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Need 64-bit Windows 7 driver for USB-1359 controller for my SCXI-1000 chassis

I am having the same problem, too. At least 90% the same. I am using 64-bit Windows 10 as that is the direction my IT department is heading for ALL my company's PCs. I mean a large amount of PCs, including those being used for manufacturing area. Buying SCXI chassis was an idea offered by National Instrument sales rep. in 2005. At the time we were pressed for a test solution at budgeted price (which was not a lot) and so we took the idea along with any white papers to present to our management. We were thinking that NI would maintain support for this product regardless of Windows evolution and the xx-bit OS hurdle. I am with you on biting the bullet this time to upgrade the entire system (hardware and software) to run on something without the NI logo on them because I find it to be unethical to force your customers to upgrade since the cost to upgrade using NI product is phenomenal. As for now, I am not holding my breath on trying to install or ask NI any more. I tried in vain.

Message 11 of 20
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I agree. I never mentioned that I have variable attenuators from "HP" from the 90's that I am still using and controlling with my 64-bit OS computer. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. A USB driver for a simple device seems pretty simple for a company to do for customer satisfaction. 

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Message 12 of 20
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@T_Bragg wrote:

I agree. I never mentioned that I have variable attenuators from "HP" from the 90's that I am still using and controlling with my 64-bit OS computer. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. A USB driver for a simple device seems pretty simple for a company to do for customer satisfaction. 


I doubt that variable attentuator has an USB interface! HP is not exactly a low cost company either and has a pretty bad track record of supporting many things long term. Anyone recently started a HP Vee program?

If your attentuator is however a GPIB device then you will most likely be able to control it in some way or the other in 20 years from now. The difference is that GPIB is more or less one single standard that is completly independent from the computer you want to connect it to. If there is a GPIB card for your computer you can connect it.

 

USB however is just a cable (somewhat) and what is done on that cable is determined by the device AND the according driver on the host side. This driver has to be rebuild, tested and possibly redesigned for every new OS variant and version that you want to run it on and each device tends to have its own protocol and according driver. This is a much worse scenario to support than a GPIB interface where the device has to support the GPIB standard and then you have to find an interface that supports your computer, rather than the device manufacturer having to support every possible computer hardware, OS type and version that is out there.

 

And if you really want to be long term you can of course go for analog/digital. That will work as long as there are humans out there who build electronics in some way or the other.

 

But USB while cheap, ubiquitous and seemingly simple is one of the worst choices if you want long term support for your hardware especially if it is anything else than mice or keyboards. Most computer hardware manufacturers producing USB devices will not even support new drivers for more than a few years, if at all!

Rolf Kalbermatter
Averna BV
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Message 13 of 20
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To chime into this: Did you read this recent note from NI about SCXI hardware?

 

You really should before asking for a software update on legacy hardware.

(I'm in the process to plan a replacement of several old SCXI systems. I don't want to rely on hardware, for which I don't get any support anymore.)

 

And why don't you use LabVIEW-32bit on your Win64-bit system? Should work with your old 32bit drivers!

Best regards,
GerdW


using LV2016/2019/2020 on Win8.1/10+cRIO
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Message 14 of 20
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Hi Rolf,

You offered a nice view of a presumably happy customer, but going back in time, the NI-GPIB device was there a lot longer than the NI-SCXI device, yet the NI-GPIB 488.2 has a 64-bit Windows 10 driver while the SCXI (USB-1359 in particular) device does not. I see a flaw in your reasoning there with respect to time and the required maintenance effort on a product. However, being a non-NI affiliator like me, I gathered that you really like NI products a lot and attempted to defend its reputation of poor customer service. Nevertheless, It is quite ridiculous to see that in one version of the OS every piece of NI hardware was recognized and their library loaded successfully until going to another version - Suddenly some favorable devices got loaded, seen, and played well with the new OS while some other became bastardized, rejected, and painful to try to get them to work in vain. After spending 3 days wrestling with this issue and receiving a dance-around email from NI without results, I have come to a conclusion that NI had pulled the plug on the SCXI/USB-1359/whatever associated with this product without regards to those who are currently having them. They want these SCXI system owners to spend the $$$ on new hardware (which they will pull the plug on sometime in the future.)

It is very upsetting, and some lessons to be learned from this experience for sure.

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Message 15 of 20
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Hi mei,

 

the NI-GPIB device was there a lot longer than the NI-SCXI device,

NI-GPIB is "just" an adaptor/converter to communicate with all kinds of GPIB-capable devices. GPIB is still supported and used by a wide variety of companies worldwide.

NI-SCXI is a product from NI, supported only by NI. It's main purpose (from my point of view) is to extend the number of channels accessible from a default PCI DAQ card. (I still use plain old PCI-MIO16 cards with those SCXI boxes!) And that system is really old - not really "compatible" with modern needs (like sample rates or even the cable needed to connect them). So NI clearly states an "End of Life" date and ends its support for them. I can see the reason to do so, even though it will cost me ~100k€…

 

Buying SCXI chassis was an idea offered by National Instrument sales rep. in 2005.

If you would also use computers with the same level of software from 2005 you would have no problem: hardware and software will work together nicely (and as expected).

But you insist on combining modern computers with the latest OS with old and deprecated hardware: now you change one of the components without checking the requirements of the other components in your DAQ system…

Best regards,
GerdW


using LV2016/2019/2020 on Win8.1/10+cRIO
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Message 16 of 20
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No there is no flaw in the reasoning. NI has developed GPIB boards for just about every possible computer under the sun and maintains the necessary drivers for all of them as long as the computer platform has any significance. They also still earn a good bit of money with a board that is pretty easy to manufacture and all of the components on those GPIB boards are for the last 20 years or so basically custom chips that NI has developed. Those chips will be produced for as long as NI decides it wants them.

Most other hardware that NI sells is based at least partly or completely on COTS products which in our modern industry get all the time EOLed (End of Life) sometimes with a good replacement, sometimes with another part that requires a redesign of the hardware and sometimes with absolutely no good replacement at all. A manufacturer like NI has continously to reevaluate the hardware components that it uses on its products and has to make decisions on a daily base to redesign a product because of components that are difficult or impossible to buy anymore or to simply EOL that product as well. And this can lead to an entire product line to be hard to build and support. SCXI is such a product line as there are various components used in there that are not easy to get by anymore. Once a product line has been decided to be in legacy mode, the previous stage from EOL, software development for such a product is simply throwing money out of the window.

 

A company can at design time decide to engineer a product for long term support but that has serious consequences for the type of components that can be used, the performance of the product and the price. For nothing only the sun rises. Most hardware plugin board for computers will either be recently designed and only support modern OSes. Don't even think about Windows XP support and if the hardware was designed after Windows 8 was released chances are high that it will never work on Windows 7 as well as on the next major Windows version that will eventually come. That is simply the nature of a fast living computer industry where product life cycles are rather measured in months than years. You will be hard pressured to find any computer board aside from the NI GPIB board that was designed more than 10 years ago and still works on the greatest and latest hardware with the latest OS.

Try to install your high end GPU card from 10 years ago in a recent computer. Good luck with that!

Rolf Kalbermatter
Averna BV
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Message 17 of 20
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rolfk,

 

"Once a product line has been decided to be in legacy mode, the previous stage from EOL, software development for such a product is simply throwing money out of the window." 

This is a crazy statement. Since when is keeping customers happy considered throwing money out the window? You are obviously an NI technical expert but your understanding of customer service and support are sorely lacking.

 

 


Don't even think about Windows XP support and if the hardware was designed after Windows 8 was released chances are high that it will never work on Windows 7 as well as on the next major Windows version that will eventually come. That is simply the nature of a fast living computer industry where product life cycles are rather measured in months than years. 

Comparing test equipment to a PC is an apples to steak comparison. Not even in the same food group. Thousands of $$$ are spent in architecting, designing, and purchasing a test system. At least that is my situation. I have more than $10k wrapped up in each of my SCXI systems. Plus the Labview development that would have to change to update to the next interface I choose. You cannot compare this issue to a personal computer that cost $1,000 or less. The fact is that NI created a proprietary interface in the USB-1359 and probably in the controller for the PXI chassis. Even if I upgrade my system to the PXI chassis because that is the solution available for my RF relay matrix system, I would be dealing with this again in 10 years or less. Or even less if I went with the PC embedded PXI that is a Windows OS platform, which is why I never went that route in the first place. Don't tie your design to a version of Windows OS.

 

This entire issue would not even be discussed if NI simply created a driver for a 64 bit Windows OS or had originally created a GPIB interface for the SCXI chassis. 

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Message 18 of 20
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But PXI is an industry standard backed up by various manufacturers including your beloved HP or what is still left from them. And yet a PXI plugin card developed 10 years ago is not guaranteed to work in the latest PXI chassis since the bus technology has changed considerably. The first PXI chassis were based on a parallel PCI bus interface. All modern PXI modules are based on the much faster PCI Express standard with completely different connectors on the backplane. If it is a low performance card you may be lucky that it still works, but it is no guarantee at all.

 

Yes the life cycle of test hardware is not (yet) measured in months. But 15 years is an awful long time for electronics unless you build a nuclear plant or something similar. They all still use electronics that were designed 50 years ago, since almost nobody goes through the trouble to certify modern hardware for use in such environments.

Rolf Kalbermatter
Averna BV
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Message 19 of 20
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@T_Bragg wrote:

 

This entire issue would not even be discussed if NI simply created a driver for a 64 bit Windows OS or had originally created a GPIB interface for the SCXI chassis. 


The GPIB interface would have made the chassis at least 500$ more expensive and everybody was already complaining how expensive it was. And its speed was even in the 2000 not really up to snuff with normal USB anymore. And its design was in a way that limited upgrades to higher speeds very strongly. So the USB interface was a quick and dirty solution for those who did not want to operate the SCXI system over a DAQ card, which was the original design of SCXI. But it was never really a solution that was used and sold much and accordingly it was soon falling into the realms of legacy products.

 

If NI had recommended you in 2005 to go with PXI instead you would likely have declared them crazy, as a similar solution in PXI would probably have set your company back at least 3 to 4 times the price of the SCXI solution. And if you had told them that you intend to use the test system in 15 years from then, on new computers, they might not have recommended SCXI at all back then.

Rolf Kalbermatter
Averna BV
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Message 20 of 20
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