I am completely new to LABVIEW programming and instrument Controls both. I want to acquire and save data from below mentioned instruments. Do I need to use the DAQ device or Instrument Control drivers? I want to acquire and save signals from most of them.
Can someone please help to make decision on which hardware setup I should choose?
You will need NI VISA installed. VISA is an abstraction layer to handle the communication buses. As far as your instruments, do some searching to see if you can find LabVIEW drivers for them. The first place to look is the Instrument Driver Network. If no luck there, look on the manufacturer's website. If still no luck, then you will have to develop your own driver using VISA to communicate with your instrument.
As far as buses being used, 2 of your instruments have to use RS-232. So I would recommend something like StarTech's ICUSB2324I, which has 4 RS-232 ports being controlled through USB (serial ports will show up as COM ports, which makes life really simple). The rest of your instruments I would just use the USB connections. But that puts us up to 5 USB ports being needed. So I would go with something like StarTech's ST7200USBM 7 port USB hub. I have used both of these devices with no issues.
Thank you for your response. It is really helpful. with NI VISA, can I acquire, save and continuously monitor data?
with NI VISA, can I acquire, save and continuously monitor data?
VISA just enables the communication with your instruments. You will have to write code to setup up the instruments, get measurements from them, and do whatever with the data (save, compare to limits, show in a chart, etc.).
If you go to Help-Find Instrument Driver .. you will find ready made drivers for some (most?) of your instruments. But I'm quite certain that they all will use the VISA Driver...
So NO, if you want to use LabVIEW and you want to communicate via RS232/USB/RS488(GPIB)/... the VISA driver is the tool to use.
I am convinced with VISA and the interface. I have recently added few more instruments:
1) MKS series 275 Convectron Vacuum Gauge
2) MKS 3000 sccm series M Mass Flow Controllers (MFC)
3) MKS series 999 quattro multi sensor Vacuum Gauge transducer
My aim is to acquire and read data from all of the above instruments. Which platform I should select for these instruments? - DAQ or VISA?
DAQ or VISA?
They are completely different tools. DAQmx is for using NI's Data Acquisition boards/modules. VISA is for communicating with instruments and other devices over RS-232, USB, Ethernet, etc.
So you will be communicating with these instruments using VISA.