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The "Real Analog" course is not actually updated for the Analog Discovery 2?


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Hi everyone! I'm thinking about purchasing an Analog Discovery 2, and a large contributing factor to me doing that would be the seemingly great and elaborate support - both from Digilent itself and from the community - that exists for the AD2. I'd love to learn about the fundamentals of circuits using the AD2, and to that end the "Real Analog" course offered by Digilent would be perfect. It goes without saying that I got quite excited when I stumble upon this blog post from October of last year (2021) in which Digilent announced that the "Real Analog" course that was originally based around the Analog Discovery had been fully updated for the AD2. This supposedly included not only the lectures, but also the lab materials.

However, the webpage that was linked in that blog post seems to point to the original "Real Analog" course for the first Analog Discovery, not for the AD2. There's no mention of the AD2 anywhere in that course, the lab manuals still have the old 2012 trademark and use the old Analog Discovery, the lab videos clearly feature the original Analog Discovery (not to mention the fact that they were all uploaded in 2013, before the AD2 came out) and the lecture videos are clearly the old lecture videos from way back when.

So please do excuse my befuddlement (and disappointment) for a second, but what is that blog post referring to when it says that "[...] its safe to say I’m excited to announce that the full text, lecture videos, and labs of Real Analog has now been released for the Analog Discovery 2"  in relation to the "Real Analog" course? How am I to interpret the "for the Analog Discovery 2"-part here, because clearly, none of it seems to have been released for the Analog Discovery 2. I'm not sure whether that's just an honest mistake, a miscommunication, or deliberate false advertising, but either way it's got me confused.

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Hi @Hyperspectral,

I took a look at the Real Analog materials (since like you I was under the impression that the materials had all been updated) and found that the Complete Chapters + Lab materials pdf document (available at the bottom of this page: https://digilent.com/reference/learn/courses/real-analog/start) does indeed contain all of the updated materials with the Analog Discovery 2 and the newer version of WaveForms (rather than the legacy versions of both).

However, as you noted, all of the individual labs and linked videos are indeed the legacy materials. They are still compatible with the Analog Discovery 2 and the WaveForms software (as the Analog Discovery 2 is fully backwards compatible with all of the legacy Analog Discovery hardware features and share the same colored wire pinout), but I agree that this isn't a user friendly option.

The text based powerpoint Lecture materials and the Lecture portion of the "Chapter X Complete PDF", as far as I am able to tell (at least in the ten or so different sections I looked at) all of these materials were originally created to be hardware agnostic (or at least there is no mention of "Analog Discovery" of any variety that I can find); it is simply the Circuits 1 course (the Lab portion of the Chapter X Complete PDF for each chapter is still using the legacy lab material). Similarly, the homework materials are also just Circuits 1 course based and not associated with a particular piece of hardware.

I suppose that is one thing that I want to make more clear about the Real Analog material; it is a circuits course at its core. Realistically, all of the lab portions can be completed with any test and measurement device that has an oscilloscope and arbitrary waveform generator (and software to support different analysis types), so something like the Analog Discovery 2, a Red Pitaya device, a Liquid Instruments device, etc, could all be used in the Lab portion of the Circuits 1 course. I'm partial to Digilent's tools and software of course, but I can't stop you from using something else from where I am at on the internet. 

...Update a few hours after starting this post...

After extensive searching, my co-workers and I have not been able to find any individually updated lab materials. The current plan is to go through the giant Complete Chapters + Lab materials PDF and do a Save As process, saving each separate lab material and worksheet as their own document, and then uploading those as appropriate to the Reference site. Much of the material will look the same/very similar as the original, again because the lab is designed around the Circuits 1 course rather than the Analog Discovery 2 (or legacy Analog Discovery) specifically, but I will let you know when this is complete.

Regarding the videos, I regret to inform you that no updated videos (either lecture or lab, though again the lecture materials are still teaching the same Circuits 1 course, just with poor video quality) are available. There were plans to create the videos, and I think they were even filmed, but the footage has been lost.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,
JColvin

P.S. Regarding your last sentence on honest mistake vs miscommunication vs deliberate false advertising. My personal opinion (I don't have the full story and wasn't involved in the creation of the updated material so I won't pretend to have the full story): This was a combination of honest mistake, miscommunication, key people leaving Digilent, and bureaucracy nonsense (which led to the previous item). False advertising would not have been the goal (though the lack of communication and clearly lack of review did not help).

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