ENGR/PHYS 217: HW#1
Analog to Digital Converters
1. What is the largest digital value that can be output by a 16 bit ADC? State the value in both decimal and
hexadecimal numbering system. (2 pts)
2. The Type K thermocouple has a sensitivity of about 41 /°C, i.e. for each degree difference in the
junction temperature, the output changes by 41 microVolts. If you have a 18-bit ADC, what is the
smallest temperature change you can detect if the ADC range is 20 V? (2 pts)
3. We’ll be using the built-in ADC on an Arduino (an Uno R3) in our later labs. Imagine though that you
realize the built-in ADC does not work for your experiment (it doesn’t have enough inputs, is not fast
enough, doesn’t have enough resolution; for now the reason doesn’t matter). Your boss tells you to
find a better ADC. Further, he recommends that it be an Arduino compatible shield.
a) What is an Arduino compatible shield? Do some research on the Internet to learn what one is and
provide (with citation) the information you learn. Show a picture of a shield (engineers are visual).
As you are trying to learn general information, you may wish to start with Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a
good all-around source of knowledge. (2 pts)
b) Do a search on the Internet for an Arduino ADC that is packaged as a shield (and that you can buy—
about $15-$30) and is advertised as being better than the built-in one. You will get lots of results
back, and many will not be shields. You will have to click on a few of the links to find what we are
looking for. They are out there, so in this sense, there will be several “correct” answers for this
assignment. You are on your honor to do your own research but you may compare your results
with a classmate’s research. (2 pts)
c) Tell “your boss” the specifications that we discussed in class for your product choice (when
appropriate, emphasize what is claimed to be better). (2 pts)
More notes: Make sure you provide references for what you present. There are several available
products that will satisfy this problem. You should download (copy) and submit the general
advertisement as an appendix to your homework and submit it with the rest of your homework.
Last note: This problem is representative of what you, as an engineer, will do. This should be “fun,”
well, at least interesting to do. Part of engineering is being a detective: go find something you are
looking for, to do something you can’t currently do. You don’t have to, nor should you want to
build everything from scratch.
What is the largest digital value that can be output by a 16 bit ADC? State the value in both decimal and hexadecimal numbering system. (2 pts)
ENGR/PHYS 217: HW#1