Terminal tools to record/monitor from Phidget 1048_1B USB-thermocouple devices
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9.8 KiB


Easy recording/monitoring from Phidget 1048_1B USB-thermocouple devices directly from your comfy terminal

It aims at providing a fast, flexible and efficient way to record and monitor thermocouple data in situations where a computer (including a tiny and inexpensive one like the Pi Zero) is in reach. This saves the usual hassle of using GUI and/or proprietary software with limited features from commercial providers, having to set recording missions without live feedback, and then unload and view the data only when the experiment is over.

In addition to better portability and compatibility with headless machines, using command line tools allows easily automating execution for complex monitoring cycles, when combined with other tools such as crontab and ssh, for instance.


  • phidget-rec (Python)
$ phidget-rec -h
Usage: $ phidget-rec [options]

A program to record and monitor thermocouple data with Phidget 1048_1B
USB devices directly from the terminal

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -i, --interactive     Enable interactive input prompts for all options
  -m MODE, --mode=MODE  [d]uration, scheduled end [t]ime, or [c]ontinuous
                        until manually stopped, default=d
  -r RATE, --rate=RATE  Poll rate in seconds (min 0.1), default=1
  -n NAME, --name=NAME  Your name; will be prefixed to the output file name to
                        facilitate sorting data on shared computers
  -l LABEL, --label=LABEL
                        Label (experiment, species, etc.) to include in the
                        csv file name, default=Phidget S/N
  -t TAG, --tag=TAG     Add any relevant tags (keywords, etc.) or summary
                        information to the csv description; use quotes in case
                        of multiple words
  -s SEP, --sep=SEP     Column separator, either [c]omma, [t]ab, or [s]pace,
                        Custom output file name (ignores --name and --label),
  -p PHIDGET, --phidget=PHIDGET
                        6-digit serial number of the Phidget to use, if
                        multiple Phidgets 1048_1B are connected
  -d DAYS, --days=DAYS  Number of days to record, meant for use in combination
                        with duration mode in a non-interactive and therefore
                        easily programmable way
  -y, --yes             Skip confirmation prompt before recording data, meant
                        to allow suppressing all interactive prompts when
                        options are set in command line to facilitate the
                        automatic execution of the program
  -q, --quiet           Hide sensor readings while recording

Improve me at https://github.com/mlaparie/phidget-tools
  • phidget-plot (Bash)
$ phidget-plot -h
phidget-plot (live) plots csv data from phidget-rec directly in the terminal.

Usage: $ phidget-plot [FILE] [CHANNEL(S)]

       [FILE]        path to input csv file
       [CHANNEL(S)]  space-separated list of channel(s) from 0 to 4 to plot, e.g., 0 1 2 3 4

       Arguments are facultative, suppling none enables interactive mode (requires fzf).
       Interactive mode looks for input csv files in present directory and takes no [CHANNEL] argument.

       Refresh rate of live plots defaults to 0.5s but can be overriden with
       an environment variable: 'phidgetplotrate=60 phidget-plot [ARGS]'

Improve me:

Getting started


git clone https://github.com/mlaparie/phidget-tools && cd phidget-tools
ln -s phidget-rec ~/.local/bin/phidget-rec
ln -s phidget-plot ~/.local/bin/phidget-plot



  • Phidget libraries: follow "Part 1" instructions from the official website:
    • Install dependencies from your package manager, e.g.:

      sudo apt install wget gcc make libusb-1.0-0-dev (Debian)
      sudo eopkg it wget gcc make libsusb-devel (Solus)

    • Download, unpack and install the Phidget library:

      wget https://www.phidgets.com/downloads/phidget22/libraries/linux/libphidget22.tar.gz -O /tmp/libphidget22.tar.gz
      tar xvzf /tmp/libphidget22.tar.gz
      cd /tmp/libphdget22-*
      sudo make install
    • A backup version of libphidget22.tar.gz is provided in the libs/ folder of this repository in case the original source becomes unavalable in the future.

  • python3
  • Phidget22 Python library: pip3 install Phidget22


  • jp
    • jp can be installed with Go: go get -u github.com/sgreben/jp/cmd/jp
    • Alternatively, prebuilt binaries are available, just unzip the version for your architecture either in your $PATH (mandatory if you symlinked phidget-plot to your $PATH as described above and execute it from outside phidget-tools/), or else simply in the phidget-tools/ directory if you run the script from there only.
  • fzf, optional but phidget-tools will lose functionality without it. fzf is typically available in any distribution's package manager:
    • Debian: sudo apt install fzf
    • Solus: sudo eopkg it fzf
    • macOS: brew install fzf

How to use

Using both scripts should be straightforward, check --help. In short, plug your Phidget device, run phidget-rec (try the --interactive ot -i option if in doubt) to collect data, and run phidget-plot to select and preview previously recorded data or view live plots for ongoing monitorings. You can run several instances of phidget-rec simultaneously if you want to record from multiple Phidget 1048_1B devices.


While phidget -i will prompt the user for all available options, one advantage for CLI tools is to suppress all interactions to run them from other scripts and tools. Just make sure you provide the compulsory arguments -p SERIAL, -n NAME, -d DAYS (though inconvenient, it is a float, so fractions are possible: -d 0.25 is six hours) and -y to skip the final confirmation. -r RATE is not mandatory but will obviously be set by most users.

The example Bash script below cycles the execution of phidget-rec for ARG1 recording phases each separated by ARG2 days. These two arguments have to be given first and in that order, and followed by at least the options for phidget-rec described above (in any order) to suppress all input prompts and fully automate the routine. More complex scheduling could be achieved using crontab for instance.

#!/usr/bin/env bash
# This script should be given 2 arguments: number of iterations, wait time (in days) between recording phases.
# Both arguments should be separated by a space, and then followed by phidget-rec options
# Note that the script overrides the --label option of phidget-rec to name files after their iteration number
# example: sh cycle-rec.sh 6 0.0006944444 -nDoe -r0.2 -yd0.0001157407
# 0.0006944444 is 1 minute in days, 0.0001157407 is 10 seconds in days

DELAY="$(echo $(bc <<< "$2 * 86400 + 0.5")/1 | bc)"

printf "\033[33;1mInitiated a cycle of "$N" recording phases each separated by "$2" days…\033[0m\n"
echo 0 > $TMPFILE
		shift 2
	while [ "$PHASE" -lt "$N" ]
		PHASE=$[$(cat $TMPFILE) + 1]
		phidget-rec "$@" -l"$PHASE""of""$N" 1>/dev/null # Remove "1>/dev/null" if you want to see phidget-rec output
		printf "\033[33;1mRecording "$PHASE"/"$N" completed.\033[0m\n"
		echo $PHASE > $TMPFILE
		if [ ! "$PHASE" -eq "$N" ]; then sleep "$DELAY"; else sleep 0; fi

tree Data -tU | head -n "$lastmod"
$ sh cycle-rec.sh 6 0.0006944444 -nDoe -r0.2 -yd0.0001157407 -p647540
Initiated a cycle of 6 recording phases each separated by 0.0006944444 days…
Recording 1/6 completed.
Recording 2/6 completed.
Recording 3/6 completed.
Recording 4/6 completed.
Recording 5/6 completed.
Recording 6/6 completed.
└── Doe
    ├── Doe_6of6_r0.2_D0.0d_20211108-144806.csv
    ├── Doe_5of6_r0.2_D0.0d_20211108-144656.csv
    ├── Doe_4of6_r0.2_D0.0d_20211108-144546.csv
    ├── Doe_3of6_r0.2_D0.0d_20211108-144435.csv
    ├── Doe_2of6_r0.2_D0.0d_20211108-144325.csv
    └── Doe_1of6_r0.2_D0.0d_20211108-144215.csv
$ head Data/Doe/Doe_1of6_r0.2_D0.0d_20211108-144215.csv -n 14
"Hostname: xiaomimi-solus"
"Phidget: 647540"
"Name: Doe"
"Tag(s) or info: NA"
"Label: 1of6"
"Poll rate: 0.2s"
"Program initialization: 2021-11-08 14:42:15"
"Scheduled to record until: 2021-11-08 14:42:24.999996"
"chan0 to chan3: K-type thermocouples"
"chan4: internal temperature"

"2021-11-08 14:42:15.226581","25.7293","25.5439","25.6207","25.7548","27.2914"
"2021-11-08 14:42:15.426797","25.7333","25.5406","25.6207","25.7548","27.2914"

This example does a stupidly short cycle for testing purposes, and expressing time for such short durations in days is ugly and inconvenient. However days are probably a realistic unit for most use cases, and similar routines could get useful over longer durations, e.g., if you are only interested in night temperatures or some days of the week.

To do

  • Add a safety in phidget-rec to prevent overwriting an existing csv file
  • Investigate implementing upcoming jp update and associated new features