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Digital inputs on PC



I am not sure if this is the right place for my question, but I don't know where to ask else.


I am looking for a way to read digital inputs in my software that is running on a PC.

For an application I use an incremental encoder (line drive RS422) to count the speed of a conveyor belt.

Now I connect the encoder to an Arduino Uno that is reading the digital output of the encoder and "translate" it to a serial signal, so that I can read it with my PC/software.

This works, but is not a solution I like. I prefer to read the digital inputs directly on my PC and translate it there to a readable signal for my software, without using an external micro controller.


Does NI have PCI cards or other solutions that are able to do this?


I hope some can help me with this.





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Message 1 of 8

The USB-6000 and USB-6001 are easy to work with, and get you 4 or 13 bidirectional digital channels respectively.

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Message 2 of 8

Going the Arduino route does have some advantages such as being cheap and open source.  NI has their LINX toolkit which downloads a known firmware to the microcontroller, and provides a well made palette and API for reading and writing various I/O.  Of course issues with this design are things like support which you will be on your own for which is one reason people pay the premium to NI.  Having someone that you can call up and figure out why it isn't working, and quickly get a refund, or replacement part can be pretty valuable.

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Good possibilities mentioned here.

Another from me: A FTDI modules like the FT4232. It can be used as a digital I/O This module has 4 ports which can be used as 4 times 8bits I/O.





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Thank you for your replies and mentioned solutions.


The case is: I use now the arduino as microcontroller. This works fine, but is not as industrial as I want to. I could use an alternative microcontroller (USB-6000 or USB-6001). But these ones has only one counter line (interrupt pin) for counting the encoder values. And to do a correct counting on a quadrature encoder, I need at least two interrupt pins. (The arduino has two).


The fact is, I prefer to not use a micro controller at all, but to use some kind of PCI card that I can insert in my PC so that I can read and process the digital input on my PC. I was hoping NI had this kind of PCI cards.




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Message 5 of 8

I'm no expert but this (3rd hit on google "pci counter card") maybe:


Or use the counter\timer overview (4th hit):

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Message 6 of 8

Thank you very much.


I didn't came up in my mind to do the same google search, but the PCI-6601 is exactly what I need.


Is it also possible to get support of NI by implementing this in an application?



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Message 7 of 8

@RapidEng wrote:

Is it also possible to get support of NI by implementing this in an application?

That depends on lots of things: who you ask, why you know, what your contract is, past revenue, future revenue, etc..


I wouldn't be surprised if there's an OoTB example.


And there's always this forum...

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