Can I Use a CompactDAQ for Motor Control?

Updated Jun 7, 2018

Reported In


  • CompactDAQ Chassis


  • LabVIEW SoftMotion Module
  • LabVIEW


  • NI-DAQmx

Issue Details

I have a CompactDAQ (cDAQ). I want to control my 3 stepper motors. These will be simple, straight line moves. Can I use my cDAQ?


Yes, if you have a digital card you can follow this example to perform basic moves with your cDAQ. We will recommend NI SoftMotion for anything beyond very basic moves. Even then, we will recommend NI SoftMotion for its easy-to-use Express VIs. Keep in mind that if you do choose to use your cDAQ, you will need to consider the following:
  • There is no Motion API, so you will be controlling every part of the pulse train yourself (per the above example)
  • You will need to provide sufficient power to the motor
  • If using feedback, you will need to manually decode the encoder data

Additional Information

Motion systems are complex, especially when first started out. Please consult the Motion System White Paper (same link as above) and reach out to NI support with any technical questions you may have.