Supporting Raspberry Pi in Test and Measurement Applications

Popularity of Raspberry Pi

There is a lot of buzz surrounding the Raspberry Pi platform. Due to its eye-popping capabilities and low price, engineers are investigating more ways to use it in their designs.

While originally created for the education market to teach computer science to students across the globe, it has rapidly expanded beyond the intended market into the hobbyist/maker market and increasingly into the industrial/commercial market.

Raspberry Pi in Test and Measurement

The Raspberry Pi does not have built-in Test and Measurement capabilities such as Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs), Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs), or conditioned Digital Inputs and Outputs (DIO). These capabilities can, however, be expanded either through the USB port or a 40-pin header that provides GPIO pins which support both SPI and I2C. A device that connects directly to the 40-pin device and stack on the Raspberry Pi is called a HAT (Hardware Attached on Top).

MCC Support for Raspberry Pi Applications

In order to bring professional-quality measurement products to the Raspberry Pi platform, Measurement Computing has released Universal Library for Linux (UL for Linux) and a family of HATs specifically for professional Test and Measurement applications. UL for Linux is an open-source Linux library which supports our most popular USB devices and provides a programming interface for both Python™ and C/C++®. This library is verified on multiple Linux distributions including Raspbian®, the distribution most popular on Raspberry Pi computers. UL for Linux and MCC’s wide selection of USB DAQ devices, greatly expands the capabilities of the Raspberry Pi computer. While USB is the preferred option for interfacing DAQ devices in many applications, it still requires an additional cable and box. When the form-factor and physical size of the Raspberry Pi is critical to the design, a HAT solution may be more appropriate. MCC’s family of HATs are specifically for the Test and Measurement and OEM/ODM markets. MCC DAQ HATs come with high-quality SW libraries that support Python and C/C++ to facilitate quick and easy development. Like all MCC products, the DAQ HATS are designed in the USA, use parts sourced through proven distributors, are fully tested and come with a 1-year warranty.

Hardware Attached on Top – MCC DAQ HATs

Measurement Computing has announced two products designed for Test and Measurement applications that conform to the Raspberry Pi HAT standard. These devices provide data acquisition features in a small, stackable format with the same quality and support MCC has provided for nearly 30 years. The MCC 118 allows users to measure 8 single-ended channels of 12-bit data at an overall throughput of 100 kS/s. Eight devices can be stacked on a single Raspberry Pi to create a 64-channel device capable of reading data at a combined rate of 320 kS/s. The MCC 152 provides two 12-bit analog outputs along with eight 5 V or 3.3 V DIO channels enabling the creation of a full multifunction Raspberry Pi measurement and control system.

For more information on MCC DAQ HATs visit https://www.mccdaq.com/DAQ-HAT.aspx

Or contact Measurement Systems Ltd. +44 (0)1635 576800.
http://www.measurementsystems.co.uk

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