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Creating Instrument Control Applications

LabVIEW 2013 Help

Edition Date: June 2013

Part Number: 371361K-01

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Instrument drivers include many component VIs for use in building an instrument control application. Wire the VIs together similar to a typical LabVIEW application.

Establishing Communication

The Initialize VI, the first instrument driver VI you call, establishes communication with the instrument. Additionally, it can perform any necessary actions to place the instrument in its default power on state or in another specific state. Generally, you need to call the Initialize VI only once at the beginning of an application.

Note  Use the resource name and resource name out terminals to connect the Initialize VI to subsequent VIs that interact with or close the instrument.

Interacting with the Instrument

The Configuration VIs are a collection of software routines that configure the instrument to perform the operation you want. Numerous Configuration VIs can exist, depending on the particular instrument. After you call these VIs, the instrument is ready to take measurements or to simulate a system.

The Action VIs initiate or terminate test and measurement operations, such as arming the trigger system or generating a stimulus. Action VIs are different from Configuration VIs because they do not change the instrument settings but order the instrument to carry out an action based on its current configuration. The Status VIs obtain the current status of the instrument or the status of pending operations.

The Data VIs transfer data to or from the instrument. Examples include VIs for reading a measured value or waveform and VIs for downloading waveforms or digital patterns to a source instrument.

The Utility VIs perform a variety of operations that are auxiliary to the most often used instrument driver VIs. These VIs include the majority of the instrument driver template VIs, such as reset, self-test, revision, error query, and error message. The Utility VIs might also include other custom instrument driver VIs that perform operations such as calibration or storage and recall of setups.

Closing the connection

The Close VI terminates the software connection to the instrument and frees system resources. Generally, you need to call the Close VI only once at the end of an application or when you finish communication with an instrument. Make sure that for each successful call to the Initialize VI, you use a matching Close VI to avoid maintaining unnecessary memory resources.

Error Handling

It is important to perform error handling in instrument control applications because there are several potential sources for errors.


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