match the uploaded sketch.


You may find that the default upload speed is quite slow. You can increase the upload speed under Tools -> Upload Speed to "3000000", as this proves to be stable in our tests. Now try to upload the "Blink" sketch for the ESP8266 and see what it does!

When writing your own code, you can use the blue pin names as seen in the pinout image above for the digital and analog pins (A0, D0-D8). To use the other pins as GPIO, please use the GPIO number in the IDE. (i.e. to use GPIO7 as digital pin in your code use "7" as pin name)

ADALM2000 Accessories

The ADALM 2000 is the portable lab device you purchased. This kit contains some accessories for this device: Two BNC probes, two adapter PCB's and a flat cable. Please note that the ADALM2000 itself is not part of the kit, meaning that the STORES can not and will not provide support for this device! Analog Devices offers 2 wiki pages to help you using the ADALM2000 and BNC adapter board properly.

ADALM2000 wiki (External Link) BNC Board wiki (External Link)


The probes

Your ADALM2000 should come with a BNC breakout board. This board allows you to properly connect up to four BNC probes to the ADALM2000.


The probe has three thing to pay attention to: a hook attachment, a x1/x10 switch and a trim capacitor. The first two are quite simple to explain:

The hook attachment:
Removing the hook attachment provides you with a sharp probe instead of a hook.

The switch:
The x1/x10 attenuates the measured signal depending on the switch position. When measuring for example a 5V signal with the switch on the x1 position, the signal at the BNC plug will be 5V. With the switch on the x10 position, the same signal will be 10 times smaller at the BNC plug, namely 0.5V. This allows you to measure signals that are greater than the maximum input voltage of the ADALM2000 scope inputs. Just make sure to select x10 in the probe settings of the software to make sure your measurements are correct.

The trim capacitor:
At the BNC connector, a small hole is found with a philips style setscrew. Turning this actually changes the capacitance of an internal capacitor in the probe. This is an essential feature of the probe. Setting this capacitor incorrectly will result in skewed measurements at low frequencies and attenuated signals at high frequencies. To correctly set this capacitor, connect your probe to the ADALM2000 and start the oscilloscope software. Then attach the probe to a 5Vpp, 2kHz square wave. Use a proper signal generator to generate that signal.

Now measure the square wave with the probe you want to set. Is the square wave perfectly straight with nice 90 degree angles? Perfect! You are all set. If the square wave looks off, use the provided philips head screwdriver to adjust the capacitor until satisfied. The image below illustrates (f.l.t.r.) overcompensation, undercompensation and good compensation.


Please note that in general, the ground clips of oscilloscope probes are directly connected to mains ground. You WILL damage equipment, trip a breaker, start a fire, hurt yourself or worse if you try to do differential measurements without taking this into account!

The STORES adapter PCB's

You will find two red adapter-pcb's in your kit. One flatcable adapter and one PCB adapter. Both of these adapters need to be assembled by soldering the correct headers to them. Combining these PCB's provides a clean and neat way to connect your ADALM2000 to a breadboard.

The flat cable adapter:
Because normal flat cables so not fit in the ADALM2000, an adapter board is needed. You will need the following items from the kit to assemble this adapter pcb:



The assembly goes as follows: Position the adapter PCB before you with the white lines on top and the squares on the left, like in the image. Insert the right angle connector in the top row of holes, with the black plastic connector sticking out away from you. Now insert the 15 by 2 pin header in the bottom rows of holes, with the long pins sticking out. Solder both connectors securely onto the PCB.

You now have a flat cable adapter PCB. The plastic connector plug straight into the ADALM2000, and the flatcable connects to the pin header. The images below illustrate the intended assembly:

The breadboard adapter:
Because normal flat cables so not fit in the ADALM2000, an adapter board is needed. You will need the following items from the kit to assemble this adapter pcb:



The assembly goes as follows: Position the adapter PCB before you with the STORES logo on top, like in the image. Insert the 15 by 2 pin header in the top row of holes, long pins sticking out on top. Solder these securely to the PCB. Now flip the board such that the stores logo and the connector you just soldered are at on the bottom. Now insert the two 15 by 1 pin headers in vertical rows, with the long pins sticking out on top. Solder both connectors securely onto the PCB.

You now have a breadboard adapter PCB. The two vertical headers connect to your breadboard, with the breadboard lane separation in the middle. The 15 by 2 pin header connects to the flat cable. The images below illustrate the intended assembly, as well as the intended use of these boards to connect the ADALM to your breadboard.

Datasheets

Version History (Changelog)

Changelog

Copyright and license

Sources of all the used images and datasheets are found here:
Sources

Creative Commons-Licentie
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