Multiple Tickets: Back-end

In my previous post I talked about approach for Multiple Ticket feature’s user-interface [Link]. In this post I’ll discuss about Flask back-end used for saving multiple tickets.

HTML Fields Naming

Since the number of Tickets a user creates is unknown to the server, details of tickets were needed to be sent as an array of values. So the server would accept the list of values and iterate over them. To send data as an array the naming had to include brackets. Below are some input fields used in tickets:

        <input type="hidden" name="tickets[type]">
        <input type="text" name="tickets[name]" class="form-control" placeholder="Ticket Name" required="required" data-uniqueticket="true">
        <div class="help-block with-errors"></div>
        <input type="number" min="0" name="tickets[price]" class="form-control"  placeholder="$" value="">
        <input type="number" min="0" name="tickets[quantity]" class="form-control" placeholder="100" value="{{ quantity }}">
    <!-- Other fields -->

At the server

When the POST request reaches the server, any of the above fields (say tickets[name]) would be available as a list. The Flask Request object includes a form dictionary that contains all the POST parameters sent with the request. This dictionary is an ImmutableMultiDict object, which has a getlist method to get array of elements.

For instance in our case, we can get tickets[name] using:

@expose('/create', methods=('POST', 'GET'))
def create_view(self):
    if request.method == 'POST':
        ticket_names = request.form.getlist('tickets[name]')

    # other stuff

The ticket_names variable would contain the list of all the Ticket names sent with the request. So for example if the user created three tickets at the client-side, the form would possibly look like:

<form method="post">
  <!-- Ticket One -->
  <input type="text" name="tickets[name]" class="form-control" value="Ticket Name One">
  <!-- Ticket Two -->
  <input type="text" name="tickets[name]" class="form-control" value="Ticket Name Two">
  <!-- Ticket Three -->
  <input type="text" name="tickets[name]" class="form-control" value="Ticket Name Three">


After a successful POST request to the server, ticket_names should contain ['Ticket Name One', 'Ticket Name Two', 'Ticket Name Three'].

Other fields, like tickets[type], tickets[price], etc. can all be extracted from the Request object.

Checkbox Fields

A problem arose when a checkbox field was needed for every ticket. In my case, a “Hide Ticket” option was needed to let the user decide if he wants the ticket to be shown at the public Events page.

Screenshot from 2016-08-13 12:39:29

The problem with checkboxes is that, for a checkbox of a particular name attribute, if it is not selected, POST parameters of the request made by the client will not contain the checkbox input field parameter. So if I define an input field as a checkbox with the following naming convention, and make a POST request to the server, the server will receive blah[] parameter only if the input element had been checked.

<input type="checkbox" name="blah[]" >

This creates a problem for “Hide ticket” checkboxes. For instance, at the client-side the user creates three tickets with the first and last tickets having their checkboxes selected, the server would get an array of two.

  <!-- Ticket One -->
  <input type="checkbox" name="tickets[hide]" checked>
  <!-- Ticket Two -->
  <input type="checkbox" name="tickets[hide]">
  <!-- Ticket Three -->
  <input type="checkbox" name="tickets[hide]" checked>

ticket_hide_opts = request.form.getlist('tickets[hide]')

ticket_hide_opts would be an array of length two. And there is no way to tell what ticket had its “Hide ticket” option checked. So for the hide checkbox field I had to define input elements with unique names to extract them at the server.

There is also a hack to overcome the unchecked-checkbox problem. It is by using a hidden field with the same name as the checkbox. You can read about it here:

Continue Reading Multiple Tickets: Back-end

Implementing Payment and Tax System for Open-Event

So I implemented the payment system and tax system for the payment part in the ticketing system. The first step was making a list of available countries and currency options for the system. So I created and added the following list:

    'United States',
    'Czech Republic',
    'Hong Kong',
    'New Zealand',
    'United Kingdom',

    'ARS Argentine Peso $',
    'AUD Australian Dollars A$',
    'BRL Brazilian Real R$',
    'CAD Canadian Dollars C$',
    'CZK Czech Koruna Kč',
    'DKR Danish Krone Dkr',
    'EUR Euros €',
    'HKD Hong Kong Dollar HK$',
    'HUF Hungarian Forint Ft',
    'ILS Israeli Shekels ₪',
    'JPY Japanese Yen ¥',
    'MYR Malaysian Ringgits RM',
    'MXN Mexican Pesos Mex$',
    'NZD New Zealand Dollar NZ$',
    'NOK Norwegian Krone Nkr',
    'PHP Philippine Pesos ₱',
    'PLN Polish Zloty zł',
    'GBP Pounds Sterling £',
    'SGD Singapore Dollar SG$',
    'SEK Swedish Krona Skr',
    'CHF Swiss Franc Fr',
    'TWD Taiwan New Dollars NT$',
    'THB Thai baht ฿',
    'USD U.S. Dollars $',

This is the list of currently supported countries and currencies. Thus the user can choose from the above list in the following step on the first page of event creation:


If the user chooses a Paid ticket or a Donation ticket then he/she has to compulsorily choose a country and a currency for the event. Next in line is the system of payments – the way in which the organizer wants payments to be made for his/her event. They include the option of Online Payments and Offline Payments. The organizer has to tick the checkbox in order to enable the payment option. On enabling the PayPal and Stripe checkboxes he/she is represented with the following:


On enabling PayPal option the organizer has to enter the PayPal email and for Stripe he has to connect it with Stripe account.

And the final step is the addition of tax for the event. The organizer can choose whether he/she wants to enable tax for the event or not:


On choosing Yes he is presented with the tax form:


If the organizer wants to send invoices then on enabling invoices another form is displayed with details pertaining to Business Address, Registered Name etc….


Finally we have two options that whether we want to display the tax as separate fee or include in the price of tickets.

Continue Reading Implementing Payment and Tax System for Open-Event

Multiple Tickets: User Interface

An Event can have multiple tickets for different purposes. For instance an Arts Exhibition can have multiple Galleries. The Organizer might be interested in assigning a ticket (let’s assume paid) for each Gallery. The user can then buy tickets for the Galleries that he wishes to attend. The feature that Multiple Tickets really provide is exclusiveness. Let’s say Gallery1 has a shorter area (by land) than others. Obviously the Organizer would want fewer people to be present there than other Galleries. To do this, he can create a separate ticket for Gallery1 and specify a shorter sales period. He can also reduce the Maximum number of order that a user can make (max_order). If we would have implemented single ticket per event, this wouldn’t have been possible.

Tickets at Wizard

To handle multiple tickets at the wizard, proper naming of input tags was required. Since the number of tickets that can be created by the user was unknown to the server we had to send ticket field values as lists. Also at the client-side a way was required to let users create multiple tickets.

User Interface

A ticket can be of three types: Free, Paid and Donation. Out of these, only the Paid tickets need a Price. The Tickets holder could be a simple table, with every ticket being a table row. This became more complex afterwards, when more details about the ticket needed to be displayed. A ticket would then be two table rows with one of them (details) hidden.

Ticket holder can be a simple bootstrap table:

<table class="table tickets-table">
            <th>Ticket Name</th>
      <!-- Ticket -->
        <!-- Main info -->
        <!-- More details (initially hidden) -->
      <!-- /Ticket -->

To make ticket creation interactive, three buttons were needed to create the above three tickets. The type-name doesn’t not necessarily have to be shown to the user. It could be specified with the Price. For Paid ticket, the Price input element would be a number. For Free and Donation tickets, a Price input element wasn’t required. We could specify an element displaying one of the two types: Free or Donation.

Here’s the holder table with a Free Ticket and a Donation Ticket:

Screenshot from 2016-08-09 16:51:06

Since only the Price field is changing in the three types of tickets, I decided to create a template ticket outside of the form and create a JavaScript function to create one of the tickets by cloning the template.

A Free Ticket with its edit options opened up. You can see other details about the ticket in the second table row.

Screenshot from 2016-08-09 16:52:14

This is a simplified version of the template. I’ve removed common bootstrap elements (grid system) including some other fields.

<div id="ticket-template">
        <input type="hidden" name="tickets[type]">
        <input type="text" name="tickets[name]" class="form-control" placeholder="Ticket Name" required="required" data-uniqueticket="true">
        <div class="help-block with-errors"></div>
        <!-- Ticket Price -->
        <input type="number" min="0" name="tickets[quantity]" class="form-control" placeholder="100" value="{{ quantity }}">
        <div class="btn-group">
            <a class="btn btn-info edit-ticket-button" data-toggle="tooltip" title="Settings">
                <i class="glyphicon glyphicon-cog"></i>
            <a class="btn btn-info remove-ticket-button" data-toggle="tooltip" title="Remove">
                <i class="glyphicon glyphicon-trash"></i>
    <td colspan="4">
        <div class="row" style="display: none;">
            <!-- Other fields including Description, Sales Start and End time,
              Min and Max Orders, etc.

Like I said, the Price element of ticket will make the type obvious for the user, so a type field does not need to be displayed. But the type field is required by the server. You can see it specified as hidden in the template.

The function to create a Ticket according to the type:

I’ve commented snippets to make it easy to understand.

function createTicket(type) {
    /* Clone ticket from template */
    var $tmpl = $("#ticket-template").children().clone();

    var $ticket = $($tmpl[0]).attr("id", "ticket_" + String(ticketsCount));
    var $ticketMore = $($tmpl[1]).attr("id", "ticket-more_" + String(ticketsCount));

    /* Bind datepicker and timepicker to dates and times */
        'showDuration': true,
        'timeFormat': 'H:i',
        'scrollDefault': 'now'

    /* Bind iCheck to checkboxes */
        checkboxClass: 'icheckbox_flat-green',
        radioClass: 'iradio_flat-green'

    /* Bind events to Edit (settings) and Remove buttons */
    var $ticketEdit = $ticket.find(".edit-ticket-button");
    $ticketEdit.on("click", function () {

    var $ticketRemove = $ticket.find(".remove-ticket-button");
    $ticketRemove.on("click", function () {
        var confirmRemove = confirm("Are you sure you want to remove the Ticket?");
        if (confirmRemove) {

    /* Set Ticket Type field */

    /* Set Ticket Price field */
    var html = null;
    if (type === "free") {
        html = '';
    } else if (type === "paid") {
        html = '';
    } else if (type === "donation") {
        html = '';

    /* Append ticket to table */
    $ticketsTable.append($ticket, $ticketMore);

    ticketsCount += 1;

The flow is simple. Clone the template, bind events to various elements, specify type and price fields and then append to the ticket holder table.

Screenshot from 2016-08-09 17:00:59

We use the Datepicker and Timepicker JavaScript libraries for date and time elements. So fields using these widgets need to have methods called on the elements. Also, we use iCheck for checkboxes and radio buttons. Apart from these, the Edit-Ticket and Remove-Ticket buttons also need event handlers. Edit-Ticket button toggles the Ticket Details segment (second tr of a ticket). Remove-Ticket deletes the ticket. After the Price and Type fields are set, the ticket is appended to the holder table with slow animation.

Continue Reading Multiple Tickets: User Interface

Design Your Own Experiments With PSLab

PSLab, with its simple and open architecture allows programmers, hobbyists to use the tool for various measurements and to develop new experiments with simple python code.

One of the main target group, the PSLab is aimed at, is high-school science teachers and students, who may or may-not be familiar with the computer programming. For such users it is difficult to design or develop new experiments on their own. They may also find it difficult to fetch the data and plot required graphs, if a ready-made GUI is not available for that particular experiment.

To enable such users to quickly design a simple experiment for studying various phenomena, we have developed a simple Experiment Designer GUI. This incorporates few controls, read-back elements and easy functions to select parameters and plot graphs.

The screen shot of the ‘Design Your Own Experiment’ GUI along with the App-window is here..

experiment designer1

Experiment Designer allows the user to define the control and read-back sequences of parameters and execute them.

Features of “Design Your Own Experiment” GUI

  • Configure Experiment : Here user can select the required channels ( manual / sweep / read-back). One can also add a derived channel for measuring some physical quantity, for example ‘current’.
  • Make Measurements : Selected channels are displayed. User can make measurements individually for each step or  can sweep in auto mode.
  • Plot and View Plots: Enables user to plot selected parameters. Acquired plots can be selectively displayed or deleted.
  • Save Plots: Data acquired can be save in a spreadsheet.
  • Save Profile : Experiment profile can be saved for repeating the experiment in future. Saved profiles can be loaded from “Load Profile” tab.

Example : Diode IV Characteristics Experiment

For this experiment one needs the following…

  • A variable voltage source : Needs to be swept from Voltage A to  B (say from 0V to 5V)
  • Current Monitoring : Needs to be read for every value of Voltage
  • Plotting and analytics :  Tools to plot the parameters and save data

Schematic Circuit diagram:

diode IV

CH3 monitors the voltage drop across the diode. PV1 is varied in steps, and for each step the current is calculated from the difference between voltages at PV1 and CH3, and the known value of the resistor. For example for 1K resistor, current through the diode is given by

I = (PV1-CH3)/1K

Procedure :

Step 1. Connect Fossasia PSLab to the pc. Connect the components –  Diode from CH3 to Ground and  1k resistor from PV1 to CH3

Step 2. From the terminal Run


The App-window will pop-up. Click on ‘Design your own Experiment’ button to get the experiment designer GUI.

experiment designer2

Step 3: Select channels

Sweep Channel PV1 – Sweep from 0.00V -5.00V in 200 steps

Read-back Channel CH3 – for monitoring voltage across the diode

Derived Channel – To measure Current. Type the equation to calculate the current,   (PV1()-CH3())/1000

Step 4. Click on Prepare Experiment‘ to get measurements screen. Click on ‘Evaluate All Rows‘ to make the measurements.

Experiment designer3

Step 5. Select the required columns and click on Plot Selected Columns‘, a message window will pop-up, here user can select the Axes for plotting the graph. On clicking  ‘Plot‘, view plots screen will be displayed.


One can repeat the experiment and plot multiple curves and save them in a spreadsheet. Acquired plots can be selectively displayed or deleted.

Step 6. The entire design ( Experiment Profile)  of the experiment can be saved for repeating the experiment in future. Saved profiles can be loaded from “Load Profile” tab.

experiment designer profile
This is a very important value add to PSLab Apps. It has enabled PSLab to reach out and help users, who do not have any background in programming. Now ‘designing your own experiments’ has become super easy 🙂 🙂 🙂

Continue Reading Design Your Own Experiments With PSLab

Communicating with Pocket Science Lab via USB and capturing and plotting sine waves

Design of PSLab combines the flexibility of Python programming language and the real-time measurement capability of micro-controllers.

PSLab, with its simple and open architecture allows users to use the tool for various measurements and to develop new experiments with simple functions written in python.

PSLab is interfaced and powered by USB port of the computer. For connecting external signals it has several input/output terminals as shown in the figure.


Interfacing with the real world

Connecting to PSLab is as simple and straight forward as this…

>>> from PSL import sciencelab
>>> I = sciencelab.connect()     #Returns None if device isn't found
# An example function that measures voltage present at the specified analog input
>>> print I.get_average_voltage('CH1')

Various sensors can be connected to PSLab and data can be fetched with a simple python code as shown below…

>>> from PSL.SENSORS import HMC5883L #A 3-axis magnetometer
>>> M = HMC5883L.connect()
>>> Gx,Gy,Gz = M.getRaw()

The module contains all the functions required for communicating with PSLab hardware. It also contains some utility functions. The class ScienceLab() contains methods that can be used to interact with the PSLab. The connect() function returns an object of this class if PSLab hardware is detected.

The initialization process does the following

* connects to tty device

* loads calibration values.

>>> from PSL import sciencelab
>>> I = sciencelab.connect()
>>> print I
<PSL.sciencelab.ScienceLab instance at 0x7fe9a7bf0e18>

After initiating this class, its various function calls will allow access to all the features built into the device. Some examples showing the use of few function calls are given below…

Example 1: Capturing and plotting a sine wave

The function call used,



  • ch  : Channel to select as input. [‘CH1′..’CH3′,’SEN’]
  • ns  :  Number of samples to fetch. Maximum 10000
  • tg   :  Time gap between samples in microseconds

Example Program

Connect WG1 to CH1 and run the following code.

>>> from pylab import *
>>> from PSL import sciencelab
>>> I=sciencelab.connect()
>>> I.set_gain('CH1', 3) # set input CH1 to +/-4V range
>>> I.set_sine1(1000) # generate 1kHz sine wave on output W1
>>> x,y = I.capture1('CH1', 1000, 10) # digitize CH1 1000 times, with 10 usec interval
>>> plot(x,y)
>>> show()

For running the script in IDE, one should define source code encoding, add this to the top of your script:

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

The output of the program is here…


Example 2 : Capturing two sine waves and plotting

The function call used,



  • ns :  Number of samples to fetch. Maximum 5000
  • tg  :  Time gap between samples in microseconds
  • TraceOneRemap :   Choose the analogue input for channel 1 (Like MIC OR SEN). It is connected to CH1 by default. Channel 2 always reads CH2.

Example Program

Connect WG1 to CH1, WG2 to CH2 and run the following code.

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

from pylab import *
from PSL import sciencelab
I.set_gain('CH1', 2) # set input CH1 to +/-4V range
I.set_gain('CH2', 3) # set input CH2 to +/-4V range
I.set_sine1(1000) # generate 1kHz sine wave on output W1
I.set_sine2(1000) # generate 1kHz sine wave on output W2

x,y1,y2 = I.capture2(1600,1.75,'CH1') 
plot(x,y1) #Plot of analog input CH1
plot(x,y2) #plot of analog input CH2

The output of the program is here…sine2

Example 3 : Capturing four traces and plotting

The function call used,



  • ns:   Number of samples to fetch. Maximum 2500
  • tg :   Time gap between samples in microseconds. Minimum 1.75uS
  • TraceOneRemap :   Choose the analogue input for channel 1 (Like MIC OR SEN). It is connected to CH1 by default. Channel 2 always reads CH2.

Example Program

Connect WG1 to CH1, WG2 to CH2, SQR1 to CH3 and transducer mic to MIC (CH4) and run the following code.

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

from pylab import *
from PSL import sciencelab
I.set_gain('CH1', 2) # set input CH1 to +/-4V range
I.set_gain('CH2', 3) # set input CH2 to +/-4V range
I.set_sine1(1000) # generate 1kHz sine wave on output W1
I.set_sine2(1000) # generate 1kHz sine wave on output W2
I.sqr1(2000,duty_cycle=50) # generate 1kHz square wave on output SQR1

x,y1,y2,y3,y4 = I.capture4(800,1.75)
plot(x,y1) #Plot of analog input CH1
plot(x,y2) #plot of analog input CH2
plot(x,y3) #plot of analog input CH3
plot(x,y4) #plot of analog input CH4 : MIC

The output of the program is here…waves

Next To Do for GSoC-16

A detailed User manual and programmers manual with description of all function calls. ( Work in progress 🙂  )

  1. Post about installing PSLab
  2. PSLab and ExpEYES and GSoC-16 work
Continue Reading Communicating with Pocket Science Lab via USB and capturing and plotting sine waves

Collecting information. What to choose?

Internet legal restrictions

Our idea in CommonsNet project is to make a  wireless connection transparent. Apart from typical details like ssid, password, security, speed, time limit etc. we think to make also clear  legal restrictions which vary across the world. Because we all know permanent value of the famous maxim ‘Ignorantia iuris nocet’,  we want to provide a great, widespread tool, and make complex law easy-to-understand for an average Internet user. In today’s world more and more people travel a lot, and visit different countries. As Internet is a main part of our life we want to use it everywhere. And we do it, but it may sometimes happen that we use the Internet , thoughtlessly without realizing that somewhere in the world something normal for us may be banned. In this case, we are even exposure to unpleasant consequences . Therefore we believe that access to understandable information is a fundamental human right and can influence on our life much.

Collecting is not an easy task, and it is a place where we need your help. If we want to create a huge database of law restrictions in different countries all over the world we need your support, because you are who understands your country and your language best. And you are able to ask people who are engaged in a law. We simply need information what is the law related to Internet and/or wireless connection, and mainly – what is forbidden.

Poland example

Let me explain it based on Poland example. We are going to focus on downloading music, movies, books from the Internet. In Poland you are allowed to do that for your personal use. It means that you can do it to use them in privacy, but on condition that movie, song or a book has been already made available to the public. If not – it’s illegal. A private use means also that you can share that resources with your family or friends and that you can do single copies of what you download. Very popular peer to peer networks which enable to share our resources with other users at the time we download a file, are unfortunately not defined as private use and are illegal either.

When it comes to uploading files, if we are authors of a song, or a movie, or a book and so on, we can share what and how we only want. But if we want to share our downloaded resources, we have to be very careful. We can do it only in our private area – for our friends and family but we cannot share it in public.

Law is unfortunately silent in regards of downloading files illegaly available in Internet (when someone shares a song, or a book before it has been make available to the public), but many lawyers claim that in the light of law it is permitted only for a personal use.

One of the most protected under polish law group of resources are computer games and various programs. They cannot be downloaded, copied, shared even for a personal use. It’s defined as a criminal offense and is strictly forbidden. Possible punishment are a fine, restriction of liberty and even imprisonment.

As you can see, it’s not difficult to gather all these details. You can do the same in your country, translate it in English and write to us  on Facebook, and become a member of our open source community to build big things together!


The technical question here is how to collect all of these information. This week, i have had many ideas how to solve that problem ranging from PostgreSQL database, through MongoDB (since we use NodeJS) to JSON file. Now, I am going to provide you with a quick and valuable overview each of these options.


PostgreSQL is a powerful, open source object-relational database system.It runs on all major operating systems. It is fully ACID compliant, has full support for foreign keys, joins, views, triggers, and stored procedures (in multiple languages). It includes most SQL:2008 data types, including INTEGER, NUMERIC, BOOLEAN, CHAR, VARCHAR, DATE, INTERVAL, and TIMESTAMP.

I have implemented it to CommonsNet project because I thought that if I want to collect all of details provided above I need it. That’s how I have done it. Because I work on Vagrant I have added all these lines of code to my ( file)

  1.  sudo apt-get install -y postgresql postgresql-contrib
  2. sudo apt-get install -y libffi-dev

and then I have defined database name, user name and password



and then I have created a database

cat << EOF | sudo -u postgres psql
— Create the database user:

— Create the database:

echo “exporting database url for app”
export DATABASE_URL=postgresql://$APP_DB_USER:[email protected]:5432/$APP_DB_NAME

echo “export DATABASE_URL=$DATABASE_URL” >> /home/vagrant/.bashrc

sudo chown -R $(whoami) ~/.npm

Then i have added a new dependency to my package.json file.

“devDependencies”: {
“pg”: “~6.0.3”

And that’s it. My database works. But then, I have realised – thanks to my mentor’s – Mario Behling help – that’s not a good solution for my needs, because CommonsNet is not a huge project and we don’t need to complicate it. What’s more, we need to remember that if database exists it needs to be updated and maintained. I don’t know who can care about it especially if our team is not extended yet. That’s why I have got interested in MongoDB, especially because I use NodeJS in my project, but happily enough my mentor has suggested me take a look at JSON file.

JSON file

Finally I have made the best decision. I have chosen a JSON file, which seems to be enough for my needs. It’s a perfect solution, easy to implement. Take a look at my steps:

  1. First of all I have created a simple .txt file – legalrestrictions.txt. It looks like this: [{ “country”:”Poland”, “restrictions”:[“Poland restrictions1”, “Poland restrictions 2”] }]  It’s of course only a sample of my file. You can extend it as you want to. As you can see ‘restrictions’ are an array, so it helps us to put here a list of legal restrictions. It is simple, isn’t it ?
  2. Then I have written my code and put it in a website.js file. Because I use AngularJS I have had to do it like that. I am sure it is easy to understand.
    $scope.countries = [
    {name:’France’ },
    {name:’Poland’ },
    {name:’Germany’ },
    {name:’USA’ },
    {name:’Russia’ }
    ];// getting data from JSON file on ng-change select
    $scope.update = function() {
    var country =;
    console.log(country);var table = [];
    $http.get(‘restrictions.txt’).success(function(data) {
    for (var i=0; i<table.length; i++) {
    if (country === table[i].country) {
    vm.legalrestrictions = table[i].restrictions;

    The HTML file looks like that:

    <select type=”text” class=”form” ng-model=”vm.countries” ng-options=” for x in countries” ng-change=”update()”>
    <!– <option ng-repeat=” for x in countries” value=”{{}}”>{{}</option> –>
    <label for=”male”>Does your country have any legal restrictions? Type them.</label>
    <!– form group start –>

    <textarea name=”message” id=”legalarea” class=” form textarea” ng-model=”vm.legalrestrictions” placeholder=”You are not allowed to…”></textarea>


And that’s all. Easy to maintain and very transparent solution. I recommend you to use it as well. A perfect tutorial you can find  here:

Continue Reading Collecting information. What to choose?

Features and Controls of Pocket Science Lab

Prerequisite reading:

PSLab is equipped with array of useful control and measurement tools. This tiny but powerful Pocket Science Lab enables you to perform various experiments and study a wide range of phenomena.

Some of the important applications of PSLab include a 4-channel oscilloscope, sine/triangle/square waveform generators, a frequency counter, a logic analyser and also several programmable current and voltage sources.

Add-on boards, both wired as well as wireless(NRF+MCU), enable measurement of physical parameters ranging from acceleration and angular velocity, to luminous intensity and Passive Infra-red. (Work under progress…)

As a reference for digital instruments a 12-MHz Crystal is chosen and a 3.3V voltage regulator is chosen for the analogue instruments. The device is then calibrated against professional instruments in order to squeeze out maximum performance.

Python based communication library and experiment specific PyQt4 based GUI’s make PSLab a must have tool for programmers, hobbyists, science and engineering teachers and also students.

PSLab is interfaced and powered by USB port of the computer. For connecting external signals it has several input/output terminals as shown in the figure.

New panel design for PSLab


Feature list for the acquisition and control :

  • The most important feature of PSLab is a 4-channel oscilloscope which can monitor analog inputs at maximum of 2 million samples per second. Includes the usual controls such as triggering, and gain selection. Uses Python-Scipy for curve fitting.
PSLab Oscilloscope



Waveform Generators

  • W1 : 5Hz – 5KHz arbitrary waveform generator. Manual amplitude control up to +/-3Volts
  • W2 : 5Hz – 5KHz arbitrary waveform generator. Amplitude of +/-3Volts. Attenuable via software
  • PWM : There are four phase correlated PWM outputs with maximum frequency 32MHz, 15nano second duty cycle, and phase difference control.

Measurement Functions

  • Frequency counter tested up to 16 MHz.
  • Capacitance Measurement. pF to uF range
  • PSLab has several 12-bit Analog inputs (function as voltmeters) with programmable gains, and maximum ranges varying from +/-5mV to +/-16V.

Voltage and Current Sources

  • 12-bit Constant Current source. Maximum current 3.3mA [subject to load resistance].
  • PSLab has three 12-bit Programmable voltage sources/ +/-3.3V,+/-5V,0-3V . (PV1, PV2, PV3)
Main Control Panel

Other useful tools

  • 4MHz, 4-channel Logic analyzer with 15nS resolution.Voltage and Current Sources
  • SPI,I2C,UART outputs that can be configured and controlled entirely through Python functions. (Work in progress…)
  • On-board 2.4GHz transceiver for wireless data acquisition. (Work in progress..)
  • Graphical Interfaces for Oscilloscope, Logic Analyser, streaming data, wireless acquisition, and several experiments developed that use a common framework which drastically reduces code required to incorporate control and plotting widgets.
  • PSLab also has space for an ESP-12 module for WiFi access with access point / station mode.

Screen-shots of GUI apps.

Advanced Controls with Oscilloscope
Wireless Sensors ( Work in progress…)
Logic Analyzer

With all these features PSLab is taking a good shape and I see it as a potential tool that can change the way we teach and learn science. 🙂 🙂


Continue Reading Features and Controls of Pocket Science Lab