Using Pickering cards in LabWindow/CVI Real-Time


Pickering VISA driver is compatible with LabVIEW™ RT and LabWindows/CVI RT, this article explains how to set up a LabVIEW RT target system to use the Pickering driver.

Setting up the RT target

First Steps

The target system must be set up as defined by National Instruments. This process is beyond the scope of this article, the user should refer to National Instrument documentation.

The user must copy the VISA system to the target since the Pickering drivers use VISA to communicate with the hardware. This is an optional selection in the LabView RT set-up process, when the LabView RT system has been created use NI's Measurement and Automation Explorer (MAX) to copy the VISA system to the target.

In order for the target system to recognise the Pickering cards on power-up, the Windows INF files must be copied to the target system to allow the VISA software system to recognise the cards.

Copying the INF files

NOTE: For the following steps, files from the pipx40 installation folder have to be copied to the target system. The installation folder is normally to be found in C:\Program Files\IVI Foundation\VISA\WinNT, on older systems it may be C:\VXIPNP\WinNT.

The Pickering INF files must be copied to the target system, this is easily performed using an ftp client. Some versions of MAX include the facility to transfer files to the target, the following example uses an external application, FileZilla, to perform the transfer.

Screenshot of FileZilla copying the INF files

Select all the INF files from the LabVIEW RT folder in the pipx40 installation folder and transfer these to the NI-RT\SYSTEM folder on the target RT system.

Close the ftp client.

Transferring the Pickering VISA driver pipx40 to the target

This file may be transferred from within the LabWindows environment, or using an ftp client.

From the LabWindows/CVI environment, select the menu item 'Run' and then 'Manage Files on Real-Time Execution Target'

Transferring pipx40 to the target

From the 'File Copy' dialog, select 'Add Files' and navigate to the location of the Pickering pipx40_32.dll driver file. This will be located in 'bin' folder of the the VISA installation folder.

bin folder of the VISA installation folder

Once this is added the 'File Copy' dialog should show the entry for the pipx40_w32.dll driver file.

File Copy window showing pipx40_w32.dll

Click 'Done' to exit.

After a re-boot of the target system, the Pickering cards should be visible from MAX.

Pickering cards visible in MAX

The target system is now ready to accept LabWindows/CVI RT programs.

The following code segment is a trivial program which opens a specified Pickering card and then randomly actuates 100 relays. Fore details of the driver and it's functionality, refer to the help files provided in the pipx40 installation folder.

Code activating 100 relays

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