I received my Raspberry Pi a few weeks ago and I've been preparing for a project. One of the main issues when developing hardware is the dificulty to "see" the signals we're working with and debug our projects or prototypes. Osciloscopes are often either very expensive or very low-end. With the versatility of the Raspberry Pi to connect to almost ANY display (specially now with the Pi View) and its computing power I had the idea of building an additional board to turn the pi into a digital osciloscope. With the versatility given by the Linux OS plus the accesibility of I/O pins for H/W interface the Pi could be a very powerful protocol analyzer. The model B is perfect for this application because of the extra memory and the ethernet port wich would allow for remote measurements even without the need for a display!! If it even comes to that.
- Voltage translators to enable the pi to connect to higher voltage buses
- At least 2 A/D channels (maybe 4 but I'm not sure)
- Analog signal preconditioning
- Memory for temporal storage of data
- Isolated inputs from the I/O pins in the Raspberry Pi to protect from high voltages or currents
- It will be powered independently from the Pi (because of the isolation needed) with all required voltages generated in the board from single 5V supply
- OpenHardware and Opensource project so the community could work on it make suggestions and improvements
Future developments could include a version of Linux with a Real Time Kernel in order to make more accurate timing measurements
The Raspberry Pi is a perfect tool to encourage Software development, the basic idea behind the project is to help turn it into a perfect tool for Hardware hacking too. Imagine when you could design a new expansion board for the Pi with the Pi, manufacture it, then test it also with the Pi and finally use it! It would make for a very powerful, very complete developing tool. I'm still in the planning stages but hope to start soon. I look forward to be sharing my progress and hearing your comments soon!
EDIT: I need help, anybody know someplace like google.code to host the files of the project? Because google.code only accepts OSI approved licenses and I'm liking this Creative Commons one which seems not to be OSI approved http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Thanks!