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Real World Instrumentation with Python: Automated Data Acquisition and Control Systems Paperback – 2 Dec 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (2 Dec. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596809565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596809560
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.3 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,080,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Book Description

Automated Data Acquisition and Control Systems

About the Author

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James A. Langbridge on 29 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Python's rapid development is already well known, and is versatile enough to be used in just about any situation, from mathematics to fully fledged graphical interfaces, but how do you control external hardware? How can you use Python to access a serial interface, talk to hardware on the desk, or even better, create your own interface? O'Reilly's Real World Instrumentation with Python explains all of that, and even more.

The first chapters deal with electronics, Python and C, Python extensions and industry-standard interfaces; refreshing your knowledge or offering a primer to these fields. Clear examples and step by step instructions make it easy for anyone. These chapters are heavily furnished, taking up about a quarter of the total book.

Interestingly, Python isn't the only programming language that this book gets into, there is also a chapter on C. C compliments Python very well, as Python is often compiled in CPython. Adding some C to your instrumentation programs can save the time that your Python programs need to be compiled while running. As some of the measurements can be taken in nanoseconds, that makes a big difference.

Things really start afterwards with the aptly-named chapter 8, "Getting Started". The author goes into detail on instrumentation data I/O, reading and writing the data to text and binary files. The final chapters talk about graphical interfaces, turning the command-line text output into rich graphical interfaces.

The book is full of clear illustrations, and step-by-step instructions that anyone can follow, from beginner to expert. The layout is very well thought out, and the author is clearly an expert in his domain.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive Handbook For Interfacing and Programming Instrumentation Using Python 2 Dec. 2010
By Ira Laefsky - Published on
Format: Paperback
This a comprehensive handbook for Interfacing Instrumentation With Computers and Programming of Data Acquisition, Analysis and Display. This extensive introduction and cookbook approach will be invaluable to a number of audiences, including: 1. Laboratory Scientists for whom the computer is a tool to perform their research in domains ranging from psychophysiology to high-energy physics, 2. Control System and Process Plant Engineers who need to interface, control and data log from a variety of equipment in a reliable manner, 3. Embedded System Engineers and Designers who need an understanding of interfacing to a variety of equipment and developing application programs for data analysis and control, and 4. Hobbyists and Makers who may have experimented with Arduino and simple Open Source hardware who now need to make computers work in a real application (or who may wish to interface a conventional PC to other hardware).

This book develops the background for Interfacing and Programming Computers in all Real-Time Applications. It does much more than it claims in being a programming manual for Python in Instrumentation Applications. The background needed to understood what Instrumentation is and how it is used in a variety of applications is provided; this handbook also goes into the essential Electronics for all sorts of computer and instrumentation interfaces; a self-sufficient Python Programming tutorial is provided, the Tools and Methods of hardware interfacing and testing is given; all of these topics are well covered in sufficient detail for the novice in addition to the extensive tutorial on Programming Data Acquisition, Analysis, Logging and Graphical Display promised in the title.

I would have welcomed a similar book on interfacing and programming minicomputers and early microprocessor systems to laboratory systems in my university days, and with the current proliferation of real-time embedded applications, hobbyists and makers and inexpensive data-acquisition hardware the value of this handbook is multiplied many-fold.

Ira Laefsky, MSE/MBA
IT & HCI Consultant and Researcher
formerly on the Senior Consulting Staff of Arthur D. Little, Inc. and Digital Equipment Corporation
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Diappointed 2 Jan. 2011
By Mad Casual - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't know if my expectations were misplaced having read books like Programming Interactivity: A Designer's Guide to Processing, Arduino, and Openframeworks or Making Things Talk: Practical Methods for Connecting Physical Objects. But I expected a more complete coverage for the price.

First, I'm not a programmer but for multiple jobs I've written Python scripts to interpret, store, and retrieve data from serial interfaces. And I don't feel like I walked away from this book with much more than I came in with. The citations were valuable, the treatments of control systems and communications protocols were welcome, but every topic seemed to stop short of real meat and defer to sources or say 'this will be covered in a the manual with your device driver'. In this day and age, a chapter on communications protocols that doesn't at least mention TCP/IP is woefully incomplete.

With the plethora of 'Cool things to do with a microcontroller' books I expected to see something similar coming from a book that used Python and implied PC control. The former tend to treat the PC merely as a vehicle for putting code on the MCU and use languages that are 'less intuitive'. This is where I expected this title to differentiate itself. It didn't.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Good overview book for planning an instrumentation and control project for engineers 27 July 2013
By yoonghm - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book focuses on high level concepts in implementing instrumentation and control projects. The target audiences are engineers and students with basic knowledge in electronics who want to work on embedded projects but lack the basic knowledge. With the information, they can find out more information from other books or the internet. This is not a cookbook on how to implement such projects. Doing so will make the book specific to products such as Raspberry pi or Beaglebone. Sample python code just to illustrate the concepts rather than giving cookbook solution. Readers looking for cookbook solution may be disappointed.

If the book could use the materials in the book to produce a sample working prototype, it work be perfect. Engineers learn from experiences and innovate through understanding and imagination.
A good book ! 19 Jan. 2013
By lamour - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like that book and I am I recommend it to any one who would like to start programming in python . Many thanks to the autor!
Cool materials of Control Systems, Data Acquisition, and Test! 7 Dec. 2013
By Tom Tran - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nice pack of Control Systems, Data Acquisition, and Test! Price is good and book was well written. Thanks for a good work!
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