Time-to-Digital Converter - User Manual
Detectors
User Manual
Version 3.0
17.08.2012
qutools GmbH
1
Germany & Other Countries
Laser Components GmbH
Tel: +49 8142 2864 – 0
Fax: +49 8142 2864 – 11
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.com
France
Laser Components S.A.S.
Tel: +33 1 39 59 52 25
Fax: +33 1 39 59 53 50
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.fr
United Kingdom
Laser Components (UK) Ltd.
Tel: +44 1245 491 499
Fax: +44 1245 491 801
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.co.uk
Nordic Countries
Laser Components Nordic AB
Tel: +46 31 703 71 73
Fax: +46 31 703 71 01
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.se
USA
Laser Components USA, Inc.
Tel: +1 603 821 – 7040
Fax: +1 603 821 – 7041
[email protected]
www.laser-components.com
Detectors
Content
Technical Specifications ................................................................................................. 3
Changelog....................................................................................................................... 4
Version 3.0 (August 17th, 2012) ................................................................................. 4
Hints, known limitations and problems ................................................................. 4
Version 2.0 (June 5th, 2012) ....................................................................................... 4
General Information ...................................................................................................... 5
Bin width .................................................................................................................... 5
Time tags bit width .................................................................................................... 5
Necessary Software ....................................................................................................... 5
Linux support ................................................................................................................. 5
Installation ..................................................................................................................... 6
Installation/ Update of the Device Driver (Windows) ............................................... 6
Firmware Update ........................................................................................................... 7
Software concept ........................................................................................................... 8
Daisy Server.................................................................................................................... 8
Graphical User Interface (GUI) daisy.exe ................................................................ 9
Parameters (left-hand side) ....................................................................................... 9
Measurements (right-hand side) ............................................................................. 10
Tab “Time Diffs” ................................................................................................... 10
Tab “Coincidence Counters” ................................................................................ 10
Tab “History” ........................................................................................................ 10
User DLL ....................................................................................................................... 11
LabView™ ..................................................................................................................... 11
Parameter settings (left-hand side) ......................................................................... 11
Measurement area (right-hand side)....................................................................... 11
Tab “Counter” ...................................................................................................... 11
Tab “Histogram”................................................................................................... 12
Tab “Time Tags” ................................................................................................... 13
Command Line Interface I (example0.exe) .................................................................. 13
Command Line Interface II (qutau.exe) ....................................................................... 14
Contact ......................................................................................................................... 16
quTAU User Manual
2
Germany & Other Countries
Laser Components GmbH
Tel: +49 8142 2864 – 0
Fax: +49 8142 2864 – 11
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.com
France
Laser Components S.A.S.
Tel: +33 1 39 59 52 25
Fax: +33 1 39 59 53 50
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.fr
United Kingdom
Laser Components (UK) Ltd.
Tel: +44 1245 491 499
Fax: +44 1245 491 801
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.co.uk
Nordic Countries
Laser Components Nordic AB
Tel: +46 31 703 71 73
Fax: +46 31 703 71 01
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.se
USA
Laser Components USA, Inc.
Tel: +1 603 821 – 7040
Fax: +1 603 821 – 7041
[email protected]
www.laser-components.com
Detectors
Technical Specifications
Parameter
Min
Max
Number of input channels
Unit
8
Input pulse high level
2.4
5
V
Input pulse low level
0
0.8
V
Input pulse width
4
ns
Input pulse separation (same channel, typ.)
5.5
ns
Input impedance (choose either)
50
1000

Max. event rate (one channel, counting mode)
10
Mcps
Max. event rate (all channels, counting mode)
25
Mcps
Max. event rate (all channels, time tag mode)
3
Mcps
≈ 100
ps
Bin width (least significant bit equivalent)
≈ 60
USB interface
USB 2.0 high speed
LAN interface
100 Mbit/s
Digital GPIO interface
Operating Systems
Power supply voltage
Power supply frequency
24 I/O signals, LVTTL
Windows XP, Vista, 7
Linux (current distributions)
90
240
VAC
50
Power consumption
Power connector
60
Hz
5
W
IEC inlet
Mechanical dimensions
Weight
23,5 x 9 x 31
(half 19”, 2 HE)
≈3
cm
kg
Version 3.0
3
Germany & Other Countries
Laser Components GmbH
Tel: +49 8142 2864 – 0
Fax: +49 8142 2864 – 11
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.com
France
Laser Components S.A.S.
Tel: +33 1 39 59 52 25
Fax: +33 1 39 59 53 50
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.fr
United Kingdom
Laser Components (UK) Ltd.
Tel: +44 1245 491 499
Fax: +44 1245 491 801
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.co.uk
Nordic Countries
Laser Components Nordic AB
Tel: +46 31 703 71 73
Fax: +46 31 703 71 01
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.se
USA
Laser Components USA, Inc.
Tel: +1 603 821 – 7040
Fax: +1 603 821 – 7041
[email protected]
www.laser-components.com
Detectors
Changelog
Version 3.0 (August 17th, 2012)










Firmware update! Please update the firmware with the (new) firmware
update utility.
Firmware update utility modified. Please use the new version only.
The user DLL has been renamed to tdcbase.dll
The daisy server (daisysrv.exe) is not used by the user lib (tdcbase.dll)
anymore, it connects directly to the USB. This means that you cannot use the
GUI (daisy) and the user lib (or multiple user lib clients) simultaneously.
The channel numbers are 1 to 8 in all output data files.
Installer: You can either use the installer or copy the content of the zip file
where you want it.
The GUI (daisy.exe) shows all available different histograms now, not only the
channel independent one.
Bug fix: The histograms are now calculated like start-stop measurements.
Each event is used as a start (for that particular channel), but only as a stop, if
there was no event on that channel in between.
Histogram output from qutau.exe changed: The histograms between
channels A and B are combined, B-A is the negative part, A-B the positive.
The two “0” bins are added (see “known problems” below). Histograms A-A
have not changed, there the negative bins are empty.
The maximum event rate (through the user library) has been increased.
Hints, known limitations and problems
 Histogram bin “0”: When the bin width of the histograms is 0, you can add
the 0 bins of histogram A-B and B-A. When the bin width is greater than 1,
the 0 bins will not be quite correct.
Version 2.0 (June 5th, 2012)






The driver has been updated to increase the throughput. Please use the new
one from our webpage (see below).
The user DLL (now qutaubase.dll) has been redesigned and the
documentation has been extended (see below).
The Labview VIs have been redesigned to fit the user DLL.
The command line interface (CLI) has been updated and now utilizes the user
DLL.
The coincidence counting for the first 4 channels is done in the device (so
that the USB is not the bottleneck). For the coincidence counting it is
assumed that looking at the last 4 time tags (only the first 4 channels are
recalled here) is sufficient. This is true as long as there are never two events
on the same channel within the coincidence time window.
The counting mechanism (for single count rates) has been expanded to all 8
channels. The coincidences are still evaluated (inside the device) for the first
4 channels only.
quTAU User Manual
4
Germany & Other Countries
Laser Components GmbH
Tel: +49 8142 2864 – 0
Fax: +49 8142 2864 – 11
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.com
France
Laser Components S.A.S.
Tel: +33 1 39 59 52 25
Fax: +33 1 39 59 53 50
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.fr
United Kingdom
Laser Components (UK) Ltd.
Tel: +44 1245 491 499
Fax: +44 1245 491 801
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.co.uk
Nordic Countries
Laser Components Nordic AB
Tel: +46 31 703 71 73
Fax: +46 31 703 71 01
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.se
USA
Laser Components USA, Inc.
Tel: +1 603 821 – 7040
Fax: +1 603 821 – 7041
[email protected]
www.laser-components.com
Detectors
General Information
Bin width
The “width” of adjacent inherent time bins (of 81
ps) is not constant, but rather alternating. After
each narrower one, there follows a wider one. This
is a characteristic feature of the TDC chip in the
device and can lead to effects like the time
difference histogram shown in Figure 1.
Time tags bit width
The internal size of time tags is 56 bit. They will
overflow
after
.
Necessary Software
Figure 1: Time difference histogram with
alternating population.
Download
the
latest
software
package
http://www.qutools.com/download/list.php
from
our
website:
Linux support
The quTAU offers Linux support for current major distributions. Although this
manual focuses on Windows users, most of the concepts are identical or very similar.
If you have specific questions or problems using the quTAU with Linux, please
contact us directly (see Some examples:
 To record time tags for 10 seconds as text to the file “textfile.txt” use
qutau.exe –t 10 –f textfile.txt
 To record time tags for 100 seconds into a binary file “binfile.bin” use
qutau.exe –t 100 –F binfine.bin
 To record time difference histograms for 20 seconds with bin width 1 and
number of bins 5000 to the file “hist.txt” use
qutau.exe –t 20 –H hist.txt –b 1 –B 5000
 To show the count rates with integration time 500 ms, coincidence window
size 10 bins (10 times 81 ps), use
qutau.exe –C –e 500 –c 10
Contact).
Version 3.0
5
Germany & Other Countries
Laser Components GmbH
Tel: +49 8142 2864 – 0
Fax: +49 8142 2864 – 11
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.com
France
Laser Components S.A.S.
Tel: +33 1 39 59 52 25
Fax: +33 1 39 59 53 50
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.fr
United Kingdom
Laser Components (UK) Ltd.
Tel: +44 1245 491 499
Fax: +44 1245 491 801
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.co.uk
Nordic Countries
Laser Components Nordic AB
Tel: +46 31 703 71 73
Fax: +46 31 703 71 01
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.se
USA
Laser Components USA, Inc.
Tel: +1 603 821 – 7040
Fax: +1 603 821 – 7041
[email protected]
www.laser-components.com
Detectors
Installation





connect the quTAU unit to a PC using a USB 2.0 cable
connect the quTAU unit with a cattle plug to supply power
switch on the quTAU
Install the device driver
Copy the software to a directory of choice (zip archive) or use the installer
and follow its instructions.
Installation/ Update of the Device Driver (Windows)
When you first switch on the device on a specific PC, it will try to install the device
driver automatically. Please use the current device driver from the software package
(directory usbdriver). In case you are not sure or have an old version of the
device driver, please update it using the following procedure.
You must be logged on as an
administrator to perform these steps.
1. Open Device Manager by clicking
the Start button, clicking Control
Panel, clicking System and
Maintenance, and then clicking
Device Manager. If you are
prompted for an administrator
password or confirmation, type
the
password
or
provide
confirmation.
2. In Device Manager (Figure 2),
locate the device “N-Hands USB
Device” in the section “USB
Controller”, and then double-click
Figure 2: Device Manager for driver update
on it.
3. Click the Driver tab, and then click Update Driver and follow the instructions.
Use the driver from our website.
quTAU User Manual
6
Germany & Other Countries
Laser Components GmbH
Tel: +49 8142 2864 – 0
Fax: +49 8142 2864 – 11
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.com
France
Laser Components S.A.S.
Tel: +33 1 39 59 52 25
Fax: +33 1 39 59 53 50
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.fr
United Kingdom
Laser Components (UK) Ltd.
Tel: +44 1245 491 499
Fax: +44 1245 491 801
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.co.uk
Nordic Countries
Laser Components Nordic AB
Tel: +46 31 703 71 73
Fax: +46 31 703 71 01
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.se
USA
Laser Components USA, Inc.
Tel: +1 603 821 – 7040
Fax: +1 603 821 – 7041
[email protected]
www.laser-components.com
Detectors
Firmware Update
Attention: Naturally, firmware updates
are a delicate process and can potentially
damage the device if done incorrectly.
This should be done only when it’s
advised to do so by the manufacturer. In
this case, please read and follow these
instructions carefully.
When a firmware update is required,
please use the program nhflash.exe
(Figure 3) in the main software directory
or from the start menu to do so. You will
find the current firmware in the directory
“firmware/”, there should be three files
“qutau_core.bit”,
“qutau_appl.bit”
and Figure 3: Firmware update software
“qutau_dsp.ldr”. They contain the "nhflash.exe"
firmware
for
the
core
FPGA
(infrastructure), the application FPGA (handling the TDC chip) and the DSP of the
quTAU device, respectively. The update utility checks on startup whether all three
files are in place and will tell you if not. Please stick closely to the following steps:
1. If the device is running, please switch it off.
2. If any quTAU software is still running, please close it.
3. Turn on the device.
4. Start “nhflash.exe” from the start menu or the main software directory.
After some time the LED should get green and the text “Hardware ID: 0” (or
similar) should be displayed (see Figure 3).
5. Select the firmware you want to update (“Targets to update”). You can select
all at once, if you want.
6. If all of this is OK, please press “Flash”. The green LED should start flashing
until it is finished. At the end of the process, the LED should be green again
and the text close to it should read “Update complete”.
7. Press the button “Close”. The firmware update utility is closed.
8. Turn the quTAU device off (and possibly on again). If you don’t do this, the
old firmware will still be in effect until the next restart.
Version 3.0
7
Germany & Other Countries
Laser Components GmbH
Tel: +49 8142 2864 – 0
Fax: +49 8142 2864 – 11
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.com
France
Laser Components S.A.S.
Tel: +33 1 39 59 52 25
Fax: +33 1 39 59 53 50
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.fr
United Kingdom
Laser Components (UK) Ltd.
Tel: +44 1245 491 499
Fax: +44 1245 491 801
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.co.uk
Nordic Countries
Laser Components Nordic AB
Tel: +46 31 703 71 73
Fax: +46 31 703 71 01
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.se
USA
Laser Components USA, Inc.
Tel: +1 603 821 – 7040
Fax: +1 603 821 – 7041
[email protected]
www.laser-components.com
Detectors
Software concept
The quTAU software concept is depicted in Figure 4. The device is connected via USB
2.0, so the first piece of software handling it on the PC side is the USB device driver.
The device driver talks either directly to one (!) of the client programs. The clients
are the native GUI client (“daisy”) or the user DLL (“tdcbase.dll”), the command line
interface (“qutau.exe”), Labview™ VIs or other user written programs.
Daisy Server
The Daisy Server (daisysrv.exe) is invoked automatically by the GUI (daisy.exe).
The user lib (tdcbase.dll) does not use the Daisy Server anymore. As a consequence
of this, you can’t work with different clients (Daisy, command line interface, Labview
VI) simultaneously anymore.
Figure 4: Software concept of the quTAU Time-to-Digital Converter.
quTAU User Manual
8
Germany & Other Countries
Laser Components GmbH
Tel: +49 8142 2864 – 0
Fax: +49 8142 2864 – 11
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.com
France
Laser Components S.A.S.
Tel: +33 1 39 59 52 25
Fax: +33 1 39 59 53 50
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.fr
United Kingdom
Laser Components (UK) Ltd.
Tel: +44 1245 491 499
Fax: +44 1245 491 801
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.co.uk
Nordic Countries
Laser Components Nordic AB
Tel: +46 31 703 71 73
Fax: +46 31 703 71 01
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.se
USA
Laser Components USA, Inc.
Tel: +1 603 821 – 7040
Fax: +1 603 821 – 7041
[email protected]
www.laser-components.com
Detectors
Graphical User Interface (GUI) daisy.exe
The quTAU comes with a native GUI (see Figure 5) daisy.exe that gives access to
many features of the device. You can find it in the start menu or in the main
software directory. Here, the most important functions are described.
When you start the GUI for the first time, the Windows firewall may ask you whether
you want to allow the daisy server to open a port to the outside. This is usually
unnecessary, so you can decline it.
Parameters (left-hand side)
1. “TDC Channel Enable”: You can activate each of the 8 channels separately.
Make sure, the ones you want to use are ticked.
2. “Coincidence Window”: This value sets the half width of the coincidence
window for the coincidence counting (see below) in generic TDC bins (≈ 81
ps).
3. “Exposure time”: This value determines for how long the coincidence
counters (see below) integrate until they get read out. The minimum is 1 ms.
4. “50 Ohm Input Term.”: You can switch on or off the 50 Ohms input
termination (for all channels together). If it is switched off, the signal is
directly input to the TDC chip with about 1kOhms impedance.
5. “TDC Self Test”: For testing, the quTAU can generate periodic signals and
send them to the various input channels of the device. This feature can be
controlled here. The general idea is that all channels do the same (apart from
some intrinsic timing differences between the channels). There are always
bursts of some signals, then there is a pause, then another burst comes.
a. “Channel”: Here you can set, which of the channels should be fired
upon with self test signals.
b. “Period”: The time between signals inside a burst (minimum 40 ns).
Figure 5: Graphical user interface (GUI) "Daisy" gives access to the main features of the device.
9
Germany & Other Countries
Laser Components GmbH
Tel: +49 8142 2864 – 0
Fax: +49 8142 2864 – 11
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.com
France
Laser Components S.A.S.
Tel: +33 1 39 59 52 25
Fax: +33 1 39 59 53 50
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.fr
United Kingdom
Laser Components (UK) Ltd.
Tel: +44 1245 491 499
Fax: +44 1245 491 801
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.co.uk
Nordic Countries
Laser Components Nordic AB
Tel: +46 31 703 71 73
Fax: +46 31 703 71 01
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.se
USA
Laser Components USA, Inc.
Tel: +1 603 821 – 7040
Fax: +1 603 821 – 7041
[email protected]
www.laser-components.com
Detectors
c. “Burst Periods”: How many signals are inside a burst (minimum 1).
d. “Burst distance”: The period between two bursts (should be bigger
than “Period” x “Burst Periods”).
Measurements (right-hand side)
Tab “Time Diffs”
6. “Write” button, file dialogue and format choice: With these controls you can
record time tags to a text of binary file.
button.
a. Choose an output file using the
b. Choose the format:
 “decimal” means human readable time tags, first time tag,
then channel number (from 1 to 8) separated by a comma.
 “hex” the same in hexadecimal format,
 “binary” in binary format, 8 bytes time tag, 2 bytes channel,
Intel format (Little-Endian, lowest byte first).
c. By hitting the “Write” button time tags are written into the specified
file. Hit it again to make it stop.
7. Histogram and its settings: This window shows the current time difference
histogram without regard to the input channel. You can set the update time
by “Exp. Time”, Start and Width of the histogram etc.
In the box “Histogram” you can select which of the histograms should be
displayed. “Global” means that channels numbers are not regarded,
“channels a – b” shows the histograms when channel a fired before b. All
histograms are measured simultaneously.
Tab “Coincidence Counters”
Inside the device (not in the PC) there are some counters implemented that tell the
user how many events there were during the last “Exposure Time” (6). The reason
why this is already done in the device is that this way, one is not limited by USB to
transfer the time tags to the PC. Hence higher count rates can be reached. Single
count rates are measured for all 8 channels, only channels 1 to 4 have coincidence
counting, too.
8. The bar chart shows the current count rates: First channel 1 to 8 (singles),
then two-fold coincidences (events that occur within a time difference
smaller than the “Coincidence Window” (5) between channels 1&2, 1&3,
1&4, 2&3, 2&4 etc., then 3-fold and 4-fold coincidences.
Tab “History”
9. The line chart shows the time evolution of one of the 19 counting channels
(see 10).
10. You can choose the channel by this box.
quTAU User Manual
10
Germany & Other Countries
Laser Components GmbH
Tel: +49 8142 2864 – 0
Fax: +49 8142 2864 – 11
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.com
France
Laser Components S.A.S.
Tel: +33 1 39 59 52 25
Fax: +33 1 39 59 53 50
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.fr
United Kingdom
Laser Components (UK) Ltd.
Tel: +44 1245 491 499
Fax: +44 1245 491 801
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.co.uk
Nordic Countries
Laser Components Nordic AB
Tel: +46 31 703 71 73
Fax: +46 31 703 71 01
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.se
USA
Laser Components USA, Inc.
Tel: +1 603 821 – 7040
Fax: +1 603 821 – 7041
[email protected]
www.laser-components.com
Detectors
User DLL
The user DLL tdcbase.dll, (formerly quTAU_wrapper.dll and
qutaubase.dll) can be used to interface customer specific software to the
quTAU. It is used for the LabView connection (see below) as well as by the CLI (see
before). The header file can be found in inc/tdcbase.h and the location of the
DLL is in userlib/lib/tdcbase.dll.
The documentation (as a Doxygen report) can be found in
userlib/doc/index.html or in the start menu.
LabView™
A
Labview
example
(see
Figure
6)
can
be
found
in
userlib/labviewXX/TDC_simple.vi of the Windows package or in the
start menu. If you need support for older Labview versions, please let us know. The
Labview VIs are communicating with the device using the user DLL tdcbase.dll
(see above). There are SubVIs for basically all exported functions by the user DLL. For
documentation of the DLL functions, please see above.
Parameter settings (left-hand side)
On the left-hand side you can change some basic settings of the device like:
1. “Exposure Time [ms]”: This is the integration time for the counters in ms. All
experimental data (on the right) will be updated after this period.
2. “Input Termination”: You can choose the termination of the input signals to
be 50 Ohms or 1 kOhm. Using the wrong termination can course reflections
and hence wrong results.
3. “Data loss” LED: If this gets red, the device could not transport enough time
tags over the USB. Probably the event rate Is too high for the system to cope.
4. “Self test”: In this case, the “Burst Periods” (i.e. the number of pulses in a
burst) is fixed to 1, so that there will be a periodic signal with only two
parameters left:
a. “Channel Mask”: Here, you can decide, which of the channels should
be fired upon by the self test. It has to be set in binary, i.e. 0 means
none, 1 is channel 1 only, 2 is channel 2 only, 3 channel 1+2 etc.
b. “Burst distance”: The period of time between two signals in multiples
of 20 ns, minimum is 40 ns.
5. “Stop”: Please always use this button to stop the VI, since then it can
gracefully shut down the software.
Measurement area (right-hand side)
Tab “Counter”
6.
“Coincidence Window [bins]”: Sets the coincidence time window in bins
(see above in the corresponding section of the GUI).
7. Line chart displaying the count rates of the first 4 single channels and all
possible coincidence combinations (see above).
8. Array display on the right showing the values as numbers. The numbers are
measured with respect to the exposure time (see 1).
Version 3.0
11
Germany & Other Countries
Laser Components GmbH
Tel: +49 8142 2864 – 0
Fax: +49 8142 2864 – 11
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.com
France
Laser Components S.A.S.
Tel: +33 1 39 59 52 25
Fax: +33 1 39 59 53 50
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.fr
United Kingdom
Laser Components (UK) Ltd.
Tel: +44 1245 491 499
Fax: +44 1245 491 801
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.co.uk
Nordic Countries
Laser Components Nordic AB
Tel: +46 31 703 71 73
Fax: +46 31 703 71 01
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.se
USA
Laser Components USA, Inc.
Tel: +1 603 821 – 7040
Fax: +1 603 821 – 7041
[email protected]
www.laser-components.com
Detectors
Tab “Histogram”
On this tab, you can see time difference histograms, calculated on the PC from the
raw time tags. This is already one in the user DLL, so Labview™ only has to fetch and
display it.
9. “Number of bins”: How many bins should the histogram have.
10. “Bin width”: How many (native = 81 ps) TDC bins should one histogram be. If
this is set to e.g. 10, one histogram bin will be about 810 ps wide.
11. “Histogram reset”: You can choose whether you want the histogram to be
reset each time you read it out (i.e. after the “Exposure Time” (1) has
elapsed) or not. If not, you see a cumulative histogram. You can choose this
basically for all histograms separately.
12. “Reset all”: If you want cumulative histograms, but reset them all at the same
time, use this button.
13. “Histogram channel select”: There are altogether 17 histograms calculated.
The first one is channel independent, i.e. a histogram is made regardless of
the channel number. The other ones are all channel dependent, from chanel
1 with channel 1, to channel 1 with channel 2 etc.
14. “Data Count”: This number gives a total of events that have fallen into this
histogram.
15. “Too small”: The number of events that were too small to be used for the
histogram (should be 0).
16. “Too large”: The number of events that were too big to be shown in the
Figure 6: Labview VI example
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Detectors
histogram (usually a large percentage of all events).
17. “Counts A”: The number of events from the first channel progressed for the
histogram (not only those who actually fell in to a histogram bin). This should
correspond to the count rate in the first channel. First channel means the first
one mentioned in the histogram choice.
18. “Counts B”: Same as “Counts A” but for the second chosen channel.
19. “Integration time”: How long has the histogram been recorded (difference
between last and first time tag used for the histogram). Displayed in seconds.
Tab “Time Tags”
On this tab you can see the time tags that are recorded by the user DLL.
20. On the left you see an array with the last time tags that have been fetched
from the device.
21. The next column is the corresponding channel number (0 to 7).
22. The chart shows the time tags (time is on y-axis) against the array index.
23. “Buffer Size”: You can set the length of the array that is fetched in each turn.
If it is too small or not fetched often enough (this is set by the “Exposure
Time [ms]” control in the upper left corner of the VI), then some time tags
will be lost due to full buffers (see LED “Buffer full”).
24. “Write to file”: Switch this on to write the time tags into a text file. The first
column is the time tag in 81 ps units and the second column is the channel
number. In between there is a tab.
25. “Binary format”: When this button is turned off, the output will be human
readable text, first time tag in 81 ps units, then comma, blank and the
channel number (from 1 to 8). When turned on, the output gets binary, first 8
bytes of time tag, then two bytes for the channel number (byte order
Little-Endian).
26. “Path”: Open this dialog to specify the file path and name.
Please have a look at the documentation (userlib/doc/index.html) of the
user DLL for further information.
Command Line Interface I (example0.exe)
The command line interface (CLI) is located in daisybase/quTAU and is called
example0(.exe). The sources can be found in the same directory. It uses the
libraries in the same directory and communicates with the hardware via the
daisysrv process. It needs the following DLLs (copy them from the main software
directory):
 tdcaubase.dll
 nhconnect.dll
 QtCore4.dll
 QTGui4.dll
Call it by “example0” from a command line. It will take data for about 2 seconds
and display some results:
 50 time tags (in hex plus channel number)
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[email protected]
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Nordic Countries
Laser Components Nordic AB
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Detectors


The most recent internal counter values (channel 1..8, 2-fold coincidences
(6), 3-fold coincidences (4), 4-fold coincidences (1) and all the rest (1).
2 time difference histograms, the channel independent one and the one
between channels 1 and 2. The parameters for these are: Bin width 250
native bins, i.e. 20 ns, number of bins 40.
Command Line Interface II (qutau.exe)
The second command line interface (userlib/source/qutau.exe) has a few
more features than the previous example. It is still intended as an example, but
some basic tasks can already be fulfilled with it. The sources are included, too
(userlib/source/qutau_main.c).
It uses the same libraries as the previous example (see above) and communicates
with the hardware directly via USB. Hence, you can’t use it simultaneously with
other clients.
To start this CLI open a command prompt (via the Windows Start Menu or the
shortcut Windows key + “r” and input “cmd”), go to the directory
userlib/source/ and call qutau(.exe). Here are some of the parameters
you can call it with to make it do what you want it to. Please also use the parameter
“-h” for more information.
Parameter
-h
-t <time in seconds>
-f <time tag file name>
-F <binary time tag file name>
-c <coincidence window in TDC bins>
-e <exposure time in ms>
Description
Outputs help menu only.
The program records data for (at least) this
time. Afterwards it closes itself and outputs
the data as it has been told by other
parameters.
All time tags are written to the given (text)
file. The format is: “Absolute” time tag in
native TDC bins (approx. 81 ps), blank,
comma, blank, channel number (from 1 to
8). On exit the program may say “Time tag
buffer was full [n] times […]”. This means
that the time tags were written into the
buffer faster than they were read (at least
partly). Some of the time tags in between
may have been lost. Maybe using the binary
writing function helps.
All time tags are written to the given binary
file. The format is: 8 bytes of time tags in
native TDC bins, 2 bytes for the channel
number (0 to 7). Intel byte order (=
Little-Endian, lowest bytes first).
Sets the coincidence window for the internal
coincidence counters (first 4 channels) in
native TDC bins (approx. 81 ps). Standard
value is 100 bins, i.e. 8.1 ns.
Sets the exposure or integration time for the
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France
Laser Components S.A.S.
Tel: +33 1 39 59 52 25
Fax: +33 1 39 59 53 50
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.fr
United Kingdom
Laser Components (UK) Ltd.
Tel: +44 1245 491 499
Fax: +44 1245 491 801
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.co.uk
Nordic Countries
Laser Components Nordic AB
Tel: +46 31 703 71 73
Fax: +46 31 703 71 01
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.se
USA
Laser Components USA, Inc.
Tel: +1 603 821 – 7040
Fax: +1 603 821 – 7041
[email protected]
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Detectors
-C
-H <histogram file name>
-b <bin width in TDC bins>
-B <bin count>
-S <channelmask>
internal counters (first 4 channels) in ms.
The counters always count for this period.
Standard value is 100 ms.
Output the last counter values (to standard
output) when the program terminates. They
come out in the following order: Singles
channel 1 to channel 8, 2-fold coincidences
1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 2-3, 2-4, 3-4, 3-fold
coincidences 1-2-3, 1-2-4, 1-3-4, 2-3-4, f-fold
coincidences 1-2-3-4. The integration time
can be set with the –e option, standard is
100 ms.
Write histograms to text file. The output
looks like this: First column is the bin
number, second bin end time in ns. The next
columns are the histograms between the
different channels from 1-1, 1-2 to 1-8, 2-2
to 2-8 etc. until 8-8. The negative bins in
columns “1-2” for example mean those
events when first channel 2 registered an
event, then channel 1, the positive vice
versa. So the histograms 1-2 and 2-1, are
combined. The values in those columns
mean how many events have fallen into the
time difference histogram bin. Standard
values for bin width are 10 native TDC bins
(i.e. 0.81 ns per bin) and 100 bins (i.e. a total
of 81 ns for the whole histogram). These
values can be changed using the following
command line parameters. See also: Hints,
known limitations and problems
Sets the bin width of the calculated
histograms (see parameter –H) in native TDC
bins (approx. 81 ps). So –b 10 means the
histogram bin width will be 0.81 ns. This
does not influence the time tags in case they
are output. The maximum allowed is
100000. The standard value for this
parameter is 10.
Set the total number of bins of the
histograms. Standard value is 100.
Maximum is 100000.
Sets the self test channel bit mask. This can
be used to test the TDC or the software. If
the bitmask is 0, no events will appear at the
input of the TDC. Otherwise the bitmask will
determine which of the channels fire. 1
means channel one only, 2 channel 2 only, 3
channels 1+2, 4 channel 3 only etc. There
will always be bursts of 2 (per channel), with
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Tel: +33 1 39 59 52 25
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[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.fr
United Kingdom
Laser Components (UK) Ltd.
Tel: +44 1245 491 499
Fax: +44 1245 491 801
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.co.uk
Nordic Countries
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Tel: +46 31 703 71 73
Fax: +46 31 703 71 01
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.se
USA
Laser Components USA, Inc.
Tel: +1 603 821 – 7040
Fax: +1 603 821 – 7041
[email protected]
www.laser-components.com
Detectors
a delay of 80 ns, the time between two
bursts is 20 µs (so we expect one peak at 80
ns, one at 19.92 µs and possibly one close to
zero, when more than one self test channel
is active). When this parameter is not set, it
doesn’t change the previous settings. So,
you can e.g. set these values using the Daisy
and they won’t be changed, unless you use
the parameter –S.
08/14 / V2 / HW / qutools/qutau_user_manual
Some examples:
 To record time tags for 10 seconds as text to the file “textfile.txt” use
qutau.exe –t 10 –f textfile.txt
 To record time tags for 100 seconds into a binary file “binfile.bin” use
qutau.exe –t 100 –F binfine.bin
 To record time difference histograms for 20 seconds with bin width 1 and
number of bins 5000 to the file “hist.txt” use
qutau.exe –t 20 –H hist.txt –b 1 –B 5000
 To show the count rates with integration time 500 ms, coincidence window
size 10 bins (10 times 81 ps), use
qutau.exe –C –e 500 –c 10
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[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.com
France
Laser Components S.A.S.
Tel: +33 1 39 59 52 25
Fax: +33 1 39 59 53 50
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.fr
United Kingdom
Laser Components (UK) Ltd.
Tel: +44 1245 491 499
Fax: +44 1245 491 801
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.co.uk
Nordic Countries
Laser Components Nordic AB
Tel: +46 31 703 71 73
Fax: +46 31 703 71 01
[email protected]
www.lasercomponents.se
USA
Laser Components USA, Inc.
Tel: +1 603 821 – 7040
Fax: +1 603 821 – 7041
[email protected]
www.laser-components.com
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