Instrument Control (GPIB, Serial, VISA, IVI)

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Help getting started with Hardware connections for Labview




I am a new undergraduate EE student, and I have been tasked with setting up a LabView program that automates resistivity measurements at various temperatures. The only experience I have with Labview is from the tutorial videos NI offers and some independent internet research. I am proficient in C and a few other languages, so I think I understand the basic idea of the programming (I also have a colleague who has experience with Labview programming), but I am completely new to the hardware connection.


 I will be connecting a Keithley 2401 Sourcemeter and a Keithley 2182 nanovoltmeter and a bench power supply connected to a Peltier cooler (wired to supply a negative voltage) to increase the temperature and a thermocouple attached to the Peltier cooler to measure the temperature. For our measurements, we are using the van der pau method to determine the sheet resistance of a sample. Four probes are attached at the four corners of a sample, and two voltage measurements are taken: one with the right two probes providing current and the left reading the voltage, and one with the top two probes providing current and the bottom probes reading the voltage. Because of this, we will also have to use a DPDT relay controlled by a separate microcontroller.


Currently, I am putting together a list of equipment I to request for purchasing and I want to be sure I have what I need. What I have so far is listed below:


2x GPIB - USB (I originally looked at a prologix connector but it looks like this is recognized as a serial port and there may be problems when using the Keithley drivers as they are designed to communicate via GPIB, however, the cable offered by NI is over $600, so I may be forced to make it work)

1x NI USB Temperature input device (

1x 0-30V / 0-5A Bench Power Supply that can be controlled via USB or similar connection

1x [Yet to be determined USB controllable Relay]

1x Powered USB hub


This will be set up with on a Windows 10 desktop. 


My question is will a Prologix GPIB-USB work with Keithley's Labview drivers or will I need to buy the much more expensive NI GPIB-USB-HS(+)? 


Also, are there any major "gotchas" that I should be on the look out for when getting the hardware setup with Labview?


ps: any advice on equipment selection or requirements are also welcome.


I appreciate any assistance.




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I have used the Prologix converter to control and query all types of instruments that use the SCPI protocol.  I even wrote up how to configure the device here.  I have not tried to use it with any particular drivers as I prefer to configure instruments exactly as expected.

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