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Data_acquisition_instructions - Background and Instructions...

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Background and Instructions – Data Acquisition System A. Hardware and Software The same hardware and software are used in all of the labs in this course for data acquisition. Each computer has a National Instruments PCI 6014 data acquisition card that has 8 differential analog input channels. The A/D converter is 16- bit, and the range is set to –5 to 5 volts. The software is also from National Instruments: LabWindows is installed on each of the lab computers. This software is similar to LabView, but is controlled from a computer program (written in C), rather than from a graphical user interface. To the end user, the executable data acquisition “ virtual instrument ” looks and functions similarly regardless of whether it was developed in LabView or in LabWindows. B. Operating Instructions All the virtual instruments used in this lab have similar layout and function. A virtual instrument is started by double- clicking on its icon, located on the Windows Desktop. Here is the format used for these instructions: An underlined word or phrase means to click with the left mouse button on the corresponding icon. R-underlined word or phrase means to click with the right mouse button on the corresponding icon. word 1 -word 2 means to click on word 1 and then on word 2. An <enclosed word> means to hit a key on the computer’s keyboard. E.g., <Enter> is the keyboard’s Enter key. “words in quotes” are to be typed in from the keyboard: o Enter “words” means to type in the words, and then <Enter>. o Type “words” means to type in the words without hitting the <Enter> key. A word or phrase in italics refers to a Window name, a dropdown list, or a label on the screen. The following steps are specific to operation of the virtual instrument called “Generic Data Acquisition”, but many of these steps are common among all the virtual instruments. Before acquiring any data, you must first select a file for data output: Select File .
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