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How to Configure a WLS-9163 in Ad-hoc Mode with a Supported C-Series Module in Windows XP

Publish Date: Feb 04, 2013 | 2 Ratings | 3.00 out of 5 |  PDF | Submit your review


A wireless ad hoc network is defined as “a temporary close range connection between wireless devices." An ad hoc Wi-Fi network allows you to communicate between two wireless devices without the need for a router or access point. For wireless data acquisition applications, this means you can communicate directly with a WLS-9xxx Wi-Fi DAQ device from your laptop or other wireless host. The following tutorial provides step-by-step instructions for configuring your computer and wireless DAQ device to use an ad hoc network configuration.

Table of Contents

  1. Materials Required
  2. Objective
  3. Basic Instructions
  4. Detailed Instructions

For easier, more reliable ad-hoc connection at a lower price, NI recommends the NI cDAQ-9191 Wi-Fi NI CompactDAQ chassis.

Note:  Ad hoc networking is no longer commonly used in home or office settings so not all personal computer hardware will work as anticipated in this mode.  As a result, it is suggested that the WLS-9163 be used on an infrastructure-based network (i.e. a network with a wireless router).  Also, ad hoc mode can only be used to communicate with one Wi-Fi DAQ device.  So, an infrastructure-based network should also be used for simultaneous communication with multiple devices.

1. Materials Required

  • NI WLS-9163, wireless DAQ sleeve. (NOTE: The name of the wireless sleeve changes to reflect the module which it contains.  For example, an NI WLS-9163 with an NI 9211 C-Series Module in it, is called an NI WLS-9211.)
  • A computer with a wired and a wireless network interface.
  • DAQmx 8.8 or 8.9 installed on your computer
  • A supported C-Series Module (NI-DAQmx 8.8 includes support for the NI 9211, 9215, 9234, 9237.  NI-DAQmx 8.9 expands the list of supported devices to NI 9421, 9472, 9581.)

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2. Objective

To connect your NI WLS-9163 Wireless DAQ Sleeve to your Windows XP computer via an ad hoc wireless network.

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3. Basic Instructions

  1. Add the WLS-9163 as a wired device in Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX).
  2. Create a wireless ad hoc network on the PC.
  3. Configure the computer to use a static IP Address on the new wireless ad hoc network.
  4. In MAX, appropriately configure the wireless settings of the WLS-9163.
  5. Unplug the Ethernet cable connecting the computer to the WLS-9163.
  6. In Windows, connect the PC to the created wireless ad hoc network.
  7. Refresh MAX.
  8. Test your connection with the MAX Test Panel.

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4. Detailed Instructions

1.  Using a regular (non-crossover) Ethernet cable, connect your WLS-9163 to the appropriate port on your computer.

2.  In the Windows Network Connections window (Start»Settings»Control Panel»Network Connections), make sure that the wired and wireless network connections are enabled on your computer

3.  Hold the Reset button on the WLS-9163 for 5 seconds

a.  From page 14 of the WLS-9163 user manual (372488A-01, August 2008), “When pressed for 5 seconds or longer, the STATUS LED turns on.  When released, the device reboots into Factory Default Mode, which returns the device user configuration to the factory-set defaults.”

4.  Open NI Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX)

a.  Expand the My System tree in the Configuration pane to Devices and Interfaces, NI-DAQmx Devices.

b.  Right-click NI-DAQmx Devices and select Find Network DAQmx Devices.

i.  This window will appear with your connected device in the list.

c.  Place a checkmark in the white box to the left of the Hostname of the device and click Add Selected Devices.

i.  The Adding Device window will appear while MAX adds a connection to your system.

d.  Single left-click on the new device in the Configuration pane of MAX to open its properties in the main window.

i.  The properties page should look similar to those seen below.

e.  Leave MAX as it currently is.  We will now begin to configure the Windows networking portion of this setup.  We will return to this window in MAX in a bit.

5.  In Windows Network Connections, Right-click Wireless Network Connection.

6.  Single Left-click on Properties.  The following window will open.

a.  If there is no Wireless Networks tab at the top, verify that you are in the Wireless Network Connection and that the interface is not disabled.  (You cannot change Wireless Networks settings when the interface is disabled.)

7.  Double-click on the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) entry.  You may need to scroll to the bottom of the list to see this.

8.  Make the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties window look like the one shown below.

a.  Note:  The IP address does not have to be the one specified, but it will work for this setup.

9.  Click OK on the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties window.

10.  Click Add on the Wireless Networks tab.

11.  Fill in the Network name (SSID) field with the network name of your choosing.  For this demo, we will create an open (no encryption) network.  Make certain that the bottom box is checked to create the ad hoc network.

12.  Since this network has no encryption, Windows will confirm you want to create the network.

a.  Before using this in the field (or any unprotected area), it is recommended to set the network up with some sort of encryption.

13.  Click on Advanced on the Wireless Network Connection Properties window.

14.  Select Computer-to-computer (ad hoc) networks only and click OK.

15.  Click OK on the Wireless Network Connection Properties window.

16.  We are ready to continue configuring the WLS-9163 in MAX.

17.  Click on the wireless tab on the WLS-9163 properties page in MAX.

18.  Select your country and place a check in the Radio On box.  (Note:  The country needs to be chosen because different countries use different frequencies to implement wireless networking.)

19.  Once the Radio is turned on, the following options will appear.  Fill in the fields marked with Red arrows.

a.  Note:  The Link Status should be as indicated in the image below because the wireless is not yet configured.

b.  Note:  Like the IP Address that we set on the computer earlier, the IP address does not have to be the one specified, but it will work for this setup.  The important part is that the two IP Addresses are NOT the same and have the same subnet mask.)

20.  Once all of the settings have been entered according to the above image, click Save Settings…

21.  MAX will ask if you want to apply these changes.  Click OK.

22.  Once the properties window refreshes, both the wired and wireless statuses will be up.

23.  Unplug the Ethernet cable that connects your computer to the WLS-9163 from your computer.

24.  As we did earlier, leave MAX as it currently is.  We will finish configuring the Windows networking portion of this setup.  We will return to this window in MAX in a bit.

25.  Right-click the Wireless Networking Connection in the Windows taskbar and select View Available Wireless Networks.

26.  The network that we created on the computer earlier will be in this list.  It may already be Connected, as is my WIRELESS_DAQ network.

27.  If your new network is not already connected, single left click the appropriate network and select Disconnect / Connect in the bottom, right corner of this window.

28.  Once this network is connected, we will return to MAX.

29.  Click F5 on your keyboard to refresh the properties window.

30.  The DAQmx Device icon should be green, as in the left-most circle in the below image.  The link status should be up for wireless.  The Wired link status may still be listed as up, even though the Ethernet wire is no longer connected.

31.  If the above image is NOT what you see on your computer, repeat the above steps until it is.

32.  If the above is what you see, your device is configured.  We are ready to test the connection and take some data.  Click on Test Panels…

33.  Click the green Play button on the Test Panel.

34.  MAX will begin collecting data.

a.  Unless you have a signal hooked up to the input you are reading, you will only see noise.  This is the case in the screenshot, below.


Congratulations!  You have successfully set up your wireless DAQ system.


Note:  If this does not work for your setup, try the steps outlined in the following KnowledgeBase article:  Error 50405: Connection timed out with a WLS/ENET-9163

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