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WLS-9163 fails to reconnect in wireless mode after reboot in a WLAN with non-broadcasting SSID

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Initial configuration is set by MAX using wired cable.  Wireless config is DHCP, with Infrastructure,  WPA-PSK.  I save the settings and unplug the wired connection.  Then I delete the original instrument from MAX's NI-DAQmx Devices list.  Then I do a "Find Network DAQmx Devices".  The wireless device is discovered and works (self test passes).  The WLS link indicator on the device is green.


Then, if I cycle power on the 9163, the WLS link never comes on.


This appears to be because my wireless LAN does not broadcast an SSID.  If I go to a neaby access point and turn on the SSID broadcast, the WLS Link LED comes on and MAX can see the device again.


Is there a way to make the 9163 connect to a  WLAN that doesn't broadcast an SSID?

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Message 1 of 11

Hi Burnt,

        You must broadcast an SSID for this device (this is part of the setup listed in the Getting Started Guide). If you broadcast an SSID and then do your configuration (by the way, there's no need to delete from MAX and then re-find), are you able to get the WLS Link light as soon as the device is turned on?  As well, please make sure that you are unplugging the device rather than hitting the "reset" button when you power cycle.  



Applications Engineer
National Instruments

Digital Multimeters
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Message 2 of 11

Hi Anita,


My last sentence says it all.  The WLAN this device needs to operate in does not broadcast its SSID.  If an SSID is being broadcast, there are no problems.  I would very much like the device to be able to connect to a non-SSID-broadcasting WLAN.


As an interim solution, I bought a WLAN router, disabled almost all of its features (DHCP, DNS, etc. and then wired one of it's local ports into the local LAN - a solution that's tedious at best.




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Message 3 of 11

Hi Burnt -


This does not sound like expected behavior to me. The WLS-9163 should be able to connect to a non-broadcasting SSID network. The network configuration profile is stored in non-volatile memory on the device. To prove it to myself, I just duplicated your setup with a WLS-9234 and an Netgear WGR614 v9. The device was able to reconnect to the non-broadcasting network after both a soft reset (through MAX) and a hard reboot (unplugging power and plugging it back in). 


Can you tell us a little bit more about your system?

1. What version of NI-DAQmx are you using? (8.9 is the latest)

2. What version of the firmware do you have on the WLS-9163 (Click the "Update Firmware" button in MAX and it will show you; the latest version is 1.1.0f2)

3. What wireless router/access point are you using? (make/model)

4. Is your WPA-PSK password at least 8 characters long?


Something else to try (from a trouble-shooting standpoint) would be to disable WPA-PSK on the network. Leave it open but disable SSID broadcast. Can the WLS-9163 connect in this instance.


Thanks in advance,

Charlie S.

Visit for step-by-step help in setting up your system
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Message 4 of 11

Hi Charlie, Anita,



DAQmx 8.9.0f4

WLS-9163 FW: 1.0.0f2   *** May be the problem.  Searching NI Drivers and Updates for WLS-9163 produces no results.  Where can I get the 1.1.0f2 you mentioned?

Wireless Router:  Netgear WGT624 (latest fw)

Passphrase is 12 characters long.


For what it's worth (Anita), if I have to configure the wireless mode the first time using a wired connection.  Once configured, I do have to delete the old (wired) device from the MAX device list before it will refind the wireless version.


OK, now for the experiments:

1. Netgear Router, WPA-Pers-PSK, SSID being broadcast

o  Reboot via MAX

o  wait 20 seconds, WLS indicator comes on

o  reconnect in MAX.

o  All is fine.


2. Following steps above:

o  Turn off SSID broadcast on router. (9163-continues to work just fine after WLS indicator blink)

o  Reboot 9163 via MAX

o  Wait forever - no WLS indicator on device, no connection from MAX.

o  Enable SSID broadcast  on Router

o  Wait 20 seconds

o  WLS indicator lights, MAX sees device again.


3. Use brand new Cisco WRT54G2 router:

o  Different SSID, same WPA-Pers-PSK, longer passphrase (54 characters), SSID broadcast.

o  Save new wireless settings from MAX

o  Reboot 9163

o  Wait 20 seconds

o  WLS lights

o  MAX can't find new version of wireless device - suspect it sees it but thinks it's the same as the currently listed one which it can't connect to (different IP now)

o  Delete old device from MAX, search for new

o  MAX finds device

o  All is well.


4.  Following steps above:

o  Disable SSID broadcast on Cisco Router

o  Can still talk with 9163

o  Reboot 9163 from MAX

o  Wait forever


o  Turn on SSID broadcast at Cisco router

o  9163 WLS LED on within router reboot time

o  All is well again


5.  Cisco router with SSID being broadcast, No security (Open/Disabled)

o  Talk to 9163 via MAX, all is well

o  Disable SSID broadcast on router

o  Note that WLS indicator blinks off momentarily

o  Still able to talk to 9163 via MAX

o  Reboot 9163 via MAX

o  Wait forever, etc.


The above experiments seem to confirm that the 9237 with FW version 1.0.0f2 cannot connect to a non-advertised 802.11g WLAN.  I'm really hoping that the firmware you noted is available somewhere.


OK, gotta get to work now...


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Message 5 of 11
Accepted by topic author Burnt Fingers

Hi Burnt -

First, thank you for the detailed notes. That helps a lot. You have the right version of DAQmx; now, we just need to upgrade the firmware. Here's how:

After you've added the device in MAX (preferably over an Ethernet connection), click the "Update Firmware" button:


You'll get a window that looks like this where you can see what version of the firmware you have. Click on the folder button to find the new firmware. It should default to a location on your harddrive that contains the file "ni9163fwROM.cfg"  (If that doesn't show up for some reason, you can find it here:C:\Program Files\National Instruments\NI-DAQ\fpgafiles\mionetwork\ni9163)



After the update starts, you'll watch a scrollbar window for about a minute or two. Then the device will auotmatically reboot. You may have to reconfigure your settings after the update.


As for the delete/readding that you've been doing. You shouldn't have to. After you set up the wireless, you should see an IP address in MAX on the wireless tab. If it's not there, click "Refresh" Now you can pull out the Ethernet cable and continue using the device. (If you want to convince yourself, click the "Refresh" button again and you'll see that the "Link Status" for the "Wired" connection is "down." )


I hope this helps. Let us know what happens. Thanks,

Message Edited by Charlie S. on 03-27-2009 11:53 AM
Charlie S.

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Message 6 of 11

Hi Charlie,


Thanks.  Firmware is upgraded.  Problem solved.  However, I still have some comments.


1.  How should I have known to upgrade the firmware?  When I first installed the device, I clicked the upgrade firmware button in Max and saw the version but did not click the folder button since I didn't have a clue where firmware might be.  I searched NI support downloads for the device number and found nothing....  If I'd found the file there, I would certainly have saved myself about thre hours of screwing around.


2. The thing about deleting and re-finding.  I was led astray by the MAX device display. If I switch from wired to wireless and save, it all works great.  It eventually reconnects and I can see the wireless IP, etc.  However, when I go back up to the device list (by clicking in the left pane), it shows my device with a little "X" icon instead of a circuit board.  Several refreshes didn't clear it.  I see now however, that after a long time (5 minutes), a refresh finally causes the device to be displayed with the circuit board icon.  The little X made me do the delete and find....


Anyway, thanks.  The device is able to connect to a non-advertised secure WLAN now.

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Message 7 of 11

Hi Burnt -


I'm glad to hear you got everything working. Your comments are 100% valid and appreciated. I am filing this as usability CAR (corrective action request) so that we may address them in a future release of the DAQmx driver. With our USB DAQ devices we're able to automate the firmware upgrade process (when it's necessary) - it becomes a little trickier when you talk about networks. Still, I agree we could make it clearer. As for #2, we already have that filed as a CAR, and I hope to have it corrected soon.


I will post the CAR numbers/IDs when I have them. In the meantime, please keep the feedback coming! You can also can also submit feedback like this directly to R&D here: Product Suggestion Center
Charlie S.

Visit for step-by-step help in setting up your system
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Message 8 of 11

Hey guys,

I am trying to set up my WLS9163 and I stumbled across this thread. I have been trying to update the firmware on my unit, but have not been successful. Whenever I try, the update, I am able to find the update file and I get the scrolling update bar. It apparently finishes and reboots, but when it comes back up, it still reads the firmware version as 1.0.0f2. 


I am running NI-DAQmx version 8.8. I would appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks.



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Message 9 of 11

Hi LUProf,


I think you need to get NI-DAQmx version 8.9.  I suspect the new firmware will come with that....

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Message 10 of 11