Automating Test Equipment (lab gear) with Python

I’ve just shared a new tutorial: Automating Test Equipment with Python.” Forget manual experiments - Now you can script your experiment and have it run while you’re out to lunch!

Performing manual measurements (in bulk) is for suckers and undergraduate students. Thankfully, most lab gear comes with a digital interface like USB or Serial and you can issue commands through these interfaces to control your equipment - the same as if you were pushing buttons on the front panel.

Every action that we, the operator, can perform could also be performed by a command. Write a script that sequences these commands in the right order and you have an automated test procedure . Now we’re talking! Better still, a script can co-ordinate a test across multiple devices; you can drive a power supply and read an oscilloscope in the same script.

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I saw the YouTube video and was quite impressed as I have been looking for a similar thing. I have a question. Using this Programmable Power Source, can we vary the current using the python script? Like if we operate the power supply in Constant Current mode, and in a for loop we increment the current each time, will it also increase in real time in the circuit? I am absolutely new to this stuff so please give your answer in very very simple terms.


Absolutely! Check out the Programming Manual.

On page 2-53 is the command to set CC mode, and from page 2-82 are the SOURce commands to control the setpoints.