[time-nuts] Q: HP-IB / 5370A pdfs

Tom Van Baak tvb at leapsecond.com
Mon Apr 25 19:44:18 EDT 2005

> As the proud new owner of a 5370A, a couple of requests of the list:
> 1) What do you use/recommend for an HP-IB/IEEE-488 interface for a PC?
(PCI bus). It looks like these things go for more than I paid for the 5370A!
Linux compatibility?

Since the data rate is so slow (e.g., 1 Hz), I do all
my GPIB logging using GPIB to RS-232 converters
which are available on eBay for as low as $20. All
control and/or logging is then done using a serial
port -- and no OS driver, or middleware, or PC cards
are required.

Serial ports are so simple all OS's from a Basic
Stamp to Windows to UNIX variants support them.

When you run out of serial ports you can add more
using PCI- or LAN- or USB-to-serial converters.
Edgeport makes very nice ones that add 4 or 8
serial ports over USB. These are also available on
eBay dirt cheap.

Now serial ports are not ideal for high traffic GPIB
situations but most of us log data at low rates like
once a second or once a minute so it works fine.

There's nothing wrong with going with a PCI card
so the comments above are just my preference.

For those of you who use GPIB, I'd be interested
to hear success stories of logging using GPIB
cards and the layers of OS software supplied by
IoTech, Nat Inst, or Agilent.


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