Instrument Control (GPIB, Serial, VISA, IVI)

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Old NI-448.2 compatibility with VISA and LVRTE


I am supporting some old test equipment with a new software release. So I find myself mired in versions of the various NI libraries. We have the AT-GPIB/TNT cards so according to this white paper I need to use NI 488.2 version 1.70. My application is built using the newest version (2013 SP1 f2) so that is the LVRTE I have installed. The other piece to this is NI-VISA and I have no idea what version I should be using. I have 5.4.1 installed on one test station and the configuration seems to work. However, if I put the same configuration on another station my application complains of a missing VISA library. On that same station if I open MAX it also states there is a missing VISA library and does not even detect the GPIB card.


I have seen this article that indicates some compatibility issues between NI-488.2 and VISA (16 vs 32 bit versions). Sadly I can't find any white papers discussing which versions are compatible.

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Message 1 of 6

Hi Kyle, 

Just for some clarity, are you wondering what versions are compatible with one another or are you wondering why one of your test stations work and the other one doesn't? Also, what VISA library does you application say you are missing? What operation system are you working on with these test machines? What GPIB card, and really hardware as a whole, are you using? Juat trying to get the most information so we can see what we can help with. 


Douglas Choisnet
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Operating system is Windows XP SP2 or SP3 depending on the station.


It did not tell me which VISA library was missing or I would have been more clear in the matter.


The GPIB card is the AT-GPIB/TNT card.


On another note I did have some success finally getting an install to work. I believe on at least one station the installations had gotten corrupted because it multiple versions of VISA being installed. I uninstalled everything NI related from the station so that I could start from scratch. First I installed NI-488.2 version 1.70. Once I restarted I was able to discover all my GPIB devices. Then I installed LVRTE 2013 SP1 f2, rebooted and installed VISA 5.4.1. After I rebooted a third time I was able to run my application successfully.


I believe there were two keys to this success:

1. I started from a clean slate

2. I installed LVRTE prior to installing VISA. I have seen some articlesindicating that order is preferable.


I have not tried this process on more than one test station so I am not declaring victory just yet. Also I am going to install the VISA runtime engine instead of the full VISA next time.

Message 3 of 6

Great Kyle! Thank you for letting others know about a (possible) solution to this issue!

Douglas Choisnet
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I believe the incompatibility is with multiple versions of VISA on the same PC. Instead of starting from a clean slate I just uninstalled the previous version (4.3 or 3.x depending on the test station). Then I installed the 2013 LVRTE followed by the VISA runtime 5.4.1. Following this process I was able to get my application working on multiple test stations.


In conclusion it would seem that multiple versions of VISA or 488.2 cannot coexist on the same PC. I have also experienced that multiple versions of the LabVIEW runtime engine are content to exist together. I have several stations with version 5.1, 7.1, 8.5, 2010, 2011 and 2013!

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Message 5 of 6
Windows will not allow multiple versions of the same hardware driver to be installed. Typically, when you install a newer driver, the older one will be removed/overwritten. For really old versions, such as you had, I have found the automatic process to be somewhat problematic and have had to do the manual uninstall just like you described.
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