Using National Instruments Touch Panel Computers with LabVIEW

Publish Date: Aug 01, 2014 | 2 Ratings | 5.00 out of 5 |  PDF


NOTE: Starting with NI LabVIEW 2014, the remote development and deployment functionality of the LabVIEW Touch Panel Module is included in the LabVIEW development systems. As part of this transition, the LabVIEW 2014 development systems support only NI TPC-22xx touch panel computers running Windows Embedded Standard 7 (WES7). This OS provides increased reliability, fault tolerance, and customization features not available in other Windows OSs. For more information please read the white-paper Remote application Development for NI WES7-based targets.

The LabVIEW TPC module can be used to develop applications for touch panel devices such as NI TPC-2006, TPC-2106, TPC-2016T, and TPC-2012. Use this tutorial to learn how to set up your hardware to work with LabVIEW.

Table of Contents

  1. Configure and Connect
  2. Install Software
  3. Select the Target
  4. Install Shared Variable Support
  5. Add Hardware and Communication Support

This tutorial will help you with setting up your TPC hardware to work with LabVIEW. To set up LabVIEW for use with your TPC, please see this Tutorial:

LabVIEW Touch Panel Module Getting Started Guide for LabVIEW Base Development System

1. Configure and Connect

One of the first steps in being able to connect to and work with a TPC is to configure the FTP Server. This allows for easy transfer of files between the host computer and the TPC. Connecting to your TPC will also allow you to be able to use the host computer's keyboard and mouse with the TPC.

Configure the FTP Server

To configure the FTP Server to easily transfer files between your TPC and host computer, you must log into the device and then enable and configure the FTP server. Figure 1 below shows the configuration screen for the TPC-2006.  The same tool is available for the TPC-2106/T an TPC-2012.

FTP Server Configuration

Figure 1: FTP Server Configuration

The following linked KnowledgeBase describes in detail how to do this for both the TPC-2006 and the TPC-2012.

KnowledgeBase 3T9C8LX1: How Do I Configure the FTP Server on my Touch Panel Computer?

Remote Desktop Connection

In order to access your TPC via remote desktop, you need a program called cerhost.exe. This program will allow you to use your keyboard and mouse with your TPC, amongst other features. The KnowledgeBase linked below describes how to do this in detail and also contains the aforementioned program.

KnowledgeBase 3UGH71E1: Can I Control My TPC-2006 or TPC-2012 Industrial Touch Panel Through a Remote Connection?

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2. Install Software

In order to use either the TPC-2006 or the TPC-2012, you will need to install LabVIEW 8.2.1 or later and the LabVIEW Touch Panel Module 8.2.1 or later.  To use the TPC-2106 and TPC-2106T NI recommends LabVIEW 8.5 or later, however LabVIEW 8.2.1 or alter will work. 

· For the TPC-2006, LabVIEW 8.20 is the earliest version with all of the necessary files included. Versions prior to that (8.0 and earlier) require additional Microsoft files along with the PDA Module (the Touch Panel Module did not exist before 8.20). See the linked KnowledgeBase below for information on what files are necessary.

KnowledgeBase 3ANADAKN: LabVIEW PDA Module Software Requirements and Supported Devices

· For the TPC-2012, LabVIEW 8.2.1 is the earliest version that includes all of the necessary files. All previous versions also require Microsoft Embedded Visual Studio Tools to be installed. This is discussed in detail in the linked KnowledgeBase below.

KnowledgeBase 453H32LH: What Software is Necessary to Run LabVIEW on the NI-TPC 2012?

· For the TPC-2106 and TPC-2106T, LabVIEW 8.5 is the earliest version that includes these two TPCs as available targets to select in the LabVIEW project.  Users may select the TPC-2006 as a target in versions prior to LabVIEW 8.5 and compile code that is compatible with the TPC-2106/T family.  Because LabVIEW 8.5 offers individual targets for all supported TPCs and Ethernet download we recommend using this version of later for developing applications for TPCs.

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3. Select the Target

When building a LabVIEW Touch Panel project, you are required to select a target device. The choice depends on exactly which TPC your application is designed for. To select a target, right-click on the project name and select New » Targets and Devices... and then select the correct target. Figure 2 below is a summary of the targets to select with the newest versions of LabVIEW.

Target Selection

Figure 2: Target Selection

The following linked KnowledgeBase entry describes in detail which TPC to select as a target and goes through the steps to do so.

KnowledgeBase 45ABJV2M: What Target Do I Select for TPC-2006, TPC-2012, and 3rd Party TPCs?

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4. Install Shared Variable Support

In LabVIEW 8.2.1 you have to install shared variable support for the TPC-2006. You just need to right-click on the target and select Install » Support for Shared Variables (ARM). Figure 3 below shows how to do this.

Install Shared Variables

Figure 3: Install Shared Variable Support


For the TPC-2012 and TPC-2106/T, support for shared variables is already installed and there is nothing more you need to do. However, there are new templates for the 12" screen in a zip file that is attached. After installing the templates, when you create a new Touch Panel VI by right-clicking on the target and select New Touch Panel VI the 12" templates will now be an option.

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5. Add Hardware and Communication Support

Depending on which TPC you have, certain functionalities may or may not be available. Figure 4 below describes which hardware supports which features.

Supported Hardware and Communications

Figure 4: Functionalities Supported by TPCs

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