ICS's Application Notes are arranged by the interface type they support. Click on one of the quick links and then scroll down to see all of the selected application notes.

Serial - GPIB - VXI - Ethernet (VXI-11)

For our GPIB Tutorial click here, for our VXI-11 Tutorial click here .

Each application note or program can be downloaded by clicking on the note number. ICS's application notes are acrobat PDF files and require the Acrobat Reader. If you do not see an application note on a subject that you need, use the message form to contact ICS Electronics.

Example programs can be downloaded from our Example Programs page.

Visual Basic example exe files will need Microsoft's VB6_Runtime_Files if you do not have Visual Studio 6 on your computer. Click here to down load the VB6_Runtime_Files.

Serial Application Notes

PDFAB23-1 Serial Backgrounder (Serial 101) - A tutorial that provides information and troubleshooting help on asynchronous serial communication. Includes PC pinouts and cable wiring aids.

PDF AB23-2 Describes how to control ICS's new Miniboxes and Interface cards that have serial interfaces from a PC COM port. Includes wiring diagrams, programming hints and directions on using ICS's SERkybd utility program.

PDF AB23-3 Describes how to use ICS's 2399 ANSI to Modbus RTU Interface to replace the obsolete Watlow 988 Controllers in a Axcelis/Fusion Gemini Ashers with new Modbus RTU Temperature Controllers.

PDF AB23-4 Describes how to spy on serial communication links and capture ANSI command and response files.

GPIB Application Notes

PDF AB48-11 GPIB 101 - A tutorial about the GPIB bus. Includes IEEE-488.2 Standard, SCPI and GPIB programming concepts. Also called GPIB.pdf. Additional information on this subject is available at Last update 03-21-18.

PDF AB48-12 Extending the IEEE-488 Bus.

PDF AB48-13C Changing the configuration table in the 4823A's EPROM.

PDF AB48-15 Using the 4861 OEM Board as a power supply controller.

PDF AB48-16 Controlling the 4896's RS-232 DTR and RTS output signals with undocumented 4896 commands.

PDF AB48-17 Improving 4895 Serial-to-GPIB Controller program performance and command response times.

PDF AB48-18 Using the 4863/2363 Status Reporting Structure to monitor digital signals. Includes sample Quick Basic program that supports both GPIB and serial devices and responds to Status Byte interrupts.

PDF AB48-19 Controlling Serial Temperature Controllers from the GPIB Bus. Describes Tenny Versatenn and Watlow Temperature Controllers' serial protocols and some typical protocol sequences. Includes cable connections, debugging techniques and example programs. Applies to ICS Models 4804-7, 4809, 4814, 4819, 4894A-7 and 4899.

PDF AB48-20A Generating Serial Waveforms and Transferring Digital Data with ICS's Digital Interface Modules. Includes program examples and 4803's High-Speed Binary data output format. Applies to all ICS 48x3 interfaces.

PDFAB48-21 Using the 4896 GPIB-to-Quad Serial Interface to add serial inputs to HP's Series 700 computers. Includes example software for inputting data from factory sensors. Concepts described in the AB48-21 apply to other computer systems that need additional serial channels.

PDFAB48-22 Tips on Installing a 4803 or a 4823B board in a host chassis. Includes board layout drawings with connector location dimensions.

PDFAB48-23 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about ICS's 488.2 Driver (488.2 Driver FAQs) and the supported GPIB Controller cards and modules. For questions about our new 488.2V3 Driver, refer to AB48-40 below.

PDFAB48-24 Shows how to control Modbus Devices from the GPIB bus using ICS's 4804/4894A GPIB-to-Serial Interfaces.  The Application Note shows connections to a Watlow Controller and software directions for creating Modbus packets. Example Visual Basic programs are available which run on PCs with Visual Basic 4.0 or later. The project files are in self-exploding zip files. File ICS2Mod.exe is for PCs with ICS's 488-PC2 card. File ICS-NI2Mod.exe is for ICS's 488-PCI/PCM cards, National Instruments, Computer Boards, or any GPIB Controller Card that uses the NI488.2 Commands. See AB48-25A below for an easier solution.

PDFAB48-25d Shows how to use ICS's new 4809, 4819 and 4899 GPIB-to-Modbus Interfaces to easily control Modbus Devices from the GPIB bus. The Application Note includes a description of a Visual Basic example program that controls process temperatures and humidity with the Watlow F4 Controller. The program runs on ICS's 488-USB2 and 488-LPCI cards, National Instruments, Measurement Computing, or any GPIB Controller Card that supports the NI 488 style commands. Download the Visual Basic program

PDFAB48-26 Shows how to control GPIB devices over a serial link and describes the differences between the 4894A and 4895 when they are being used as Serial-to-GPIB bus controllers.

PDFAB48-27 Describes how a 4863 can be used as a Test Module Adapter (TMA) to control GPIB devices from a parallel (BCD) interface to replace obsolete instruments in an Automatic Test System (ATS).

PDFAB48-28 Describes how a 488-PCI Card or a 488-PCM Card can be programmed for a Non-controller application. Download Visual Basic program

PDFAB48-29 Describes how a 4864 GPIB Relay Interface can be controlled with LabView VIs. Download the example VIs

PDFAB48-30 Describes how the 488-USB was used in Wayne Kerr's Screen Capture utility.

PDFAB48-31 Describes how a 4863, 4803, 4823B or a 4813 GPIB-to-Parallel Interface can be controlled with LabView VIs. Download the example VIs

PDFAB48-32 Describes how ibnotify is used to handle an asynchronous event and an example program using ibnotify to to receive serial data from an ICS 4896 GPIB to Quad Serial Interface. Download the ibnotify example program

PDFAB48-33 Describes how to interface a 4803 to low voltage devices. Applies to ICS Models 2363, 4863, 4823B and 4813.

PDFAB48-34 Lists PCL5/HPGL compatible parallel printers and instruments for the Model 4892, 4892A and 4892B Printer Interfaces. Last update 01-25-12.

PDFAB48-35 Describes ways to convert older test programs to use ICS's 488.2 GPIB Controllers. Includes Rocky Mountain Basic Examples.

PDFAB48-36 Describes the correct way to read partial blocks of data with ICS's GPIB Controllers with a C language program. Download the example C Language program.

PDFAB48-37 Describes how to do file transfers over the GPIB bus with ICS's GPIB Controllers. Download the example VB program (Visual Basic File transfer program). See also AB48-42.

PDFAB48-38 Shows how to write C Language programs with a VISA Library for ICS's GPIB Controllers. Includes an example C Language program listing.

PDFAB48-39 Shows how to write a Visual Basic.NET program with Microsoft Visual Studio.NET 2005 for ICS's GPIB Controllers. Download the example VB.NET 2005 Demo Program as a ZIP file. The ZIP file includes the source, executable and .NET library files.

PDFAB48-40 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about ICS's 488.2V3 Driver (488.2V3 Driver FAQs) and its supported GPIB Controller cards and modules.

PDFAB48-41a Shows how to write an Embarcadero (Borland) Delphi GPIB program with ICS's 488.2V3 or 488.2V4 Driver. Download the Delphi Example Program as a ZIP file. The ZIP file includes the source and executable files. Last update 07-27-12

PDFAB48-42 Shows how to write a Visual Basic.NET program with File Handling capability for ICS's GPIB Controllers. Download the example VB.NET 2005 FileDemo.NET Program as a ZIP file. The ZIP file includes the source, executable and .NET library files. See also AB48-37.

PDFAB48-43 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about ICS's new 488.2V4 Driver (488.2V4 Driver FAQs), installation problems, and its supported GPIB Controller cards and modules. Last update 08-22-18.

PDFAB48-44 Describes how to convert 32-bit programs to 64-bit programs to take advantage of ICS's 64-bit GPIB DLL. Download the example Visual Basic 2005 and Visual C++ 2005 Programs as a ZIP file. The ZIP file includes the source and library files.

PDFAB48-45 Lists PCL5/HPGL compatible LAN printers and instruments for the Model 4872 GPIB to LAN Printer Interface. Last update 01-28-16.

PDFAB48-46 Capturing, saving, viewing and scaling HPGL files with the 4872 GPIB to LAN Printer Interface. Last update 02-02-12.

PDF AB48-47 Using a 4865 and 8055 to extend the GPIB Bus over an Ethernet link. Last update 04-07-12.

PDF AB48-48 Using ICS 48x9A Interfaces with a Watlow F4T. Last update 07-25-15.

PDF AB48-49 Troubleshooting ICS's 48x9A Interfaces and solving Modbus serial communication problems. Last update 03-12-18.

VXI Application Notes

PDFAB55-1 A VXI-5500 Prototyping Module application example. Using the VXI-5500 to interface two MSEU modules to the VXIbus.

PDFAB55-2 Using two VXI-5543 Slot 0 Controllers to link and control two VXIbus chassis. Eliminates the need to use MXIbus Extenders when extending a VXIbus chassis.

PDFAB55-3 VXI-5543 VXIPlug&Play compatibility with VISA VTL 3.0 Drivers

PDFAB55-4 Using a VXI-5526 VXI Interface Card to connect an ISA Card to the VXIbus.

PDFAB55-5a Describes ICS's VXI Fast Data Channel Operation and ICS's Expanded FDC Command Set. Provides information about FDC channels, programming guidelines for users unfamiliar with the new VXI Fast Data Channel protocols, and an example FDC initialization program. Copies of the VXI Fast Data Channel Specification are available at vxi_spec.html.

PC file5536DEMO.ZIP Example VXI Fast Data Channel data transfer program for VXI-5536 High Speed Quad Serial Module. Program is easily adapted to other ICS modules that use Fast Data Channels to transfer data. Program includes C language source code and header files. File size is 7 Kbytes.

VXI-11 Ethernet Application Notes

PDFAB80-1 Lists FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for ICS's new 8065 Ethernet-to-GPIB Controller (8065 FAQs).

PDFAB80-2 Shows how to write a Visual Basic Program to control ICS's 8065 Ethernet-to-GPIB Controller using Agilent's SICL Library. The file contains VB source files and an executable Visual Basic SICL program.

PDFAB80-3 Introduction to RPC programming and how to use RPC with the 8065 to control GPIB devices.

PDFAB80-4 Describes methods of using a VXI-11 Reverse Interrupt Channel for SRQ notification and provides recommendations for writing RPC programs.

PDFAB80-5 Provides OEMs with guidelines for customizing the HTML Configuration Pages in ICS's 80xx and 90xx seies of Ethernet Interfaces. Download the updated VXI11_html utility and html page files as a .zip file. Last update 02-02-15.

PDFAB80-6 Describes how to use Tcl Scripting to control GPIB devices using an ICS 8065 Ethernet-to-GPIB Gateway. Download the Tcl Script GPIB Example: Tcl Example Program. Download includes library and make files.

PDFAB80-7 Describes the prototype F4 Temperature Chamber control page in the 8099 and describes how an OEM can adopt it to control Temperature-Humidity Chambers or other temperature products that use a Watlow F4 Controller. Download the 8099 html pages or the 9099 html pages as zip files.

PDFAB80-8 Describes the prototype EZ Temperature Plate control page in the 8099 and describes how an OEM can adopt it to control temperature products that use a Watlow EZ Zone Controller. Download the 8099 html pages or the 9099 html pages as zip files.

PDFAB80-9 Describes adding support for the 8065 Ethernet-to-GPIB Controller to GPIB-Utils for Linux.

PDFAB80-10 Compares VXI-11 vs LXI and summarizes the strengths and differences of both Specifications.

PDFAB80-11 VXI-11 Tutorial provides a short description of the VXI-11 protocol and programming guidelines for VISA, SICL and RPC programming.

PDFAB80-12 Running an ICS 8065 from a MAC using RPC. Download example ab80_12main2.c code here.

PDFAB80-13 Coding for Reverse Channel Service Requests from VXI-11 compatible instruments.

PDFAB80-14 Running an ICS 80xx Ethernet Interface from a MAC using RPC. Download the RPC program for a MAC example ab80_14main2.c code here.

PDFAB80-16 An Example C Language Program for sending SCPI commands to a VXI-11 Instrument. Download example file here.

PDFAB80-17 Describes how to programmatically configure an ICS Ethernet capable Interface using the webserver port. A example C Language program shows hoow to write and query webserver parameters. See WebClient.cpp Updated 2-6-15.

PDFAB80-18 Describes how to aviod communicatin loss and resource exhaustion with ICS's Ehernet Interfaces.

PDFAB80-19 Describes how to configure ICS's Interfaces with an Excel Command File using ICS's VISA Command Loader program. The application note includes directions on preparing the Command File and on using the VISACmdLoader program. Download the VIXCmdLoader program here or on the Examples Program page