Can I Use the NI PCIe-1433 or PCIe-1437 With 2 Base Configuration Cameras?

Updated Jul 31, 2023

Reported In


  • PCIe-1433
  • PCIe-1437

Issue Details

I have a NI PCIe-1433 or PCIe-1437 Camera Link frame grabber that I want to use with 2 Base configuration cameras.  I see that the card has two 26-pin MDR connectors/ports. Does this mean I can use this frame grabber with 2 cameras?


No, it is not possible to use the NI PCIe-1433 or PCIe-1437 to capture images from two Base configuration cameras on the same card.

While a Base configuration camera will only use the first MDR or SDR connector (Port 0), this does not mean that the second MDR or SDR connector (Port 1) can be used for another camera.  You will only use the second MDR or SDR connector if you are using Medium, Full or Extended-Full configuration cameras.
Medium, Full and Extended-Full configuration cameras require cables that plug into both MDR or SDR connectors (Port 0 and Port 1).

Even though Ports 0 and 1 look identical and have the same type of connector, they do not have the same type of functionality.  The pins on Port 0 have different kinds of physical connections than Port 1. 
Because the ports are fundamentally different physical connectors, it is impossible to use them both in the same way.  Therefore, you cannot use two Base configuration cameras with the NI PCIe-1433 or PCIe-1437.

Additional Information

The PCIe-1433 has two MDR ports. The PCIe-1437 has two SDR ports. 
To understand the difference between these ports, see What Is the Difference Between MDR and SDR?
Note the PCIe-1427 frame grabber only has 1 Camera Link port. The second port on the PCIe-1427 is a digital D-sub connector. 

The NI PCIe-1430, which is now in the Maintenance lifecycle stage and can no longer be purchased, has two 26-pin MDR connectors, each of which supports a Camera Link camera operating in the Base configuration. The PCIe-1430, however, does not support cameras in the Medium, Full or Extended-Full configurations. 
If you already own a PCIe-1430, this can connect to two Base configuration cameras from the single PCIe-1430 card. 

The PCIe-1437 supports 80-bit, or Extended-Full configurations but the PCIe-1433 does not.