Red Pitaya Lets You Measure All The Things

As a wannabe science nerd I’ve always been fascinated by oscilloscopes, wave generators, and sensors of all types. Sadly, because of my inability to add simple figures (even with a calculator) nobody ever let me play with their lab equipment. That’s about to change.

Red Pitaya is a Slovenian-born sensor system that can turn any computer into a real lab-quality tool. To be clear, you have to be pretty smart to use it but, out of the box, the board acts as an oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, waveform generator, and a frequency response analyzer. The group responsible is also building an open source “app store,” called the Bazaar, where users can grab programs to use with the board.

It has a dual core ARM Cortex chip on board and features two analog inputs and two analog outputs as well as four lower-speed I/O ports. It supports Ethernet and includes a Micro SD slot.

Clearly this is some hacker-grade stuff and if you don’t know what you’d do with a Red Pitaya you’re probably not the right market. However, given the $299 price tag and unique functionality, it would be definitely interesting for, say a hackerspace or educational environment. They are looking for $50,000 and have already raised $6,000 and, I suspect, there will be quite a bit of demand for this thinger. It’s rare to see something this powerful available for, what I assume, is a pittance so it may be worth picking up a few, if only so you can finally get your hands on a darn oscilloscope.