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<== Date ==> <== Thread ==>

Subject: Trying out EPICS on a plug computer
From: Eric Norum <wenorum@lbl.gov>
To: EPICS tech-talk <tech-talk@aps.anl.gov>
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2010 14:35:26 -0700
We were looking for an inexpensive way to connect Larry Doolitte's Low-Level RF board to EPICS.  The LLRF board uses USB to connect to the outside world so the IOC controlling it needs to be fairly close.  We purchased a SheevaPlug (http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/p-22-sheevaplug-dev-kit-us.aspx). for around $100 (US).  The SheevaPlug is a plug computer (http://www.openplug.org/) about the size and shape of a typical AC adapter.  It has a USB 2.0 interface and 10/100/1000 ethernet and comes with Linux installed on the flash memory.   The development kit also contains a CD with all the cross-development tools

I made a couple of changes to <base>/configure/os/CONFIG.Common.linux-arm on my Linux host machine and, to my considerable surprise, was able to build EPICS base R3.14.11, snc/seq and asyn with no other changes.    I also built the GNU Universal Software Radio Project libraries which are needed to communicate with the LLRF card.  I used apt-get on the SheevaPlug to install the nfs-common and screen packages.

I am now running the IOC on the SheevaPlug and controlling/displaying the EPICS process variables using MEDM on my OS X machine.  With a 2.3 MB/s flow from the LLRF card and processing/displaying the twelve 1024-sample waveform records 5 times per second (242 kiB/s to the EPICS client) the CPU load on the SheevaPlug is 4 to 5%.

So, if you're looking for a really inexpensive way to interface USB equipment to EPICS you might find this a reasonable way to go.

-- 
Eric Norum
wenorum@lbl.gov





Replies:
Re: Trying out EPICS on a plug computer Ned Arnold

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