Using FTDI USB Devices in NI MAX or LabVIEW

Updated Nov 27, 2019

Reported In

Software

  • LabVIEW

Driver

  • NI-VISA

Other

FTDI Cables

Issue Details

  • I am trying to communicate to my USB FTDI device using LabVIEW. I can see it in Device Manager but cannot see it in NI MAX. How do I get it to appear in NI MAX?
  • What is needed to communicate with my USB FTDI devices in LabVIEW? I want to use the USB port on my controller to act as a COM port.

Solution

To use the FTDI USB devices with LabVIEW, you will need to download and install the Virtual COM Port Driver from the FDTI Chip VCP Driver Website for your specific operating system.

Make sure you have NI-VISA installed. You can verify this within NI MAX by expanding the software tree to see if NI-VISA is listed towards the bottom.  If you do not see the NI-VISA driver there, you can download and install the NI-VISA driver from National Instruments VISA Driver Download Page.

Once you have this installed, you should see the device within NI MAX under My System»Devices and Interfaces»Serial & Parallel»"Your Device" (ComPort).

To communicate to it in LabVIEW you will need to configure the Serial port with the right baud rate and use the VIs supplied with NI-VISA.

Additional Information

Some third-parties have created LabVIEW subVI's that implement the FTDI driver. They are available to purchase on the NI Tools Network.