My NI GPIB USB Device Is Damaged After Connecting to Instrument

Updated May 2, 2019

Reported In


  • GPIB Instrument Control Device


Yokogawa WT-210

Issue Details

My GPIB-USB-HS+ device gets damaged after connecting it between the laptop and instrument such as Yokogawa WT-210.


It may happen due to ground loops that create an electric shock hazard and can cause damage to your GPIB-USB hardware, your computer, and other system components. A ground loop can occur when your computer and one or more connected instruments do not share the same ground potential.

To prevent damage to your GPIB-USB hardware and other system components, do
any of the following:
  • Ensure that your system and all instruments connected to it share the same ground potential. This eliminates the possibility of voltage differential running through your system.
  • Use an NI GPIB-120B Bus Isolator/Expander to isolate GPIB systems and expand the GPIB interface up to 28 devices.
  • Use a pair of NI GPIB-140A High-Speed Fiber-Optic Bus Extenders. This transforms the GPIB signals at each end into fiber optic signals, allowing each unit to reside at a different ground potential.
  • Use an isolated USB hub.