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

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. There 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 …

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Bagel is a Smart Bluetooth Tape Measure Compatible with Android and iOS Phones (Crowdfunding)

The tape measure is a pretty simple tool allowing you to measure length, and I assume most people will write results on a piece of paper. Battery powered Bagel tape measure changes that as it allows measurements with a string, through a wheel, or an ultrasonic sensors, store the data in its internal memory with voice to text memo, and also sends back data over Bluetooth to your smartphone. Bagel Labs tape measure specifications: Three measure modes – string (up to 3 meters), wheel (up to 10 meters), or ultrasonic sensor (0.3 to 5 meters) Storage – 32 MB flash for up to 100 measurements and voice memo (Both metric and imperial units supported) Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0 LE Audio – Microphone for voice to text recording Display – 0.96″ OLED display; 128×96 resolution USB – 1x micro USB port for charging Misc – laser pointer for ultrasonic measurement; save record, mode, reset, and power buttons; status LED Battery – …

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Google Research PRUDAQ is a 40MSPS ADC Data Acquisition (DAQ) Cape for BeagleBone Black & Green

Engineers at Google Research wanted to measure the strength of a carrier signals without having to use a bulky oscilloscope or DAQ (Data Acquisition) system,  so they looked into several makers boards to achieve this task, eventually decided to go with BeagleBone Black / Green, and created their own PRUDAQ cape capable of sampling 40 million samples per second, and open source it all. PRUDAQ cape specifications: Dual-channel simultaneously-sampled 10-bit ADC (Analog Devices AD9201) Up to 20MSPS per channel (40MSPS total) theoretical 0-2V input voltage range (DC coupled) 4:1 analog switches in front of each channel provide a total of 8 single-ended analog inputs. (See here for differential input) SMA jacks for direct access to the 2 ADC channels Flexible clock options: External input via SMA jack Internal on-board 10MHz oscillator Programmable clock from BeagleBone GPIO pins Powered via BeagleBone headers – no external power needed Fully exposed BeagleBone headers on top to connect/stack more electronics or another cape Dimensions …

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Run Android Apps in Linux with Shashlik Android Emulation Layer

There are already ways to run Android apps in Linux distributions such as Ubuntu or Debian, including the Android SDK emulator, running Android-x86 or Remix OS in a virtual machine, or using Genymotion, but those solutions are a little cumbersome to setup. Shashlik Android emulation layer aims to simplify the process of running Android apps in their own window within Linux desktop distributions. The Android apps can be started from the start up menu or dash like any Linux program. The apps are currently running inside an emulator so you actually boot a  stripped down version of Android each time you start the app, which means they’ll take a little while to start. OpenGL and graphics are all rendered on the host for better performance. In the future, the emulator (virtual machine) may be dropped, and instead Shashlik could simply become a container, which requires rewriting libbinder in userspace There are two ways to try Shashlik: Build it from source …

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BayLibre ACME Cape for BeagleBone Black Measures Power and Temperature with Sigrok

Sigrok open source signal analysis software suite had a major release last week-end with libsigrok 0.4.0, libsigrokdecode 0.4.0, sigrok-cli 0.6.0, and PulseView 0.3.0. The new version added numerous bug fixes for supported hardware such as UNI-T UT61E digital multimeter or USBee AX Pro logic analyzer, and added support for several logic analyzers, oscilloscopes, multimeters, programmable power supplies, an electronic load, an LCR meter, a scale, and one BeagleBone Black cape, namely BayLibre ACME. The ACME initiative was launched in order to get rid of the limitations of proprietary solutions, and provide an open source hardware and software multi-channel power and temperature measurements solution to the community. BayLibre ACME cape supports up to 8 probes to measure VBUS (0 to +36V), VSHUNT ( 2.5uV up to 81.92mV), CURRENT AND POWER. Three current / power probes have been developed with all featuring TI INA226 for the ADC conversion: ACME HE10 Power Probe 6-pin HE10 header with up to 6A max current, 13mΩ …

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$50 UNI-T UT61E Digital Multimeter Supports Data Logging to a Windows Computer

Since I don’t use a multimeter that often, and don’t need high precision, I bought an ultra cheap multimeter (Sunwa DT830B) locally a couple of a years ago. I normally use it for continuity testing (no beep though) for repair work / checking solder point, and some quick voltage measurement, and it works well for these simple tasks, although the lack of buzzer makes it a little inconvenient. But I discovered its limits when I tried to measure current. The 200 mA range works fine, but I started to encounter issues when switching to the 10A range, as device under tests would just start rebooting if the current draw was too high, and the manual indicates that you  “cannot measure more than 15 seconds in the 10A range”. Since I did not want to spend $100+ on a Fluke multimeter, I did some research for a better multimeter, and finally bought UNI-T UT61E digital multimeter + 9V battery for $56.27 …

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Undistract-me Sends An Alert For Time-Consuming Commands in Linux

In Linux, some commands executed in the terminal such as make, wget, dd may take a while, so usually you’d just let them run in the background, and do some other work, drink tea, go for nap… while they are running, and come to check from time to time if the command has completed. Sometimes I even forget I run a particular command, and realize it has completed a few hours ago… It’s possible to add some command at the end of your command line, but it can be cumbersome, and you may forget to do it. The best would be automatic alerts for commands that take a long time, and undistract-me just takes care of that by sending an alert for commands that take more than 10 seconds (by default). In Ubuntu 12.04 and 12.10, you can install undistract-me as follows: Undistract-me is part of Ubuntu 13.04 or greater repository, so you can just use apt-get install directly. For …

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