NI-DAQ Setup

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NI-DAQ Setup is under development. It will be available soon. Thank you for your patience!




For Motive 1.10 and above, National Instruments data acquisition devices can be integrated into OptiTrack motion capture systems. Through NI-DAQ, various analogue signals (e.g. force and EMG signals) can be converted into digital signals at user-defined sampling frequency, and they can be precisely synchronized with tracking data in Motive. This page provides instructions on connecting NI-DAQ devices and acquiring analogue signals with OptiTrack motion capture systems using Motive. Please refer to the list of recommended NI-DAQ devices included at the end of the page regarding supported models. For instructions on configuring the NI-DAQ devices, please refer to the respective product User Guide.

Getting Started With NI Products: http://www.ni.com/getting-started/


Note: As of Motive 1.10, the NI-DAQ functionalities is not supported with the use of the Motive API.


Hardware Setup

Motive supports PCI and USB devices from National Instruments. A list of supported devices can be found in the supported devices section at the bottom of the page. For device specific connections, refer to respective NI User's Guide.


Connecting your NI-DAQ device to an OptiTrack Motion Capture system

The following diagrams show general wiring setups for connecting and synchronizing NI-DAQ devices (Bare wire and BNC) with an OptiTrack Motion Capture system. For precise synchronization, the eSync synchronization hub needs to be used.

  • Wiring wiring the eSync and the NIDAQ: connect one of the output ports of the eSync into an external sample clock supported digital input terminal of the NIDAQ. For screw terminal NIDAQ devices, ground signal must be separated from the eSync BNC output, and relayed into a digital ground terminal.
  • Wiring analogue devices: Output ports of the analogue devices need to be connected into the analogue input of the NIDAQ. For bare wire devices, corresponding ground signal needs to be connected as well. For BNC devices, set the analogue input port to GS (Ground source) configuration since common analogue devices delivers ground referenced signals. For more information, visit NI support: http://www.ni.com/getting-started/set-up-hardware/data-acquisition/sensors.


  • Screw Terminal Device Cabling
    Wiring diagram for screw terminal NIDAQ devices.
  • BNC Terminal Cabling
    Wiring diagram for BNC terminal NIDAQ devices.

Software Setup

ND DevicesPanel.png

1. First, install the NI-DAQ device drivers; refer to respective NIDAQ User Guide. See more: National Instruments Software Install Guide

2. Install the OptiTrack Peripherals Module (OPM) which will install the necessary Motive device plugins.

3. Ensure the NI-DAQ device is powered and detected by MS Windows.

4. Launch Motive. In the Devices Panel, all attached NI-DAQ devices should be displayed within the Devices group, and available analogue input channels will be listed.

5. Verify device operation. IF the NIDAQ device is setup properly, you should be able to see the live sampled signal in the 'Scope' view when the inputted channel is selected.

a. Camera Panel: Select a NI-DAQ channel with an active signal.

b. Camera Panel: Toggle the NI-DAQ device to begin sampling.

c. Camera Panel: Select the active channel.

d. timeline Panel: Show the 'Scope' View.

Change this to an analogue signal graph...

Property Reference

TEMP SCREENSHOT. NIDAQ device properties in the Devices Pane

NI-DAQ Device properties

Record Trigger: True to indicates record start frame flag will come from hardware data packet. False indicates Motive will control first recorded frame

Acquisition Rate: NI-DAQ sample acquisition rate. Must be a whole multiple/divisor of the camera framerate. Disabled if using an external clock.

Use External Clock: Sets whether an external clock signal is integrated.

  • True: NI-DAQ board is connected to an external clock on one of it's digial I/O terminals, and will use this signal to control sampling. Acquisition rate is disabled since the rate is now controlled by the external clock.
  • False: NI-DAQ board will collect samples in 'Free Run' at the Acquisition Rate specified.

External Clock Channel: Name of the NI-DAQ digital I/O terminal that is connected to the external clock (TTL) signal.


NI-DAQ Device Channel Properties

Refer to your NI-DAQ boards User's Guide for detailed information about supported signal types and voltage ranges.

Min Voltage: Configure the terminal's minimum voltage range (default is -10 volts)

Max Voltage: Configure the terminal's maximum voltage range (default is +10 volts)

Terminal Type: Channel physical signal type

  • Terminal: RSE Referenced single ended. Measurement with respect to ground (e.g. AI_GND) (Default)
  • Terminal: NRSE NonReferenced single ended. Measurement with respect to single analog input (e.g. AISENSE)
  • Terminal: Diff Differential. Measurement between two inputs (e.g. AI0+, AI0-)
  • Terminal: PseudoDiff Differential. Measurement between two inputs and impeded common ground.


Collecting Data

1. Motive : Device Panel Configure NI-DAQ collection channels properties (terminal type, voltage range)


2. Motive : Device Panel Enable channels to collect


3. Motive : Device Panel Configure NI-DAQ device properties (Acquisition rate, external clock)


4. Motive : Device Panel Enable NI-DAQ device


5. Motive : Timeline Tools : Scope Verify Channel/terminal signals appear correct in Live Scope.


6. Motive : Timeline Tools Start Recording


Synchronization Configuration: eSync

NEEDS TO BE REPLACED: It would be nice to have a screenshot of the Devices pane and the synchronization pane, showing exemplary sync configuration.

In order to precisely synchronize the motion capture system with NIDAQ devices, the eSync must be used. The clock signal from the eSync will be used as the 'external sample clock' for NIDAQ devices. When synchronizing using the eSync as the master clock, the acquisition rate of the NI-DAQ device will match the output rate of the eSync Output clock. Setting the NI-DAQ rate directly will be disabled in Motive.

To setup a NI-DAQ device to use an eSync output as the NI-DAQ 'external sample clock':

1. Hardware: Connect one of the eSync Output(N) ports to the NI-DAQ digital input terminal.


2. Motive: Open the Synchronization Pane and the Devices Pane.


3. Motive: Synchronization Pane: Select Custom Synchronization from the dropdown menu.


4. Motive: Synchronization Pane: Configure the Sync Source to Internal Clock.


5. Motive: Synchronization Pane Set the Output(N) Type to Gated Internal Clock, for the output port connected to the NI-DAQ. Now the internal clock signal is configure to be sent out from the output port to the NI-DAQ.


6. Motive: Devices Pane: Set NI-DAQ device property 'Use External Clock' to True. The NI-DAQ framerate in the Device Panel should now display the eSync Internal Clock rate.


7. Motive: Devices Pane: Set NI-DAQ device property 'External Clock Channel' to name of NI-DAQ digital input terminal connected in Step 1.


8. Motive: Timeline Pane: Record.

External Sample Clock

OptiTrack mocap systems use the eSync to provide highly accurate synchronizations. The eSync can be configured to output internal clock signals, which can be used as the master reference clock so other devices can synchronize to. In order to ensure best possible synchronization, it is highly recommended to use use a NI-DAQ device with support for "external sample clock".

External Sample Clock Supported NIDAQ Models:

  • X Series: (e.g. PCIe 6320, USB 63XX Series)
  • Bus-Powered M Series: ( e.g. USB 6210)
  • M Series: (e.g. USB 6221, PCI 6220)
  • Non-USB B Series: (e.g. PCI-6010)


External Sample Clock NOT Supported NIDAQ Models:

  • Low cost USB Series (e.g. USB-6002)


National Instruments Supported Devices

NaturalPoint Recommended Devices

  • USB-63XX X-Series


Verified Devices

  • USB-6341, USB-6351, USB-6361


UnVerified Devices

Device Type Model Number
USB Basic Series

(Low Cost)

NI 6000, NI 6001, NI 6002, NI 6003, NI 6008, NI 6009
E Series NI 6023E, NI 6024E*, NI 6025E, NI 6030E, NI 6031E, NI 6032E/33E/34E/35E, NI 6036E*, NI 6040E, NI 6052E, NI 6062E*, NI 6070E, NI 6071E, NI PCI-MIO-16E-1, NI PCI-MIO-16E-4, NI PCI-MIO-16XE-10, NI PCI-MIO-16XE-50
M Series NI 6210/11/12/15/16/18, NI 6220, NI 6221, NI 6224, NI 6225, NI 6229, NI 6230/32/33/36/38/39, NI 6250, NI 6251, NI 6254, NI 6255, NI 6259, NI 6280, NI 6281, NI 6284, NI 6289
X Series NI 6320, NI 6321, NI 6323, NI 6341, NI 6343, NI 6345, NI 6351, NI 6353, NI 6355, NI 6356, NI 6358, NI 6361, NI 6363, NI 6365NI 6366, NI 6368, NI 6375
S Series

(Simultaneous Sampling)

NI 6110, NI 6111, NI 6115, NI 6120, NI 6122, NI 6123, NI 6124, NI 6132, NI 6133, NI 6143, NI 6154
SC Express

(Signal Conditioning)

NI 4300, NI 4302, NI 4303, NI 4304, NI 4305, NI 4322, NI 4330, NI 4331, NI 4339, NI 4353, NI 4357
DSA Series

(Sound and Vibration)

NI 4431, NI 4432, NI 4461, NI 4462, NI 4463, NI 4464, NI 4472/B, NI 4474, NI 4492, NI 4495, NI 4496, NI 4497, NI 4498, NI 4499, NI 4610
CompactDAQ

(Platform to be used with I/O Modules)

Supported
C Series

Network DAQ

USB DAQ

(I/O Modules to be paired with Chassis)

NI 92xx, NI 94xx
NI MyDAQ

(Educational)

NI MyDAQ


Not Applicable

  • AO Series
  • Digital I/O Sereies
  • TIO Series
  • SC Series
  • Switches