Audon Electronics - PRODUCT NEWS


Controller coverts any USB computer port into a GPIB Controller or Device.

The GPIB-USB4 controller from Audon Electronics converts any computer with a USB port into a GPIB Controller or Device. In Controller mode, the GPIB-USB controller can remotely control GPIB enabled instruments such as Oscilloscopes, Logic Analyzers, and Waveform Generators. In Device mode, the GPIB-USB controller converts the computer into a GPIB peripheral for downloading data and screen plots from the instrument front panel. In both modes, the GPIB-USB controller interprets high level commands received from the host computer and performs the appropriate low-level GPIB protocol handshaking.

While the GPIB-USB4 controller provides many of the same features as GPIB-USB controllers from other vendors, it is much easier to use. The GPIB-USB4 controller provides a virtual serial interface to communicate with instruments, while handling all GPIB protocol details for you. As a result, you can communicate easily with instruments using any terminal program instead of having to write custom programs using the vendor supplied library

The GPIB-USB controller can operate in two modes – Controller mode and Device mode.

In Controller mode, the GPIB-USB Controller acts as the Controller-In-Charge (CIC) on the GPIB bus. When the controller receives a command over the USB port it addresses the GPIB instrument at the currently specified address to listen, and then returns the received data to the PC. Controller mode is used to remotely control instruments and to download screen plots by sending plot commands from a host computer.

In Device mode, the GPIB-USB Controller acts as another peripheral on the GPIB bus. In this mode, the GPIB-USB controller configures itself as a GPIB Listener. All data received by the controller over the GPIB port is passed to the USB port. Device mode is used to download screen plots from the instrument front panel for rendering using plotter emulation software.

A wide variety of host software may be used to communicate with the GPIB-USB controller. Any terminal emulation program, such as HyperTerminal, can be used to communicate with the controller and instruments connected to it. Any programming language or environment that provides access to serial ports or allows interfacing to DLL may be used to develop custom applications. Graphical programming environments like National Instruments LabView, DAQFactory and Agilent VEE may be used as well. Finally, it is possible to use plotter emulation applications such as 7470.exe, PrintCapture and Plottergeist to render screen plots from any common HPGL plotter instruments.

The GPIB-USB4 is available ex-stock from Audon Electronics for under £100.

September 2007

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