Course Title: Troubleshoot microcontroller based hardware systems

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

Course Code: EEET7054C

Course Title: Troubleshoot microcontroller based hardware systems

School: 130T Vocational Engineering

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6122 - Advanced Diploma of Electronics and Communications Engineering

Course Contact: Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4468

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Eddie Vanda


phone: +613 9925 4456

Nominal Hours: 40

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit covers determining correct operation of microcontroller systems. It encompasses working safely, problem solving procedures, providing solutions derived from measurements and calculations to predictable faults in microcontroller hardware.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

UEENEEH166A Troubleshoot microcontroller based hardware systems


1. Prepare to work on microcontroller hardware.

Performance Criteria:

1.1 OHS procedures for a given work area are obtained and understood.
1.2 OHS risk control work preparation measures and procedures are followed.
1.3 The nature of microcontroller hardware problems is obtained from documentation or from work supervisor to establish the scope of work to be undertaken.
1.4 Advice is sought from the work supervisor to ensure the work is co-ordinated effectively with others.
1.5 Sources of materials that may be required for the work are established in accordance with established procedures.
1.6 Tools, equipment and testing devices needed to carry out the work are obtained and checked for correct operation and safety.


2. Solve microcontroller hardware and firmware problems.

Performance Criteria:

2.1 OHS risk control work measures and procedures are followed.
2.2 The need to test or measure live is determined in strict accordance with OHS requirements and when necessary conducted within established safety procedures.
2.3 Circuits are checked as being isolated where necessary in strict accordance OHS requirements and procedures.
2.4 Established methods are used to solve problems from measured and calculated values as they apply to microcontroller hardware.
2.5 Unexpected situations are dealt with safely and with the approval of an authorised person.
2.6 Problems are solved without unnecessary damage to apparatus, circuits, the surrounding environment or services and using sustainable energy practices.


3. Complete work and document problem solving activities.

Performance Criteria:

3.1 OHS work completion risk control measures and procedures are followed.
3.2 Work site is cleaned and made safe in accordance with established procedures.
3.3 Justification for solutions used to solve circuit problems is documented.
3.4 Work completion is documented and an appropriate person or persons notified in accordance with established procedures.

Learning Outcomes

Refer to Elements

Details of Learning Activities

Classroom tutorial activities to consolidate the theory and application ofhardware and software to microprocessor architecture.

Practical activities to develop skill in construction the working model of various aspects of microprocessor architecture.

Projects involving the re-design and commissioning of selected systems, development of testing procedure to verify the performance specification, diagnosis of faults in the systems and repair the fault. Specifications will be provided with work simulation (team or individual basis) or may be negotiated to suit a workplace based application

Teaching Schedule

Each class will involve the same elements and performance criteria:

Element 1. Prepare to work on microcontroller hardware.,
Element 2. Solve microcontroller hardware and firmware problems, and
Element 3. Complete work and document problem solving activities. 

The topics will change each week.

Week 1
Introduction and CPU interface - introductory interface exercise

Week 2
Digital Systems Concepts Associated with Microcontroller based systems.

Week 3
Microcontroller architecture

Week 4
Microcontroller System block diagram

Week 5
Memory Terminology Hardware

Week 6
Secondary Memory and Usage

Week 7

Week 8
Flash ROM     - Lab Exercise Assessed.

Week 9
RAM Useage

Week 10
Manipulating Ports

Week 11
Interfacing with I/O devices

Week 12
Introduction to timers/counters

Week 13
Introduction to interrupts

Week 14
Timers Using Interrupts

Week 15
System clock circuitry

Week 16
Assessment of project

Weeks 17
Final Test

Week 18
Final Test Catch up

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Accessible on the Student’s drive:

Various Atmel publications re Atmega32

Studio 4 download (XP only).  (Studio 6 is available from Atmel web site)

Overview of Assessment

The assessment is conducted in both theoretical and practical aspects of the course according to the performance criteria set in the National Training Package. Assessment may incorporate a variety of methods including written/oral activities and demonstration of practical skills to the relevant industry standards. Participants are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment activities to their teacher/assessor. Feedback will be provided throughout the course. To successfully complete this course you will be required to demonstrate competency in each assessment task detailed under Assessment Tasks:

Assessment 1: Test
Weighting towards final grade (%): 20

Assessment 2: Practical Assignment
Weighting towards final grade (%): 40

Assessment 3: Project
Weighting towards final grade (%): 40

These tasks assesses the following Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs):

Assessment Mapping Matrix

Element/Performance Criteria CoveredTestPractical AssignmentProject
1.4 xxx


Assessment Tasks

• Open book test,        40%   - week17/18
• Project Assignment 55%   - week 16
• Laboratory exercise 10%   - week 8

This course is graded using the following course grades-
CHD- Competent with High Distinction
CDI- Competent with Distinction
CC- Competent with Credit
CAG- Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC- Not Yet Competent
DNS- Did Not Submit for Assessment.

Assessment Matrix

Each assessment will involve the same elements and performance criteria:

Element 1. Prepare to work on microcontroller hardware.,
Element 2. Solve microcontroller hardware and firmware problems, and
Element 3. Complete work and document problem solving activities.

Other Information

Student Directed Hours

Minimum student directed hours are 4 in addition to 36 scheduled teaching hours. Student directed hours involve completing activities such as reading online resources, assignments, project work, individual student-teacher course-related consultation, and lab reports.

Study and learning Support:

Study and Learning Centre (SLC) provides free learning and academic development advice to all RMIT students.
Services offered by SLC to support numeracy and literacy skills of the students are:
- Assignment writing, thesis writing and study skills advice
- Maths and science developmental support and advice
- English language development

Please refer to find more information about Study and Learning Support.

Disability Liaison Unit:

Students with disability or long-term medical condition should contact Disability Liaison Unit to seek advice and support to complete their studies.
Please refer to find more information about services offered by Disability Liaison Unit.

Late submission:

Students requiring extensions for 7 calendar days or less (from the original due date) must complete and lodge an Application for Extension of Submittable Work (7 Calendar Days or less) form and lodge it with the Senior Educator/ Program Manager.
The application must be lodged no later than one working day before the official due date. The student will be notified within no more than 2 working days of the date of lodgment as to whether the extension has been granted.

Students seeking an extension of more than 7 calendar days (from the original due date) must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form under the provisions of the Special Consideration Policy, preferably prior to, but no later than 2 working days after the official due date.

Assignments submitted late without approval of an extension will not be accepted or marked.

Special consideration:

Please refer;ID=riderwtscifm to find more information about special consideration.


Plagiarism is a form of cheating and it is very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University.

Please refer: to find more information about plagiarism.

Email Communication:

All email communications will be sent to your RMIT email address and you must regularly check your RMIT emails.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview