Mon, 08/12/2019 - 06:09 am
I am hoping to establish RS-232 (with a USB-RS232 dongle, I know about the need to have the right FTDI chip in the dongle) communication with an Agilent 33250A function generator, mainly so I can send arbitrary waveforms to it which it can subsequently output to a microscope. I doubt I'll try to run the function generator from Igor aside from sending the waveforms.
It appears the VDT2 XOP would be appropriate for this task, but the available handshake protocols seem to be different from those available in VDT2. The function generator can use DTR/DSR or RTS/CTS, whereas the "hardware handshaking" in VDT2 seems to something like CTS/DTR. The function generator manual is attached and handshaking protocols are described on page 220. I know XON/XOFF is supported by VDT2, but this protocol doesn't allow for transfer of waveforms.
To me, this suggests I need to modify the VDT2 XOP slightly, with the normal hardware handshaking signals just sent to different pins. My question, aside from any advice you might have on HOW to do this, is whether I am biting off more than I can chew here? To give you a sense of my proficiency in Igor, I have never done anything with I/O and I am certainly no programmer, but I have been writing functions to load data from (generally ASCII) files and do various data analysis tasks within Igor, mostly pretty rudimentary, but still probably a couple hundred hours of writing simple code in Igor.
An alternative method is to purchase the NI USB-GPIB dongle and connect using GPIB protocol, which I know is supported by a different XOP, but that is $750 vs. maybe maybe $30 for the RS-232 dongle. But I will convince my boss to let me buy that one if the alternative is burning a ton of hours trying to modify the VDT2 XOP.
Igor Pro 8
Igor XOP Toolkit
Igor NIDAQ Tools MX