General cabling – National Instruments PCI-8331 User Manual

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Appendix B

Common Questions

MXI-4 Series User Manual


impact of this situation in general, design a multi-chassis system layout
such that there are a minimum of MXI-4 links between the host PC and PXI
boards requiring large bandwidth.

General Cabling

What are the different cabling options for MXI-4?

There are two different types of cables that can be used with MXI-4. The
PCI/PXI-8331 uses a copper cable. The PCI/PXI-8336 uses a fiber-optic

What is the maximum length of a MXI-4 copper cable?

The maximum length for the MXI-4 copper cable is 10 meters. National
Instruments offers 3 meter, 5 meter, and 10 meter copper cables.

What is the maximum length of a MXI-4 fiber-optic cable?

The maximum length for the MXI-4 fiber-optic cable is 200 meters.
National Instruments offers 10 meter, 30 meter, and 200 meter fiber-optic

How can I extend my system past the maximum cable length?

The best solution is to add a second MXI-4 link, which will then extend the
length to 400 meters (fiber-optic kit only). To do this you will need a
second PXI-MXI-4 kit (which consists of two PXI-8336 devices), another
cable, and another chassis. The 4-slot PXI chassis is the lowest cost option
for a chassis. Chassis and MXI-4 kits can be added as needed in order to
obtain the desired distance.

Can I use a repeater to extend the range of my MXI-4 link?

To extend MXI-4 greater than the 200 (fiber) or 10 (copper) meters, you
cannot use a normal Ethernet repeater. Most repeaters work by resending
the packets sent to them instead of the exact electrical signals. Since MXI-4
uses a proprietary packet optimized for PCI cycles, a standard Ethernet
repeater will not work.

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