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Control & Output with LabVIEW

Thursday, Feb 2nd

LabVIEW DAQ Output for Voltage,
Sensor Excitation,
and Control Systems
Part 1:
A Brief History of Some LabVIEW
Stuff Youve Done So Far in ME-241
LabVIEW Application (Review)
LabVIEW can work with Data Acquisition (DAQ)
Platforms in order to capture signals from a variety
of instruments.
These include the instruments you have used so far
in ME241, such as:
Thermocouples, Pressure Transducers, Load cells,
Strain gages (& anything that uses a Strain gage)
Linear Variable Differential Transformers
LabVIEW Application (Review)
We capture data in the form of electrical signals
by wiring our instrument into a DAQ device.
These devices include boards that plug into the PC
via a USB-port or
More sophisticated devices that use PCI cards
inside a PC that plug into some benchtop device.
LabVIEW Application (Review)
The DAQ devices allow us to capture signals from
a given instrument. These instruments allow us
to measure the physical phenomenon that we
are interested in.
LabVIEW VI Creation
In class and laboratory we have used LabVIEW to
write virtual instruments (VIs).
We typically write a VI so that it can talk to the
outside world (the experiment on the bench).
In order to do this we use the DAQ Assistant.
LabVIEW VI Creation
We use the LabVIEW block diagram to create code
that measures, displays and records voltages.
The DAQ Assistant is key.
The DAQ Assistant allows us to tell LabVIEW
which channels on the DAQ device to sample.

For instance if we use a USB-6008 we might set

up four channels as follows
This will yield data from 4 separate channels.
Part 2:
LabVIEW Can Generate Output!
DAQ Device Output
Most DAQ devices have the ability to generate
signals as well as collect signals.
The DAQ devices are able to do this via the port
they connect to via a cable.
Most standard DAQ devices can generate a signal
of 5-10 VDC.
This voltage is ample enough to power some
small transducers and instruments.
This is important to the proper collection of data.
Tank Draining Experiment Apparatus

We use a battery to power the pressure

transducer. The battery provides 9 volts.

9 VDC Battery Pack

+ + +
- - -

Pressure Transducer
Tank Draining Experiment Apparatus
Possible Alternative
We could have used a DAQ Device to power the pressure

9 VDC Output
From DAQ Device


Pressure Transducer
PC provides power. Batteries not needed. Power provided is steady.
Voltage Output
Most DAQ devices have the ability to produce
their own signals.
We can use these signals to interact with the
experiment or equipment we are using.
We can use these signals to power equipment.
We can use these signals to trigger events and
make stuff happen.
Part 3:
HOW do I make a DAQ device
provide a voltage???
The BASICS: You need 3 things..
LabVIEW Application

DAQ Device
Voltage Output
Note the ANALOG side of
the USB devices near your
There should be terminals
labeled AO0 and AO1
AO stands for Analog
Most of the NI devices have
at least 2 such terminals
For output we wire a
terminal and a ground.
Voltage Output
We access the analog output functions via
LabVIEW. To do this we can access the DAQ
We can right-mouse click and access Functions on
the Block Diagram.
Select the DAQ Assistant on the OUTPUT Menu
Voltage Output
When the DAQ Assistant is selected you get 2 choices:
Acquire Signalswhat we have used so far
Generate Signals choose this one for voltage output!
Once you select Generate Signals choose Voltage
The device or devices will appear. Choose either one
or both channels (depending on how many signals
must be generated.)
DAQ Assistant for Voltage Output

Compare Differences/Similarities
Build a Control to Dial 0-5 volts
On the Front Panel place a dial.

Connect this to data on the Output DAQ Assistant.

Build a Control to Dial 0-5 volts
Turn the knob to some arbitrary value and press
the run arrow.
This vi will produce
We can confirm this value by adding an INPUT
DAQ Assistant.
Build one that reads from input channel AI1.
Add a graph or indicator to your vi to show
Build A VI to Generate an Output
Collect that Voltage as an Input
Part 4:
Applications and
DEMO Application 1
Sometimes we need more than just 5 or 10
How can the LabVIEW output function help us
to run a pump or motor?
Application: We need to use LabVIEW to control
a motor. The motor uses a variable voltage
from 60 to 120 volts to adjust from top speed
to low speed.
DEMO Application 1
In this case we would use a device with the
motors manual control electronics.
The controller will accept a grounded DC signal
and generates a proportional output voltage.
This output can be supplied to the speed setting
circuit of the motors controller.
This will drive the motor at a speed proportional
to the signal that LabVIEW sends to it.
DEMO Application 1
Turn-Table with experiment

Main power supplied

By 120 VAC outlet

0-10 VDC control volts from LabVIEW

Control box
With SCR-based
Power line
from control
Drive Motor
Turntable Control Application
DEMO Application 2
Using LabVIEW with advanced NI hardware.
In this example we want to send simple
commands to control the speed of a stepper
We will use a PCI-card in the PC, a smart
encoder/motor power board, and LabVIEW
Demo Application 2

Coil wires
LabVIEW Control VI
SCXI cable

Demo Application 3
Use LabVIEW to send
commands and receive
data from a balance.
In this case we have no
DAQ or PCI cards
We can only use the
PCs serial port to talk
to the balance.
Demo App 3: Balance vi
To use a stand-alone instrument like the
balance we have to:

1. write a vi that talks to a serial port

2. wire up a cable per the manufacturers
specs The vi
0.847 g

0.847 g PC
Cable has 2 RS-232 (9 pin) connectors
Demo Application 3
In this case we will write data to the balance
using LabVIEW.
LabVIEW will assign the serial port to transmit
data (Tx) and commands to the balance.
The balance will use the same port to send
(Rx) data and information.
In this case we will use a vi called a binary
converter in order to write between LabVIEW
and the balance.
DEMO Application 4
Using LabVIEW with non-NI hardware.
In this example rather than control voltage
directly via a DAQ we will send commands
directly to circuit boards.
As in the Balance DEMO we will use only the
serial bus to link LabVIEW with the circuit
HOW can LabVIEW talk directly to a circuit
DEMO Application 4
We talk to the circuit board by using Op-
Op-Code will serve as a bridge between
LabVIEW and the binary assembly language
that a circuit board expects to see.
DEMO Application 4
Think of it as translation
English Spanish Irish
Good Morning Buenos Dias Dia duit!

LabVIEW PC Interface Circuit Board

G-Code Op-Code Assembly
DEMO Application 4
PC with LabVIEW

Serial Communications Card

Power Supply

24 VDC
0-15 volts

Power Board with SCR-based Transformer

Train Track