Because of the cumulative nature of this material, grading tends to be expansive rather than compressive (e.g. with hard work it will be possible to obtain maximal grade). Grades in this kind of material tend to be bimodal (either very high or very low, depending on whether you get on top of the material early on). The successful students are the ones who asimilate the material EARLY (e.g. in the first few lectures). It is not necessary to study the material for long periods of time, but it is necessary to study it EARLY and OFTEN. That's why there is a large number of very small assignments. A little bit of work each week is what is needed. You will probably find that you will end up thinking about the material every once in a while while walking down the street, standing in line at the bank, etc.. It is better to have it on your mind a little bit at a time, over the course of the term, than to work really long and hard at one sitting.
The material is new and fresh, so it requires an open mind to best assimilate. Therefore, when planning study time, it is preferable to study ECE 1766 early in the day or evening, while the mind is still fresh.