Control a cDAQ from a cRIO or cDAQ Controller

Updated Oct 15, 2020

Reported In


  • CompactDAQ Controller
  • CompactRIO Controller
  • Industrial Controller


  • LabVIEW
  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module


  • NI-DAQmx

Issue Details

I want to control a CompactDAQ (cDAQ) from a CompactRIO (cRIO) or cDAQ Controller so that I can have a system that can run code without a PC.


There are only two sets of CompactRIO (cRIO) - CompactDAQ (cDAQ) combinations that allow for direct communication and control of the cDAQ from the cRIO: 
  • cRIOs running a Windows OS communicating with a USB or Ethernet cDAQ
  • cRIOs supported by NI-DAQmx

Windows cRIO with USB or Ethernet cDAQ

The cRIO-9081 and cRIO-9082 are able to control and communicate directly with cDAQ because they run a Windows OS.  LabVIEW code can be run on these controllers just like you would on a Windows PC.

cRIOs with DAQmx

cRIOs that are able to support NI-DAQmx (e. g. the 904x series, the 905x series and the 9035/9 (sync)) are able to use the cDAQ-9185/9 as an expansion chassis as long as NI-DAQmx 17.6 or later is installed on all targets. Read more about these devices here: NI-DAQmx on the CompactRIO

Additional Information

Other Controllers for Direct cDAQ Communication

Industrial Controllers

The IC-317x line of controllers have the TSN capability, run NI Linux Real-Time OS, and supports NI-DAQmx: IC-3171, IC-3172, IC-3173.
 Please note some devices are not supported by Real-Time controllers: cDAQ-9181, cDAQ-9184, cDAQ-9188, cDAQ-9188XT, and cDAQ-9191. Refer to the DAQmx readme for more information regarding compatibility between devices.

cDAQs with Built-in Controllers

The cDAQ-913x line contains a built-in controller that runs either NI Linux Real-Time OS or Windows Embedded 7 (WES7) and supports NI-DAQmx:  cDAQ-9132, cDAQ-9133, cDAQ-9134, cDAQ-9135, cDAQ-9136, cDAQ-9137.  These cDAQs have the controller built in, so they do not require a PC or another system in order to run code. 

USB cDAQs from the cDAQ-917x line can also be controlled by the cDAQ-913x line when plugged directly to the USB port of the cDAQ Controller. Options for chassis expansion of embedded cDAQs will depend on the operating system of the controller.

cRIO I/O Expansion Options

If you need to have more I/Os for your cRIO, you can look at other options to expand your I/O such as: