Slight OT: Its really sad to see that even though SDR really took off in the last couple of years, there really is no open source or at least low-cost toolchain for RF Engineering. No Signal Generation Hardware, no VNAs, no SAs... Mostly you have to make do with the still pretty expensive, 90s-Legacy devices of the large brands (Agilent/HP/Keysight or Rohde&Schwartz). Its also really stuff that Makerspaces and FabLabs are completely devoid of. Software is not much better, when you dont want to resort to unlicensed copies of the professional tools. Really hard to work on stuff like that when not either at a university or employed in that field...
 - https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSignalPathBlog
The design software is not cheap either, as typical software skills are only 1/3 the knowledge required to develop that stuff. Also need circuit theory, EM, scientific computing, etc. There will probably never be an open source equivalent.
I have an RF/Microwave lab at home with HP VNA, spectrum analyzer, power meters, signal generators, and Tek scopes and curve tracer. Also Microwave Office and Altium.
Yes, that stuff is expensive, but has also never been cheaper to buy. An 8566B spectrum analyzer can be had for $2k, and is far better than shit from Rigol. That 8566B cost $85k in 80s/90s dollars.
That may be a little pessimistic. QUCS development seems to have stalled, but they were certainly on the right track.
Given the kind of sponsorship that, say, KiCad enjoys from CERN, I would expect some pretty awesome RF engineering tools to emerge.
It’s fine for hobby use, but if you need to make $ and get designs out the door, you need to use the real stuff.
I tried KiCad, but using Altium for 25 years, it just doesn’t have the functionality I need. Lacks basic things such as assigning nets to arbitrary polygons, which is a must for RF.
American Radio Relay League (ARRL)
Very complicated web site that a defense contractor would love. But definitely worth looking into. Wow.
I vaguely recall this group as serious ham radio people who know how to keep communication going even when disaster might take down other networks. We have other technical volunteer groups out here, like Search and Rescue, first aid and so on.
Maybe people are worried about the liability if some complete noob with a LimeSDR board starts jamming police radio bands or something?
GNURadio does also have a store directly for it called PyBOMBS  as well, though it is unfortunately not included by default, and it has been a few years since I checked it so I don't know how much it has.
Gnuradio is a bit overcomplicated at this point also, using both Qt and GTK, and a long list of other dependencies.
Luaradio is quite nice as an alternative, and is much easier to embed into an end application as Lua itself is very good at that kind of thing.
I remember I tried to get a temperature sensor decoding gnu radio plugin working and I never solved it.
Couldn't run it on a Pi, it required a fast intel system to be usable. That eliminated the nice raspberry pi "canned image" solution other projects use to cut through the dependency mess.
So I had to do a linux installation from scratch.
But the online packages for gnu radio were broken or out of date.
So I had to build GNU radio from scratch.
And once I got GNU radio going any existing gnu radio program was broken because it required an exact version of gnu radio and other dependencies.
Maybe it is better now, that was a few years back.
I've also come to see the light with Arch Linux, so that might help.
If that happened too much regulators might tighten up and make it impossible to do (or sell) any SDR.
I feel like I would be able to get an RF job much more easily if I could build a portfolio like I did for SW. It's a moot point by now probably; I'm already getting paid more than the average general practitioner while being able to work from home 100% and wouldn't want to revert to lower pay while being stuck in a cubicle all day.
- This board is 750kSPS, the most well known cheap alternative (not necessarily open source), is something from JYeTech, e.g., DSO-138  (it's 1MSPS)
- Both 750kSPS and 1MSPS are hopelessly inadequate for serious work
- In the USB scope arena, the two top contenders are OWON VDS 1022i, or Hantek 6022 variant (I prefer 1022i; it's 100MSPS , I think Hantek is 48MSPS).
- Finally, the best bang for the buck, and open source, is the Haasoscope v9 selling on ebay (directly from the creator, Andy Haas, who's a physicist and wanted to create a cheap but good open source scope). The bundle is $139 , but there is an add-on that further increase the frame-rate or something that's $40 or something, though I consider that to be essential not an add-on. (it's 250MSPS)
- if you wanna get a new and stand-alone scope, Rigol ds1054z $375  is a hot favorite (also watch out for Keysight, they're trying to get into low-cost scope market). 1GSPS.
Disclaimier: No affiliation.
(edit) - actually it's 30mhz with the bnc probes.
It's perfectly fine if the serious work you're doing is audio.
I'll add that I can recommend the DSO-138 for those new to electronics and want to start with something fun. It comes in a kit (soldering + assembly required), and is great way to get introduced to electronics assembly. At the end you'll hopefully get a working oscilloscope to play with :)
It's an awesome project for kids too!
ExpEYES - Abbreviation for "Experiments for Young Engineers and Scientists" (http://expeyes.in/) from IUAC, New Delhi, India. It is quite affordable.
Redpitaya - https://www.redpitaya.com/ Can also be used to learn FPGA programming.
Analog Discovery 2 & Digital Discovery - https://store.digilentinc.com/usb-scopes-instruments-circuit...
ADALM2000 - https://www.analog.com/en/design-center/evaluation-hardware-... Can also be used to learn FPGA programming.
A teeny feature request for the multimeter would be an easy way to make a spreadsheet out of multiple measurements, and/or transistor parameter measurements. Since the bandwidth is so low, I'd imagine a lot of users will use the scope to hand match transistors.
People kept recommending the RIGOL DS1054Z, but at £300 or so it's too punchy to invest in unless you know you're really going to get a chance to use it. Will definitely try one of these little units.
I also have a 1054 which is great - sometimes you just need 4 channels. I would be happy with either.
The trade off is something you can fit in your pocket versus two extra channels and more bandwidth. The 4 channel 50Mhz version is actually quite close to the Rigol price.
Amateur tip though, lots of good deals on used scopes out there. Companies seem to cycle through them, probably a calibration thing. I've seen 200MHz scopes go for < $150 USD on Ebay in the past, (inconveniently enough at times when I didn't have $150 to blow for an older Tektronix).
If you don’t know what they are for, they are cheap little arduino based devices that you can plug a lot of basic components into, and have them identify the component for you. Plug in a resistor, see the resistance. Also works for mystery transistors as well as caps and inductors plus diodes and other things.
They are fantastic if you’re one of those people who has a tendency to collect a lot of components but forget what they are.
Here’s an amazon link to a typical one...
It is not really based on Arduino, but it indeed is pretty nifty little gadget. The documentation goes into great detail on the operating principle, how it detects and measures different components.
This thing has been pretty key to a lot of my hobby electronics projects.
As a physics student I was quite dissatisfied with these benches for multiple reasons:
1. They are far from educational, the course notes and lab notes for experimentation classes are much better at demonstrating principles. The books that come with the analog bench "toys" lack the ambition to actually teach, and avoid formulae, at least the books could contain or link to an alternative track of circuits which does have the ambition to teach electronics.
2. A lot of the circuits simply don't work, I believe this is due to occasionally substituting a part with a cheaper part with slightly different specifications, such that after a while of inevitable sales to parents who don't give feedback, the supplied components don't work in the proposed circuit, the original designer of the circuit would notice that the current parts can't produce the intended effect (chirping birds that give popping sounds instead of chirping sounds etc).
3. Most of the analog electronics benches use springs as electrical nodes, I believe today stackable jumper wires would be a better choice.
I think if enough electrical engineers with kids band together they could easily design an open source analog / mixed electronic bench, and properly document the required properties for the parts, and design it as a PCB with headers for jumper wires...
Worse, the board itself isn't open source, AFAIK, so even stuff like finding a schematic to get things done could be a challenge.
I don't know if they still have a hobbyist discount, but when I bought mine they knocked a good chunk off the price after I emailed them and told them my plans for it as a tinkerer.
No disrespect to Saleae's Logic as even their 1st gen product was indeed outstanding value (and may still be at the current price point; software front end is well executed). But to be sure, there's still a significant hardware gap that sets it apart from "the real deal".
No idea how good it is though.
I don't mean to disparage the Labrador but I suspect it will be more use to people who integrate it into some other project than to those who need a scope.
"All Sun" also has a whole range of handheld multi-functional scopes which seem pretty good.
> Database Error
> Error establishing a database connection
Reasonable idea. More protection circuitry to prevent blowing out the connected PC might be a good idea.
ADALM 1000  (~$47 from Mouser)
ADALM 2000  ($99 student pricing, from Analog)
ADALM Pluto (SDR)  ($136 from Digikey)
The ADALM 1000 is an evolution of the Nonolith Labs CEE  (after it was acquired by Analog Design).
The ADALM 2000 is an evolution of the ADALM 1000, both ADALM 2000 and ADALM Pluto use a Xilinx Zynq (FPGA + ARM core).
Have no connection with the company, other than being a happy user.
I guess you still need a breadboard/uC/programmer/wires, but still
Edit: free shipping? Shipping to Canada might cost as much as the device. The price is too low if it’s actually worth using
At the same time, an Arduino is not this. An Arduino can make measurements and generate signals, but doesn't come with pre-written support software if you just want to use it for that purpose.
For this reason, you might actually use something like this electronics lab alongside something like an Arduino, and use one to observe and measure the behavior of the other.
This is all about just learning to think in terms of signals (static and as a function of time) and how they are measured. Try to predict what's going to happen, and see what you get.
USB Oscilloscope - observe an analog output waveform
Signal Generator - supply an input waveform
Power Supply - power the device
Logic Analyzer - observe digital signals
Multimeter - get average voltages
Does any of this boards have an oscilloscope with four channels?