Have an idea for new DAQ hardware or DAQ software features?
Browse by label or search in the Data Acquisition Idea Exchange to see if your idea has previously been submitted. If your idea exists be sure to vote for the idea by giving it kudos to indicate your approval!
If your idea has not been submitted click Post New Idea to submit a product idea. Be sure to submit a separate post for each idea.
Watch as the community gives your idea kudos and adds their input.
As NI R&D considers the idea, they will change the idea status.
Give kudos to other ideas that you would like to see implemented!
How feasible is the idea of setting up an open source driver project? This would be something that NI could host, but anyone could participate in to build a driver that can fit into different platforms. It can build on the DDK driver, but be centralized for collaborative effort. I like the name Open-DAQ driver. This would be a good way to address Linux users who are accustomed to source code. I know we have a DAQmx Base as a separate driver for different platforms, but an open source project would allow the Linux community to build a solution for novel or unusual Linux versions.
Currently the AI.PhysicalChans property returns the number of physical channels for measurement (e.g. 16). However, to calculate the maximum sampling rate for the device programmatically (e.g. 9213), we need the total number of channels including the internal ones such as cold-junction and autozero (for 9213 it's 18).
Therefore I would like to suggest to include a property node with the number of the internal channels or the total number of physical channels or something similar.
Use case: programmatically calculate the maximum sampling rate in a program that should work for multiple types of devices without being aware of their type.
I have a data acquisition NI-DAQmx/C++ program where I am continuously acquiring 5 channels of data at 40KHz/channel and reading them in 0.1 second chunks. This successfully works perfectly for over 14 hrs continuous acquisition, but at 14hrs, 54 min and 47 seconds the program hangs up due to an overflow in the int32 DAQmxInternalAIbuffer_Offset value sent to the DAQmxSetReadOffset() function. In the DAQmxSetReadRelativeTo() function, I set the offset relative to the first sample using DAQmx_Val_FirstSample. (See "32-bit lmitation pof the NI-DAQmx int32 DAQmxSetReadOffset() function?")
It would be very helpful for the DAQmxSetReadOffset() offset value to be 64-bits rather than the current int32 value. This would make this function analogous to the DAQmxGetReadTotalSampPerChanAcquired() which returns a 64-bit value. I understand that the offset is maintained internally as a 64-bit value, so perhaps this would not be too difficult to do.
I hope that National Instruments fixes this limitation in their API, not just for 64-bit Windows, but also for 32-bit Windows because a lot of us are still using 32-bit compilers and our users are using Windows XP. Perhaps it could be implemented as a separate DAQmxSetReadOffset64() 64-bit function for the 32-bit Windows.
When using a buffered counter output task, the initial delay value is not used at all. Instead, the user specifies an array of high and low times and the first low time is used as the initial delay.
If the output pulse train is repeated multiple times (or continuously), the first low time represents both the time from the trigger until the first pulse as well as the time between the last pulse and the first pulse.
It would be desirable to decouple these parameters by allowing for the option to use Initial Delay on buffered counter output tasks (e.g. with a channel property). Here are a couple use cases off the top of my head where Initial Delay would be very helpful (if not required):
1. This is the case I ran into (posted here): if you want to repeat a pulse train continuously every N seconds, you have to either have that N second delay at the start of the task or use another counter as a trigger source. Depending on high and low times you might be able to get away with writing new values to the counter on-the-fly but this isn't a universal solution.
2. If you wanted to synchronize multiple continuous buffered counter output tasks (with each one sharing a fixed desired period) to a common trigger source but with a different initial delay, you would be unable to do so since the requirement of having different initial delay would affect the period of your actual signal. You would have to compensate by tweaking the other high/low times in your waveform (giving you something that you don't really want).
I bought a NI USB-6251 BNC but the support explained me that it would have no Linux support out of the box. I will have to find out how to use it on Linux systems myself now (perhaps with help of the forum). It would be a nice feature, if it would ship with Linux support.
We need a way to query an output task to determine its most recently output value. Or alternately, a general ability to read back data from an output task's buffer.
This one's been discussed lots of times over the years in the forums but I didn't see a related Idea Exchange entry. Most of the discussion I've seen has related to AO but I see no reason not to support this feature for DO as well.
There are many apps where normal behavior is to generate an AO waveform for a long period of time. Some apps can be interrupted unexpectedly by users or process limit monitoring or safety range checking, etc. When this happens, the output task will be in a more-or-less random phase of its waveform. The problem is: how do we *gently* guide that waveform back to a safe default value like 0.0 V? A pure step function is often not desirable. We'd like to know where the waveform left off so we can generate a rampdown to 0. In some apps, the waveform shape isn't directly defined or known by the data acq code. So how can we ramp down to 0 if we don't know where to start from? This is just one example of the many cases where it'd be very valuable to be able to determine the most recently updated output value.
Create a DAQmx property that will report back the current output value(s). I don't know if/how this fits the architecture of the driver and various hw boards. If it can be done, I'd ideally want to take an instantaneous snapshot of whatever value(s) is currently held in the DAC. It would be good to be able to polymorph this function to respond to either an active task or a channel list.
Approach 2 (active buffered tasks only):
We can currently query the property TotalSampPerChanGenerated as long as the task is still active. But we can't query the task to read back the values stored in the buffer in order to figure out where that last sample put us. It could be handy to be able to query/read the *output* buffer in a way analogous to what we can specify for input buffers. I could picture asking to DAQmx Read 1 sample from the output buffer after setting RelativeTo = MostRecentSample , Offset = 0 or -1 (haven't thought through which is the more appropriate choice). In general, why *not* offer the ability to read back data from our task's output buffers?
In my post on the LabVIEW board I asked if it was possible to have control over the DIO of a simualted DAQ device. Unfortunately it seems this feature is not available. Once MAX is closed the DIOs run through their own sequences.
If there was a non-blocking way to control a simulated DAQ device through MAX it would permit much simpler prototyping of systems before they need to be deployed to hardware. For example if you want to see how a program responds to a value change simply enter it in the non-blocking MAX UI. Or as in my original case can make an executable useable even if you don't have all the necessary hardware.
I think this feature should only be available for simulated devices.
Any series card should have a feature listing different parameters like voltage, temperature etc it supports(May be a property node should be used). so that user can configure the required parameter among the supported.
Ex: SCXI -1520 module can be configured as Strain, Pressure or voltage but this information will be known only by seeing its manual or when a task is created in MAX. But in LabVIEW Software i cant get this information directly. Because it allows me to configure 1520 as temperature also and we will come to known that 1520 module doesn't support for temperature parameters only when once tried to acquire.
So what you people think about you.Share your ideas on this please.
This is pretty trivial to achieve through LabVIEW itself, but...
Signal Express is a simple, stand alone data acquisition system that allows those with limited exposure to LabVIEW set up simple test and measurement routines. One area where this is ideal - at least, for me - is in environmental or long life testing. Instead of crafting a beautiful piece of custom software for my colleagues, I can hand them a DAQ, point them in the direction of the SignalExpress and DAQmx installers, and off they go. With a little fiddling, they can create a logger that suits their needs.
One thing I've noticed, however, is that when sampling with non-simultaneous cards such as the USB 6225, users will select 1-pt-on-demand, set to some big interval, and then come back screaming at the top of their lungs - "OHMYGOD THERE'S CROSSTALK BETWEEN CHANNELS!". With a little bit of fault-finding, it's easy to point out that it's not crosstalk, but ghosting between channels, because I would guess that 1-pt-on-demand uses interval sampling and rattles through the multiplexing as quickly as it can.
My idea: give users the option to either select round-robin mode with a sensible delay, or complete control over the interchannel delay.
I realise that the standard line is usually "use LabVIEW" - I do - but I'd rather spend my time working on the important stuff and empowering those with less experience and/or exposure to make accurate measurements.
Multiple people have requested that there be a natural way for Labview and SignalExpress to do a rotational speed measurement using a quadrature encoder. An express VI under "Acquire Signals>>Counter Input>>Rotational Speed" that asks you basic quadrature encoder type questions and computes the rotational speed would be very useful. The information it asks would be things such as Ticks per Revolution, Decoding type (x1, x2, x4) would be useful in computing rotational speed. In addition, this can be then converted into a shipping example for DAQmx relatively easily. I have had multiple people ask this question and believe that especially within SignalExpress, this would be very useful.
Currently when streaming analog or digital samples to DAQ board, output stays at the level of last sample received when buffer underflow occurs. This behavior can be observed on USB X Series Multifunction DAQ boards. I have USB-6363 model. The exact mode is hardware-timed, buffered, continuous, and non-regenerating. The buffer underflow error code is -200290 “The generation has stopped to prevent the regeneration of old samples. Your application was unable to write samples to the background buffer fast enough to prevent old samples from being regenerated.”
I would like to have an option to configure DAQ hardware to immediately set voltage on analog and digital outputs to a predefined state if the buffer underrun occurs. Also, I would like to have an option to immediately set one of PFI pins on buffer underrun.
I believe this could be accomplished by modifying X series firmware and providing configuration of this feature in the DAQmx API. If no more samples are available in the buffer the DAQ board should immediately write predefined digital states / analog levels to outputs and indicate buffer underrun state on PFI line. Then it should report error to PC.
Doing this in firmware has certain advantages:
It can be done quickly (possibly within the time of the next missing sample – at 2Ms/s that’s 0.5us).
Handles all situations (software lockups, excessive CPU loading by other processes, loss of communication do to bus traffic, interface disconnection…)
It does not require any additional hardware (to turn off outputs externally).
Buffer underrun indication on PFI line could provide additional safety measure (it could be used for example to immediately disable external power amplifier connected to DAQ AO).
Doing this using other methods is just too slow, does not handle all situations, or requires additional external circuitry.
Setting outputs from software, once error occurs, is slow (~25ms / time of 50000 samples at 2MS/s) and does not handle physical disconnection of the interface. Analog output does eventually go to 0 V on USB-6363 when USB cable is disconnected, but it takes about half a second.
Using watchdog timer would also be too slow. The timer can be set to quite a short time, but form the software, I would not be able to reset it faster than every 10ms. It also would require switching off analog channels externally with additional circuitry, because watchdog timer is not available for analog channels.
The only viable solution right now is to route task sample clock to PFI and detect when it stops toggling. It actually does stop after last sample is programmed. Once that occurs, outputs can be switched off externally. This requires a whole lot of external circuitry and major development time. If you need reaction time to be within time of one or two samples, pulse detector needs to be customized for every possible sampling rate you might what to use. To make this work right for analog output, it would take RISC microcontroller and analog electronic switches. If you wanted to use external trigger to start the waveform, microcontroller would have to turn on the analog switch, look for beginning of waveform sample clock, record initial clock interval as reference, and finally turn off the switch if no pulse is received within reference time.
I’m actually quite impressed how well USB-6363 handles streaming to outputs. This allows me to output waveforms with complexity that regular arbitrary generators with fixed memory and sequencing simply cannot handle. The buffer underflow even at the highest sampling rate is quite rare. However, to make my system robust and safe, I need fast, simple, and reliable method of quickly shutting down the outputs that only hardware/firmware solution can provide.