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  • 1.  Analysis Software - National Instruments Hardware

    Posted 08-17-2023 18:10

    Hi Folks,

    Was looking for some help..... we use real time analyzers 90% of the time for our troubelshooting projects.....National Instruments hardware... cDaq Chassis with NI9234 and NI9232 data acquisition cards. It's small and modular.... works great for what we do. Our problem is analysis software....

    I am looking for various vibration analysis softwares that we could use with this hardware. For what I know... EZ Thomas/Analyst/Balance which were used with the IOTech hardware has gone away (and was not compatible with NI Hardware).... The Alta Solutions Software looks really nice but it does not work without their hardware.

    I have not had good luck with customer support from National Instruments.... I know they have a software that is Labview based.... has anyone used this software? It looks a bit intense based in the YouTube videos. 

    Is there any other software out there that works with this NI hardware? The software we use currently is not supported by the engineering firm that wrote it and it's plagued with bugs. It works well for Modal/ODS but is not really useful for data collection (which is also where the inherent flaws show up the most).

    I did hear the other day that NI was bought by Emerson, so who knows what that will mean in the future.

    Would appreciate any help you guys could offer!

    Thanks so much!


    Kyle Bowlin

  • 2.  RE: Analysis Software - National Instruments Hardware

    Posted 08-18-2023 06:03

    Hi - Yes it's a real issue - NI bought out IOTech and killed off eZTOMAS and the Zonic book and it didn't serve the machinery analysis community well at all. I'm still keeping my three Zonic books going with legacy software.

    I did look at some alternatives - OROS and Dewesoft but these won't help if you already have the NI data acquisition. I'm sorry I'm unable to do more than share your frustration.

    Andy Mellor

  • 3.  RE: Analysis Software - National Instruments Hardware

    Posted 08-18-2023 08:30
    Edited by Kristan Sears 08-18-2023 08:30


         I have been around this block too many times to count.  There are several options for you, depending on what your end game is.  If you want quick and easy, I would suggest DASYLab, from Measurement Computing.  They are another NI acquisition that they tried to kill.  So far, they are limping along, but the company is going through some changes.  Still, it's REALLY easy to use, and works great with NI hardware.  You will need to make sure that you have NI MAX installed, because you'll need to configure the tasks for the device using MAX.  Then you just load the NI modules when you're creating your data acquisition in DASYLab.  The input device will use the settings (samples, frequency, etc.) when you create your acquisition model.  I started with LabVIEW and found DASYLab really easy to get started with, and there's not much of a limitation for what you're doing.  LabView was a total cluster, because you have to program graphically, which is a challenge if you don't already know/understand it.  And, every time you want to do something, you find that there's another piece of LabView that you need, which you don't have (Yes, $$$ is required).  If you want to do real time with lots of channels, you might run into some issues with DASYLab reading the data as fast as it comes in.  But that's where you'd really want an Alta Solutions box, anyway.

    If you want to go a step up, and you don't mind spending the time learning, you can use ME'scope, from Vibrant (  I also use this, and I'm currently fighting with it now.  It has a lot more tools and capabilities than I've learned how to use, but it's still great for data acquisition using the NI-9232 or 9234 (what I'm using now for impact testing with a CTC Triax - TREA330 & PCB hammer).  The acquisition set up and configuration is a bit of a challenge because there's not a lot of training or information on that piece.  You want to be sure you get this right, and get the data stored properly, before you implement a solution like this.  It's a great tool, but there are some things to learn, and it's not fool proof.  But I would still highly recommend it, depending on what kind of data you're looking for.

    If you really want to go all out, do some programming, or have someone build you a custom application around your hardware, then you could also go with Mathworks, a.k.a. Matlab.  I have also dabbled with this.  I like this option a LOT, but I'm not interested in being an application developer.  I was able to set up the connection and collect data.  There's much more power in Matlab, but you also have to either spend the money on the pre-built modules (which work well), or you have to build it yourself.  Mathworks always offers support, and I'm sure you can get them to build you exactly what you want, if you don't feel like doing it yourself.  I was able to teach myself and get started.  But I didn't want to build a monster application that I would have to keep maintaining and repackaging as an executable.  The programming side of this is what will be the biggest hurdle to overcome, but Matlab is a great option if you want to build a high-end custom application for your needs.

    I would start with DASYLab.  They offer a 28-day trial version so you can play with it.  If you decide to buy, they just send you the license number and it activates the trial version for you.  

    I hope that helps.


  • 4.  RE: Analysis Software - National Instruments Hardware

    Posted 08-18-2023 09:29

    Hi Kristan,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and for sharing your experiences. I am already looking into the DasyLab option that you have mentioned. We do a lot of ODS/Modal Analysis projects every year and I too took a peak at the Data Acquisition option in ME Scope.... it did look a bit cumbersome but I can't say I did anything more than stare at it from 35,000 feet.

    While looking at the NI website I did find a bunch of videos online about their Flexlogger software.... it doesn't look terrible and is only $793 per year. I think I may get a license for this and start to play with it some.... thank you again for taking the time to reply to this post. If this Flexlogger software pans out.... I will share my experiences in this thread.

    Thank you!


    Kyle Bowlin

  • 5.  RE: Analysis Software - National Instruments Hardware

    Posted 08-18-2023 11:02
    Edited by Kristan Sears 08-18-2023 13:37


         I would encourage you to be be very careful with the Flexlogger software.  Not that it's not good.  Far from it.  It looks very nice.  However, I have been bitten before by sample videos like this that show you a canned demonstration, and it looks like it's a perfect carryover to what you're doing.  However, I'm sure you noticed the DIADEM banner that flashed during the video, around timestamp 3:50.  That's an add-on package that you need to buy, IF you want to perform the tasks that he did in the video.  Flex Logger

    DIADEM packages

    You'll also notice that he's only showing amplitude and SPEED.  It's not giving him a once-per-rev signal that is linked to the data.  He's getting a 1x/rev to calculate the speed, but it's just a raw signal that he's trending.  It's not actually connected to the vibration signal.  So you can't get phase from those inputs.  If you want phase, you'll need a separate algorithm (that you'll have to build), unless they have a specific phase reference module that I'm not seeing/not aware of.  This is what became problematic for me when using DASYLab.  I got it working, but it was not easy or straightforward.  

    I might not fully appreciate the kind of data that you're collecting, or why, so I can't say that this isn't a good example of a use case for you.  Just be cautious. 

    I was told that LabView could do everything I wanted/needed.  They don't usually understand all the things that you and I need to do.  They often like to highlight the metadata that can be stored with the application.  Yes, it's nice, but hardly the most important piece of information that I'm looking for.  

    If you haven't already looked into it, you could also look at the PicoScope.  It has limitations, but it's great for a portable digital oscilloscope that you can analyze data with very quickly.  Just something else to consider.

  • 6.  RE: Analysis Software - National Instruments Hardware

    Posted 08-18-2023 13:22


    Thanks for taking the time to share this.... really appreciate the insight.

    Phase, speed, Bentley rack vibration and subsequent shaft orbits are a major factor in me looking for a new software to use.... the existing software that I use is seemingly never able to read a tachometer or speed data from a keyphasor. It also seems to like to "erase" spectral data depending on what location you use as a phase reference.

    I did see that DIAdem looked like it would be required after looking more closely into the YouTube videos.... the initial low price kind of struck me as a "trojan horse" price if you know what I mean.

    Thanks again for taking the time to provide this information.... I am going to look into the suggestions you provided for sure.

    Kind Regards,


    Kyle Bowlin

  • 7.  RE: Analysis Software - National Instruments Hardware

    Posted 10-23-2023 23:17

    I'm using a very good software just developed for NI hardwares from 30 years ago, and keep improving by now, it has all the functions I need to measuring, theonly question is it is in Chinese, need to be translated to English by the inventor. 

    shaofeng wang

  • 8.  RE: Analysis Software - National Instruments Hardware

    Posted 10-24-2023 05:05
      |   view attached

    Man, do I feel your pain, Kyle.  My career spans 47 years.  I've utilized many manufacturers products over that span including Nicolet Scientific, Zonic, CSI, Entek, IOTech, and finally NI and LabVIEW.  Yes, I taught myself to program in LabVIEW.  My system was to be dedicated to gathering all six axes of an electric motor under test within our motor repair shop.  The data acquisition was fast, accurate and reliably saved to the job folder on the corporate server, 800 miles away.  The end user was the test stand operator, so it had to be easy to use.  I didn't want them to have to deal with FMax and FMin, resolution, windowing, full scale sensitivity, etc, so I take everything, 0-5000 Hz, 32,000 lines of resolution.  This yields 16,000 line FFTs so the resolution is just under 20 CPM, which is required for rotor bar analysis.

    There is also a seventh channel for a tach. I programmed LabVIEW to provide the magnitude and phase of the 1x peak in Displacement P-P.  These values can then be entered into any third party balancing software, such as Steve Young's programs from Mobius for $2.99.

    The system was first put out on the test stand in 2005 and it has grown into an ideal product for its needs.

    LabVIEW is not a programming language to take on as a lark.  The learning curve is painful.   The best comment I ever heard….'LabVIEW will get you 90% of where you want to be in a couple of hours of programming.  The remaining 10% will take you months and months. How true.
    You could try and find a used IOTech 652U and EZTomas.  Wow, what a system! That and Vibrant Technologies ME Scope and you're there until something breaks.  Mike Grace (EZTomas Author), you ARE THE MAN!!!

    Now, about modal/ODS analysis on vertical pump systems.  Why?  My experience with these machines has always led down the same paths… the most common being what is commonly referred to as the Reed Frequency.  There can be two, orthogonal to each other due to the added stiffness of the discharge piping.
    In the early days, large motor manufacturers sent me to remote areas where a motor that tested fine before shipment, now had vibration issues sitting on a 10 foot high pump head.  Yes, a natural frequency is usually involved, but where did the excitation come from?  I was sure the pump manufacturers were just as concerned about sending a quality product to the field.

    The problem lies in putting all the pieces together in the field.  Slight run out differences are more than sufficient to excite the lightly damped natural frequencies involved.  It wasn't until I worked directly for a motor manufacturer that I started attacking these problems by trim balancing the anti-rotation ring or other disc at the top of the motor.  Vibration levels of 0.6 inch/second would quickly drop to 0.06 inch/second with just the addition of 60-100 grams.  You don't need much weight because it's affecting a critical frequency.

    May I offer another suggestion on hardware/software?  DataView Systems of Rochester, NY is a NI / LabVIEW Platinum level systems integration house.  You've got the hardware, let them put together the LabVIEW code for you to acquire data for input into ME Scope. I'm sure it accepts UNVB, binary universal format files.  These are easy to procure from an eight channel front end, six for two triax accels and an impact hammer,

    Please give me a call if you would like to pursue this avenue.


    Ron Brook


    BTW, I'll send you the Flyer on MotorVibe, version 1.0.14.  Yes, it's been in existence since 2005 and it's had some bells and whistles added, but the good news is it just works.

    Good Luck to you

    Ron Brook