LabVIEW NXG simplifies hardware integration so you can rapidly acquire and visualize data from virtually any I/O device, whether from NI or a third party. Combined with a graphical programming syntax that reduces programming time, LabVIEW NXG streamlines complex system design with tools and IP at the forefront of today’s technology.
Figure 1: LabVIEW NXG provides an intuitive programming environment for automating measurements from both NI and third-party instruments.
Plug and Play instrument drivers simplify control of and communication with your instruments through a standard and straightforward programming model for all drivers. They are easier to use and modify than other instrument driver technologies.
A Plug and Play instrument driver is a set of functions used to control and communicate with a programmable instrument. Each function corresponds to a programmatic operation such as configuring, reading from, writing to, and triggering the instrument. Plug and Play instrument drivers comply with programming guidelines. Because Plug and Play instrument drivers maintain a common architecture and interface and include application examples, you can quickly and easily connect to and communicate with your instruments with very little or no code development. Moreover, with the standard programming model of Plug and Play instrument drivers, you can easily add instruments to your test system without worrying about learning new communication protocols or spending time understanding new programming paradigms.
Figure 2: LabVIEW Plug and Play instrument drivers use an intuitive and consistent programming pattern of open, configure, read/write, and close.
NI supports certified Plug and Play instrument drivers, which are hosted on the NI Instrument Driver Network (IDNet). With NI-certified instrument drivers, you know you’re downloading and using drivers you can trust to work. To browse through certified LabVIEW Plug and Play instrument drivers, visit ni.com/idnet or use NI Package Manager.
NI develops and supports thousands of instrument drivers for third-party instruments to help engineers and scientists automate measurements. SystemDesigner in LabVIEW NXG automatically detects USB and GPIB instruments. LabVIEW NXG then points to the latest instrument driver download in NI Package Manager.Note: If the instrument you’re using is not automatically detected, check the alternative methods at the end of this tutorial for downloading instrument drivers.
SystemDesigner is a graphical tool for discovering, documenting, and configuring your test system and is integrated directly into every LabVIEW NXG project. This tool automatically detects most hardware connected to your host PC and adds a graphical representation to the window. If you select the device, you can see additional properties, such as the device name, and any software or drivers that are installed on your system to support this device. You can also troubleshoot and make manual function calls to your instrument to ensure that it is working as expected before moving into automation.
Figure 3: SystemDesigner provides an intuitive, graphical representation of all hardware and software associated with your test and measurement system.
Figure 4: You use NI Package Manager to download and install all instrument drivers for LabVIEW NXG.
Figure 5: You can see the LabVIEW Plug and Play instrument drivers in the LabVIEW NXG palette.
Note: Wherever the instrument drivers are found, they are downloaded using NI Package Manager. NI Package Manager is used to install LabVIEW NXG and you can open it by searching for it in the Windows search bar.
For instruments that appear on the Live view, select the device on the diagram and click Find and install drivers on the Item tab to install the instrument driver. For instruments that do not appear on the Live view, search for your instrument's vendor and model number in NI Package Manager to find and install its instrument driver.
Figure 6: Search for instrument drivers using NI Package Manager.
Using the Instrument Driver Network at ni.com/ident, you can search online for third-party instrument drivers that NI hosts and supports. Selecting the download link for a LabVIEW NXG driver on IDNet opens NI Package Manager to then finish the download and installation process.
Figure 7: The NI Instrument Driver Network houses thousands of instrument drivers for automating third-party devices.
Figure 8: This is the Instrument Driver Network page for the Tektronix TDS Series Oscilloscope.
Figure 9: Ensure that the instrument driver supports LabVIEW NXG.
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