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A python based driver to control the Oxford MercuryITC system

Project Description


This is a purely python based driver to remotely control the Oxford Mercury iTC cryogenic environment controller <>.

Only the USB connection is supported. Note that this connection is technically just a serial connection, so all the low level communication happens via the serial interface.

This driver supports the aux, heater and temperature modules. Look at the class docstrings to see all the implemented commands (which is almost all).

How to use

The core of this module is the class MercuryITC. To initialize a driver object, just create an instance of this class with the device’s address, e. g.:

>> from mercuryitc import MercuryITC
>> address = '/dev/ttyACM0'
>> m = MercuryITC(address)

All the instrument attributes can be accessed through instance attributes, e.g.:

>> print m.serl

All MercuryITC modules are automatically recognized and added to the modules attribute:

>> print(m.modules)

Values can be read from and written to the instrument in the same way as for main models:

>> htr = m.modules[0]
>> print(htr.nick)
>> htr.nick = 'Main heater'
>> print(htr.nick)

There exists a special kind of attributes called signals in the MercuryITC manual. These contain a numeric value as well as a unit. Signals are read and set as tuples, e.g.:

>> print(htr.volt)
>> htr.volt = (2.5, 'V')
>> print(htr.volt)

Note that all attributes which are not signals are cached and retrieved only once from the device. They are stored and read from memory afterwards. To remove these variables from memory for whatever reason, simply call the destructor:

>> del m.serl

It’s also possible to empty the entire cache of an object by calling the clear_cache method:

>> m.clear_cache()

To fix

  • MercuryITC: USER and PASS property not implemented
  • MercuryITC_HTR: POWR not implemented correctly
  • Add support for PID loop module
  • Add support for level meter module

Release History

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