Instrument Control (GPIB, Serial, VISA, IVI)

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Can GPIB USB functions in place of an old PCI card?

 

 

Our lab has an old Varian optical spectroscopy instrument that connected to a PC via a PCI card. The old PC no longer functions, and we have now replaced it with a newer Dell PC. We bought an NI-GPIB- HS USB because the old PCI card would not fit into the new Pc's card slots. When we install the NI software it communicates properly with the Varian, however, the Varian's software (SpectrAA) does not find the NI-GPIB- USB. There is no way to change the configuration in the Varian software to find a USB device.

 

We were told by an NI representative that it is possible to use the NI software to configure the NI-GPIB USB so that it is recognized as a PCI card. In effect, the SpectrAA software should find the GPIB as if it were communicating with the old PCI card.

 

Unfortunately, we have not found any documentation on how to configure the GPIB USB  so that it functions properly.

 

I would be very pleased if someone could help us with this problem, we are completely stymied here.

 

Thanks for your help!

 

Best regards,

 

John

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intall "NI Measurement & Automation" , have a try then.

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@James Wang wrote:

intall "NI Measurement & Automation" , have a try then.


And what function in MAX is going to change a USB device to PCI?

 

 

LBA,

 

I've used ISA, PCI, PCMCIA, and USB and do not ever recall specifying or even caring about the bus type in my programs. Just the opposite. Why don't you turn on NI-Spy, do a capture, and attach it?

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Just to make sure: The old PCI card is a NI-GPIB ?
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Thank-you all for your replies.

 

Markus:  The old card was actually Varian's own card. (part number? PWB 50-101274-00) I suppose this could have something to do with why Varian's program does not find the new NI GPIB USB.

 

Dennis: I've attached the Spy file for you that was generated after pressing the 'Scan for Instruments' button in MAX. It does find the instruments, so the connection is fine to the instruments. The question remains why our SpectrAA software doesn't find it.

 

James: We already had MAX installed, and we were hoping to find some sort of way to reconfigure things so that the SpectrAA program would find the GPIB USB, but there just doesn't seem to be anything that would help.

 

A few other things came to mind that might have something to do with the problem:

 

1. We are running Windows XP pro on the PC (actually we have tried two different computers both with the same result), and  while the machine initially notifies that it has 'found a new USB device', the USB device does not show up in the 'my computer' window. Could it be that SpectrAA doesn't find it because it is somehow hidden?

 

2. THe old PC had Windows 98 on it. We have been told that the Varian program should run fine on XP, but perhaps this is another stumbling block.

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

best,

 

John

 

 

 

 

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It would seem the software uses low level GPIB functions that are the same as NI's but unless the card is an exact clone of NI's, there is no guarantee that an NI card is going to behave exactly the same. If the software vendor had been smart, they would have used VISA which is portable. The only option I see for you is to contact the vendor for an update or find a pc that you can fit the original card in.

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@LBA wrote:

2. THe old PC had Windows 98 on it. We have been told that the Varian program should run fine on XP, but perhaps this is another stumbling block.


 

Were you able to confirm that it should work in Windows XP with a National Instruments GPIB interface? I am not familiar with how the old Varian board was programmed, but it would only work with NI-488.2 if their API was compatible with that provided by NI-488.2.

 

Another possibility is that your application may rely on NI-488.2 for DOS to communicate. If this is the case, you will need to enable DOS mode support in Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX). You can find this option in MAX menu at Tools->NI-488.2->DOS Support.

 

-Jason S.

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@Dennis Knutson wrote:

It would seem the software uses low level GPIB functions that are the same as NI's but unless the card is an exact clone of NI's, there is no guarantee that an NI card is going to behave exactly the same. If the software vendor had been smart, they would have used VISA which is portable. The only option I see for you is to contact the vendor for an update or find a pc that you can fit the original card in.


I think the calls that were seen in NI-Spy were all from the Scan for Instruments in Measurement & Automation Explorer...maybe John can confirm whether he saw anything in NI-Spy when trying to run his Varian application.

 

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Does

this picture

show your your old card ? Then

this thread

might help you. If anyone translates it from italian.

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Translated via Google:

 

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=it&u=http://forums.ni.com/t5/Forum-Italiano-sui-Prodo...

 

-AK2DM

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"It’s the questions that drive us.”
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