Labview instrument drivers

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Instrument Driver Network (IDNet) Find, download, or submit a driver to communicate with third-party instruments. If you are looking for drivers for NI products. Overview of Instrument Drivers An instrument driver is a set of software routines that control a programmable instrument. Each routine. LabVIEW Users can save time when developing instrument control applications by using the LabVIEW Instrument Driver Finder (IDFinder) to automatically.

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Download drivers to communicate with NI products or third-party instruments. The NI Instrument Driver Network is a source for instrument drivers for over Instruments LabVIEW and LabWindows/CVI instrument drivers. A LabVIEW Plug and Play instrument driver is a set of VIs that control a programmable instrument. Each VI corresponds to an instrument.

The following figure shows this palette and some of the VIs and subpalettes that are shipped with it. Each VI corresponds to a programmatic operation, such as configuring, reading from, writing to, and triggering an instrument. If a user passes an invalid value, the instrument should report an instrument-specific error. Some instruments have an error queue, which stores errors and events as they are detected. The templates have a simple, flexible structure, and they establish a standard format for all LabVIEW drivers. Use these groupings as a model for the driver hierarchy. Instrument Driver Internal Design Model The internal structure of the instrument driver defines the organization of the instrument driver VIs.

Installing Instrument Drivers

An instrument driver is a set of software routines that control a programmable instrument. Each routine corresponds to a programmatic operation such as configuring, reading from, writing to, and triggering the instrument. Instrument drivers simplify instrument control and reduce test program development time by eliminating the need to learn the programming protocol for each instrument.

Each VI corresponds to a programmatic operation, such as configuring, reading from, writing to, and triggering an instrument.

LabVIEW instrument drivers simplify instrument control and reduce test program development time by eliminating the need for you to learn the complex, low-level programming commands for each instrument. This tool searches IDNet to find the specified instrument driver. Figure 1.

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The alternative to using the NI Instrument Driver Finder is to go directly to the Instrument Driver Network and search for your instrument driver there. You also can use the Instrument Driver Finder to open example programs covering everything from analysis and presentation to using your instrument driver.

Figure 2. The following figure shows this palette and some of the VIs and subpalettes that are shipped with it. Many instrument drivers have a VI Tree VI you can use to view the entire instrument driver hierarchy. The fastest way to get up and running with your instrument driver is to open one of the pre-built examples. For other instrument driver types, the examples will be available from the Application Examples subpalette from the corresponding instrument driver.

In the following figure we have opened the Agilent Read Multiple Measurements. This example shows how to configure a measurement and take multiple readings. Figure 4. In this example, serial communication is used. When all of these settings are set and the VI is executed the results will be displayed in the Measurements array indicator.

Figure 5. The reformatting of the response string is beneficial to the user by allowing them to view the response data in a format that they prefer. The Error Query VI checks for errors and updates error cluster. These examples show users how to combine the instrument driver VIs for basic test and measurement operations with the instrument. They demonstrate test and measurement functionality by configuring the instrument for a common mode of operation, triggering, and taking measurements.

Example VIs also verify communication with the instrument. The VI Tree VI is a non-executable VI designed to show the functional structure of the instrument driver, as shown in the figure below. The ideal LabVIEW instrument driver allows an end user to control all functionality of the instrument. Use this information to help organize and package your drivers in a consistent way while still implementing functionality unique to your instrument.

In Step 1, you design the instrument driver structure.

Instrument drivers labview

Step 1. Design the Instrument Driver Structure. The ideal instrument driver does what the user needs -- no more and no less. No particular type of driver design is perfect for everyone but by carefully studying the instrument and grouping controls into modular VIs, you can satisfy most of your users. When the number of programmable controls in an instrument increases, so does the need for modular instrument driver design.

Do not try to implement all of the functionality of an instrument with a single VI. However, do not design an instrument driver where each VI controls a single feature. Also, this could force the end user into understanding instrument-specific rules for command order and interaction.

Modular design simplifies the programming needed to control the instrument. Devise the overall structure of your instrument driver before you build the individual VIs. Design an instrument driver with the application and end user in mind. Understanding the instrument is critical to the design process The following steps outline one approach to developing the structure for a LabVIEW instrument driver.

Develop the driver structure by organizing instrument commands The organization of an instrument driver defines the hierarchy and overall relationship of the instrument driver component VIs. Template instrument driver VIs initialize, close, reset, self-test, revision query, and error query perform these common operations. You, as the instrument driver developer, define the VIs that expose the unique capabilities of the instrument.

Group common and developer-defined VIs into categories.

Installing Third Party Instrument Drivers in LabVIEW - National Instruments

A category is a group of VIs that perform similar operations. The following table shows an example instrument driver organization for a simple oscilloscope.

Drivers labview instrument

At the highest level of the hierarchy, you see the template VIs initialize and close and the typical VI categories. Design Example Consult the organizational information available in most instrument manuals to help you decide which parameters to include on an instrument driver VI. In particular, the programming section of the manual might group the commands into sections, such as configuring a measurement, triggering, reading measurements, and so on.

Use these groupings as a model for the driver hierarchy. Look for controls that are used together to perform a single task or function to help you develop a structure for the driver.

A modular driver contains individual VIs for each of the control groups. The table below shows how instrument commands for a simple DMM might correspond to developer-defined instrument driver VIs.

Drivers labview instrument

Table 2. While the instrument manual can provide a great deal of information about how to structure the instrument driver, do not rely on it exclusively. Your knowledge of using the instrument should be your main guide.

Create or Modify LabVIEW Instrument Driver Network Driver - National Instruments

Often, you should place commands from several different command groups in a single VI. At other times you must take one group of commands from the manual and divide it into two or more VIs. Consider how an instrument manual groups the trigger configuration commands with the commands that actually perform trigger arming and execution.

Drivers labview instrument

In this case, separate the commands into two VIs -- one that configures the trigger and one that arms or triggers the instrument. Step 2. After you design the LabVIEW instrument driver structure, use the Instrument Driver Project Wizard to create a new instrument driver, and then modify the new instrument driver VIs to work with your instrument.

Add the developer-defined API VIs that define the functionality of the instrument driver and access the unique capabilities of the instrument. If you created a driver from a class template, such as the Digital Multimeter template, the instrument probably supports additional functionality not covered by the class template. You should create additional VIs for each supported feature, using the existing VIs and structure for guidance. For example, oscilloscopes often have many types of triggers but the Oscilloscope template only includes support for edge triggering.

Installing Instrument Drivers - National Instruments

If the instrument supports additional types of triggers, add this functionality with additional instrument driver VIs. For consistency, instrument drivers should appear in the Instrument Driver VIs subpalette. Within the subpalette, the instrument VIs should have the same organization as the internal design model as shown in the figure below. Front Panel Style In addition to the controls required to operate the instrument, the front panel should include the VISA resource name control, VISA resource name out indicator, error in control, and error out indicator.

Use the following style guidelines to ensure uniformity with other LabVIEW front panels as you design front panels. Naming and Data Representation and Front Panels section of the Instrument Driver Guidelines for the complete requirements and recommendations for creating instrument driver front panels. Reserve the lower left terminal for the error in control and the lower right terminal for the error out indicator to simplify wiring to subsequent error terminals.

Select a connector pane pattern that has more terminals than the number of controls and indicators because you might add controls or indicators to the connector pane at a later time. This precaution prevents you from changing the pattern and replacing all instances of calls to a modified subVI. Place inputs on the left and outputs on the right to promote a left-to-right data flow on the block diagram.

Use meaningful icons for every VI. Use the icons found in the Icon Art Glossary whenever possible. Also, you can borrow icons from similar VIs in other instrument drivers or use the icon library Icon Include the instrument driver prefix at the top of the icon so users can identify VIs from the driver API. Create an icon using glyphs and images that represent the VI functionality.

The figure below shows sample configuration icons from the Icon Block Diagram After you design the front panel, create the block diagram.

Use the Format into String function to create instrument command strings. Double-click the function to enter format commands using the Format Strings dialog box. This function selects the proper string and concatenates it to the command string in one step.

Use the Pick Line function to convert a text ring value to a string. This function selects the proper string based on the label value and concatenates it with the command string. The block diagram in the figure below demonstrates the preferred methods for building command strings. The String functions described above let you build strings that include multiple commands. The block diagram is the primary way end users learn how the VI works, so it is important to make the block diagrams as easy to read as possible.

Most of the recommendations for instrument driver block diagrams are similar to best practices for all LabVIEW applications, which include following a left-to-right layout of the diagram, minimizing bends in the wires, and using efficient and consistent coding techniques.

Refer to the Block Diagram section of the Instrument Driver Guidelines for specific requirements and recommendations for creating an instrument driver block diagram. Click Search to locate your instrument driver. You should see a list of the instrument drivers available for your instrument.

The right side of the window displays information about the instrument driver including which ADEs, models, buses, and OSs are supported, as well as the user ratings of the driver and the minimum required support software needed to use the driver. Click on the driver you want to download and then click Install. The fastest and easiest way to get to your measurement is by using one of the examples located within the instrument driver.

For this tutorial, the Acquire Waveform. Figure 6. You can see all of the functions provided by an instrument driver from the palette. Figure 7. Navigate to the Instrument Driver Palettes. Many instrument drivers contain the VI Tree. When accessed, the VI Tree displays a categorized chart of all VIs contained within the instrument driver.