Which interface to use - USB, GPIB, or RS232 while both supplying and reading a DC Voltage?

Thread Starter

Koen Verrijt

Joined Jan 17, 2019
Hey all,

For a project I want to supply a DC voltage with the following device:

Simultaneously, I would want to measure the voltage using a DMM:
Either with:
of which the latter one has option for a GPIB interface.

I want to control/measure and log via one PC. As I am totally new to Labview / SCPI commands or whatever is needed to steer and read these devices, I have the following questions:
- Does anyone have recommendations which interface to use (USB/GPIB/RS232)?
- What are the advantages/disadvantages to each of them?
- Which interface is the best to use for beginners (I never even heard of GPIB and RS232 before!)?

Thank you all!


Joined Jan 15, 2015
First you power supply offers remote communications and includes software. That should allow you to setup outputs. Section 4 of the manual covers the interfaces:
There are several interfaces available for remote communication: USB, RS-232, and GPIB. With all these interfaces, this power supply is very flexible to be controlled remotely. Users can program the power supply by using the SCPI (Standard Commands for Programmable Instruments) commands over any one of the remote interfaces. This section will describe how to set up all of the supported interfaces. Note: The RMT indicator will appear on display when the power supply is successfully connected to a PC remotely through any remote interface. Keys on the front panel will be locked until the instrument is in LOCAL mode. To return to LOCAL mode from the front panel, press . The RMT indicator will disappear when the instrument is in LOCAL mode.
Personally I would avoid the much older GPIB (General Purpose Interface Bus) interface as it is really an old parallel data bus design. You may want to read up on the various interfaces like GPIB, RS232 and USB. It is not something covered in a few sentences or paragraphs.

As to the meter interfaces only one uses the older GPIB and that is a special order part number. The meters also include software but you will need to setup the meter for remote operation. This is also covered in the manuals for the respective meters. Unless you have GPIB cables and a GPIB I/O on the PC you plan to use I would forget it. The software is compatible with Labview and they have software drivers for Labview. USB is obviously the newest interface and like RS232 is a serial data interface rather than the older parallel. Your computer would need a RS232 port? Unless the computer you plan to use is setup with a GPIB or RS232 port you are limited to USB.