Systems and Communications Lab

Location: 20-113
Coordinator: Dr. Wayne Pilkington
Facilities: EE 353, EE 456
Size: 1044
Average Number of Students a Year: 138
Utilization Ratio: 0.13

Picture of Systems and Communications Lab


This lab is our communications sytems and signals/systems laboratory.   The signals and systems laboratory (EE 368), Analog Filter Design laboratory (EE 455), and Communication Systems laboratory (EE 456) courses are hosted here. This room also functions as an additional Basic Circuits laboratory (EE 241, EE 242) and Electronics laboratory (EE348) when class needs exceed the capacity of rooms 146 -149. The presence of Spectrum Analyzers (low frequency) at all stations in this lab provides the foundations for the signal and system characterization laboratories. LabVIEW is available in these labs, and is being used with GPIB-based equipment to automate data acquisition in some experiments.

Current Equipment

Each instructional lab station is equipped with:



(1)   Computer                                         Dell Optiplex 760, Intel Core Duo 3 GHZ, 4 GB,                                                                          RAM, 80 GB HD

(1)   Source Meter                                    Keithley 2400-LV

(1)   Function Generator                          Agilent 33120A 15 MHz

(1)   Function Generator                          Hewlett Packard 3312A 1 MHz        

(1)   Multimeter                                       Hewlett Packard 34401A

(1)   Spectrum Analyzer                          Hewlett Packard 3582A

(1)   Oscilloscope                                     Agilent 54622D 100 MHz 2ch GPIB

(1)   Power Supply                                   Agilent E3630A 6V/2.5A 20V/0.5A

(1)   Power Supply                                   Agilent E3640A 8V/3A 20/1.5A

(1)   Circuit Designer                               Heathkit ET-1000

(1)   Soldering Iron                                  Weller  WTCPT

(1)   Microphone                                      Logitech or Labtec Verse 704





Additional equipment available in the laboratory:



(1)   Computer                                         Dell Optiplex 760

(1)   Printer                                              Hewlett Packard LaserJet 600 M601

Equipment Needs

This laboratory is in the process of being transformed as part of the "advanced communication systems laboratory" initiative.   The department is currently hiring two new faculty members in 2016, investing in new equipment, and adding new curriculum.  

Here is a description of the initiative

 Advanced Wireless Communication Laboratory:     The Electrical Engineering Department is starting to establish an advanced Wireless Communication Laboratory in building 20 Rooms 112 and 113.   This new laboratory facility will complement the highly successful RF and Microwave Electronics Laboratory in Building 20 room 116.     The laboratory will feature Vector Signal Generators, Vector Signal Analyzers,  Spectrum Analyzers, Communication System Design Software and  specialized equipment for testing and simulating today's 4G and tomorrow’s 5G wireless networks.   The laboratory needs financial support beyond some of the equipment being provided by test and measurement equipment vendors.   We solicit help from our Alumni and Industrial sponsors to build out this laboratory.   The Electrical Engineering Department is  hiring an additional Tenure track professor in this area in Fall of 2016.   The department will be collaborating with Cal Poly's security initiative applied to wireless networks and Cal Poly’s cube sat program in the wireless communication area.  Long term plans include linking the building 20 communications laboratory to the roof-top lab of our future college of engineering projects laboratory.


Key new quipment targeted for this lab ungrade include:

a.  Vector Signal Generators

b.  Vector Signal Analyzers

c.  rf/microwave spectrum analyzers

d.  Software defined radio equipment

e.  Wireless networking equipment

f.   Keysight System Vue communications design software

g.  Mobile communications development boards from QualComm

h.  Specialized wireless network test and measurement equipment

i.  New communication systems antennas