Fossasia’s PSLab Puts an Open Source Electronics Lab in Your Pocket (Updated)

The tiny pocket lab is outfitted with a myriad of sensors and measurement devices that allow you to perform science and engineering…

Cabe Atwell
a year ago

Fossasia’s Pocket Science Lab (PSLab) is a tiny board outfitted with a myriad of sensors and measurement tools that allow students and hobbyists alike to perform science and engineering experiments. According to the company, the USB-powered device was inspired by the open source hardware community and ExpEYES (Experiments for Young Engineers and Scientists) — a laptop-like platform that enables you to learn about science through exploration. Although PSLab uses some of the same technology as ExpEYES, Fossasia’s offering is much smaller and sports updated technology.

As far as the specs are concerned, the PSLab is equipped with a Microchip PIC24EP256GP204 microcontroller (32Kb SRAM, 256Kb flash), a footprint for an ESP32 (802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi), and a Bluetooth expansion slot.

The board’s toolset packs a 4-channel oscilloscope (up to 2MSPS), 12-bit voltmeter with programmable gain (input ranges from +/-10mV to +/-16V), 3X 12-bit programmable voltage sources (+/-3.3V, +/-5V, 0–3V), and a 12-bit programmable current source (0–3.3mA).

It also features a 4-channel 15nS Logic analyzer (4MHz), a pair of sine/triangular wave generators (5Hz to 5KHz with manual amplitude control), 4X PWM generators, capacitive measurement, and I2C, SPI, UART data buses for sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope, humidity), and ICSP programmer (PICkit3 compatible programmer slot).

On the software side, Fossasia has uploaded a repository for the Android app (for mobile experiments) and firmware, as well as a Python communications library on their GitHub page. You will also find KiCad schematics and other necessary documentation (including a pinout PDF) to get your experiments up and running. Everything (hardware/software) is open source, and Fossasia even lists a BOM for the hardware needed to build your own board. For those who don’t have the option of making their own, you can grab one on Seeed Studio for $64.90.

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