Author Topic: GPIB-Getting Started  (Read 13264 times)

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Offline gilbenl

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Re: GPIB-Getting Started
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2015, 02:14:24 am »
When I needed a GPIB adapter a while ago, I got a used Tektronix AD007 GPIB to Ethernet box for about $100 used of course. There are plenty of genuine used adapters out in the wild for hobby or small business use. My whole bench, which is my sole source of income, is loaded with eBay buys that were a tiny fraction of the new price.

...on topic. FWIW, the decision to go with a LAN adapter has worked out great. It allows me to setup and program LabView from my main workstation and then run it from the laptop that is on my bench. Any instrument can be seen from any computer on the network. Handy.

The LAN adapter makes great sense if you want to view/control instruments on multiple computers. If you have a lab in a garage and an office upstairs, it could definitely save you some trips particularly if you have an insatiable desire to always know whats going on with your experiments. They do seem to have a wide range of price points ($~200-1,300), however, I suspect the clone market is virtually non-existent.
What doesn't kill you, probably hurts a lot.
 

Online macboy

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Re: GPIB-Getting Started
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2015, 05:45:19 am »
No, you didn't. You purchased a rather well done clone. So did many others here including myself. See this other thread: Flood of new Agilent 82357B GPIB-USB adaptors on eBay the real deal?

It's not a clone in the nice way - like an IBM PC 'CLONE' that is legitimately licencing technology, its an illegal fake copy that screws up the industry. I cannot and will not trust anything from China. They are a copy-cat nation that brutalizes legitimate businesses all over the world in order to 'grow'. These things are sold cheap because it is STOLEN and did not have any design costs or after the sale support costs. It is made in someones garage with parts stolen out of the reject bin at some factory or straight copied.

Don't support this behavior. In the long run, it discourages real companies from innovating or at minimum drives the cost up as legit business uses resources to fight off this nonsense.
I do not support this behavior; I thought it was a genuine Agilent. I bought mine years ago before the thread mentioned above exposed these as fakes.
 

Online macboy

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Re: GPIB-Getting Started
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2015, 06:09:27 am »
It's not a clone in the nice way - like an IBM PC 'CLONE' that is legitimately licencing technology, its an illegal fake copy that screws up the industry.
...
Don't support this behavior. In the long run, it discourages real companies from innovating or at minimum drives the cost up as legit business uses resources to fight off this nonsense.

... If a genuine unit was sold by agilent for, say, $175 , I would've bought that. Agilent chooses to price themselves out of the amateur/hobbyist/tinkerer market. So is it right? No. Am I more than happy to have it for $85 rather than $550, clone or not? You bet!

Where the Chinese are really being dicks is by copying products that are already consumer-priced. Fake arduinos come to mind.

...
I suppose that a $50 Arduino is affordable to hobbyists just like a $500 GPIB adapter is affordable to corporations. But the clone costs 1/5 to 1/10 as much in both cases. Are Arduino not doing something similar to Agilent by charging a market-bearing price rather than a merely modestly profitable one?

Don't forget that Arduino is open source hardware. That means that anyone is free to copy it and build it. Maybe the desire of the creators is to allow people to roll-their-own, but the reality for something this popular is cheap, readily available clones.

So back on topic....
I have both the Agilent clone USB adapter and an old ISA slot based NI GPIB-TNT (in a Pentium 4, the most recent computer I could find/afford with ISA). Both work well. I primarily use them with HTA scripts, that's HTML Application. It's a Windows-only thing. For the uninitiated, briefly, an HTA is an HTML file (web page) that works just like an application program. You create the GUI with HTML and the code in VBScript or Javascript (ok, JScript to be pedantic). Both Agilent and NI have ActiveX controls available that will allow use of the GPIB interface within script code, including events/interrupts. I had to mess around a lot just to get the ActiveX stuff working, but once you have that going, if you know HTML and a scripting language, you can bang out a simple GUI application like a virtual front panel in no time.

Another quick way to bang out a simple (textual, not GUI) application is EZ-GPIB. This uses a Python-like Pascal-like scripting language, and is rather limited really. If you just want to write a script to perform a screen capture, do a sequence of operations, or to log data for hours on end, then it works.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2015, 10:32:27 am by macboy »
 

Offline gilbenl

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Re: GPIB-Getting Started
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2015, 06:49:15 am »

So back on topic....
I have both the Agilent clone USB adapter and an old ISA slot based NI GPIB-TNT (in a Pentium 4, the most recent computer I could find/afford with ISA). Both work well. I primarily use them with HTA scripts, that's HTML Application. It's a Windows-only thing. For the uninitiated, briefly, an HTA is an HTML file (web page) that works just like an application program. You create the GUI with HTML and the code in VBScript or Javascript (ok, JScript to be pedantic). Both Agilent and NI have ActiveX controls available that will allow use of the GPIB interface within script code, including events/interrupts. I had to mess around a lot just to get the ActiveX stuff working, but once you have that going, if you know HTML and a scripting language, you can bang out a simple GUI application like a virtual front panel in no time.

Another quick way to bang out a simple (textual, not GUI) application is EZ-GPIB. This uses a Python-like scripting language, and is rather limited really. If you just want to write a script to perform a screen capture, do a sequence of operations, or to log data for hours on end, then it works.

I'll be expanding on this in detail later, but for the purpose of this project I dug out an old Core2Duo Win Vista laptop. I do have a copy of NI LabVIEW and will look into an HTA based interface. I'd like to get back into python, something I haven't used in about 10 yrs. One of my goals is to put a 21" monitor over my bench, which will display the goings-on of my bench meters allowing me to enjoy not having giant bench meters, well, on the bench. Feeding them will be an input box and this is why I'm looking for a 7001 or similar switch. The goal is to see how quickly the "uninitiated" can get meaningful data and automation capabilities using a GPIB interface on the cheap, with little effort.
What doesn't kill you, probably hurts a lot.
 

Online macboy

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Re: GPIB-Getting Started
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2015, 10:31:55 am »
...
Another quick way to bang out a simple (textual, not GUI) application is EZ-GPIB. This uses a Python-like scripting language, and is rather limited really. If you just want to write a script to perform a screen capture, do a sequence of operations, or to log data for hours on end, then it works.
Correcting myself... EZGPIB uses a Pascal-like scripting language.
 

Online macboy

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Re: GPIB-Getting Started
« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2015, 10:43:35 am »
I'll be expanding on this in detail later, but for the purpose of this project I dug out an old Core2Duo Win Vista laptop. I do have a copy of NI LabVIEW and will look into an HTA based interface. I'd like to get back into python, something I haven't used in about 10 yrs. One of my goals is to put a 21" monitor over my bench, which will display the goings-on of my bench meters allowing me to enjoy not having giant bench meters, well, on the bench. Feeding them will be an input box and this is why I'm looking for a 7001 or similar switch. The goal is to see how quickly the "uninitiated" can get meaningful data and automation capabilities using a GPIB interface on the cheap, with little effort.
I'm looking to do something similar. I have 6 bench meters, and while I don't mind having them in front of me, I would like a consolidated display, as well as the ability to do math that uses more than one meter. For example use two or more meters to measure current and/or voltage and calculate circuit power, gain of an amplifier, impedance of a speaker, efficiency of an amplifier (power in vs out), etc., possibly while varying another parameter like frequency or amplitude of a signal.

I have several 7001's with scanner cards. I have both quad 10-channel 2-pole cards (which can be combined into dual 20 channel or one 40 channel, 2 pole), as well as 10-channel 4-pole cards. The latter have ultra-low thermal EMF relays on the sense connections for less error in 4-pole resistance measurements. I am very willing to part with some of this equipment, if you are interested shoot me a PM.
 


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