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

Hal Murray hmurray at megapathdsl.net
Tue Apr 17 03:02:44 EDT 2007


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

I'm not sure who your market is.  Hobbyists/hackers probably have different 
requirements from real businesses and there are probably vast differences 
from business to business.

My general considerations:
  cost
  physical setup (cables, power...)
  software and documentation

Your USB version is nice.  It avoids the wall wart, and if you are lucky, it 
doesn't even need any GPIB cables.

This is just a hobby for me.  Your current price is borderline.  If it was 
only $50, I would have ordered one right away.  If it was $300 I wouldn't 
have ordered one yet.

The sample software and documentation was weak.  What I really wanted was 
some code known to work on Linux.  (But I'm over that hump now.)


A RS-232 version might be interesting.  RS-232 is widely available and people 
know how to program it.  It's mature technology.  USB is also "mature", but 
less so on Linux.  Using the FTDI chip was a good idea.  I don't have any 
interesting boxes old enough to not have USB.

Now that I have the USB version working I'd prefer to avoid the wall wart.  
The Linux glitch that stumped me for a while was in both the USB and normal 
serial drivers.  Your new version fixes that anyway.


Ethernet might be interesting, but I see several disadvantages.  It needs 
power.  It will be more expensive.  It will be more complicated to setup: 
aside from a TCP connection, you have to assign an IP address to the box.  
DHCP works great for clients, but it's a pain for servers.  Even if the cost 
wasn't higher, I'd prefer the USB version.


All in all, the USB version looks like the sweet spot.


-- 
These are my opinions, not necessarily my employer's.  I hate spam.







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