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Mech 1  LED Light photo
An abbreviated syllabus will be distributed in class.

Instructor:  Mike Robinson       Mike's welcome message

E-mail:  The address for the only  e-mail account I can use with students.

News and Comment Page:  Enrolled students should view the News & Comment page at least weekly.

Prerequisites:  None.  See the college catalog. .

Student Time:  One hour per week at this time and place.

Class Schedule:  See this page for the classes' due dates  and  this page for a list of planned activities.

Course description:  MECH 1 is a: "survey of electronics technology presented in the context of the principles of science.  Application of the scientific method to topics ranging from basic circuits to microprocessors, including electronic music, robotics, electric vehicles, fiber optics, semiconductors, and medical imaging.  Scientific, historical, political, and economic connections to electronics technology."  See the school catalog for the official course description.

Text:  Either the free on-line textbook, Lessons in Electric Circuits or the optional, not free, printed textbook.

Materials:  Each person will need note taking materials and some method for saving class handouts.  Personal protective eye wear conforming to ANSI Z87.1 is required (see "safety glasses" for more information).  This course is Web enhanced.  Access to the Internet is required to read the on-line text, download certain class materials, view the class schedule and requirements and may be needed to complete certain assignments.  Each student is responsible for obtaining any required or missed documents.  Links on this page are extensions of the page; therefore, material referenced by links on this page apply as though it was actually written on this page.

Grades:  Grades are weighted and are based on the information shown in the table at right.  The grading rubric (rules) will be followed.  
90 to 100% is an A Final 35%
80 to 89.9% is a   B Midterm 20%
70 to 79.9% is a   C Term Paper 20%
60 to 69.9% is a   D Quizzes 15%
Below 60% is an F Activities 10%

Quizzes:  An unannounced quiz may be given frequently in class, on the Web or for take-home.  Take-home quizzes will be due the next session.  NO make-ups will be allowed.  Two quiz grades will be dropped.

Exams:  All tests are multiple-choice and are comprehensive to the date administered.  No off-schedule exams will be administered without prior request and approval.  The Test Page has additional information and test procedures.

Term Paper:  One four-to-six page formal report is required.   A list of possible subjects is available.  Help is available on this website.  Late papers will be heavily penalized and may not be accepted.  Refer to the Term Paper Requirements page for more details.

Activities:  Students often join in small groups to undertake activities, such as answer verbal questions, complete quizzes, and/or prove theories.  These activities are a part of classroom participation.  Missed or incomplete activities will not be "made up" or done outside the classroom.  Part of this grade may be subjective.  Substitute credit will be considered for some activities.

Registration:  Only students officially enrolled before the appropriate deadline may attend.  Auditing is by petition.

Attendance:  Roll will be taken.  Grades are partly based on in-class activities which will occur every session (discussion, circuits, tests, quizzes, etc.), most of which may not be "made up."  Due to missed activities, excessive absences may result in a reduced grade, failing grade or an instructor initiated withdrawal.  See the school's official attendance policy.

Withdrawal:  Failure to withdraw officially from class before the deadline (see the Official Calendar) may result in a reduced grade or even a failing grade.   Incomplete grades will not be given in lieu of poor course work or lack of attendance.  The instructor is not obligated to withdraw students and students should assume that he may not do so.  Consider consulting with a counselor, and/or a financial aid representative before withdrawing from class.  

Accommodation for Disabilities:  In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, Sierra College can accommodate most special needs.  Students with a documented physical or learning disability (documentation must be on file with the Dean of Student Services prior to the beginning of the semester) may request accommodations by contacting Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS).  Students with special learning or health needs should inform the instructor within the first two weeks of class and provide any completed, relevant forms.

Privacy/Reporting MisconductStudent Privacy Requirements will be followed.  Incidents of misconduct, confided in the instructor, must be reported.

Safety Rules / Emergency Procedures:  Students should become familiar with the school's emergency procedures and classroom safety rules.  Refer to: Classroom Emergency Procedures  and General Safety.

CELL PHONES & Electronic Devices:  Cell phones are to be set to vibrate or to OFF and all phone conversation is to be done outside the classroom.  Exceptions must be requested and approved.  No entertainment devices (ear buds, headphones, musical instruments, video/audio players, etc.) are to be operated (played/used) in the classroom.  Without instructor prior permission, classroom computers and printers are to remain off.  Lectures may not be recorded (audio or video) unless approved in writing (PDF) in advance.

Student responsibility:  The student is responsible for meeting all requirements, prerequisites, deadlines, registration procedures and fees.   Students are expected to be familiar with and to comply with rules regarding alcoholic beverages, attendance, computer/network use, copyright, drug use, honesty and plagiarism, smoking (including vapor and smokeless), weapons, and others, as outlined in the college catalog and other official school documentation.

Student Learning Outcomes for MECH 1:

  • Analyze and demonstrate relationship between electric current, voltage and resistance.
  • Construct functional electronic circuits using soldering.
  • Distinguish components of an electrochemical cell and construct a working cell.

Page 1 of 3 (scroll down for the Class Schedule)

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Term Paper Sources Approval Sheet due
Mar. 3
Late Sources Sheets will incur a penalty.
Midterm preview (bring quizzes)
Mar. 17
Mar. 24
Optional Term Paper Preview due
Mar. 31 or earlier
Apr. 7
Withdrawal deadline
Apr. 21
Late Term Papers will incur a penalty.
Final preview (bring quizzes)
May 5
May. 5
MECH 1 Final Exam
May 12
Review final & grades
May 19
Last class meeting
May 19
Substitute credit?
Go to this page
Dates are subject to change.                 List added to the page 9 Dec., 2019.

Page 2 of 3 (scroll down for the Reading List)

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Click or tap on the links to read the material

Vol. I, Ch. 1, Basic Concepts of Electricity
Vol. I, Ch. 3, Electrical Safety
Vol. V, Ch. 9, Circuit Schematic Symbols
Vol. V, Ch. 2, Color Codes
Vol. V, Ch. 9, Circuit Schematic Symbols
Vol. I, Ch. 2, Ohm's Law
Vol. I Ch. 6, Divider Circuits and Kirchoff's Laws
Vol. I, Ch. 14, Magnetism & Electromagnetism
Vol. III, Ch. 11, DC Motor Drives
Vol. II, Ch. 9, Transformers
Vol. II, Ch. 14, Transmission Lines
Midterm exam
Vol. II, Ch. 1, Basic AC Theory
Vol. I, Ch. 13, Capacitors
Vol. I, Ch. 15, Inductors
Vol. III, Ch. 13, Electron Tubes
Vol. III, Ch. 2, Solid State Device Theory
Vol. III, Ch. 3, Diodes & Rectifiers
Vol. III, Ch. 4, Bipolar Junction Transistors
Vol. IV, Ch. I, Numeration Systems
Vol. IV, Ch. 3, Logic Gates
Vol. IV, Ch. 16, Principles of Digital Computing
Robotics (NO reading assignment)
Closing material, course review & final preview
Final exam
Review of the Final Exam and grade distribution
Dates are subject to change.      This list added to the site 05-22-19.

The schedules above are subject to significant changes, including sequence and allotted time, but illustrates the essential course content.  There are scheduled nonattendance days.  Check the official school calendar for the last drop date, nonattendance dates and other important scheduled items.  Check the News and Comment page for changes.

Suggestions:  This instructor is pleased to accept suggestions regarding ways the class / lectures / activities, etc. may be made more useful / fun / interesting / meaningful.  Even though the essential content or required effort of the course cannot be diminished, all such suggestions will be carefully considered.

Page 3 of 3 (scroll up for the Class Schedule and Syllabus)

DISCLAIMER:  This is not a circuit design class.  Circuits, handouts, website downloads and/or software programs are provided for conceptual purposes only and do not constitute engineering or professional services, advice or design data and are not meant for any particular application.  The instructor is not responsible for errors, omissions or damages, either direct, indirect or consequential that may arise out of the use of this information.  Formulas should not be used for design.  In-class handouts and materials on the instructor's website(s) are copyrighted and a single copy or a replacement copy is available for the personal use of students only while enrolled and attending this class.  This instructor does not allow "projects" in the classroom without approval and assumes any materials brought to class are not proprietary.
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 "The brick walls are there to stop people who don't want it badly enough."

                      Randy Pausch,
                      professor & author
                      The Last Lecture
, 9-18-07

©2006 W. Michæl Robinson




Class Schedule
Reading List
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