Panda data-acquisition and FPGA dev board

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Amateur scientists and other home experimenters often have difficulty finding data-acquisition (DAQ) hardware meeting their needs at reasonable cost. PC sound-card I/O is sometimes adequate; otherwise, commercial DAQ offerings in the sub-$200 range are quite limited. (In my case, the immediate motivation for this project is data collection from a magnetometer observing solar-activity-induced disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field.)

The Pandaboard is ideal for this application because it is inexpensive, low-power, portable, runs Linux, and offers easy high-bandwidth expansion through the GPMC bus. I propose designing an expansion board with

A Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA will bridge the various functions with the Pandaboard interfaces. The design will be modular, such that the A/D, D/A, and GPS can be omitted, resulting in a board very similar to Eric Brombaugh's Beagleboard Tracker. Thus, this project will serve double-duty as a Tracker refresh for the Pandaboard.


(The original target for working hardware was mid-June 2011.)

Home page

Please visit for design detail and documentation.

Contact information


Black Market Winner -- 3/14/11 - 3/18/11 event
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