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Archived: Requirements for Running IMAQ Vision and IMAQ 2.6 (or Earlier) on LabVIEW RT

This document has been archived and is no longer updated by National Instruments

Hardware: PXI/CompactPCI>>Controllers

I have IMAQ Vision 6.1 for LabVIEW, which includes support for LabVIEW Real-Time (RT), installed on my computer. How do I configure my RT system to use IMAQ Vision?

The IMAQ Vision for LabVIEW Real-Time User Manual includes a detailed set of instructions for installing IMAQ and Vision onto an RT PXI controller. Below is a quick summary of the necessary configuration steps and required software for the host and target computers.

Note: The NI-IMAQ 3.0 driver has greatly simplified the configuration of IMAQ hardware on a LabVIEW RT system. The PXI system no longer needs to be booted into Windows in order to configure the hardware, rather this can all be done remotely from the host machine for all hardware supported by IMAQ 3.0 (the 1408 is supported under NI-IMAQ 3.0 using the older NI-IMAQ 2.6 driver).

To use IMAQ on a PXI system, you will need the following components:
  • An 817x series controller with Windows installed for configuring the IMAQ card before booting into RT
  • The Vision 6.1 Development Module CD for the Host machine. This installs NI-IMAQ, IMAQ Vision and Vision Builder which can all communicate with the RT chassis.
  • The LabVIEW 6.1 RT CD for the host machine.
  • NI-IMAQ 2.5.1 or higher on the PXI chassis for configuring the IMAQ card. You do not need NI-IMAQ 2.5.4 from the Vision 6.1 Development Module. NI-IMAQ 2.5.4 is only required for the host machine.
On the host machine, install the following components:
  • LabVIEW 6.1 for RT
  • IMAQ Vision for LabVIEW RT 6.1 (which includes Vision libraries for LabVIEW, NI-IMAQ 2.5.4 and Vision Builder 6.1).

The RT target must have a National Instruments PXI controller. The PXI controller should have a Windows OS installed with NI-IMAQ 2.5.1 or higher. Here is the list of steps to get your system running once all the software mentioned above is installed:

  1. You will need two floppy disks to setup IMAQ and Vision on the RT PXI controller. On the host machine, go to MAX » Tools » Remote Systems » RT PXI Disk Utilities » Create PXI Boot Disk. Make sure a floppy disk is in the A: drive. This will create a boot disk so when we put the floppy disk in the A: drive of the PXI target and reboot, it will boot into the RT Operating System.

  2. On another floppy disk, copy the ConfigureIMAQRT.exe from the /NI-IMAQ/bin directory on your host computer.

  3. Boot your PXI controller into Windows and configure your image acquisition settings in Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX). Once everything looks good, copy the ConfigureIMAQRT.exe from the floppy disk to the desktop of the PXI controller and run it. This will save the configuration settings so when you boot into RT, you can access them. Every time you need to change settings for image acquisition from MAX, you must run the ConfigureIMAQRT.exe again from Windows to save the settings.

  4. Now, you can put the RT Boot Disk in the floppy drive of the PXI controller and reboot. When it reboots, it will run on the RT Operating System. You should be able to go to MAX on the host machine and see the PXI controller listed under Remote Systems. Make sure the PXI and your host computer are either both on the same subnet or you are using a crossover CAT-5 cable (not a regular ethernet cable) to connect your host and PXI machines.

  5. In the Network Settings tab, when you select your PXI controller, you will need to assign a unique IP address and name. You can have a DHCP server automatically assign the IP or you can specify one (talk with your network administrator if you have any trouble). There is also useful help in MAX under Help » Help Topics » Remote Systems. Hit Apply, and OK to reboot the PXI system so it will be connected properly.

  6. Once the PXI reboots and is connected (a green light in the lower part of MAX), you will need to install the software on the RT system. Go to the Software tab, and right click anywhere and select Install Software. Install LabVIEW RT (v6.1), IMAQ Vision RT (v6.1), NI-IMAQ RT (v2.5.4), and any other software you need. This will download the software to the PXI controller and it will reboot when everything is installed. You should now be ready to send LabVIEW 6.1 RT programs to the PXI RT Controller that contain Vision and IMAQ acquisition code. There are shipping examples under LabVIEW » Examples » Vision » 4. Real-Time

  7. Go to \NI-IMAQ\bin\imaqdiag.llb\IMAQ Hardware Run this VI with the RT PXI chassis as the target, and this VI will allow you to check on the functionality of your IMAQ hardware, and show you the interface names for each board along with the serial number.

Some of the new functionality that comes with RT includes two new display VIs. The first is IMAQ Remote Compression VI. This VI sets up compression parameters for how you want images sent across the network to the Host machine. When you run IMAQ Vision applications on RT, any WindDraw function will try and send the image across the network and to optimize the speed of these transfers you can setup compression parameters. If the host is not connected, the code will skip over all WindDraw functions, so they don't slow down the performance.

The IMAQ WindDraw VI is synchronous, which means the code does not continue until WindDraw is done sending the data across the network, so this may slow down your application unless you set high compression values, or you don't use WindDraw. This is good for debugging purposes when you need to see the windows, or when you need to have the user select regions of interest. This method requires a NIVisRPC.exe to be running on the host. This executable should automatically get started every time you start LabVIEW.

Another very powerful method of displaying images is PXI Video Out. This feature allows you to display images through the PXI controller's video port if you have a monitor attached. You can display only one image at a time on the monitor, since the image is displayed full-screen (it acts like one IMAQ window). When you use a window number of 15 for IMAQ WindDraw VI, it will display the image to the PXI controller's video port. This feature is only supported on the PXI-8175 and 8176 controllers. There is a VI called IMAQ Video Out Display Mode VI which allows you to configure the resolution and other settings of the monitor when displaying images. This method is much faster than remote display since the images do not have to be sent across the network and are not compressed.

Deploying Vision Systems:

For applications not running under LabVIEW RT, you will need to purchase the IMAQ Vision Deployment Engine (P/N 778044-01). This allows you to install the IMAQ Vision run-time engine with each executable you create and distribute. The Deployment Engine integrates with the LabVIEW Application Builder or a third party installer. The Deployment Engine CD includes a single deployment license. If you plan to distribute the executable to more than one target machine, you must purchase an additional IMAQ Vision Deployment license (P/N 778044-00) for each target machine.

For applications running under LabVIEW RT, you will need to purchase an RT license for each target machine as well as an IMAQ Vision for LabVIEW RT run time license (P/N 778628-00).

You will need to boot each target machine in windows, configure the boards in MAX, and run the ConfigureIMAQRT.exe to install configuration files to be used when the system boots into RT.

Related Links:
National Instruments Image Acquisition and Vision Support Homepage
KnowledgeBase 30UDI8A2: What is New in the NI Vision Development Module?
Product Manuals: LabVIEW Real-Time Module User Manual


Report Date: 03/11/2002
Last Updated: 02/10/2014
Document ID: 2JAED68M

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