Installing GPIB-ENET/100 Controllers

Follow these steps and refer to Figure 1 to install the GPIB-ENET/100:

1. Connect one end of your Ethernet cable to your GPIB-ENET/100. Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable to your Ethernet network.

2. Connect one end of the power cord to the power supply. Screw the power connector on the other end of the power supply onto the power jack of the GPIB-ENET/100.

3. Plug the other end of the power cord into an AC outlet.

Figure 1. GPIB-ENET/100

4. Refer to the Baseplate Identification Label on the base of the GPIB-ENET/100 and make a note of the serial number, Ethernet address, and default hostname. You need this information when you run some of the utilities.

5. Contact your network administrator to determine whether your network supports DHCP or if you need to manually perform the Ethernet configuration to set up the network parameters. If your network uses DHCP, the network configuration is performed automatically at startup. A steady yellow PWR/RDY LED indicates the GPIB-ENET/100 passed its self-test and acquired its IP address.

The unit is now ready to operate. You may need to run software configuration and verification utilities at this time.

6. Connect the GPIB cable to the GPIB-ENET/100. Connect the other end to your GPIB instrument.

Baseplate Identification Label

When you configure the GPIB-ENET/100 for use on your network, you need to differentiate it from other network devices. Every GPIB-ENET/100 has a unique serial number, Ethernet address, and default hostname. You can find this information on the baseplate identification label on the GPIB-ENET/100.

Note: The Ethernet address is not the IP address. All devices on an Ethernet network are assigned a unique physical address—the Ethernet address—so they can communicate with each other.

Figure 2. Baseplate Identification Label

Start-Up

Turn on the front-panel power switch. The PWR/RDY LED flickers orange rapidly while the GPIB-ENET/100 completes its power-on self-tests and attempts to acquire its network parameters. Each Ethernet and GPIB LED lights up as its functionality is tested.

By default, the GPIB-ENET/100 attempts its network configuration automatically through DHCP. The time required for assigning the IP address depends on your network and the configuration of your GPIB-ENET/100. Allow up to 90 seconds and observe the state of the PWR/RDY LED to determine the outcome of the self tests. One of the following should occur:

  • A steady yellow PWR/RDY LED indicates the GPIB-ENET/100 passed its self-tests and acquired its IP address. The unit is now ready to operate. When using DHCP, the GPIB-ENET/100 typically is ready to operate about 15 seconds after you power it on.
  • If the PWR/RDY LED continues to flicker orange rapidly, the unit was unable to use DHCP to configure its network parameters. It is now in network configuration mode. Refer to Ethernet Configuration for information on configuring the network parameters manually. If this utility is successful, the PWR/RDY LED should become steady yellow.
  • If the PWR/RDY LED blinks a slow red/yellow pattern, the GPIB-ENET/100 did not pass its self-tests. Refer to PWR/RDY LED Signaling to interpret the flash pattern before calling NI technical support.
  • If the PWR/RDY LED is steady red, the GPIB-ENET/100 has an unrecoverable error. Contact NI technical support.

Figure 3 summarizes the functionality of all the front-panel LEDs on the GPIB-ENET/100.

Figure 3. LED Table

Software Recognition

Once your computer restarts (to complete the installation of the NI-488.2 driver), you are presented with an initial NI-488.2 menu to assist you with getting started. This menu displays the list of supported hardware for the installed version of NI-488.2, installation instructions for supported hardware, the Add GPIB-ENET/100 Wizard, and NI-488.2 Help. Click on the Add GPIB-ENET/100 Wizard link to launch the configuration wizard.

Figure 4. NI-488.2 Hardware Installation

If you have already seen and closed the initial NI-488.2 menu, follow the directions below to launch the Add GPIB-ENET/100 Wizard.

On Windows, use the Add GPIB-ENET/100 Wizard to add the GPIB-ENET/100 to the NI-488.2 software list of available GPIB interfaces. Launch the Add GPIB-ENET/100 Wizard from Start»Programs»National Instruments»NI-488.2. Accept the GPIB-ENET/100 default configuration settings or change them while running the wizard. Once the GPIB-ENET/100 is recognized in Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX), you may need to remove it and add it again after using the Ethernet Device Configuration Utility to change the configuration settings.

On Mac and Linux, use the Add GPIB Hardware Wizard to add the GPIB-ENET/100 to the NI-488.2 software list of available GPIB interfaces. Launch the Add GPIB Hardware Wizard from the GPIB Explorer utility in the installed NI-488.2 or ni4882 directory. Once the GPIB-ENET/100 is recognized, you can change the configuration settings with the Ethernet Device Configuration Utility, described in the Ethernet Configuration section. Refer to the installation guide on your CD for more details about the Add GPIB-ENET/100 Wizard, Add GPIB Hardware Wizard, and GPIB Explorer utility.

Ethernet Configuration

Use the Ethernet Device Configuration utility if you need to manually configure the network parameters of the GPIB-ENET/100. If your network uses DHCP, the network configuration is performed automatically at startup, and you do not need to run this utility unless you want to change the hostname. Consult your network administrator if you do not know whether your network uses DHCP.

In addition to manually configuring the network parameters, you can use the Ethernet Device Configuration utility for any of the following purposes:

  • Enable DHCP
  • Verify or change the hostname
  • Add or change a comment to help identify the device

On Windows, once the GPIB-ENET/100 is recognized in MAX, you may need to remove it and add it again after using the Ethernet Device Configuration Utility to change the configuration settings.

Using the Ethernet Device Configuration Utility

The GPIB-ENET/100 must be in network configuration mode—the PWR/RDY LED continuously flickers orange rapidly—before you can make changes to the network parameters. The GPIB-ENET/100 automatically enters network configuration mode if it is unable to obtain its network configuration through DHCP. During normal operation, you also can enter network configuration mode by pressing and holding the rear-panel CFG RESET switch for three seconds.

Run the Ethernet Device Configuration Utility. For Windows, select Start»Programs»National Instruments»Measurement & Automation to launch MAX. Select Help»HelpTopics»NI-488.2 to view the NI-488.2 online help. Search for the topic Set Network Settings for the GPIB-ENET/100 and click the link to launch the utility.

If you are using a Mac, Linux, or UNIX platform, launch the utility from the GPIB Explorer utility in the installed NI-488.2 or ni4882 directory.

The Ethernet Device Configuration window displays a list of NI Ethernet devices on your subnet, sorted by model. You can identify your device by the Ethernet address or the serial number on the GPIB-ENET/100 baseplate label.

The listed devices can be in one of four possible states, as indicated in the IP address/hostname column:

  • A hostname indicates the device has successfully been configured by DHCP.
  • A numerical IP address indicates the device has successfully been configured with a static IP address.
  • *Unconfigured* indicates the device is configured to use DHCP, but DHCP failed to attain network parameters.
  • *Busy* indicates the device is configured to use DHCP and is attempting to acquire network parameters.

View the properties for any of the following reasons:

  • You need to configure an unconfigured IP address.
  • You need to change the current network parameters.
  • You previously used DHCP, but it is no longer available.
  • You are using DHCP and need to change the hostname of the GPIB-ENET/100.
  • The IP address/hostname column displays an exclamation point (!) next to your GPIB-ENET/100, indicating a configuration problem. Refer to Verifying the Hostname for help resolving this problem.
  • You want to add or change a comment to help identify the device.

Refresh the list of Ethernet devices if you do not see your GPIB-ENET/100 in the list, or if you want to find a device that you recently added to the subnet.

Exit if you are finished using the Ethernet Device Configuration utility or if you are using DHCP and you do not need to change the hostname of the GPIB-ENET/100.

Changing the Network Settings

Your GPIB-ENET/100 must be in network configuration mode before you can use the Ethernet Device Configuration utility to change its network settings. You also can refer to Enter Network Configuration Mode during Normal Operation if the PWR/RDY LED is not flickering orange rapidly.

1. View the properties for your GPIB-ENET/100.

The current hostname is displayed. The hostname associates a name with a numerical IP address. Hostname is a required field.

The GPIB-ENET/100 attempts to use the hostname when registering with DHCP. Many DHCP servers can to register the hostname and the assigned IP address. You then can reliably use the hostname to communicate with your GPIB-ENET/100 even if the numerical IP address changes.

However, some DHCP servers do not implement hostname registration. The GPIB-ENET/100 requires Domain Name Server (DNS) registration when using DHCP. If your DHCP server does not support DNS registration, you must use static network parameters.

2. Select either Obtain an IP address automatically (DHCP) or Use the following IP settings.

a. If you select Obtain an IP address automatically (DHCP), you do not need to enter any network parameters unless you want to change the hostname of the Ethernet device.

b. If you select Use the following IP settings, enter the Static IP Parameters you have chosen for the host IP address, subnet mask,gateway IP, and DNS server IP.

3. You can enter an optional comment to help you identify each device.

4. Confirm your changes and exit the Ethernet Device Configuration utility.

The GPIB-ENET/100 automatically reboots with the new configuration in effect.

Static IP Parameters

If DHCP is not available, you must provide the GPIB-ENET/100 with several important network parameters.

  • IP address—The unique, computer-readable address of a device on your network. An IP address typically is represented as four decimal numbers separated by periods (for example, 130.164.54.215).

    Refer to the Choosing a Static IP Address section.

  • Subnet mask—A code that helps the network device determine whether another device is on the same network or a different network.
  • Gateway IP—The IP address of a device that acts as a gateway, which is a connection between two networks. If your network does not have a gateway, set this parameter to 0.0.0.0.
  • DNS Server—The IP address of a network device that stores hostnames and translates them into IP addresses. If your network does not have a DNS server, set this parameter to 0.0.0.0.

Choosing a Static IP Address

For a Network Administered by a Network Administrator

If you are adding the GPIB-ENET/100 to an existing Ethernet network, you must choose IP addresses carefully. Contact your network administrator to obtain an appropriate static IP address for your GPIB-ENET/100. Also have the network administrator assign the proper subnet mask, gateway, and DNS server addresses.

For a Network Without a Network Administrator

If you are assembling your own small Ethernet network, you can choose your own IP addresses. The format of the IP addresses is determined by the subnet mask. You should use the same subnet mask as the computer you are using with your GPIB-ENET/100. If your subnet mask is 255.255.255.0, the first three numbers in every IP address on the network must be the same. If your subnet mask is 255.255.0.0, only the first two numbers in the IP addresses on the network must match.

For either subnet mask, numbers between 1 and 254 are valid choices for the last number of the IP address. Numbers between 0 and 255 are valid for the third number of the IP address, but this number must be the same as other devices on your network if your subnet mask is 255.255.255.0.

If you are setting up your own network, you probably do not have a gateway or DNS server, so you should set these values to 0.0.0.0.

Verifying the Hostname

The Ethernet Device Configuration utility automatically verifies that the hostname for each DHCP-enabled device matches the DNS entry for the assigned IP address. This verification process automatically occurs when you either run the utility or refresh the list of devices. The utility alerts you if it detects a problem with the network settings.

To correct the problem with the hostname, complete the following steps:

1. Locate the device that has a problem. This is indicated by an exclamation point (!) on the device icon.

2. View the properties for the device. The utility displays four options for resolving the verification error. Select the one that best fits your situation.

  • Change the device's hostname to match the DNS entry—Use this option if you want to accept the hostname assigned by the DHCP server, or if you cannot contact the network administrator to change the DNS entry.
  • Use static network parameters instead of DHCP—Use this option if you cannot use the hostname assigned by the DHCP server. Contact your network administrator to obtain a valid IP address, subnet, and gateway. This option disables DHCP on the device.
  • Edit the current hostname—Use this option to change the hostname to a name other than either the configured hostname or the name assigned by the DHCP server. Contact your network administrator to obtain a valid name.
  • Keep the existing hostname—Use this option if you want to keep the previously assigned hostname. If you select this option, contact your network administrator to change the DNS entry.

3. Confirm the network parameter settings. The device reboots with the new settings in effect.

4. Refresh the list of devices, after the device reboots, to verify that the hostname is now valid.

5. Exit when you are finished using the Ethernet Device Configuration utility.

GPIB Configuration

Use the following video tutorials or the document below to assist you in completing this task:

Configuration in Windows

Configuration in Linux

Configuration in Mac OS X

MAX utility comes with the NI-488 driver for your GPIB controller. It makes GPIB instrument detection and control easy by providing tools that help you search for connecting instruments, and send and receive communication with your device.

Open MAX by going to Start»Programs»National Instruments»Measurement & Automation.

Figure 5. MAX Main Menu

To confirm that your GPIB device is connected properly, expand the Devices and Interfaces subdirectory below My System. Then select your GPIB controller. This tutorial uses a USB-GPIB-HS controller. If you are using a PCI, serial, or Ethernet controller/converter, the name may be slightly different. Click on Scan for Instruments.

Figure 6. Scanning for Instruments in MAX

If your GPIB device is SCPI-compliant, the name and address appear in the lower main window once the instrument scan is complete.

Figure 7. GPIB Device Found

If your device did not appear, refer to GPIB Installation/Configuration Troubleshooter. Also refer to KnowledgeBase 1UO68A5P: "Scan for Instruments" Fails in Measurement & Automation Explorer.

MAX creates the necessary resources for VISA communication with your GPIB instrument. By double-clicking on the identified instrument (in the lower main window of Figure 7), you can access the instrument VISA Properties to change the VISA Resource Name of the device and communicate with it by clicking on Communicate with Instrument (SCPI commands), or Open VISA Test Panel (non-SCPI commands).

Figure 8. Opening VISA Properties Tab

For this example, you entered TDS2024 as your VISA Alias. It is important to choose an alias that you can immediately identify with the intended instrument. This is especially important for large systems featuring many instruments.

Using the VISA Interactive Control to Confirm Communication and More

The VISA Interactive Control (VISAIC) is a standard software utility included with NI GPIB controller products. Using your computer, you can take advantage of this powerful development and debugging tool to interactively communicate (read, write, serial poll, and so on) with your GPIB instruments. With the VISAIC utility, you can speed up application development by learning how to automate measurements with your instruments, uncover GPIB problems, and avoid headaches by identifying malfunctioning instruments. For Windows platforms, the VISAIC utility comes with online help that describes the applicable NI-488 functions and NI-488.2 routines, syntax, error codes, and status variables offer with the debugging information you need to solve problems.

For a detailed discussion on how to use the VISAIC utility and the functions in the examples, refer to the VISA help file and NI-488.2 help file, respectively, that came with your GPIB controller. The following sections assume a basic knowledge of the VISAIC utility and GPIB.

To launch VISAIC, click on Tools»NI-VISA»VISA Interactive Control (see Figure 9).

Figure 9. Launch VISAIC

Quickly Determining GPIB Addresses

When VISAIC initially runs, it automatically finds all of the available resources in the system and lists the instrument descriptors for each resource under the appropriate resource type. Figure 10 shows the VISAIC opening window.

Figure 10. VISA Interactive Control

Instruments must be powered on and connected to the GPIB controller to be recognized. If you have two or more instruments on the bus, you can disconnect all instruments except one to determine its address. By isolating each instrument on the bus and repeatedly refreshing (View»Refresh), you can quickly determine the address of each instrument. You also can use the Resource to Find field to query each instrument for an identification (ID) string. ID querying is discussed in the next section.

Establishing Communication With Your Instruments

Once you have determined the GPIB address of your instruments, it is easy to establish communications to verify that you can send and receive data to and from the instrument. Because most instruments are compliant with 488.2, you can query the instrument for its identification by sending it the *IDN? command. Instruments typically respond with the manufacturer's name, model name, and various alphanumeric characters that the manufacturer uses to track firmware revisions. To communicate with your instrument at Address 4, follow these instructions:

First, double-click the instrument in the VISAIC that you want to communicate with—in this case, GPIB0 ::4::INSTR.

This opens a VISA Test Panel for your instrument. With this test panel, you can set properties for your instrument communication as well as read and write to the instrument.

Figure 11. VISA Test Panel (viWrite)

This opens a VISA Test Panel for your instrument. With this test panel, you can set properties for your instrument communication as well as read and write to the instrument.

Now from the viRead tab, select a count of 100, the length of your expected response, and then click Execute to return an identification string.

You have just confirmed communication with your instrument. You can repeat this process to confirm communication with all of your connected instruments.

Figure 12. VISA Test Panel (viRead)

An Easy Way to Troubleshoot Instrument, Cable, and Power Problems

Many times, systems are powered down and cables are disconnected from instruments for maintenance or system configuration changes. Unfortunately, engineers sometimes forget to reconnect all the cables and power up all the instruments. Alternatively, system power may be disrupted for a variety of reasons or the actual instrument may begin to malfunction. VISAIC is also convenient for verifying that your instruments are still "alive" on the bus. Simply use the refresh (View»Refresh) to check if a particular instrument is listening at its assigned GPIB address. If it is not, then you know to check cables, confirm power, and verify that the instrument is working properly.

If there is a problem, you no longer see your device. This indicates that you should check for loose or disconnected cables, power disruption, or a malfunctioning instrument.

The basic functions and concepts described above may seem simple; however, they can be invaluable in troubleshooting and getting your GPIB system up and running. These productivity tools help you focus on developing your test applications instead of trying to track down obscure problems or establishing communications with your instruments.

Once you have completed these steps, you need a fast way to progress from interactive mode to programming mode so you can immediately begin writing your tests without a tedious transition process. The best way to achieve this is by using instrument drivers.

Prev Install Software
Install Instrument Drivers Next