Summary of LabVIEW Resources and Comments

A little feedback regarding some confusion I have seen with the LabVIEW software:

Download Locations
This seems to change frequently. I just downloaded and compiled all of the NI files, which required me to navigate through many threads and sites. Maybe you could create a “sticky” that has every link in a single thread. This would also help students understand ALL of the software that is available:

LabVIEW CMU Cam App 1/21/2007
LabVIEW Dashboard 01/28/2006
LabVIEW Motor Tester App 12/21/2005
LabVIEW Motor Sim App 12/21/2005

FRC Modeling Toolkit
FRC Toolkit 12/28/2006

Tutorial #1 - Using the USB-6009 for sensor modeling and input/output

Tutorial #2 - Using the FRC Robot Modeling/Simulation Kit:

Tutorial #3 - Advanced Kit Implementation (not 100% complete)

README.TXT File in FRC Package
There is no documentation included with the “Updated FRC Toolkit” package. If a student downloads the software to distribute to his teammates, the webpage documentation is often not included. Kevin Watson has been providing a readme.txt in all of the packages as a standard.

Installing the FRC Robot Modeling/Simulation Toolkit:

  1. Install LabVIEW 8.20 AND the supplied Driver CD as directed. NI Pilot Program teams should have received LabVIEW 8.20 and the Driver CDs with their USB-6009 shipment. All other teams will receive LabVIEW 8.20 in their FRC Kit of Parts. Sorry, this toolkit is not compatible with LabVIEW 8.0 that teams received last year - cheer up, however, teams can download and install an evaluation copy of LabVIEW 8.20 from here; once your copy arrives in your Kit of Parts, you can use its activation code to activate your copy - no need to uninstall and reinstall!
  2. If LabVIEW is already installed, please close down LabVIEW if it has already been started.
  3. Extract the contents of the FRC Toolkit ZIP file into the LabVIEW 8.2 directory - this should overwrite the contents of the user.lib directory already created in that folder. If you installed LabVIEW in the default location, that directory is "C:\Program Files\National Instruments\LabVIEW 8.2".

Using the FRC Robot Modeling/Simulation Toolkit:

  1. Install LabVIEW 8.20.
  2. If not installing the Driver CDs, download and install NI-VISA 4.0 for Windows.
  3. Download and complete the FREE online “Learn LabVIEW in 3 Hours” course.
  4. Watch Tutorials 1 and 2.
  5. Download and Install the FRC Toolkit Software.
  6. Model your robot!

It’s that simple. Please review the tutorials (sorry, they’re about 30-40 minutes apiece) and NI Pilot Program teams with the USB-6009 DAQ devices are encouraged to use the devices for sensor modeling and for use in the toolkit as sensor feedback. We will make periodic updates to add functionality, release examples, release tutorials, and so forth, so please watch this thread for updates. Any questions should be posted in the LabVIEW subforum.

Hope this helps… Thanks for all the hard work Danny and crew at NI.

-A fellow “wire worker”

Thanks a million, Brian!

Edits to your document:

  1. Added Link to the “preview” of Tutorial #3.
  2. Updated Link to point to the Full CMUCam2 Application.
  3. Modified a couple headers


I hope this helps to spark some more interest in LabVIEW. Please let me know if you guys need any assistance, I would love to help…

-Brian A Fischer

LOL. Usernames can sure be gender benders sometimes, huh? :yikes:

Thanks again, Brian!

A couple of questions…

One part of the post implies that I don’t need to download and install NI-VISA if we have the USB6009. Is this a correct interpretation, or do I need to install NI-VISA to run the Dashboard VIs as stated in the .pdf file included with the LabVIEW Dashboard download?

I am having difficulty downloading the motor simulation files. My browser keeps timing out early. Are the files really, really large, which causes the timeout? Any suggestions?


Here’s the deal:

  1. NI-VISA is necessary for LabVIEW to read/write the Serial bus.
  2. NI-VISA is installed as a result of: [list=1]*]Installing LabVIEW on the Mac *]Installing the NI Driver CD *]Installing NI-VISA by itself.


In your LabVIEW package for FIRST, you are provided with 4 disks - One disk is LabVIEW, and the other 3 disks are the NI Driver CD. If you installed the NI Driver CD after installing LabVIEW, you don’t need to do anything further. Otherwise, pop in the first Driver CD and go ahead and install it. That will install everything you need.

In order to determine if NI-VISA is installed on your computer, open up MAX (Measurement and Automation eXplorer), expand the “Software” twistie in the upper-left, and check to see if NI-VISA is in the list. If it’s in the list, stop right there. If it’s not in the list, or if you do not have MAX installed, then you need to install NI-VISA.


Hi there!

I just wanted to suggest that this thread should be updated with stuff for the new controller…

Danny, would you do the honor?

For now, you can visit
you’ll find lots of stuff there.

Good Luck!
David A.

Thanks for your sharing. I will try to learn about it myself.