[time-nuts] python or matlab/octave for Keysight instruments?

Keenan Tims keenan.tims at gmail.com
Mon Jul 4 16:19:30 EDT 2016

PyVISA depends on the NI binary VISA libraries, which you then need to
get to work with your instruments. Getting this all working is an
endeavour I quickly gave up on.

I've had good luck with python-ivi:
https://github.com/python-ivi/python-ivi which should work well with
modern instruments that support USBTMC or VXI11 (SCPI-over-IP), and I
wrote an adapter for the Keithley 2000 serial interface that was also
pretty easy. It can also use PyVISA as a backend if you've got some
'real' GPIB gear you need to deal with. The only real gotcha is that
if your instrument is not supported 'natively' you will need to write
the object-oriented driver code yourself. This is not particularly
difficult, and most of the standard device classes need very little
modification, but it might be a turn off if you just want to throw a
few commands at the devices.

This same python-ivi project also contains lower-level VXI11 and
USBTMC drivers you can use if you prefer.

On 2 July 2016 at 09:09, jimlux <jimlux at earthlink.net> wrote:
> I'm looking for a *simple* *portable* software library to do some
> control/data acquisition from either python or octave for Agilent/Keysight
> gear, specifically over the USB or Ethernet interfaces.
> the "Keysight IO Libraries Suite CD " is, I think, Windows only
> I'm fine with writing the SCPI commands and parsing the output, I'm just
> looking for the "glue" between "send_message_to_instrument" or
> "read_message_from_instrument" and the instrument itself.
> Sort of like the python interfaces to the Prologix Ethernet/GPIB
> controllers.
> I've got the whole numpy/scipy infrastructure already installed, if that's
> relevant.
> Is PyVISA reasonably easy to work with, or is it one of those "once you've
> spent 6 weeks recompiling the kernel and finding all the libraries from 4
> different sources, it works great"..
> There's also the Agilent Command Expert which seems to provide a matlab and
> python interface, but, looks like "windows only" and I'm in a cross platform
> environment (OS X, Ubuntu, Windows) (Hmm, KCE isn't as nice an acronym as
> ACE)
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