The Model 3830 Mulitplexer (mux makes it easy to implement computer-selected interconnections between different instruments. Six floating BNc connectors can be used as either inputs or ouptuts and are coupled to one of two common buses vis DPST reed-relay switches. This ensures that both inner and outer parts of the connector are isolated when the relevant relay is not energized. The two buses can also be connected together via a seventh "bridge" reed relay, allowoing operation either as two, two-input, one-output muxes or as a five-input, one-input mux. Other configurations are of course possible.
The unit is powered and controlled directly from the PC's USB port, so requires no additional power source. Operation is entirely via software, with no manual switches or settings on the module.
The supplied instrument control software consists of two layers. At the upper level, a simple Windows dialog application, "SR3830 Multiplexer", offers a convenient panel that allows switching patterns, known as "states", to be set up graphically and combined into "configuration" files.
Easy to use SR3830 Multiplexer applications software
Configuration files can be saved to and recalled from disk. Using these files make replication of experiments very straightforward.
Two main modes of operation are therefore possible. Users who simply want to operate the mulitplexer "out of the box" need do no more than plug it in, install the driver and software, and then use the SR3830 Multiplexer software to control. it.
Alternatively, when the mulitplexer is to be used as part of a computer controlled test system, then the user can develop software to control it via the SR3830Comms ActiveX control. The control eliminates the need for user to write the low-level code needed to send commands to and receive responses from the multiplexer, allowing them to concentrate on developing the higher level program to run their experiments. Typical applications include:
- Switching one of several sensor outputs to the input of a measuring instrument, wuch as a voltmeter or oscilloscope
- Connecting a signal source, such as an oscillator, to one of several actuators or drive cells
- Test and measurement systems implement in LabVIEW where a SIGNAL RECOVERY multiplexer needs to be controlled at the same time as instruments from different suppliers.
- Measurement system using scripted web pages (HTML files) operated via Internet Explorer.
The SR3830Comms control can of course also be used at the same time as other SIGNAL RECOVERY software ActiveX controls, such as SRInstComms, allowing sophisticated systems to be assembled. For example, a group of five photodiodes can be connected to the current preamplifier input of a model 7270 DSP lock-in amplifier via the model 3830 and then, using both controls a user-developed application program coud sequentially measure the signal on each photodiode.
Both the top level SR3830 Multiplexer software and the lower-level SR3830Comms ActiveX control include comprehensive on-screen help files, while examples of how to use the control in Lab VIEW, Visual Basic, VBScript, Visual C++, and Excel are also supplied. Also included is an instruction manual in both printed and PDF formats.