This is a short post to show off my first attempt at PCB milling. I’m a member of the Chicago Innovation Exchange. Well, I was, but now it’s no longer CIE but the Polsky Center, or maybe the Polsky Echange North, I’m not sure, but that’s what happens when someone invests $35 million in your incubator; you change your name. The center provides me access to a pretty swanky fab lab equipped with (among other things) an X-carve CNC mill. I recently completed my training on the machine and I wanted to put my skills to the test.
The Go! Link from Vernier Software & Technology (Vernier), is a USB adapter for their proprietary sensors which also provides some basic features such as a buffer, sensor auto-identification and raw voltage reading conversion. Vernier provides a software development kit which allows programmers to use Go! devices in their own systems. Since Wolfram’s Mathematica software became available on the Raspberry Pi, I have been thinking about how one can build a flexible sensor system using Vernier’s products and based on the inexpensive computer and the powerful data analysis and visualization tools of Mathematica. This project isn’t new, and my earlier attempts were highlighted on the Raspberry Pi blog and I recently announced a previous version of this software package. What I’m presenting now is a more user-friendly system that makes data collection easy through the device driver framework incorporated into Mathematica.
GoIOLink is the flagship component of a project I call VernierPiLink which seeks to provide a variety of Vernier-sensor-Raspberry-Pi integration resources. It relies on VS&T’s Go!Link USB adapter to perform the physical connection between an analog Vernier sensor and the Raspberry Pi. On the software side, I am using the Go! I/O software development kit also from VS&T and the Wolfram Language which comes free (for non-commercial use) on the Raspberry Pi.
In the previous iteration of my website, I had some details about installing the Vernier Go software development kit on the Raspberry Pi and then using Mathematica to visualize the results. Here is an updated set of instructions which is a little more straightforward.