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Old 09-11-2012, 01:59 PM
mhead10 mhead10 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 40
Continuous DAQ with NI USB 6008 and DAQmx

Does anyone have any experience with continuous data acquisition using a NI-DAQ using the ctypes module to access the NI-DAQ family of libraries for NI instruments? I'm trying to use the "cookbook article" from here from SciPy which translates a sample C program for analog signal acquisition into Python.

I changed it to sample two channels continuosly by setting
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I also then changed the clock timing to continuous samples
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I can obtain finite samples fine, however, if I change to "ContSamps", then my data values are read as zero.

If I go back to "FiniteSamps", and then use a timer, I typically only get one or two repeated data arrays, and then nothing else happens. Typically nothing else will happen after the "after stark task" print statement.

I will include all of my code in the hopes that others can benefit off of it because I think this would be a common task, and I have not found any similar complete code elsewhere.

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import ctypes
import numpy
nidaq = ctypes.windll.nicaiu # load the DLL

int32 = ctypes.c_long
uInt32 = ctypes.c_ulong
uInt64 = ctypes.c_ulonglong
float64 = ctypes.c_double
TaskHandle = uInt32
read = int32()

# constants
DAQmx_Val_Cfg_Default = int32(-1)
DAQmx_Val_Volts = 10348
DAQmx_Val_Rising = 10280
DAQmx_Val_FiniteSamps = 10178
DAQmx_Val_ContSamps = 10123
DAQmx_Val_GroupByChannel = 0
DAQmx_Val_GroupByScanNumber= 1 #interleaved

# initialize variables
taskHandle = TaskHandle(0)    
max_num_samples = 2
data = numpy.zeros((max_num_samples,),dtype=numpy.float64)

print 'before error check'
def CHK(err):
    if err < 0:
        buf_size = 100
        buf = ctypes.create_string_buffer('\000' * buf_size)
        raise RuntimeError('nidaq call failed with error %d: %s'%(err,repr(buf.value)))

#def obtain_value():    
#Main Program
print 'entered main program'
print 'after create task'
print 'after create voltage'
CHK(nidaq.DAQmxCfgSampClkTiming(taskHandle,"",float64(2),DAQmx_Val_Rising,DAQmx_Val_ContSamps,uInt64(max_num_samples))); #(samples/sec/channel)  #ContSamps    
print 'after clk'
print 'after start task'
print 'after read'
print data
if taskHandle.value != 0:
print 'after main program'        

print 'end of loop'
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:49 AM
mhead10 mhead10 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 40
If I run a while loop (to obtain my DAQ data), the maximum number of times the loop will run is 4. After 4 times, "after start task" is displayed, but then nothing else. Therefore, it seems every time the loops gets stuck on the read function.

Any ideas?

I continue to move around what's inside of the function obtain_value, as well as change # of samples and sampling frequency.

Here is the code I'm referring to:

def obtain_value():
    print 'entered main program'
    print ' after create task'
    print '  after create voltage'
    CHK(nidaq.DAQmxCfgSampClkTiming(taskHandle,"",float64(50),DAQmx_Val_Rising,DAQmx_Val_FiniteSamps,uInt64(max_num_samples))); #(samples/sec/channel)  #ContSamps    
    print '   after clk'
    print '    after start task'
    print '     after read'
    print data
    if taskHandle.value != 0:
    print '      end'

i = 0
while i < 5:
    i += 1
    print i
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:29 AM
mhead10 mhead10 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 40
I found I could obtain continuous sampling after I downloaded the newest NI MAX driver from NI. Furthermore, I discovered NI I/O (previously called NI Spy). This is an invaluable tool for obtaining real-time information of what your DAQ is doing.
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