Python module to read and parse data from the TekPower tp4000zc digital multimeters (and probably several others)
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class Dmm: """ Takes readings off the serial port from a class of multimeters that includes the TekPower TP4000ZC (the meter I own) and supposedly is the same as the the 'VC820' mode in QtDMM.

example code:

# load the module
import tp4000zc

# the port that we're going to use.  This can be a number or device name.
# on linux or posix systems this will look like /dev/tty2 or /dev/ttyUSB0
# on windows this will look something like COM3
port = '/dev/ttyUSB0'

# get an instance of the class
dmm = tp4000zc.Dmm(port)

# read a value
val =

print val.text       # print the text representation of the value
                     # something like: -4.9 millivolts DC
print val.numericVal # and the numeric value
                     # ie: -0.0048
# recycle the serial port

Public Interface:
__init__(port, retries=3, timeout=3.0):
    Instantiating the class attempts to open the serial port specified, 
    initialize it and read enough from the serial port to synchronize 
    the module with the start/end of a full reading.

    Attempt to get a complete reading off of the serial port, parse it and
    return an instance of DmmValue holding the interpretted reading.

    Finally you can close the serial port connection with close()

Exceptions will be raised if 
   * PySerial raises an exception (SerialException or ValueError)
   * this module can't get a full reading that passes initial data integrity
     checks (subclasses of DmmException)
   * I made a coding error (whatever python might throw)

If no exceptions are raised the DmmValue might still fail various sanity
checks or not have a numeric value.  Ie I believe that showing 
multiple decimal points makes no sense but is valid per the protocol so
no exception is raised but the saneValue flag will be set to False in the

Meter Documentation:

Per the documentation page, the meter spits out readings which are bursts of 
14 bytes every .25 seconds.  The high nibble of each byte is the byte number 
(1-14) for synchronization and sanity checks, the low nibble holds the data.

Each data bit represents an individual field on the LCD display of the meter, 
from segments of the 7 segment digits to individual flags.  Bytes 1 and 10-14
are flags (with four bits reserved/unmapped on this meter) and bytes (2,3), 
(4,5), (6,7) and (8,9) representing the individual digits on the display.

For the digits, if the high bit of the first nibble of a digit is set then the
negative sign (for the first digit) or the leading decimal point is turned on.
the remaining bits of the two nibbles represent the elements of the 7 segment
digit display as follows:

  pos 1       nibble 1:   S123
 p     p      nibble 2:   4567
 o     o      where S is either the sign or decimal bit.
 s     s
 2     7      The legal values of the segment bits are represented in
  pos 6       digitTable and include the digits 0-9 along with blank and
 p     p      'L'.
 o     o
 s     s
 3     5
  pos 4

Serial settings for this meter are:
2400 baud 8N1

class DmmValue: """ This is a representation of a single read from the multimeter.

Attributes in rough order of usefulness:

Sanity checks:
   saneValue: True if no sanity checks failed.

High level computed fields:
   text: Nicely formatted text representation of the value.
   numericVal: numeric value after SI prefixes applied or None if value is non-numeric.
   measurement: what is being measured.
   delta: True if the meter is in delta mode.
   ACDC: 'AC', 'DC' or None.
   readErrors:  Number of failed reads attempts before successfully getting a reading 
       from the meter.

Other, possibly useful, computed fields:
   val: cleaned up display value
   scale: SI prefix for val

Unprocessed values:
   rawVal: Numeric display
   flags: Various flags modifying the measurement
   scaleFlags: SI scaling factor flags
   measurementFlags: Flags to specify what the meter is measuring
   reservedFlags: Flags that are undefined
   rawBytes:  the raw, 14 byte bitstream that produced this value.