PCI-DA12-2/4/6 & PCI-DA12-8/16

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  • Universal PCI, PCI-X, 3.3V and 5V compatible (Call for PCI-Express availability)
  • Two, four, six, eight and sixteen (respectively), 12-Bit, double-buffered, digital-to-analog converters
  • Program control provides means for either individual update or simultaneous update of the DACs. The 8 and 16 channel models can use the counter-timer to generate DAC updates, and/or IRQs. The 2/4/6 models can use an external signal in this way.
  • Unique, automatic control of DAC outputs to prevent spurious outputs at power-on
  • 24-bits (PCI-DA12-8/16) or 16-bits (PCI-DA12-2/4/6) digital I/O buffered with tri-stateable transceivers
  • Three 16-bit Down counters (models PCI-DA12-8/16 only)
  • Resettable-fused +5VDC available for external use
  • RoHS Available. Please contact us for ordering information
  • Support for Wind River VxWorks (call for ordering information)
Last updated on December 7, 2023, 1:32 pm


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12-Bit Analog Output Cards

PCI-DA12-8 and PCI-DA12-16 are full-size cards that can be installed in long slots of PCI-Bus computers. They contain eight and sixteen independent double-buffered, digital-to-analog converters (DACs), and three 16-bit counter/timers. The PCI-DA12-2, -4, and -6 have two, four, and six DACs respectively. All of these cards have 8255 Compatible digital input/outputs, 16bits are available on the PCI-DA12-2/4/6 models, and all 24 bits are available on the PCI-DA12-8/16 models. On the latter card a cable and bracket is provided to bring the 40-pin header signals to a 37-pin DB connector on an adjacent mounting bracket.


The DACs are double-buffered and can be updated individually or simultaneously. To assure that there will not be excessive outputs to external circuits when the card is plugged in, automatic circuits limit analog outputs to 15 percent of full scale when the card is powered up. Upon power-up, the DAC reference voltage is set to that low voltage and the card is set in the Simultaneous Update mode. Then, after values are loaded into the DACs, you can use a software command to switch the DACs to their respective full scale ranges.

Analog output ranges available are:

  • 0 to +2.5V
  • 0 to +5V
  • 0 to +10V
  • -2.5 to +2.5V
  • -5 to +5V
  • -10V to +10V
  • 4 mA to 20 mA
    Higher drive current available on request


Calibration constants are generated and stored in software using a program included with the cards. ZERO (or OFFSET) constants are stored in EEPROM along with SPAN calibration constants. Further, the EEPROM stores a table of ranges that are assigned to each channel.


On the PCI-DA12-8 and PCI-DA12-16, a type 8255 Programmable Peripheral (PPI) IC provides 24 bits of digital input/output. The PPI is operated in Mode 0 and provides three 8-bit ports (A, B, and C). Each port can be individually programmed for input or output. Port C can be further configured as two 4-bit ports. Each digital I/O line is buffered by a type LS245 tristate transceiver that can source 15 mA and sink 24 mA (64 mA on request as a factory-installed option). Pull-ups on the card assure that there are no erroneous outputs at power-up and the buffers are configured for input or output use by direction assignment from a control register in the PPI.
The PCI-DA12-2/4/6 cards use the same 8255 PPI, but bring only ports A and B to the connector, providing 16-bits of DI/O


Three 16-bit down counters, in a type 8254 IC, are included on the PCI-DA12-8 and PCI-DA12-16. These are configured as Event counters (See Block Diagram) and can also be used as a frequency source derived from an on-board 1 MHz crystal-controlled oscillator. These counters can generate IRQs at a programmed frequency, and/or initiate DAC updates. This allows for very precise timing of waveform generation.


I/O connections for the DACs are made at a 37-pin Sub-D Male connector on the card mounting bracket. On the PCI-DA12-8/16 I/O connections for the digital inputs/outputs and the counter/timers are made through a 40-pin insulation displacement header and ribbon cable to a second bracket that can install alongside the first. The PCI-DA12-2/4/6 models bring 16-bits of Digital I/O to the same 37-pin connector as the DAC data.




Drivers and Downloads

Full list of available Downloads: Software Packages, Drivers, Manuals, and other documents

Information about our Free Software packages:

ACCES is proud to provide a full suite of software support with every Data Acquisition product. We are committed to supporting the most popular operating systems and platforms for our customers. Currently we are actively supporting XP -> 10, both 32 & 64 bit, including “Server 2008,” “Embedded,” and “Compact” flavors for all plug-and-play products including PCI, PCI Express, USB, and more. Many products continue to ship with support for additional operating systems such as DOS, Windows 95, 98, Me, NT4, and 2000.


Among the software we deliver with our products are sample programs in a wide variety of programming languages. These samples are used to demonstrate the software interfaces to our products — and many can be used as-is in your production environments, or to test functionality of the devices out-of-the-box. We’re currently actively supporting sample programs in Microsoft Visual C#, Visual Basic, Delphi, and Visual C/C++, with many devices including samples in Borland C/C++ 3.1 for DOS. Additionally we provide National Instruments LabVIEW compatible DLLs and many demonstration VIs for our devices.


Drivers for various operating systems are also provided, including active support for Windows XP -> 10 — all in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors, and including consumer, server, and embedded varieties — as well as the 2.6 and newer Linux kernels and recent OSX / macOS versions. Many products continue to ship with driver support for Windows 95, 98, Me, NT4, and Windows 2000, but support for these operating systems is considered deprecated.

Setup Programs and Utilites

Our Data Acquisition devices also include a graphical setup utility that walks you through the process of configuring any option jumpers or switches on the device, as well as explaining a little about the various connectors present.

Many devices also include utility programs – little tools to make your use of the device easier, such as EWriter, a program that allows you to read and write data in the user-accessible EEPROM locations on all our USB data acquisitition products; or WinRISC, a “Really Incredibly Simple Communications” terminal program that lets you get started instantly with serial devices.

“Register Level” Documentation

Besides all this software in all these languages and operating systems ACCES has a policy of open and transparent development: none of our lowest-level “register” interfaces are hidden from you — we document every register in every bus card, every command in every serial board, and every usb control transfer in every USB Data Acquisition board. These lowest-level interfaces allow you to develop for our products in ANY operating system or language, regardless of our actively supporting it or having a driver for it. We have customers actively developing in ADA, Android, Python, Java, MATLAB, Solaris, and more, just by referring to our complete low-level interface documentation! And we provide the full source code to all of our drivers, regardless of operating system, to give you an even bigger head start in your own development tasks.

No Fees or Royalties

All of this software is provided at no additional charge, and is licensed under any of a variety of flexible — and royalty free — options. Check out our software license explanation if you’d like more information.

Custom Software

ACCES also offers Custom Software Services for our products. Our prices are unbelievably low, often as inexpensive as free! If you need something tweaked to support your needs, or an entire enterprise application developed from scratch, it is definitely worth your time to inquire with us, first.

Further information about available ACCES Software:

Redistributing Windows Drivers
A list of ACCES drivers and the files that compose them under different versions of Windows, so you can easily redistribute ACCES cards and drivers.


ACCES has successfully partnered with Wind River to bring our entire line of PCI and PCI Express DAQ cards to VxWorks 7!

VxWorks 7 VxBus Gen 2 drivers, with easy-to-use API-libraries, are available for this product, including full source and sample code.

Designed to be compatible with our AIOWDM.dll Windows driver & API, this kernel module adds zero% CPU-cycle overhead to your VxWorks runtimes while allowing the lowest-latency hardware register access possible.

You can find more information about our VxWorks libraries and services on our Wind River Silver Partner page.

PCI-DA12-6, -4, and -2 Block Diagram

Analog Outputs

  • Resolution: 12 bits (0 to 4095 decimal)
  • Channels:
    • PCI-DA12-2: Two independent or simultaneous update
    • PCI-DA12-4: Four independent or simultaneous update
    • PCI-DA12-6: Six independent or simultaneous update
    • PCI-DA12-8: Eight independent or simultaneous update
    • PCI-DA12-16: Sixteen independent or simultaneous update
  • Voltage Output Ranges:
    0-2.5 VDC, 0-5 VDC, 0-10 VDC, + 2.5 VDC, + 5.0 VDC, + 10.0 VDC
  • Current Range: 4 to 20 mA (with external excitation voltage of 8-36VDC)
  • Short-circuit Current: 25 mA maximum
  • Output Drive Capability: 5 mA maximum
  • Output Resistance: Less than 0.1 ohm

Digital to Analog Convertor

  • AD7237 monolithic chip, double buffered
  • Relative Accuracy: ± 4 LSB max, ± ½ LSB typical
  • Linearity: + ½ LSB integral non-linearity over rated temperature range
  • Monotonicity: 12 bits over operating temperature range
  • Settle time: 8 usec to 1 LSB for full-scale step input
  • Data Format: 12-bit binary, right justified and offset binary for bipolar outputs
  • Gain Stability: + 15 ppm/°C typ.
  • Data Format: Right-justified, two bytes (8LSB’s and 4MSB’s)

Counter/Timers (PCI-DA12-8/16 only)

  • Type: 82C54-5 programmable interval counters.
  • Output Drive: 2.2 ma at 0.45 VDC (5 LSTTL loads).
  • Input Gate: TTL/CMOS compatible
  • Clock: On-board, 1 MHz crystal-controlled clock.
  • Active Count Edge: Negative Edge.
  • Minimum Clock Pulse Width: 30 nS high, 50 nS low.
  • Timer Range: 48 bits


  • Operating Temperature: 0 to +60o C
  • Storage Temperature: -20 to +85o C
  • Humidity: 5% to 95% without condensation
  • Size:
    • PCI-DA12-8/16: 12.2″ (310 mm) long
    • PCI-DA12-2/4/6: 6.0″ (152 mm) long

Digital I/O


  • Logic High: 2.0 to 5.0 VDC.
  • Logic Low: -0.5 to +0.8 VDC.
  • Input Load (High): +20 µA.
  • Input Load (Low): -200 µA.


  • Logic High: 2.0 VDC min., source 32 mA.
  • Logic Low: 0.55 VDC max., sink 64 mA.

DC Power Output

  • +5 VDC at 500 mA is available on the 37-pin connector.

Regulatory Compliance

This product is in full compliance with CE requirements.

ModelDescriptionPrice (USD)

2 Channel, 12 Bit, Analog Output PCI Card


4 Channel, 12 Bit, Analog Output PCI Card


6 Channel, 12 Bit, Analog Output PCI Card


8 Channel, 12 Bit, Analog Output PCI Card


16 Channel, 12 Bit, Analog Output PCI Card

Analog Output DB37 Direct Connect
ADAP37F-MINI Direct Plug Spring Cage Terminal Adapter, $40
Analog Output DB37 Cable Connect
CAB37-18 Ribbon cable, female to female 37-pin connectors, 18″ $25
CAB37-36 Ribbon cable, female to female 37-pin connectors, 36″ $29
STB-37 DIN-rail mountable screw terminal board with male DB37 $39
STA-37 Wireable screw terminal board with 2 male DB37’s $79
Digital I/O 40 pin IDC
C104-40F-12 Ribbon cable, 40 pin, IDC, 12″, $12
STB-40 Screw terminal board with 40-pin IDC header, $44
Model Options (call for pricing)
-RoHS RoHS compliant version
-T Extended operating temperature (-40°C to +85°C)