Everything RF interviewed with Scott Blanchard, co-founder and President of Vaunix and the creator of Lab Brick™ Signal Generators, Digital Attenuators, and commercial hubs to discuss Vaunix's commitment to continuous product evolution. Prior to co-founding Vaunix, Scott was the VP of Engineering for Nera Inc. where he was responsible for the design and development of a line of point to point microwave radio systems.
With Scott's experience in this industry, he has created state-of-the-art Lab Bricks used in countless applications with customers of all sizes involved in commercial, military and educational industries located in all corners of the globe.
Q. Can you tell us a brief history about Vaunix? When was the company founded? How has it evolved since its inception?
Vaunix was founded in 2005 as a self-funded spinoff from microwave radio manufacturer Nera Networks. Initially, Vaunix developed a repair center providing microwave radio repairs, 24/7 technical support and assembly and test services to the telecommunications industry. In 2007, the Vaunix team introduced the industries first USB powered and controlled signal generators followed closely behind by broadband solid-state digital attenuators, switches and phase shifters.
Q. Can you tell us about the Lab Brick Products - What are they, and how are they different from other products available in the market?
Lab Brick is the name trade marked by Vaunix to identify our line of USB powered and controlled test equipment. Unlike many other USB test equipment manufacturers, Lab Brick devices use a native USB HID interface to avoid the difficulties inherent in using older serial or IEEE-488 interfaces implemented over USB. As a result, Lab Brick users can get to work faster without having to install kernel level drivers, and Lab Brick devices can be easily used on any system that supports USB HID devices, including low cost embedded computers using Linux, Windows or similar operating systems.
Q. All Modular Products like the Lab Brick are defined by the Software/GUI that controls them - Can you tell us more about the Lab Brick Software/GUI?
Each Lab Brick product family has an associated GUI that is supplied on a USB flash drive with each order or can be downloaded from our website. The GUI easily installs to any Windows computer within seconds by running the setup file. The GUI is designed to maximize the flexibility of control while maintaining the intuitive feel that our customers have come to enjoy.
Q. Can Customers Write their own code to control the Lab Brick Products? What languages and platforms are the products compatible with?
As a standard base, Lab Brick products include 32/64 bit Windows DLLs, Linux drivers and LabVIEW drivers. The dll and Linux files can be called from nearly every programming language with our most common applications using Python and MatLab. For some of our products, such as the attenuators and LMS signal generators, we also have a Python example written for use with a Raspberry Pi. We have many other examples to get our customers running quickly and we always provide prompt support for those that need assistance to get rolling.