Digital Multimeters (DMMs) and Precision DC Sources

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NI 4050 programming



I just have a couple thoughts:


  • I would first make sure you have a DMM driver version that supports your DMM and also SignalExpress. You can do this by checking the readme for DMM and the readme for SignalExpress. After that, I would ensure that you have installed the driver after installing SignalExpress. If you installed the driver before SignalExpress, you may be missing some components from the driver. I would try running the driver installation again and see if you are missing anything for SignalExpress.
  • Also, I am unsure about the Pearson examples, but you can always just use the DMM examples that come with LabVIEW like Marcos mentioned. You do this through example finder. This should give you the basic of how to use the driver in LabVIEW. Have you tried this yet?
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Message 11 of 15

Thank you for the advice. Here is what I did.
• For the driver file NI-DMM 3.1, Release Date 6/28/2013, the Readme file confirms NI PCMCIA-4050 is supported. Windows XP SP-3 is also supported, as confirmed by the release information on the NI-DMM download page.

• LabVIEW 2009 support dates are August 2009 through August 2013. 
• SignalExpress 2009, Release Date August 1, 2009, is supported by Windows XP. The LabVIEW SignalExpress Readme file says that SignalExpress is compatible with NI-DMM 2.4.1 and later, so my v.3.1 should be OK. 
• To be on the safe side, I deleted NI-DMM v.3.1, restarted the computer, reinstalled NI-DMM v.3.1, then again restarted the computer. 
• With NI-DMM v.3.1 reinstalled, I ran the DMM Soft Front Panel (which is part of the NI-DMM install). It immediately (and with no help from me) found NI DAQCard-4050 and displayed the voltage on its input terminals. Using the Soft Front Panel, I can change ranges and inputs, everything the 4050 is supposed to be able to do. The Soft Front Panel calls the card DAQCard-4050: “DAQ::1.” 

• LabVIEW SignalExpress 2009 (hereafter SE-2009) should be able to detect the DAQCard-4050 because it is an NI-DMM device; the SE-2009 Help file says such devices are automatically detected and listed in Channel View. In fact, it “searches for devices” and eventually says “no devices available.”

• SE-2009 should be able to find the DAQCard-4050 through the Add Step / Acquire Signals / DAQmx Acquire routine. However, the response is, “No supported devices found.”

• SE-2009 also should be able to find the DAQCard-4050 through the Add Step / Acquire Signals / IVI Acquire routine. Unfortunately, no devices are found.

• SE-2009 also should be able to find the DAQCard-4050 through the Acquire Signals / NI-DMM/Switch Acquire routine. However, this routine says the 4050 and 4060 are not supported. This would seem to be a contradiction but clearly is a problem. 

Thus it would seem that SE-2009 does not support DAQCard-4050. Unfortunately there is no older version of SE-2009 listed on the NI web site for me to try.


I will try the examples in LabVIEW next. My previous experience gave me little hope of connecting to anything outside of the computer (meaning “real” hardware, not a simulation). 

Thank you again for trying to help.




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Message 12 of 15

Having given up on SignalExpress, since it apparently doesn’t support the NI-4050 PCMCIA card, I am trying to learn LabVIEW 2009. The old Dell laptop’s copy of Win-XP finds the NI-4050 card as a “Data Acquisition Device” and says it is working correctly. Using MAX I was able to identify the NI-4050 card; it is a “Traditional NI-DAQ (Legacy)” device (meaning, I suppose, “OLD”). The Test Panel that runs under MAX shows the NI-4050 actually responding to inputs.

Where do I go from here? None of the examples in LabVIEW 2009 seem to have anything to do with what I want to do (read a voltage with the 4050 and write the data to a file so that I can later pull it into a spreadsheet). 



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Message 13 of 15

The NI-DMM examples will show you how to open a session to the device, configure, and read a voltage. Make sure you can run this correctly.

The rest you'll have to do yourself:

* Wrap the NI-DMM code with and "Event Structure". The code goes inside the "Timeout" case. You wire the desired measurement period to the Timeout terminal.

* Wrap the "Event Structure" with a "While Loop" and create a control to stop execution (a boolean control wired to the stop input.

* Look at the File I/O palette for ways to write the values returned by the NI-DMM VI (function/icon) to a file. Hopefully it is more or less self-explanatory.

Marcos Kirsch
Chief Software Engineer
NI Driver Software
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Message 14 of 15

For some reason the copy of NI-DMM I downloaded contained no examples. However, I was able to find enough information to confirm the 4050 works and can communicate with my old laptop. 

The rest of your suggestions are Greek. It is clear that LabVIEW is far more powerful than I require. Although I am certainly capable of learning LabVIEW, I question whether the time required is justified. Accordingly, I will look for a simpler solution to my measurement question. 

Thank you.


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Message 15 of 15