Saturday, October 24, 2015

XprotoLab USB Oscilloscope

Added Fritzing Diagram and corrected other details.

My friend Larry - KB7KMO put me on to a neat little device - An XprotoLab USB Oscilloscope.

I write most of my Software Projects at my Desk, which is three flights of stairs above my Electronic Shop, below is where my normal 100MHz Oscilloscope Lives. Often a simple voltage measurement or logic level on a Protoboard Project pin or clock line is needed while developing software. A "local" and cheap oscilloscope would be handy.

The XprotoLab USB Oscilloscope is rated at 200KHz and -14v to +20v with Duel Inputs for Analogue Signals, 8 Digital Logic Lines, and Internal and External Sync.  It also provides one Programmable Signal Output. It is powered from the USB, and can provide low-current power at 5v and 3.3v to external circuits, see the online Features and Specification. All of which is fine for my needs and simple measurements.

The XprotoLab USB Oscilloscope comes in several different configurations, I chose the inexpensive $20.00 XprotoLab-Plain configuration. This configuration requires an external Display via a MS Window or a Linux Workstation Application (xscope Free), or a Android Phone/Tablet Application (Oscilloscope Pro $8.00), and there may be other options.

With my Double Sided Headers Installed
The XprotoLab-Plain comes with User installed simple Headers, but I decided to install my own Double Sided Headers so that the board can be used upside-down with the Pin Labels exposed. Also, regardless of orientation, the double-sided headers provide additional pins for attaching female jumper wires on the exposed side. I am using it on a dedicated Solderless ProtoBoard.
Fritzing Layout Diagram
XprotoLab on Dedicated ProtoBoard
I jumpered the 5v and 3.3v Pins out to the upper and lower ProtoBoard Rails and Added some 470uF Caps. I also provided DC Blocking Capacitors for quick and easy use for Analogue Input signals (depending on which hole the jumper wires are connected).

The software User Interface takes some time to understand, but most things are obvious. Currently I have the XprotoLab hooked up to my Esp8266 Esp13 Project.

Xscope Display on my Linux Workstation
It also seems to works well with both my Android Phone and Tablet.

So far, . . . I am impressed, I like it, . . . it does a great job, Thanks Larry !

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Esp8266 Esp-13 - Testing

Today I found time to do some Contrived Stress and Speed Tests on my latest ERB-EspWebServer Code, using the Esp8266 Esp-13 module.
  • For the Tests , the Esp-13 was on a local WIFI network, running at 160MHz, with 4MB of 80 MHz Flash.
  • My Workstation is hard wired connected to the same network via a switch.
  • The Http Transfer Protocol used is "CHUNKED".
  • The Automatically Refreshed (4 Second) Home Page was a little over 30KB.
  • My Workstation had 20 Tabs open, each connected to the Esp's Home Page.
  • The included Graphic was showing a steady 15.8KB FreeHeap.
  • The Test Home Page has; Text, Graphs, Charts, and SVG Images, all Dynamically Created for each Http request.
  • Also, during the Test, mDNS was scheduled and updated each 5 minutes, ntp was updated each 30 minutes.
  • Diagnostic Trace and Status was being Created and Displayed on the Workstation Arduino IDE Monitor via USB.
  • My Normal Workstation work (which was unavoidable) was also being done during the Tests.
If I have my maths , data and methods correct, the results is:
( 20Esp Tabs x 30KB ) / 4Sec = 150KB Per Second Created and Transferred

One of 4 Groups of 5 Esp Tabs
The Esp-13 ran for about 1 hour, before I got GREEDY, an attempted to open more Browser Tabs. At about 35 Tabs things started to FAIL, the update page rate was decreasing, and eventually the Esp-13 crashed and rebooted itself.
Typical Monitor Output
That was fun, . . . the Esp-13 was just . . . Smok'ng !!
I am impressed and very happy with the results.

I will soon update my GitHub Repository with the revised and much faster code.

Let me know if you are interested in participating in a Live Internet Stress Test.

The initial Internet Tests (with my friend Jeff) suggests the Home Page will update at about 6 seconds per page over the Internet, with the Auto Update rate set to 3 Seconds. And, which, of course, is going to be very dependant on my end of a very slow network. So far, we have not done any multi-Tab Test.

Soon, for some more Tests, I plan to connect the Esp-13 to a Very Fast Internet Connection at my Son's house, stay tuned for that.

-- Home Page:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Esp8266 Esp-13 Programming Fixture

Updated Image with Chip Bypass Cap

Here is my Esp-13 Programming Fixture in Fritzing format.
Esp8266 Esp-13 Programming Fixture
 The Esp-13 and its Adaptor plugs in place of the dual 9-pin headers, see previous blog page.

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Esp8266 - Futzing with Fritzing

Updated Image with Chip Bypass Caps

My friend Larry - KB7KMO mentioned Fritzing (CAE) in one of his email the other day.

Several years ago, I looked at Fritzing when is was very beta, it was interesting then, but lacked a lot of what I needed for Experimental Circuits and PCB Hobby Productions.

I updated to the latest Revision (0.9.2b), to take another look.

For what I am doing now with PlugBoards (protoboards) it may help with documentation and project sharing.
Esp8266 Esp-11 Programming Fixture
This is my first real Fritzing Project, it is my Esp8266 Programming Board. Note: the ERB-EspWebServer Farm (see previous posts) will similarly be documented in another Post.

I still need to create some custom parts. For the above Image, I have used "place-holders" images for the Power Source, Esp's and Prop Plug.

So far, Fritzing has been a little frustrating, but that maybe just my leaning curve. You will likely see Fritzing used in some of my future Posts.

To increase brightness of LED, Reduce the value of the LED Resistors (e.g., down to 2.2K).

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