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

Dr. David Kirkby david.kirkby at onetel.net
Sun May 25 03:42:09 EDT 2008

Dr. David Kirkby wrote:
> I know this is a bit off-topic here, but has anyone here ever programmed 
> an HP 59306A relay actuator
> http://www.home.agilent.com/agilent/product.jspx?cc=US&lc=eng&nid=-536900193.536882169
> which consists of 6 SPDT relays programmable via GPIB?

I eventually found the solution to this!

My program sent the commands to the relay, then exited immediately. This 
does not work, but if one stays in the program then it works. I assumed 
that if the relays were set and the program exited, then they would 
remain in that state, which was an incorrect assumption. The following 

#include <sys/ugpib.h> /* Header file for GPIB commands on my Sun */
#include <unistd.h> /* Needed for sleep() */

int main() {
int device_descriptor;


will set the relays 123 in position A and relay 4 in position B, then 
leave them there for 20 seconds. After 20s, the program will exit and 
they go back to whatever state is selected on the switches.

Thanks to everyone that helped on this. I thought I'd post back, in case 
someone else has them and hits problems.


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