COMBINED USE OF QUCS AND OCTAVE FOR TEACHING CIRCUITS IN NON-SPECIALIST HIGH SCHOOLS OF ENGINEERING
1 Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
2 Universidad Castilla-La Mancha (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Teaching circuits, basic electronics or similar contents play an important role in the training of future engineering graduates, even under the perspective that these are not the most important contents for acquiring their regulated competences, as it occurs in the E.T.S. de Ingenieros Navales from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
Under the concept of Stepped Practical Work  that was successfully implemented in subjects as Basic Electrical Engineering , Electronics, Automation, Navigation and Communications  among others, students have to carry out and pass three stages to accredit their practical credits. In the first stage, students solve exercises with the only help of a calculator and writing tools. After this stage, students verify that the previously obtained results can be obtained from a based-on PS-SPICE simulation environment software that allows computing various electrical quantities that can be virtually measured. Another option of this second stage consisting of using a mathematical calculation tool for the same purpose with the objective to validate the results obtained in the first stage. Finally, in the third and last stage, students access the laboratory to set up circuits or systems with real components, obtaining different measurements of the real quantities involved and validating the calculation methods and results.
This work presents the combined use of free software for the aforementioned purpose of the second stage of the Stepped Practical Work concept for practical training. While Qucs  offers a friendly environment, free software, to simulate circuits or systems, Octave , which is based on the GNU concept, allows to carry out complex mathematical calculations . In both cases, students understand whether they have or not correctly solved the proposed exercises, and they analyse the always existing discrepancies between results. Several complete exercises are illustrated in this work under the proposed concept of simulate-calculate results with the combined use of these two free software environments Qucs-Octave.
 J.A.Somolinos et.al. Stepped Practical Work for Electrical and Electronic Teaching in the Higher Technical School of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering of the Technical University of Madrid. 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies. EDULEARN 2012 Barcelona (Spain), July, 2012. Pp. 5853-5859.
 Somolinos, J.A. and López, A. (2011). Electrotecnia. Trabajos Prácticos Escalonados. Parte I, II y III. ETS I.Navales. U.Politécnica de Madrid. ISBN 978-84-96398-67-2
 Somolinos, J.A. and López, A. (2012). Automática y Electrónica. Trabajos Prácticos Escalonados. Parte I y II. ETS I Navales. U. Politécnica de Madrid. ISBN 978-84-15302-78-0
 http://qucs.sourceforge.net. Accessed 18th November 2020
 https://www.gnu.org/software/octave/index. Accessed 18th November 2020
 Somolinos, J.A and others (2010). Using Octave to teach Circuits Theory in Technical Schools. International Conference on Education, Research and Innovation ICERI 2010. 15th-17th November 2010, Madrid, Spain. IATED. ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9. Pp. 3087-3096.
Keywords: Stepped Practical Work, Qucs, Octave.