3.9. LECO communication

If you want to control a device remotely, you can use LECO - Laboratory Experiment Control Protocol. Alternatively, you can use TCP/IP communication.

For that, you need to install the pyleco package, for example via pip install pyleco.

3.9.1. Overview

For remote control via LECO, you need three Components:

  1. An Actor, which controls an instrument and can do actions on request,

  2. A Director, which sends commands to the Actor and requests values for the Actor,

  3. A Coordinator which transmits messages between Actors and Directors.

3.9.2. Coordinator

The Coordinator is the necessary infrastructure for the LECO network. Therefore you should start it first.

You can start it executing coordinator in your terminal.

3.9.3. Actor

Any control module from any plugins package can be made an Actor.

  1. Start the module you want to control your instrument.

  2. Select in the main settings the LECO options. - Host name and port are the host name and port of the Coordinator started above.

    If the Coordinator is on the same machine (i.e. localhost) and on the default port, you do not have to enter anything.

    • Name defines how this module should participate in the LECO network. If you leave it empty, the name of the module is taken.

  3. Click on connect,

  4. Now the green lamp should be lit and the Actor is ready to be used


You can change the name, even after having clicked connect.

3.9.4. Director

For remote control, we need also the Director in order to direct the Actor. You can start the LECODirector module from the mock plugins package, either in standalone mode or in the dashboard.

  1. Start the appropriate type of LECODirector, either move or a viewer type.

  2. Set the Actor name setting to the name of the actor module you wish to control.

  3. Initialize the detector/actuator.

  4. Read values or control the module remotely.

3.9.5. Developing with LECO for PyMoDAQ

Here are some hints about the use of LECO in PyMoDAQ, that you might write your own programs. Overview

Both, the Actor and the Director have a pyleco.Listener which offers some methods via JSON-RPC, which is used by LECO.

The Actor offers methods to do an action like initializing a movement or requesting a data readout. After the movement or data acquisition has finished, it will call a method on some remote Component. If you want, that the Actor sends the request to your Director, you have to tell the Actor about your name via the set_remote_name() method.

The pymodaq.utils.leco.director_utils module offers director classes, which makes it easier to call the corresponding methods of the Actor. Serialization

PyMoDAQ data objects have to be transferred between modules. The payload of LECO messages are typically JSON encoded messages. Therefore, the Serializer and DeSerializer can encode/decode the data objects to bytes. For more information about serialization see TCP/IP communication. In order to make a JSON string, base64 is used. The Serializer offers the to_b64_string() and the DeSerializer the from_b64_string() method.