How Can I Test Communication With GPIB Instruments Connected to My Real-Time Target?

Updated Feb 16, 2018

Reported In

Hardware

  • GPIB Instrument Control Device

Software

  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module

Driver

  • NI-VISA

Issue Details

I need to interact with GPIB instruments as part of my Real-Time (RT) application. How can I test communication with GPIB instruments connected to my Real-Time target from my host PC?

Solution

Normally, instrument communication is not used on Real-Time systems because communicating over GPIB or Serial is inherently a non-deterministic process. However, the NI-VISA driver can be used in the cases where GPIB communication is needed. For this reason, you should ensure that NI-488.2 and NI-VISA are installed on the Real-Time target before continuing.

In order to test GPIB instruments connected to your Real-Time target, you must make sure that the VISA settings on the Real-Time target are configured to allow for remote communication.  To achieve this:
 

  1. Select the NI-VISA heading under Remote Systems»<RT target>»Software in NI Measurement and Automation Explorer (MAX).
  2. Select the VISA Options tab from the right hand window, then select VISA Server»Security.
  3. Add the IP address of the host PC under the Remote Addresses field as displayed in the figure below.
 

Figure 1: Visa Server Security Configuration
 
Once remote security is configured, you can open a VISA Interactive Control panel in NI MAX by selecting Tools » NI-VISA » VISA Interactive Control. After selecting the Real-Time target in the Machine field, the VISA Resources should populate in the Devices panel as shown in the figure below.
 

Figure 2: Visa Interactive Control


You can open the VISA Interactive Control by double-clicking the resource under test . The VISA Interactive Control allows you to test communication with GPIB or Serial instruments.

 

Additional Information

If the GPIB interface or GPIB instruments do not show up in the VISA Interactive Control utility verify the compatibility of the NI-VISA and NI-488.2 drivers with your Real-Time target by looking at the driver readme file.

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