Save Data From Old Scopes With A GPIB Disk Emulator

If you still use old test equipment on a regular basis, you probably have been frustrated by the lack of options for pulling data off these aging devices. Many higher-end devices are equipped with GPIB ports, which are general purpose buses for communicating with a variety of obsolete peripherals. Since GPIB disk drives aren’t too common (or practical) these days, [Anders] made a GPIB adapter that emulates a disk drive and stores data to an SD card.

[Anders] designed a PCB with a PIC microcontroller that plugs into a GPIB port. The PIC emulates a disk drive using the AMIGO protocol or the SS/80 protocol, which can be selected in a configuration file on the SD card. Most test equipment supports one of these two protocols, so his adapter should work with pretty much any GPIB-equipped kit.

Data is saved to a single image file on the SD card, which is encoded in a native HP disk format. The image file can be opened on Windows and Linux with some utilities that [Anders] mentioned on his project page. If you have any old test equipment withGPIB lying around and want to build your own, the schematic and source code are up on his site or [Anders] is selling bare boards.

Now if it’s a protocol converter that you need we’ve seen those in a couple of different varieties.

10 thoughts on “Save Data From Old Scopes With A GPIB Disk Emulator

  1. “Obsolete” is a bit of a stretch. I just wish the test equipment industry had come up with a more modern, equivalent replacement.

    LAN, USB, etc. lack many important features of GPIB. I still use it every day.

  2. I love this, as I have a ton of GPIB stuff, but my scopes all have rs232 as well, and getting stuff onto a computer from that isn’t too bad once you find hpgl to dxf/png converters.
    With that said, I’ll be making one of these because generally older test instruments set to either gpib or rs232, not both, so as long as I’m controlling it via gpib I may as well fetch plots that way too. Great post.

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