Phoenix provides Analog and Digital Input/Output capabilities to a
computer through the sockets on the top panel. Experiments are designed
utilizing these I/O capabilities and suitable sensor elements to
convert physical parameters into voltage signals. The program running
on the micro-controller makes the measurements as per the commands send
from the PC through RS232 or USB links. Users can access all these
features by calling functions from a Python
library. Python language is chosen due to its simplicity and ease
of doing scientific computation and graphics using it.
The figure shows a solenoid connected to the first Analog Input channel through a Level Shifting Amplifier. When the magnet is driven through the coil a voltage will be induced across the coil, which may go to both positive and negative values. The velocity of the magnet is chosen so that the peak voltage remains below 5V. The level shifting amplifier converts the -5V to 5V signal to a 0 to 5V signal , that is required for the analog input. To view a screenshot of the experiment capturing the waveform click here.
smaller board shown in the figure is a minimal version of Phoenix. The
2 mm round sockets, plastic casing and the op-amp circuits are not
there in this version. This board is sold by Phoenix vendors at US$
All the Phoenix programs can be run from this board also. This board can be used as a micro-controller development kit. The python program logger.py ( also require draw.py ) converts this board in to a data logger. A screenshot of it is here.