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Countdown to Launch the LXI Reference Design

Submitted by TSE Plazotta

We proudly announce that the testing phase of LXI Reference Design has been finished by the end of 2015. During the year the completed code was modified and refined, as feedback was given by the members of the LXI Consortium. After this process the LXI Reference Design was passed to testing where all tests have been passed successfully. Currently the documents to the LXI Reference Design are being modified and completed for the launch of version 1.0. Meanwhile work was started on the LXI Standard 1.5 which is currently in the review phase. This will be one of the major topics at the San Diego Plug Fest at the end of February.

Now, at the bginning of 2016, we are glad to be close to launching the LXI Reference Design Version 1.0.

What's going to happen in 2016?

At the LXI General Meeting & Plug Fest in San Diego in February, or shortly after it, the LXI Consortium is planning to release Version 1.0 of the LXI Reference Design. At the same meeting new, additional features for the LXI Reference Design will be decided.



LXI Data-Acquisition System for Wind Tunnel Testing


Submitted by Bustec

Wind tunnel facilities provide the equipment and expertise to develop and conduct tests used to characterize the aerodynamic and propulsion parameters of aircraft and vehicles. The S10 wind tunnel testing facility at the Institute Aérotechnique of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in France, was designed for full-scale automobile tests but has been modified several times to be adapted to other fields of studies.

The heart of the wind tunnel is its large test section measuring 5 meters x 3 meters x 10 meters (Figure 1) used to perform a variety of tests including force tests, pressure tests, and airflow pattern measurements. The test section of the S10 wind tunnel has a maximum flow velocity of 55 m/s (200 km/h) and is equipped with a broad range of test equipment including six of Bustec’s ProDAQ 6100 function card carriers.

Figure 1. Illustration of Wind Tunnel at Institut AéroTechnique in France

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IVI Web Forum Question and Answer


Answered by Kirk Fertitta, Pacific Mindworks
for the
IVI Web Forum

Note:  Offering an IVI driver is a requirement for all LXI-conformant instruments.  The IVI Web Forum is hosted by the IVI Foundation.  You can sign up at www.ivifoundation.org.


Usage of the IVI VISA DLL:

We downloaded your IVI Shared Components VISA.Net and come up with several questions:
1. Is the IVI VISA DLL free for development, which means we develop an C# application based on this library to communicate with special instruments?
2. Can we distribute our application with the library to others?
3. Based on the second question: Are we allowed to use it for commercial purposes (the dll is shipped for free but our software won’t be free)
4. We already started succesfully to communicate with our instrument just by referencing ivi.visa.dll. Is this the correct way to use the library without special vendor (NI, Agilent, ..) VISA implementations. Are there any problems?


Yes, that is correct. MindWorks.Visa.dll is the Pacific MindWorks implementation of the VISA.NET specification (i.e. the interfaces defined in Ivi.Visa.dll). It operates on top of visa32.dll, so you must also have either NI or Keysight visa32.dll installed for that to work. The MindWorks.Visa.dll is not currently freely redistributable. Other VISA.NET implementations are expected to appear in the market and the distribution rights for those will depend upon the policy of the specific VISA vendor.

Now, the Ivi.Visa.Interop.dll is something entirely different. This is an interface-only assembly (no implementation code at all) that simply provides a .NET fascade on top of the VISA-COM API. Again, it requires that a full VISA implementation (such as those from NI and Keysight) be installed to operate.

In summary, you will likely need to consult the redistribution policies of the VISA vendors, like Keysight and NI. None of the APIs you have mentioned can actually communicate with instruments without a core implementation from the VISA vendors.



Thanks to all our readers.
Bob Helsel, Editor

Use the connection you already know!


New LXI Products

The LXI Consortium has certified more than 2738 instruments in over 287 product families since the specifications were first released in September 2005. Some of the recent LXI product introductions are highlighted below:

Tektronix MDO4000C Mixed Domain Oscilloscope
6–in–1 Versatility PLUS High Performance in One Powerful Oscilloscope
The new MDO4000C includes up to six built-in instruments, each with exceptional performance to address tough challenges.

Keithley 2281S-20-6 Precision DC Supply and Battery Simulator, 20V, 6A
The Series 2281S Battery Simulator and Precision DC Power Supply innovatively integrates battery simulation with the functions of a high-precision power supply and battery testing.

Keysight N8937APV Photovoltaic Array Simulator, 1500 VDC, 208 VAC
The Keysight N8937APV Photovoltaic (PV) Array Simulator enables you to develop, verify and optimize the performance of your inverter maximum power point tracking algorithms.

R&S®FPS Signal and Spectrum Analyzer
The R&S®FPS is an exceptionally fast and compact signal and spectrum analyzer for performance oriented users. In production and in monitoring systems, only 2 HU of rack space are required – a reduction of 50 % compared with traditional instruments.

Pickering Interfaces New High-Density Switching Matrix (model 60-553)
This new matrix is a 1024x4 dual bus 1-pole matrix in a compact 1U full rack width enclosure. The product has been designed specifically to support high relay closure counts to optimize its use with a digital multimeter (DMM) or source meter for checking for insulation problems between a single contact and all other contacts in the unit under test (UUT), requiring the closure of up to 1024 crosspoint relays.

VTI Instruments RX0124
The RX0124 is part of VTI's RX series family of rugged instruments with built in sensor signal conditioning. The RX0124 is designed to address all strain/bridge measurement requirements for use in a harsh test cell environment.

HiTech HTLX2920 16-channel High Power Switch Module
HTLX2920 is an LXI-based 16-channel BASE-CALSS high power switch module which is composed of 16 high power SPST (Single Pole Single Throw) switches.



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