How to Use PC or Laptop with PXI System Via Ethernet?

Updated Aug 3, 2018

Reported In

Hardware

  • PXIe-8301
  • ExpressCard-8360
  • PXIe-8130

Software

  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module
  • PXI OS for Remote Controllers
  • PXI OS for Embedded Controllers
  • LabVIEW Professional
  • LabVIEW Base
  • LabVIEW Full

Driver

  • PXI Platform Services
  • MXI-Express BIOS Compatibility

Operating System

  • Windows

Other

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8, 8.1
  • Windows 7
  • Windows XP

Issue Details

Can I use a laptop or PC to remotely control a PXI system with an embedded controller via Ethernet?

Solution

You can remotely control a PXI system with an embedded controller over the internet or local area connection from any computer, including a laptop, using a variety of methods as long as your PXI controller has a Real-Time OS. 
 
  • Method 1: Thunderbolt™ 3 Remote Control of PXI Test System
The PXIe-8301 remote control module is the industry’s first solution for laptop control of PXI systems using Thunderbolt 3 technology. Through MXI-Express, the PXI Remote Control Modules provide a simple, transparent connection between a PXI chassis and a laptop. The PXI Remote Control Module must be placed in the system slot of the PXI chassis and a host interface card must be used in the host PC. This allows the host computer to establish a PCI or PCI Express connection to the chassis using a compatible MXI-Express cable.​ More information can be found in Thunderbolt™ 3 Remote Control of PXI Test Systems.
  • Method 2: Create a Stand-Alone Real-Time Application 
National Instruments has a wide range of PXI Embedded Controllers for use with LabVIEW RT. With LabVIEW RT, you download LabVIEW code from a host computer (for example, the laptop) to the PXI Embedded Controller. You can then configure the embedded controller to run the RT code on startup. You would use the laptop for user interface control and configuration changes.
  • Method 3: Use Windows Remote Desktop
All currently supported Microsoft Windows Operating Systems incorporate remote network control technology into the Windows Operating System. Using Windows Remote Desktop, you can log in to a computer remotely, with the Windows desktop user interface passed over the network. Detailed information on the configuration of Remote Desktop will vary by OS and can be found in the Related Links section of this article. 
  • Method 4: Use Virtual Network Computing (VNC) 
Most PXI applications will use Windows or LabVIEW Real-Time (RT), however, under certain circumstances it may be necessary to run another OS. If you are using an OS other than Windows or LabVIEW RT then it may be necessary to use a Virtual Network Computing (VNC) program. Many versions of VNC are available online as freeware and run on a variety of host and client operating systems. No specific VNC program is recommended or supported by National Instruments. As with all software, it is up to the end user to determine the suitability for their system.

Additional Information

Methods 2 through 4 share a common hardware configuration. An embedded controller, typically running either Windows or LabVIEW RT, is used to control the PXI chassis. This controller may be connected to the internet via the Ethernet connection, or directly connected to another computer using a crossover Ethernet cable. Using a crossover Ethernet cable allows direct peer-to-peer network communication between your laptop computer and the PXI embedded controller without the need for switch or other network hardware.

You can also use the PXI-Express Card 8360, but is not recommended for new development. This product is coming close to its end of life. Also, this product is very limited by its bus and other factors

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