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Networked use of pci gpib cards

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I have a question re. the system level use of the 488.2 and visa interface.  I am familiar with using gpib accessible apps on the local machine where the pci-gpib card is installed.  Does all of this newer 488.2/visa driver stuff allow you to run a gpib accessible app on another machine and see the remote pci-gpib card as a virtual local adapter?  If so, is it as easy as installing the 488.2/visa driver on both machines and the app (ie. Labview, matlab) automatically finds the remote card?

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In theory yes, as that is the magic of VISA.

 

But you might want to read the manual for something like an National Instruments  GPIB-ENET/1000  as it's probably a little more complicated than that.

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=== Engineer Ambiguously ===
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@Bluesuede wrote:

 If so, is it as easy as installing the 488.2/visa driver on both machines and the app (ie. Labview, matlab) automatically finds the remote card?


Yes to the installation part, no to the automatic finding of the VISA server over the network. You do not want VISA to continously scan the entire network for possible remote servers that it might want to propose as a candidate to add to your system.

 

For that you go in NI-MAX into the Tools->NI VISA->VISA Options and in there under General Settings-> Remote you configure which system you want to be accessible on your computer.

On the Server system for non RT systems you need to configure the VISA Server to be enabled and also allow remote connections from other NI-VISA drivers by adding the remote systems IP address in the list under VISA Server->Security.

Rolf Kalbermatter
Averna BV
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Lets keep this thread short and qualitative.  I don't want

replies with theories or philosophies and reading manuals etc.

I want to hear from people who know the answer from experience.

 

 

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I am running v2.8 of the ni488.2 driver on a win 2003 server and xp machine.  Only the win 2003 server has a pci-gpib card installed.  The server has no trouble seeing and accessing the instruments on it's local gpib bus.  I cannot get the xp workstation to find anything on this server.  There is no visa security section to enable this as a server.  V2.8 is the only version I know of that works properly with this server.  Do I need a newer version of the ni488.2 driver for this to work?

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Well, Windows XP may make this whole thing a bit more complicated. That is so many years ago that you can almost talk about stone age in the world of computers.

 

But first you need to realize that the remote capability is not part of the NI-488.2 driver but rather in NI-VISA. So you will need to have NI-VISA installed on both computers in addition to NI-488.2 on the computer with the GPIB board. And the application on the remote computer needs to talk to the NI-VISA API and not the old GPIB API.

 

Which version of NI-VISA will work on Windows 2003 Server I don’t remember anymore. NI never was particularly eager to support the server versions of Windows and Microsoft made it different enough that an installer for especially drivers often wouldn’t just execute properly if it wasn’t specificslly tested on the server version too.

 A quick check showed that NI-VISA 15.5 is the latest to support Windows 2003 R2 Server and Windows XP SP3. I hope you use R2 ans SP3 of those OSes anything else is even more ancient and insecure.


Rolf Kalbermatter
Averna BV
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And what I couldn't add to the last message, if the application you want to use on the XP computer uses the old GPIB API there are only three options that you can make it work on the XP computer:

 

1) rewrite the application to use NI-VISA instead. This is not rocket science but also not a simple copy and paste exercise. The two APIs are different enough that you need to really have an understanding what you are doing.

 

2) Install the GPIB board in the XP computer.

 

3) Buy a GPIB-ENET box instead and install that one, then you can access it from both the 2003 Server and the XP computer over the GPIB API.

 

But the last time I used the NI-488.2 API was somewhere around 2003 or so and that was with an instrument driver that was so crappy that I rewrote the entire thing with the VISA API and I never looked back since then.

Rolf Kalbermatter
Averna BV
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I have v5.0 of the NI-VISA driver installed on both machines, as packaged with v2.8 of the NI-488.2 driver installed on both machines.  v15.5 of the NI-488.2 driver (the latest version that supports Win Server 2003) broke the IIS 6.0 web server localhost on this machine (LAN side of it's ISA server), whereas v2.8 does not hence I cannot use the latest v15.5.

 

I have reviewed the list of ports used by the NI apps at this URL: 
http://www.ni.com/product-documentation/12402/en/

 

I have added only port 3537 to the ISA server as an allow rule for all protocols in both directions between the local server and clients on the internal LAN.

 

When adding a remote VISA system using the IP address of the Win 2003 Server on either the XP client or the Win 2003 Server itself, I get the following VISA error:

 

0xBFFF00A7 (VI_ERROR_MACHINE_NAVAIL)

viFindRsrc returned 0xBFFF00A7 (The remote machine does not exist or is not accepting any connections. If the NI-VISA server is installed and running on the remote machine, it might have an incompatible version or might be listening on a different port.)

Please make sure the VISA server is running on the remote machine at the correct port and that both this machine and the remote machine are plugged into the network.

Possible causes for this error:
1. The remote machine name may be incorrectly specified (either the name was misspelled or the wrong IP address was typed in).
2. The remote machine may not be turned on.
3. Either the local machine or the remote machine is not connected to the network.
4. There is a network configuration problem, such as an improperly assigned IP address, an incorrectly configured routing table, or a firewall between the local and remote machine.
5. The VISA server is running on a different port on the remote machine than what you have set for the remote machine in this computer's VISA Options remote tab.
6. The VISA server was started but is either suspended or is no longer running on the remote machine.

 

Do I need to add more ports to the ISA Server allow rule for the basic functionality of a logical GPIB adapter to work between XP and Win 2003 Server or is this some other problem?

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Solution
Accepted by topic author Bluesuede

I have arrived at the conclusion that this is a broken app on win 2003 server and that it's best to install the 488.2 driver and apps on workstation os only.

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