Assemble Your CompactRIO System

A CompactRIO system consists of four main components: a real-time controller, a reconfigurable FPGA-based chassis, C Series I/O modules, and software. Your first step in setting up your CompactRIO system was installing LabVIEW, the LabVIEW FPGA Module, the LabVIEW Real-Time Module, and the NI-RIO driver on your development PC. This tutorial walks you through the assembly and connections necessary to begin configuring the network and other software settings on your CompactRIO system. You receive step-by-step instructions on the following:

  1. Connecting the chassis and controller
  2. Installing C Series modules
  3. Connecting network and power

Connecting the Chassis and Controller

CompactRIO comes in two form factors: integrated controller and chassis and modular. If you have an integrated controller and chassis system (cRIO-906x , cRIO-907x, or cRIO-908x ), then you can skip this section. For all other CompactRIO systems, follow the steps below:

  1. Ensure that there is no power connected to the controller.
  2. Slide the controller onto the chassis connector. Press firmly to ensure the chassis connector and controller connector are mated.
  3. Using a No. 2 Phillips screwdriver, tighten the two captive screws on the front of the controller to 1.3 Nm (11.5 in.-lb) of torque.

Installing a C Series Modules

Complete the following steps to install a C Series I/O module in the chassis:

  1. Make sure that no I/O side power is connected to the module. Because C Series modules are hot swappable, if the system is in a nonhazardous location, the chassis power can be on when you install modules.
  2. Align the C Series module with a module slot (4) in the chassis as shown above. The module slots are labeled 1 to 8, left to right.
  3. Squeeze the latches and insert the module into the module slot.
  4. Press firmly on the connector side of the C Series module until the latches lock the module into place.
  5. Repeat these steps to install additional I/O modules.

Connecting Network and Power

CompactRIO systems use Ethernet or Ethernet over USB for configuration and almost all communication back to the development computer. To connect directly to your computer, use the USB cable provided with your hardware, if it has a USB Device Port, or use a standard Category 5 (CAT-5), or better, shielded, twisted-pair Ethernet cable. To connect to an Ethernet network (hub or router), use a Ethernet cable.

Before wiring power:

Ensure that your DIP switches are in the OFF position. All DIP switches are in the OFF position when the chassis is shipped from NI. If your CompactRIO model does not have physical DIP switches, it has software switches instead, and the default software state is OFF for these settings. You can access these software DIP switches later in Measurement & Automation Explorer.

The controller has one layer of reverse-voltage protection. Complete the following steps to connect a power supply to the controller:

  1. Ensure the power supply is not energized (in other words, plugged into a power source) before connecting any wires.
  2. Remove the COMBICON power connector from the front of your CompactRIO system by loosening the two captive screws that hold it in place.
  3. Connect the positive lead of the power supply to the V1 or V2 terminal and the negative lead to one of the C terminals on the power connector that was shipped with your CompactRIO system.  Tighten the leads in the connector by turning the captive screws on the side of the connector and ensure the wires are snugly in place.
  4. Reattach the COMBICON connector to your CompactRIO system.
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