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Gan Uesli Starling

TCP/IP or GPIB to Thermotron?

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I have a Thermotron test chamber with an 8200 controller to which I'd like for LabVIEW to talk. Basically, I only just need for LabVIEW to know the current set point of the Thermotron for whatever internal program it might be currently running. Only just that. Just so LabVIEW knows what it's trying to do at any particular moment. So LabVIEW can ask and get an answer.

Our 8200 controller has TCP/IP and GPIB. But I've never yet done ought with either of those, only just RS-485 up until now. So I'm not sure just where to start.

Anyone out there have helpful clues?

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Either option ends up being pretty easy, although I would say the GPIB route would be more simplistic with VISA.  Does your device provide any midlevel drivers for output?  Looks like the Thermotrons are soft panels, so I would expect those tools would be provided.  I'm sure either way the process will be simple.  If you have a TCP driver that abstracts out the commands and packet parsing for you go that route for sure.  Otherwise GPIB is a pretty quick up and run with VISA commands.

I've done both and most basic drivers come together in less than a day.

Cheers,

 

Tim

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There are LabVIEW Drivers located here...

http://thermotron.com/pdf/_service/labview7/TH88-8200.zip

...which I've downloaded and installed.

But first I must make the initial connection, which is where I still suffer confusion for where to start. Were it RS-485, I'd just set up COM3 with one of my several USB-to-Serial dongles. I have such a dongle on order for GPIB to allow connection to the IEE-488 connector, but it will take some days to arrive. Meanwhile the RJ-45 beckons, so I'd like to firstly try that.

Also with regard to the forthcoming USB-to-GPIB dongle, a page at NI located here...

http://www.ni.com/getting-started/set-up-hardware/instrument-control/gpib-usb

...held forth an empty promise of info relative to Windows which it says is located here...

http://zone.ni.com/wv/app/doc/p/id/wv-1648/

...but that one is a dead link.

Edited by Gan Uesli Starling
typo

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It looks like those drivers haven't been updated in a while. 7.1. That's before my time...  They uses the IVI standard, which is fine, but it will require you to install the IVI driver as seen in the readme.... In my opinion that's about 1 step away from abandon-ware unless they give you some installation examples.

 

The IVI requirement really drives your options here, you'll need to set up a driver session and go through that process under Max.  I am not of fan of IVI, and it's not because of lack of experience. Once you get your IVI driver installed for the Thermotron you'll see it listed in the driver sessions under MAX. Then you'll create a logical name for your device and connect it to the driver with the physical connection information (IP address).

 

Honestly this is a LOT of work to just get a temperature update. See if you can get away with the basic GPIB route and avoid using that driver.  I think that will be way easier.

 

Cheers,

 

Tim

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