Real World Instrumentation with Python
Automated Data Acquisition and Control Systems
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: November 2010
Pages: 624

Learn how to develop your own applications to monitor or control instrumentation hardware. Whether you need to acquire data from a device or automate its functions, this practical book shows you how to use Python's rapid development capabilities to build interfaces that include everything from software to wiring. You get step-by-step instructions, clear examples, and hands-on tips for interfacing a PC to a variety of devices.

Use the book's hardware survey to identify the interface type for your particular device, and then follow detailed examples to develop an interface with Python and C. Organized by interface type, data processing activities, and user interface implementations, this book is for anyone who works with instrumentation, robotics, data acquisition, or process control.

  • Understand how to define the scope of an application and determine the algorithms necessary, and why it's important
  • Learn how to use industry-standard interfaces such as RS-232, RS-485, and GPIB
  • Create low-level extension modules in C to interface Python with a variety of hardware and test instruments
  • Explore the console, curses, TkInter, and wxPython for graphical and text-based user interfaces
  • Use open source software tools and libraries to reduce costs and avoid implementing functionality from scratch
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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Excellent & Useful Book

By Tom

from Austin, TX

About Me Field Engineer

Verified Reviewer


  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples


  • Needs Python 3 Update

Best Uses

  • Intermediate

Comments about oreilly Real World Instrumentation with Python:

To put it simply: This is one of the best O'Reilly books I have read & used. The author, John M. Hughes, explains the concepts very well and with an impressive amount of detail. I was able to adapt some of the ASCII data methodology explained in this book to optimize a Python program which I now use regularly to summarize a real-time ASCII data stream at my work. I would recommend this book to anyone who deals even a little bit with Python or data acquisition systems.

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)


Great book on instrumentation + Python

By CGWilson

from Cleveland, Ohio

Verified Reviewer

Comments about oreilly Real World Instrumentation with Python:

As a working scientist who must incorporate new instrumentation into my experiments all the time, I found this book fantastically helpful and would recommend it to anyone trying to get data from the analog world to the digital world directly and quickliy. The book has a great overview of different communication standards and even a chapter on using C for low-level work. My only quibble is that I wish the author had used matplotlib rather than gnuplot for plots in the book.

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