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
John M. Hughes is an embedded systems engineer with over 30 years of experience in electronics, embedded systems and software, aerospace systems, and scientific applications programming. He was responsible for the surface imaging software on the Phoenix Mars Lander, and has worked on digital engine control systems for commercial and military aircraft, automated test systems, radio telescope data acquisition, and realtime adaptive optics controls for astronomy. Hughes has been using Python for many years in a variety of applications, including the software for a multiwavelength laser interferometer system for verifying the alignment of telescope mirror segments on the James Webb Space Telescope. He is currently using Python for imaging systems simulation and analysis at the University of Arizona.
The animal on the cover of Real World Instrumentation with Python is a hooded crow (Corvus cornix). Known also as a Scotch crow, a Danish crow, a Grey crow, and a Corbie, the bird enjoys a wide distribution across Europe and the Middle East. Because the hooded crow is so similar to the common carrion crow, the two were previously considered to be of the same species. As of 2002, however, Brân Lwyd (as it is known in Welsh) has enjoyed full species status, and has four recognized subspecies.
The hooded crow’s plumage is mostly ash gray, though it sports glossy black feathers on its wings, tail, and especially on its head and throat, giving the appearance of the hood for which the animal is named. When full grown, the birds average a wingspan of 98 cm, and can measure from 48 to 52 cm in length. Like the carrion crow with which it is closely associated, the hooded crow is an omnivorous scavenger. It is known for stealing eggs from the nests of other bird species, and in costal regions will drop mollusks and crabs from a height in order to break them open.
The image of a hooded crow holds special significance in traditional Celtic folklore, and it is associated with fairies in the Scottish highlands and in Ireland. During the 18th century, Scottish shepherds were known to make offerings to the animals to prevent them from attacking their sheep. Elsewhere, a maiden on the Faroe Islands of Denmark would watch the flight of the hooded crow on the morning of Candlemas to determine the provenance of her future husband.
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.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend