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Octave to serial on Mac OS-X

From: Gondwana
Subject: Octave to serial on Mac OS-X
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2009 07:47:07 -0700 (PDT)

In the context of the Kids of Nature Initiative (, I am
in charge of producing a series of time lapse movies on the last nature
sanctuaries on earth, starting with Africa.  For the realization of this
project, our non-profit organization has teamed-up with several sponsors,
including Festo who is building up the motion controlled device for the time
lapse photographic project.

In order to download instructions to the motion control device's PLC, I will
have to use a software such as MatLab (or Octave) to create the set of
values for the different movements (linear, pan & azimut) via the serial

I am using an Apple Mac Book Pro with OS-X 10.5.6 and the PLC is attached to
the USB port via a serial RS232 - USB adator from Sunix.

I normally program in PHP.  Although we have successfully tested PHP writing
to a Festo intelligent motor via USB-Serial, PHP is unable to open the
serial port as soon as the PLC is attached.  The PHP fopen() functions.  So
far this problem could not be solved as not too many people seems to use PHP
serial on Mac.

We have tested MatLab on Windows and it is working fine.  However, the
programme must work on OS-X.  Will MatLab/Octave Mac version do the same

The principle is simple :
- calculate an array of 10000 values (positions) through different math
- open serial port
- send each value, one by one and test the returned value for verification
- close serial port

I have tried to download the Mac package for Octave (octave-3.1.55-i386.dmg)
but it failed twice.
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