A couple of months ago, I made my intrepid way over to the Digilent Engineering Offices in valiant search of fresh new blog topics, and I ended up running into Keith Vogel. I had encountered Mr. Vogel’s name on enough helpful MPIDE Example Sketches in the past that I figured talking to him would likely yield some interesting information.
Spoiler Alert: I was correct!
It turns out he is working on a brand new Digilent product. Set to release this year, the Digilent OpenScope is an inexpensive oscilloscope, logic analyzer, and function generator designed for use right out of the box. Additionally, it has an SD card and WiFi so that it can run a web-server… meaning that you can take this device out of the lab directly into the field. Simply set up your mobile phone as mobile Hotspot, and you have portable, pocket-sized lab equipment.
In keeping with Digilent’s educational focus, this device is also designed to help people learn about microprocessors. The eventual goal is to have entire classes designed around the OpenScope and its uniquely accessible learning curve, illustrated below:
- Start by using it as an oscilloscope.
- Learn to read and play with the code.
- Tweak it to customize the OpenScope itself!
It is also designed so that it can be used in prototyping as a tool just as much as it can be used as a prototyping material. A user can get started right away, and then as their skills evolve, they can explore the more advanced capabilities of the OpenScope.
Additionally it is completely Open Source! All the extensive documentation will be released upon launch. The final board is even purple in color to demonstrate its dedication to the Open Source Movement.
Stay tuned for our next installment where we will delve into the more technical specifications and illustrate what one can do with this powerful piece of equipment!