Configuring a Tektronix Oscilloscope for Cross-over Ethernet

Publish Date: Aug 12, 2016 | 0 Ratings | 0.00 out of 5 | Print | Submit your review


This document describes how to set up and demonstrate an Ethernet-based instrument with a simple Ethernet cross-over cable. This is done using an RJ-45 cable, which lets you plug the two network ports together directly without needing a network hub.

A Tektronix 3054B Oscilloscope is used in this example, but all TCP/IP-based Ethernet instruments can be configured in a similar manner.

Configuring the Scope

The Tektronix scope can set its network address automatically through DHCP or BOOTP on a network such as that used by National Instruments. To create a simple, two-node private network, the TCP/IP information must be set manually.

To get to the Ethernet configuration on this scope, we navigate to Menu»System»I/O»Ethernet Network Settings, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

For a direct connection, turn off DHCP, and select Change Instrument Settings, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2.

Change Instrument IP Address, Gateway IP Address, and Subnet Mask to the numbers shown in Figure 2. There are a number of valid combinations for these addresses, but for the example in this document, addresses reserved for private networks are used.

On a Tektronix scope, use the up and down arrows to select the field to edit, and use the editing buttons along the bottom to enter new information. Use a rotating knob on the front panel of the scope to select the numbers you want to enter.

Click OK Accept to apply the changes. In this case, the IP address of the instrument is set to

Configuring your Computer

To configure a Windows XP computer to have IP address, it is necessary to get to the network configuration control panel. On some Windows operating systems, you can get to this by showing Properties under Network Neighborhood. On a typical Windows XP system, it’s under the Network Connections control panel as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3.

Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), click Properties, and you see the TCP/IP Properties dialog box as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4.

Turn off Obtain an IP address automatically, and switch to Use the following IP address. Be sure the IP address and Subnet mask match the numbers shown above.

Click OK on all open dialogs.


To verify that the cable is working correctly, we’ll use the built-in web server.

On the computer, open a web browser and go to as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5.

If the connection is successful, the cable and network configuration is verified.

In LabVIEW, the simple diagram shown in Figure 6 should return a typical response from the instrument.

Figure 6.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make a cross-over Ethernet cable?
10-Base-T (and 100-Base-T) use RJ-45 connectors. These are 8-wire connectors slightly larger than RJ-11 modular phone jacks. For Ethernet, pairs 1 and 2, and 3 and 6 are used. A cross-over cable maps the 1,2 pair on each end to 3,6 on the other end.

Can I use a standalone hub instead?
Yes. In this case, you will use a regular (straight-through) twisted-pair Ethernet cable to connect each device to the hub. Everything else is the same.

Can I connect three or more devices together?
Yes, but you must use a hub in this case. You can not daisy-chain the devices together. In the example above, you allocate the IP address to the third device, to the fourth, and so on.

Can I make a VISA Alias for my device so that it will show up in the LabVIEW VISA I/O control?
Yes. To do this, from Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX), right-click on Devices and Interfaces and select Create New as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7.

Select a TCP/IP Resource in the Create New dialog box as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8.

Enter the IP address of your instrument. In this case, it is The Tektronix scope is a VXI-11 device. Leave the LAN Device Name field blank. Click Next to continue.

Figure 9.

Name your alias. In this example MyScope is used, as shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10.

After completing these steps return to LabVIEW and see that MyScope now appears in the VISA I/O Control, as shown in Figure 11.

Figure 11.

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