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Message ID: 9059     Entry time: Fri Aug 23 21:01:38 2013
Author: Alex Cole 
Type: HowTo 
Category: Electronics 
Subject: Automated Photodetector Frequency Response System 

 This post describes how to use the Automated Photodetector Frequency Response System.

On the mechanical side, turn on:

-the diode laser (in rack 1Y1)

-the RF Switch (in rack 1Y1)

-the reference PD (under the POY table)

-the AG4395A Network Analyzer

The NA’s RF output should go to the laser’s modulation input, the reference PD’s output should go to the NA’s R input, and the RF Switch Chassis’s output (which is the combination of the two switches’ COM channels using a splitter) should go to the NA’s A input.

Once this is done, navigate into /users/alex.cole and run PDFR.sh. This script collects data for each photodetector under consideration by switching using a python script and communicating with the NA via GPIB. It then sends all the data to RF.m, which fits the functions, plots the latest data against canonical data, and saves the plots to file.

The fitting function, fit.m, also outputs peak frequency to the command line. This function uses PD name data (e.g. ‘REFL33’) to choose an interval with minimal noise to fit.

The main script prompts the user to press enter after each NA sweep to make sure that measurements don’t get interrupted/put out of order by RF switching.

Once you're done, you should turn off the laser, NA, RF Switch, and reference PD.


Sometimes, the NA throws up and doesn’t feel like running a particular sweep. If this happens, it’s a good idea to keep the matlab script from trying to analyze this PD’s data. Do this by opening up RF.m and commenting out the calls to ‘fit’ and ‘canonical’ for that PD.

If fit.m complains about a particular set of data, it is often the case that the N/P ratio (where N is order of approximation and P is number of points in the interval) is too high. You can fix this by reducing N or making the PD’s frequency range (chosen in the fnew_idx line) larger.

Choosing a single PD

If you only want to grab the transfer function for one PD, first look up which switch input it belongs to. This information is contained in /users/alex.cole/switchList. To turn the switch to a particular input, type something like:

python rf.py “ch7”

This command uses TCP/IP to tell the switch to look at channel 7. Switch input numbers range from 1 to 16, though not all of them are in use.

Once the switch is looking at the correct input, you can run a sweep and download the data by typing /opt/rtcds/caltech/c1/scripts/general/netgpibdata/NWAG4395A -s 1000000 -e 500000000 -c 499000000 -f [filestem for output] -d [path of directory for output] -i -g 10 -x 15. 

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