This article describes inexpensive, autonomous built without microprocessors, used in a college-level introductory physics laboratory course to motivate student learning of dc circuits. Detailed circuit descriptions are provided as well as a week-by-week course plan that can guide students from elementary dc circuits, through Kirchhoff's laws, and into simple analog integrated circuits with the motivational incentive of building an autonomous that can compete with others in a public arena.

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The 741 and L324 op-amps are considered obsolete by some and a more updated approach would be to use a digital comparator (e.g., 311, 339) instead.

Supplementary Material

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