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Logging instrument usage

Many calibration applications require a certificate that shows the equipment
used in the calibration procedure. I would like to keep track of any instrument
that is used in a TestStand sequence. Rather than log all the equipment
in the rack, I only want to log the equipment that is actually used. I would
also like to make this transparent to the test developer. The basic idea
I have is to log an instrument every time a session is opened. Another idea
is to detect when an instrument handle is passed to a Labview or CVI module,
and log the information associated with that handle. Any ideas?

Mark Ireton
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I would suggest that you create a separate variable in TestStand for each type of instrument that you might use in your calibration application. When you create an instrument handle you can store that handle to its related variable in TestStand. All the instruments that were not used will have a value of 0 for their instrument handle variable in TestStand. Thus, your sequence could monitor which instrument handles have a non zero value and determine which instruments were used. I am sure there are many other ways that this could be implemented as well. Fortunately, when dealing with TestStand the question is not "Can this be done?" but "Which way should I implement it?"

Richard McDonell
National Instruments
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I'm not familiar with TestStand but with the instruments how much detail are you hoping to log per instrument that is used. One thing you could do is possibly always log the results of a "*idn?" query (or a similar query) when every instrument is initialized.

By putting this "logging" into the initialization you can build this into a step and keep it transparent to the test developer. If you're all using instrument drivers to communicate with the instruments then maybe making the change in the drivers themselves would be the best option since that wouldn't effect the test developers.

Just an idea.
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