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Posts Tagged ‘logic analyzer’

$79 Digilent OpenScope Open Source Multi-function Programmable Instrument Works over USB and WiFi (Crowdfunding)

February 1st, 2017 8 comments

Digilent OpenScope is an open source, portable, multi-function programmable instrument used for capturing, visualizing, and controlling analog and digital signals, that works with your smartphone or computer over USB or WiFi, and it can also be used in standalone mode as a development board, like you would use an Arduino or Raspberry Pi board.

OpenScope MZ key features and specifications:

  • MCU – Microchip PIC32 MZ (MZ2048EFG124) MIPS Warrior M-class micro-controller @ up to 200 MHz with 2048KB flash, 512 KB RAM
  • External Storage – micro SD slot
  • Wireless Connectivity – WiFi module
  • USB – 1x micro USB for power and programming over FTDI
  • Programming / Debugging – micro USB port, programming header
  • Expansion – 30-pin Fly Wire connector with:
    • 2x scope channels with 12 bits @ 2 MHz bandwidth and up to 6.25MS/s sampling rate
    • 1x function generator output with 1 MHz bandwidth and up to 10MS/s update rate
    • 10x user programmable DIO pins up to 25 MHz update rate
  • Misc – 4x user LEDs, programming and reset buttons
  • Power Supply – via micro USB or ext pin; programmable power supplies up to 50 mA and +/- 4V

The platform can be used with (soon-to-be) open source, web based Waveforms Live multi-instrument software written in JavaScript and allowing you to  use OpenScope as an oscilloscope, a function generator, a logic analyzer, a power supply, or a data logger.

Since the software runs in a web browser it will work with most operating systems including Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, Android or iOS. As mentioned in the introduction, OpenScope is also a development board, and can be programmed using the Arduino IDE or Microchip MPLAB-X IDE. The company will provide  a programmer’s guide, and make PIC32MZ firmware, the agent source code, the browser app for Android & IOS, the communication protocol, and the JavaScript API available on Github

Digilent launched OpenScope on Kickstarter, where the board can be backed together with a 3D printed enclosure for $79. An “OpenScope Learning Edition” is also offered for $150 with a “parts kit with workbook example”, but no details have been provided for the latter. Delivery is planned for June or August 2017 depending on selected reward, and shipping is free to the US, but adds $20 to the rest of the world.

BitScope Blade Industrial Mounting & Power Systems Support Up to 40 Raspberry Pi Boards

January 27th, 2017 12 comments

BitScope Designs, a manufacturer of embedded mixed signal test, measurement and data acquisition systems, has announced the launch of a new models of their industrial desktop, rack or wall mountable power and mounting power systems with BitScope Blade Uno, Duo, and Quattro supporting respectively 1, 2 and 4 Raspberry Pi 3/2/B+/A+ boards. The blades can also be mounted in a 19″ rack with up to 40 Raspberry Pi boards.

The three systems share many of the same specifications:

  • Power Supply

    40 Rapsberry Pi Rack with (Older Versions) of BitScope Blade Quattro

    • Unregulated 9V to 48V DC power, compatible with most 12V & 24V UPS, most DC solar power systems
    • 4A (peak) switch mode supply built-in
    • 2.1mm socket or industrial power tabs
    • Can be used with low cost passive PoE,
    • Can power external USB, HDD & SSD
    • 5V auxiliary power for example for Pi Display
  • Expansion& I/O ports
    • Full access to RPi’s I2C, SPI, UART & most GPIO
    • Slot for camera connector for each Pi
    • HDMI and audio accessible from Pi in BAY one
    • Blade HUB I/O expansion sockets for each Pi
    • Compatible with BitScope CAP industrial I/O
  • Mount System
    • Rack mount to build compute cluster solutions
    • 4 x 3mm tabs and wall mounting stand-offs

Wall Mounted BitScope Blade Duo (Older Version) with2 Raspberry Pi boards

Each model also has specific features:

  • BitScope Blade UNO (BB01B)
    • Designed for one Raspberry Pi and one HAT
    • Power and connect up to 4x BitScopes
    • Raspberry Pi power control header,
    • 2x USB power sockets
  • BitScope Blade DUO (BB02B)
    • Designed for 2x Raspberry Pi boards
    • Power and connect up to 8x BitScopes
    • Individual power and reset inputs for each Pi
  • BitScope Blade QUATTRO (BB04B)
    • Designed for 4x Raspberry Pi boards
    • Power and connect up to 16x BitScopes
    • Individual power and reset inputs for each Pi.

Back side of BitScope Blade Duo – Click to Enlarge

The HUB CAP expansion sockets are used to connect BitScope mixed signal scopes & analyzers, which can be controlled by BitScope DSO software running on the Raspberry Pi board with oscilloscope, logic analyzer, wave generator, and other modes of operation.

You’ll find a few more details on the press release, and the new BitScope Blades can be purchased exclusively on Element14 starting at 32.5 GBP (~$41 US). BitScope also has a “Blades” product page, but it is currently referring to the older versions.

Espotek Labrador is s $25 5-in-1 Lab-on-a-Board with Oscilloscope, Waveform Generator, etc… (Crowdfunding)

September 7th, 2016 5 comments

We’ve already seen ultra cheap (and low end) electronics lab tools like DSO138 oscilloscope kit for $23, or the $5 USB123 USBee AX logic Analyzer, but EspoTek Labrador combines 5 electronics lab equipments into a single board that claims to act as an oscilloscope, a waveform generator, a variable power supply, a logic analyzer and a multimeter for just $25.

Espotek-LabradorEspoTek Labrador specifications and key features:

  • MCU – Atmel ATXMEGA32A4U 8-bit AVR MCU @ 32 MHz with 32KB flash, 4KB SRAM, and 1024 bytes EEPROM
  • Functions
    • 2 channels oscilloscope up to 750ksps, ~100kHz bandwidth, -20 to +20 V range
    • 2 channels waveform generator up to 1 MSPS supporting sinusoidal, square, triangular, sawtooth, and arbitrary waveforms
    • 4.5 to 15V power supply up to 1.5W max
    • 2 channels logic analyzer up to 3 MSPS per channels
    • Multimeter with voltage, intensity, resistance, and capacitance functions
  • USB – micro USB port to connect to PC / board running software
  • Power Input – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 38 x 31 mm
  • Weight – 10 grams

The board needs to connected to a Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux computer via its micro USB port in order to be controlled by the custom software provided by the company and demonstrated in the video below in all 5 modes. Hardware files and source code can be found in Github.

The Labrador project is fundraising now on crowdfunding platform CrowdSupply, where it has raised 66% of it’s $9000 goal so far. You’ll need to pledge $25 for the Labrador, and discount are available for larger quantities. Shipping is already included in the pledge, the campaign ends on October 20th, and the boards are expected to ship before the end of the year.

GradientOne Brings Oscilloscopes, Spectrum Analyzers, Frequency Generators… to the Cloud

July 29th, 2016 No comments

Nowadays, product development often involves working with teams spread across the world, with for example hardware development in the US, software development in India, and manufacturing in China. Resolving issues may require several members of the teams to gather data and work together, and beside the distance issue, you have to handle different timezones too. GradientOne may help facilitating hardware and firmware debugging by connecting test equipments such as oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, frequency generators and others to the cloud, so that data can easily be shared, and any member of the team control the equipment remotely, even automatizing measurements if needed. It could also be useful to field application engineers who may bring portable equipment to the customer premises, and have one engineer investigate issues remotely.

GradientOneThere are two ways to integrate equipment with GradientOne:

  • Web user interface to control instruments, set parameters (e.g. trigger, acquisition type, etc), via the web interface.

The company already did the hard work, and current supports Tektronix MDO3000 series oscilloscopes + function generator, Tektronix MDO4000/MSO200/DPO 2000 & DPO 4000 series oscilloscopes, as well as Agilent/Keysight U2000 power meters, and more support is planned for Agilent 859xA/B series spectrum analyzers, Agilent 8340/1 A/B RF signal generators, Chroma 62000P series power supplies, Agilent 34401A digital multimeters.

GradientOne_Web_Interface

Customer will benefits from data storage, organization, search, reporting, collaboration, signal replay, etc… through the interface.

  • API to work with any existing test script to support sending test data and instrument configuration to GradientOne cloud as well as retrieve the data/configuration.

The HTTP(S) & JSON API is useful to add instruments not yet supported by the Web UI, and for customers who want to keep using their existing instrument scripts but securely (OAuth 2.0 authenticate) store and retrieve data from GradientOne cloud.

The promo video below quickly shows some of the features of GradientOne service.

The company also offer on-site or online (Google Hangouts) live demos to interested companies. More details can be found on GradientOne website.

Using USB123 USBee AX Pro $5 USB Logic Analyzer with PulseView in Linux

September 27th, 2015 11 comments

I recently wrote about an ultra low cost USB logic analyzer called USB123 USBee AX Pro, which I bought for $9.58 on DX, but I was later informed it also goes for $5.44 on Aliexpress including free shipping to most countries, and a few dollars extra for shipping to some other countries. Nevertheless, I’ve now received it, and instead of testing it with a closed source (and cracked) Windows software, I installed and ran PulseView open source graphical interface for sigrok, which I previously tested on UNI-T UT61E digital multimeter.

USB123_USBee_AX_ProThe package includes USBee AX PRO mini logic analyzer, 10 dupont wires for 8 channels (digital only) and 2 ground pins, as well as a mini USB to USB cable for connection to a computer.

The instructions to use the logic analyzer can be found on Sigrok Wiki. My computer runs Ubuntu 14.04, but Sigrok and PulseView can also be installed on other Linux distributions, as well as Windows, Mac OS, FreeBSD, and Android.

If you are using Ubuntu 15.04 or greater, you can simply install pulseview as follows:

However with Ubuntu 14.04 and earlier, you’ll either have to build Sigrok and PulseView from source, or much easier use sigrok PPA:

USBee AX PRO device relies on FX2 logic analyzer firmware, which is not installed by default, so you’ll also need to install it either from the ppa

or source @ http://sigrok.org/download/source/sigrok-firmware-fx2lafw/:

You can now connect the logic analyzer to one of your computer USB port, and start PulseView by typing pulseview in a terminal (where you’ll get some output in case of issues).

The program will start with a “Demo Device” by default, so you’ll need to click on File->Connect to Device in the top menu, select fx2lafw (generic driver for FX2 based LAs) (fx2lafw), and finally Scan for Devices.

USB123_USBee_AX_Logic_Analyzer_Sigrok
CWAV USBee AX with 8 channels should appear in the list of device and you can click OK.

The logic analyzer only works up to 24MHz, so you would not be able to use it to debug DRAM for example, but for low speed interface such as I2C, SPI or UART it should do the job. For testing purpose, I created a small board to capture UART console data from Orange Pi 2 mini while still having access to the serial console on a computer.

Orange_Pi_2_mini_logic_analyzerI used my main computer, but I could also have used the Orange Pi board to have a complete logic analyzer system for less than $30…

I just plan to run “ls” an capture the output. Since the UART speed is 115000 baud, 500 kHz capture would be enough, and I selected 1 million samples for capture for 2 seconds. 8 channels will show up at the beginning, but I disabled channels 2 to 7 for clarity.

Sigrok_UART_Capture

Click to Enlarge

We can see the captured data after I typed ls. Somehow, there’s nothing on the UART TX… I also enabled and configured the UART decoder (Decoders->UART) to analyze the data. Clicking on the red UART icon will popup the configuration window, where you can assign the relevant channels to TX and RX, configure the UART connection, and define how you want the data to be decoded (ascii, dec, hex…)

Pulseview_UART_configuration

Click to Enlarge

Then I verified that file names – generated by ls command – were indeed captured, and zoomed in the last part of the captured data, which correctly shows the command prompt: [email protected]:~$.

Pulseview_UART_Decoding

Click to Enlarge

Zooming further shows the binary representation of data, as well as the start (S) and stop (T) bits.

Pulseview_UART_Binary

Click to Enlarge

Not bad for a $5 device, and neat features for PulseView and Sigrok open source software.

LA1016, LA2016, and LA5016 Logic Analyzers Cost as Low as $75

December 30th, 2014 9 comments

I remember 10+ years ago, when my managers argued whether buying a logic analyzer, because some of its functions could be done by an oscilloscope, and logic analyzers were selling for a few thousands dollars at the time. Fast forward to 2014, it’s now possible to acquire lower end logic analyzers that connect to a PC for as low as $75 thanks to products such as LA1016, LA2016, and LA5016, all supports 16-channels and respectively 100, 200 and 500 Mbps sampling rate.

LA5016_Logic_AnalyzerKey features and specifications:

  • Input channels – 16
  • Max Sampling Rate: LA1016: 100M; LA2016: 200M; LA5026: 500M
  • Measurement Bandwidth – LA1016: 20M; LA2016: 40M; LA5016: 80M
  • Min pulse width – LA1016: 20ns; LA2016: 12.5ns; LA5016: 6.25ns
  • Hardware memory size – LA1016/LA2016: 1Gbits; LA5016: 512Mbits
  • Hardware sampling depth – LA1016/LA2016: 50M/channel; LA5016: 32M/channel
  • Max compressed depth – LA1016/LA2016: 10G/channel; LA5016: 5G/channel
  • Input voltage range – -50V ~ +50V
  • Input impedance – 220KΩ, 12pF
  • Threshold voltage
    • LA1016/LA2016: low level < 0.8V, high level > 1.6V
    • LA5016: low level < 1.0V, high level > 2.0V
  • PWM
    • LA1016/LA2016 – 2 Channels;  0.1 ~ 20MHz;  frequency adjust step: 10ns; pulse width adjust step: 5ns;  output voltage: +3.3V; output impedance: 50Ω
    • LA5016 – 2 Channels;  0.1 ~ 12.5MHz;  frequency adjust step: 8ns; pulse width adjust step: 8ns;  output voltage: +3.3V; output impedance: 50Ω
  • Standby current – LA1016: 130mA; LA2016: 150mA; LA5016: 300mA
  • Max operating current- LA1016: 260mA; LA2016: 300mA; LA5016: 550 mA
  • PC Connection – USB 2.0/3.0 compatible
  • Dimensions
    • LA1016/LA2016 – 95mm x 55mm x 23mm
    • LA5016 – 117mm x 79mm x 24mm

 

Windows XP/Vista/7/8 software and user guides (English and Chinese) can be downloaded here, Jiankun Virtual Instruments Suite can decode UART (RS-232/485/422), I2C, SPI, CAN, DMX512, HDMI CEC, I2S/PCM, JTAG, LIN, Manchester, Modbus, 1-Wire, Simple Parallel, PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse, UNI/O, and USB1.1 protocols

Jiankun Software (Click to Enlarge)

Jiankun Software (Click to Enlarge)

A protocol SDK is also available so that you can write you own program to interface with LAx016 logic analyzers.

I first got tipped about these three logic analyzers by CoreWind pointing me to UUtools website selling the tools for $99 to $199, but after a quick search I found out these were also sold on SeeedStudio for $75 to $168, and further research led me to “Kingst  Instruments and Meter Store” on Aliexpress which sells LA1016 for an ultra low $44.10 including shipping. {Update: As mentioned in comments, the $44 logic analyzer is not LA1016, but another lower cost version without PWM. LA1016 sells for $80 on that shop]. The picture of LA1016 board shows it’s based on an Altera Cyclone IV FPGA, combined with a Cypress chip for USB communication.

LA1016_Logic_Analyzer_PCBA

Kingst could be the maker of the logic analyzer, as the SDK, software and documentation download links point to kingst.org website, which ends up being a forum in Chinese only, and related to these products, and some other electronic lab tools. It looks like LA1016 may have been available at least for one or two years, but I could not find reviews on the web.