Gated Integrator

Gated Integrator
Gated Integrators and Boxcar Averagers
SR250 — Gated integrator with gate width to 2 ns
· Gate width from 2 ns to 15 µs
(expandable to 150 µs)
· Internal rate generator
· Active baseline subtraction
· Shot-by-shot output
· Gate output for precise gate timing
· Average 1 to 10,000 samples
· DC to 20 kHz repetition rate
· Low jitter (<20 ps + 0.01 % of delay)
· SR250 ... $2990 (U.S. list)
SR250 Gated Integrator
The SR250 Gated Integrator is a versatile, high-speed NIM
module designed to recover fast analog signals from
noisy backgrounds.
the signal, and makes the instrument a particularly useful
component in a computer data acquisition system.
The SR250 consists of a gate generator, a fast gated integrator,
and exponential averaging circuitry. The gate generator,
triggered internally or externally, provides an adjustable
delay from a few nanoseconds to 100 ms before it generates
a continuously adjustable gate with a width between 2 ns
and 15 µs. The gate delay can be set from the front panel or
automatically scanned by applying a rear-panel control voltage.
Scanning the gate allows the recovery of entire waveforms.
The SR250 may be triggered internally or externally. The
internal rate generator is continuously variable from 0.5 Hz to
20 kHz in nine ranges. The external trigger pulse may be as
short as 5 ns, allowing the unit to be triggered with fast pulses
from photodiodes and photomultipliers. Single shot and line
triggering can also be selected.
Signal Inputs
The fast gated integrator integrates the input signal during the
gate. The output from the integrator is then normalized by the
gate width to provide a voltage proportional to the average
of the input signal during the sampling gate. This signal is
further amplified and sampled by a low-droop sample-andhold amplifier, and output via a front-panel BNC connector.
The last sample output provides a shot-by-shot analysis of
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The sensitivity (Vin/Vout) of the instrument may be set from
1 V/V to 5 mV/V. If additional gain is required, the SR250 can
be used with the SR240A preamplifier. The input is protected
to 100 V and has a 1 MΩ input impedance. An input filter
rejects unwanted signals before the input is sampled by the
integrator. Unwanted DC input offsets are easily nulled with
a 10-turn potentiometer.
phone: (408)744-9040
SR250 Gated Integrator
Gate Timing
The delay of the sample gate from the trigger is set by the
delay multiplier and scale. The delay scale is multiplied by the
setting on the 10-turn multiplier dial, allowing continuously
adjustable delays from a few nanoseconds to 100 ms. The
delay multiplier may also be changed from the rear-panel
control voltage input—a useful feature in applications
requiring a scanning gate. Zero to ten volts at this input
overrides the front-panel 0 to 10× delay multiplier. Insertion
delay from trigger to gate is only 25 ns, and gate-delay jitter
is only 20 ps + 0.01 % of the full-scale delay.
signal. The gate output is timed so that it can be overlayed
with the signal output for precise adjustment of gate timing.
The busy output provides a TTL timing pulse which is high
while the unit is integrating, and goes low when the SR250 is
ready to accept another trigger. These outputs help simplify
experimental setup and troubleshooting.
The width of the sampling gate may be continuously adjusted
from 2 ns to 15 µs over eight width ranges. A simple
modification of the unit allows gate widths of up to 150 µs.
The front-panel gate output provides a representation of the
gate that can be overlayed with the signal on an oscilloscope
to provide a precise display of the gate timing.
Signal Outputs
A moving exponential average of 1 to 10,000 samples can
be selected from the front panel. This traditional averaging
technique is useful for pulling small signals from noisy
backgrounds. In the case of a random white noise background,
the signal-to-noise ratio increases by the square root of
the number of samples in the average. This allows a S/N
improvement of up to a factor of 100 using this technique
alone. If no averaging is desired, or if averaging is to be
performed on a computer, the last sample output provides a
voltage proportional to the average value of the input signal
during the last gate period.
Average Reset
The reset button sets the average output to zero. The average
may also be reset by a rear-panel logic input. The average
reset input will accept a TTL signal or a switch closure to
ground to reset the moving average output.
Polarity Control and Active Baseline Subtraction
The polarity of the last sample and averaged outputs is
controlled by rear-panel toggle switches. Positive outputs
can be selected for negative signals, and vice versa, allowing
easy interfacing with unipolar analog-to-digital conversion
systems. In addition to the traditional averaging modes, the
SR250 possesses a unique Active Baseline Subtraction mode
which allows you to actively cancel baseline drift. In the
Active Baseline Subtraction mode, the SR250 is triggered at
twice the source repetition rate. On alternate triggers (when
the signal is not present) only the baseline is sampled, and the
SR250 inverts the polarity of the last sample output before it
is added to the moving average. Thus, any baseline drift not
associated with the source will be subtracted out.
SR250 rear panel
Additional Outputs
The signal input is passed on to the signal output by a length
of coaxial cable for termination and for gate timing. It is
delayed exactly 3.5 ns from the input, and can be terminated
to optimize either signal gain or response time. The gate
output provides a pulse synchronized with the internal gate
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Ordering Information
Gated integrator
phone: (408)744-9040
SR250 Specifications
Droop rate
Average polarity and baseline subtraction
Toggle output
Reset button
Remote reset
Internal trigger
Line trigger
External trigger
Manual trigger
Trigger LED
0.5 Hz to 20 kHz
The gate generator may be triggered from AC line with adjustable phase.
1 MΩ input impedance. Trigger threshold adjustable from 0.5 to 2 V. Input protected to ±100 VDC. Trigger pulse must be over threshold
for >5 ns with a rise time <1 µs.
The unit will trigger if trigger threshold is scanned through 0 VDC.
LED blinks with each trigger.
Delay scale
1 ns to 10 ms
Delay multiplier
0 to 10× using 10-turn dial
Insertion delay
25 ns
Accuracy2 ns or 5 % of full-scale delay, whichever is larger
Jitter<20 ps or 0.01 % of full-scale delay, whichever is larger
Ext. delay control
Rear-panel 0 to 10 VDC input over-
rides front-panel delay multiplier. Used by SR200 / SR245 to scan gate.
Signal Input and Output
Signal input
Signal output
Gate Width
Width scale
Width multiplier
Width accuracy
Minimum width
1, 3, 10, 30, 100, 300 ns, 1, 3 µs
Adjustable from 1× to 5×
2 ns or 20 % of full scale,
whichever is greater
2 ns, FWHM
Sensitivity (Vin/Vout)1 V/V to 5 mV/V in a 1-2-5 seq.
Accuracy3 % for gate widths >10 ns, decreasing to 50 % for a 2 ns gate
DC coupled, or AC coupled above
10 Hz or 10 kHz
Offset control
±0.4 VDC using 10-turn dial
Over range LED
Indicates input is >2 VDC or LAST SAMPLE is greater than 10 VDC
Gate output
Busy output
Output±10 VDC, 10 mA (20 mA short
circuit limit), impedance <1 Ω
Polarity switch
Inverts LAST SAMPLE output
Responsivity95 % (no more than 5 % of the
previous last sample remains)
200 mV pulse marks exact position of gate with respect to signal output.
±1 ns accuracy (50 Ω load)
TTL signal indicates output data is ready. High from trigger signal until unit is ready for next trigger (45 µs min., longer for long delays or gate widths). Drives 50 Ω load to 2 VDC.
Power supplies
+24 V/135 mA, +12 V/380 mA,
–12 V/230 mA, –24 V/150 mA. 14 W. Power from a standard NIM crate (SR280).
Dual-width NIM enclosure
Dimensions2.7" × 8.174" × 11.5" (WHD)
One year parts and labor on defects in materials and workmanship
Exponential moving average
1, 3, 10, 30, ... to 10,000
LAST is selected for no averaging
±10 VDC full scale, 10 mA (20 mA short circuit limit). Impedance <1 Ω
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1 MΩ input impedance, ±2 VDC usable range, protected to 100 VDC. Input offset drift <0.5 mV/hr. after 20 min. warm-up. Shot noise at input <0.5 mV. Coherent pickup
<5 mV (easily cancelled with offset knob in fixed gate applications).
SIGNAL OUTPUT is the input
signal delayed by 3.5 ns. (Used to terminate input signal and to time gate with respect to signal output.)
Gate and Busy Outputs
Last Sample
Number of samples
Average output
When no ext. triggers are present, droop rate is <1 % per minute (1 to 30 samples), and <0.01 % per minute (100 to 10,000 samples).
Rear-panel switch sets polarity of LAST SAMPLE before it is added to the average. Can also be used to invert polarity of average output. In TOGGLE position, every other
sample is subtracted from the
average. By triggering at twice the experiment’s rep rate, baseline will be sampled on alternate triggers and subtracted from the average.
Rear-panel TTL signal changes state with each trigger. Output used with Active Baseline Subtraction feature to indicate if next sample will be added to, or subtracted from, the moving average. Toggle output can drive 50 Ω loads to +2 VDC.
Resets average to zero
Rear-panel input resets average with a TTL low or switch closure.
phone: (408)744-9040
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