nScope Portable Electronics Lab
nScope advertises itself to consumers the same way I advertise myself to ladies*: safe enough for beginners, powerful enough for experts. nScope is a portable electronics workbench that connects to any laptop to produce a USB-powered oscilloscope, function generator, and power supply. Its creators, who originally designed the system to help teach electronic circuits to engineering students, hope that nScope will make electronics easy and affordable to all levels of curiosity, and for both personal and professional use.
nScope's USB power source feeds into an electronics prototyping breadboard. Its primary function is as an oscilloscope, which measures voltage in a circuit, as well as stores these voltages over time and displays them in a graph so that users can do things like observe sensor signals and dynamic circuits. Additionally, nScope has a built-in power supply for turning the looking at circuitry into building your own. The workbench provides its breadboard rails with +/-5V and ground, again powered by the USB port. It also constantly tracks your power usage, and will automatically disconnect the power supply in the event of a short circuit.
nScope also has 2 function and 2 pulse generators and, to complement the hardware, an open API for custom control from any PC, Mac, or Linux machine.
Read more about the little electronics lab that could, and pledge for your own, on nScope's Kickstarter campaign page. The project seeks crowdfunding through June 1, 2015.
*But I'm taken now. Sorry, ladies.