Test Your PCI(e)/PXI(e) Counter-Timer Card

Updated Mar 17, 2019

Reported In


  • PXI-6602
  • PXI-6608
  • PXI-6624
  • PXIe-6612
  • PXIe-6614
  • PCI-6601
  • PCI-6602
  • PCI-6624
  • PCIe-6612

Issue Details

I have a PCI(e) or PXI(e) 66xx Counter/Timer card and I want to make sure the channels are working properly. How can I test the card to see if it working as expected? Are there recommended Troubleshooting steps?


1. Open NI MAX and see if the card shows up. We can use any PXI chassis and controller for this.


2. Select the card in NI MAX and click on Self-Test


3. Click on Test Panels

4. Use the Counter I/O tab to test the card’s internal counters. Use the Channel Name to select the counter to test. These counters will be internal hardware devices that the card has, not physical ports/terminals. Under Mode, you can select the type of measurement to do. We recommend selecting Edge Counting, to make sure the counter works as an input device. If you’re interested in measuring the output capabilities, select Pulse Train Generation. Finally, under Edge Source you can select the hardware device or port that you want to use to test the device, you can use the PFI0..39 lines* to wire a pulse train, or an encoder signal and check if the counter displays the edges counted. Remember to press Start to acquire or generate signals.

*Note: Refer to the card’s Specifications to find the relation between the PFI lines and the physical ports. For example: PFI 1 is in pin 44 of the NI 6612.


5. (If your card has digital IO) Use the Digital I/O tab to test the card’s digital lines. The top section 2. Select Direction indicates if the port will be input or output, and the bottom section 3. Select State will display the input or allow to change the output (depending on the selection made in the top section 2). Click the Start button to acquire or generate signals.

Additional Information

You can also test your card with LabVIEW:

1. Open LabVIEW and go to the Help menu. Then select Find Examples..

2. In the examples window, navigate to Hardware Input and Output > DAQmx > Counter Input > Counter – Count Edges.vi

3. Use the same configuration you used in step 5 of this guide and run the example.


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