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Developments in LabJack software

We are continually making improvements to our software and libraries - here are some highlights from the last few months:

LJM Library

  • Added constants look-up functions LJM_LookupConstantValue and LJM_LookupConstantName. These functions allow users to quickly and programmatically identify the meaning of status codes and other device-specific information, without consulting the device datasheet.
  • Added support for output streaming. This functionality increases the maximum speed of analog waveform outputs on DAC lines, and also provides flexibility for the shape of digital waveform outputs. Currently only useful to the T7 device.
  • Improved speed of searching for LabJack hardware using the ListAll function.
  • Added handle auto-healing, which improves reliability and robustness. Basically retries communication for spurious corrupt packets.
Example Code
  • Added LJM examples for VisualBasic .NET, which can be found on the .NET examples page.
Kipling
  • Registers tagged with SPI, I2C, SBUS, EXFLASH, TDAC, LUA, and STREAM are now visible on the Misc. tab when added manually.
  • Now updates the session data when the user presses the "Refresh Device List" button.
  • A lightweight, demonstration app that uses Java and the jamod library to interface with TCP Modbus devices such as the T7. It's designed for simple R/W access to Modbus registers over Ethernet/WiFi on your Android platform. 

Otero

Digit with replaceable CR1632 battery!

The popular Digit-(TL/THL) series loggers now has a replaceable CR1632 battery! Another key improvement is the addition of a clear plastic enclosure so that light readings can operate while inside. If customers prefer the rugged aluminum enclosure, it can be purchased as an add-on item. See the Digit-TL/TLH product page for more information.

Read about the differences between harware versions in Appendix A of the datasheet. Or look at the product brief below.

Digit-TLH Product Brief

1 Year in the pond - Digit-TL reliability test

When we first started selling Digit-TL devices, we decided to stow one outside under a rock, and another in the pond to see how they'd hold up. After 6 months we downloaded the results to verify operation, and everything looked good, so we threw them back out. Now, after a full year, they're still going strong. See the data and photos below.

Each day is a small spike, and the yearly trend is shown by the overall shape of the graph. The two curves on the graph demonstrate how the water acts as a thermal buffer by regulating fluctuations in daily temperature.  If you look carefully, you can tell when there is snow covering the Digit-TL on land, because the temperature fluctuation is minimal (like the Digit-TL in the water).

T7 Fully Released: WiFi, Ethernet, USB, and a whole lot more

We are proud to announce that the T7 is ready! Many features have been in beta for some time, but now those features have been released through newer firmware.  The LabJack team has been working tirelessly to provide our customers with the most flexible platform yet. The T7-Pro has the ability to communicate over 3 different interfaces: WiFi, Ethernet and USB, and with excellent quality analog inputs, an incredibly compatible Modbus TCP interface, and a pile of different supported programming languages, most people should look no further. This device has it all:

T7 T7-Pro Low Cost USB Wifi Ethernet DAQ Device Picture

  • 14 analog inputs built-in
  • Expand to 84 analog inputs with Mux80 add-on
  • Analog input ranges: ±10V, ±1V, ±0.1V and ±0.01V
  • 16-bit high-speed ADC (up to 100k samples/s)
  • 24-bit low-speed ADC (resolution as low as 1uV noise-free)
  • 23 digital I/O
  • Watchdog system
  • Up to 10 counters
  • 2 analog outputs (12-bit, 0-5V)
  • Serial protocols: SPI, I2C, and more ...
  • Up to 8 PWM, quadrature, pulse width, and more ...
  • Directly connect thermocouples, load cells, bridges, and more ...
The software layer is fully cross-platform, and unlike our competitors, we don't force you into a specific programming language. Choose from a wide selection of example code, or use our free stand-alone apps for simple data acquisition needs.
Check it out on the T7 homepage.
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Bobcat & Tube

Great video filmed Sunday morning outside the kitchen of a LabJacker's house ... just about a mile from the LabJack office in Lakewood, CO.

A rabbit has been living in this tube (drain pipe) for the last couple weeks.  Sunday morning our local bobcat found it and spent a full hour trying to get at the rabbit before he finally gave up.

 

 

 

 

Custom PC Water Cooling

"Performance of the computer is somewhat secondary to the performance of my cooling system."

This Goliath PC cooling setup runs on a complex network of piping, refrigeration, water tanks, and wiring.  The chiller and chiller tank pumps are controlled by hand and the rest is controlled with the U3-LV's and DaqFactory.  It was designed and built by a customer in Ontario, Canada.  Expand the post for more information on the setup, and details on how it was built.

 

Digit-TL is now available

Have an urge to measure the temperature in your refrigerator, attic, or car?  The Digit-TL might be just what you need.  LabJack is proud to announce the arrival of a new family of data loggers, the Digit Series.  

A LabJack Digit-TL is a battery powered temperature logger which can store up to 260,000 readings, and has a battery life of 3 years.  Record data in a wide variety of applications, and download (to .csv) over USB to a Windows based computer using the free Otero software.

Holiday TurDuckEn!

It's a Chicken inside of a Duck, inside of a Turkey! In terms of LabJack projects, this goes a bit off the beaten path.  One of our employees demonstrates his skills as a chef while also testing out a prototype of our new Digit series logging device.  Inspired by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, from The Food Lab at Serious Eats.  The Food Lab is an intersection of science and food.  A great source for geeks who like to cook!

 

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Treadmill Desk

My work time is almost all at the computer.  I've noticed that if I spend all day sitting and working at a computer, I wind up feeling lethargic with strange aches and pains.  Not only am I not making any fitness progress, but I actually feel like sitting is causing damage.

After hearing many experts say that sitting for a long time is bad, I decided I should look at a stand-up desk.  As I researched the stand-up desk, I came across information about treadmill desks, and decided that was even more interesting.  If I wound up not liking walking while computing, I could always just stand at the treadmill desk.

Well, it turns out that walking is way better than standing.  When I stand and compute for long I find that I slouch, lean on things, and generally think about the fact that I am standing.  When I walk and compute I forget I am walking.  My body is busy and walking keeps it in a good posture without thinking about it.

I generally walk at 2.0 mph.  I have no problem with typing, programming, and other computer stuff.  Even the fairly intensive mouse operations of LabVIEW programming are no problem.  It is difficult to write on a piece of paper on the desk while walking, but I don't do much of that.

Things slow down a bit at LabJack around Christmas, so I took the time then to research and build my treadmill desk.  I looked at $1500 motorized desks that move up and down, a $550 TrekDesk treadmill desk from Amazon, and various homemade options at instructables.com.  The motorized desk was too expensive and still needed something to get a monitor up at the proper height.  The TrekDesk had some reviews saying it wiggled and still needed something to get a monitor up at the proper height.  Once I saw some of the things people had done at instructables.com, I realized the key was separating the base from the rest of the treadmill, and building a setup with that in mind.  I wound up using cheap and simple track shelving from Home Depot.  It is very sturdy and lets me put everything at the perfect height.

 

I bought a 1 year old ...

LabJack and the new Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a single board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools.  The board packs a lot of features, including 700 MHz processor, VideoCore IV GPU and 256 MB of RAM, and only costs $25 USD.  

So can it run a LabJack? Absolutely! In a recent forum post an enterprising customer connected a Raspberry Pi to a LabJack U3-HV, and got a simple Python script running.  

They are being sold by a few different retailers, but expect delays; LabJack just put an order in, and our source is projecting a 5 month lead time.

See the full topic here: http://forums.labjack.com/index.php?showtopic=5802

More information on the Raspberry Pi can be found on their home page: http://www.raspberrypi.org/