Remotely View Console Output of Real-Time Targets

Updated Oct 22, 2020

Environment

Hardware

  • PXI Controller

Software

  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module

The LabVIEW Real-Time Module has the ability to target both PXI controllers and standard desktops. These systems differ from other hardware platforms in that they provide graphical output. After initial configuration, though, having an attached monitor is unnecessary and oftentimes impractical. But, viewing the console output can still be helpful in debugging. Thus, to bypass the monitor dependency, this tutorial explains how to use the RT Console Viewer, an application that can remotely view console output of real-time targets.

System Requirements

Before installing the RT Console Viewer application, please ensure that you have the following components:


Note: Only the LabVIEW Run-Time Engine 8.6 is required for the PC running the Windows application, which is included in the installer
 

Installation

Installation of the RT Console Viewer software is a two-fold process. First, the application must be installed to a Windows computer using setup.exe. Then, the RT Console Viewer software must be installed to the real-time target using Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX). To complete this second step, expand the Remote Systems tree node in MAX so that all remote targets are shown. Locate the appropriate PXI/Desktop PC and expand its node. Finally, right-click on Software and select Add/Remove Software. Install the new entry RT Console Viewer 2.0 by left-clicking the X icon, selecting Install the feature., and clicking Next at the screen below:

Figure 1. How to install the RT Console Viewer 2.0 software in MAX
 

Usage

  1. Launch the ConsoleView executable by browsing to Start » All Programs » National Instruments » RT Console Viewer.
  2. Type in your real-time target's IP address in the Target Machine/IP field
  3. Click Connect
Note: Specifying a Local Port other than 4576 is only necessary if your firewall restricts access

If everything is setup correctly, the Target LED in the bottom left corner will turn bright green and the system's output will display in the black window. Refer to Figure 2 below:

Figure 2. Successfully connected to a real-time PXI target

Once connected, the RT Console Viewer provides two tools: Reboot Controller and Get Controller Info. These features aid in debugging and identifying the chassis. Get Controller Info returns the target's MAC address, model name, IP address, hostname, and reported status. Perhaps more helpful, though, are the options to Hold Screen and Save Screen. Hold Screen freezes all output while Save Screen writes the current output to a text file. Both can be used together to monitor and capture system behavior.