Controlling a PXI System using a Laptop Without an ExpressCard Slot

Updated Jan 3, 2024

Reported In


  • PXIe-8301
  • PXI Chassis

Issue Details

I am trying to connect a PXI(e) chassis to my laptop but, being new, my laptop doesn't have a ExpressCard reader slot (34mm card reader slot). How can I control my PXI chassis with my laptop without an ExpressCard? Can I use a USB or Thunderbolt adapter? 


For a complete list of NI supported methods of controlling a PXI system with your laptop via Ethernet, take a look at the article How to Use PC or Laptop with PXI System Via Ethernet?

The Thunderbolt Remote Control module was developed to be used in newer laptops that might not have the ExpressCard reader. Notice that the PXIe-8301 must be used with a PXIe chassis and is not compatible with PXI chassis. 

Using a USB ExpressCard adapter to connect to the PXI chassis is not supported by NI. USB ExpressCard adapters have not been tested and are not guaranteed to work. Additionally, using a USB ExpressCard connection may limit how much data can be transferred and you may not be able to reach the high speed capabilities of the PXI system.

Additional Information

Using a Thunderbolt adapter may require the use of a second adapter, from Thunderbolt 1/2 - Thunderbolt 3, depending on the output of the first adapter and the port on your laptop. 

If you are using this hardware make sure to verify that your laptop natively supports Thunderbolt 3. This means that your Thunderbolt support is built directly into the motherboard. This does not include computers with a Thunderbolt adapter or add-in card. A good indication that your computer natively supports Thunderbolt is if it has a built in Thunderbolt port, as seen in the image below: