National Instruments first introduced LabVIEW on the Mac in 1986 and has continued to offer LabVIEW Mac users the latest technology for their test and measurement applications. As experts in PC-based measurement and automation, National Instruments provides software and hardware products – including NI LabVIEW, more than 80 measurement hardware devices, and driver software for data acquisition and GPIB products – to create virtual instruments on Mac OS X.
What You Need to Control Your Instrument
To control your instrument on a Mac OS X machine you need to install NI-VISA. You can get the latest version of NI-VISA from the Drivers and Updates Web page.
There is a VISA utility that can be used on Mac OS X to configure your instrument, visaconf. Following, is more information on this utility.
visaconf is the VISA configuration utility for Linux and Mac OS X. Use this utility to add and configure instruments in your system. You can find this utility in the following directory: Applications\National Instruments\NI-VISA\NI-VISA Configuration. The following image is the window that opens when you run this utility:
Figure 1. NI-VISA Configuration Window
If your instrument is not displayed under the Resource Editor tab, you can use the Add Static button to add it to your system. The Add Static Resource dialog box will appear and allow you to choose which type of interface you would like to add to your system.
Figure 2. Add Static Resource Window
If you choose to add a GPIB Device, the following window displays and allows you to choose the settings for your instrument. When you have finished configuring your instrument, select OK, and the instrument will be added to your system and will show up under the ResourceEditor tab.
Figure 3. Resource Editor Window for GPIB Instrument
Using Instrument Drivers in Mac OS X
Interchangeable Virtual Instrument (IVI) drivers run on only Windows OSs. If you want to use an instrument driver in Mac OS X, it must be a Plug and Play driver. To download an instrument driver, you must make sure it is packaged as a VI or llb file. You cannot open or install the driver on Mac OS X if it is a .exe file.
To access the instrument driver VIs in LabVIEW, save the llb and menu files in the LabVIEW\instr.lib folder. You will now have access to the VIs from the Functions>>Instrument I/O>>Instrument Drivers palette. You can use these VIs to communicate with your instrument.
Using LabVIEW and VISA to Control Your Instrument
If an instrument driver does not exist for your instrument, you can use VISA functions in LabVIEW to control your instrument. Make sure to have your user manual available, because you will need to be familiar with the commands that your instrument responds to. Refer to the VISA API section in the following document: Instrument Control in LabVIEW Tutorial, for more help on using VISA in LabVIEW
You can access the VISA VIs from the Function>>Instrument I/O>>VISA palette.
Supported NI-VISA Operating Systems and Features
Drivers and Updates
Instrument Driver Network
MAC OS X
How to Use an Instrument Driver in LabVIEW Tutorial
How to Use an Instrument Driver in LabWindows/CVI Tutorial
Instrument Control in Linux Tutorial
Instrument Control in LabVIEW Tutorial
Instrument Control in LabWindows/CVI Tutorial