Panda data-acquisition and FPGA dev board
Amateur scientists and other home experimenters often have difficulty finding data-acquisition (DAQ) hardware meeting their needs at reasonable cost. PC sound-card I/O is sometimes adequate; otherwise, commercial DAQ offerings in the sub-$200 range are quite limited. (In my case, the immediate motivation for this project is data collection from a magnetometer observing solar-activity-induced disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field.)
The Pandaboard is ideal for this application because it is inexpensive, low-power, portable, runs Linux, and offers easy high-bandwidth expansion through the GPMC bus. I propose designing an expansion board with
- multiple 16-bit A/D and D/A channels
- extra digital I/O
- programmable logic for timer/counter functions and periodic sampling
- GPS for mobile data-logging, timestamping, and oscillator calibration
- McSPI and GPMC bus interfaces at the Pandaboard expansion connectors
A Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA will bridge the various functions with the Pandaboard interfaces. The design will be modular, such that the A/D, D/A, and GPS can be omitted, resulting in a board very similar to Eric Brombaugh's Beagleboard Tracker. Thus, this project will serve double-duty as a Tracker refresh for the Pandaboard.
(The original target for working hardware was mid-June 2011.)
- (18 Mar) Initial pin assignments for FPGA and expansion connectors
- (28 Mar) Draft schematic
- (2 May) Final schematic
- (3 May) PCB layout started
Please visit http://www.keteu.org/~haunma/proj/pandadaq/ for design detail and documentation.
- Black Market Winner -- 3/14/11 - 3/18/11 event