## Constructing and working with Polynomials in the PSLab Android App

PSLab is a device that allows the user to perform a range of science and engineering experiments. PSLab has existing communication library (PSLab Desktop) written in Python. Since we are developing an Android application to operate PSLab, the initial step was to port Python code to JAVA. In PSLab Android application we are using version 3.6.1 of Apache Maths Commons.

NumPy is the package for scientific computing with Python. Polynomials in NumPy can be created using numpy.poly1d. Since some of the files in PSLab Desktop use polynomials, it was important to find a package in JAVA that provides features equivalent to NumPy. Apache Maths Commons fulfilled our needs. It is a Mathematics Library available in JAVA, that provides the means to construct polynomials and perform a range of operations on them. A detailed documentation of the library is available here.

```import numpy

p = numpy.poly1d([1, 2, 3])

print(numpy.poly1d(p))

q = p(0.5)

print q

Output:

1 x2 + 2 x + 3

4.25```

Poly1d() function converts a list into polynomials. The first element of the list is the coefficient of the highest degree of the polynomial while the last element is the coefficient of lowest degree of the polynomial. While p(0.5) evaluates polynomial at x = 0.5.

Now let’s construct polynomials in JAVA using Apache Maths Commons

```public class poly {

public static void main(String[] args){

PolynomialFunction p = new PolynomialFunction(new double[]{3, 2, 1});

System.out.println(p);

System.out.println(p.value(0.5));

}
}

Output:

3 + 2 x + x^2

4.25```

Polynomial Function converts the double array into polynomials. The first element of the array is the coefficient of the lowest degree of the polynomial while the last element is the coefficient of the highest degree of the polynomial. p.value (0.5) evaluates polynomial at x = 0.5.

Other things we can do

• ###### Find the degree of the polynomial.

Continuing with the above example where polynomial was 3 + 2 x + x^2. p.degree() gives 2 as output which is the degree of the given polynomial.

• ###### Get the coefficients of the polynomial

p.getCoefficients() returns a double array of the coefficients of the given polynomial. In the above case [3.0, 2.0, 1.0] will be returned.

• ###### Find derivatives of the polynomial

p.derivative() returns 2 + 2 x which is derivative of polynomial 3 + 2 x + x^2.

• ###### Add, subtract and multiply two polynomials.

We can add, subtract and multiply 2 polynomials. For example p.multiply(new  Polynomial Function(new double[]{1,2})) returns 3 + 8 x + 5 x^2 + 2 x^3 which is  the product of 3 + 2 x + x^2 and 1 + 2 x

#### Where are they are used in PSLab?

Polynomials are used in AnalogInputSource.java  to convert raw ADC codes (0=0V , 1023=3.3V ) to voltage values.

• `calPoly10 = new PolynomialFunction(new double[]{0., 3.3 / 1023, 0.});`
• `calPoly12 = new PolynomialFunction(new double[]{0., 3.3 / 4095, 0.});`

Polynomials are also used in DACChannel.java to convert DAC codes to voltage values and vice versa.

• `VToCode = new PolynomialFunction(new double[]{-4095. * intercept / slope, 4095. / slope});                                                    `
• `CodeToV = new PolynomialFunction(new double[]{intercept, slope / 4095.});`

## Temporally accurate data acquisition via digital communication pathways in PSLab

This blog post deals with the importance of using a real-time processor for acquiring time dependent data sets. The PSLab already features an oscilloscope, an instrument capable of high speed voltage measurements with accurate timestamps, and it can be used for monitoring various physical parameters such as acceleration and angular velocity as long as there exists a device that can generate a voltage output corresponding to the parameter being measured.  Such devices are called sensors, and a whole variety of these are available commercially.

However, not all sensors provide an analog output that can be input to a regular oscilloscope. Many of the modern sensors use digitally encoded data which has the advantage of data integrity being preserved over long transmission pathways. A commonly used pathway is the I2C data bus, and this blog post will elaborate the challenges faced during continuous data acquisition from a PC, and will explore how a workaround can be managed by moving the complete digital acquisition process to the PSLab hardware in order create a digital equivalent of the analog oscilloscope.

Precise timestamps are essential for extracting waveform parameters such as frequency and phase shifts, which can then be used for calculating physics constants such as the value of acceleration due to gravity, precession, and other resonant phenomena. As mentioned before, oscilloscopes are capable of reliably measuring such data as long as the input signal is an analog voltage, and if a digital signal needs to be recorded, a separate implementation similar to the oscilloscope must be designed for digital communication pathways.

#### A question for the reader :

Consider a voltmeter capable of making measurements at a maximum rate of one per microsecond.

We would like to set it up to take a thousand readings (n=1000) with a fixed time delay(e.g. 2uS) between each successive sample in order to make it digitize an unknown input waveform. In other words, make ourselves a crude oscilloscope.

Which equipment would you choose to connect this voltmeter to in order to acquire a dataset?

1. A 3GHz i3 processor powering your favourite operating system, and executing a simple C program that takes n readings in a for loop with a delay_us(2) function call placed inside the loop.
2. A 10MHz microcontroller , also running a minimal C program that acquires readings in fixed intervals.

To the uninitiated, faster is better, ergo, the GHz range processor trumps the measly microcontroller.

But, we’ve missed a crucial detail here. A regular desktop operating system multitasks between several hundred tasks at a time. Therefore, your little C program might be paused midway in order to respond to a mouse click, or a window resize on any odd chores that the cpu scheduler might feel is more important. The time after which it returns to your program and resumes acquisition is unpredictable, and is most likely of the order of a few milliseconds.

The microcontroller on the other hand, is doing one thing, and one thing only. A delay_us(2) means a 2uS delay with an error margin corresponding to the accuracy of the reference clock used. Simple crystal oscillators usually offer accuracies as good as 30ppm/C, and very low jitter.

Armed with this DIY oscilloscope, we can now proceed to digitize a KHz range since wave or a sound signal from a microphone with good temporal accuracy.

### Sample results from the PSLab’s analog oscilloscope

If the same were taken via a script that shares CPU time with other processes, the waveform would compress at random intervals due to CPU time unavailability. Starting a new CPU intensive process usually has the effect of the entire waveform appearing compressed because actual time intervals between each sample are greater than the expected time intervals

##### Implementing the oscilloscope for data buses such as I2C

With regards to the PSLab which already has a reasonably accurate oscilloscope built-in, what happens if one wants to acquire time critical information from sensors connected to the data bus , and not the analog inputs ?

In order acquire such data , the PSLab firmware houses the read routine from I2C in an interrupt function that is invoked at precise intervals by a preconfigured timer’s timeout event. Each sample is stored to an array via a self incrementing pointer.

The I2C address to be accessed, and the bytes to be written before one can start reading data are all pre-configured before the acquisition process starts.

This process then runs at top priority until a preset number of samples have been acquired.Once the host software knows that acquisition should have completed, it fetches the data buffer containing the acquired information.

The plots that overlap accurately with a simulated damped sinusoidal waveform are not possible in the absence of a real-time acquisition system

The sensor in question is the MPU6050 from invensense, used primarily in drones, and other self-stabilising robots.

Its default I2C address is 0x68 ( 104 ) , and 14 registers starting from 0x3B contain data for acceleration along orthogonal axes, temperature, and angular velocity along orthogonal axes. Each of these values is an integer, and is therefore represented by two successive registers. E.g. , 0x3B and 0x3C together make up a 16-bit value for acceleration along the X-axis.

## Porting PSLab Libraries – Python to Java

PSLab has existing communication libraries and sensor files in Python which were created during the development of Python Desktop Application.

The initial task and challenge was porting this existing code to Java to be used by the Android App. Since, the python libraries also utilized the object oriented model of programming, porting from Python to Java had the similar code structure and organization.

Common problems faced while porting from Python to Java

• The most common problem is explicitly assigning data types to variables in Java since Python manages data types on its own. However, most of the time the data types are quite evident from the context of their use and understanding the purpose of the code can make the task much simpler.
• Another task was migrating the Python data structures to their corresponding Java counterparts like a List in Python represents an ArrayList in Java, similarly a Dictionary corresponds to a HashMap and so on.
• Some of the sections of the code uses highly efficient libraries like Numpy and Scipy for some mathematical functions. Finding their corresponding Java counterparts in libraries was a challenge. This was partly solved by using Apache Common Math which is a library dedicated for mathematical functions. Some of the functions were directly implemented using this library and for rest of the portions, the code was written after understanding the structure and function of Numpy methods.

While porting the code from Python to Java, some of the steps which we followed:

• Matching corresponding data-structures

The Dictionary in python…

`Gain_scaling = OrderedDict ([('GAIN_TWOTHIRDS', 0.1875), ('GAIN_ONE', 0.125), ('GAIN_TWO', 0.0625), ('GAIN_FOUR', 0.03125), ('GAIN_EIGHT', 0.015625), ('GAIN_SIXTEEN', 0.0078125)])`

…was mapped to corresponding Java HashMap in the manner given below. A point to be noted here is for adding elements to a HashMap can be done only from a method and not at the time of declaration of HashMap.

```private HashMap <String,Double> gainScaling = new HashMap <String,Double>();

gainScaling.put("GAIN_TWOTHIRDS",0.1875);
gainScaling.put("GAIN_ONE",0.125);
gainScaling.put("GAIN_TWO",0.0625);
gainScaling.put("GAIN_FOUR",0.03125);
gainScaling.put("GAIN_EIGHT",0.015625);
gainScaling.put("GAIN_SIXTEEN",0.0078125);
```

Similarly, the List in Python can be  be converted to the corresponding ArrayList in Java.

• Assigning data types and access modifiers to corresponding variables in Java
```POWER_ON = 0x01
gain_choices = [RES_500mLx, RES_1000mLx, RES_4000mLx]
ain_literal_choices = ['500mLx', '1000mLx', '4000mLx']
scaling = [2, 1, .25]```
```private int POWER_ON = 0x01;
public int[] gainChoices = {RES_500mLx,RES_1000mLx,RES_4000mLx};
public String[] gainLiteralChoices = {"500mLx", "1000mLx", "4000mLx"};
public double[] scaling = {2,1,0.25};```

Assigning data types and the corresponding access modifiers can get tricky sometimes. So, understanding the code is essential to know whether a variable in limited to the class or needs to be accessed outside the class, whether a variable is int, short, float or double etc.

• Porting Numpy & Scipy functions to Java using Apache Common Math

For example, this piece of code gives the pitch of acceleration. It uses mathematical functions like arc-tan.

```pitchAcc = np.arctan2(accData[1], accData[2]) * 180 / np.pi
```

The corresponding version of arc-tan in Apache Common Math is used in Java.

`double pitchAcc = Math.atan2(accelerometerData[1], accelerometerData[2]) * 180 / pi;`
• Porting by writing the code for Numpy and Scipy functions explicitly

In the code below, rfftfreq is used to calculate the Discrete Fourier Transform(DFT) sample frequencies.

```freqs = self.fftpack.rfftfreq(N, d=(xReal[1] - xReal[0]) / (2 * np.pi))
```

Since, hardly any library in Java supports DFT, the corresponding code for rfftfreq was self-written.

```double[] rfftFrequency(int n, double space){
double[] returnArray = new double[n + 1];
for(int i = 0; i < n + 1; i++){
returnArray[i] =  Math.floor(i / 2) / (n * space);
}
return Arrays.copyOfRange(returnArray, 1, returnArray.length);
}```

After porting of all communication libraries and sensor files are done, the testing of features can also be initiated. Currently, the ongoing development includes porting of the some of the remaining files and working on the the best possible User Interface.

## Integrating Travis CI and Codacy in PSLab Repositories

Continuous Integration Testing and Automated Code Review tools are really useful for developing better software, improving code and overall quality of the project. Continuous integration can help catch bugs by running tests automatically and to merge your code with confidence.

While working on my GsoC-16 project, my mentors guided and helped me to integrate Travis CI and Codacy in PSLab github repositories. This blog post is all about integrating these tools in my github repos, problems faced, errors occurred and the test results.

Travis CI is a hosted continuous integration and deployment system. It is used to build and test software projects hosted on github. There are two versions of it, travis-ci.com for private repositories, and travis-ci.org for public repositories.

Travis is configured with the “.travis.yml” file in your repository to tell Travis CI what to build. Following is the code from ‘.travis.yml‘ file in our This repo contains python communication library for PSLab.

```language: python
python:
- "2.6"
- "2.7"
- "3.2"
- "3.3"
- "3.4"
# - "3.5"
# command to install dependencies
# install: "pip install -r requirements.txt"
# command to run tests
script: nosetests```

With this code everything worked out of the box (except few initial builds which errored because of missing ‘requirements.txt‘ file) and build passed successfuly 🙂 🙂

Later Mario Behling added integration to

Travis CI supports notifying  Slack channels about build results. On Slack, set up a new Travis CI integration. Select a channel, and you’ll find the details to paste into your ‘.travis.yml’. Just copy and paste the settings, which already include the proper token and you’re done.

The simplest configuration requires your account name and the token.

``````notifications:
slack: '<account>:<token>'
``````
```notifications:
slack: fossasia:***tokenishidden****```

Import errors in Travis builds of PSLab-apps Repository

PSLab-apps repository contains PyQt bases apps for various experiments. The ‘.travis.yml‘ file mentioned above gave several module import errors.

```\$ python --version
Python 3.2.5
\$ pip --version
pip 6.0.7 from /home/travis/virtualenv/python3.2.5/lib/python3.2/site-packages (python 3.2)
Could not locate requirements.txt. Override the install: key in your .travis.yml to install dependencies.
0.33s\$ nosetests
E
======================================================================
ERROR: Failure: ImportError (No module named sip)```

The repo is installable and PSLab was working fine on popular linux distributions without any errors. I was not able to find the reason for build errors. Even after adding proper ‘requirements.txt‘ file,  travis builds errored.

On exploring the documentation I could figure out the problem.

Travis CI Environment uses separate virtualenv instances for each Python version. System Python is not used and should not be relied on. If you need to install Python packages, do it via pip and not apt. If you decide to use apt anyway, note that Python system packages only include Python 2.7 libraries (default python version). This means that the packages installed from the repositories are not available in other virtualenvs even if you use the –system-site-packages option. Therefore I was getting Import module errors.

This problem was solved by making following changes in the ‘.travis.yml‘ file

```language: python

python:
#- "2.6"
- "2.7"
#- "2.7_with_system_site_packages"
- "3.2"
#- "3.2_with_system_site_packages"
- "3.3"
- "3.4"
before_install:
# Builds
- sudo mkdir -p /builds
- sudo chmod a+rw /builds

install:
- export DISPLAY=:99.0
- sh -e /etc/init.d/xvfb start
- sudo apt-get install -y libqt4-dev
- sudo apt-get install -y mesa-common-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libglu1-mesa-dev
#    - sudo apt-get install -y python3-sip python3-sip-dev python3-pyqt4 cmake
# Qt4
- pushd /builds
# SIP
- pushd sip-4.16.5
- python configure.py
- make
- sudo make install
- popd
# PyQt4
- pushd PyQt-x11-gpl-4.11.3
- python configure.py -c --confirm-license --no-designer-plugin -e QtCore -e QtGui -e QtTest
- make
- sudo make install
- popd
# - "3.5"
# command to install dependencies
#install: "pip install -r requirements.txt"
# command to run tests
script: nosetests

slack: fossasia:*****tokenishidden*******

```

Codacy is an automated code analysis and review tool that helps developers ship better software, faster. With Codacy integration one can get static analysis, code complexity, code duplication and code coverage changes in every commit and pull request.

Codacy integration has really helped me to understand and enforce code quality standard. Codacy gives you impact of every pull request in terms of quality and errors directly into GitHub.

Codacy also grades your project in different categories like Code Complexity, Compatibility, security, code style, error prone etc. to help you better understand the overall project quality and what are the areas you should improve.

Here is a screen-shot of Codacy review for PSLab-apps repository.

I am extremely happy to share that my learning adventure has got  Project Certification at ‘A’ grade. Project quality analysis shows that more than 90% of the work has A grade 🙂 🙂

Travis CI and Codacy Badges for my GSoC Repositories:

PSLab-apps : Qt based GUI applications for PSLab

Pocket Science Lab : ExpEYES Programs, Sensor Plugins

That’s all for now. Have a happy coding, testing and learning 🙂 🙂

## 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 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:

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

`Experiments`

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

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.

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.

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 🙂 🙂 🙂

## PSLab Communication Function Calls

Interfacing with the hardware of PSLab, fetching the data and plotting it is very simple and straight forward. Various sensors can be connected to PSLab and data can be fetched with a simple python code as shown in the following example…

```>>> from PSL import sciencelab
>>> I = sciencelab.connect()     # Initializing: Returns None if device isn't found. The initialization process connects to tty device and loads calibration values.```
```# An example function that measures voltage present at the specified analog input
>>> print I.get_average_voltage('CH1')```
```# An example to capture and plot data
>>> 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()
```
```# An example function to get data from magnetometer sensor connected to PSLab
>>> from PSL.SENSORS import HMC5883L #A 3-axis magnetometer >>> M = HMC5883L.connect() >>> Gx,Gy,Gz = M.getRaw() ```

The module sciencelab.py 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.

After initiating this class, all the features built into the device can be accessed  using various function calls.

Capture1 : for capturing one trace

`capture1(ch, ns, tg)`

Arguments

• 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 >>> x,y = I.capture1('CH1', 1000, 10) # digitize CH1 1000 times, with 10 usec interval`

Returns : Arrays X(timestamps),Y(Corresponding Voltage values)

Capture2 : for capturing two traces

`capture2(ns, tg, TraceOneRemap='CH1')`

Arguments

• 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
>>> x,y1,y2 = I.capture2(1600,1.75,'CH1') # digitize CH1 and CH2, 1600 times, with 1.75 usec interval```

Returns: Arrays X(timestamps),Y1(Voltage at CH1),Y2(Voltage at CH2)

Capture4 : for capturing four taces

`capture4(ns, tg, TraceOneRemap='CH1')`

Arguments

• 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, channel 3 always reads CH3 and MIC is channel 4 (CH4)
```#Example
>>> x,y1,y2,y3,y4 = I.capture4(800,1.75) # digitize CH1-CH4, 800 times, with 1.75 usec interval```

Returns: Arrays X(timestamps),Y1(Voltage at CH1),Y2(Voltage at CH2),Y3(Voltage at CH3),Y4(Voltage at CH4)

Capture_multiple : for capturing multiple traces

`capture_multiple(samples, tg, *args)`

Arguments

• samples:   Number of samples to fetch. Maximum 10000/(total specified channels)
• tg :   Time gap between samples in microseconds.
• *args :   channel names
```# Example
>>> from pylab import *
>>> I=interface.Interface()
>>> x,y1,y2,y3,y4 = I.capture_multiple(800,1.75,'CH1','CH2','MIC','SEN')
>>> plot(x,y1)
>>> plot(x,y2)
>>> plot(x,y3)
>>> plot(x,y4)
>>> show()```

Returns: Arrays X(timestamps),Y1,Y2 …

Capture_fullspeed : fetches oscilloscope traces from a single oscilloscope channel at a maximum speed of 2MSPS

`capture_fullspeed(chan, amples, tg, *args)`

Arguments

• chan:   channel name ‘CH1’ / ‘CH2’ … ‘SEN’
• tg :   Time gap between samples in microseconds. minimum 0.5uS
• *args :   specify if SQR1 must be toggled right before capturing. ‘SET_LOW’ will set it to 0V, ‘SET_HIGH’ will set it to 5V. if no arguments are specified, a regular capture will be executed.
```# Example
>>> from pylab import *
>>> I=interface.Interface()
>>> x,y = I.capture_fullspeed('CH1',2000,1)
>>> plot(x,y)
>>> show()```

Returns: timestamp array ,voltage_value array

Set_gain : Set the gain of selected PGA

`set_gain(channel, gain)`

Arguments

• channel:   ‘CH1’ , ‘CH2’
• gain :   (0-7) -> (1x,2x,4x,5x,8x,10x,16x,32x)

Note: The gain value applied to a channel will result in better resolution for small amplitude signals.

```# Example
>>> I.set_gain('CH1',7)  #gain set to 32x on CH1
```

Get_average_voltage : Return the voltage on the selected channel
`get_average_voltage(channel_name, **kwargs)`
Arguments

• channel_name:    ‘CH1’,’CH2’,’CH3’, ‘MIC’,’IN1’,’SEN’
• **kwargs :   Samples to average can be specified. eg. samples=100 will average a hundred readings
```# Example
>>> print I.get_average_voltage('CH4')
1.002```

Get_freq : Frequency measurement on IDx. Measures time taken for 16 rising edges of input signal. returns the frequency in Hertz

`get_average_voltage(channel='Fin', timeout=0.1)`
Arguments

• channel :    The input to measure frequency from. ‘ID1’ , ‘ID2’, ‘ID3’, ‘ID4’, ‘Fin’
• timeout :   This is a blocking call which will wait for one full wavelength before returning the calculated frequency. Use the timeout option if you’re unsure of the input signal. returns 0 if timed out
```# Example
>>> I.sqr1(4000,25)
>>> print I.get_freq('ID1')
4000.0```

Return float: frequency

Get_states : Gets the state of the digital inputs. returns dictionary with keys ‘ID1’,’ID2’,’ID3’,’ID4’
`get_states()`
```#Example
>>> print get_states()
{'ID1': True, 'ID2': True, 'ID3': True, 'ID4': False}
```

Get_state : Returns the logic level on the specified input (ID1,ID2,ID3, or ID4)
`get_state(input_id)`
Arguments

• input_id :    The input channel ‘ID1’ -> state of ID1 ‘ID4’ -> state of ID4
```#Example
>>> print I.get_state(I.ID1)
False
```

Set_state : Set the logic level on digital outputs SQR1,SQR2,SQR3,SQR4
`set_state(**kwargs)`
Arguments

• **kwargs :    SQR1,SQR2,SQR3,SQR4 states(0 or 1)
```#Example
>>> I.set_state(SQR1=1, SQR2=0) #sets SQR1 HIGH, SQR2 LOw, but leave SQR3,SQR4 untouched.
```

## 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 sciencelab.py 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

```>>> 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,

`capture1(self,ch,ns,tg,*args,**kwargs)`

Arguments

• 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,

`capture2(self,ns,tg,TraceOneRemap='CH1')`

Arguments

• 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=sciencelab.connect()
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')
show()```

The output of the program is here…

#### Example 3 : Capturing four traces and plotting

The function call used,

`capture4(self,ns,tg,TraceOneRemap='CH1')`

Arguments

• 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=sciencelab.connect()
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)
show()```

The output of the program is here…

##### Next To Do for GSoC-16

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

## Science Hack Day Belgaum India 2016

#### Announcing Science Hack Day Belgaum India – 2016

We are excited to announce our 1st Science Hack Day India. The event will take place on 22-23 October 2016 at Belgaum, a small city surrounded by some splendid nature, in Karnataka State of India.

We welcome you all to join us at SHD Belgaum. Let’s collaborate, learn, hack, build cool stuff and have lots of fun.

#### Registration is now open at eventbrite.

For more announcements follow us on…

#### What is Science Hack Day?

Science Hack Day is a two-day event where anyone excited about making weird, silly or serious things with science comes together in the same physical space to see what they can prototype within 30 consecutive hours. Designers, developers, scientists and anyone who is excited about making things with science are welcome to attend – no experience in science or hacking is necessary, just an insatiable curiosity.

The mission of Science Hack Day is to get excited and make things with science! People organically form multidisciplinary teams over the course of a weekend: particle physicists team up with designers, marketers join forces with open source rocket scientists, writers collaborate with molecular biologists, and developers partner with school kids. By collaborating on focused tasks during this short period, small groups of hackers are capable of producing remarkable results.

#### Venue

We have an amazing place called Sankalp Bhumi  Farm Resort for this event. It was once an abandoned quarry,  today natures glory restored. The resort resembles an enchanting oasis, with a thick set of trees, sprawling lawns, and a large lagoon surrounded by picturesque expansive rock walls as backdrop.

Tentative Program

Day 1:

09:00 Arrive, check-in, eat breakfast (provided)
10:00 Welcome, introductions
10:30 Hacking begins!
10:45 Lightning talks
12:00 Lunch (provided)
13:00 Hacking continues
18:00 Door closes

Day 2:

09:00 Doors open, breakfast (provided)
12:00 Lunch (provided)
13:30 Hacking stops
14:00 Hack demos begin! (Typically 2-3 minutes per demo)
16:00 Winning teams announced & given awards/medals

#### Science Workshops

Along with hacking we also have Science Workshops for kids. Workshops will run parallel to the SHD. We will be making amazing science toys and solar lanterns 🙂

#### Organisers:

FOSSASIA India Team.

Praveen Patil, Hong Phuc Dang, Rahul Khanolkar

Website: http://sciencehack.in

## Features and Controls of Pocket Science Lab

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.

#### 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.

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)

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.

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. 🙂 🙂

## PSLab Code Repository and Installation

PSLab  is a new addition to FOSSASIA Science Lab. This tiny pocket science lab  provides  an array of necessary equipments for doing science and engineering experiments. It can function like an oscilloscope, waveform generator, frequency counter, programmable voltage and current source and also as a data logger.

The control and measurement functions are written in Python programming language. Pyqtgraph is used for plotting library. We are now working on Qt based GUI applications for various experiments.

The following are the code repositories of PSLab.

• : This repository hosts the Communication library for  PSLab.
• : This repository is for Qt based GUI programs, widgets and templates for various experiments.

#### Installation

To install PSLab on Debian based Gnu/Linux system, the following dependencies must be installed.

```Dependencies
============
PyQt 4.7+, PySide, or PyQt5
python 2.6, 2.7, or 3.x
NumPy, Scipy
pyqt4-dev-tools          #for pyuic4
Pyqtgraph                #Plotting library
pyopengl and qt-opengl   #for 3D graphics
iPython-qtconsole        #optional```
Now clone both the repositories pslab-apps and pslab .

Libraries must be installed in the following order

1. pslab-apps

2. pslab

To install, cd into the directories

`\$ cd <SOURCE_DIR>`

and run the following (for both the repos)

`\$ sudo make clean`
```\$ sudo make

```
`\$ sudo make install`

Now you are ready with the PSLab software on your machine 🙂

For the main GUI (Control panel), you can run Experiments from the terminal.

`\$ Experiments`

If the device is not connected the following splash screen will be displayed.

After clicking OK, you will get the control panel with menus for Experiments, Controls, Advanced Controls and Help etc. (Experiments can not be accessed unless the device is connected)

The splash screen and the control panel, when PSLab is connected to the pc.

From this control panel one can access controls, help files and various experiments through independent GUI’s written for each experiment.

```You can help
------------

Please report a bug/install errors here
Your suggestions to improve PSLab are welcome :)```

What Next:

We are now working on a general purpose Experimental designer. This will allow selecting controls and channels and then generate a spread sheet. The columns from this spreadsheet can be selected and plotted.