Affordable Hands-On Learning with NI ELVIS & Plug-In Boards

Publish Date: May 06, 2014 | 3 Ratings | 3.33 out of 5 | Print


NI ELVIS features plug-in boards to expand usability and functionality of the already robust platform. Plug-In boards extend NI ELVIS from instrumentation and circuit design to telecommunications, microcontrollers, digital electornics FPGA and control concepts.

Table of Contents

  1. Affordable Hands-On Learning Lab with NI ELVIS and Plug-In Boards
  2. Additional Resources

1. Affordable Hands-On Learning Lab with NI ELVIS and Plug-In Boards

Maximize lab usage and space by sharing lab resources between introductory level classes and advance senior projects in a range of multiple disciplines using NI ELVIS and plug-in boards by third parties.

Instrumentation and circuit labs can be extended with NI ELVIS plug-in boards and courseware from third parties such as Emona, Freescale Semiconductors, and Quanser to teach telecommunications, microcontroller, and control concepts. National Instruments also adds to the platform with a digital electronics field-programmable gate array (FPGA) plug-in board.


Control and Simulation with Quanser

Take advantage of the different plug-in boards for the NI ELVIS platform created by Quanser, a leader in control design training systems for academia, to teach control, simulation, and design concepts. The Quanser Engineering Trainers for NI ELVIS (QNET) are compatible with the NI ELVIS product family, starting with NI ELVIS to the current NI ELVIS II+. The hardware plants are also tightly coupled with NI LabVIEW graphical system design software, using the NI LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module. Courseware and example code is included, giving educators the ability to teach basic control design with NI ELVIS and Quanser and bring control design and simulation concepts such as PID, Root Locus, and more to life with hands-on interactive experiments.

For teaching control concepts, Quanser currently offers five plug-in boards:

The QNET-010 DC Motor Control Trainer is designed to illustrate the fundamentals of DC motor control. You can quickly and easily configure it to control motor position and speed as well as parameter estimation and control of a haptics knob.

The QNET-011 Rotary Inverted Pendulum offers students the opportunity to balance a vertical rod at the tip of a rotating arm using a DC motor. You can now perform this classic inverted pendulum control experiment using the NI ELVIS design and prototyping platform and LabVIEW.

The QNET-012 HVAC Trainer is ideal for illustrating concepts covered in fluid dynamics and thermodynamics control courses. It teaches students how to design a control system that regulates temperature in a chamber. The trainer features a chamber equipped with a temperature sensor, heat source, and fan.

The QNET-013 Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) Actuator trainer introduces the fundamentals of motion control, dynamics, and kinematics of aerospace applications. The system consists of a variable-speed fan and arm assembly that pivots along a single axis.

The QNET-014 Mechatronics Sensor 1 Trainer is ideal for introducing students in cross-discipline fields to sensors, measurements, and sensor application. Various experiments use the NI ELVIS design and prototyping platform and LabVIEW software to take measurements from analog and digital sensors.

  The QNET Myoelectric trainer is an exciting way to introduce students to biomedical engineering. Students can learn how to control a servo from the contraction of muscles using the principles of electromyography (EMG).


Telecommunications and Fiber Optics with Emona

 Emona Instruments takes a unique block diagram approach to modeling telecommunication signals and systems to enhance understanding in the lab. They have created two plug-in boards for the NI ELVIS platform – DATEx for the study of telecommunications concepts and FOTEx for fiber optics. Students build models of communication systems and coding schemes by using patch cables to wire circuit blocks on the board and using NI ELVIS to supply the stimulus and measurement of the response. Theory can come to life with real signals as students build and model modulation and coding schemes. For the educator, each board comes with full set of exercises providing a complete out-of-the-box experience.

DATEx Telecoms-Trainer 202 is a telecommunication trainer that is ideal for introductory telecommunication concepts. With more than 20 single-functional building blocks, such as adders, multipliers, and phase shifters, students can learn analog and digital communications concepts including AM, FM, DSB, SSB, PAM, PCM, PWM, speech, SNR, equation modeling, sampling, TDM, PCM, ASK, FSK, BPSK, QPSK, QAM, DSSS, and noise generation.

Fiber Optical Trainer ETT-211 in combination with NI ELVIS and LabVIEW, provides a self-contained single platform to teach  fiber optic communications concepts such as optical signal transmission, optical signal splitting and combining, bidirectional optical fiber link, wavelength division multiplexer (WDM), optical loses, and more.


Microcontrollers with Freescale

Explore the design and testing of MCU systems, with an NI ELVIS plug-in board from leading semiconductor manufacturer Freescale Semiconductor. Different Freescale modules can be plugged into this board to include MCUs from the family of HCS08, HCS12/HCS12x/DSP, ColdFire processors, and RF transceivers. Using the included Freescale CodeWarrior software, students can program the selected MCU. Also, because the board is built for the NI ELVIS platform, educators can take advantage of the 12 integrated instruments to test the different parameters such as operating voltage and measure the variables, troubleshooting implementations. Students get a hands-on approach to learn how to use MCUs as they go through the complete design, prototype, and deploy experience.


NI ELVIS II Plug-In Board Module Development Kit

Can’t find a board for your teaching area or application? You can custom create plug-in boards for the NI ELVIS with the NI ELVIS II/II+ Plug-In Module Development Kit. Download this kit to develop custom plug-in boards for use with the NI ELVIS II/II+ hardware platform based on your unique needs and applications. It contains specifications, pin out information, mechanical drawings and example files. 


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2. Additional Resources

What is NI ELVIS?

Learn more about NI ELVIS for Teaching Circuits

Download the NI ELVIS II Plug-In Board Module Development Kit

Buy NI ELVIS and Plug-In Boards


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