GPIB control over Ethernet RRS feed

  • Question

  • Can SmallBasic handle interfacing with a Prologix LAN-GPIB (IEEE 488.1 & .2) converter?

    My needs are relatively simple.  To communicate with & automate a few GPIB enabled pieces of test equipment that, "back in the day", were readily controlled in HP-BASIC/HTBASIC thru either their RS232 or GPIB ports.  I chose a LAN path for ease of addressing & the remote control abilities.  The GPIB devices respond to IEEE 488.1 & IEEE 488.2 protocols.

    I believe that the converter is interpreting ASCII syntax commands into GPIB commands? Plus, The converter is also watching the other GPIB control lines for their IEE488 standard functions.

    I am NOT in any, way, shape or form a "programmer" & I don't play one on tv.  To remedy this situation, I am trying to absorb & understand from the Microsoft tutorials.  However, it seems that is considerably more powerful & more complicated than I feel my needs dictate.

    It appears to me that SmallBasic has enough going on that I can use it for the data manipulation & command sequencing IF I can get it to talk to the Prologix converter. I don't need a fancy GUI. Just need to set each instruments' functions, take some readings & output those readings into a plain language form.

    All constructive advice is warmly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance,


    Sunday, January 23, 2011 5:08 AM


  • Bob,

    Native SmallBasic cannot interface with external devices, however it is possible to write .Net extensions to extend the capabilities of SmallBasic. SmallBasic extensions take the form of .Net dlls that can be used in SmallBasic by simply adding the dll (and xml if intellisense is wanted) to a lib subdirectory of the SmallBasic installation directory.

    There is already an existing C# extension for serial port (com) connection here .  This extension comes with the source code , so may be a starting point certainly to the syntax for writing a SmallBasic extension. 

    The advantage of using an extension through SmallBasic might be that the basic logic and control may be easier to write in SmallBasic (just confining the interface communication to the extension dll), the downsides are that if you have to write an extension and don't need much GUI or other code, then it may be easier to write the whole thing in VB or C#.

    This forum can help you with the SmallBasic and extension dll writing - beyond that a VB or other forum may provide more ideas/support.

    Good luck.

    • Proposed as answer by AirWaves Friday, January 28, 2011 3:50 AM
    • Marked as answer by Usernotloggedin Tuesday, February 1, 2011 12:56 AM
    Sunday, January 23, 2011 5:23 PM