Operational Amplifier Circuit Board Trainer - A Tangible Intuitive Approach to Learning




In 2015 30,083 students graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering and the annual rate of growth is 10.7% (according to Further, there are approximately 150 universities that offer an EE program. While the demand for quality EE teaching tools at both the university and high school level is enormous, the currently available training aids for operational amplifiers (op-amp) are not intuitive to the student. Existing amplifier circuit boards are generic and the artwork confusing.  Here at the University of Nevada Reno we have solved this problem by creating an op-amp trainer and a related curriculum that are intuitive and make the learning process tangible.



This system is an amplifier printed circuit board that utilizes 4 mm banana jacks for amplifier inputs and outputs. 5 pin, 22 gauge, female headers are used for easy connection of input and feedback capacitors and resistors. Standard resistor values are also selectable using rotary switches. Industry standard symbols for the op-amps including circuit symbolism for inputs and outputs are silkscreened leading from and to the input and output banana jacks.

The printed circuit board is configured for adjustable voltage sources that can be switched for step inputs or on hard. There are two board configurations:

1.  A PID motor controller equipped with the motor.

2.  A generic op-amp trainer for studying configurations such as summing amps, comparators and Schmitt Triggers.

Inputs are diode protected. Feedback signals are present on the board via banana jacks and are scalable. There is a dual 12 VDC power supply to power the circuits and the final amplifier stage is a current driver for large loads such as the motor. 



•       Clear, tangible, and understandable amplifier silkscreening allows for students to patch inputs, outputs, and feedback legs without the need for detailed procedures.

•       All inputs and outputs are provided with 4 mm banana jacks.

•       Input and feedback resistors can be inserted into convenient female headers or standard values selected with rotary switches.

•       Capacitors are inserted into the female headers.

•       Control mechanism feedback signals such as angular position and velocity are available at convenient banana jack



IP Status

U.S. patent application 62/440,716







Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Shannon Sheehan
Manager, Technology Commercialization
University of Nevada, Reno
Anthony Piazza