HP/Agilent 8453 Serial/LAN Setup

Depending on firmware (Rev 3.9 required), it is possible to control the 8453 via RS232 serial (USB) communications. Dipswitches should be set as follows: 01110100. Specify COM port in Scan Method 1A. A null-modem cable supporting hardware (full) handshaking is required. While the 8453 can be controlled with an NI GPIB adapter, that is an unnecessary complication for most users.

A user found that firmware Rev 3.8 did not work with RS232. He was able to upgrade to 3.9 using his old Win 98 ChemStation computer with HP-IB interface. Click here for the 3.9 upgrade patch. Contact FTG Software if the patch has been removed from the Agilent site.

The instrument can also be controlled via LAN (cross-over cable). This requires Mhp8453.exe version 2.51.1379 (17 Dec 2013) or newer. Specify the last number in the IP Address (as shown); the other numbers need to match the network IP. For example, network IP = and instrument IP = Try Port = 9100. A LAN card known to work is Jet Direct 400N (4106A).  Read Delay = 0.1 and Write Delay = 0.2 seems to be required for reliable operation. Click Advanced in the Scan Method 1A dialog (shown below).

If you are fortunate enough to have a LAN card with settable IP address, you will be able to ignore the complications in a through j.

a. Remove the LAN card; there is a label which can look like:

b. Memorize or write down the 2 numbers.

c. Re-install the LAN card.

d. The leftmost 2 dip switchs of the 8453 should be down (maybe not important)

e. Install a BootP/DHCP Server:


f. With 8453 off, start the BootP/DHCP server

g. Turn on the 8453 and you will see something like this

h. Double click on the number that seemed familiar 001083566545.

i. Associate the number with an IP address e.g.:, subnet mask ( and a DNS server and gateway (just your PC) which both must match the subnet mask In this case they must start with 192.168.254

j. The instrument wakes up and doesn’t know its IP address. Depending on the DIP switches it sends out a request for an IP address on the LAN. This request holds the hardware address (MAC) it knows. Then it waits for an answer of a BootP server. Good luck!