Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux - Hardware

This is a discussion on Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux - Hardware ; I'm looking for a simple data acquisition interface that will run on a Linux PC (Fedora Core 6). The requirements are very simple: 24 bits of digital output. We need to be able to flip single bits or groups of ...

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Thread: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

  1. Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    I'm looking for a simple data acquisition interface that will run on a
    Linux PC (Fedora Core 6). The requirements are very simple: 24 bits of
    digital output. We need to be able to flip single bits or groups of
    bits without causing glitches on unchanged bits. Data rate is slow -
    maybe one write every 2 milliseconds.

    Google shows that there are some simple USB-based DAQ interfaces that
    might work for this application. I'm wondering if anyone here can
    recommend a particular vendor. It would be nice if the product comes
    with end-user support and easy-to-understand documentation, since the
    people who will be installing and maintaining this system are
    biologists, not computer geeks.

    --
    Julian Vrieslander

  2. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    Julian Vrieslander wrote:
    > I'm looking for a simple data acquisition interface that will run on a
    > Linux PC (Fedora Core 6). The requirements are very simple: 24 bits of
    > digital output. We need to be able to flip single bits or groups of
    > bits without causing glitches on unchanged bits. Data rate is slow -
    > maybe one write every 2 milliseconds.
    >
    > Google shows that there are some simple USB-based DAQ interfaces that
    > might work for this application. I'm wondering if anyone here can
    > recommend a particular vendor. It would be nice if the product comes
    > with end-user support and easy-to-understand documentation, since the
    > people who will be installing and maintaining this system are
    > biologists, not computer geeks.
    >


    http://www.labjack.com/labjack_u3.php?prodId=52

    Can be stacked. Works. Got one right here and some at clients. I do not
    use Linux but I believe there are drivers for it, just check the site.
    They also have a forum for Linux users.

    --
    Regards, Joerg

    http://www.analogconsultants.com/

    "gmail" domain blocked because of excessive spam.
    Use another domain or send PM.

  3. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    On Fri, 11 Apr 2008 13:39:07 -0700, Julian Vrieslander rearranged some
    electrons to say:

    > I'm looking for a simple data acquisition interface that will run on a
    > Linux PC (Fedora Core 6). The requirements are very simple: 24 bits of
    > digital output. We need to be able to flip single bits or groups of
    > bits without causing glitches on unchanged bits. Data rate is slow -
    > maybe one write every 2 milliseconds.
    >
    > Google shows that there are some simple USB-based DAQ interfaces that
    > might work for this application. I'm wondering if anyone here can
    > recommend a particular vendor. It would be nice if the product comes
    > with end-user support and easy-to-understand documentation, since the
    > people who will be installing and maintaining this system are
    > biologists, not computer geeks.


    National Instruments makes good-quality hardware, and excellent software
    support.

  4. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    david wrote:
    > On Fri, 11 Apr 2008 13:39:07 -0700, Julian Vrieslander rearranged some
    > electrons to say:
    >
    >> I'm looking for a simple data acquisition interface that will run on a
    >> Linux PC (Fedora Core 6). The requirements are very simple: 24 bits of
    >> digital output. We need to be able to flip single bits or groups of
    >> bits without causing glitches on unchanged bits. Data rate is slow -
    >> maybe one write every 2 milliseconds.
    >>
    >> Google shows that there are some simple USB-based DAQ interfaces that
    >> might work for this application. I'm wondering if anyone here can
    >> recommend a particular vendor. It would be nice if the product comes
    >> with end-user support and easy-to-understand documentation, since the
    >> people who will be installing and maintaining this system are
    >> biologists, not computer geeks.

    >
    > National Instruments makes good-quality hardware, and excellent software
    > support.



    And it helps to have a bank account similar to Rockefeller's ...

    --
    SCNR, Joerg

    http://www.analogconsultants.com/

    "gmail" domain blocked because of excessive spam.
    Use another domain or send PM.

  5. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    Thanks to David and Joerg for the replies. I'll check into both NI and
    Labjack.

    I was aware of the NI products, but a bit hesitant about buying from
    them. It's not their pricing. I do a lot of work with Macs, which they
    used to suppport quite well. But a more recent attempt to get
    assistance with an NI card in a Mac was less rewarding. Their attitude
    to Mac users now seems to be "Use LabView or don't call us...".

    Maybe their support for Linux is better.

    --
    Julian Vrieslander

  6. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 09:27:19 -0700, Joerg rearranged some electrons to
    say:

    > david wrote:
    >> On Fri, 11 Apr 2008 13:39:07 -0700, Julian Vrieslander rearranged some
    >> electrons to say:
    >>
    >>> I'm looking for a simple data acquisition interface that will run on a
    >>> Linux PC (Fedora Core 6). The requirements are very simple: 24 bits
    >>> of digital output. We need to be able to flip single bits or groups
    >>> of bits without causing glitches on unchanged bits. Data rate is slow
    >>> - maybe one write every 2 milliseconds.
    >>>
    >>> Google shows that there are some simple USB-based DAQ interfaces that
    >>> might work for this application. I'm wondering if anyone here can
    >>> recommend a particular vendor. It would be nice if the product comes
    >>> with end-user support and easy-to-understand documentation, since the
    >>> people who will be installing and maintaining this system are
    >>> biologists, not computer geeks.

    >>
    >> National Instruments makes good-quality hardware, and excellent
    >> software support.

    >
    >
    > And it helps to have a bank account similar to Rockefeller's ...


    If one doesn't have, or can't afford, a staff of programmers, then buying
    something that works out of the box and reducing your development costs
    has to be traded against buying cheap hardware with no software support.
    Most people aren't doing projects for free these days.

  7. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    david wrote:
    > On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 09:27:19 -0700, Joerg rearranged some electrons to
    > say:
    >
    >> david wrote:
    >>> On Fri, 11 Apr 2008 13:39:07 -0700, Julian Vrieslander rearranged some
    >>> electrons to say:
    >>>
    >>>> I'm looking for a simple data acquisition interface that will run on a
    >>>> Linux PC (Fedora Core 6). The requirements are very simple: 24 bits
    >>>> of digital output. We need to be able to flip single bits or groups
    >>>> of bits without causing glitches on unchanged bits. Data rate is slow
    >>>> - maybe one write every 2 milliseconds.
    >>>>
    >>>> Google shows that there are some simple USB-based DAQ interfaces that
    >>>> might work for this application. I'm wondering if anyone here can
    >>>> recommend a particular vendor. It would be nice if the product comes
    >>>> with end-user support and easy-to-understand documentation, since the
    >>>> people who will be installing and maintaining this system are
    >>>> biologists, not computer geeks.
    >>> National Instruments makes good-quality hardware, and excellent
    >>> software support.

    >>
    >> And it helps to have a bank account similar to Rockefeller's ...

    >
    > If one doesn't have, or can't afford, a staff of programmers, then buying
    > something that works out of the box and reducing your development costs
    > has to be traded against buying cheap hardware with no software support.
    > Most people aren't doing projects for free these days.



    Well, the Labjack cost us $99 per device. Support is free and via a
    forum where (so far) I had the answers almost immediately. They seem to
    have that forum interface on their desktops all day long. There even is
    a special forum for Linux users.

    --
    Regards, Joerg

    http://www.analogconsultants.com/

    "gmail" domain blocked because of excessive spam.
    Use another domain or send PM.

  8. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    On Fri, 11 Apr 2008 13:39:07 -0700, the renowned Julian Vrieslander
    wrote:

    >I'm looking for a simple data acquisition interface that will run on a
    >Linux PC (Fedora Core 6). The requirements are very simple: 24 bits of
    >digital output. We need to be able to flip single bits or groups of
    >bits without causing glitches on unchanged bits. Data rate is slow -
    >maybe one write every 2 milliseconds.
    >
    >Google shows that there are some simple USB-based DAQ interfaces that
    >might work for this application. I'm wondering if anyone here can
    >recommend a particular vendor. It would be nice if the product comes
    >with end-user support and easy-to-understand documentation, since the
    >people who will be installing and maintaining this system are
    >biologists, not computer geeks.


    Why USB? Ethernet has a lot of advantages..


    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
    --
    "it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward"
    speff@interlog.com Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
    Embedded software/hardware/analog Info for designers: http://www.speff.com

  9. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    Spehro Pefhany wrote:
    > On Fri, 11 Apr 2008 13:39:07 -0700, the renowned Julian Vrieslander
    > wrote:
    >
    >> I'm looking for a simple data acquisition interface that will run on a
    >> Linux PC (Fedora Core 6). The requirements are very simple: 24 bits of
    >> digital output. We need to be able to flip single bits or groups of
    >> bits without causing glitches on unchanged bits. Data rate is slow -
    >> maybe one write every 2 milliseconds.
    >>
    >> Google shows that there are some simple USB-based DAQ interfaces that
    >> might work for this application. I'm wondering if anyone here can
    >> recommend a particular vendor. It would be nice if the product comes
    >> with end-user support and easy-to-understand documentation, since the
    >> people who will be installing and maintaining this system are
    >> biologists, not computer geeks.

    >
    > Why USB? Ethernet has a lot of advantages..
    >


    Gets a lot more expensive though. But it's a good point, you can even
    buy a LabJack for LAN connection. However, then they are north of $400.

    --
    Regards, Joerg

    http://www.analogconsultants.com/

    "gmail" domain blocked because of excessive spam.
    Use another domain or send PM.

  10. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    Joerg wrote:

    > Gets a lot more expensive though. But it's a good point, you can even
    > buy a LabJack for LAN connection. However, then they are north of $400.


    Why is it that expensive? There are nice small modules with integrated ADCs
    and ethernet for $67 :

    http://www.emacinc.com/som/somne64.htm

    Mounted in a box, it shouldn't cost more than $100.

    --
    Frank Buss, fb@frank-buss.de
    http://www.frank-buss.de, http://www.it4-systems.de

  11. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    "Joerg" wrote in message
    news:Hp5Mj.77$I55.60@newssvr22.news.prodigy.net...
    > david wrote:
    >> National Instruments makes good-quality hardware, and excellent software
    >> support.

    > And it helps to have a bank account similar to Rockefeller's ...


    N.I. pricing is in the same ballpark as Agilent and Tektronix... even a
    little less in many cases.

    But I would agree they're well out of the "hobbyist" price level.



  12. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    Frank Buss wrote:
    > Joerg wrote:
    >
    >> Gets a lot more expensive though. But it's a good point, you can even
    >> buy a LabJack for LAN connection. However, then they are north of $400.

    >
    > Why is it that expensive? There are nice small modules with integrated ADCs
    > and ethernet for $67 :
    >
    > http://www.emacinc.com/som/somne64.htm
    >
    > Mounted in a box, it shouldn't cost more than $100.
    >


    Well, I guess they want to turn a nice profit :-)

    The other reason may be that almost everyone (including me) buys the $99
    USB LabJack so they have to amortize the NRE for the Ethernet version
    over a much smaller number of produced units. Also, it's not a raw
    module but it comes in a nice enclosure that can be bolted down to a
    panel. It has screw terminals for many the I/O and a D-Sub for some
    others. Those things are really practical.

    --
    Regards, Joerg

    http://www.analogconsultants.com/

    "gmail" domain blocked because of excessive spam.
    Use another domain or send PM.

  13. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    On Fri, 11 Apr 2008 13:39:07 -0700, Julian Vrieslander wrote:

    > I'm looking for a simple data acquisition interface that will run on a
    > Linux PC (Fedora Core 6). The requirements are very simple: 24 bits of
    > digital output. We need to be able to flip single bits or groups of
    > bits without causing glitches on unchanged bits. Data rate is slow -
    > maybe one write every 2 milliseconds.


    Three USB parallel ports and a minihub? You'd have to check for glitches
    but it should work.



    --
    Przemek Klosowski, Ph.D.

  14. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    przemek klosowski wrote:

    > On Fri, 11 Apr 2008 13:39:07 -0700, Julian Vrieslander wrote:
    >
    >> I'm looking for a simple data acquisition interface that will run on a
    >> Linux PC (Fedora Core 6). The requirements are very simple: 24 bits of
    >> digital output. We need to be able to flip single bits or groups of
    >> bits without causing glitches on unchanged bits. Data rate is slow -
    >> maybe one write every 2 milliseconds.

    >
    > Three USB parallel ports and a minihub? You'd have to check for glitches
    > but it should work.


    USB transfers packets in timeslots of 1 ms. I'm still learning the USB
    protocol, but I think if all three USB ports are on the same hub, each
    device will be accessed every 3 ms. And Linux is not a realtime system
    (without additional work), so if the OS thinks it is a good idea to process
    some network traffic, you might lost many milliseconds before the next
    update.

    --
    Frank Buss, fb@frank-buss.de
    http://www.frank-buss.de, http://www.it4-systems.de

  15. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    On 11 apr, 22:39, Julian Vrieslander
    wrote:
    > I'm looking for a simple data acquisition interface that will run on a
    > Linux PC (Fedora Core 6). The requirements are very simple: 24 bits of
    > digital output. We need to be able to flip single bits or groups of
    > bits without causing glitches on unchanged bits. Data rate is slow -
    > maybe one write every 2 milliseconds.


    On a multitasking OS 2 latency and task switching interrupts will
    delay your signal much
    more then 2 ms, even on real-time Linux.
    If you only need to send every 2 ms that will work, but the data will
    arrive very irregular
    at the other end, both in case of par port, USB, or Ethernet,

    As others mentioned, Ethernet has some advantages, I have a IIM7000A
    module (on headers)
    here that only cost me 25 Euro or so, including magnetics, it has a
    W3100A chip in it.
    Connect it to a 8052 (addressing) or perhaps PIC, and you have your
    solution.
    Source code is available free on the internet.

    The simplest way (I do that also) is to connect a few PCF8574 IO
    expanders to 3 bits of the par port.
    I2C protocol is insensitive to long delays causes by task switching.
    Par ports still exist, and it is possible to unload the par port
    driver and do direct IO in Linux.



  16. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    Frank Buss wrote:
    > przemek klosowski wrote:
    >
    >> On Fri, 11 Apr 2008 13:39:07 -0700, Julian Vrieslander wrote:
    >>
    >>> I'm looking for a simple data acquisition interface that will run on a
    >>> Linux PC (Fedora Core 6). The requirements are very simple: 24 bits of
    >>> digital output. We need to be able to flip single bits or groups of
    >>> bits without causing glitches on unchanged bits. Data rate is slow -
    >>> maybe one write every 2 milliseconds.

    >> Three USB parallel ports and a minihub? You'd have to check for glitches
    >> but it should work.

    >
    > USB transfers packets in timeslots of 1 ms. I'm still learning the USB
    > protocol, but I think if all three USB ports are on the same hub, each
    > device will be accessed every 3 ms. And Linux is not a realtime system
    > (without additional work), so if the OS thinks it is a good idea to process
    > some network traffic, you might lost many milliseconds before the next
    > update.
    >


    Yes, the lower msec range is the gray zone where a streaming mode may be
    required. The LabJack has that but I don't know if it can be used that
    slow. So far I have only used it at full speed.

    --
    Regards, Joerg

    http://www.analogconsultants.com/

    "gmail" domain blocked because of excessive spam.
    Use another domain or send PM.

  17. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 00:53:18 -0700, Julian Vrieslander
    wrote:

    >Thanks to David and Joerg for the replies. I'll check into both NI and
    >Labjack.
    >
    >I was aware of the NI products, but a bit hesitant about buying from
    >them. It's not their pricing. I do a lot of work with Macs, which they
    >used to suppport quite well. But a more recent attempt to get
    >assistance with an NI card in a Mac was less rewarding. Their attitude
    >to Mac users now seems to be "Use LabView or don't call us...".
    >
    >Maybe their support for Linux is better.


    The last i heard they have _no_ support for *nix.

  18. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    On Sun, 20 Apr 2008 10:30:59 -0700, JosephKK rearranged some electrons to
    say:

    > On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 00:53:18 -0700, Julian Vrieslander
    > wrote:
    >
    >>Thanks to David and Joerg for the replies. I'll check into both NI and
    >>Labjack.
    >>
    >>I was aware of the NI products, but a bit hesitant about buying from
    >>them. It's not their pricing. I do a lot of work with Macs, which they
    >>used to suppport quite well. But a more recent attempt to get
    >>assistance with an NI card in a Mac was less rewarding. Their attitude
    >>to Mac users now seems to be "Use LabView or don't call us...".
    >>
    >>Maybe their support for Linux is better.

    >
    > The last i heard they have _no_ support for *nix.


    Their web site says otherwise.


  19. Re: Seeking recommendations for USB DAQ on Linux

    On 21 Apr 2008 00:52:35 GMT, david wrote:

    >On Sun, 20 Apr 2008 10:30:59 -0700, JosephKK rearranged some electrons to
    >say:
    >
    >> On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 00:53:18 -0700, Julian Vrieslander
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Thanks to David and Joerg for the replies. I'll check into both NI and
    >>>Labjack.
    >>>
    >>>I was aware of the NI products, but a bit hesitant about buying from
    >>>them. It's not their pricing. I do a lot of work with Macs, which they
    >>>used to suppport quite well. But a more recent attempt to get
    >>>assistance with an NI card in a Mac was less rewarding. Their attitude
    >>>to Mac users now seems to be "Use LabView or don't call us...".
    >>>
    >>>Maybe their support for Linux is better.

    >>
    >> The last i heard they have _no_ support for *nix.

    >
    >Their web site says otherwise.


    So it does. That is a welcome change.


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