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README.md

PSLab-python

The Pocket Science Lab from FOSSASIA https://pslab.io

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This repository hosts the python library for communicating with PSLab. This can be installed on a linux pc/raspberry pi. With this, one can communicate with the hardware using simple python code.

The goal of PSLab is to create an Open Source hardware device (open on all layers) that can be used for experiments by teachers, students and citizen scientists. Our tiny pocket lab provides an array of sensors for doing science and engineering experiments. It provides functions of numerous measurement devices including an oscilloscope, a waveform generator, a frequency counter, a programmable voltage, current source and as a data logger. Our website is at: https://pslab.io

Communication

Please join us on the following channels:

Installation

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

Dependencies

  • Python 3.4 or higher Link to Official download page
  • Pip   Support package installer
  • NumPy   For numerical calculations
  • PySerial   For device connection
  • iPython-qtconsole   Optional

Note If user is only interested in using PSLab as an acquisition device without a display/GUI, only one repository pslab-python needs to be installed. If you like a GUI, try installing pslab-desktop following the instructions provided in that repository Readme file

To install, cd into the directories
$ cd <SOURCE_DIR>

and run the following

$ sudo make clean

$ sudo make

$ sudo make install

Now you are ready with the PSLab software on your machine :)

Windows

Instructions

Step 1: Install the latest Python version on your computer and configure PATH variable to have both Python installation directory and the Scripts directory to access pip tools.

In windows, Python is installed in C: drive by default. We can set $PATH by opening the Environment variables dialog box by following the steps below;

  1. [Right click on My Computer]
  2. Select "Properties"
  3. Open "System Properties"
  4. Click "Advanced" tab
  5. Click "Environment Variables" button
  6. Look for "PATH" in "System Variables" section and click on it and press "Edit" button
  7. To the end of "Variable value" text box, append "C:\Python34\;C:\Python34\Scripts\;" (without quotes and 34 may differ depending on the python version installed. It could be 35, 37 ...)
  8. Click "OK" twice to save and move out from path windows

Step 2: Open up command prompt and execute the following commands to install the required dependencies.

$ pip install pyserial

$ pip install numpy
Validate
  1. Download the PSLab-Python library from this repository and extract it to a directory.
  2. Browse in to that directory and create a new file named test-pslab-libs.py
  3. Paste the following code into that file and save it.
from PSL import sciencelab
I = sciencelab.connect()
capacitance = I.get_capacitance()
print(capacitance)
  1. Plug in the PSLab device and check if both the LEDs are turned on.
  2. Now run this file by typing python test-pslab-libs.py on a command prompt and observe a numerical value printed on the screen along with PSLab device version and the port it is connected to.

Development Environment

To set up the development environment, install the packages mentioned in dependencies. For building GUI's Qt Designer is used.

Steps to build documentation

First install sphinx by running following command

sudo pip install -U Sphinx

Then go to pslab/docs and run the following command

$ sudo make html

Blog posts related to PSLab on FOSSASIA blog

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