How to setup MAX to use Pickering Switches with NI Switch Executive

The Pickering Interfaces IVI installation pi40iv.msi places an example driver session (pi40ivSample) into the MAX configuration (see picture below). There is also an entry in the Instrument Driver Software Modules folder (pi40iv). All created devices for PI switch modules will relate to these entries. Each instrument used must have a valid resource descriptor in the Hardware Assets folder or the "Simulate with" entry field is set to "Specific Driver" otherwise an error will occur when creating a Switch Executive Virtual Device.

Example of Driver Sessions shown

The easiest way to setup MAX for Pickering Interfaces switch modules is to Create a New Driver Session and copy, paste and change the appropriate fields from pi40ivSample. This will be described on the following pages. Repeat the described Step 1 to Step 5 for each module to be inserted into the MAX configuration.

Creating new session

Renamed new sessions

In the drive's general tab the most important entry is the model description: Model:40-548-001;

In the driver's hardware tab a hardware asset with the exact resource description for each module has to be selected. If required create a new asset and change the descriptor.

Changing the resource descriptor

In the driver's software tab select the pi40iv as the necessary software module

Selecting pi40iv as the necessary software module

Step 2

Create New Logical Names by right clicking the Logical Names folder. A driver session for the logical name has to be selected in the consecutive window. These logical names will appear in the later defined Switch Executive Virtual Device.

Creating new logical names

Step 3

Create New Switch Executive Virtual Device by right clicking the Switch Executive Virtual Device folder. Add all necessary devices from the list. All system modules which have to be interconnected must be listed in one device.

Creating new logical names

Step 4

Edit the IVI channel alias names, check the channels which will be reserved for routing (usually the y-channels). In the example no exclusion are defined.

Editing IVI channel alias names

Step 5

Edit Routes and Route Groups as your connections require.

Editing routes and route groups


Launch TestStand. Create a simple test sequence with one test step. Right click the test step and select Properties. In the Switching tab the required switching can now be selected.

Properties in TestStand


It is not really a simulation, it's just to avoid errors when the driver talks to the hardware which is not there... As the simulation for switching is actually the simulation of a selftest, returning an error number or returning the module revision it would not make sense to create a simulation device.

In the MAX module driver session section, select in tab General Simulate with "Specific Driver" instead of "don't simulate" (all modules in the virtual device have to be changed like that), then whenever switching is performed no error will popup.

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