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)

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.

Key Advantages of T7 Lua Scripting

While running a Lua script, the T7 and T7-Pro can operate without computer involvement.  Basically, user-specified operations (feedback loops, logging, PID loops) can be conducted via on-board script, which was not possible in previous generations of LabJack hardware. Below is a screenshot of the Lua Scripting section in our free cross-platform program called Kipling.

Autonomous scripting operation is common for embedded devices like Arduino, but there are some key advantages of the T7 compared to other embedded solutions:

  • Full access to all T7 features within script: (24-bit ADC, 14 analog channels, 23 digital I/O, 10 counters, I2C, PWM, etc.)
  • If you require more I/O capability, we have a host of accessories that can be added without extra code or wiring.
  • No code is compiled on the host PC, so there is no need to setup some kind of compiler/interpreter on your system.  Simply send the Lua scripts to the T7 as a basic text file using Kipling (free, cross-platform), and the T7 returns all feedback, including print statements, compiler errors, and all other debugging information.  This debugging information is shown in Kipling in the console, all you do is click the Run button.
  • You get to write code in Lua, which can be easier to learn than C or C++.
  • The T7 can be running a script, and also responding to external requests at the same time. (multitasking)
  • There are dozens of simple examples built into Kipling, so you don't have to dig around to find example code. 

Kipling 3 Enters Public Beta

Kipling received a version number increment to put it inline with our latest (windows only) version of Kipling that is released in our main installer and is considered to be in a public beta phase. This version of Kipling may have a few bugs, however it is a big improvement to the currently distributed version of Kipling and is recommended to almost all customers using a T7/T7-Pro.

More information about Kipling and how to get the latest version can be found on the Kipling Support page.

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

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.

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).

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