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Remote Operation: What do I need to communicate with an instrument from a PC?

Question :

Remote Operation: What do I need to communicate with an instrument from a PC?

Answer :

What do I need to communicate with an instrument from a PC?
Most Keithley instruments provide either GPIB (IEEE-488) or RS-232 communication interfaces. A growing number of Keithley products, however, are offering Ethernet connectivity.

For GPIB communication . . .

You will require a GPIB interface in your PC. This is not usually a standard PC option. You will need to add the interface. The GPIB board fits in either an ISA or a PCI slot. You will need to determine what type of slot is available in your PC. Keithley offers GPIB interfaces for either slot: Model KPCI-488 for PCI slots or Model KPC-488.2AT for ISA slots. For laptops, you must obtain a PCMCIA GPIB card from a third party supplier.

You will also need a cable to connect the instrument to the GPIB interface on your PC. The Model 7007 double-shielded GPIB cable is recommended to maintain data integrity in the majority of environments.

For RS-232 communication . . .

You PC must be equipped with an RS-232 port, commonly called COM port. Most computers are supplied with these ports. Should one not be available on your PC, most computer retailers carry RS-232 add-in boards in ISA, PCI or PCMCIA form factor. You will also need a straight through 9-pin RS-232 cable. Do not use a null-modem cable! If you PC is equipped with a 25-pin RS-232 port, you will need a 25-pin to 9-pin adapter in order to connect to the Keithley product.

For Ethernet communication . . .

A standard 10/100 base T connection is required. For direct connection from the PC to the instrument, a CAT5 crossover cable is necessary. Should you connect to the instrument through the company network or through an Ethernet hub, please obtain a standard CAT5 straight-through cable.

For all communication interfaces . . .

No software drivers are necessary to control the instrument in application interface software, although such drivers are available for common application development environments such as LabVIEW, Visual Basic, and C/C++.


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FAQ ID 71831

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