Setup Guide for Ethernet RIO Expansion Chassis

Publish Date: Feb 15, 2019 | 14 Ratings | 4.43 out of 5 | Print | Submit your review

Overview

The NI 9146, NI 9147, NI 9148, and NI 9149 Ethernet RIO expansion chassis allow you to easily add NI C Series mixed-signal-conditioned I/O to any Ethernet network. The chassis can be added as a stand-alone target to a Windows-based system or used as remote expansion I/O for systems based on NI LabVIEW Real-Time such as NI CompactRIO or NI PXI—just connect over Ethernet and instantly obtain access to C Series I/O in your LabVIEW host program. The integrated Xilinx FPGA works with the NI RIO Scan Interface for ease of use as well as the LabVIEW FPGA Module for advanced analysis, control, and synchronization.

This document walks through the process of setting up and using your NI 9149 Ethernet RIO expansion chassis, but the process is nearly identical for the NI 9146, NI 9147, and NI 9148. Topics covered include required software on the development machine, installing software on Ethernet RIO, configuring network settings, and creating your first LabVIEW project with the Ethernet RIO target.

Table of Contents

  1. Required Software for the NI 9149
  2. Required Software for the NI 9147
  3. Required Software for the NI 9148
  4. Required Software for the NI 9146
  5. Setting Up the Hardware
  6. Configuring Your Hardware
  7. Installing Software on Your Ethernet RIO Expansion Chassis
  8. Programming Your Ethernet RIO Expansion Chassis

1. Required Software for the NI 9149

  1.  LabVIEW 2014 or later
  2. LabVIEW 2014 FPGA Module1 or later
  3. NI-RIO 14.0 or later

Note: Software should be installed in the order listed.

1LabVIEW FPGA is only necessary if you plan to write your own field-programmable gate array (FPGA) program for the FPGA target in the NI 9149. Use of the Scan Mode Interface is possible without the LabVIEW FPGA Module.

 

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2. Required Software for the NI 9147

  1.  LabVIEW 2014 SP1 or later
  2. LabVIEW 2014 SP1 FPGA Module1 or later
  3. NI-RIO 14.5 or later

Note: Software should be installed in the order listed.

1LabVIEW FPGA is only necessary if you plan to write your own field-programmable gate array (FPGA) program for the FPGA target in the NI 9147. Use of the Scan Mode Interface is possible without the LabVIEW FPGA Module.

 

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3. Required Software for the NI 9148

  1. LabVIEW 2010 or later
  2. LabVIEW 2010 FPGA Module1 or later
  3. NI-RIO 3.5.1 or later

Note: Software should be installed in the order listed.

1LabVIEW FPGA is only necessary if you plan to write your own FPGA program for the FPGA target in the NI 9148. Use of the Scan Mode Interface is possible without the LabVIEW FPGA Module.

 

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4. Required Software for the NI 9146

  1. LabVIEW 2011 or later
  2. LabVIEW 2011 FPGA Module1 or later
  3. NI-RIO 4.0 or later

Note: Software should be installed in the order listed

1LabVIEW FPGA is only necessary if you plan to write your own FPGA program for the FPGA target in the NI 9146. Use of the Scan Mode Interface is possible without the LabVIEW FPGA Module.

 

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5. Setting Up the Hardware

In this section, we walk through the steps to set up the hardware for the NI 9149 Ethernet RIO expansion chassis. The steps detailed in this tutorial are the same for the NI 9148 Ethernet RIO expansion chassis, the NI 9147 Ethernet RIO expansion chassis, and the NI 9146 Ethernet RIO expansion chassis with the exception of the minimum software requirements detailed above.

Installing 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. Due to the hot-swappable ability of the C Series module, 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 in the chassis as shown in the figure below. 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 Ethernet and Power

Ethernet RIO systems use Ethernet for all communication and configuration back to the development or host PC. To connect to an Ethernet network (hub or router), use a standard Category (CAT-5) or better shielded, twisted-pair Ethernet cable, or use an Ethernet crossover cable to connect the chassis directly to your development computer. For the NI 9149 and NI 9147, you can used the USB device port to connect the chassis to your PC instead of an Ethernet cable. This is discussed in more detail in the document titled Ethernet Over USB Connection for Simplified Target Configuration, Debugging, and Maintenance.

 

Before wiring power, ensure that your dip switches are in the OFF position (NI 9148 only). All dip switches should be in the OFF position when the chassis is shipped from National Instruments.

  1. Ensure the power supply is not energized (in other words, not plugged into a power source) before connecting any wires.
  2. Remove the COMBICON power connector from the front of your Ethernet RIO chassis by loosening the two captive screws that hold it in place.
  3. Connect the positive lead of the power supply to the V terminal (NI 9149, 9147, and 9146) or to the V1 or V2 terminal (NI 9148), and the negative lead to one of the C terminals on the power connector that was shipped with your Ethernet RIO chassis. 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 Ethernet RIO chassis.

 

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6. Configuring Your Hardware

  1. Disable secondary network interfaces, such as the wireless access card on a laptop. For initial setup, National Instruments software searches for your NI CompactRIO system through the primary network interface on your computer. Disabling all additional network interfaces ensures that your CompactRIO system is easy to find on the network.
  1. Open Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX) by going to Start»All Programs»National Instruments»Measurement & Automation and expand Remote Systems. You should see your Ethernet RIO system in the list. By default, your reconfigurable I/O (RIO) system will either acquire a network address via DHCP if it is supported on your network, or if you are connected directly to your PC via a cross over cable, it will assign a link local address.

If you do not see your system, follow the steps outlined in the document titled Troubleshoot When NI CompactRIO Does Not Appear in Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX).

 

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7. Installing Software on Your Ethernet RIO Expansion Chassis

Your Ethernet RIO chassis should be configured with a valid IP address and the correct software should be installed on your development computer by this point. The status light on your Ethernet RIO chassis should be repeatedly blinking twice. This indicates that a valid IP address is assigned, but there is no software installed on the controller.

  1. Expand the Ethernet RIO item under Remote Systems, right-click on the Software item, and select Add/Remove Software.

  1. For the NI 9149, you must log into the device to install software. Use the default user name and password combination to log in: username - admin, password - <blank>.

 

  1. Select the most recent NI-RIO Recommended Software Set (RSS) and click Next. Continue clicking Next until the software install wizard begins installing software on the controller. The process of installing software can take a few minutes, so feel free to go grab a cup of coffee or check your email while the wizard completes the install process. 

 

  1. Once the software installation process has completed, click the Finish button and close MAX. Your Ethernet RIO system will now reboot. After it has finished rebooting, your system is ready to program and use.

 

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8. Programming Your Ethernet RIO Expansion Chassis

  1. Start by opening LabVIEW and clicking Create Project in the LabVIEW Getting Started screen. Then select Blank Project in the Create Project window.

  1. Right-click the Target in the project tree and select New»Targets and Devices…

 

  1. Double-click on the Ethernet RIO folder, select your chassis, and click OK.

  1. The next window asks you to select your programming mode. If you have the LabVIEW FPGA Module, you have the option to use the LabVIEW FPGA Interface. This is the more powerful and flexible way to interface with your RIO hardware. However, without the LabVIEW FPGA Module you can use the Scan Interface Mode. Click on the mode you want to use and click Continue.

Continue to the programming with the Scan Interface section of this tutorial.

Continue to the programming with FPGA Mode section of this tutorial.

 

Programming Your Ethernet RIO Chassis With the Scan Interface

  1. Your Ethernet RIO chassis is now added to the project. Expand the Ethernet RIO item and the chassis item in the project tree to see your available modules. Expand a module item to see the available I/O channels. Your project should now look similar to the image below.

  1. Click Save and save your project in a location where you can find it again. 

    Now you will create a simple LabVIEW program referred to as a VI, or virtual instrument, that will access the Ethernet RIO I/O across the network from your Windows machine.
  2. Right-click My Computer in the project tree and select New»VI to add a new VI to your project.

  1. Navigate to the block diagram and add a While Loop from the functions palette. Then drag and drop an I/O Scan Variable from the project tree into the While Loop. Create an indicator for your I/O variable and ensure that a Stop control is wired to the loop condition. Your block diagram should look similar to the image below.

  1. Save your VI and click the Run Arrow from your front panel. You are now accessing I/O from your NI 9149 chassis across the network from your development PC using the Scan Mode Interface.

Programming Your Ethernet RIO Chassis in FPGA Mode

  1. Your Ethernet RIO chassis is now added to the project. Expand the Ethernet RIO item, the chassis item, and the FPGA Target in the project tree to see your available modules. Expand a module item to see the available I/O channels. Your project should now look similar to the image below.

  1. Click Save and save your project in a location where you can find it again. 

    Now you will create a LabVIEW FPGA VI that will be compiled to the FPGA target on your Ethernet RIO. From there, you will create a Host VI that will run on the PC and communicate with the FPGA VI on the Ethernet RIO FPGA Target.
  1. Right-click the FPGA Target in the project tree and select New»VI to add a new FPGA VI to your project.

  1. Navigate to the block diagram and add a While Loop from the functions palette. Then drag and drop an I/O Node from the project tree into the While Loop. Create an indicator for your I/O Node and ensure that a False constant is wired to the loop condition. Your block diagram should look similar to the image below.
  1. Save your VI and click the Run arrow from your front panel. This launches the FPGA Compiler, which compiles your FPGA VI for the FPGA Target.
  1. While the FPGA VI is compiling, we can work on the Host VI. Right-click My Computer in the project tree and select New»VI to add a new Host VI to your project.

  1. Navigate to the block diagram and add a While Loop from the functions palette. Then add the Open FPGA VI Reference, Read/Write Control, and Close FPGA VI Reference functions into the While Loop and wire them as seen in the image below.

  1. Right-click on the Open FPGA VI Reference and select Configure Open FPGA VI Reference. Select the VI radio button and browse to your FPGA VI. This points your Host VI to your FPGA VI that is running on the FPGA Target.

  1. Save your VI and click the Run arrow from on the front panel of your Host VI. You are now accessing I/O from your Ethernet RIO chassis across the network from your development PC using FPGA programming.

Note: When referencing an Ethernet RIO Expansion Chassis FPGA VI from another RIO target's RT VI, you will need to specify the Ethernet RIO Expansion Chassis resource name in the Open FPGA VI Reference. The resource name will be a constant value of the format: rio://<xxx.xxx.xx.xx>/RIOX


Related Links

View NI 9149 Pricing and Specifications

View NI 9147 Pricing and Specifications

View NI 9146 Pricing and Specifications

View NI 9148 Pricing and Specifications

Configure an NI CompactRIO System

Learn More About Ethernet RIO

Download the Latest NI-RIO Driver

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