I've been in many threads and seen many, many more where the root issue stems from confusion about the way DAQmx Timing and DAQmx Read interpret the meaning of "# samples" very differently for Finite Sampling vs. Continuous Sampling mode. (For example, here's just one of the times I tried to address that confusion.)
First, here's what causes the confusion:
The 'samples per channel' input to DAQmx Timing is *crucial* for Finite Sampling tasks and usually *ignored* for Continuous Sampling tasks.
The 'number of samples per channel' input to DAQmx Read has a default value of -1 when left unwired. However, the *meaning* of this default value is *VERY* different, resulting in very different behavior depending on whether the the task is configured for Finite or Continuous sampling. (See the first link I referenced.)
While the relevant info is findable in the help, it also often clearly remains unfound. I got to wondering whether some changes in the DAQmx API could help.
I'll describe one approach, but would definitely be open to better solutions. The goal is simply to find *some* way to reduce the likelihood of confusion for rookie DAQmx users.
I picture adding more polymorphic instances to both the DAQmx Timing and DAQmx Read vi's, so there can be distinct instances for FInite vs Continuous sampling.
Further, I picture that the task refnum would carry sufficient type info related to this timing config, such that that downstream DAQmx functions can "know" what kind of Timing was set up -- Finite, Continuous, on-demand (the default if DAQmx Timing was never called at all), etc.
Then when that task refnum is wired into DAQmx Read, the most appropriate instance of DAQmx Read would show up. And the corresponding input parameter names, help, default values, and default value *behavior* can all be tailored to that particular instance of DAQmx Read. For example, perhaps the "# samples" input should become a *required* input for Continuous Sampling tasks, to force a decision and encourage further inspection of the advanced help.
Don't know how feasible something like this is, but it's definitely something that regularly trips up newcomers to DAQmx.
Just ran into a situation where I need to stream a lot of data to TDMS. The only problem is that I need to store additional metadata with the channels. I could go through all of the generated TDMS files and insert them after the fact, but this is kind of tedius. I propose a way to add metadata to the channel. My first thought was to use a variant input on the Create DAQmx Channel, but some of the polymorphics already have really fully connector panes. So I am now thinking to just add a property to the Channel Property Node that is just a variant. When logging to TMDS, the variant attributes can be put in the metadata of the channel. Do something similar for the group so that we can have additional group metadata.
Metadata that I'm currently thinking about could include sensor serial number and calibration data. I'm sure there is plenty of other information we would like to store with the TDMS file.
For those of us who develop using DAQmx all the time, this might seem silly. Nonetheless, I'm finding that users of my software are repeatedly having a tough time figuring out how to select multiple physical channels for applications that use DAQmx. Here's what I'm talking about:
Typically a user of my universal logger application wishes to acquire from ai0:7, for example. They attempt to hold down shift and select multiple channels, only to assume that one channel at a time may be aquired. For some odd reason, nearly everyone fears the "Browse" option because they don't know what it does.
While, as a developer, I have no problem whatsoever knowing to "Browse" in order to accomplish this, I was just asked how to do this for literally the fifth time by a user. Thus, I'm faced with three choices: Keep answering the same question repeatedly, develop my own channel selection interface, or ask if the stock NI interface may be improved.
I'm not sure of the best way to improve the interface, but the least painless manner to do so might be to simply display the "Browse" dialog on first click rather than displaying the drop-down menu.
Please, everyone, by all means feel free to offer better ideas. What I do know for certain, though, is that average users around here continually have a tough time with this.
I recently discovered that the SCXI-1600 is not supported in 64-bit Windows. From what NI has told me, it is possible for the hardware to be supported, but NI has chosen not to create a device driver for it.
I'm a bit perplexed by this position, since I have become accustomed to my NI hardware just working. It's not like NI to just abandon support for a piece of hardware like this -- especially one that is still for sale on their website.
Please vote if you have an SCXI-1600 and might want to use it in a 64-bit OS at some time in the future.
It would be great if the full DAQmx library supported all NI data acquisition products on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The situation right now is too much of a hodge-podge of diverse drivers with too many limitations. There's an old, full DAQmx library that supports older devices on older Linux systems, but it doesn't look like it's been updated for years. DAQmx Base is available for more current Linux and Mac OS systems, but doesn't support all NI devices (especially newer products). DAQmx Base is also quite limited, and can't do a number of things the full DAQmx library can. It's also fairly bloated and slow compared to DAQmx. While I got my own application working under both Linux and Windows, there's a number of things about the Linux version that just aren't as nice as the Windows version right now. I've seen complaints in the forums from others who have abandoned their efforts to port their applications from Windows to Mac OS or Linux because they don't see DAQmx Base as solid or "commercial-grade" enough.
I'd really like to be able to develop my application and be able to easily port it to any current Windows, Mac or Linux system, and have it support any current NI multi-function DAQ device, with a fast, capable and consistent C/C++ API.
When doingPWM with DAQmx, error -200684 is thrown if a 0% duty cycle is attempted. For situations where a true 0% is needed, this is problematic. There are a few workarounds available, but some are less than ideal.
The suggestion here is to pause the output if a 0% duty cycle is attempted.
By default, DAQmx terminal constants/controls only show a subset of what is really available. To see everything, you have to right-click the terminal and select "I/O Name Filtering", then check "Include Advanced Terminals":
I guess this is intended to prevent new users from being overwhelmed. However, what is really does is create a hurdle that prevents them from configuring their device in a more "advanced" manner since they have no idea that the name filtering box exists.
I am putting "advanced" in quotes because I find the distinction very much arbitrary.
As a more experienced DAQmx user, I change the I/O name filtering literally every time I put down a terminal without thinking about it (who can keep track of which subset of DAQmx applications are considered "advanced"). The worst part about this is trying to explain how to do something to newer users and having to tell them to change the I/O name filtering every single time (or if you don't, you'll almost certainly get a response back like this).
Why not make the so-called "advanced" terminals show in the drop-down list by default?
I find myself quite often needing to modify the DaqMX tasks of chassis that aren't currently plugged into my system. I develope on a laptop, and then transfer the compiled programs to other machines. When the other machines are running the code and thus using the hardware I have to export my tasks and chassis, delete the live but unplugged chassis from my machine, then import the tasks and chassis back in generating the simulated chassis. When I'm finished with the task change and code update, to test it I have to export the tasks and chassis, plug in the chassis, and re-import to get a live chassis back.
Can it be made as simple as right clicking on a chassis and selecting 'simulated' from the menu to allow me to configure tasks without the hardware present?
As documented in a previous post, it is currently impossible to install the nidaqmx-python library into a Docker container. Enabling this functionality would create an opportunity for software teams to build cutting edge big data pipelines for measurement instruments using container technology. This could also optimize development time by including custom DAQ code in continuous integration pipelines.
Note: this might only be relevant & useful for multiplexing AI devices.
It was an important technique used to investigate channel-to-channel ghosting influence on a multiplexing device. For example, suppose you had a large signal A and a small signal B. You could set up a channel list to read "A,B,B,B,B", and thereby *investigate* the trend of these successive readings of the same channel and use *evidence* to determine when the ghosting influence had dissipated. THIS WAS IMPORTANT!
I recall hearing of others use the capability to be able to get faster sampling for one of their fast-changing channels, using a channel list along the lines of "A,B, C,B, D,B, E,B".
The feature that used to be supported on multiplexing MIO devices as far back as I could remember working with NI DAQ products. I only recently discovered that such support was inexplicably removed from DAQmx sometime in the last few years, now producing a fatal task error. I tested a few available systems and found that it was still supported under DAQmx 16.0, not supported by DAQmx 18.1, and not yet restored as of DAQmx 20.1. (All verifications were done with desktop or PXI X-series devices.)
Why was this ability taken away? Stop being so overzealous trying to protect us from ourselves! Multiple readings of the same channel is a legitimate and sometimes almost necessary technique. Maybe you lacked the imagination to understand why we'd want this, but guess what? We knew what we were doing. So stop stopping us.
At the new client.. no shock to many of you I "Get around"
I explained to some of my new compadres the DAQmx "Tasks" need to be created once.... Preferably during development!
I even created a new task in MAX using the DAQmx wizard, Dragged it to the LabVIEW project explorer and all of that!
I even went so far as to name the "AUX" temperature channel "armpit"- Trust me, after 5 minutes delivering a .lvproj based on the "Contineous measuement and logging (DAQmx) project template" it was impressive to the client that the plot "armpit" showed 37C on the chart. Guess where the thermocouple was.
So, Because I am that amazing, I showed them that they could Drag-n-Drop the Task to MAX and use MAX to monitor my armpit temperature. I even showed them that MAX could show them the wiring diagram!
"HOLD IT"! they said, The wiring diagram is right there! On SCREEN! per channel!
That is where I just about lost my mind! They wanted to see this connection diagram for another Channel--- that worked! BUT there was no way to output that wonderful data!
"Can I create a Wiring Diagram for this channel, device or task?" were the next words out of their mouths. I WAS STUNNED! "Not today" I said, "I'll post that excellent idea!"
The DAQmx API is extremely useful; one especially useful part of the API is the automatic logging feature. This part of the API is efficient, easy to set-up, and largely bug free, well-done NI.
One problem with the automatic logging feature is the value of the t0. This value is determined by the system clock, which is the clock onboard the controller. A lot of PXI systems have the ability to use GPS modules or other timing modules. It would be good to use this clock instead.
In NI-Sync we can create an event at a specific time and use this to trigger the DAQmx data acquisition. It would be nice to use this "event time" instead of the system clock. There is a property in the DAQmx Timing Property Node, under Advanced, called First Sample Timestamp:Value Property. However, this property is read only, please change it to writable also. In this case we can then write an exact GPS time start to the data acquisition.
Below is one simple use case of the property node.
"Without needing to clear "all" associated events, or EVEN opening MAX, I would like the ability to replace NI-USB Device "Doohickey123" serial number "junkgarbagestuff" with another NI-USB device of the same type- perhaps a pop-up option like.... ""Replace no longer installed NI-53xx alias "gizmo" with new NI-53xx?""
Sure would help when I swap NI-xxxx devices amongst systems- especially the USB devices!
There isn't anything in the event data node to tell you which line triggered the interrupt. I'm proposing we add something in the event data node for this event (like a bit field or a reference to the channel) so the programmer would know which line fired the event.
The workaround is you do a DAQmx read at this point and you mask the data vs previous data.. but I would prefer not to do this.
Counter tasks can only take 1 channel, due to the nature of timed signals, obviously. When setting up a system with 16 DUTs with counter outputs, this requires 16 tasks. Every single one has to be painstakingly created and configured. (As an aside: Defining a tabulator sequence still seems a mystery to NI's programmers, even though LabVIEW supports this)
Wouldn't it be nice to have a Ctrl+c,Ctrl+v sequence for tasks and then only modify physical channel? IMHO: yes.