Use PyVISA to Program Test Tools with Python - Workbench Wednesdays | Summary and Q&A

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January 4, 2023
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Use PyVISA to Program Test Tools with Python - Workbench Wednesdays

TL;DR

This video demonstrates how to use Python and Pi Visa to automate test equipment, making repetitive tasks faster and enabling measurements that the tools cannot do natively.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does the Pi Visa module facilitate communication between software and instruments?

The Pi Visa module acts as a python wrapper that interfaces with a Visa driver, enabling software to send commands formatted according to the Skippy command set for programmable instruments to communicate with the instruments.

Q: Can the video's automation methods be applied to any test equipment?

The automation methods demonstrated in the video can be applied to any test equipment that supports USB, LAN, or serial communication and can be controlled using Skippy commands.

Q: What are the advantages of automating test equipment using Python and Pi Visa?

Automating test equipment using Python and Pi Visa offers several advantages, including faster execution of repetitive tasks, the ability to perform measurements beyond the native capabilities of the equipment, and the joy of writing customized test scripts.

Q: How does the video address the challenges of connecting and communicating with instruments?

The video discusses the different instrument connections (gpib, LXI, rs232, and USB TMC), the availability of Visa drivers from various manufacturers, and the need to carefully read the licensing terms for using proprietary Visa software. It also provides troubleshooting tips for common connection and communication issues.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The video shows how to use Python and a Raspberry Pi (or any Linux computer) to automate test equipment with USB, LAN, or serial ports.

  • The Pi Visa module is used as a python wrapper that interfaces with a Visa driver, allowing software to communicate with instruments using Skippy commands.

  • The video also explains the concepts of virtual instrument software architecture (Visa), API, different instrument connections (gpib, LXI, rs232, and USB TMC), and the challenges of connecting and communicating with instruments.

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