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Controlling instruments

Question asked by CobAF on Nov 9, 2009
I'd be very grateful if anyone can offer me advice on the most suitable method of connecting to a couple of instruments and controlling them.

I wish to programme in VBA in Excel, and need to control an E5071B network analyser and a 34401A DMM. I can connect to the network analyser by either LAN or GPIB and to the DMM by GPIB. Is there a simple, consistent method of controlling both that I can use?

While I can programme competently in VBA, I'm not used to controlling hardware and I really don't understand all this stuff about VISA/IVI/IntuiLink/Sockets. I'd just like a simple heirarchical explanation and a list of what drivers/libraries etc I require!

I've written code that can control both instruments from Excel, copying the style of various example programmes, but I've now installed so many different drivers and things that I'm not sure what is actually required, or whether there's a simple way of connecting to both using similar commands!

Any advice much appreciated. Alternatively, is there someone directly from Agilent who can provide me with this support?  

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