Getting Started with Instrumentation

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The Digilent Wiki is the host of all demo projects, tutorials and documentation for all Digilent products. If you are looking for information on a specific product you’ll want to visit that product’s resource center. Recently we remodeled the resource center of the Analog Discovery 2, and with the introduction of the Digital Discovery repeated some important features.

Specifically we have the Getting Started Guide and Tool Walk-arounds. Today I’ll focus a little bit on the Getting Started Guides. As an example I’ll use the Digital Discovery, although you’ll also find a Getting Started Guide for the Analog Discovery 2. The link to each getting started guide is on it’s respective resource center on the Digilent Wiki.

On the landing page of the Getting Started Guide you’ll read a little bit about the device it self.

On the landing page you’ll get some background on the device.

Then you’ll scroll down and select the operating system that you are running. WaveForms 2015, the software that runs the Digital Discovery, Analog Discovery 2, and Electronics Explorer Board, is Mac, Windows and Linux compatible.

Then you’ll have to choose an operating system, Windows, Mac or Linux.

Once you select your operating page, you’ll be taken to the correct Sub-Getting Started Guide. You can see all of the steps when you get to the page, and click them to expand.

All six steps. Half of them are informational.

The first step is to check for prerequisites. In general, this will just be an internet connection.

First you’ll learn if there are prerequisites.

The next step is to download WaveForms 2015, it’s a pretty small download so it doesn’t take to long. Make sure to pay attention to the version requirement if there is one.

Then you’ll download the software.

Next you’ll install WaveForms 2015, also super quick. It took me less than 60 seconds to download and install WaveForms 2015 on my Windows machine.

Then you’ll install it.

The next step is to learn a little bit about each of the tools. Which tools you have depends on which device you have plugged in.

Then you’ll learn a little bit about the tools.

The last step is to take your first measurement. For the Digital Discovery, this involved outputting a counter on the pattern generator, and decoding the decimal values with the logic analyzer.

Then you’ll take your first measurement. In this case using the pattern generator as the output and decoding the input with the Logic Analyzer.

To view the getting started guides go to reference.digilentinc.com, click on instrumentation, and the device you have. And then click on the getting started guide link in the tutorials section.

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When I started school I wasn’t interested in any of things I’m passionate about now. In fact originally I started out wanting to study art. But then I decided I didn’t want to have people telling me what to create, so I changed to music. Then I decided I didn’t want to ruin a hobby by making it my career. At the same time my Physics class was teaching a unit on the physics of music, and I thought that was way interesting, so I changed to physics. Then by the time physics was over I decided that the coolest part of physics was electricity and magnetism, and I may as well get a degree that transfers directly into a career. So while all this was happening, I was attending Shoreline Community College, and during that time I found my passion, or rather presented itself repeatedly, until I realized, maybe I should take a hint from the universe. While at community college, I was asked to help at the high school by tutoring chemistry students. Then I was asked to help at the elementary school by being a math Olympiad coach. I continued both because I found I really enjoyed it. I also had an opportunity, and was hired to be a tutor in the Math Learning Center at the Community College, a job I really loved. At the same time I was working as a Nanny, which I had been doing for several years, the main reason because I could and would answer the hard questions the kids asked honestly (i.e. why is the sky blue). I then was recommended by the patrons of the MLC to the transfer tutoring center (private tutoring,) and developed a wait list of students. Through all these opportunities at some point I realized that I loved watching people go from totally lost, to masters of a subject. I was also forced to admit that having all these opportunities continually renewed, I must have been somewhat good at it. So I decided I wanted to teach, which fits with my mission oriented personality. I saw a serious lack of passionate ECE professors in the institutions I attended. At WSU I continued this trend by being ask to TA for computer science and electrical engineering, being a TA for a total of 4 semesters. This continued by getting an amazing opportunity in my first semester at Washington State University to work at Digilent, an educational company. So even if I didn’t want to teach, turns out I can’t avoid it. Luckily it is my main passion.

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