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Looking for insight into 34405A USB Interface

Question asked by jwegman on Sep 6, 2012

My office primarily uses MacBook Pros for all of our work.  I have a situation where I'd like to use our 34405A for data logging via Python scripts, but the only support for communicating with one of these instruments is Windows.  I have a Windows virtual machine running in VirtualBox with the latest version of the Agilent I/O Connectivity Suite, but VirtualBox is having issues with attaching the Multimeter to the OS, and it's really a suboptimal solution for what I want to do anyways.  I've tried several different things on the Mac side.  First, I installed the latest version of NI-VISA on my machine.  Then, I installed PyVisa, and after a bit of hacking, got that to work.  However, it's still unclear to me how to address the 34405A.  If I do a search for available instruments, the 34405A does not show up.  From tidbits I've been able to pick up via internet searches, the command for opening up the instrument should look something like this (insert whatever you need to around the front and back of the following string):


VendorID and ProductID are easy, my Mac lists a serial number but I'm not sure if it's real.  Can I check the back of the unit for this information?

When this avenue wasn't working for me, I also tried to use PyUSB.  It seems like it wouldn't be too hard to write a driver that uses this library, which is really just a wrapper for libusb.  However, without knowing how the interface on the 34405 works, I really have to reverse engineer it, which I unfortunately don't have the time to do.  Therefore, any hints as to how to attack this problem would be appreciated.