NI GPIB-USB-HS Cannot Locate Instrument

Updated Aug 2, 2019

Reported In




  • Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX)

Issue Details

I want to use the GPIB-USB-HS with an instrument, but the GPIB-USB-HS doesn't work. I can communicate with the instrument via a GPIB-PCI-Card and everything is working. But the GPIB-USB-HS only lights up the LED READY. I find the GPIB-USB-HS in Windows Device Manager and in the list of NI MAX, but not my device. The LED ACTIVE doesn't flash.



The ACTIVE LED will only flash when there is communication. During normal operation, it should not be lit continuously. There are several steps you can try to make sure the GPIB-USB-HS works as intended:

  • Verify that the NI-488.2 drivers were installed and that the GPIB-USB-HS is recognized in NI MAX. It should show up under the Devices and Interfaces tab.
  • Disconnect any cable/instrument from GPIB-USB-HS' IEEE 488 plug and Scan for Instruments in NI MAX as described in Figure 2 of Connecting Instruments via GPIB. In the same instant the Scan for Instruments button is pressed the ACTIVE LED will faintly flash around five times very quickly.
  • Check that the IEEE 488 plug is not mechanically damaged. None of the 24 pins should be bent, twisted or broken.

After verifying the GPIB-USB-HS itself works try to find the instrument connected to the GPIB-USB-HS:

  • Scan for Instruments in NI MAX as described above.
  • Try this with another cable, or with another instrument.
  • Verify that the instrument is securely connected to the GPIB-USB-HS.
  • Check the GPIB Settings of the GPIB-USB-HS in MAX and of your instrument. The Primary Address must NOT be the same.
  • Try to communicate manually with the instrument using MAX. A detailed explanation on how to do this begins with section "Using the VISA Interactive Control to Confirm Communication and More" in Connecting Instruments via GPIB with the instrument using MAX.


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