Protocol Overview

The BlackBox Protocol adds much flexibility to the Palm Oscilloscope system.  Because all communication uses a constant protocol, either part of the oscilloscope (display or BlackBox) can be upgraded or replaced without changing the other.

Given the present Palm-O-Scope application, new BlackBoxes can be developed without affecting the software running on the PDA. This allows development of BlackBoxes with faster sampling rates and better analog characteristics, with a solid base for debugging the communications.  In a similar way, the BlackBox is not dependent on Palm-compatible PDAs for communication. Any PDA could be used as the display, or even a desktop PC. Any computer with an RS-232 serial port can be used to display or record the data produced by the BlackBox.

The BlackBox Protocol is a little complex. In order to provide as much flexibility as possible, while minimizing communication failures, the protocol is not as simple as it, perhaps, could be. In fact, due to time constraints, a simplified version of the BlackBox Protocol (named the Simplified BlackBox Protocol) was implemented for the Palm Oscilloscope project.