Error -1223 When Using a 3rd Party Instrument Driver

Updated May 30, 2018

Reported In


  • Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX)
  • LabVIEW


  • NI-488.2
  • NI-Serial

Issue Details

I downloaded an instrument driver from the National Instruments web site. When I try to use this instrument driver, it gives error -1223 The ID query is not working. What does this mean? How can I communicate with my instrument?


Error -1223 occurs in the Initialize portion of the instrument driver. This is where the instrument driver sends an identification query to the instrument and then compares the response string to a known string (or set of strings) that has acceptable instrument identifiers. If the response string does not contain one of those acceptable identifiers, then error -1223 is returned.

Using an Instrument Driver with an Supported Instrument

If you are using the proper driver for your instrument then the problem is that the driver is not successfully sending the identification query to the instrument. If you are using a GPIB device, this can happen if you are sending the wrong address to your instrument. 
  • Check the instrument to make sure you using the correct address.
  • Check the GPIB Interface ID and make sure to include it in the address string. The GPIB ID can be found and set for your device in NI-MAX.
    • For the device in the picture below, in NI-MAX, the GPIB address string would be 3:2. "3" for the GPIB interface ID and "2" for the Primary Address of the device.

Using an Instrument Driver with a Unsupported Instrument

You may come across this error if you are using an instrument driver that is not intended for your specific device but is in the same series of your device. For example, if you have an HP 8255A, then the identification query will return HP 8255A. If the instrument driver is for an HP 8255B, and it expects to see HP 8255B in the response from your instrument, then it will generate error -1223, because HP 8255A and HP 8255B are not identical (as far as the name of the instrument is concerned).

You may still be able to modify the driver to fit your needs, as the two instruments may be functionally equivalent. You could modify the instrument driver to expect HP 8255 (instead of HP 8255B) in the response string, so that it would work for both the HP 8255A and the HP 8255B. The only caution in doing this is that the instrument may have extra functionality, or different functionality, that was not accounted for in the instrument driver. You should be careful when modifying any driver in this way, because it could potentially cause damage to the instrument.