[time-nuts] Could someone please recommend GPIB card

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 10 00:03:01 EDT 2011

On 10/9/11 7:11 PM, Chuck Forsberg WA7KGX N2469R wrote:
> The PCI and USB HPib interfaces I've seen are terribly expensive.
> Wpuld it be possible to fake an interface with a parallel port and bit
> banging?
> Possibly an Arduino?

Sure... but surplus NI cards turn up pretty cheap, and the Prologix and 
equivalent widgets aren't all that expensive.  By the time you take an 
Arduino and put it in a box with a power supply, etc  (And buy that 
darned connector), I'll bet you're pretty close to the $150 cost of a 
Prologix USB box.  And, then you still have to do the programming, which 
is non-trivial if you want to support the entire protocol (I did part of 
a IEEE-488 interface with a Z80 some decades ago.. It's 1 Mbyte/sec and 
you really do need to support all the handshaking properly.)  I imagine 
you could probably do a fairly decent job with a FPGA that has a USB 
interface.  But then, you're still in the $50-100 board range and still 
needing the connector, power supply, and box.

There are, of course, ISA cards around for $20-30, but finding drivers, 
etc is going to be a chore (of course, that DOS machine with ISA bus 
you're running it in probably does have the needed 5.25" disk drive for 
the driver)

I guess it depends on whether you want so spend your time building GPIB 
interfaces or doing whatever you need the GPIB interface for.

More information about the time-nuts mailing list