All-in-one personal analog, digital circuit design station

Digilent launched the Electronics Explorer Board (EE Board), which includes everything needed to build and test many analog and digital circuits on the desktop, without any other equipment, the company said.

06/10/2011


Digilent Inc. has launched of the Electronics Explorer Board (EE Board), a powerful, all-in-one personal circuit design station. The company calls the EE Board an affordable product designed for students, hobbyists, and engineering professionals that includes everything needed to build and test many analog and digital circuits on the desktop, without any other equipment.

Priced for personal ownership, the EE Board provides students unlimited access to real hardware and software tools to design, simulate, test, and observe real circuits. Relieved from the time restrictions of the traditional university lab setting, students can spend more time experimenting with real circuits and building knowledge through direct observation and experience.

“The EE board enhances the way students learn. Students are no longer burdened with lecture or lab based learning,” said Clint Cole, Digilent’s president and instructor at Washington State University. “With access to lab grade tools anytime, anywhere, students can implement theory with real hands-on circuit design and prototyping experiences.”

The EE Board incorporates a solderless breadboard, a triple-output programmable power supply, a suite of test and measurement devices, and a high-speed USB2 port to connect to the users’ own PC. The station works in conjunction with WaveForms, a free software product that provides intuitive and easy to use interfaces to EE Board test and measurement devices.

Using the EE Board and accompanying instrument pack, a wide variety of circuits can be constructed and tested by connecting to any one of the six included test and measurement devices, including: four-channel, 40 MSa oscilloscope, two-channel arbitrary waveform generator, triple-output power supply (two programmable), four-channel voltmeter, two programmable reference voltages, 32-channel logic analyzer, 32-channel pattern generator, and an assortment of digital I/O devices.

Users can complete designs anytime, anywhere. Any desktop can be a complete, 24-hour design studio.

The EE Board is powered PC-based WaveForms, a free software product that provides intuitive and easy to use interfaces to acquire, store, analyze, produce, and reuse analog and digital signals. A high-speed USB2 connection ensures all instruments respond in near real-time. WaveForms data files are stored using standard formats, making it easy to share data between instruments or export data to word processors or graphics editors.

New users can quickly familiarize themselves with the board and software with the included starter kit and “My First Experiment Guide.” The guide includes simple step-by-step instructions which show the user how to build and test circuits made with parts from the bundled analog starter kit.

As a complement to the EE Board, Digilent has published a free, comprehensive set of educational materials designed for use in introductory analog electrical circuit classes. The materials, titled Real Analog, are presented as a series of modules covering approximately one week of instruction in a typical university setting. Real Analog contains videotaped lectures and corresponding lecture materials including: written materials, exercises, a homework assignment, and a lab assignment.

The curriculum examines theoretical concepts and provides practical applications of these concepts, an approach enhances student enjoyment and interest in the topics presented and improves comprehension of basic concepts. Use of the presented circuit analysis techniques in the context of circuit design is emphasized in the lab assignments, an approach enhances student enjoyment and interest in the topics presented and improves comprehension of basic concepts.

In addition to the bundled analog starter kit, users can purchase other digital and analog parts kits from Digilent. These include TI op-amps, TI low power dual bipolar op-amps, TI CMOS Dual complementary air plus inverter, TI CMOS hex inverter, TI precision timer, FET transistors, over 100 resistors, 12 capacitors and more.

As this announcement, the EE Board had non-academic, academic, and student unit prices.

www.digilentinc.com/eeboard

Digilent Inc.

Also see www.controleng.com/education.