Instrument Control (GPIB, Serial, VISA, IVI)

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Agilent GPIB Beginner's Question

Hi there,

I have LabView 7.0 and NI-GPIB card. I also installed the instrument driver for Agilent E3436A, power supplier (driver is available for E343x only). I can see the equipment and also I did qurey and prase. All works fine. I think communication is no problem.

Now my question is how can I add my own VI to the existing driver VI? Say if I want euipment output voltage set to 5V from my VI?

Instrument driver VI has some terminal like
Output Terminal
VISA Session
dup VISA Session
and so on

How can I connect my VI to these terminal?

Also instrument driver contains initiate VI and close VI, what is the connection relationship?


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Are you sure it's not the E363x instead of E343x? Anyway, using an instrument driver is similar to using any of the other functions in LabVIEW. From front panel terminals, diagram constants, computation results, you wire to the input terminals of the driver VI. Ouputs of an instrument driver are wired to indicators or to other LabVIEW functions. Open one of the driver VIs and turn on Context Help. As you move over the terminals and indicators of the VI, you will see an explanation of each. For example, The VISA Session of HPE3631A Application Example. A VISA session in your case would be the GPIB address of the instrument, i.e. GPIB0::5. To set the voltage of the supply, you would need to wire a numeric to this input. Look inside one of the top level VIs to see how wiring is done and how some of the lower level functions are used.

The initialize VI does a couple of things. It first creates a VISA Session to the instrument, queries the id of the instrument, and does a reset. This is typically done only once at the beginning of a program. Close is usually done only once at the end and closes the VISA session. This frees the resource.

In the LabVIEW Bookshelf, there is a document called LabVIEW Measurements Manual. You should read chapter 16 to get the basics on using instrument drivers. You might also want to check the resources at The LabVIEW Learning Center. You can find information on classes, on-line tutorials, and books
Message 2 of 4
Thanks for the reply. You are correct it should be E343x.

I believe that I tried to wire it but was not success. I will read the book chapter you recommended. Since I am new to this only spent a few days and finished exes with no problem in Getting Started with LabView, not the last one since I do not have the DAQ board. If it is possbile can I have a screen shot to see how this wire really done. To me seems most of these terminal are inputs, specially I have no idea what should I connect to VISA Session and dup VISA Session. Sorry for asking dumb question.
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Like I said, open one of the top level VIs like HPE3631A Application Example. It shows controls connected to inputs of VIs. The VISA session is your GPIB address. You can wire dup VISA session output of one subVI to the VISA session of the next subVI. Just like wiring error out of one to error in of the next, this provides for data flow and eliminates the need to keep defining a visa session for each subVI.
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