There are two possible ways that instruments work with a printer or plotter:
1) The way most instruments do direct hardcopy: instrument is a talker-only (talker always) and plotter is a listner-only (listener always. (This is a very limited GPIB configuration because no other devices can be added to the bus. You can't have multiple talekr only devices. You could have multiple listen only devices, but they would all receive the exact same data whenever the talker sends it.) I believe you could use some low level board level IBxxx commands to make a NI488 act as a listener only, but as mentioned this would not be a very practical system.
2) Many instruments provide GPIB command(s) to setup and initiate a hardcopy or print screen operation. The detai ls vary by instrument, but in general you could SEND the command(s) to start the hardcopy and then do an IBRDF to read in the data and save it to a file. Of course, the data is whatever the instrument sent, and the instrument thinks its sending directly to a plotter or printer. So the file would be suitable for sending to that kind of printer, but it necessarily be something useful on the PC (or Mac or Sun or whatever).
Check with the instrument maker's website and/or tech support people for more info, and examples. For example, www.tektronix.com has example programs to capture scope hardcopy output.
> I have several instruments that will send output to an HPGL plotter at the > press of a button. Is there a convenient method to capture the plot > information using a PC with natinst GPIB card installed? > > tnx
-- Best Regards, Mike T
Mike Tranchemontagne Consulting Applications Engineer TeraComm, Inc. 148 Main Street Building A, 3rd Floor North Andover, MA 01845 877-900-TERA (8372) 978-557-9490 (FAX) 603-598-4773 (Direct Line and Cell)