Linux Upgrade of CCD UCSD Readout

We had to replace the SUN computer controlling our UCSD controller by a LINUX PC . This was long and painful!
After several unfruitful e-mail exchanges with primary and secondary sources of information, our 56K expert (JFH) has tested and compared hardware and software bugs occuring between our Linux PC's and our UCSD interface, only to conclude to the absence of reliable PCI-DMA protocol to read the video card.
We developped two ways around:
  1. Following Armin Karcher's tip: we exhumed, among old discharged PC's, a old model "DELL optiplex GX1" which is compatible with the DMA controller of our UCSD PCI interface. This is the basis of the layout presented hereafter.
  2. Using our new hardware: we took our C&S ASIC and our 1RG video board for CCD video readout (UCSD used for clocking only): cf. New LabView DAQ

  3. In both cases exposure control is deported inside the LabView monitoring and control program inside the on-line Windows machine. An exposure server (Xctrl), which is a slave of the Labview program inside the Linux machine, controls the CCD through Voodoo Java commands.  A file server system (FS) stores image files inside LabView's machine and/or the Supernovae group server. Similarly a sensor Status Server (StS) inside LabView's machine yields status parameters for an auxiliary data acquisition (i.e. the DSA GigaSample/s digitizer, used for digital signal analysis, which has its own Labview DAQ running on a dedicated portable PC).
    Owing to LabView's WWW-server feature, it is possible to operate the system from any browser connected to the intranet and by extension from home.

Image readout

Claire Juramy    Last modified: July 08, 2004 &EB 21/11