We're excited about this because this new model represents a huge step up for commercial, industrial and cluster computing applications when used with our latest product Cluster Blade, which we're also announcing today.
Cluster Blade more than doubles the power of its predecessor, adding a full function control plane and active cooling system to turn this latest Raspberry Pi, with its 64-bit kernel running in 8G of RAM and booting over the network into the most powerful SBC cluster solution available.
Physically compatible with the same Rack and Cluster products as Quattro and leveraging BitScope's experience building Pi Clusters, Cluster Blade is specially designed to create robust industrial grade clusters of virtually any size with Raspberry Pi.
Cluster Blade offers more than twice the power capacity, full remote management for each node, pre-emptive cooling, system monitoring and integrated diagnostics support. We will also release a range of new Edge Rack and Cluster Module designs to take full advantage of Cluster Blade over the coming months. Read More...
With the launch of the Raspberry Pi 4 today, we can confirm that this latest exciting addition to the Raspberry Pi family is fully compatible with BitScope Micro, Mini and BitScope Blade Uno and Duo. It can be used with Quattro too, but only using three slots due to power contraints (more on this soon!).
The Internet is abuzz with news about Raspberry Pi 4 and with good reason.
For an excellent video review check out Alex Eames's Video Wrap.
As for us, we were very pleased to be invited to road test the Pi4 earlier in the year. We quickly realised this model is a game changer because it has more than enough processing capability, graphics performance and I/O speed to qualify as an engineering workstation!
So we set about building a powerful workstation solution based on the Raspberry Pi 4 mixed in with some BitScope expertise and features.
We decided it needed to be small, self contained, easily powered from almost any DC power supply and offering effective cooling for running heavy workloads. Further, we wanted it to support onboard SSD for mass storage, a real-time clock, battery backup UPS, HAT expansion (of course) and being a BitScope, onboard voltage and current monitoring, and an oscilloscope and data acquisition port. Read More...
BitScope Mini owner Tom Owad has come up with a brilliant but simple idea to mount his BitScope on his iMac to create a convenient stand-alone test and measurement workstation.
He explains it all at applefritter.com.
In a nutshell, he's modelled the Smart Port Adapter and created a 3D-printed bracket for it. Using the bracket he's mounted the BitScope to his iMac.
Check out his blog post for full details.
He's also included the OpenSCAD and STL files you'll need to do the same.
The beauty of his design is its simplicity and flexibility. The bracket and adapter is fixed to iMac but the BitScope isn't.
He can simply unplug his BitScope Mini and take it with him when he needs to "go mobile". BitScope itself is so small that it's effectively just a "plug that activates the iMac Oscilloscope".
As you can see, the BitScope Mini, its port adapter and Tom's bracket are barely visible at the bottom of the iMac display but they're in a very convenient location for a test and measurement workstation. Read More...
Following the launch of the new Raspberry Pi 3+ today, we can confirm that this latest exciting addition to the Raspberry Pi family is fully compatible with BitScope Micro, Mini and BitScope Blade Uno, Duo and Quattro.
It can be used in BitScope Blade packs, racks, modules and clusters in the same way as Raspberry Pi 3 but it offers a range of significant improvements including "Gigabit" Ethernet, fast WiFi and support for Power Over Ethernet (PoE).
At first glance there seems to be little to pick between them. In fact, from a physical point of view they are virtually identical.
While this new Raspberry Pi looks great and is, in our humble opinion, very nicely designed and manufactured it's what you can't see that makes all the difference.
To this end we have been testing this new "slice of Pi" for more than month to discover all the nooks and crannies and we're very impressed with the improvements the Raspberry Pi team have managed to pack in. Read More...
Following the news of the BitScope Clusters Project for the Los Alamos National Laboratory and its exhibit at Super Compute 2017 in Denver this week, the response has been huge and very positive.
You don't need to surf online long to see that many people really like the idea.
It's not just the team at LANL.
However, when people see the scale of the BitScope Cluster there is a very frequently asked question:
"Wow, that's amazing...why?"
To answer this we thought it would be a good idea to create a dedicated website.
We'll post news about BitScope Clusters at bitscope.com from time to time but if you want the latest information about this project and the range of new Raspberry Pi Cluster Modules we'll be launching soon, see cluster.bitscope.com.
Lots of people also ask us where they can buy a Cluster Module, now. For answers to both these questions, Read More...
Denver 13th November 2017, BitScope Designs, developer of BitScope Blade, an infrastructure platform for Raspberry Pi available globally via element14, has built a large Raspberry Pi cluster for a pilot conceived at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
The 750 node cluster, comprising five rack mount BitScope Cluster Modules, each with 150 x 64 bit quad-core Raspberry Pi ARM boards and integrated network switches is the first step in a program run by the New Mexico Consortium (NMC), an organisation of three NM Universities and led by LANL.
With up to 3,000 cores working together, the cluster gives developers and researchers exclusive time on an inexpensive but highly parallelized platform for test and validation of scalable systems software technologies.
Gary Grider, leader of the High Performance Computing Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory and home of the Trinity supercomputer said: “It’s not like you can keep a petascale machine around for R&D work in scalable systems software. The Raspberry Pi modules let developers figure out how to write this software and get it to work reliably without having a dedicated testbed of the same size, which would cost a quarter billion dollars and use 25 megawatts of electricity.”
Looking around for a solution to the challenges facing HPC Systems Software developers, Grider said, he “suddenly realized the Raspberry Pi was an inexpensive computer using 2 to 3 watts that you could use to build a several-thousand-node system large enough to provide a low-cost, low-power testbed to enable this R&D.” Yet he could not find a suitable densely packaged Raspberry Pi system on the market - “it was just people building clusters with Tinker Toys and Legos,” said Grider, a widely respected innovator in the HPC world. So he turned to SICORP of Albuquerque, N.M., to collaborate on a solution.
Bruce Tulloch, CEO of BitScope Designs said: “Having worked with Raspberry Pi for quite some time, I’ve long thought it the ideal candidate to build low-cost cloud and cluster computing solutions for research and education. When SICORP approached us with Gary’s plans, we jumped at the opportunity to prove the concept.”
BitScope Blade turned out to be the perfect platform to build the solution. With its ability to power and mount multiple Raspberry Pi in a compact and robust way, BitScope was able to design, develop and build the entire cluster to LANL’s specifications in less than three months.
Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading said: “This is the first time we’ve seen Raspberry Pi packaged in such a way that clusters of potentially very large size can be built. This project demonstrates that even in the field of advanced supercomputing research, Raspberry Pi can have a fascinating role to play.”
A BitScope Cluster Module is on exhibit at The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC17) in Denver this week. Read More...
BitScope Blade is the premier solution for building compute cluster and cloud solutions with Raspberry Pi.
We've come a long way over the past few months, working hard behind the scenes and one new development in particular excites us.
If you're in or near Denver next week, come and visit us at The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis to learn all about it!
High Performance Computing is not a field in which we've worked much before but that's set to change, thanks to Raspberry Pi, Blade and the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
LANL has chosen Raspberry Pi and BitScope to solve some difficult problems they face as world leading developers of high performance super compute clusters like Trinity and Crossroads. They will explain how at the conference. Read More...
In January this year we launched the BitScope Blade range through element14’s distribution channels. It's the latest result in a fruitful strategic alliance between our two companies which has seen element14 and its subsidiaries providing manufacturing and distribution support for popular BitScope products such as BitScope Micro.
Farnell element14 caught up with BitScope CEO Bruce Tulloch to find out more about the BitScope Blade launch, working with element14 and carving out a niche in an increasingly competitive market.
In the interview Bruce introduced BitScope Blade, some typical applications and the intended audience for what is a unique product in industrial computing.
Bruce explained BitScope's motivation for developing Blade in the first place and how working with element14, its resale partners and Embest Technologies has made it possible to have these new products made available to customers around the world.
When asked about BitScope's future plans and products Bruce gave a brief outline of the roadmap alluding to new Blade based BitScope test, measurement and data acquisition systems as well as hub cards, cluster packs, racks and power plates to construct and scale up solutions beyond four Raspberry Pi and BitScope devices to clusters of twenty, forty, eighty or more.
Bruce also talked about future directions in industrial computing and IoT and recent developments that have caught his attention which are driving the R&D direction of the company and our new products releases.
The new model adds the missing link; wireless connectivity. We like it!
This tiny little Pi is a full computer:
All this is the same as the last edition of the original version (V1.3).
The game changer in this one is full support for Bluetooth 4.0 and 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi!
It's the same wireless connectivity that impressed us at the Raspberry Pi 3 launch this time last year.
Since the Raspberry Pi team told us about it we've been hard at work looking into BitScope solutions.
BitScope is compatible with Raspberry Pi already and since Raspberry Pi 3 we've had wireless support. What's interesting here is the size and price of Pi Zero Wireless combined with the compact BitScope Micro. Read More...
In this post we'll get you started.
In each package is the Blade (Uno, Duo or Quattro), a Quick Start Guide, Product Compliance Statement, a Safety Guide and set of screws, spacers and tabs.
The Raspberry Pi and power supplies are available separately as there is a range of options from which to choose.
Using Blade is as simple is plugging in one or more Raspberry Pi and optionally HAT, CAP or HUB cards, inserting an SD card and connecting power.
There are a few assembly steps first.
Follow through the guide to learn the options available when assembling it including mounting and powering Blade itself and how to install the Raspberry Pis, HATs, cameras, displays and other USB, Network, I2C, SPI, serial and GPIO periperhals and expansion options that are available.
There's a lot more than meets the eye when using Raspberry Pi with BitScope Blade. Read More...
We had an unexpected demonstration of just how robust Raspberry Pi is as a compute platform this week.
If you live downunder where our R&D headquarters are, you will know it's been very hot for quite a while.
It just seems like it will never end↗.
Recently the mercury topped 40℃ (that's 104℉) in Sydney. If the airconditioning fails it's intolerable, not just for humans.
Unfortunately, that's just what happened over the weekend just past in our lab and inside it got very hot.
We had pair of Dell PowerEdge servers for our office and R&D teams in the lab but the overheating got the better of them and after years of service they both died.
Not so the 32 Raspberry Pi in the same lab mounted in Blade Racks and on the wall all powered by Blade boards.
As we wrote a few days ago, we reckon Blade Duo↗ and pair of Raspberry Pi and WDLabs' PiDrive↗ is perfect combination for replacing our old servers. There's nothing like a little dogfooding↗ to prove a product idea so we'll write up what we've done after we've migrated our server set up a new Blade Duo and PiDrive. Read More...
BitScope Blade Reloaded is our latest computing infrastructure platform for Raspberry Pi.
BitScope Blade solves the "power and mounting problem" using Raspberry Pi.
Like most single board computers, a common problem using Raspberry Pi is how to power it reliably and how to mount it robustly. It can be especially challenging when additional peripherals such as HATs and USB devices like BitScope are used and/or when you're using more than one.
BitScope Blade solves these problems making it easy to build small stand-alone servers, routers and workstations up to full sized compute clusters, private clouds, industrial IoT, edge and fog computing platforms, industrial data acquisition and control systems. HATs and other peripherals compatible with Raspberry Pi are fully supported and all of them work much more reliably when powered by BitScope Blade.
In this post we explain three typical example applications to show how BitScope Blade solves these and other problems when using Raspberry Pi for industrial, commercial and educational purposes. Read More...
The MAAS PowerHouse Museum↗ has created an interactive exhibit to demonstrate how a Theremin works.
A Theremin is a novel electronic musicial instrument, invented almost by accident by Leon Theremin in the 1920s.
The team at MAAS are advocates of learning by doing and having fun while you do it so they sought to create an entertaining exhibit where visitors play the theremin to hear and see the results while learning how it all works.
MAAS used BitScope Blade Uno together with a Raspberry Pi, BitScope and LCD monitor to build the exibit. Adding some low cost off-the-shelf parts, they had all they needed to build the installation.
We're very impressed with the system the MAAS team built. It was a great example of how to use BitScope, Blade and Raspberry Pi to create an exhibit.
It demonstrated how easy it is to build a reliable, hands-free embedded physical computing platform with Raspberry Pi and BitScope when power and mounting issues are resolved using BitScope Blade.
With the launch of the new BitScope Blade range with our friends at element14 earlier this week, we'll publish more examples like this for use in industrial and related embedded applications. Read More...
A team lead by Prabesh Sapkota and Binod Kandel from the Robotics Association of Nepal↗ in Nepal built a battery backed solar powered weather station at very low cost using BitScope Blade Uno, Raspberry Pi and Arduino.
The result of a series of workshops in STEM created by Michelle Jensen↗ and run with the help of Nepalese enthusiasts, this amazing project showed how BitScope Blade can be used to power electronics and computers in remote areas without access to reliable power.
Weather forecasting in Nepal is difficult because there is no national weather service and the high mountains produce highly variable conditions within just a few kilometers. You need your own weather station but they're not cheap.
They solved the problem with Raspberry Pi, Arduino and a bunch of sensors to build a system which was low cost, reliable, easy to maintain, operates on solar power and uses readily available motorcycle batteries for when the sun does not shine.
Powering the entire project was the problem. BitScope Blade Uno offered the perfect solution, powering the Raspberry Pi directly and the Arduino and sensors via one of its auxiliary power ports.
It's been running successfully 24x7 since September. As project leader Prabesh said, "The Weather Station would not be possible without the Blade. It made the whole project for us." Read More...
BitScope Blade Reloaded is our latest infrastructure platform for Raspberry Pi.
It allows Raspberry Pi to be used to build reliable and scalable computing solutions in industry, commerce and education.
The new models expand the features and capabilities of the original adding support for camera and display connections and full access to Raspberry Pi I/O including I2C, SPI, UARTs and GPIO via the Blade HUB connector underneath each Pi.
Like the original, Blade Reloaded boards are very accommodating, accepting DC power from 9V to 48V, and they can be used with the same wide range of rack, power and mounting solutions.
Whether it's a stand-alone solar powered weather station in a remote area, a multi-channel test, measurement and data acquisition system for factory automation, or a full scale compute cluster with 40 nodes or more, BitScope Blade makes it possible. Read More...
We had a ball exhibiting BitScope Mini, BitScope Micro, BitScope Blade and full range of accessories at the recent Sydney Mini Maker Faire held at the MAAS Powerhouse Museum in Sydney last weekend.
During the course of the faire we were visited by makers, students, children and their parents, teachers and engineers.
We were impressed with how engaged visitors were with many expressing a keen interest in how electronics and computing can be used together to solve problems.
We used Raspberry Pi 3 to demonstrate BitScopes in various configuration as well as part of the Blade exhibits themselves.
We used our low cost compute platform built with Blade Uno and Raspberry Pi 3 to create workstations with which visitors could interract and control BitScope Micro and BitScope Mini scopes connected to various real-time exhibits.
From guitar playing to mixed signal electronic circuits on breadboards and cluster of Raspberry Pi crunching the numbers, we did our best to cover the full range of BitScope products and software.
Thanks also to our friends at element14 for helping with materials and offering three Raspberry Pi Starter Kits to match three BitScope Micro which we're giving away to three lucky visitors next week. Read More...
Bruce was invited to present a seminar about cluster and physical computing with BitScope Blade and Raspberry Pi at the Sydney Linux User Group meet up at Google last Friday. It was a good talk followed by a solid Q&A session.
Bruce introduced BitScope Designs and our history in test, measurement and mixed signal data acquisition solutions.
The first half of this seminar explains what BitScope Blade is, where it came from and how to use it to build low cost physical & cluster computing solutions.
Bruce then presented a wide range of computing solutions that can be built with Raspberry Pi and BitScope Blade.
Our thanks to the Sydney Linux User Group for the invitation to speak and Google Sydney for hosting the event. If you're in Sydney (which does not always look like this but it does at the moment due to Vivid :) and you're interested in Linux, open source software or systems and solutions like the ones we presented here, we recommend you join this user group. Read More...
It was an impressive example of eating your own dog food and Raspberry Pi 3 rose to the challenge for quite a while.
Check out Raspberry Pi's latest blog to learn all the details but suffice to say we think Raspberry Pi 2 and now Pi 3 are an excellent choice for building servers.
Using a cheap 4-port switch and HDD extracted from a Bruce's ultrabook (when he upgraded it to use an SSD), we've run our DHCP, DNS, WiFi AP and local file servers on these two Raspberry Pi 2 with a wall mounted Duo Pi. It's been running since September without a single crash. The key to its reliability is the stability of the power supply provided by the Duo Pi and the fact that we run the main server from the HDD (and not the SD card which boots the server only). Read More...
Raspberry Pi Model 3 unboxed & reviewed with Duo Pi.
Check it out his short video to learn the key differences between Pi3 and Pi2. You can also learn how he used a Duo Pi to power and mount both side by side and connected the Pi3 to the TV in his hotel room.
Blade is BitScope's industrial power and mounting solution for Raspberry Pi.
Originally designed with Raspberry Pi 2 in mind, Blade systems can be built using either model. The built-in wireless connectivity in the new Pi3 means that in many cases wired Ethernet connections are not required and the faster 64-bit quad core CPU means more powerful compute clusters and private cloud platforms can be built using Blade Packs. Read More...
It's hard to spot the difference just looking at it but this is new Raspberry Pi 3.
It's the latest iteration of Raspberry Pi in the popular "Model B" form factor and we think it's somewhat of a game changer for IoT and physical computing !
It combines a quad-core 64 bit CPU with built-in 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) without changing anything else making it the perfect upgrade for BitScope Blade.
No longer do you need to use wired network connections or USB dongles to access WiFi networks and devices.
Connect with Bluetooth devices and crunch the numbers with a performance not seen before with Raspberry Pi. All the other connectivity options are still there; 4 x USB2 ports, Ethernet and J8 SPI, GPIO and serial I/O.
Build wirelessly connected IoT test, measurement and data acquisition systems with Raspberry Pi 3 and BitScope Micro or Mini or large compute clusters or private cloud platforms without network switches or wiring with BitScope Blade. In one small package, Raspberry Pi 3 makes all these things possible. Read More...
We love the Raspberry Pi and have long supported it to build a low cost oscilloscope solution with BitScope.
BitScope is also used for a wide range of test and measurement purposes beyond just as an oscilloscope and we're often asked for low cost scalable solutions for data acquisition, sensing and control.
It made sense to see if we could leverage Raspberry Pi for all this as well. Turns out we can, so we created BitScope Blade!
We've long offered network connected T&M solutions like BS445 but BitScope Blade makes these models redundant.
Instead we can now offer comprehensive industrial quality, highly reliable solutions using Raspberry Pi. You can build very flexible and scalable test, measurement and data acquisition systems using low cost BitScope Micro and BitScope Mini and BitScope Blade. It works with other solutions too, like Sense HAT.
It doesn't end there. BitScope Blade is also well suited for stand-alone servers and workstations, cluster computing and cloud hosting infrastructure, remote sensing, general physical computing and education. Read More...
We bootstrapped the new Raspberry Pi LCD like everyone else but with a twist, we wall mounted it and powered it with a 12V battery (using BitScope Blade).
We were keen to see what the display looked like and to check that our software and hardware worked with it. We are pleased to report it looks fantastic and everything just works !
The touchscreen also works very well with BitScope Software, no keyboard is required! You can of course plug in a keyboard and mouse if you want to.
The Raspberry Pi, touchscreen display and up to four BitScope Micro can all be powered from a 9V to 48V source via the soon to be released BitScope Blade DuoPi power board for Raspberry Pi.
It's the perfect stand alone test, measurement and data acquisition system at an amazingly low price. Read More...
Calling teachers, students and makers !
This year, we're working with Ozberry and Pimoroni to showcase some projects for Raspberry Pi, BitScope and Explorer and Piano HAT among others.
We will have our new BitScope Blade Raspberry Pi Cluster Computing solution on display, BitScope Micro Ports, Audio Port and Sonic Pi and even Carrie Anne's Bananna Beat Box for Raspberry Pi.
Also on the stand will be projects built with PiRack and an object avoiding robot with a Raspberry Pi V2 running the brand new Windows 10 for IoT.
We'll have some give aways from element14 Australia and we welcome your questions and feedback on the Ozberry stand.
We're keen to hear from teachers, students and others interested in STEM, coding and electronics. Read More...
If you're in Sydney next week, come and see Carrie Anne Philbin at a seminar and sample a Picademy workshop hosted at Thinkspace at the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Wednesday August 5th!
Also presenting will be Nicky Ringland, one of the founders of Grok Learning and Outreach Officer for the National Computer Science School.
We've arranged this seminar with the help of MAAS, element14 and many others to present some key ideas in STEM education and physical computing using Raspberry Pi and partner products such as BitScope Blade and Pimoroni Explorer HAT. Read More...
If you're in Hannover this weekend, come and see us at stand 85 at the Hannover Maker Faire !
Karl-Ludwig from Butte Verlag will present a session about Electronic measurement with Raspberry Pi and BitScope Micro.
He'll be explaining how to get the most from BitScope Micro & Raspberry Pi with examples including an IR controlled model elevator and some fault finding examples with electronic circuits.
We'll also be showing our new low cost Micro Snap prototype boards designed for BitScope Micro. They're ideal for all sorts of prototyping for makers working in educational and industrial fields.
We're also very excited to be exhibiting BitScope Blade, our new industrial power and rack mount system for physical computing using Raspberry Pi and BitScope Micro. You can use it to build network test, measurement and data acquisition solutions that scale to 32 analog and 96 logic channels with just 4 Raspberry Pi and 16 BitScope Micro! We'll have working prototypes on the stand. Read More...
We've released the first beta update in the development branch ahead of BitScope DSO version 3.0.
We have added new features and fixed many bugs. The time has come to make the new version available for beta testing.
We want you to have the latest software for BitScope as soon as possible. This means releasing the new version it while it's still in development.
To make this easy we're using support allowing you to track the development, download the latest updates and feedback bug reports and feature requests.
This new software fixes bugs reported in earlier versions and adds new features but it may also have some new bugs.
We recommend it if you have any issues using older versions or you want to have the latest features. Read More...
We're often asked what's required to get started with BitScope, so we've posted this blog to answer the question.
Everything you need to use BitScope is included in the box and you can download the software free of charge.
We aim to get you up and running quickly so you can start using BitScope to make measurements straight away.
That's why we include a printed Quick Start Guide to show you the first out of box steps. Simply plug in your BitScope and you're good to go. All you need is to download, install and run the software.
For most PCs and embedded computer (including Raspberry Pi) it just works but if you run into trouble help is at hand.
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