EspoTek Labrador Board

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings
(2 customer reviews)

$29.00

EspoTek Labrador Board Shipping is free, worldwide!

Category:

Description

Labrador is an all-in-one tool for electronics students, makers and hobbyists. Just plug your Labrador board into a PC (Windows/Mac/Linux), Raspberry Pi or Android device via a MicroUSB cable, load up the software and you instantly have the following engineering tools at your disposal:

  • Oscilloscope (2 channel, 750ksps)
  • Arbitrary Waveform Generator (2 channel, 1MSPS per channel)
  • Power Supply (4.5 to 15V, 0.75W max output, with closed-loop feedback)
  • Logic Analyzer (2 channel, 3MSPS per channel, with serial decoding)
  • Multimeter (V/I/R/C)

Best of all, both hardware and software are 100% open-source!

More than 2.5 years of development time was put into Labrador before launching, and much of this effort was put towards the software interface. Everything was been designed from the ground up to be simple to use for beginners, while retaining features that more experienced engineers could take use of.  For example, there’s a fully featured 2-channel DAQ mode with variable sample rate, CSV export, signal averaging and offline playback, but it’s placed up in the menus rather than the main screen.

Design decisions like this make Labrador suitable for makers and engineers of all skill levels.

The oscilloscope, especially, was redesigned from first principles to take advantage of the host PC’s immense processing power and memory. Every sample captured by the board’s ADC is sent over USB and buffered by the PC software, allowing you to view streams containing millions of samples at 60 frames per second without a single gap in the waveform.

The controls were designed with keyboard and mouse (or trackpad) in mind.  Note the lack of virtual knobs and dials in the screenshot below. All of this makes designing and debugging your circuits easier than ever – even compared to products from the likes of Tektronix and NI.

Above is an example of what the software interface looks like. Here, the signal generators are generating two different waveforms (sine and sawtooth), while the oscilloscope displays the two waveforms and the horizontal and vertical cursors measure the sine wave. Of course, if you’re a beginner, you don’t need to be doing all of that at the same time!

FAQs

What shipping method do you use?
Most of the boards are shipped out of Shenzhen via HongKong airmail.  If you’re in Europe, they will be sent via Belgium through BPost, as it’s roughly the same cost and a little bit faster.  Australian customers can have their boards shipped out of Melbourne for an additional small fee.  (For some reason, it’s cheaper to ship from Shenzhen to Sydney than Melbourne to Sydney!)

Is Labrador compatible with Arduino?
The Labrador board directly measures voltage waveforms, so it’s compatible with everything and anything electronic: Arduinos, motors, sensors, RC circuits, potatoes with nails in them and even you!

Do I need any additional hardware (such as probes) to use the Labrador?
Nope!  All you need is a microUSB cable that can transfer data, the board itself and a PC, Raspberry Pi or Android Phone to attach to.  The Labrador board connects to your circuits using simple breadboarding wire.

Does the Labrador come with a case?
The board comes “naked” but it’s possible to 3D print one if you plan on carrying the board around with you.  Please contact me and I can send you the files, free of charge.

Where do I go to download the software?
Here. I recommend downloading the Continuous build if you can (It’s recompiled every time I make a change to the code on GitHub), otherwise get the latest non-continuous version.

Where is the documentation?
Here.

I can’t find the pinout diagram!
For some reason the pinout diagram doesn’t come up when you google “EspoTek Labrador pinout”. It’s located here, though:
https://github.com/EspoTek/Labrador/wiki/Pinout.

What open source license do you use?
The software is licenced under GPL v3, and the hardware is licenced under Creative Commons 4.0 (CC BY-NC-SA). Note that this prevents commercial use of the hardware design files (but not the software). Realistically, though, as long as you’re not directly ripping off Labrador you’re probably welcome to use the design files. Just contact me first.

How can I contribute to the Labrador project?
The simplest thing you can do is provide feedback and bug reports, either at the GitHub Issues page or via email.
Reviews are appreciated too, either here or at Amazon.

I’m a teacher. Is Labrador suitable for classroom use?
The Labrador is a simple-to-use, robust and low-cost device.  Students can’t blow the board up unless they really try.  You could give one to every single student that takes an electrical engineering course and it would still be cheaper than installing a single Tektronix scope in the lab.

In that regard, it is perfect for classroom use, and that probably explains why I get so many emails from teachers.

Unfortunately, the educational resources for Labrador just don’t exist, and being a non-educator I lack the skills needed to make them myself.
Fortunately, this entitles you to the offer of a lifetime: share some Labrador-friendly practical electronics resources and I will give you or your organisation an enormous discount on as many boards as you want. Seriously.  I would love to see these used to teach EEE all over the world.

Support

All Labrador users have access to the best support possible: a direct email link to the product developer.
If you have any issues or suggestions, email [email protected] and I’ll do what I can to help; be it getting the software running on an unsupported OS, adding in a feature you’d like or just getting your board up and running.

In addition to this, community support and discussion is available at the GitHub Issues Page.

Full documentation (including pinout and a tutorial for beginners) for the hardware and software is available at the GitHub Wiki Page.

The Desktop software interface can be downloaded from GitHub Releases.

The Android software can be downloaded from Google Play.

Specifications

     
Oscilloscope Sample Rate 750ksps (shared)
  Bits per Sample 8, 12¹
  Bandwidth ~100kHz²
  Input Voltage Range -20V to +20V
  Input Impedance 1 MΩ
  No. of Channels 2
  Coupling AC/DC
Arbitrary Waveform Generator Waveform types Sin, Square, Triangle, Sawtooth, Arbitrary
  Sample Rate 1Msps
  Sample Depth 512 samples per channel
  Output voltage range 0.15V to 9.5V
  Bits per Sample 8
  Max. Current 10mA³
  Output Resistance 50Ω
  No. of Channels 2
Variable Power Supply Voltage Range 4.5V to 12V
  Max. Power 0.75W
  No. of Outputs 1
  Source Impedance Negligible⁴
  Ripple Voltage +-300mV%@10V 10mA, +-700mV%@10V 100mA
Logic Analyzer Sample Rate 3Msps per channel
  Supported voltage 3.3V, 5V, 12V
  No. of Channels 2
Digital Output Voltage 3.3V
  Source Impedance 50Ω
Multimeter Input Impedance 1MΩ
  Measured Parameters V, I, R, C
  Voltage Range -20V to +20V
  Current Range 100uA to 10A
  Resistance Range 1 ohm to 100k
  Capacitance Range 10pf to 1mf
Supported Platforms Windows Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10.  Both 32 and 64-bit supported.
  MacOS 10.10 (Yosemite) or later
  Linux Ubuntu 14.04 or later (or similar).  Both 32 and 64-bit supported.
  Android Version 4.1 or later

¹ – 12-bit sampling is available at 375ksps, single-channel only. ² – This figure is an approximate “maximum detectable frequency” dictated by the sample rate. ³ – This figure is for source current. Current is sunk partially into the opamp driving the signal gen and partially into a 1k resistor. Thus, maximum sink current can be calculated by dividing the output voltage by 1k and adding 50µA. This configuration was chosen so that capacitive loads could be driven without significant nonlinearities. In simpler terms, this means that if you’re trying to drive current into the waveform generator through use of an external current source, then the maximum current that the waveform generator can handle is reduced. (This is not something that would be an issue for most people.) ⁴ – The Power Supply is controlled by a closed-loop feedback loop that ensures the DC voltage across output remains constant. Thus, it has nonlinear elements, but can still be approximated by a Thévenin circuit with Vth = Vo and Rth = 0. ⁵ – Multimeter ranges vary with reference resistor used.

Media

Labrador was initially launched as part of a crowdfunding campaign through Crowd Supply that raised over $23,000. During this time, it was featured in several online publications, including Make:

There have also been two reviews so far. The first is from Graham Morrison of HackSpace Magazine, the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s official magazine for makers (PDF). The second is from Scott of Arduino Basics, an Aussie-based YouTube channel that received an early engineering prototype.

2 reviews for EspoTek Labrador Board

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Sebastain Bunnik

    Great product should definitely buy it, especially if you’re a student.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Joe

    I ordered this great device and had some trouble getting started. I emailed Chris and he replied promptly! His advice was great and he was so helpful with my issues. I’ve never had such good support in the tech world. I am now up and running and enjoying the learning experience. I’m an old guy and my background is electronics … I would encourage anyone who enjoys electronics and wants to learn to order one of these bad boys– it is sitting proudly on my work bench and I’m exploring all of the applications it has to offer. Much thanks to Chris for his immediate attention.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *