Oscilloscope Data Acquistion via a GPIB and IEEE-488 Port Connection

Report No. ARL-MR-590
Authors: Miguel A. Del Guercio
Date/Pages: July 2004; 34 pages
Abstract: The process of data acquisition via oscilloscope is a frequent undertaking at the U.S Army Research Laboratory (ARL) aeroballistics facilities. Due to the particular configuration of the oscilloscopes used (Nicolet Integra-10), the acquired data is typically saved to a 3.5-in floppy disk, which has to be formatted to the particular oscilloscope software configuration by using the oscilloscope's digital menu display. This task is a time-consuming process which creates files and folders and assigns different nomenclature for the acquired data files that need to be copied from each floppy disk. The process becomes more repetitious and error prone as more oscilloscopes are involved. One of the shortcomings of this method is the loss or corruption of data due to unavailable disk space at the time of data saving, as the scope's menu does not display an error message indicating insufficient disk space. On the contrary, the saved kilobytes of the corrupted file will be displayed indistinctly to the others. Controlling the data acquisition process from a laptop computer is another feasible way of accomplishing the task while using the same oscilloscopes and its available software. This report provides a step-by-step guide on how to control the data acquisition process from a laptop computer, the transfer of acquired data to the laptop, and saving it into a Windows file, thus avoiding the time-consuming task involved in formatting disks and creating and naming of folders through the Integra 10 oscilloscope menu.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: July 1, 2004