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Instrumentation Cables Manufacturer

We engineer and manufacture instrument cables for the test and measurement industry. In addition to OEM instruments cables, we provide industrial automation and process control cables. In this context, one of our specialties is GPIB cable (General Purpose Interface Bus) or IEEE 488 cable design and manufacturing. 

 Please see below some of the key types of instrument cables we offer:

     Multi-meter cables
     Instruments cables for Oscilloscopes, Spectrum analyzers, Signal generators
     Laboratory equipment / Lab instrument cables
     Double-Shielded  GPIB Cable
     GPIB interface for digital logic analyzers
     Temperature measurement instruments cables
     Infrared thermometers, Infrared cameras
     Weighing Scales  cables
     Humidity measurement instrument cables
     Gas detectors and Gas analyzers
     Metrology equipment
     Shielded  GPIB Cables
     GPIB Cable, Double-Shielded, Standard to Right-Angle
     GPIB interface Instrument Cables – with  Shielded Plug/Receptacles
     Metrology GPIB cable
     GPIB cable for HPIB equipment (Hewlett Packard Interface Bus)
     Industrial vision, Video cameras cable
     Cables for Recorders & Data acquisition devices

Instrument Cables - GPIB tutorial  

The GPIB / IEEE 488 interface bus, also known as the General Purpose Interface Bus "GPIB," is well established in the electronics industry.  It represents a robust means of providing control of remote test and measurement instruments via high quality instruments cables. Although the GPIB cable interface has been in widespread use since the early 1970s, the use of the GPIB interface is finding new vitality in view of its convenience and availability. The GPIB cable and GPIB connectors are in widespread use and are available from many stockists and suppliers. 

The GPIB interface is an 8 bit parallel interface system which incorporates:

     5 control lines
     3 handshake lines
     8 bi-directional data lines

The GPIB cable consists of 24 lines, with the remaining lines occupied by ground wires. The maximum data transfer rate is determined by a number of factors, but is about 1Mb/s. 

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GPIB Interface Connectors

The connector used for the IEEE 488 bus is standardized as a 24-way Amphenol 57 series type. This provides an ideal physical interface for the standard. The IEEE 488 or GPIB connector is very similar in format to those that were used for parallel printer ports on PCs. This makes the GPIB cable a sufficiently rugged connection for use in a variety of test equipment and test and measurement environments where unprotected connectors may not survive well. 

An additional advantage of the GPIB connector is that it has a screw-lock. In this way, once the connectors have been mated the screw-lock can be used to secure the connectors together. In this way movements of the GPIB cables are unlikely to cause any intermittent connections. With complicated electronics systems such as automatic test systems, intermittent signals in instrument cables can cause significant problems which can be difficult to isolate and cure. By using a GPIB connector that has a screw-lock this problem can be overcome. 

The basic female connector used on the GPIB cable applications follows the standard format for the Amphenol57 series, however, the GPIB cable connector has some differences. The basic GPIB cable connector has a male to female capability. In this several GPIB cables connectors can be "piggy-backed" on top of each other. This helps the physical setting up of the bus and prevents complications with special connection boxes or star points, etc. 

There are two different types of screwlockused on the GPIB cables. The metric threads are Black whereas English threads are Silver. Unfortunately the two will not mate together. The most common type of screwlock is the black metric version. 

GPIB Connector Pinout 

24-Pin GPIB Bus PinOut [IEEE488 Pinout]

Pin #

Signal Names

Signal Description

Pin #

Signal Names

Signal Description

1

DIO1

Data Input/Output Bit 1

13

DIO5

Data Input/Output Bit 5

2

DIO2

Data Input/Output Bit 2

14

DIO6

Data Input/Output Bit 6

3

DIO3

Data Input/Output Bit 3

15

DIO7

Data Input/Output Bit 7

4

DIO4

Data Input/Output Bit 4

16

DIO8

Data Input/Output Bit 8

5

EIO

End-Or-Identify

17

REN

Remote Enable

6

DAV

Data Valid

18

Shield

Ground (DAV)

7

NRFD

Not Ready For Data

19

Shield

Ground (NRFD)

8

NDAC

Not Data Accepted

20

Shield

Ground (NDAC)

9

IFC

Interface Clear

21

Shield

Ground (IFC)

10

SRQ

Service Request

22

Shield

Ground (SRQ)

11

ATN

Attention

23

Shield

Ground (ATN)

12

Shield

Chassis Ground

24

Single GND

Single Ground

GPIB cables

In practice the GPIB interface is very robust and easy to use for instrument cables. Ready-made GPIB cables are available even if they appear to be a little expensive. However these GPIB cables are fully screened and have the correct lines as twisted pairs. This considerably reduces the susceptibility of the bus to data corruptions. The manufacturing of a full specification GPIB cable can be somewhat costly in view of the complexity of the cable and having to ensure the integrity of the screening 

IEEE-488 Cable Guidelines

Although there is a considerable degree of flexibility when setting up a GPIB interface, there are some restrictions on the way the GPIB instrument cables are set up. Up to fifteen instruments may be connected together with a maximum bus length not exceeding 20 meters. There must also be no more than 2 meters between any two instruments. Devices on the GPIB can be connected in either a star or linear configuration. 

 

 

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