Penn State recently instituted a First Year Seminar (FYS) requirement for every student. This paper describes a 'hands-on' FYS on audio engineering that has freshmen construct and test a two-way loudspeaker system during eight 2-hour class meetings. Time and resource constraints dictated that the speaker system must be assembled using only hand tools and characterized using only an oscillator and digital multimeter. The cost of the entire system could not exceed $60/side. The speaker enclosure is made primarily from PVC plumbing parts. The four laboratory exercises that the students perform and write up are designed to introduce basic engineering concepts including graphing, least-squares fitting and error estimation, electrical impedance, resonance, transfer functions, mechanical and gas stiffness, and non-destructive parameter measurement.
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