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ANN: Open Instrumentation Project

Discussion in 'Electronic Equipment' started by Peter Hiscocks, Aug 26, 2006.

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  1. This announces the Open Instrumentation Project (OIP), which has been formed
    to support open-source software and low cost hardware for electronic

    The objective is to make electronic instrumentation readily accessible to
    students, hobbiests, engineers and scientists. This then allows independent
    circuit development and project-based learning in electronics.

    Three instruments have been completed:

    - dual channel, 20MSample/sec oscilloscope
    - 100kHz waveform generator
    - low-frequency vector-network analyser

    Screen shots and the software for these instruments are available from
    sourceforge at:

    The software is licensed under the GPL.

    Low-cost hardware using this software is available from Syscomp Electronic

    The software uses the Tcl/Tk language without extensions, which makes it
    simple to install and maintain. The current cross-platform implementation
    runs under Windows and Linux operating systems. We are currently testing the
    Mac OS-X version.

    Tcl/Tk is a scripting language that is interpreted text. It is simple for
    non-experts to add features to the graphical user interface.

    The hardware uses the USB interface with drivers and hardware that emulate a
    high-speed serial port, which simplifies programming. No USB programming is
    required. The Windows and Mac drivers are available from FTDI at

    Linux drivers are available in the Linux kernel from version 2.4 onward.

    The current releases of software provide basic features for the instruments,
    but there are many that could be added. For example, the oscilloscope would
    benefit from 'waveform math' commands. The waveform generator could be
    configured as an audio sweep generator. Contributions are welcome and will
    be shared with the user community.

    Peter D. Hiscocks
    Professor Emeritus, Ryerson University
    Phone: 647-839-0325
    Academic URL:
    Business URL: Syscomp Electronic Design Limited
    (USB Oscilloscope and Generator)
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