The use of an oscilloscope as an educative tool on a network installation and maintenance unit
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Information Science
Network Installation and Maintenance (NIM) is a first year single semester unit in the School of Computing at ECU. This unit consists of a two-hour lecture and two-hour hands-on workshop. The creation of the NIM unit was based upon a survey of the needs of employers in the field of network installation and maintenance and its workshops consist of extensive hands-on exercises necessary to provide students with the initial practical background skills and understanding required. The NIM unit has no prerequisites and is a full credit unit that attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds many of whom may have had little previous education in technology or physics. Hence many NIM students have experienced difficulties in conceptualising effects such as signal degradation along media or even what a wave shape or wave train represents when drawn on a board or displayed upon a cathode ray oscilloscope (CRO) screen. The CRO was also used to measure voltages. Measurements of time periods were also subsequently used in frequency and bandwidth calculations. These investigations were undertaken as part of a normal NIM workshop and effects such as signal attenuation, crossover, phase shifting, and pulse spreading, were observed via CRO.