T7, Raspberry Pi 3, and Cloud9

Raspberry Pi 3, LCD Screen, and LabJack T7

Combining the processing power from today's latest single board computers with LabJack's DAQ devices allow for some really cool projects. The T7's built-in Lua Scripting feature allows for the T7/T7-Pro to operate as a stand alone device however sometimes projects require more processing power. The Raspberry Pi 3 has a quad core ARMv8 CPU, WiFi, Ethernet, and Bluetooth 4.1 however it is missing industrial strength, precision, calibrated analog inputs which you get when you connect a T7. This tutorial will hopefully help some of our customers get started with the Raspberry Pi and the T7 as well as introduce existing Raspberry Pi users to the idea of using Cloud9 as a remote IDE that is introduced by the BeagleBone Black. Developing directly on a Raspberry Pi can sometimes be slow as you don't have access to modern web-browsers and it usually takes up one of your monitors. With Cloud9 running locally on the Raspberry Pi you can simply navigate to the device's IP address and code away!

To learn more, please continue to the full App-Note: T7, Raspberry Pi 3, and Cloud9.

LJM Processing Examples

With the help of one of our customers, LabJack now has Processing examples for the LJM library that use a T7.

Processing is a high-level programming language designed to help students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists create visually appealing drawings, illustrations, and applications.  It is a cross-platform application which pairs well with LJM, allowing examples written in Processing to run on Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, and even the Raspberry Pi.  A .zip file containing the LJM Processing examples can be found on the Processing Example Code/Wrappers page.  A screen shot of the example program running on Windows is below:

T7 DAQ via LJM and Processing

Windows - Example LabJack Installer

If you have an application that incorporates LJM-supported devices and you want to deploy to Windows machines, LabJack now has an example installer that you can use with minimal changes:

https://github.com/labjack/windows_example_installer

By modifying windows_example_installer, you can easily create your own installer, whether it's for internal or external use. The GitHub link above has all the technical details, so start reading to begin.

Screen Casting and Lua Script Tutorials

LabJack has always wanted to look into making short video tutorials to educate our customers with using our devices. These are the first of our tutorial videos, you can also watch the videos on YouTube.

Please send us an e-mail to [email protected] if you like this idea, found the videos to be helpful, or if you want us to make more of these videos. Any constructive criticism is welcome.

Kipling 3.1

We are pleased to announce that we are releasing Kiplingv3.1 featuring:

  • Improved start time and splash screen
  • Improved Device Selector
  • Improved Module Navigation
  • MUCH better error handling and reporting
  • Improved register matrix that now remembers the registers you have selected.
  • Improved lua script editing that remembers what script you last had open.
  • New project repository

Splash Screen

Kipling now starts a lot faster and has a responsive splash screen!

Improved Device Selector

It is now easier and faster to open multiple devices. You don't have to wait for a device to finish being opened to be able to open a second device.

Improved Module Sidebar

It is now easier to transition from selecting devices to controlling devices. After selecting a device modules show up instantly.

Improved Error Handling

Kipling handles and displays device errors by displaying them in the upper right corner of the screen making them much easier and less intrusive.

More Error Handling

Because of error-handling improvements devices can be disconnected and reconnected with out locking up/freezing the program! Yay! This is great news to our WiFi customers that have connectivity issues.

Register Matrix Improvements

The register matrix is an important module because it pretty much exposes all of the device's features. It is now easier to search for registers, add/remove them, and edit them. When editing registers that report an IP address the 32bit integer gets automatically converted into an IP address string! More importantly, you can navigate away from the register matrix and when you come back your selected registers will still be there.

Lua Scripting

Developing lua scripts for the T7/T7-Pro is much easier than before. There updated examples, the editor & console stay "fit" to your screen size, and thanks to the error-handling improvements as well as T7 firmware improvements lua script errors that once plagued kipling are no longer there.

T7 in a stirling engine dynamometer

This is a good example of how LabJack devices are used in the wild. Martin Beck, an engineer working with VE Engineers in Germany, employed the T7-PRO for data acquisition within a dynamometer. The dynamometer is used to measure the output from a stirling engine.

Signals Acquired

  • Eight (8) temperatures through Type K Themocouples. Directly connected to T7-PRO´s CB37 board without further amplification. Sample rate = 1 Hz. CJ compensation via LM34CAZ.
  • Torque, ±50 Nm. Output of torque-gauge ±10V. Directly connected to LabJack T7-PRO. Sample rate = 1 kHz.
  • Absolute internal pressure, 0-20 bar abs. Output of pressure-transducer 0-10V. Directly connected to LabJack. Sample rate = 1 kHz.
  • Crankshaft angle and velocity. Incremental encoder with quadrature output. 360 tics per rev max. 36 kEdges per sec. Directly connected to LabJack. Counter is quadrature-counter. Sampling of Counter-value with 1 kHz. Resetting of counter through inductive initiator.

T7-PRO in the dyno electronics enclosure

A view of the electronics enclosure on the side of the engine/dyno.

LabJack and educational programs

LabJack recently donated a few U3s to Stern MASS High School in LA, California, and their setup is a good example of how data acquisition hardware can be used in the classroom. Professor Peter Halverson organized a wonderful electronics lab for his STEM students, which they use to learn about programming, hard-core electrical engineering, and realistic scientific experimentation.

U3 experimentation fixtures on desks

16 experimentation setups, so students form pairs of 2 for the projects.

New Java LJUD Wrapper and Examples for the Windows UD Library

Now available for download is the new Java LJUD wrapper and examples for the Windows UD library (LabJack U3, U6 and UE9 driver). Using JNA it provides 32 and 64-bit Java support. This replaces the old Java LJUD wrapper which used a JNI dll and only supported 32-bit Java. For full details refer to the Java LJUD download's README.txt file.

Here is a simple code demonstration to read the voltage from AIN1 on the U6 ...

SD Utility (Beta)

Here is a beta SD card utility that some customers using the T7's microSD card might find useful.  It works best with firmware v1.0150 or greater.  Windows only.

When you select a device with a working SD card, it will show the files on the SD card in the file selection area.  Click on a file to get a preview (puts file contents into program memory), and then click download to copy the file over to your computer's hard drive (brings up file browsing interface). If you select multiple files, it will download all the files at once.  At the time of this post, Lua scripts can only create files in the root directory.

Improvements to Digit Firmware and Software

We released new firmware and software for the Digit-TL/H series data loggers which has some nice improvements.

  1. New zoom tools. Starting in Otero version 1.53, there is a tool which enables zoom selection, zoom in on point, zoom extent, and a few other options to help users view their data.
  2. Starting in firmware version 1.21, the Digit-TL/H recovers from replacing the battery, without having to re-connect it to the computer to begin a new logging session.  When the new battery is inserted, firmware will remember where it left off, and continue logging data.  The downloaded data will contain a flag indicating when the power failure occurred. You can see this feature in action if you set the log interval to 10s, let it log a few data points, then un-plug the battery for a minute or two, and plug the battery back in, and then download the data.
  3. Non-critical settings are auto-saved. That is, it's not necessary to begin a new logging session when only settings such as the Device Name are changed.

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