PropScope?

RichKRichK Posts: 54
edited 2009-10-01 - 14:54:54 in Propeller 1
Greetings,
Any new info on this product? A message from November or so said first quarter, that's done now. Any idea on cost?

I know it is built using ViewPort as a front end. Will the ViewPort be complete and usable as a standalone tool or only with the PropScope hardware? In other words, will I need a separate copy to use it for debugging?

Thanks.
Rich.
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Comments

  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 6,441
    edited 2009-04-09 - 15:11:19
    Hey Rich,

    Tomorrow we are having a meeting with Hanno (ViewPort), Thomas (PCB designer), David (hardware designer) and Lauren (Marketing) at Parallax. We have a prototype under test and tomorrow we will know far more about being ready for production. Hanno will need to answer the ViewPort question, but I am fairly certain we've got one version for both debugging and PropScope.

    Ken Gracey
  • TJHJTJHJ Posts: 243
    edited 2009-04-09 - 15:14:18
    Not revlent due to Ken's post. Damn 1 min.

    TJ

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    I owe everyone here a bunch, So thanks again for answering my dumb questions.
    Projects. RG500 ECU system. PropCopter. Prop CanSat. Prop Paste Gun.
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  • HannoHanno Posts: 1,130
    edited 2009-04-09 - 20:29:27
    Greetings!
    I'm excited to meet with Parallax tomorrow and complete the PropScope. It'll be a fantastic product for education, hobbyists, and engineers. It combines the flexibility and speed of the Propeller with the manufacturing expertise of Parallax and the functionality of ViewPort. The firmware on the Propeller and the application running on the PC are both based on ViewPort. Plugins built for either ViewPort or PropScope with the Developer's Kit should work in both.

    However, ViewPort and PropScope are different products.

    Purchasing ViewPort let's you develop and debug powerful embedded system applications by monitoring and changing variables in a live program, monitoring the IO pins at high speeds, adding intelligence with fuzzy logic, adding vision with the Propeller-based frame grabber and simple computer vision, and using the OpenCV based library. Also, don't forget the fully integrated spin debugger with profiler, call stack, breakpoint, terminal, and interpreter. And even more amazing stuff coming soon...Check it out here...

    Purchasing PropScope gets you a powerful instrument to measure and generate electronic signals. It combines many instruments found in a typical electronic lab in a sexy piece of USB hardware and very capable software. The pc-based software included with PropScope can only communicate with the PropScope- it can not be used to develop/debug other Propeller applications.

    Of course, you can purchase both- and even run them at the same time.

    Hanno
    Professional IDE to edit, debug, and run SPIN, PropBasic and C: ViewPort
    Visual programming language: 12Blocks
    Multi-function Oscilloscope/LSA/Function Generator: PropScope
    500 page book of Propeller Projects:Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller
    Blog:http://onerobot.org/blog
  • RichKRichK Posts: 54
    edited 2009-04-09 - 20:52:10
    Hanno, TJ and Ken,

    Thanks for the info. Some of the docs made it seem like ViewPort would support the scope itself. It's just the front end mostly and using the collection capability to display data collected by the prop located in the scope hardware. How well do the two of them work when they are hanging off the same USB hub? Stable enough?

    Now I just have to collect enough pennies to get this stuff and a little better PC to run it on. Then sneak it in the house without anyone seeing. And kick a kid out so I can have a better work room.

    Rich.
  • HannoHanno Posts: 1,130
    edited 2009-04-09 - 21:22:52
    Hi Rich!
    A good way to think about it is that I've developed a library of robotic/embedded system/instrumentation objects for the propeller and the pc. I then built 2 separate products using that library- the software for the PropScope (including the firmware running on the Propeller) and ViewPort.

    Think of PropScope as a measurement instrument (it's a replacement for the existing Parallax USBscope). You plug it into a USB slot, install the software and you're set. No code to compile, nothing to solder. (That having been said, the PropScope hardware is expandable through an extension bus- more on that later...)

    Hanno
    ps- No need to kick a kid out, the PropScope is quite small and can replace several of your existing devices: Oscilloscope, Logic Analyzer, Function Generator, XY, and Spectrum Analyzer. So, you could even get another kid!
    Professional IDE to edit, debug, and run SPIN, PropBasic and C: ViewPort
    Visual programming language: 12Blocks
    Multi-function Oscilloscope/LSA/Function Generator: PropScope
    500 page book of Propeller Projects:Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller
    Blog:http://onerobot.org/blog
  • briankbbriankb Posts: 15
    edited 2009-04-09 - 21:42:21
    If you already own a version of ViewPort, say Ultimate, will you be able to just purchase the hardware portion of the PropScope solution and save the cost of the software?

    I would like to go ahead and purchase ViewPort Ultimate but I'm hesitant to do that when the PropScope will be released soon.

    Will the PropScope be sold in multiple versions?
  • HannoHanno Posts: 1,130
    edited 2009-04-09 - 22:13:35
    Hi Brian,
    If you haven't already, try out the free 30 day trial of ViewPort- there's a lot to explore! Download it here
    The PropScope product is stand-alone, it doesn't depend on you having bought other items and it doesn't integrate with other products like ViewPort.
    ViewPort and PropScope share a common library, but are not the same product. A "full" license of ViewPort is NOT included when you buy PropScope.
    Hanno
    Professional IDE to edit, debug, and run SPIN, PropBasic and C: ViewPort
    Visual programming language: 12Blocks
    Multi-function Oscilloscope/LSA/Function Generator: PropScope
    500 page book of Propeller Projects:Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller
    Blog:http://onerobot.org/blog
  • RichKRichK Posts: 54
    edited 2009-04-10 - 13:44:10
    Hanno,
    But I want the kid out. Then I can setup a decent work area.

    I will need to upgrade the PC though. Sounds like I need more monitor real estate.

    Rich.
  • HannoHanno Posts: 1,130
    edited 2009-04-10 - 15:12:00
    Rich,
    I'm still at the cute stage with my kids: ages 3 and 4 [noparse]:)[/noparse]
    Hanno
    Professional IDE to edit, debug, and run SPIN, PropBasic and C: ViewPort
    Visual programming language: 12Blocks
    Multi-function Oscilloscope/LSA/Function Generator: PropScope
    500 page book of Propeller Projects:Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller
    Blog:http://onerobot.org/blog
  • Paul Sr.Paul Sr. Posts: 435
    edited 2009-04-10 - 16:25:26
    Hanno said...
    Greetings!
    I'm excited to meet with Parallax tomorrow and complete the PropScope. It'll be a fantastic product for education, hobbyists, and engineers. It combines the flexibility and speed of the Propeller with the manufacturing expertise of Parallax and the functionality of ViewPort. The firmware on the Propeller and the application running on the PC are both based on ViewPort. Plugins built for either ViewPort or PropScope with the Developer's Kit should work in both.

    However, ViewPort and PropScope are different products.

    Purchasing ViewPort let's you develop and debug powerful embedded system applications by monitoring and changing variables in a live program, monitoring the IO pins at high speeds, adding intelligence with fuzzy logic, adding vision with the Propeller-based frame grabber and simple computer vision, and using the OpenCV based library. Also, don't forget the fully integrated spin debugger with profiler, call stack, breakpoint, terminal, and interpreter. And even more amazing stuff coming soon...Check it out here...

    Purchasing PropScope gets you a powerful instrument to measure and generate electronic signals. It combines many instruments found in a typical electronic lab in a sexy piece of USB hardware and very capable software. The pc-based software included with PropScope can only communicate with the PropScope- it can not be used to develop/debug other Propeller applications.

    Of course, you can purchase both- and even run them at the same time.

    Hanno

    So this would seem to negate Ken's response to RichK "..but I am fairly certain we've got one version for both debugging and PropScope. ", correct? It looks like you are saying that one would need to purchase Viewport AND PropScope to get Debugging AND Scope capabilities.
  • RichKRichK Posts: 54
    edited 2009-04-10 - 16:35:19
    Paul,
    That's the way I understand it. Buy 2 different tools, they really are for two different purposes.

    Hanno,

    Now. Any results from that thar meeting today? Release schedule? Cost? Inquiring minds wants to know.

    Rich.
  • russ christensenruss christensen Posts: 84
    edited 2009-04-10 - 17:14:04
    They never said what time the meeting was. Let the deliberation take place in peace. [noparse]:)[/noparse] I have no fear that they'll tell us as soon as anything is finalized. [noparse]:)[/noparse]
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 6,441
    edited 2009-04-11 - 14:32:56
    Hey guys,

    Here's an update from our meeting.

    The key design issue we're still dealing with is some signal noise around the op-amps and A/D. We're working through those issues now, but the core design is sound and complete. Hanno is visiting the USA for a month so we have limited time to actually finish the design. We expect to resolve the remaining design issues within two weeks.

    Other data, in no particular order:

    - Target price is $199
    - Includes BNC with two 1x/10x probes
    - small design in metal enclosure
    - release as soon as production permits (likely July/August to be realistic)

    There's much more, but David Carrier is the product owner within Parallax so if he reads this thread he may add in more information.

    Ken Gracey
  • HannoHanno Posts: 1,130
    edited 2009-04-11 - 15:50:47
    I'm really excited!
    PropScope is going to be awesome! Parallax is doing a tremendous job at producing a high quality, very professional product. Lots of attention to detail. The metal case is beautiful, the electronics well thought out, and it'll include everything you need. I'll let David fill in the detail. Great job everyone!
    Hanno
    Professional IDE to edit, debug, and run SPIN, PropBasic and C: ViewPort
    Visual programming language: 12Blocks
    Multi-function Oscilloscope/LSA/Function Generator: PropScope
    500 page book of Propeller Projects:Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller
    Blog:http://onerobot.org/blog
  • RichKRichK Posts: 54
    edited 2009-04-11 - 16:29:21
    Ken & Hanno,

    That's great news! Can't wait.

    So it will be more or less equivalent to this one: http://www.bitscope.com/product/BS100/

    Thanks again.
    Rich.
  • T'SaavikT'Saavik Posts: 60
    edited 2009-04-13 - 16:24:32
    Sounds great! And very inexpensive!

    If you happen to see him in the halls can you give David Carrier a gentle push towards the forums for us, would love more details, even if they are subject to change.

    Max bandwidth (single channel and dual)?
    Sample rate?
    Input Voltage range?
    Resolution?

    Anything else he can think of tongue.gif

    I know some of these values were tossed around on the OTHER Propscope thread, but my impression was this was pre-development, and i know how these things can change.
  • David CarrierDavid Carrier Posts: 288
    edited 2009-04-13 - 18:04:11
    T'Saavik,

    The design, as it stands now, has a 10-bit ADC that we we are clocking at 20 Msps (Mega-samples per second). The lowest speed amplifier in the input chain has a typical -3dB bandwidth of 110 MHz. This means that when an input signal of 110 MHz has an amplitude of, for example, 2 V p-p (peak to peak), the output signal will be 1 V p-p. Since the ADC will be sampling at 20 Msps, a 2 MHz sine wave would be quite clear, a 4MHz sine wave would be somewhat discernible, and with anything higher than that you would be able to tell it is a wave, but it would be difficult to determine what type of wave. Anything above 10 MHz is over the Nyquist cut-off and what the ADC reads is not guaranteed to have any relationship to the input signal. Over the usable frequency range, the input stage will provide almost indiscernible losses. We still haven't locked down the the voltage range, but it will probably max out between 30 and 60 V p-p. Our current resolution is to the nearest 20 mV, but we are working to make it even better. There will also be an expansion port with options for an LSA and an 8-bit DAC, among other features. The LSA will be able to sample as quickly as the ADC, and the DAC will be able to output as fast as the Propeller can handle. (Theoretically up to 128 Msps, and Chip has it working at 160 Msps, but we may have a low-pass filter to block out the high frequency noise generated when transitioning form one sample to the next.)

    -- David Carrier
  • T'SaavikT'Saavik Posts: 60
    edited 2009-04-15 - 22:05:28
    Thanks for the details! If I'm reading this correctly, would the propscope be equivalent to a traditional 20mhz scope then?
  • HannoHanno Posts: 1,130
    edited 2009-04-15 - 23:36:07
    The PropScope is incredibly versatile thanks to the Propeller hardware and PropScope software.
    Besides the Oscilloscope mode with easy to use triggers, automatic measurements, and cursors, PropScope also has a logic analyzer, spectrum analyzer, xy mode and function generator. From an easy to use interface you'll be able to output square waves up to 160MHz and arbitrary waveforms at slower speeds. That means you can capture a signal in one location, analyze it, save it to matlab/xls to manipulate it, transfer it as a file, and play it back on another PropScope anywhere else in the world. As Dave answered above, each of the 2 channels analog channels is sampled at 20msps continuously while another cog evaluates whether a trigger condition has been met.
    Professional IDE to edit, debug, and run SPIN, PropBasic and C: ViewPort
    Visual programming language: 12Blocks
    Multi-function Oscilloscope/LSA/Function Generator: PropScope
    500 page book of Propeller Projects:Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller
    Blog:http://onerobot.org/blog
  • nutsonnutson Posts: 240
    edited 2009-04-16 - 07:53:55
    For me a product like propscope would be attractive, if the (propeller based) front end is open for extension, both hardware and software wise. The front end could be used to acquire signals from different sources, with a common protocol for communication with the PC application, that performs GUI and display functions. NI Labview on the prop?

    Nico Hattink
  • HannoHanno Posts: 1,130
    edited 2009-04-16 - 14:35:34
    Hi Nico,
    The PropScope has an extension bus that's designed to easily let you extend the hardware. The PropScope software is built on proven ViewPort firmware and software. Take a look at the ViewPort Development Kit to see how you can currently fully customize ViewPort. ViewPort's architecture resembles that of the web browser you're viewing this with. Information is presented in "views" that are defined by xml files. You can edit them by hand (it's readable like html files) or use ViewPort's Designer mode to drag and drop items around and configure their lookout and behavior. ViewPort comes with all sorts of widgets: dials, tabs, sliders- but also dso, spectrum, lsa viewers. The development kit let's you program your own widgets. All widgets are built with the development kit. Some that I recently added are the Spin Debugger and OpenCV computer vision. I'm now working on a widget for Nvidia's PhysX Engine A plugin architecture let's you easily share your "view" with others and a flexible license key makes it possible to charge for your work. ViewPort plugins will work in PropScope and vice versa.
    Hanno
    Professional IDE to edit, debug, and run SPIN, PropBasic and C: ViewPort
    Visual programming language: 12Blocks
    Multi-function Oscilloscope/LSA/Function Generator: PropScope
    500 page book of Propeller Projects:Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller
    Blog:http://onerobot.org/blog
  • nutsonnutson Posts: 240
    edited 2009-04-16 - 16:39:57
    I was mainly concerned about the data acquisition hardware. I have several high end ADC's (100MSPS/8 bit, 65MSPS/14 bit) and would love to use those within the same software environment. Customizing Viewport is too high a target for me.
  • T'SaavikT'Saavik Posts: 60
    edited 2009-04-16 - 17:46:41
    Sorry, i should have clarified my question. I didn't mean it was only equivalent to a traditional scope i meant.
    Tsaavik said...

    If I'm reading this correctly, would the propscope be equivalent in bandwidth to a traditional 20mhz scope?
  • David CarrierDavid Carrier Posts: 288
    edited 2009-04-17 - 01:43:18
    T'Saavik,

    Are you interested in the PropScope having a bandwidth at or above the sample rate? To clarify things for other readers on the forums, the PropScope will sample twenty-million times per second, but with a twenty megahertz wave, it would sample at the same point on every cycle and the signal would look like DC. Usually 20 MHz oscilloscopes have a sampling rate several times higher than their bandwidth. That is to say, an ADC with 200 mega-samples per second would usually be used on an oscilloscope limited to 20 MHz of bandwidth. The current working PropScope prototype has a bandwidth above 20 MHz, even though the sample rate will only be able to discern waves that are much lower frequency.

    For multiple reasons, I cannot guarantee that we will keep it this way. First off, the level of noise is proportional to the squareroot of the bandwidth, so the higher bandwidth, which will only be useful for a small percentage of users, will cause unnecessary noise on everyones' PropScopes. Also, higher bandwidth op-amps cause more ring; as frequencies increase, the phase delays increase, and higher phase delays increase ringing. Finally, we may want to purposelessly cut-off the bandwidth at or below 10 MHz, so that aliasing is impossible. If you put a 21 MHz wave into the current Prop Scope prototype, it looks like a 1 MHz wave. While this is useful for judging the quality of the wave, it can be confusing for those who aren't expecting aliasing and have no clue where the 1 MHz wave came from.

    -- David Carrier
  • william chanwilliam chan Posts: 1,315
    edited 2009-04-17 - 04:08:09
    Will the PropScope have option to measure AC signals only? ( capacitor to block the DC )

    How does the price of PropScope compare with other USB scopes?

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  • HannoHanno Posts: 1,130
    edited 2009-04-23 - 21:03:24
    Hi William,
    Yes, the PropScope supports AC/DC coupling in hardware. The hardware also supports various voltage ranges to suit applications ranging from measuring milli-volt changes in sensors to tens and hundreds of volts for heavy duty applications. Exact specs will come later. Everything is controlled from the PropScope software and firmware.
    Hanno
    Professional IDE to edit, debug, and run SPIN, PropBasic and C: ViewPort
    Visual programming language: 12Blocks
    Multi-function Oscilloscope/LSA/Function Generator: PropScope
    500 page book of Propeller Projects:Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller
    Blog:http://onerobot.org/blog
  • jazzedjazzed Posts: 11,803
    edited 2009-04-23 - 21:11:30
    Can't wait for someone to try using this as an ECG or EEG.
  • T'SaavikT'Saavik Posts: 60
    edited 2009-04-27 - 23:43:11
    Sorry, i guess i was really asking about the sample rate, i just didn't know it! I'm still new to using an oscilloscope. I can usually get it to do what i want, but sometimes i get confusing results! Shopping for them (especially digital USB ones) seems to be even more confusing.

    My current USB oscilloscope the discontinued DS2300C only samples 200k per second, so i have trouble getting good readings on anything over a few hundred HZ. I always assumed its was a bandwidth limitation or i was just plain doing something wrong. I guess it's sample frequency is just pathetic. Working through the student manual for "The Art of Electronics" by myself was very confusing/frustrating until i realized my current scope had some sort of limitation. Seemed like none of my filters were working correctly!!

    It looks like the PropSope will work about 100x better then my current solution. Will i finally be able to crank my function generator up to its max of 5MHZ and see the result correctly? scool.gif
  • HannoHanno Posts: 1,130
    edited 2009-04-27 - 23:55:59
    Yes! Both PropScope channels sample 20M per second at 10 bit resolution. So, it's sample rate is 100 times faster than yours and will resolve a 5MHz sine wave with 4 samples/cycle. This sample rate is fine for most projects- our goal was to nicely resolve the full NTSC signal (it's color carrier is at 3.58mhz)
    Hanno
    Professional IDE to edit, debug, and run SPIN, PropBasic and C: ViewPort
    Visual programming language: 12Blocks
    Multi-function Oscilloscope/LSA/Function Generator: PropScope
    500 page book of Propeller Projects:Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller
    Blog:http://onerobot.org/blog
  • BADHABITBADHABIT Posts: 138
    edited 2009-05-01 - 12:29:14
    hanno said...
    (to tens and hundreds of volts for heavy duty applications)
    Does this mean the peak to peak·will be much higher than the 60v previously stated?
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