1
INTRODUCTION
This manual is designed to help you quickly and easily learn to use your Quantum Composers
Model 9412/9412A pulse generator. Rather than the usual array of knobs and switches, the
9412/9412A uses a menu-driven user interface with "on-line" help -- once you learn the basics
of operating your 9412/9412A, you may never need to refer to this manual again.
The 9412/9412A has some unique features that are designed exclusively for use as a laser
trigger signal generator, but can also be used as a general purpose pulse generator. Because
it employs a flexible microprocessor-controlled architecture, the 9412/9412A can be customized to fit your exact requirements -- contact Quantum Composers for details.
Technical Support
For questions or comments about operating the 9412/9412A, contact Quantum Composers via
one of the following methods:
P Phone - (406) 582-0227
P Fax / Modem - (406) 582-0237
P Email/Internet - www.quantumcomposers.com
Parts List
The following parts are included with the 9412/9412A -- contact Quantum Composers if any
parts are missing:
P 9412/9412A Pulse Generator
P AC Power Cord
P User's Manual
P Quick Reference Card
Warranty
In addition to a 30-day money back guarantee, the 9412/9412A has a one-year limited warranty from the date of delivery. This warranty covers defects in material and workmanship.
Quantum Composers will repair or replace any defective unit. Contact us for information on
obtaining warranty service.
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Custom Modifications
The 9412/9412A is microprocessor-controlled and employs a flexible and expandable userinterface. New features and operating modes often can be added, without hardware modifications, by merely modifying the software contained inside the 9412/9412A. Most modific ations can be made for a very modest charge -- contact Quantum Composers for details.
Safety Issues
Normal use of test equipment exposes you to a certain amount of danger from electrical
shock because testing must be performed where exposed voltage is present. An electrical
shock causing 10 milliamps of current to pass through the heart will stop most human heartbeats. Voltage as low as 35 VDC or RMS AC should be considered dangerous and hazardous
since it can produce a lethal current under certain conditions. Higher voltages pose an even
greater threat because such voltage can more easily produce a lethal current. Your normal
work habits should include all accepted practices that will prevent contact with exposed high
voltage, and that will steer current away from your heart in case of accidental contact with a
high voltage. You will significantly reduce the risk factor if you know and observe the following safety precautions:
1. Do not expose high voltage needlessly. Remove housings and covers only when necessary.
Turn off equipment while making test connections in high-voltage circuits. Discharge high-voltage
capacitors after removing power.
2. If possible, familiarize yourself with the equipment being tested and the location of its high voltage points. However, remember that high voltage may appear at unexpected points in defective
equipment.
3. Use an insulated floor material or a large, insulated floor mat to stand on, and an insulated work
surface on which to place equipment. Make certain such surfaces are not damp or wet.
4. Use the time-proven "one hand in the pocket" technique while handling an instrument probe.
Be particularly careful to avoid contacting a nearby metal object that could provide a good ground
return path.
5. When testing AC powered equipment, remember that AC line voltage is usually present on
some power input circuits, such as the on-off switch, fuses, power transformer etc., any time the
equipment is connected to an AC outlet, even if the equipment is turned off.
2
6. Never work alone. Someone should always be nearby to render aid if necessary. Training in
CPR first aid is highly recommended.
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4
Item Button
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1
CONTROLS AND CONNECTORS
This chapter explains the function of each control and connector on the 9412/9412A.
Front Panel
The front panel contains the most frequently used controls and connectors.
Display
The 9412/9412A features a backlit liquid crystal display, which displays menu selections and
settings. The left half of the display shows the current menu selection, while the right half
shows the current setting of the item associated with that menu.
Control Buttons
Toggles between the various items in a menu.
Menu Button
Toggles between the various sets of menus.
Up Button
Increments a number or increments the selection for the current item.
Down Button
Decrements a number or increments the selection for the current item.
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Left Button (help)
For numeric items, this button is used to select which digit in a numeric entry is selected for
editing. For other items or when the left most digit is already selected for numeric items,
pressing and holding this button down displays a brief description of the current item.
Right Button (range)
For numeric items, this button is used to select which digit in a numeric entry is selected for
editing. For other items or when the right most digit is already selected for numeric items,
pressing and holding this button down displays the range and units for the current item.
Stop Button
Disables output of pulses on all channels.
Run Button
Enables output of pulses.
Back Panel
QC Connectors
There are three (3) QC connectors on the rear of the 9412/9412A, 2 outputs and 1 input.
T1
Channel 1 output -- a general-purpose pulse output, with programmable delay, pulse width, and
pulse polarity. The maximum output voltage is adjustable and varies from 20 Volts opencircuit to 10 Volts when driving a 50 Ohm load. The maximum voltage is adjusted by a potentiometer located on the back of the 9412/9412A.
7
T2
Channel 2 output -- designed specifically for use as a solid-state laser Q-switch trigger and
has all the capabilities of the other output channels, including several special modes which affect only the output of Channel 2.
Ext/Gate
External Trigger or Gate signal input -- used as either an external signal to trigger the generation of pulses or as a gate signal to enable and disable the outputs.
Output Voltage Adjustment
The maximum output voltage of all output channels is adjusted by turning the potentiometer labeled VOUT. Turn clockwise to increase the voltage, counter-clockwise to decrease the voltage. The maximum voltage possible is 20 Volts into a high-impedance load or 10 Volts into a
50 Ohm load.
Serial Port
This is a 9-pin D-sub connector for the RS232 interface that comes standard with the
9412/9412A. It is pinned to be directly connected to a standard IBM-PC serial port -- use a
straight-through cable (not a null modem cable) to connect to a PC.
AC Input
A standard IEC instrument-type cord should be used. The 9412/9412A is supplied with a
power cord that fits the type of socket used in your country.
Before plugging in, please make sure that the voltage selection switch is set
to the proper setting for your country (either 110V or 220V).
Line Voltage Selection
This switch is used to select the voltage level used in your country -- make sure that it is on
the proper setting or the 9412/9412A could be damaged.
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9
1
10
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1
OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS
This chapter presents detailed instructions on the operation of the 9412/9412A.
Overview
The 9412/9412A uses a single -line LCD to display menu selections. The front panel keys are
used to "navigate" through sets of menus to set various options and control the pulse generator. Some keys are only active at certain times or have different behavior depending on what
state the menus are in -- once understood, the menus can be quickly and easily manipulated.
The 9412/9412A also contains non-volatile memory for storing up to four (4) (eight (8) for the
9412A) configurations, so you need not go through the entire setup process each time the instrument is used.
Selecting Menu Items
The menu items in the 9412/9412A are arranged in sets. Pressing the
key will toggle between sets of menus, while the
key will toggle between menu items within the current set.
Hold down the Left arrow key to receive a short description of the current menu item. Pressing and holding the Right arrow key will display the valid range for that item.
Numeric Input Mode
When the current item is numeric, the system enters the Numeric Input mode. In this mode,
the Left and Right arrow keys are used to select a digit to edit. The selected digit blinks to
identify itself as the active digit. The Up and Down arrow keys are then used to increment or
decrement this digit. When the left most digit is active, pressing and holding the Left arrow
key will display a brief description of the current item. When the right most digit is active,
pressing and holding the Right arrow key will display the range and units for the current item.
Item Edit Mode
When the current item is non-numeric, the Up and Down arrow keys are used to select
among different options for the entry. The Left and Right arrow keys are used to display a
description of the item.
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Main Menu
The Main Menu consists of a set of menu selections used to set the operating mode, time period and frequency of the 9412/9412A.
MODE - Pulse Modes
There are five (5) different Pulse modes available.
Continuous Mode
While in Continuous mode, the 9412/9412A will generate pulses at the rate set by the internal
To Period as set in the ToPer menu. The delay of Channel 1 is relative to To, while the delay
for Channel 2 is from the active edge of Channel 1.
The Ext/Gate input may be used as a gate or interlock by setting the GATE menu to Low or
High. Pulses will then only be generated while the Ext/Gate input is active. Selecting Low
will make the gate active low, while selecting High will make the gate active high. Set to Off
to disable the gate function.
Note: No pulses are generated until the Run key has been pressed.
External Trigger Mode
In the External Trigger mode, one pulse is output each time an active edge occurs on the
Ext/Gate input. The external trigger polarity menu (TRIG) is used to determine whether the
9412/9412A is triggered on the rising or falling edge of the external trigger.
The delay of each output is relative to the active edge of the external trigger, except for
Channel 2 which is delayed from the active edge of Channel 1.
Since it is being used as a trigger source, the Ext/Gate input cannot be used as a gate in this
mode.
Single Shot Mode
During Single Shot operation, one pulse is generated each time the Run key is pressed. The
rate at which pulses are produced is totally dependent on how fast the Run key is pressed.
The external trigger input may be used as a gate or interlock by setting the GATE menu to
Low or High. Pulses will then only be generated while the external trigger input is active. Selecting Low will make the gate active low, while selecting High will make the gate active high.
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Duty Cycle
The Duty Cycle mode is similar to Continuous mode in that a continuous stream of pulses is
output. The exception is the outputs are only active for a set number of seconds (DC:On
menu), then disabled for another set time period (DC:Off menu) before being re-enabled. This
cycle is repeated for a set number of times (CYCLES menu), after which all outputs cease.
Setting the number of cycles to zero results in continuous cycling, until the Stop Key is
pressed.
The Ext/Gate input may be used as a gate or interlock by setting the GATE menu to Low or
High. Pulses will then only be generated while the external trigger input is active. Selecting
Low will make the gate active low, while selecting High will make the gate active high.
The Run key must be pressed to start the Duty Cycle mode.
Burst
Burst mode is similar to Continuous, except only a certain number of pulses will be output
(#/BURST menu), after which outputs are disabled.
The Ext/Gate input may be used as a gate or interlock by setting the GATE menu to Low or
High. Pulses will then only be generated while the external trigger input is active. Selecting
Low will make the gate active low, while selecting High will make the gate active high.
The Run key must be pressed to start Burst mode.
GATE - Gate Select
When not in External Trigger mode, the Ext/Gate input on the 9412/9412A can be used as a
gate signal. When the gate is enabled, pulses will only be output while the signal into the
Ext/Gate input is active -- thus, this signal will act as a safety interlock or external control signal.
The Ext/Gate input may be used as a gate or interlock by setting the GATE menu to Low or
High. Pulses will then only be generated while the external trigger input is active. Selecting
Low will make the gate active low, while selecting High will make the gate active high. Setting the GATE menu to Off will disable the Gate function.
The setting of the GATE menu is used to determine when the signal is active. If the gate
menu is set (active) High, pulses will only be generated if the Ext/Gate input signal is greater
than 3.5 Volts. If set to (active) Low, outputs will be enabled as long as the Ext/Gate input
signal is less than 2.0 Volts.
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ToPer - To Period
Except when in External Trigger or Single Shot mode, all pulse outputs are based on an internal timer called To. This menu is used to select the rate at which To runs by selecting the
time period in microseconds between timer pulses. When in Continuous, Burst, or Duty Cycle
mode, pulses are output at the rate determined by To. The frequency of pulse outputs in these
modes can be found by taking the reciprocal of the To Period setting.
Width and Delay Menus
This set of menus is used to set the delay and pulse width for each of the output channels.
Note: Channel 2 delay is relative to the Channel 1 (T1) output.
Tn:Dly - Tn Delay
Each of the two channels has an independent delay setting which is set from the Tn:Dly,
where n = 1 or 2.
When in any mode but External Trigger, the Delay setting sets the delay from the time the internal timer To goes high until a pulse is output on a particular channel.
Note: In the case of Channel 2 (T2), the output is delayed from the active
edge of T1 - not To as with the other channels.
When in External Trigger mode, the delays are with respect to the active edge of the external
trigger input signal.
Tn:Wid - Tn Pulse Width
Each of the two channels has an independent pulse width setting which is set from the Tn:Wid
menu, where n = 1 or 2.
The pulse width is used to specify the duration of the output pulse in µS. The setting of the
output polarity (the Tn:Pol menu) for a particular channel determines whether the output is
high for this duration or is low.
Tn:Pol - Tn Polarity
Each channel has an independent output polarity setting set from the Tn:Pol menu, where n =
1 or 2.
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When set to Positive , the output will initially be at 0 Volts. When active, will go high for the
specified pulse width time, after which it will return to 0. The voltage level while high will depend upon the load and the setting of the output voltage adjustment on the back panel.
If set to Negative , the output will normally be at the high voltage level. When the output is
activated, it will go to 0 Volts for the specified pulse width time, after which it will return to
the high level again.
T2 Menus
Channel 2 (T2) has some special features designed to be particularly useful when used as a
Q-switch trigger.
T2:Enable
This menu is used to separately enable or disable the output of Channel 2, independent of the
other channels. If set to On, Channel 2's output will be active under the same conditions as
the other channels. When set to Off, Channel 2's output will remain disabled under all conditions.
T2:Gate
When not in External Trigger mode, the Ext/Gate input can be used to gate the output of all
output channels or just the output of Channel 2. In order to use the input to gate Channel 2,
the GATE selection in the Main Menu set must be set to Off and the T2:Gate selection must
be set to Low or High.
The setting of the T2:Gate menu is used to determine when the signal is active. If the gate
menu is set (active) High, Channel 2 pulses will only be generated if the Ext/Gate input signal
is greater than 3.5 Volts. If set to (active) Low, outputs will be enabled as long as the
Ext/Gate input signal is less than 2.0 Volts.
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T2:Wait
The output of Channel 2 can be delayed for a number of pulses. This menu is used to set the
number of pulses that must occur on the other channels before the output of Channel 2 is enabled. This is particularly useful when using Channel 2 as a Q-switch trigger, as it allows the
laser to thermally stabilize before activating the Q-switch.
This function is active only in Continuous, Burst, and Duty Cycle modes. Channel 2 is delayed
at the start of each burst in the Burst mode or at the start of each cycle in the Duty Cycle
mode.
T2*n - T2 Period Factor
The period at which Channel 2 (T2) is pulsed can be set to be a multiple of the other channels.
This menu item is used to select the multiplier. For example, if the To period ToPer) is set to
.100 sec (10Hz), setting T2*n to 2 will cause the channel 2 period to be .200 sec (5Hz).
Store/Recall/Misc. Menus
The 9412/9412A contains non-volatile memory for storing four (4) (eight (8) for the 9412A)
different configurations. The settings of all menu selections are stored and can be quickly recalled.
STORE Configuration
Stores the current menu settings in the specified memory location (one (1) - four
(4) (eight (8) for 9412A).
Note: If you overwrite a particular location, its previous contents are destroyed.
To store a configuration use the Up and Down arrow keys to select the memory location
number and press the Left or Right arrow key. You will be prompted to press the
key to
verify that you want to overwrite the existing stored configuration. If you press any other key,
the configuration will not be saved.
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RECALL Configuration
Recalls a previously stored configuration from the specified memory location. To recall a
configuration use the Up and Down arrow keys to select the memory location number and
press the Left or Right arrow key. You will be prompted to press the
key to verify that
you want to overwrite the active configuration. If you press any other key, the configuration
will not be recalled.
Note: A zero configuration is available for recall. This configuration resets the instrument to
the factory default settings.
Shot Counter
The 9412/9412A includes a nine (9) digit shot counter. The maximum count displayed is
4,294,967,295 after which the count rolls over to zero. To manually reset the counter to zero,
press the Left or Right arrow key, at which time you will prompted to press the
key to verify that you want to zero the counter. If you press any other key, the shot counter will not be
reset.
Fmark
The character used as a decimal point can be set to either a "." (period) or a "," (comma).
The period is generally used in North America, while the comma is used in Europe.
Volume
The key click volume may be adjusted from 0 (disabled) to 9. The default value is 2.
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4
9
1
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3
8
2
7
1
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COMPUTER INTERFACE
The 9412/9412A comes standard with an RS232 serial interface. All menu settings can be set
and retrieved over the computer interface using a simple command language.
Serial (RS232) Pinout
The serial port is located on the back of the 9412/9412A and uses a 9-pin D-type connector
with the following pinout (as viewed from the back of the 9412/9412A):
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
No connection
Tx - Transmit (to computer)
Rx - Receive (from computer)
DTR - connected to pin 6
Ground
DSR - connected to pin 4
RTS - connected to pin 8
CTS - connected to pin 7
No connection
The voltage level of the Transmit signal is +/-10V, the Receive signal should be at least +/-5V.
Command Language
All menu items can be accessed and selected via the computer interface using a simple command language.
Command Protocol
All commands have the following syntax:
$<name> <##>CR
where
P $ indicates a command follows.
P <name> is the command name. No spaces are allowed between the $ and the <name> . The
name is case sensitive.
P <##> is an unsigned, integer associated with the command. A space must be inserted between
<name> and <##>.
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P CR is a carriage return character (ASCII value 13).
With echo enabled, all characters sent will be echoed back to the sender.
Unidentified commands and most out of range conditions result in the pulse generator ignoring
the command. If the command is properly identified, the pulse generator returns an ok followed by a carriage return and a line feed (ASCII 13, ASCII 10), otherwise it returns a ?1 (a
question mark, followed by the number "one", a carriage return and a line feed). A ?2 is sent
if a valid command is received but the parameter is out of range.
Example - send the following command to set the number of cycles:
$CYCLES 100
The pulse generator will return the following:
Echo Enabled: CYCLES 100<cr><lf>
ok<cr><lf>
Echo Disabled: ok<cr><lf>
Only one command will be processed per message. Commands are not processed until the
carriage return is sent. If an error is made and identified prior to sending the carriage return,
sending a new $ will reset the input buffer and allow a corrected command to be sent.
To determine the current value of a parameter the syntax is:
$<name> ?CR
where name = a valid command name.
This will return an integer followed by a space, carriage return, and a line feed character
(ASCII 10).
Example - the following command would retrieve the current Cycles setting:
$CYCLES ?
The pulse generator will return the following:
Echo Enabled: CYCLES ?<cr><lf>
100<cr><lf>
Echo Disabled: 100<cr><lf>
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Communication Protocol
Communication parameters are set at 9600 baud, 8 bits, parity = none, and 1 stop bit. To help
establish RS232 communications, the pulse generator emits the characters QC approximately
every 200 ms after power up and until the 9412/9412A receives a $.
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Command List
The following table summarizes all the commands.
Note: The name of each command is identical to how it appears on the display of the
9412/9412A.
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Command Name
MODE
GATE
ToPer
DC:On
DC:Off
TRIG
CYCLES
#/BURST
T1:Wid
T1:Dly
T1:Pol
T2:Wid
T2:Dly
T2:Pol
9412/9412A Communication Commands
Parameters
Description
0 = Continuous mode
1 = Burst mode
2 = Duty Cycle mode
3 = Single Shot mode
4 = External Trigger mode
0 = off
1 = active low
2 = active high
1000 - 99999999 µs
500 - 99999999 µs (400B)
1 - 10000 Sec
1 - 10000 Sec
0 = falling edge
1 = rising edge
0 - 10000 cycles
1 - 50000 pulses
1 - 99999999 µs
0 - 99999999 µs
0 = Negative (active low)
1 = Positive (active high)
1 - 99999999 µs
0 - 99999999 µs
T2:Wait
0 = Negative (active low)
1 = Positive (active high)
0 = Off
1 = On
0 = Off
1 = Active low
2 = Active high
0 - 10000 pulses
T2*n
1 - 10000
BEEP
1 - 1000
RUN
0 = Disable
1 = Enable
T2:Enable
T2:Gate
Sets the pulse generator mode.
Enables the external trigger input to function as a gate
controlling all outputs. Cannot be used with external
trigger mode.
Sets the To internal sync period, used only in Continuous, Burst and Duty Cycle modes.
Sets the on time, in seconds, for the Duty Cycle mode.
Sets the off time, in seconds, for the Duty Cycle mode.
Sets the active edge of the Ext/Gate signal when used as
an external trigger.
Sets the number of cycles for the Duty Cycle mode.
Sets the number pulses in the Burst mode.
Sets the pulse width, in microseconds, for Channel 1.
Sets the delay, in microseconds, for Channel 1.
Sets the polarity of the output for Channel 1.
Sets the pulse width, in microseconds, for Channel 2.
Sets the delay, in microseconds, for Channel 2. Note:
The delay is relative to Channel 1.
Sets the polarity of the output for Channel 2.
Turns the output of Channel 2 on and off.
Enables the external input to act as a gate for Channel 2's
output.
Set the number of pulses to wait after starting T1 before
enabling T2. Note: This is used to allow time for the laser to stabilize when T1 is used as a flashlamp trigger
and T2 is the Q-switch trigger.
Sets the period of T2 relative to T1. The period of T2 is
the period of T1 multiplied by n.
Beeps the buzzer inside the 9412/9412A the specified
number of times.
Enable / disables the pulse generator output.
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9412/9412A Communication Commands
RECALL
STORE
SHOTS
0 - 4 (9412)
0 - 8 (9412A)
1 - 4 (9412)
1 - 8 (9412A)
0 = Reset to zero
(9412A Only)
ECHO
Fmark,
VOLUME
0 = Disable
1 = Enable
0 = , (comma)
1 = . (period)
0-9
Recall a stored configuration.
Store a configuration.
Resets shot counter. SHOT ? will return the number of
shots.
Enables/Disables the RS232 echo. The result string is
always sent back.
Sets the character used as a decimal point on the display.
Sets the key click volume level.
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1
SPECIFICATIONS
DELAYS
P CHANNELS Two (2) independent outputs, with digitally controlled delay and pulsewidth.
P DELAY
0 to 99.999999 sec
P PULSEWIDTH
10 µs to 99.999999 sec
P RESOLUTION
1 µs
P ACCURACY 100 ns + .0002 x delay
P TIMEBASE 8 MHz, 50 PPM crystal oscillator
P RMS JITTER 50 ns + .0002 x period, 200 ns max
P TRIG DELAY
Ext Trig to To < 100 ms
EXTERNAL TRIG / GATE
P RATE
Dc to 1/ (100 µs + largest delay + period)
P THRESHOLD
3 VDc (3 mA into optoisolator)
P TRIGGER SLOPE
Rising or falling edge
P GATE
Active low or active high
P IMPEDANCE
1000 Ω
INTERNAL RATE GENERATOR
P MODES
nal gate
Single shot, burst, duty cycle, continuous, external trigger, exter-
P RATE (To period)
1000 µs to 99.999999 sec (.01 Hz to 1 KHz) (400A) 500 µs to
99.999999 sec (.01 Hz to 2 KHz) (400B)
P ACCURACY 100 ns + .0002 x period
P RMS JITTER 50 ns + .0002 x period
BURST MODE
1 to 50,000 pulses
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OUTPUTS
(T1,T2)
P IMPEDANCE
50 Ω
P SLEW RATE > .2 V/ns
P OVERSHOOT
< 100 mV + 10% of pulse amplitude
P AMPLITUDE
load manually adjusted,
1-10V into 50Ω load
P PEAK CURRENT
400 mA per channel
P AVERAGE CURRENT
200 mA average (total for all channels)
2-20V into high impedance
all outputs at same level
COMPUTER INTERFACE
P RS232
trolled over the interface bus.
9600 Baud. All instrument functions and settings may be con-
GENERAL
P STORAGE Four (4) complete configurations (8 - 9412A),
from the front panel or the computer
P DIMENSIONS
7.5" x 9.0" x 4.0"
P WEIGHT
5 lbs.
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may be stored and recalled
interface.
1
MAINTENANCE
Except for fuse replacement, the 9412/9412A should require no maintenance.
Replacing the Fuse
The fuse is mounted on the circuit board located inside the 9412/9412A. Remove the top
cover to access and follow the instructions given below to replace the fuse:
1. Unplug the 9412/9412A from power source and remove power cord from the back panel.
2. Remove the two screws located on the sides of the 9412/9412A (they hold the front plastic
bezel in place) and remove bezel.
3. Remove the two screws located on the sides of the 9412/9412A (they hold the back plastic
bezel in place) and remove the bezel.
4. Lift the top cover to remove.
5. Locate the fuse on the circuit board (small glass cylinder located in the right rear corner) attached to the circuit board by metal spring clips.
6. Remove faulty fuse and replace with one of a similar rating (5 x 20 mm, .125 Amp).
7. Replace top cover and bezels.
8. Reattach the power cord.
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CUSTOM FEATURES
None.
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