Archived:Using NI-VISA 5.2 with the Agilent E5810A LAN/GPIB Gateway

Updated Jun 4, 2018

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Reported In


  • NI-VISA 5.2

Issue Details

I have previously had NI-VISA 5.1, or earlier, working correctly with an Agilent E5810A LAN/GPIB Gateway. However, after upgrading my drivers to NI-VISA 5.2, my new and existing software can no longer communicate with the GPIB instruments attached to the Agilent E5810A.


After upgrading an existing installation to NI-VISA 5.2, there are three settings required to enable communication with the Agilent E5810A:
  • Agilent VISA must be set as the Secondary VISA via the Agilent IO software.
  • NI-VISA must be set as the Primary VISA via MAX.
  • The NIVISATulip.dll must be enabled via MAX.
Setting Agilent VISA as Secondary
  1. Navigate to the Agilent Connection Expert by clicking Start » All Programs » Agilent Connection Expert.
  2. In the main menu, navigate to Help » About... 
The About window must read Agilent VISA is installed as secondary VISA. If it does not, you must download the latest Agilent IO Libraries Suite from the Agilent Support site and reinstall.  During the installation process, ensure that Install Agilent VISA as the Primary VISA is not selected. 

Setting NI-VISA as Primary
  1. Navigate to Measurement and Automation Explorer by clicking on Start » All Programs » National Instruments » Measurement and Automation Explorer.
  2. In the main menu, navigate to Tools » NI-VISA » VISA Options.
  3. Select Conflict Manager from the tree view.
  4. Set National Instruments VISA as the Preferred VISA from the drop-down list.
  1. Click Save at the top of the window.
Enabling the NIVISATulip.dll Passport in MAX
  1. In the same VISA Options tab as above, select Passports from the tree.
  2. Under List of Passports, check the box next to NiVisaTulip.dll -- NI-VISA Passport for Tulip
  1. Click Save at the top of the window.
  2. Restart MAX to ensure changes take effect.

Additional Information

NI-VISA 5.2 is compatible with the Agilent E5810A LAN/GPIB Gateway and existing developed software. With NI-VISA 5.2, Measurement and Automation Explorer(MAX) addresses the physical GPIB ports using a different method. 

Once MAX has been restarted, instruments which are switched on and attached to the Agilent E5810A will have automatically populated on the left-hand side of the window, under My System » Devices and Interfaces with the standard raw VISA naming structure. 

For example, an Agilent E5810A configured prior to NI-VISA 5.2, as device GPIB0, with an instrument on port 2 may have appeared as TCPIP0::[IPADDRESS]::gpib0,2::INSTR"[VISA Alias]" under My System » Devices and Interfaces » Miscellaneous Devices. However, after upgrading to NI-VISA 5.2, the instrument will be addressed as GPIB0::2::INSTR under My System » Devices and Interfaces

If GPIB0 in the above example for your system represents the SICL(Standard Instrument Control Library) Interface ID set in the Agilent Connection Expert, keep in mind that MAX may now address instruments using the VISA Interface ID instead. To ensure compatibility with existing developed code, click on the instrument in MAX and apply the same VISA Alias as with the previous configuration. 

Click Save to store all new aliases and configurations.

For instructions on how to use VXI-11 compatible hardware, such as the Agilent E5810A with NI-VISA 5.1.2 or earlier, please see the article Third-Party GPIB Ethernet Device Not Showing up in MAX.


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