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Alicat Scientific MC series LabVIEW control



Alicat requested that I send them my LabVIEW driver code earlier this year, with the understanding that they could eventually offer it up to the end user community.  Recently they released a new version of drivers on their website which are (mostly) derived from what I sent them.  It's probably best that you grab what they've published here and start with that.  You want one of the zip packages which Alicat designates "2013", though I'm not really sure what the differences are between the three choices.  The overall architecture I sent them is still there - the member VIs of a project library (Alicat Scientific.lvlib, intended to be placed in a subfolder of your \instr.lib) form the core of the driver; separately, I gave them a project I called "Alicat Sandbox" which is a Swiss-Army-knife application to demo the library VIs (and is handy in its own right for interacting with just about any Alicat device).


I did see that they added a REALLY loaded up conpane on the Sandbox top level - but it was never intended to be called as a subVI, it's got an event structure and is fully interactive.  I recommend you NOT try to call it from your own code.  Instead, inspect its BD and see what the member VIs do and what their inputs/outputs represent, then use those in your code.


Post back here if you get stuck and need community help with any of this.  There are a few others here besides myself who may have relevent experience.


Best regards,


David Boyd
Sr. Test Engineer
Abbott Labs
(lapsed) Certified LabVIEW Developer
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Message 11 of 28



Thank you for the quick response, I did find those drivers on the Alicat website. I am in the process of sorting out through these drivers (I am a LabVIEW novice as well, unfortunately). I still need to understand how our original VI code to which we are controlling this experiment works so that I can add the sub-VI of the mf-controllers; I am a student working with someone else helping to get this set up.


I am glad that this thread can still be active after such a long while! I will definitely if there are parts I need clarification on later on.

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Message 12 of 28

Hi Ridethelightning,

I had no time to dig out the nice package sent previously by Dave, 

We are looking for a retrocontrol capability with a O2 sensor, is it something you want to do?

We might share our progress in this case,


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Message 13 of 28

I am looking to control an experiment by initializing my flow control parameters and with every run, stepping up a value and then running the experiment again. I don't mind sharing progress and collaborating, I am working with oxygen and nitrogen flow, although I am not sure what you mean by retrocontrol capability.

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Message 14 of 28

retrocontrol means a way to have exact value set-up on the computer for O2 level.

live animals in the box have a variable consumption, therefore i want to adapt the O2 level provided by the mass flow to the O2 value provided by a O2 sensor in the box.


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Message 15 of 28

Hi David,


I am in need of some help. I would like to control the controller setpoint value of my Alicat flow controller within the current code used to run my experiment. I am having some trouble and was wondering if you could give me any starting tips? I am a novice and would like to know where to begin.


I have attached a code (CRDS, which I did not build) to which I would like to control the controller setpoint I built from the library. It would be much appreciated!

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Message 16 of 28

Here is the controller setpoint code without any errors, if that helps.

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Message 17 of 28



I've just been trying to understand little by little the Alicat project code and how to code in Labview in general.


I've started by attempting to create a simple code that reads off the manufacturer data called 'manufacturer read' of the Alicat flow controller, but it's giving me an error code -1073807339. When I look at the execution, the failure seems to be within the driver 'read manufacturer data,' but I'm not sure how to resolve it through my own written code, as I know that the driver does work. I've attached both codes for reference. Can anyone figure out what I'm doing wrong? Thanks!

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Message 18 of 28

I didn't really went to deep into the code but with VISA, that error code might show a timeout. The default is 2 seconds so I am not sure this is the case, but if you think it might be, you can increase it as shown here.

Camilo V.
National Instruments
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Message 19 of 28

Just a small "whine". Some of us aren't under support and so aren't running the current NI Labview developement enviroment. When Alicat releases a driver that requires LabView 2014 (or 2013) it doesn't do some of us much good. I am sure NI would like us all under support, but that doesn't always seem to happen.  Luckly Dave sent me a copy of his driver that he was able to save to an earlier version so I am still able use (at least parts of) his driver. I would be nice if others could do likewise. Why not have a driver saved to a earlier version if you don't loose any function.


Still Broken (but getting better!)

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Message 20 of 28