HP3478A instrument control software

Also supports backup and restore of the calibration data!

This is a Microsoft Windows program to control and log data from a HP3478A multimeter.

This program is provided free of charge. It has no warranty of any kind. Use at you own risk.

For use with the Prologix USB to GPIB adapter. It will ONLY work with Prologix USB to GPIB and compatible adapters.
It should work with any USB to GPIB adapter that supports the Prologix command set.

It has been tested with the following adapters:

dalton.ax Elektor Prologix clone.
NOTE:7/18 My Dalton adapter is not currently working.
New versions have not been tested with it.

Emanuele Girlando's Arduino based adapter.

AR488 Arduino based adapter.


Click here to download the software. HP3478A.zip. (03-20-2020)

Unzip the archive and run HP3478A.exe

Click here for older versions.

Update for use with the kirill_ka hp3478ext Arduino firmware.

Fixed more bugs in the meter calibration data edit. Some gain values were not being properly encoded.

Adjusted range checks for the meter calibration data edit.
The previous version allowed invalid gain values to be entered.
Fixed bug with reading current instrument settings on program start.
Current settings are now read correctly.
The edit and write calibration functions now automatically
create a backup of the cal data in the cfg folder.

You can now edit the meter calibration data.
You can manually adjust the gain and offset.
This feature is in the settings menu.

The 03-22-2019 version was not working properly with the Arduino GPIB adapter with Girlando firmware installed.
Works OK with Arduino and AR488 firmware.
If you use AR488 firmware or a Prologix adapter you don't need to update to this version.

Fixed bug that could cause save calibration to incorrectly show a checksum error.
You can now enable debug messages from the default settings menu.
Emanuele Girlando has updated the firmware provided on his site.
Please use the updated firmware for proper operation.

Updated for use with the Emanuele Girlando Arduino GPIB adapter.

You can now read and write the meter calibration data.
You no longer have to worry about a dead battery.
This feature is in the settings menu.



I have now added the ability to change the Prologix adapter version ID string.
This data is returned by the Prologix adapter ++ver command. This is needed because I use the version string
to identify the Prologix adapter. Some compatible adapters return a different response to the ++ver command.
Choose Options from the program settings menu. Enter all or part of the version string returned by your adapter into
the Prologix version ID textbox. To make this change permanent, choose file | Save settings and save the new configuration.
You can also change the Prologix baud rate. This is only needed for some prologix clones.


I have found that some USB to serial port adapters can cause the auto COM port
search to run very slowly. If you have problems with slow program startup,
you can set the COM port configuration to manual and enter the port for
your GPIB adapter into the Serial COM port textbox. If you plug the USB
adapter into a different USB port, the com port will probably change.

I have also found that bluetooth adapters can cause a crash during auto com port detection.

This crash happens when a bluetooth serial COM port device is connected.
I have two of these adapters. A generic and a name brand adapter.
Both of my bluetooth adapters use the CSR network stack.
I believe that the CSR software is the cause of the the problem.
if you have one of these adapters you should use the manual COM port setting.
Below are pictures of the problem bluetooth adapters.

CSR_BT 001s.jpg

CSR_BT 002s.jpg

You can manually select the GPIB address and the COM port.
You may need to use manual if you have multiple identical instruments or multiple GPIB adapters attached.
Auto GPIB will find the first HP3478A (lowest GPIB address) on the bus.
Auto COM will find the first (Lowest COM port) Prologix adapter on the PC.

The following Prologix commands are used:

++read eoi

Advanced configuration settings may only be changed by
editing the configuration file. Use this at your own risk.
The configuration file is named HP3478A.cfg and is located in
the \cfg folder. To restore the default configuration, just
erase the file. It will be created on the next program run.

Click here for descriptions of the configuration file items.

Questions or comments? Email me:

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