Graphical programming support
|DataQuest Solutions provides Spectrum card drivers and example programs
for many of the most popular graphical programming environments currently sold.
These environments require little of no code programming and are designed for rapid
program development. All software described on this page have good display and
processing capabilities, including virtual operator panels and controls for the PC screen.
For very high mega-sample speeds, graphical programs are best operated in single-shot
mode to capture a series of data, then after undertake data processing. This can be done rapidly
and concurrently. For LabVIEW and latest generation Spectrum driver this
single-shot method is not normally required.
Should you require further advice on the choice and capabilities of different graphical programs when
operating with PC instrumentation please feel free to contact
As this is one of the most widely used programming interfaces within industry and research
a Spectrum card driver for LabVIEW has been available for many years.
This has been optimised to allow LabVIEW to receive data streaming from the installed
card across a PC bus so that signal acquisition (or working the opposite way for
waveform generation), can proceed without interruption. For all Spectrum hardware,
data can also be processed real-time whilst transfer is proceeding due to the
efficient data handing within the on-board memory. As well as raw data, data can
be sorted and normalized using as 16 bit integer or even completely recalculated to
voltage values using one of the Library card driver function Vi's. All Spectrum card
features and enhancements are available to the programmer as the Spectrum API is
supported without limitation.
With this driver a set of ready-made example Vi's are provided
and show many aspects Spectrum boards operation and associated function commands.
These Vi's are ready to edit to meet the desired programming structure.
Here is a short description of just some of the supplied examples:-
For signal capture (A/D) cards
- longacq_1channel.vi: This example shows how to make very long
captures up to the full extent of the on-board memory. The captured waveform
can be seen on screen and moved through in sample blocks using navigation buttons.
- stream_m3i.vi: Specifically designed for the M3i series
(though other series examples are available), this shows a method of continuous
signal acquisition with the data streamed real time from card to PC. Complete
with waveform display and buffer fill status indicator.
For arbitrary waveform generator (A/D) cards
- analog_standard_out.vi: This shows how to use the output functionality
of a waveform generator card. Standard waveform types are selectable e.g. sine,
but this example can be modified to read from the programmers own arbitrary
waveform data file.
For digital I/O cards
- digital_standard_out.vi: Generates static arrays of bits from
the output ports of the M2i.7000 series digital cards and may be modified to read logic
data from the programmers source. Also suitable for M2i.7200 series
pattern generator cards with programmable logic levels -2 to 10V.
- digital_scope.vi: Provides a simple scope/logic analyser display
of signals arriving at the digital inputs of the the M2i.7000 series digital
cards, including the 64 bit models and at all speeds.
- M2i LabVIEW Driver Manual
- M3i LabVIEW Driver Manual (use this for M4i / M4x too, as the examples are very similar)
Do you use National Instruments LabWindows/CVI™? Then please click here
to find more information on support for this programming package.
DASYlab provides one of the most intuitive programming solutions to date.
The point and click placement of modules makes this a popular choice for programmers
and non-programmers alike, with applications for displaying and processing produced
in just a few minutes. Set up of the hardware functions is easily done from an automatically
generated panel,(see image), so that sample rate, number of channels, triggers, ranges etc
are quickly entered.
The driver for the Spectrum cards integrates seamlessly with DASYlab versions 5.5 onwards.
The DASYlab driver uses the standard Spectrum driver as its base, so latest
card updates are easily applied. Both analogue and digital cards are
supported (not M3i series at this time), as are their functions,
plus many of the enhancement options such as synchronous digital inputs,
synchronised multiple cards and trigger time stamp.
With its flow chart structure Agilent VEE makes a popular choice for users with
some text programming experience but would prefer a faster way to complete projects,
without losing the flexible development environment they are used to. VEE's programming structure
lends itself well to data manipulation and the IF/THEN/ELSE in test sequencing. With the Spectrum
card driver the user can take advantage of this and much more, including the wealth of specialist
displays. VEE version 5 upwards is supported by Spectrum drivers for operating
systems Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, 1 (but do check that your version of VEE is supported
under a particular Windows platform).
Once the optional Spectrum driver for VEE has been installed the VEE gives access
to all the graphical programming functions required to easily initialise, set up
and operate the Spectrum card. Aspects such as assigned memory, sampling
rate, gain range etc. are easily accessed without code writing and multi-board operation
with synchronisation option allows cards of different operation (A/D, D/A and digital I/O)
to be combined. Captured data can be saved in the numerous formats that VEE supports
and array of results can be brought back into VEE worksheet for further sorting and analysis.
Examples are provided to help the programmer, such as
Scope4ch_ts_BaseXIO.vee shown in the image above.
This example shows signals from four channels on a scope type display, whilst
simultaneously time stamping all arriving acquisition triggers and monitoring
the digital I/O bit status on the Base XIO, an option that adds asynchronous digital
to a Spectrum A/D card.
|SUPPORTED HARDWARE, SOFTWARE AND OS PLATFORMS
||M2i / M3i / M4i cards and digitiserNETBOX. LabVIEW Version 2009 onwards.
Win XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10
||Supplied free of charge with the hardware
Can also be downloaded from here
||M4x / Mx / Mc, (PXIe, PXI and compact PCI cards). LabVIEW Version 2009 onwards. Win XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10
||Hardware driver (all types) for Agilent VEE and DASYlab. Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10
||By special order for large projects
Please call or e-mail us your requirement
Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10 and Excel are trademarks
or registered trademarks of the Microsoft Corporation
LabVIEW, DASYlab and LabWindows/CVI are trademarks of the National Instruments Corporation
MATLAB is a trademark of the MathWorks Corporation
VEE is a trademark for the Agilent.
© DataQuest Solutions Ltd 20.07.03 last modified 20.02.17
Images courtesy of Spectrum GmbH