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Entry  Mon Jun 15 22:36:40 2015, rana, koji, Update, Green Locking, BeatBox Assay: not looking good 
    Reply  Fri Jun 19 01:24:26 2015, rana, koji, Update, Green Locking, BeatBox Assay: not looking good 
       Reply  Fri Jun 19 01:55:35 2015, ericq, Update, Green Locking, BeatBox Assay: not looking good 
Message ID: 11361     Entry time: Mon Jun 15 22:36:40 2015     Reply to this: 11363
Author: rana, koji 
Type: Update 
Category: Green Locking 
Subject: BeatBox Assay: not looking good 

Because the ALS beatbox schematic is out-of-date and misleading, we pulled the box to photograph the current implementation and figure out how to proceed. The box is out on the EE bench right now. Schematic Doc added to 40m Document tree: https://dcc.ligo.org/LIGO-D1102241. Some notes:

  1. The soldering on this board is pretty messy and there are a lot of flying wire and flying component hacks. I wouldn't trust all of the connections.
  2. The GV-81 RF amps in the front end are both stuffed. The 1 dB compression point is 19 dBm, so we want to use them below 10 dBm output. They have a gain of +10.5 dB, so that means they should not be used with and input to the beatbox of more than -10 dBm. Otherwise there will be nonlinear noise generation.
  3. Not stuffed: U1-Comparator, A1-attenuator, U2-splitter.
  4. Why is the filter after the mixer only 2nd order?? That's not a valid filter choice in any RF world. How much do we want to cut off the 2f mixer output before sending into our low noise, audio frequency (and prone to downconversion) amplifier? The Mini-Circuits amplifiers would have given us >60 dB attenuation in the stop band. This one is only going to give us 20-30 dB when the beat frequency is low. Get rid of diplexer. The schematic claims that its just one pole?? Seems like a 2nd order LP filter to me.
  5. The modified schematic (see Koji elog 8855) shows that an OP27 is used for the whitening stage. The current noise of the OP27 with the 3k resistor makes the OP27 current noise dominate below 1 Hz. And what is going on with that filter capacitor choice? We never want to use these tiny things for sensitive filter applications. (cf. Sigg doc on resistor and capacitor choice, the noise reduction book by Ott, H&H, etc.). That's why we have the larger metal-poly, paper, mylar, etc. caps sitting around.

Probably we ought to install a little daughter board to avoid having to keep hacking this dead horse. Koji has some of Haixing'g maglev filter boards. Meanwhile Koji is going to make us a new beatbox circuit in Altium and we can start fresh later this summer.

Interesting link on new SMD cap technology.

Photos of circuit as found

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