# Is a USB to GPIB dongle/convertor a difficult project ?

R

#### robb

Jan 1, 1970
0
That is something like the Prologix USB to GPIB
convertor/controller ?

Is this a USB/GPIB IC chip and connectors or is there more to it
?

Thanks for any ideas
ROB

R

#### Richard Henry

Jan 1, 1970
0
That is something like the Prologix USB to GPIB
convertor/controller ?

Is this a USB/GPIB IC chip and connectors or is there more to it
?

Thanks for any ideas
ROB

You will need at least some buffering memory to resolve timing
differences and some logic to resolve commands. I assume your device
will look to the host computer like a USB slave, but to the GPIB
devices will look like a bus controller.

J

#### JB

Jan 1, 1970
0
robb said:
That is something like the Prologix USB to GPIB
convertor/controller ?

Is this a USB/GPIB IC chip and connectors or is there more to it
?

I think you'd be better just getting an NI USB-GPIB converter. It's not just
the hardware compatibility that's important, depending on what software
you're using, robust and well tested drivers are critical.

JB

P

#### Paul Mathews

Jan 1, 1970
0
That is something like the Prologix USB to GPIB
convertor/controller ?

Is this a USB/GPIB IC chip and connectors or is there more to it
?

Thanks for any ideas
ROB

check out ebay item 290206904947
Paul Mathews

R

#### Rich Webb

Jan 1, 1970
0
That is something like the Prologix USB to GPIB
convertor/controller ?

Is this a USB/GPIB IC chip and connectors or is there more to it
?

AFAIK, there is no single-chip "USB/GPIB" solution.

picture of one available (and relatively inexpensive) approach.

Sparkfun carries the newer, 4.2 version; I've use the bare-board rev 3
(the one pictured) with success for some automated lab test equipment.

J

#### John Larkin

Jan 1, 1970
0
AFAIK, there is no single-chip "USB/GPIB" solution.

picture of one available (and relatively inexpensive) approach.

Sparkfun carries the newer, 4.2 version; I've use the bare-board rev 3
(the one pictured) with success for some automated lab test equipment.

Seems to me that GPIB is, and should be, dying. Everything should just
be Ethernet. You can buy an entire Ethernet server gadget, like an
Xport, for half the price of a GPIB cable, and it will work 1000 miles

Ever read the actual IEEE GPIB spec?

John

J

#### Joel Koltner

Jan 1, 1970
0
robb said:
That is something like the Prologix USB to GPIB
convertor/controller ?

The hardware design for a USB to GPIB converter is pretty straightforward --
here's one: http://lpvo.fe.uni-lj.si/gpib/. The much more time-consuming
problem -- as Paul mentions -- is that writing drivers to the level of
robustness that the folks like National Instruments or HP have done is quite
time consuming. If you want to build such a dongle for fun or largely
self-contained projects, though, this perhaps isn't a problem.
Is this a USB/GPIB IC chip and connectors or is there more to it
?

There's more to it... GPIB isn't popular enough anymore for someone to make a
single-chip interface for it.

---Joel

J

#### Joel Koltner

Jan 1, 1970
0
John Larkin said:
Seems to me that GPIB is, and should be, dying. Everything should just
be Ethernet.

USB to GPIB and Ethernet to GPIB converters are the probably the last products
that will ever be commercially developed for GPIB.
Ever read the actual IEEE GPIB spec?

No, although from having written test programs to talk to GPIB devices I
suspect it's quite massive and somewhat convoluted.

---Joel

S

#### Spehro Pefhany

Jan 1, 1970
0
Seems to me that GPIB is, and should be, dying. Everything should just
be Ethernet. You can buy an entire Ethernet server gadget, like an
Xport, for half the price of a GPIB cable, and it will work 1000 miles

Ever read the actual IEEE GPIB spec?

John

My Commodore PET 2001 (despite the name it's ca. 1979) does GPIB..

Like this one: http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/pet/h/p20018.jpg

At least nobody will be able to hack into the control for a HV power
supply and electrocute anyone..
Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany

J

#### Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Paul said:
check out ebay item 290206904947

Anyone know if Softmark products are sold in the US somewhere?

J

#### Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
John said:
Seems to me that GPIB is, and should be, dying. Everything should just
be Ethernet. You can buy an entire Ethernet server gadget, like an
Xport, for half the price of a GPIB cable, and it will work 1000 miles

Agree. However, there is lots of legacy gear that will be around for
another decade or two. Like the HP-3577. It would be nice not to have to
snap a digital camera picture every time.

Ever read the actual IEEE GPIB spec?

I'd rather read a Steinbeck ten times in a row ;-)

F

#### Fred Bartoli

Jan 1, 1970
0
Joerg a écrit :
Agree. However, there is lots of legacy gear that will be around for
another decade or two. Like the HP-3577. It would be nice not to have to
snap a digital camera picture every time.

Yup. But get hold of a LAN-GPIB gateway (HP E2050A sell for not much)
rather than a local bus GPIB card and you'll be ready for the next
ISA/PCI/PCI express/whatever bus shift.

I did that because I wanted to switch all my PCs to linux. Plus, I can
connect from either my desktop or from a wifi laptop in the lab.
Pretty useful.

J

#### Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Fred said:
Joerg a écrit :

Yup. But get hold of a LAN-GPIB gateway (HP E2050A sell for not much)
rather than a local bus GPIB card and you'll be ready for the next
ISA/PCI/PCI express/whatever bus shift.

Where do you find them? EBay was dry. All I really want to do is print
the screen contents, not control anything in the lab.

M

#### mike

Jan 1, 1970
0
Joerg wrote:
snip
Where do you find them? EBay was dry. All I really want to do is print
the screen contents, not control anything in the lab.
Make sure you don't already have this capability.
My TEK scope has a menu buried in the menus that will print
a bitmap graphic of the screen out the serial port.

I won't call it GPIB, 'cause it's not anywhere near a GPIB
implementation. But if all you want is to send/receive
simple commands to a single GPIB instrument via a serial port,
you can do it with
a PIC processor and a couple of level translators for the serial port.
No part of it complies fully with ANY spec. Stated another way,
it VIOLATES EVERY spec. But it works for me.
Built it specifically to create an on-screen demo of a TEK TDS540
that I was trying to sell at a swapmeet. I set out to write a
Visual Basic Class module with the same API as the National Instruments
GPIB drivers, but don't remember what happened with that. Got bored
and moved on to something else.
mike

F

#### Fred Bartoli

Jan 1, 1970
0
Joerg a écrit :
Where do you find them? EBay was dry. All I really want to do is print
the screen contents, not control anything in the lab.

Yep, ebay. I paid USD35 (+73 shipping).

There're 2 for best offer right now. I find them way too high (a new
E5810A sells for $1000) but if your not hard pressed they pop up from time to time, so just place a search and wait. I too don't control everything in the lab (the soldering iron isn't). Seriously, here almost every thing is permanently connected and this has been paid back many many times. Maybe it's worth a second thought... J #### Joerg Jan 1, 1970 0 mike said: Joerg wrote: snip Make sure you don't already have this capability. My TEK scope has a menu buried in the menus that will print a bitmap graphic of the screen out the serial port. Well, the HP3577 does offer an HPGL output and AFAIR you could actually connect one of those old HP printers directly to it. But it does not have a serial port :-( I won't call it GPIB, 'cause it's not anywhere near a GPIB implementation. But if all you want is to send/receive simple commands to a single GPIB instrument via a serial port, you can do it with a PIC processor and a couple of level translators for the serial port. No part of it complies fully with ANY spec. Stated another way, it VIOLATES EVERY spec. But it works for me. Built it specifically to create an on-screen demo of a TEK TDS540 that I was trying to sell at a swapmeet. I set out to write a Visual Basic Class module with the same API as the National Instruments GPIB drivers, but don't remember what happened with that. Got bored and moved on to something else. Whatever works to get the HPGL image out would be fine. J #### Joerg Jan 1, 1970 0 Fred said: Joerg a écrit : Yep, ebay. I paid USD35 (+73 shipping). There're 2 for best offer right now. I find them way too high (a new E5810A sells for$1000) but if your not hard pressed they pop up from
time to time, so just place a search and wait.

I'll have to look again. I've never bought anything there yet and when I
keyed in E2050 all I got was some kind of ear rings. And I don't wear
ear rings ;-)

I too don't control everything in the lab (the soldering iron isn't).

Seriously, here almost every thing is permanently connected and this has
been paid back many many times. Maybe it's worth a second thought...

I only need screen dumps.

N

#### none

Jan 1, 1970
0
Joerg said:
Well, the HP3577 does offer an HPGL output and AFAIR you could actually
connect one of those old HP printers directly to it. But it does not
have a serial port :-(

Whatever works to get the HPGL image out would be fine.
For the software side, look at the program from KE5FX called hp7470.
It captures plots over the gpib and lets you manipulate, compare and
store them. I use this with my 8753, 8757, 8569 and 8562 analyzers.
It supports the NI and Prologix gpib boards. I have been meaning to
try it with one of the NI gpib-serial boxes I have sitting around.
Those boxes are cheap and plentiful. Since the Prologix uses a
serial port emulator, there may be a chance.

By the way, on your other post about ebay, search for either E2050*
or E2050A. If you leave the A off, you will not find any matches.

Doug

J

#### Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
none said:
For the software side, look at the program from KE5FX called hp7470.
It captures plots over the gpib and lets you manipulate, compare and
store them. I use this with my 8753, 8757, 8569 and 8562 analyzers.
It supports the NI and Prologix gpib boards. I have been meaning to
try it with one of the NI gpib-serial boxes I have sitting around.
Those boxes are cheap and plentiful. Since the Prologix uses a
serial port emulator, there may be a chance.

By the way, on your other post about ebay, search for either E2050*
or E2050A. If you leave the A off, you will not find any matches.

Thanks. Yep, that showed it. Along with fashion socks and other stuff ;-)

Seems they now run silent auctions there as well. It appears the
Prologix solution would be a bit simpler though. I'll never understand
why HP picked that dreaded GPIB bus in the first place, with its
expensive garden hose cables and all that. The site of KE5FX is very
interesting. In case others want to look:

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