How do I use the RS-232 port on my 5000 series Wideband RF Power Sensor to automate power measurements?


In many instances, users of the 5000 Series Wideband RF Power Sensors will want to write their own code to extract power measurements and leverage the data directly within their own software. While their are two interfaces that can be used to accomplish this, both USB and RS-232, this article focuses on the latter. 

Start by ensuring you have the following two accessories:

  1. A USB-to-RS-232 adapter that works with your PC's operating system. One example being this model from DTech
  2. An AC/DC adapter that provides 7-18 VDC and at least 0.1A. One example being this common model GFP121U-1210 which is capable of delivering 12 V and up to 1 A. 

Beyond this, you will need to make certain your serial communications API takes into account the following RS-232 configuration settings. 

  • 9600 baud rate
  • 8 data bits
  • 1 stop bit
  • No parity
  • Command termination of carriage return + line feed (\r\n)

Commands and syntax are listed in the attached document, however, it is often best to see a working example  which you can find hosted in the Series 5000 repository on Bird's GitHub page. This Python-based code uses the pyserial module for connecting to and issuing all commands.

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