On the front panel of the first BitScope was a DB-25 logic "Smart Port" connector. Newer models are the same but we now use an IDC-26 connector. The Smart Port provides an interface to the 8 logic inputs.
In addition to the logic inputs the Smart Port provides access to BitScope's analog inputs, power and ground lines, and 2 special I/O signals. Newer models also have a waveform generator output.
It is these other signals that give BitScope some unique hardware expansion capabilities.
For example, it is possible to connect another BitScope in cascade with the first to double the analog and/or digital inputs available without requiring a second connection to the host.
You can also connect a Smart Port Device which is powered by the BitScope itself to do clever things BitScope can't do on its own. For some examples check out ProtoPOD and WavePOD each of which demonstrate some possibilities.
The POD devices are "Smart" because BitScope can communicate and program them via the serial I/O lines. There are two methods BitScope uses to communicate with cascaded BitScopes or with Smart Ports; protocol pass-through and byte exchange. In the former the BitScope simply makes a virtual circuit between the host and the POD connected device. In the latter the BitScope assumes responsbility for exchanging command and reply bytes. Both techniques are possible due to the use of the Atomic Bytecode Protocol we designed for BitScope.
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