Back in 2007 I submitted a patch to Comedi to support triggering analog output off the analog input start signal. The patch was accepted (commit 4284c2266987ad08a26f2758cd09fef06d1ce3cf), and is now old news, but I just ran across my notes from developing it, and thought I'd publish them for posterity (and as a reminder to myself in case I have to dig into the internals of Comedi or NI drivers in the future).
To understand the patch, you should understand some portion of National Instrument's Data Acquisition Systems Timing Controller (NI DAQ-STC, see “Understanding NI DAQ-STC” below and the manual for more details).
We are trying to set up the AO timing so it triggers off of the AI
start signal. In NI terminology, that means we want
AI_START1 to be
the source of
AO_START1. The possible sources are listed in the
DAQ-STC manual in table 5-2, p6-7 (380), where we see that
AO_START1's 19th input is
AI_START1. To implement this, we need
to write to the card's
AO_Trigger_Select register (Appendix B,
register 67, pB-21 (470)).
Sounds fairly simple, we should just be able to set the appropriate
start_arg. However, looking into source of
comedi/driver/ni_mio_common.c, we see that no external triggering
information is written to the
back through the STC manual, we come across their AO trigger example
(220.127.116.11, p3-23 (185)) which shows how to set up AO triggering.
ni_mio_common.c, we see that the AO triggering
ni_ao_cmd() looks just like the “software
triggered” case in NI's example. So it seems impossible to run
externally triggered AO.
The patch edits
ni_mio_common.c to make it more like NI's example
ni_mio_common.c's own AI code.
Understanding NI DAQ-STC
Consider the timing sequence shown in the Comedi manual. For output, all the same timings apply, but data is flowing the other way.
Here is a translation table between NI's terminology and Comedi's (NI references from STC manual):
|Comedi AI||NI AO||Reference|
|seq_start||AO_START1||Fig 3-10, p3-12 (174)|
|scan_begin||UPDATE||Fig 3-2, p3-6 (168)|
|convert||TMRDACWR||Fig 3-2, p3-6 (168)|
There are references to an
AO_START as distinct from
but it appears to be unsupported:
- It does not show up in the manual's AO feature list (section 3.2, p3-2 (164), compare to the AI feature list, section 2.2, p2-2 (31))
- It shows up in some contexts as unsupported (e.g. section 3.6.5, p3-36 (198))