Provisioning a Real-Time Controller or USRP Stand-Alone Device for LabVIEW Communications

Publish Date: Oct 11, 2018 | 0 Ratings | 0.00 out of 5 | Print | Submit your review

Overview

This article explains the process of provisioning a PXI Controller or USRP Stand-Alone Device for Real-Time use with LabVIEW Communications 2.0 and 2.1. This is only necessary in cases where the device you plan to use was not obtained with the LabVIEW Communications Real-Time image pre-installed.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Host PC Software Installation
  3. Chassis Firmware Update
  4. Controller BIOS Update – PXIe-8135 or PXIe-8880
  5. Install LabVIEW Communications Real-Time Image
  6. Additional Resources

1. Introduction

The following process is required to upgrade your current PXI Real-Time system or USRP Stand-Alone Device for use with LabVIEW Communications 2.0 and 2.1 only. It is not for use with non-LabVIEW Communications applications. Some of the changes listed, such as BIOS updates, may not be reversible.

National Instruments recommends contacting your local Sales representative to discuss replacement options before attempting this procedure. Additionally if you have questions, or are unsure of any of the following steps, please contact your local National Instruments support group for assistance.

 

Required Files

For PXI:

  • PXI Chassis Firmware - 15.1.0 or later for select chassis
  • PXI Controller BIOS - 1.3.0 or later
  • LabVIEW Communications Real-Time Image

For USRP Stand-Alone Devices:

  • LabVIEW Communications Real-Time Image

Note: For provisioning USRP Stand-Alone Devices, proceed directly to the section titled Install LabVIEW Communications Real-Time Image.

 

Supported Hardware

For a list of supported hardware for use as Real-Time Controllers, refer to LabVIEW Communications System Design Suite Real-Time Hardware Compatibility

 

Additional Hardware

  • Monitor
  • Keyboard
  • Empty USB Storage Device

Note: If you would like to request a USB Storage Device with the Real-Time image already configured, please contact your Sales representative and reference the following part number: 784953-35.

 

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2. Host PC Software Installation

If you are migrating a PXI system that uses a PXIe-1085 chassis, some additional software is required to update the chassis firmware. This software must be installed on the host & Real-Time target, and these steps must be take prior to installing the LabVIEW Communications Real-Time image. If you are not using this chassis, skip to the Controller BIOS Update – PXIe-8135 or PXIe-8880 section of this document.

  1. Install LabVIEW 2015 SP1 or later and LabVIEW Real-Time 2015 SP1 or later.
  2. Download and install PXI Platform Services 15.1 or later.
  3. Open NI MAX and find your PXI system under Remote Systems.
  4. Right-click on the system and click Format Disk.
  5. Select Attempt to restart into safe mode, and select the Reliance file system. 
  6. (Optional) If your computer is not on the same subnet as the PXI system or the PXI system is using a static IP address, it is recommended to select the radio button for Preserve the settings for all network adapters.
  7. Click Format. This will wipe all user data and user-selected software from the hard drive of the system.
  8. After the format is complete, expand the system to view Software and Devices and Interfaces under the target. 
  9. Right-click Software and select Add/Remove Software.
  10. Select NI PXI Platform Services from the list of available software, all of its dependencies will automatically be selected.
  11. Click Next twice to begin the software installation.
  12. Close NI MAX once the installation completes.

 

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3. Chassis Firmware Update

If you are using a PXIe-1085 chassis, follow these instructions. If you are not using this chassis, skip to the next section of this document.

Note: The firmware update is not required for the PXIe-1085 24 GB/s chassis.

  1. Download and save the firmware for your chassis.
    PXI Chassis Model Firmware
    PXIe-1085* NI PXIe-1085 Chassis Firmware 15.1.0f0
    *The firmware update is not required for the PXIe-1085 24 GB/s chassis. 
  2. Open NI MAX with administrator privileges (right-click >> Run as administrator...) and find your PXI system under Remote Systems.
  3. Expand the system to view Software and Devices and Interfaces under the target.
  4. Expand Devices and Interfaces.
  5. Select the PXI chassis and go to the Settings tab.
  6. Click the Update Firmware button.
  7. Browse to the correct firmware version for your chassis and click Open.
  8. When the Update Firmware dialog launches, click Begin Update.
  9. Enter system credentials if prompted.
  10. DO NOT RESTART OR POWER DOWN YOUR SYSTEM UNTIL THE FIRMWARE UPDATE IS COMPLETE. Doing so could put the system in an unusable state and could require RMA.
  11. You will see a status bar appear at the top of the MAX window. After a few moments, a dialog box should appear. 
    • If the dialog states "The firmware update completed successfully", power cycle the remote controller. The power cycle will require a proper shut down. After shut down, a disconnect of the AC power from the back of the chassis will be required after the system has successfully been shutdown properly.
    • If the dialog states that an issue occurred, record the error number/message and contact National Instruments Support.

 

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4. Controller BIOS Update – PXIe-8135 or PXIe-8880

If your system contains a PXIe-8135 or PXIe-8880 controller, follow these steps. You will need a monitor and keyboard connected to the PXI controller to complete this section, and an empty USB storage device. You will also need to download and extract the BIOS files for your specific controller.

Warning: The LabVIEW Communications BIOS versions do not support the installation of a Windows or PharLap Operating System. Only proceed with this guide if you do not need your controller to be used with any other Operating System aside from the LabVIEW Communications Real-Time Images. If you end up in a state where reverting to the older BIOS is absolutely necessary, contact NI Support.  

  1. Download and save the BIOS update for your PXI Chassis.
    PXI Controller BIOS Version
    PXIe-8135 NI PXIe-8135 1.3.0f0 BIOS for LabVIEW Communications 2.0 Real-Time – USB Drive Image
    PXIe-8880 NI PXIe-8880 1.3.0f0 BIOS for LabVIEW Communications 2.0 Real-Time – USB Drive Image
  2. Follow the instructions for updating a PXI controller BIOS as outlined in Determining and Upgrading PXI and VXI Embedded Controller BIOS Versions.
  3. When finished, the system will boot into the BIOS. Ensure the new BIOS Version is listed in the BIOS menu.
  4. Navigate to the Boot menu and ensure LabVIEW RT Operating System is set to PharLap ETS and Boot Configuration is set to LabVIEW RT.
  5. Press F10 to save and exit.

 

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5. Install LabVIEW Communications Real-Time Image

Finally, you will need to install the LabVIEW Communications Real-Time image which includes the NI Linux Real-Time x64 operating system. You will need a monitor and keyboard connected to the PXI Controller or USRP Stand-Alone Device and an empty USB memory device to complete this section. Alternatively, if you purchased a USB device with the Real-Time image already installed you can skip to the Installation section below.

 

Configuring the USB Storage Device (Optional)

  1. Download the LabVIEW Communications Real-Time image for your version of LabVIEW Communications.
    LabVIEW Communications Version Real-Time Image
    LabVIEW Communications System Design Suite 2.0 LabVIEW Communications 2.0.1 Real-Time Target Image
    LabVIEW Communications System Design Suite 2.1 LabVIEW Communications 2.1.1 Real-Time Target Image

    Note: NI recommends using the latest version of the LabVIEW Communications Real-Time Target Image for your version of LabVIEW Communications as linked in the table above.
  2. Download & Install a third-party boot utility on your Windows computer. There are many free third-party software options that enables the creation of bootable USB media, such as Rufus. The rest of this guide assumes the use of Rufus.
  3. Insert your USB key into your Windows computer.
  4. Set the following options (available options may vary based on boot utility used):

      Device: Select the USB key you wish to make bootable
      Partition Scheme and target system type: MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI
      File System : FAT32
      Cluster Size : 4096 bytes
      New Volume Label : NIRECOVERY
      Check device for bad blocks: Unchecked
      Quick Format : Checked
      Create Bootable Disk Using : ISO –  the Real-Time Target Image file for your version of LabVIEW Communications
      Create extended label & icon files: Unchecked
  5. Click Start. When prompted, select  Write in ISO Image Mode and click OK.
  6. Wait for the format and configuration to complete.
  7. Click Close and safely eject the USB key from your computer.

 

Installation

  1. Insert the USB key into your PXI Controller or USRP Stand-Alone Device.
  2. Power off the PXI Controller or USRP Stand-Alone Device.
  3. Power on the PXI Controller or USRP Stand-Alone Device. As the PXI Controller or USRP Stand-Alone Device reboots, continuously press the Delete key on the keyboard until the device boots into the BIOS menu.
  4. Navigate to the Advanced menu, and enable Legacy USB Support by pressing the F9 key to "Enable Optimized Defaults." Note that this step may have already been completed if you followed other sections of this document.
  5. Press F10 to save and exit.
  6. As the device reboots, continuously press the F10 key on the keyboard until the PXI Controller or USRP Stand-Alone Device boots into the boot options menu.
  7. Select UEFI listing of the USB key inserted in step 6. Press Enter to boot from the USB key.
  8. Wait for NI Linux Real-Time to load. The boot style should now display EFI.
  9. You will be prompted to provision the target. Press y on the keyboard and follow the onscreen instructions.
  10. When prompted, remove the USB drive and then reboot the controller by following the onscreen prompts.
  11. The system will reboot into NI Linux RT run-mode.
  12. LabVIEW Communications System Designer can now detect your system.

 

Notes:

  • By default, the real-time system has the user name root and a blank password.
  • At this time dual-boot of this image of NI Linux RT on PXI is not supported. NI recommends keeping a separate physical hard drive for each OS install and swapping out these hard drives as needed.

 

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6. Additional Resources

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