Archived: Frequently Asked Questions for Emona ETT-202 DATEx: Part 1

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What is the Emona DATEx? What does DATEx stand for? What is the ETT-202?

The Emona DATEx is an add-in board for the NI ELVIS platform. It is designed for telecommunications and signal processing courses and covers a broad range of introductory analog & digital modulation schemes.

DATEx stands for "Digital Analog Telecommunications Experimenter". ETT-202 is the specific EMONA part number. ETT stands for "Emona Telecoms-Trainer."

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What courses and students is the NI ELVIS & Emona DATEx bundle designed to teach?

The NI ELVIS / Emona DATEx bundle is designed for:

  • Introductory courses in modern analog and digital telecommunications
  • Introduction to electrical/electronic engineering
  • Programming LabVIEW to control hands-on hardware
  • Introduction to Signals and Systems

The bundle is a hands-on learning system for:

  • Introductory and intermediate telecommunications theory courses
  • First year university students in introduction to electrical engineering courses
  • Signal processing courses
  • Technical college/community college students learning telecommunications theory
  • High school students in fundamental technology courses

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How does DATEx fit into an electronics engineering course? And how does DATEx broaden the understanding of real world applications such as telephone lines, microwaves, LANs, etc?

The DATEx gives students hands-on experience with the theories and concepts involved in transmission theory.

The DATEx allows students to learn concepts of telecommunications system components such as: sampling & reconstruction, coding, modulation & demodulation, etc. After learning these fundamental concepts, students can more easily approach high frequency electronics, microwaves, telephone lines, computer local area networks, and so forth.

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What is the "block diagram approach"?

It is common for engineers to interpret mathematical equations and theories as a diagram of the signal flow. This block diagram approach is no different for telecommunication engineers. The block diagram approach assists engineers in understanding how to implement complex theory as real hardware.

Telecommunications textbooks are a rich source of "block diagrams", many of which can be implemented with the DATEx board.

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How is the DATEx used?

The DATEx is used to implement block diagrams. Once a mathematical equation for a given telecommunications system is derived, it is first converted into a block diagram model. From this model the individual building blocks such as adders, gains and multiplier are patched together on the DATEx board. Through this process the student will implement the hardware realizations of telecommunication equations.

The individual circuit blocks on DATEx are connected using the 2mm patching leads that come with the DATEx kit. The process of using these 2mm patching leads to connect various circuit blocks is referred to as patching. All patching is done on the DATEx board. Please see the Emona DATEx Overview slides for a more thorough overview of the individual modules on the Emona DATEx ETT-202 board.

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Where can I find experiments? How does a student or professor make experiments with the DATEx?

The DATEx Lab Manual Volume 1 includes 20 experiments. These experiments cover such topics as modelling equations, analog/digital modulation / demodulation schemes, sampling & reconstruction and more.

Since experiments are made by patching together DATEx modules, and each module represents a fundamental telecommunications system building block, any equation or block diagrams in a telecommunications text book is a potential experiment. It is a foundation that allows for creativity in designing experimental courseware for students.

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How does a student relate DATEx "modules" to block diagrams? Why are there "round" and "square" marking around the connectors on both sides of each module? Why don't gain and adjustment control knobs have calibration or scale markings?

All DATEx modules follow a consistent "front panel convention". Once a user has been introduced to the DATEx conventions, they will find it easy to use any DATEx module. The DATEx "front panel conventions" ensure that DATEx modules relate closely to the Block Diagram representations that are commonly used in telecommunications and signal processing.

The key conventions are as follows:

  • DATEx inputs are always on the left hand side of the module's panel
  • DATEx outputs are always on the right hand side of the module's panel
  • Analog inputs & outputs are always marked with a "circle"
  • TTL level inputs & outputs are always marked with a "square"

Gain and adjustment control knobs do not have scale markings intentionally, as engineering students are expected to measure the amplitude (using either the scope or RMS METER) and frequency of each module's output (with the scope or DYNAMIC SIGNAL ANALYZER), and  relate or adjust these values in accordance with the block diagram or equation they are modelling.

The DATEx effectively stops the "cookbook" approach to making experiments.

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Why can the DATEx be used by both technical college students, and university students?

The DATEx is valuable to all these users because the DATEx models mathematical equations and telecommunications block diagrams.

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What manuals are included with the DATEx?

The DATEx includes two manuals:

  • DATEx User Manual: this manual provides a brief description of the use and operation of each DATEx functional block
  • DATEx Lab Manual Volume 1: this manual includes 20 fundamental experiments covering such topics as modelling equations, analog/digital modulation / demodulation schemes, sampling & reconstruction and more.

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Additional Resources