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Proceedings Paper

PyDevCom: a generic device communications application
Author(s): Stewart A. McLay
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Paper Abstract

PyDevCom is a small application written in the python programming language for communicating with astronomical instrumentation devices (e.g. temperature monitors and controllers, motion controllers, etc.) that use serial communication interfaces. It provides a highly configurable framework for defining an interface for communicating with a serial device. The configuration information for PyDevCom is stored in an XML file which is designed to be easily read and customised. Therefore when an interface to a new device is required, a new configuration file for the device is all that is needed. This avoids having to write a new device specific communications application. The core PyDevCom application can be used interactively in a Python terminal, or may be executed inside a script, providing a great deal of flexibility for testing hardware in the lab. PyDevCom has its own platform-independent GUI, based on wxPython, which automatically constructs the interface for a given device from the information in the XML configuration file. Future development for PyDevCom will add several new user interface features that include a plug-in architecture for adding specially tailored GUI interfaces written in python. Once these features have been implemented they will extend PyDevCom to function as a lightweight instrument control system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7019, Advanced Software and Control for Astronomy II, 701914 (14 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789336
Show Author Affiliations
Stewart A. McLay, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7019:
Advanced Software and Control for Astronomy II
Alan Bridger; Nicole M. Radziwill, Editor(s)

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