Sunday, July 13, 2014

PXI work

So I found this link on EDN about PXI systems last year when I was doing some research for a new project.  I was going through old notes this weekend & cleaning up some files when I found it.  I'm not quite sure anymore why I saved it.  Maybe it's because the author mentioned hybrid slots?  I bookmarked the link last year when I was shopping for a PXI chassis for a new test system, but that's as far as memory takes me.

Anyway, I started thinking about PXI-related issues again this past week, and stumbling across this link reminded me of the experience I had selecting the hardware last fall.  After I had determined how the the test system would work, I made a list of all the hardware I needed: DMM, power supply, multiplexer switches, and relays.  It was too much for a cDAQ to handle (as much as I liked the concept), so I started shopping PXI companies.

I priced out what I needed from four different vendors.  At a startup company you try to keep the costs low, so I spent over week justifying the cost for the system.  If the test system would cost $10k or more, I had to show the legwork to minimize that cost.  Of course the expense of someone like me - getting paid what I was paid - digging around to save a grand or less didn't make much sense.  But so it goes.

I ended up buying the PXI gear from NI, and the test system worked.  And the one thing I got out of that week I spent shopping PXI prices?  There wasn't much difference between the vendors.  Originally I tried to shy away from NI since I assumed their stuff would be pricey.  But in the end it was barely more expensive than what I could get from the other three companies.  Learn something new every day, I suppose.

No comments: