[time-nuts] Prologix GPIB/USB converter help...

Tom Van Baak tvb at LeapSecond.com
Mon Apr 16 20:43:27 EDT 2007

> Interesting. I used to sell a GPIB-RS232 version some years ago. Sales were
> low since customers were clamoring for an USB version! But then I hadn't
> discovered this crowd :-) Happy to take another look at it.

You'll find two sets of users. End-users want the latest
one-click, plug-n-play, PC connectivity and hassle-free
host software. USB is good for this, but it sometimes
requires OS-dependent drivers, which is a pain for you,
and a show-stopper for anyone wanting to use your device
in embedded project.

Third parties, hobbyists, and developers want something
that can be integrated. Serial interfaces are good for this.
Anything from TTL logic to uC to PC's can work with this
level of interface.

So the solution is often to provide both. Or provide USB
layered on top to serial.

> I am in the process of designing a GPIB-Ethernet controller. You think that
> will be of any interest?

Yes. I prefer ENET to USB. There are cheap ENET to
serial solutions out there, so once again you can give
both serial and ENET, or serial over ENET (e.g., telnet),
but not ENET instead of serial.

While you're at it, have you considered giving the user
total control over all the signals of your GPIB bus?
Look at the low-level command interfaces for the various
NI or IoTech serial to GPIB converters to see what I mean.
If you do it right you can take over the market for low-cost
legacy support of GPIB devices.


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