I have to set up a program for measuring the IV characteristics of some components using LabView.

At the time of writing I'm studying the basics of the G language (LabView programming language) for loops, while loops, etc... I'm not new to programming.

As far as my understanding goes, an IV curve can be obtained by sweeping the voltage across a predefined range and then measuring current. This can be done by using a for loop, for instance.

Bear in mind that I come from "conventional software programming" and I'm used to have full readable and complete documentation. Furthermore, I have little experience with lab equipment. My problem is that there seems to be a lack of documentation of drivers and I don't feel comfortable with this going on with the project.

Take the Keithley 6487 for instance. Both a DC voltage source and a picoammeter. The page of the drivers is here and I see no sign of specific block documentation. There is just some reference to how block should behave generally depending on the category they belong to (such as Initialize, Configure, Data, ecc...). This looks a bit concerning to me, but bearing in mind that at the moment don't have the instrument here, and I don't know it, it might very well be that matching each block to a specific function of the instrument is very easy and just requires a knowledge of how the instrument works. This would explain the lack of documentation, at least.

Could someone tell me where to get specific documentation for instrument drivers for LabView? Kethley/Tektronix does not seem to provide it...

  • \$\begingroup\$ If you get frustrated with labview and want to talk to it from a more ordinary general purpose language, the user's manual for the instrument lists the corresponding SCPI commands for each manual operation. You could likely issue those over anything that can speak RS232 or GPIB. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22, 2017 at 23:06

1 Answer 1


In LabVIEW, the documentation is usually part of the VI so you can reference it while you're editing code.

If you want an off-line document, LabVIEW can generate one for you, just open the VI Tree.vi and enable the items you want from the Print dialog. From your description, I would start with:

  • Icon and connector pane
  • Description

You won't need the front panel, controls, or block diagram.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you have just saved me a lot of time and swearing ! Thank you very much! \$\endgroup\$
    – mickkk
    Apr 26, 2017 at 12:05

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