Instrument Control Toolbox Release Notes    

Chapter 3
Instrument Control Toolbox 1.0 Release Notes

Introduction to the Instrument Control Toolbox

The Instrument Control Toolbox 1.0 is a new product from The MathWorks that provides a framework for communicating with instruments that support the GPIB interface (IEEE-488, HP-IB), the VISA standard, and the serial port interface (RS-232, RS-422, and RS-485).

Supported Platforms

The supported platforms and associated toolbox features are given below.

Supported Toolbox Features
Microsoft Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows NT 4.0
All features
Sun Solaris
National Instruments GPIB
National Instruments VISA
Serial port
Serial port

Object-Based Design

Based on MATLAB object technology, the Instrument Control Toolbox provides functions for creating objects directly associated with your instrument.

You can create objects for instruments that support the GPIB interface, the VISA standard, and serial port interface. For example, the following command creates the GPIB object g associated with a National Instruments GPIB controller with board index 0, and an instrument with primary address 1.

g contains all the necessary parameters for communicating with the instrument.

Reading and Writing Data

Functions are available for transferring data between MATLAB and your instrument:

Events and Actions

You can enhance the power and flexibility of your instrument control application by using events. An event occurs after a condition is met and may result in one or more actions. For example, you can use events to display a message, display data, or analyze data.

You configure actions through action properties and action functions. All event types have an associated action property. Action functions are M-file functions that you construct to suit your specific application needs.

Event types supported by the Instrument Control Toolbox include error events, timer events, and bytes-available events.

Data Recording

Functions are provided for recording instrument commands, data, and events to one or more disk files. Recording this information to disk provides a permanent record of your instrument control session, and is an easy way to debug your application.

Graphical Tools

Tools are provided that facilitate instrument control in an easy-to-use graphical environment. Using these tools, you can:

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