Author Topic: Oscilloscope, Signal Gen, Power Supply, Protocol Analyzer & Multimeter for $25!  (Read 6080 times)

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Offline Esposch T. Tapir

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This is EEVBlog, so I'll keep the bullshit to a minimum.

I'm a freshly graduated Electrical Engineer and this what I've been spending the last year and a bit working on:
https://www.crowdsupply.com/espotek/labrador

It is basically a whole lab on one board: scope, signal gen, power supply, bus sniffer, multimeter.  Everything.
What separates it from existing products is the cost.  It's only $25, and this includes postage worldwide (I refused to have one postage cost for the US and one for everyone else).
It's also extremely small, 100% open-source and the software is *really* nice to use.  A video will be coming soon that shows off the software.

The specs are fairly basic compared to something like an Analog Discovery or a "traditional" lab setup -  but it's good enough for your average maker/student while being cheap enough to get people into real electronics.  I went over the units from my degree and most of the experiments could be performed with Labrador.  High voltage and high frequency were a killer.

I'm extremely proud of my project and genuinely believe that it has the potential to bring proper, practical electronics understanding to the maker community and encourage kids to pursue electrical engineering.
Currently I'm 40% funded (out of a $9000 target) and have yet to contact any media outlet.

Would love to hear some feedback from you guys.

~Chris
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 09:53:21 am by Esposch T. Tapir »
Bachelor of Engineering (ECSE) with Honours.
Every time I write a line of code or build a circuit I am reminded that, in the grand scheme of things, I know bugger all.
 

Offline edy

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Nice project! I have this right now, which I'm sure you've heard about:

http://www.gabotronics.com/development-boards/xmega-xprotolab.htm

The XProtolab has a few similar functions, but comes with a display although you can get USB out and use their PC software also. It's more expensive though, at $49. But you can now also get the display-less version which is used only with PC for $20:

http://www.gabotronics.com/oscilloscopes/xprotolab-plain.htm

Can you look at these and give some of the differences and similarities? I notice the Labrador has power supply options, and also better logic analyzer. Nice work! I also give you a big  :-+ for making it all open source!
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 09:06:47 pm by edy »
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Offline ferrix

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Your comparison chart doesn't seem to include your Labrador.  Unless you maybe called it "TinyLab" in the chart, but nowhere else on the page?

Confusing.

Also: scope can't measure 3.3v signals?
 

Offline Esposch T. Tapir

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Your comparison chart doesn't seem to include your Labrador.  Unless you maybe called it "TinyLab" in the chart, but nowhere else on the page?

Confusing.

Also: scope can't measure 3.3v signals?

Wow, that's a typo and a half.  TinyLab was the old name of the project.  Got changed when someone else took the name.   http://www.tinylab.cc/.  Looks like it's been fixed now.

The scope measures everything between -20V to +20V, at up to 750ksps.  Can I ask you where you got the idea that it doesn't do 3V3 from?  There are probably others in the same boat.

Can you look at these and give some of the differences and similarities? I notice the Labrador has power supply options, and also better logic analyzer. Nice work! I also give you a big  :-+ for making it all open source!

Regarding the XProtolab, Labrador is a fair bit cheaper (once you factor in postage costs, the XProtolab Plain is $35), has a nicer interface and the scope works differently.
Basically, it samples and transmits at a constant 750ksps no matter what time scale you use, whereas the XProtolab is variable.  This gives you a near-infinite sample depth, compared to XProtoLab's 256 bytes.  You can record several minutes' worth of signal without dropping a sample, and rhere's some O(1) algorithms working in the back to make sure everything runs smoothly even with huge buffers.  The interface was inspired by software like Audacity - you just scroll in and out with the mouse/arrow keys rather than fiddling with scales, offsets and timebases.  So it's actually nice to work with, even when the buffers are huge.

The signal gen's range is also much larger (essentially 0-10V with the option of AC coupling) and it's multi-channel.  Plus, as you said, the power supply is existent. 
I think the XProtolab beats me on the logic analyzer front, though.  Mine's only got 2 inputs!  Great for serial, but not so great for wide buses.
Bachelor of Engineering (ECSE) with Honours.
Every time I write a line of code or build a circuit I am reminded that, in the grand scheme of things, I know bugger all.
 

Offline ferrix

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Your comparison chart:

Labrador -> Range: 4.5V to 15V

Also you should BOLD the "Oscilliscope" and "Signal gen" headers on the left because they get lost being the same pitch as the sub-column labels.
 

Offline ferrix

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It occurs to me now that you mean that's its input power, not measurement range.  I'm an idiot.
 

Offline ez24

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Good job
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Offline bitseeker

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I see you plan to add 3.3V to the power supply. That's a good thing. Will it be a separate fixed value output or are you extending the range from 4.5V down to 3.3V (or lower)?
I TEA.
 

Offline Esposch T. Tapir

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I'm an idiot.

No, you're not.  The table is confusing and redundant - plus it was originally meant for internal use.  I think it might be easier to get rid of it.  There are a few issues with the page that could do with some fixing up.  I'll try and go over them tomorrow - but I'll need Crowd Supply to give me the ability to edit the page!

I see you plan to add 3.3V to the power supply. That's a good thing. Will it be a separate fixed value output or are you extending the range from 4.5V down to 3.3V (or lower)?

Current plan is to add a separate output, with its own OCP.
The variable power supply works by stepping up the +5V USB rail, minus a diode drop.  It's possible to step up the +3V3 rail instead, but this lowers efficiency dramatically.  On an old prototype, I used a header to switch between the two but with no luck - the rail just gets dragged down by a cap and then whole system shits a brick.
Bachelor of Engineering (ECSE) with Honours.
Every time I write a line of code or build a circuit I am reminded that, in the grand scheme of things, I know bugger all.
 

Offline coolfrost6

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I would really like to buy one but since I'm form Denmark there is a very real chance of it getting caught in customs when it's over 10$, which is a 28$ handeling fee + a 20% vat :palm:
But good luck none the less.
 

Offline cdev

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Small and cheap is a big plus. Looks like a good tool to bring along while traveling.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 



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