dawn is a free software package, that may be downloaded here which is designed to allow data to be collected from professional quality multimeters via the GPIB bus. It has only been tested on the HP 3457A (6.5 digits, shown above) but is expected to work on the HP or Agilent 3458A (8.5 digits). Others can perhaps add support for other multimeters
dawm has only current been tested on a Sun workstation running the Solaris operating system, but is expectd to work on other UNIX distributiojns, or Linux. The code is command line driven, and should also work on Windows, but this has not beene tested. Should anyone produce a Windows executable, I will upload it here
Here is an example of usage, in this case collecting data on the mains voltage by using the AC voltage scale. The default GPIB address (22) is used.
sparrow /export/home/drkirkby/dawm-0.51/src % dawm --ACV HP3457A 10 HP3457A 236.07410E+00 235.44460E+00 235.91100E+00 235.90100E+00 235.89110E+00 235.90970E+00 236.23350E+00 236.23800E+00 dawm_stopfile.22.txt: No such file or directory
sparrow /export/home/drkirkby/dawm-0.51/src % dawm --FREQ HP3457A 20 HP3457A 50.014711E+00 50.015406E+00 50.015917E+00 50.016704E+00 50.016283E+00 50.017676E+00 50.019904E+00 50.020971E+00 50.021800E+00 50.019388E+00 50.017720E+00 50.016798E+00 dawm_stopfile.22.txt: No such file or directory
sparrow /export/home/drkirkby/dawm-0.51/src % dawm --PERIOD HP3457A 10 HP3457A 19.997136E-03 19.996118E-03 19.995709E-03 19.995062E-03 19.994282E-03 19.993931E-03 dawm_stopfile.22.txt: No such file or directory
All the above examples show the use of the default GPIB address, which was 22. This time the GPIB address will be set directly, overriding the default. Since there is only one meter on my GPIB bus, this produces an error
sparrow /export/home/drkirkby/dawm-0.51/src % dawm --ACV --GPIB-address 10 HP3457A 5 Sorry, there does not appear to be a functioning HP3457A on GPIB address 10 Check the instrument is powered up and on the correct GPIB address
Note that in each case, the program tries at the end to remove the file 'dawm_stopfile.22.txt' but fails. This file can be used to stop data collection at any point, in a clean manner. Here dawm will be configured to measure AC voltage for a very long time (1e7 seconds), but this terminated when the file dawm_stopfile.22.txt is created.
dawm is written and supported by Dr. David Kirkby, who may be contacted by e-mail