[time-nuts] OT: Anyone programmed HP 59306A relay actuator (or other old device)?

Dr. David Kirkby david.kirkby at onetel.net
Sat May 24 08:38:51 EDT 2008

I know this is a bit off-topic here, but has anyone here ever programmed 
an HP 59306A relay actuator


which consists of 6 SPDT relays programmable via GPIB?

Over the years I have programmed a number of sophisticated instruments 
including spectrum analysers, lock-in amplifiers, the 5370B 
time-interval counter, 8970A noise figure meters,  bench multimeter etc. 
On the face of it, I would think a box with only 6 relays to be much 
simpler than any of these, but I am having a hard time with it. It may 
be it's age - the commands needed might be a bit different from anything 
I know.

I'm trying to control it with a National Instruments GPIB board in a Sun 
workstation. (It's on a PCI bus and is the same card one would use in a 
PC. ).

Page 3-4 of the  HP 59306A's manual (page 25 in the PDF) )

has an example program, but it's unlike any example I have ever seen. 
There's no ibdev, ibwrt or similar - its basically a list of the state 
(high or low) of the control lines and digital IO lines.

Sequence #1 says
EOP=high, REN=high, MRE=low, digital IO lines ascii '?'

I assume this is basically
       dd=ibdev(0, gpib_address, 0, T3s, 1, 0);

but I've no idea if this is so, since I'm not sure what lines ibclr() 
sets high/low. I guess I will have to set up some LEDs on the bus to see 
what is happening.

I'm pretty sure the  sequences 4 to 9 can be set with


although it might be possible to use


(It's not clear to me if this can accept multiple commands at once).

Anyone got any ideas of what NI commands can be used to executes 
sequences 1,2,3 and 10 in table 3-3?

David Kirkby

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