NI LabVIEW RIO Evaluation Kit FAQ

Publish Date: Jun 27, 2013 | 5 Ratings | 2.80 out of 5 |  PDF

Overview

The LabVIEW RIO Evaluation Kit includes all you need to experience the NI graphical system design approach for embedded systems. This approach combines LabVIEW system design software and standard FPGA-based NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) hardware platforms to reduce time to market for embedded control and monitoring applications.

The kit includes an extended evaluation of the LabVIEW FPGA and LabVIEW Real-Time modules; an NI RIO evaluation device; a daughterboard for easy I/O interfacing; a step-by-step tutorial; and numerous fully documented, ready-to-run examples of common embedded tasks implemented in LabVIEW.


Figure 1. Use the LabVIEW RIO Evaluation Kit to experience embedded design with LabVIEW system design software and the NI RIO hardware platforms.

If you don't yet have a LabVIEW RIO Evaluation Kit visit ni.com/rioeval to learn more about how to purchase one.

Table of Contents

  1. NI LabVIEW RIO Evaluation Kit FAQ
  2. Next Steps

1. NI LabVIEW RIO Evaluation Kit FAQ

Using the Included Ethernet Cable

Where should I connect the included Ethernet Cable?

The easiest way to connect to the RIO evaluation hardware (also referred to as the target) is via a local network with a DHCP server.  If you're connected to a network in your home or office, there is likely a DHCP server on the network which automatically assigns IP addresses to connected network devices.  

If this describes your network configuration, simply use the included Ethernet cable to connect the target to a router or switch on the same network as your Windows development PC. This will allow the target to receive an IP address from your DHCP server automatically. If this does not describe your network configuration, see the next section.

Configuring a Static IP Address

A network with DHCP is not available to me.  How else can I connect to my evaluation hardware?

If the DHCP connection method described above is not available, you may connect the RIO evaluation hardware directly to your computer and follow the steps below to manually configure a static IP address. If your Windows PC has only one Ethernet port, this will require disconnecting from whatever network your computer was previously on. It is not advised to have more than one network interface card with hardware directly connected.

While many Ethernet cards feature Automatic Crossover which makes it possible to achieve this type of connection via a standard Ethernet cable (included), some require a special crossover cable for this (not included).If you are unsure whether your Ethernet card features Automatic Crossover, check your Ethernet card's specifications. It may be referred to as Automatic MDI/MDI-X, Auto Uplink and Trade, Universal Cable Recognition or Auto Sensing. Or simply try using the included Ethernet cable and see if it works.

Once the RIO evaluation hardware is directly connected to your PC, plug in the power supply and follow these steps to configure a static IP address:

  1.  Open Control Panel.
    • Windows XP/Vista/7 default start menu: Start » Control Panel
  2. View Network Connections.
    • Windows XP: select Network Connections
    • Windows Vista/7: select Network and Sharing Center
  3. Open Local Area Connection Properties.
    • Windows XP: Right-click Local Area Connection and select Properties
    • Windows Vista/7: Click Local Area Connection, then select Properties
  4. Open Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties.
    • Windows XP: Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) from the list, then select Properties
    • Windows Vista/7: Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) from the list, then select Properties

      Note: if configuration fails with this selection, you may need to configure Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) instead.
  5. Configure Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties.
    • Windows XP/Vista/7: Select Use the following IP address: and enter the following values for your laptop’s configuration (leave the rest blank):
      IP address: 10.0.0.1
      Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
  6. Select OK and close the Local Area Connection Properties window.
  7. Continue the installation process outlined here and in the printed step-by-step quick start guide in your kit. Launch the LabVIEW RIO Evaluation Kit Setup Utility from Start»All Programs»National Instruments»LabVIEW RIO Evaluation Kit.
  8.  While using the National Instruments LabVIEW RIO Evaluation Setup Utility, on Step 4 you should be prompted to configure the target's network settings. In the Manual section, type the target’s static IP address and Subnet Mask as shown below and click Manual IP.
    IP address:
    10.0.0.2
    Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
    DNS IP: 0.0.0.0
    Default Gateway: 0.0.0.0
  9. The target should now have an acceptable static IP address, allowing you to continue through the Setup Utility.
  10. If you have any issues with the setup utility, the target static IP address can also be configured in NI MAX (Start»All Programs»National Instruments»NI MAX).
    • Click on Remote Systems
    • In the Help tab on the right side of the screen, click on Set up my system for the first time and open the LabVIEW Real-Time Target Configuration Tutorial for steps to configure your network settings.

Installing Evaluation Software

What will be installed when I run the DVD installer?

The LabVIEW RIO Evaluation DVD will install 90-day extended evaluations of National Instruments LabVIEW, LabVIEW FPGA and LabVIEW Real-Time, the NI-RIO driver, the LCD Character Display Driver, and a setup utility for configuring the evaluation hardware. 

What else is on the DVD?

In addition to the installer, the LabVIEW RIO Evaluation DVD contains a tutorial, exercises, and additional getting started resources. These files are automatically copied to your computer when you run the DVD installer, but are accessible on the DVD if you ever need to restore your files.

I already have licensed version(s) of LabVIEW on my computer. Will this installer conflict with my licenses?

The evaluation licenses included in this installer should not override existing licenses unless they are evaluation licenses of a shorter duration. In other words, if you have activated versions of National Instruments software, they should not be affected by installing this kit. If you already have evaluation licenses of National Instruments software with a shorter duration, they will be extended by this installer.

If you have an existing LabVIEW development license that is a version later than the evaluation software included with the kit (currently LabVIEW 2012 SP1) and you ran the setup utility, then you may need to reinstall your NI-RIO driver after the LabVIEW installation.

My evaluation software has expired. How do I activate it so I can continue using it?

The LabVIEW RIO Evaluation DVD is for evaluation purposes only and cannot be activated. If you are satisfied with the software and would like to continue using it, please contact a National Instruments sales representative, or visit ni.com to find the product right for you.

Configuring and Validating the Evaluation Hardware

I've installed the LabVIEW RIO Evaluation software. Now what?

After installing the evaluation software, reboot your computer. After the reboot, a program titled National Instruments LabVIEW RIO Evaluation Setup should automatically launch. This program will help you verify that the RIO evaluation hardware is set up correctly and is ready to be used in the tutorials. Use the Next button to go through all five steps of the setup program.

If this program does not appear automatically after the first reboot, you should be able to launch it by selecting Start»All Programs»National Instruments»LabVIEW RIO Evaluation Kit»Setup Utility.

Note: Your firewall software may prompt you to block or unblock this program from communicating with the target. Select unblock at these prompts and ensure the necessary ports listed here are unblocked in your firewall.

I've scanned for devices, but my RIO evaluation hardware doesn't appear. What's wrong?

First, check the troubleshooting tips included in the setup utility. If these do not resolve your problem, there may be something wrong with your hardware, firewall configuration, or network. One way to troubleshoot is to force the RIO evaluation hardware back into a known network configuration. To do this:

  1. Hold the Reset button down for 5 seconds, then release it. The Status
    LED turns on, then starts blinking three times every few seconds. The
    device is now in Safe Mode to attempt a new DHCP connection.
  2. Hold the Reset button down again for 5 seconds, then release it. The Status LED
    repeats the same behavior. The RIO evaluation device attempts to establish
    a new DHCP connection. Wait a few minutes; if it fails, it assigns itself a
    link-local IP address. This process may take a few minutes for the computer
    and kit to negotiate a link-local IP address. If the DHCP connection is successful
    and appropriate for your application, skip to step 4.
  3. Configure the IP address and other network settings according to the Configuring a Static IP Address section above.
  4. Press and release the hardware Reset button to reboot the device.

If you are still not successful in connecting to your RIO evaluation hardware, you can see the current status and IP address of the device by enabling serial console out. For this process you need a serial cable adapter for the headers on your evaluation hardware and a serial cable (both not included in your kit) to connect between the serial port on the target and your host computer. Since these components are not included, for more information on how to proceed please contact NI support at ni.com/ask.

I'm being prompted to configure my target's network settings. What should I choose?

Before testing the configuration, the program may need to configure the target's network settings and/or install LabVIEW software to the target.  If the target does not have a valid IP address, you will be prompted to configure the target's network settings. You should see two options, one Automatic and one Manual. In most cases, you will want to select the automatic option. This is for targets connected to the Windows development PC through a network router or switch with IP addresses assigned by a DHCP server. If you're not sure what type of network you have, try this option first.

If your target is directly connected to the development PC with a crossover Ethernet connection (described above), the automatic option will not work and you will instead need to manually assign a static IP address. If you configured your PC and RIO evaluation hardware as described above, you should be able to just select Manual IP with the default values. Otherwise, follow the steps in the Configuring a Static IP Address section above to determine the appropriate settings.

My target is detected, but it tells me that "Installing Target Software failed."

Failure to install software to a detected target may be due to the target having an IP address on a different subnet. The last step on the Hardware Detection troubleshooting page explains how to manually clear your IP address so that you can reconfigure it with the utility. These steps are as follows:

  1. Hold the Reset button down for 5 seconds, then release it. The Status
    LED turns on, then starts blinking three times every few seconds. The
    device is now in Safe Mode to attempt a new DHCP connection.
  2. Hold the Reset button down for 5 seconds, then release it. The Status LED
    repeats the same behavior. The RIO evaluation device attempts to establish
    a new DHCP connection. Wait a few minutes; if it fails, it assigns itself a
    link-local IP address. This process may take a few minutes for the computer
    and kit to negotiate a link-local IP address. If the DHCP connection is successful
    and appropriate for your application, skip to step 4.
  3. Configure the IP address and other network settings according to the Configuring a Static IP Address section above.
  4. Press and release the hardware Reset button to reboot the device.

After doing this, wait a few moments for your target to finish booting and select Rescan for Targets on the Hardware Detection page. 

Your target should appear (again), but this time you should be prompted to configure its network settings. If this succeeds, the setup utility should now be able to communicate with your target.

The setup program gets to the Hardware Test step, but it shows a Deployment Failed error.

If the target is not configured correctly, deployment will fail and you should see a troubleshooting screen. If there do not seem to be any problems with the hardware connections and settings, the target software may have somehow become corrupt. To perform a system restore on the target, note the warnings in the setup program and select Restore Target System.

 This will reformat the target, prompt you to configure the target's IP address (see above), and then re-image the target. This process may take several minutes. Once this completes, the program should attempt to test the target again.

If this fails, try manually resetting the target's IP address as explained above. Then retry restoring the target.

The setup program says that "Deployment Finished," but I do not see the LCD displaying text. 

The small board for the LCD on the target may be improperly connected.  Look closely at where these two boards connect and ensure that they are fitting together and that the small board is securely attached (there should be no more than 1-2 mm of visible pins between the connectors). Next ensure the LCD contrast, located to the left of the screen, is adjusted to be visible. If the LCD is obviously connected correctly, it may be defective. Please contact National Instruments Support for help.

I have received an "Unhandled Error." What do I do now?

If for some reason you encounter an Unhandled Error Detected screen, there is something wrong with your network configuration. First, retry the operation that failed. If this still causes an error, follow the troubleshooting tips below. If none of these succeed in fixing the problem, please contact National Instruments for support.

  • Ensure that the target is powered on (one of the four LEDs on the edge of the main board should be on) and located on the same subnetwork as the host PC.
  • Press the hardware Reset button (next to the Ethernet jack on the main board). Wait a minute for the target to boot before trying the operation again.
  • Check to see that the LEDs in the Ethernet jack are on or blinking. If they are not, ensure that the cable is fully connected at both ends, the Ethernet switch or router is powered on, and that the cable itself is not faulty (may need to try another cable to verify this).
  • A firewall may be blocking communication with the target. Try temporarily reconfiguring or turning off your firewall to see if this fixes the problem. For more specific ports to open, read here. Warning: Leaving your computer in this state may make it vulnerable to attack. When you are finished troubleshooting, remember to restore the original firewall settings.
  • If you have a wireless network, disable it and try again.
  • If you are using a virtual machine or Parallels®, be sure it is a bridged connection so that the computer and hardware are configured to be on the same subnet and that the Eval Setup application has Public access enabled on the Windows firewall.
  • If you are still not successful in connecting with your RIO evaluation hardware, you can see the current status and IP address of the device by enabling serial console out. For this process you need a serial cable adapter for the headers on your evaluation hardware and a serial cable (both not included in your kit) to connect between the serial port on the target and your host computer. Since these components are not included for more information on how to proceed please contact NI support at ni.com/ask.

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2. Next Steps

If you have completed all of the included tutorials, join the ni.com/rioeval/nextstep community to find more advanced exercises, ask questions, learn about LabVIEW RIO industry case studies, and explore LabVIEW RIO platform products.

See the ni.com/rioeval/nextstep community.

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