Troubleshooting Network cDAQ Connectivity Issues

Updated Apr 18, 2024

This article explains what to do if you are not able to locate, see, or find your network CompactDAQ (cDAQ) chassis in NI Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX). It will also help if you see a red X next to where you had been able to see your cDAQ previously, or if you can't add your module to your network cDAQ chassis in NI MAX.

This article applies to: cDAQ-9181, cDAQ-9184, cDAQ-9185, cDAQ-9188, cDAQ-9188XT, cDAQ-9189, and cDAQ-9191.

1. Ethernet and Wireless cDAQ Configuration Troubleshooting

Use this section to troubleshoot issues with all networked cDAQ chassis.  The next section covers additional steps just for wireless connections.

  • If you have not done so already, try following the steps in the setup instructions in the NI cDAQ-9181/9184/9188/9191 User Manual.  These steps are designed to help set up the chassis for most network configurations.
  • Confirm that the chassis power light is green and that the status light is off. If the status light is blinking, please first review this knowledge base article.
  • Try disconnecting and reconnecting the cDAQ from the computer.
  • If you are using a switch, try to replace it or try another topology connection.
  • If you are connected to a VPN, check if the issue also occurs when the computer is not connected to the VPN. If the issue follows the VPN connection and you need to use the cDAQ while connected to a the VPN, check with the IT department if they can implement a partial tunneling or another network strategy to allow the cDAQ to be used when the VPN is on.  
  • Try moving your chassis to another computer to see if it behaves differently.
  • Make sure you are using a standard Ethernet cable and not a crossover cable. A standard Ethernet cable should also be used even if connecting directly to a PC and not through a router.
  • NI-DAQmx is the required NI driver to use your cDAQ chassis.  Use NI MAX to check the version of NI-DAQmx installed on your system . Ensure that the version of the NI-DAQmx driver installed on your system supports your chassis.
    Minimum NI-DAQmx Version per cDAQ Chassis
    cDAQ-9181 NI-DAQmx 9.3
    cDAQ-9184 NI-DAQmx 9.6
    cDAQ-9188 NI-DAQmx 9.2.2
    cDAQ-9188XT NI-DAQmx 9.8
    cDAQ-9191 NI-DAQmx 9.4
    cDAQ-9185 NI-DAQmx 17.1
    cDAQ-9189 NI-DAQmx 17.1
Default Network cDAQ Configuration


cDAQ<model number>-<serial number>


DHCP or Link Local



NI Auth

User name = admin
Password = no password required


  • If you cannot see your chassis automatically in NI MAX, this may be because your device is on a different subnet of the network. Try finding it by right-clicking on Network Devices and select Find Network NI-DAQmx Devices. The chassis can be found directly by typing the IPv4 address or the chassis name in the Add Device Manually field. The default hostname of a networked cDAQ is the following: cDAQ<model number>-<serial number> (for instance, cDAQ9188-ABC1234).
  • The network cDAQ chassis can also be accessed via a web browser. Try typing in the hostname or IPv4 address of the chassis in your web browser. The NI Network Browser, which can show you all the NI configurable hardware on your local subnet, can also be accessed by going to Start» All Programs» National Instruments» NI Network Browser. The device can be accessed through the web on a host PC that does not have any NI software installed.
  • Diagnose the ethernet connection by going to Start» Control Panel» View Network Status and Tasks» Change adapter settings, then select the ethernet port that has the NI device connected and click on diagnose this connection. If an issue is identified during the diagnostic contact the network administrators to try to solve the problem.
  • Check that the IPv4 configuration is set to automatically assigned via the DHCP server on the host PC.  Manually/statically setting the IPv4 address for the host computer may potentially put the NI Ethernet cDAQ chassis on a separate subnet and make it undiscoverable within NI MAX.  Microsoft's Change TCP/IP settings guide explains how to change the IPv4 configuration in Windows 7.
  • If connecting the chassis directly to a host PC, make sure that the computer is either running a DHCP server or the network card is set to obtain an IP address automatically. The Network cDAQ chassis always look for a DHCP server first and if one is not available will default to a link local IP address. Link local IPv4 addresses are in the following range: to with the subnet mask  Setting your computer to have a static IP address, 169.254.X.X, with the subnet mask will ensure that the device and your computer are on the same subnet.
  • Make sure your firewall settings allow for the following ports to be used:
    • HTTP:80 (configuration only)
    • TCP:3580
    • TCP:31415
    • UDP:5353(configuration only)
    • TCP: 5353(configuration only)
    • UDP:7865 (configuration only)
    • UDP:8473 (configuration only)
  • If using a proxy server, add the address of the network cDAQ to the list of exceptions. This setting can be found in Internet Options.
  • Try disabling any anti-virus software, it may be interfering with the discovery or configuration process.
  • Disable any Virtual Machine network adaptors such as VMWare. These adaptors can route traffic incorrectly and cause the cDAQ to not be discovered or used.
  • If working through steps 1-12 does not result in finding and configuration your cDAQ try factory resetting the chassis. To do this hold down the Reset button for more than 5 seconds and then release it. This will change all the network configuration settings to default.

2. Wireless cDAQ Specific Configuration Troubleshooting

  1. It is very important to have a good understanding of the RF environment in which you will be taking wireless measurements.  NI wireless data acquisition devices operate in the unlicensed ISM frequency band, meaning you must share bandwidth with all other wireless devices attempting to transmit data.  The IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) spectrum is divided into 14 channels, 11 of which are available in the United States. Typically, Wi-Fi networks reside on channels 1, 6, and 11.  It is important to identify an open channel to use for data acquisition.  There are a few third-party tools that can aid you as you analyze your RF environment:

    inSSIDer - This tool reveals all 802.11 networks in the area, as well as the channel they reside on. Use the tool to help select a wireless channel that is not in use. All that is needed as a computer with a wireless card.

    NetStumbler - Similar to inSSIDer

    Wifi Analyzer- A free application for Android phones and tablets that displays available Wi-Fi channels.
  2. Proper error handling in wireless data acquisition applications is essential.  Even in the best RF environments, it is possible for a wireless signal to become weak or momentarily interrupted.  Therefore, it is important that the user design their wireless data acquisition applications with this in mind.