EspoTek Labrador: Five Powerful Lab Instruments. One Tiny, Open Source Board

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Dec 23, 2016

Christmas Special

Hi everyone. Remember how, three weeks ago, I said I’d post an update after one week?
Well, here it is. Part of the delay was due to a late component delivery, and part due to said late component arriving halfway through major software surgery.

The good news is that the final prototype works a treat! I’m completely happy with the way it turned out - and suspect you guys will be too. Check it out in the video below.

Here is the diagram for the expansion header, as mentioned in the video (yes, I know I said I’d give a video explanation but I think an image is easier to follow).  The schematic is up on GitHub if you want to look at it in detail.  It allows an external device to read the intended output voltage from the Labrador software, then both drive the output and inject a feedback signal independently.  I’ve already prototyped a little circuit that uses the ATX +12V rail from the PC’s power supply to enable a much higher output current than Labrador on its on.  I’m sure some of you folks will be able to come up with other interesting designs too.

The software is coming along. I’ve manage to squash the last of the older “big bugs”. It no longer drops one sample per frame, and no longer requests 100% USB bandwidth (ie, it can coexist with a keyboard + mouse). However, in the process of doing this, I introduced a new “big bug” - USB desynchronisation on multi-channel devices. Two steps forward, one step back. Hopefully it doesn’t take more than a few days to squash this new one.

A note on the Android software: it’s coming (heck yeah!) but work won’t begin until the PC software is stable!  Expect a beta version to pop up around launch, but a final version might not be ready until late February.

And, as always, if you have any questions or comments, shoot me an email.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

~Chris

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Product Choices

$5

Support the maker movement!

You will be simultaneously helping the Labrador project and maker movement grow. For every $20 raised through the “Support Now” button, a Labrador board plus microUSB cable will be sent to an organisation promoting STEM education and/or the maker movement.


$29

Your very own Labrador!

You will receive a Labrador board, fully assembled with headers. All you need is your own microUSB cable and you’re ready to go! No soldering required.


$725

Class Set

25 fully assembled Labradors, 25 MicroUSB cables, 25 breadboards and a selection of components to get your students started: there will be resistors, capacitors, inductors, transistors, op-amps, 555 timers, and LEDs! Perfect for teaching a class the fundamentals of electronics.


$2,000

101 Labradors (we ran out of Dalmatians)

A huge pack of Labradors! Perfect for universities. Comes with 101 fully assembled Labradors, 101 microUSB cables, 101 solderless breadboards, and free shipping - a savings of over 40% compared to individual units. Hand these out like candy to first-year students and then watch their interest in electrical engineering grow!

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Credits

EspoTek

A new, Aussie startup created by a new, Aussie engineering graduate. Our aim is to bring technology to the world that allows everyone to create new things. Labrador is the beginning of this.


Chris Esposito

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