Author Topic: Best non-labview programmable interface (PSUs)?  (Read 533 times)

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Offline r4space

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Best non-labview programmable interface (PSUs)?
« on: November 11, 2020, 04:28:52 pm »
Hi,

I need to pick between a GWInstek GPP-3323 and a Siglent SPD3303X.  Spec wise there's minor differences but I can't find anything that clearly has 1 pulling ahead of the other.  I'm buying this for (in the immediate) repeatable voltage testing so after basic specs I care most about programmablity but I'm struggling to find detailed info on this for either.

As best as I can tell, both interface with labview (I'm not a fan but if I have no other option then ok) but in addition:
- PyVisa supports the Siglent which is really promising, being able to script tests would be ideal.  But without digging deep/experimenting I can't tell what all functionality is available via it.
- The manual for the Instek briefly mentions with a handful of screenshots some webbrowser based UI but doesn't go into details about what's available via it

Has anyone had any experience in using either PyVisa with Siglent gear or the Instek web app on any of their gear just generally and could comment on easy of use/range of features even just generally?

 

Offline Hexley

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Re: Best non-labview programmable interface (PSUs)?
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2020, 05:29:29 pm »
If it fits your programming needs, the program "TestController" which is written by fellow EEVBlog member HKJ might be just the thing as a simple alternative to LabView. See https://lygte-info.dk/project/TestControllerIntro%20UK.html#Notes_&_Download for a full description.

There is a driver currently included in TestController for the GPP-4323, which could be adapted to the 3323 pretty easily.

You can find the discussion thread at https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/program-that-can-log-from-many-multimeters/msg2981004/#msg2981004. You will see lots of support in the community for Henrik's work.
 
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Offline tautech

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Re: Best non-labview programmable interface (PSUs)?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2020, 05:42:38 pm »
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Offline H.O

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Re: Best non-labview programmable interface (PSUs)?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2020, 05:55:16 pm »
I don't have either of these units but judging by the manuals both the GW Instek GPP-3323 and the Siglent SPD3303X are fully programmable meaning you can use PyVISA with both of them.

Generally speaking, anything you can do via the front panel can be done remotely, often times more. On rare occation there can be a command missing so if you you're doing exotic stuff you might want to dig into the manuals to verify that but again, generally you can do "everthing" remotely. Just don't expect the manufacturer to supply you with a do-it-all PC application or web-GUI (like with the Insteks web GUI). Most likely you will need to write some code one way or another.

BTW, I would highly recommend ethernet over USB. On the the GW Instek LAN is optional (but pretty cheap). I do think (but not sure) that the Siglent comes with LAN as standard.
 
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Offline switchabl

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Re: Best non-labview programmable interface (PSUs)?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2020, 05:58:14 pm »
I see no reason why the Instek shouldn't work with pyvisa either. The manual shows that it supports a range of SCPI commands over USB/serial/LAN/GPIB, very similar to the Siglent. Any code you have for the Siglent could probably work with the Instek with minimal changes.

One thing potentially in favour of the Siglent is that the USB interface seems to be USBTMC, so it will work with VISA out of the box without special drivers (on Windows). Instek offers a proprietary driver, although it is probably just USB-CDC (virtual serial port) and could run with a generic one if needed.

So, I wouldn't worry about that part, not much difference really.
 
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Offline tautech

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Re: Best non-labview programmable interface (PSUs)?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2020, 07:00:39 pm »
@ r4space
With the free SW utility EasyPower that comes on the CD with the PSU you have a remote control facility that provides for manual or SCPI control of the PSU over USB or LAN However it requires the NIVISA Runtime package for connectivity drivers. They need be installed before PC to PSU connection so the correct drives are used instead of what your OS thinks is best.  :horse:
RTFM.  ;)
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Online nctnico

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Re: Best non-labview programmable interface (PSUs)?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2020, 07:19:10 pm »
I'd avoid needing NIVISA like the plague. It is a huge piece of bloat you can do without especially when dealing with a USB or ethernet interface. The GW Instek allows to open a telnet connection to an ethernet port and send SCPI commands. This is extremely straightforward to use (also from PyVisa).
« Last Edit: November 11, 2020, 07:24:14 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Best non-labview programmable interface (PSUs)?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2020, 07:44:57 pm »
USB-TMC, GPIB, RS232, and VISA are for the birds. Ethernet + pyvisa-py is the way.

EDIT: we've established that NIVISA is plague, but I'd like to add that HP VISA (sorry, Keysight IO Libraries) is also plague. It's big, it's binary, it's low-compatibility, it has bloatware, but its worst offense (that I've personally suffered) was between 2018 and mid-2019 when it had a bug that hiccuped Windows for about half a second every ten seconds. We would periodically uninstall and re-install its fat binary a-- to work around this issue. It wasn't even an AV issue (or, if it was AV, it was the default Windows Defender). Like I said: plague.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2020, 07:50:37 pm by jjoonathan »
 
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Offline r4space

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Re: Best non-labview programmable interface (PSUs)?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2020, 09:58:12 am »
Wow, thanks all for really comprehensive answers! :)

Sounds like between PyVisa and HKJ TestController I'll be more than sorted for either.  So - no closer to being able to pick the best option - but discovered a bunch of very useful  information  :P

I can get the Instek for a handful of dollars less so that's what it'll be, I'll try remember to update this thread with some review/experience once it arrives :)

 

Online nctnico

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Re: Best non-labview programmable interface (PSUs)?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2020, 10:04:42 am »
Another advantage is that the GPP-3323 has a numeric keypad so it is much easier to enter numbers if you use it under manual control. If a PSU has a numeric keypad I prefer that over using a rotating knob.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online HKJ

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Re: Best non-labview programmable interface (PSUs)?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2020, 12:37:54 pm »
Another advantage is that the GPP-3323 has a numeric keypad so it is much easier to enter numbers if you use it under manual control. If a PSU has a numeric keypad I prefer that over using a rotating knob.

I prefer supplies with both. For setting a specific voltage the keypad is best, but when you need to vary the voltage for some reason the rotary knob is best.
If you control it with TestController, it is not a issue. It has both digital (Setup) and "analog" setting of parameters (Param adjuster).
 

Offline Hexley

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Re: Best non-labview programmable interface (PSUs)?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2020, 05:11:29 pm »
I can get the Instek for a handful of dollars less so that's what it'll be

Just a quick reminder -- be sure to specify the LAN option at time of order. It cannot be added after the fact.

 

Offline paul@yahrprobert.com

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Re: Best non-labview programmable interface (PSUs)?
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2020, 04:05:26 am »
+1 on the pyvisa-py and ethernet combo.  Note that pyvisa-py is not the same as pyvisa.  It doesn't wrap the ni visa libraries, its pure python, much less bloat, more likely to just work.

 --correction: pyvisa-py is a pure python backend for pyvisa that replaces the bloatware visa libararies that pyvisa would normally wrap.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2020, 05:17:01 am by paul@yahrprobert.com »
 


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