Comtest, a supplier of process control solutions, recently completed the modernization of Tshwane Technical University's Electronics Laboratory
The modernization project, which was completed and fully operational in the second half of 2017, included replacing old and obsolete ones Devices powered by Tektronix AFG 1022 generators, Tektronix TBS 1052B EDU digital storage oscilloscopes and GW Instek GPE 3323 DC power. Since its completion, the laboratory has proved valuable to the TUT, Comtest said.
"The new equipment adds value to TUT educators by enabling faculty to globally manage and monitor students during laboratory sessions," says Comtest Account Manager Darius Opperman .
He explains that the new tools can be tracked while executing tasks so that lecturers can not only monitor real-time learning progress, but also update all firmware simultaneously with Tektronix SmartLAB software. Opperman says that these features "represent a significant return for TUT".
The Tektronix AFG 1022 arbitrary generators provide the functionality of three generators and one frequency counter in one device. It has the functions of a 25 MHz function generator, a 12.5 MHz pulse generator, a 14-bit arbitrary waveform generator and a 200 MHz counter.
The Tektronix TBS 1052B-EDU is specifically designed for use in schools and universities. It uses a courseware system that allows educators to integrate instructional materials into the equipment through the system. Course information is displayed on the oscilloscope display and can be used to provide step-by-step instructions, background theory, or by students to document their lab work. The newly implemented GPE-X323 also offers 192 W to 217 W output power, three independent isolated output channels, high resolution, low noise, high reliability and compact size, greatly enhancing the learning experience of TUT students.
The refurbished laboratory currently targets approximately 450 students from electronics and design projects with a capacity of 42 students for each electrical measurement experiment and every project laboratory session. The university has found that peer mentoring has proven to be a successful teaching method in the new lab. Currently, it supports two students to supervise, supervise and assist Electronics 1, 2 and 3, as well as students of the design project during lab class.
TUT Students and Labor Mentors Jackson Chokoe  and Remmington Seima state that the modernized equipment was well received by students and educators.
Seima adds that the maintenance of new laboratory equipment is also much easier, while Chokoe says the new areas also measure noise that the old gadgets did not have. "Another benefit is that student-run tests are uploaded directly to the server after graduation."
While TUT admits that it took some time for the students to get used to the new equipment of the Faculty of Engineering and Construction Associate Dean and Departmental Professor Josiah Lange Munda stated that the upgrades it enable the university to produce more electrical engineering graduates whose studies are relevant to the area. He explains that TUT would have equipped every lab on campus like this with quality equipment to benefit and enhance students.
Comtest concludes that it is proud to be associated with TUT's laboratory refurbishment to engage in future technology projects for future generations.