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A Rapid Analysis and Signal Conditioning Laboratory (RASCL) Design Compatible with the National Instruments myDAQ® Platform

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.91.1 - 22.91.22



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Paper Authors


Steve Warren Kansas State University

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Steve Warren received a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Kansas State University in 1989 and 1991, respectively, followed by a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 1994. Dr. Warren is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Kansas State University. Prior to joining KSU in August 1999, Dr. Warren was a Principal Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. He directs the KSU Medical Component Design Laboratory, a facility partially funded by the National Science Foundation that provides resources for the research and development of distributed medical monitoring technologies and learning tools that support biomedical contexts. His research focuses on 1.) plug-and-play, point-of-care medical monitoring systems that utilize interoperability standards, 2.) wearable sensors and signal processing techniques for the determination of human and animal physiological status, and 3.) educational tools and techniques that maximize learning and student interest. Dr. Warren is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

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Xiongjie Dong Kansas State University


Tim J. Sobering Kansas State University

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Tim J. Sobering is an Electrical Engineer and serves as Director of the Kansas State University Electronics Design Laboratory. His B.Sc. (1982) and M.Sc. (1984) degrees are in Electrical Engineering, both from Kansas State University, where he specialized in instrumentation and measurement with graduate work focusing on low-power analog-to-digital conversion architectures and dynamic testing methods. He worked for 12 years at Sandia National Laboratories where he developed electro-optic remote sensing instruments for the detection of nuclear, biological, chemical, and laser weapons proliferation. In 1996 Tim came to K-State and started the Electronics Design Laboratory. As EDL's Director, Tim’s vision was realized as the laboratory came online and assumed the responsibility for supporting the instrumentation needs of research programs across all of K-State.

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Jason Yao East Carolina University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Jianchu (Jason) Yao joined the Department of Engineering at East Carolina University as an Assistant Professor in August, 2005. He received a B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Shaanxi university of Science and Technology, China, in 1992 and 1995, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Kansas State University in 2005. His research interests include wearable medical devices, telehealthcare, bioinstrumentation, control systems, and biosignal processing. His educational research interests are laboratory/project-driven learning and integration of research into undergraduate education. Dr. Yao is a member of the American Society of Engineering Education and a senior member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

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A Rapid Analysis and Signal Conditioning Laboratory (RASCL) Design Compatible with the National Instruments myDAQ® PlatformAbstractVirtual instruments and mobile data acquisition hardware for engineering education offerflexibility in learning venues and can help to alleviate overcrowding in traditional benchtopinstrumentation laboratory space. This paper presents a new design for a Rapid Analysis andSignal Conditioning Laboratory (RASCL) hardware toolset that provides a hardware bridge forthe myDAQ personal instrumentation platform recently released by National Instruments. ThemyDAQ platform is a handheld hardware unit that interfaces to a computer through a universalserial bus connection. It hosts two analog input channels, two analog output channels, eightdigital input/output channels, power supplies, and digital multimeter functionality. LabVIEWvirtual instruments then allow the myDAQ unit to provide the roles of, e.g., an oscilloscope, afunction generator, and a frequency-domain signal analyzer. The new RASCL design connectsto the myDAQ unit via a ribbon cable and provides a student with direct access to breadboardspace, a wide-frequency-range analog function generator, two electrically isolated signalchannels, various connectors (audio, BNC, and banana jack) for input/output signals, a walloutlet power adapter, and a wrist strap for electrostatic discharge protection. Mounting screwshold the myDAQ unit securely underneath the larger RASCL board. A carrying caseaccommodates the entire assembly and a parts/tools storage bin.The effectiveness of this learning toolset was assessed within the context of a Fall 2010 course:ECE 628 – Instrumentation. The course, which typically utilizes benchtop instrumentation, wassupplemented with virtual instruments and mobile hardware to support sessions that address amyDAQ/RASCL tutorial, instrumentation amplifiers, second-order filters, electrocardiography,and electrooculography. Pre- and post-session surveys and assessments indicate that (a) learningobjectives were effectively met with this technology, (b) students find the toolset to be a sensiblealternative to learning environments that employ desktop instrumentation, and (c) students wouldbe willing to invest in a such a resource, as it would be useful for many analog and digitalcourses offered in standard electrical and computer engineering curricula.

Warren, S., & Dong, X., & Sobering, T. J., & Yao, J. (2011, June), A Rapid Analysis and Signal Conditioning Laboratory (RASCL) Design Compatible with the National Instruments myDAQ® Platform Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17373

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