Data Acquisition

Anybody here doing any data acquisition with their macs? More specifically, has anybody had good experiences with some of the various National Instruments DAQ products on a mac?

My lab primarily uses LabVIEW, which I've reluctantly come to enjoy, but unfortunately we're mostly a Windows lab. We recently purchased a mac mini to go in our cleanroom, the primary purpose of which is to connect to a digital camera/microscope setup for acquiring microscope images.

But pretty soon I'd like to use that mac mini to control some external hardware. National Instruments makes some decent Data Acquisition products, many of which either require PCI slots or an external chassis (eg compact PCI or PXI). But I'd like something simple that connects via USB. I'm looking for something with a few analog voltage inputs and outputs, speeds up to 1 MHz would be nice but not essential, DIO would also be nice but not essential. The device MUST be programmable from with LabVIEW.

National Instruments has the NI USB-6251 which would be good, as well as the NI USB-6218 . But unfortunately both of these products are only officially supported on Windows. I've contacted NI twice about using these products on OS X and have yet to hear any response from them.

What's highly annoying is that these are merely USB devices, so I don't see why the drivers should be OS-dependent. Even more confusing is that both devices are built to take advantage of NI's DAQmx configuration/control interface, support for which is built directly into LabVIEW. And LabVIEW is available on OS X. So I don't see any reason why these shouldn't work per se, but I don't want to drop $1000+ on a device that's not specifically guaranteed to work with my setup.

Anybody have any experience with Data Acquisition on their macs?

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Simple USB device available

I'd like to quickly followup, in case anybody is curious, there is a simpler USB-based DAQ device available from National Instruments that does work on OS X. The low-cost NI USB-6008 for $159, and also the USB-6009 with faster analog output for $259.

However, these devices only have 12 bits of analog output resolution, with a range of 0-5V, and output data rate of only 150 Hz, so I am looking for something with a little more oomph.

But if anybody is looking for a cheap and simple data acquisition unit for OS X, these products may work out nicely.

similar problem

Ive been working on the same problem and have not come out with a solution yet. Also, I need 32 analog inputs...and no such device for MAC exists. Do you know if I can connect 4 USB-6009 devices to the MAC?

Data Acq

If you are using ONLY LabView, then most of the National Instruments USB hardware will sort-of work as advertised on OSX. If you are NOT using LabView and you are trying to create some kind of OEM app, then pretty much all the National Instruments hardware is problematic except the PCI based hardware which does work as advertised.

The main problem with National Instruments is the OSX drivers simply DO NOT WORK as advertised with USB. If you try to troubleshoot the problem, they don't help much. If you try to write your own drivers, they absolutely refuse to provide any register level information which is essential to writing a driver.

We are extremely frustrated with N.I. and have decided to cancel our OEM supply contract with them and look for new data acq hardware.