Getting Started with the Pickering .NET Driver

The .NET driver offers a native .NET interface suitable for use in any .NET programming environment, such as C#, C++ or Visual Basic. Alone it is suitable for controlling our LXI products, but with the additional installation of the 'normal' PXI driver package it is also suitable for control of our PCI and PXI products.

Installation Procedure - .NET Driver

The driver is located on the distribution disk in the following location: Drivers_LXI\dotnet_setup.zip
or may be downloaded from the Pickering download website at: www.pickeringtest.info/downloads
The normal installation folder for the driver is: C:\Program Files\Pickering Interfaces\ClientBridge.NET SDK 1.1  This folder contains the drivers, plus documentation and example programs. The driver is rich in functionality and the user is advised to examine these items before attempting to program any cards.

Additional Installation Procedure - PXI/PCI Products

To control PXI/PCI products directly connected to the host PC PCI bus, the Direct I/O driver must also be installed. This may be installed either before or after the .NET driver.

Install pilpxi Direct I/O driver, this driver may be found on the distribution disk at the following location:  Drivers_PXI\setup.exe
During the installation select the option for the Direct I/O driver.

Adding the .NET driver to a Visual Studio Project

The .NET driver package must be added to Visual Studio before it may be accessed from a program, proceed as follows.

  1. Create a Visual Studio project in the normal way
  2. Add a reference to the Pickering .NET drivers

From the Project menu item, select Add Reference…
This will bring up the Add Reference dialog box as shown

gs_net_addref.jpg
external image clip_image002.jpg
Next, select the Browse tab

gs_net_browse.jpg
external image clip_image006.jpg Then use the controls to navigate to the installation folder for the Pickering .NET drivers, normally:

C:\Program Files\Pickering Interfaces Ltd\ClientBridge.NET SDK 1.1\MS.NET\Libraries
Select the libraries and click on OK.

gs_net_libraries.jpg
Note that for control of Pickering switch modules, both the Communications and the Piplx modules are required. The PowerSequencer module is only required for control of the Pickering Remote AC Power Management Switch (60-200).

Brief Instructions for Programming with the .NET Driver in C#

In C#, add the namespace of the driver to the program, and in the code, create an instance of the PiplxManager class and connect to the hardware. The example shown below connects to the PCI/PXI system by using an empty string in the Connect call instead of an IP address.
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Text;
 
using Pickering.Lxi.Piplx;
 
namespace test_dotnet_console
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            PiplxManager manager = new PiplxManager();
            manager.Connect("");

This example is the very minimum code required and omits many niceties such as error checking. More detailed examples are provided in the installation folder, including examples for specialist cards such as the precision resistor card.

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