Cost Effective Digital I/O for LabView

Example GP3 VI

LabView is great software, but it isn’t easy to find inexpensive hardware that works with it. Since the GP-3 is a serial device (RS232 or USB) LabView can use it, but it does take a bit of hoop jumping to match the GP-3’s efficient binary protocol with LabView’s string-oriented I/O.

Because so many people have asked me about how to use LabView with the GP-3, I’ve started posting blocks that do the GP-3 functions. I don’t have them all yet, but I’m steadily adding to them, and the example they provide would make it pretty easy to do any of them you want (in fact, I just copy, paste, and modify to get most of them myself).

Read the whole article at and look for the download files at the bottom.

Science Projects for Your… um… Your Kids… Yeah

Great site: http://www.sci-toys.com/index.html with lots of science projects you can do at home. In fact, with just stuff I had laying around the house and this site I had a neat high voltage demonstration to wow my grandkids with big blue sparks. But I did get to explain some science to them too. Now granted, I have a lot of strange things around my house, but honestly the only odd thing were jumper wires with alligator clips on the ends. And I bet you could rig it up with some ordinary wire just as well. Look at http://www.sci-toys.com/scitoys/scitoys/electro/electro4.html#franklin for more details on that project.

There are plenty of others:

  • A simple ion motor
  • Your own 3D pictures
  • A gauss rifle
  • Homemade radios from household items
  • World’s simplest steam boat
  • Making a spectrometer from a CDROM

Lots more and most needing no real exotic parts. This excellent site does sell kits for some of the projects, but all the details are right there on the Web site — no need to buy anything if you don’t want to.

Well done!