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  13333   Tue Sep 26 19:10:13 2017 gautamUpdateALSFiber ALS setup neatened

[steve, gautam]

The Fiber ALS box has been installed on the existing shelf on the PSL table. We had to re-arrange some existing cabling to make this possible, but the end result seems okay (to me). The box lid was also re-installed.

Some stuff that still needs to be fixed:

  1. Power supply to ZHL amplifiers - it is coming from a table-top DC supply currently, we should hook these up to the Sorensens.
  2. We should probably extend the corrugated fiber protection tubing for the three fibers all the way up to the shelf. 

Beat spectrum post changes to follow.


Is it better to mount the box in the PSL under the existing shelf, or in a nearby PSL rack?



Further characterization needs to be done, but the results of this test are encouraging. If we are able to get this kind of out of loop ALS noise with the IR beat, perhaps we can avoid having to frequently fine-tune the green beat alignment on the PSL table. It would also be ideal to mount this whole 1U setup in an electronics rack instead of leaving it on the PSL table



  13335   Wed Sep 27 00:20:19 2017 gautamUpdateALSMore AM sweeps

Attachment #1: Result of AM sweeps with EX laser crystal at nominal operating temperature ~ 31.75 C.

Attachment #2: Tarball of data for Attachment #1.

Attachment #3: Result of AM sweeps with EX laser crystal at higher operating temperature ~ 40.95 C.

Attachment #4: Tarball of data for Attachment #2.


  • Confirmed that PDA 55 is in the "0dB" setting - the actual dial is unmarked, and has 5 states. I guessed that the left-most one is 0dB, and checked that if I twiddled the dial by one state to the right, the DC level on the scope increased by 10dB as advertized. Didn't check all the states.
  • DC level is ~2.3V on a high-impedance scope. So it will be ~1.15V to a 50ohm load, which is what the DC block is. The inverse of this value is used to calibrate the vertical axis of the TF measurement to RIN/V.
  • Input R (split RF source signal) attenuation: 20dB. Input A (PDA55 output) attenuation: 0dB.
  • Main problem is still network hangups when trying to do many sweeps.
  • Seems to persist even when I connect the GPIB box to one of the network switches - so don't think we can blame the WiFi.
  • Need to explore possibility of speedup - takes >2hours to run ~50scans!


  • Overlay median and uncertainty plots for the two temp. settings. There is a visible diference in both the locations and depths/heights of various notches/peaks in the AM profile.
  • Repeat test with a fast focusing lens to focus the beam more tightly on the PD active area to confirm that the measured AM is indeed due to the PZT drive and not from beam-jitter (presently, spot diameter is ~0.5x active area diameter, to eye).
  • Get the PM data.
  • Depending on what the PM data looks like, do a more fine-grained scan around some promising AM notches / PM peaks.
  13337   Wed Sep 27 23:44:45 2017 gautamUpdateALSProposed PM measurement setup

Attachment #1 is a sketch of the proposed setup to measure the PM response of the EX NPRO. Previously, this measurement was done via PLL. In this approach, we will need to calibrate the DFD output into units of phase, in order to calibrate the transfer function measurement into rad/V. The idea is to repeat the same measurement technique used for the AM - take ~50 1 average measurements with the AG4395, and look at the statistics. 

Some more notes:

  • Delay line box is passive, just contains a length of cable.
  • IQ Demodulation is done using an aLIGO 1U chassis unit, with the actual demod board electronics being D0902745
  • The RF beatnote amplitude out of the IR beat PD is ~ -8dBm.
  • The ZHL-3A amplifiers have gain of 24dB, so the amplified beat should be ~16dBm
  • At the LSC rack, the amplified beat is split into two - one path goes to the LO input of D0902745 (so at most 13dBm), the other goes through the delay line.
  • On the demod board, the LO signal is amplified with a AP1053, rated at 10dB gain, max output of 26dBm, so the signal levels should be fine for us, even though the schematic says the nominal LO level is 10dBm - moreover, I've ignored cable losses, insertion losses etc so we should be well within spec.
  • The mixer is PE4140. The datasheet quotes LO levels of 17dBm for all the "nominal" tests, we should be within a couple of dBm of this number.
  • There is no maximum value specified for the RF input signal level to the mixer on the datasheet, but I expect it to be <10dBm.
  • We should park the beatnote around 30MHz as this should be well within the operational ranges for the various components in the signal chain.
  13346   Fri Sep 29 11:16:52 2017 SteveUpdateALSY End table corrected

The first Faraday isolater rejected beam path from the NPRO is fixed.


  13366   Fri Oct 6 17:08:09 2017 SteveUpdateALSX End table beam traps corrected

There are no more double sided tape on this table.


  13502   Thu Jan 4 12:46:27 2018 gautamUpdateALSFiber ALS assay

Attachment #1 is the updated diagram of the Fiber ALS setup. I've indicated part numbers, power levels (optical and electrical). For the light power levels, numbers in green are for the AUX lasers, numbers in red are for the PSL.

I confirmed that the output of the power splitter is going to the "RF input" and the output of the delay line is going to the "LO input" of the demodulator box. Shouldn't this be the other way around? Unless the labels are misleading and the actual signal routing inside the 1U chassis is correctly done :/

  • Mode-matching into the fibers is rather abysmal everywhere.
  • In this diagram, only the power levels measured at the lasers and inputs of the fiber couplers are from today's measurements. I just reproduced numbers for inside the beat mouth from elog13254.
  • Inside the beat mouth, the PD output actually goes through a 20dB coupler which is included in this diagram for brevity. Both the direct and coupled outputs are available at the front panel of the beat mouth. The latter is meant for diagnostic purposes. The number of -8dBm of beat @30MHz is quoted using the direct output, and not the coupled output.

Still facing some CDS troubles, will start ALS recovery once I address them.

Attachment #2 is the svg file of Attachment #1, which we can update as we improve things. I'll put it on the DCC 40m tree eventually.

  13519   Tue Jan 9 21:38:00 2018 gautamUpdateALSALS recovery
  • Aligned IFO to IR.
    • Ran dither alignment to maximize arm transmission.
    • Centered Oplev reflections onto their respective QPDs for ITMs, ETMs and BS, as DC alignment reference. Also updated all the DC alignment save/restore files with current alignment. 
  • Undid the first 5 bullets of elog13325. The AUX laser power monitor PD remains to be re-installed and re-integrated with the DAQ.
    • I stupidly did not refer to my previous elog of the changes made to the X end table, and so spent ages trying to convince Johannes that the X end green alignment had shifted, and turned out that the green locking wasn't going because of the 50ohm terminator added to the X end NPRO PZT input. I am sorry for the hours wasted sad
    • GTRY and GTRX at levels I am used to seeing (i.e. ~0.25 and ~0.5) now. I tweaked input pointing of green and also movable MM lenses at both ends to try and maximize this. 
    • Input green power into X arm after re-adjusting previously rotated HWP to ~100 degrees on the dial is ~2.2mW. Seems consistent with what I reported here.
    • Adjusted both GTR cameras on the PSL table to have the spots roughly centered on the monitors.
    • Will update shortly with measured OLTFs for both end PDH loops.
    • X end PDH seems to have UGF ~9kHz, Y end has ~4.5kHz. Phase margin ~60 degrees in both cases. Data + plotting code attached. During the measurement, GTRY ~0.22, GTRX~0.45.

Next, I will work on commissioning the BEAT MOUTH for ALS beat generation. 

Note: In the ~40mins that I've been typing out these elogs, the IR lock has been stable for both the X and Y arms. But the X green has dropped lock twice, and the Y green has been fluctuating rather more, but has mangaged to stay locked. I think the low frequency Y-arm GTRY fluctuations are correlated with the arm cavity alignment drifting around. But the frequent X arm green lock dropouts - not sure what's up with that. Need to look at IR arm control signals and ALS signals at lock drop times to see if there is some info there.

  13531   Thu Jan 11 14:22:40 2018 gautamUpdateALSFiber ALS assay

I did a cursory check of the ALS signal chain in preparation for commissioning the IR ALS system. The main elements of this system are shown in my diagram in the previous elog in this thread.

Questions I have:

  1. Does anyone know what exactly is inside the "Delay Line" box? I can't find a diagram anywhere.
    • Jessica's SURF report would suggest that there are just 2 50m cables in there.
    • There are two power splitters taped to the top of this box.
    • It is unclear to me if there are any active components in the box.
    • It is unclear to me if there is any thermal/acoustic insulation in there.
    • For completeness, I'd like to temporarily pull the box out of the LSC rack, open it up, take photos, and make a diagram unless there are any objections.
  2. If you believe the front panel labeling, then currently, the "LO" input of the mixer is being driven by the part of the ALS beat signal that goes through the delay line. The direct (i.e. non delayed) output of the power splitter goes to the "RF" input of the mixer. The mixer used, according to the DCC diagram, is a PE4140. Datasheet suggests the LO power can range from -7dBm to +20dBm. For a -8dBm beat from the IR beat PDs, with +24dB gain from the ZHL3A but -3dB from the power splitter, and assuming 9dB loss in the cable (I don't know what the actual loss is, but according to a Frank Seifert elog, the optimal loss is 8.7dB and I assume our delay line is close to optimal), this means that we have ~4dBm at the "LO" input of the demod board. The schematic says the nominal level the circuit expects is 10dBm. If we use the non-delayed output of the power splitter, we would have, for a -8dBm beat, (-8+24-3)dBm ~13dBm, plus probably some cabling loss along the way which would be closer to 10dBm. So should we use the non-delayed version for the LO signal? Is there any reason why the current wiring is done in this way?


  13534   Thu Jan 11 20:51:20 2018 gautamUpdateALSFiber ALS assay

After labeling cables I would disconnect, I pulled the box out of the LSC rack. Attachment #1 is a picture of the insides of the box - looks like it is indeed just two lengths of cabling. There was also some foam haphazardly stuck around inside - presumably an attempt at insulation/isolation.

Since I have the box out, I plan to measure the delay in each path, and also the signal attenuation. I'll also try and neaten the foam padding arrangement - Steve was showing me some foam we have, I'll use that. If anyone has comments on other changes that should be made / additional tests that should be done, please let me know.

20180111_2200: I'm running some TF measurements on the delay line box with the Agilent in the control room area (script running in tmux sesh on pianosa). Results will be uploaded later.


For completeness, I'd like to temporarily pull the box out of the rack, open it up, take photos, and make a diagram unless there are any objections.


  13552   Tue Jan 16 21:50:53 2018 gautamUpdateALSFiber ALS assay

With Johannes' help, I re-installed the box in the LSC electronics rack. In the end, I couldn't find a good solution to thermally insulate the inside of the box with foam - the 2U box is already pretty crowded with ~100m of cabling inside of it. So I just removed all the haphazardly placed foam and closed the box up for now. We can evaluate if thermal stability of the delay line is limiting us anywhere we care about and then think about what to do in this respect. This box is actually rather heavy with ~100m of cabling inside, and is right now mounted just by using the ears on the front - probably should try and implement a more robust mounting solution for the box with some rails for it to sit on.

I then restored all the cabling - but now, the delayed part of the split RF beat signal goes to the "RF in" input of the demod board, and the non-delayed part goes to the back-panel "LO" input. I also re-did the cabling at the PSL table, to connect the two ZHL3-A amplifier inputs to the IR beat PDs in the BeatMouth instead of the green BBPDs.

I didn't measure any power levels today, my plan was to try and get a quick ALS error signal spectrum - but looks like there is too much beat signal power available at the moment, the ADC inputs for both arm beat signals are overflowing often. The flat gain on the AS165 (=ALS X) and POP55 (=ALS Y) channels have been set to 0dB, but still the input signals seem way too large. The signals on the control room spectrum analyzer come from the "RF mon" ports on the demod board, and are marked as -23dBm. I looked at these peak heights with the end green beams locked to the arm cavities, as per the proposed new ALS scheme. Not sure how much cable loss we have from the LSC rack to the network analyzer, but assuming 3dB (which is the Google value for 100ft of RG58), and reading off the peak heights from the control room analyzer, I figure that we have ~0dBm of RF signal in the X arm. => I would expect ~3dBm of signal to the LO input. Both these numbers seem well within range of what the demod board is designed to handle so I'm not sure why we are saturating.

Note that the nominal (differential) I and Q demodulated outputs from the demod board come out of a backplane connector - but we seem to be using the front panel (single-ended) "MON" channels to acquire these signals. I also need to update my Fiber ALS diagram to indicate the power loss in cabling from the PSL table to the LSC electronics rack, expect it to be a couple of dB.



After labeling cables I would disconnect, I pulled the box out of the LSC rack. Attachment #1 is a picture of the insides of the box - looks like it is indeed just two lengths of cabling. There was also some foam haphazardly stuck around inside - presumably an attempt at insulation/isolation.

Since I have the box out, I plan to measure the delay in each path, and also the signal attenuation. I'll also try and neaten the foam padding arrangement - Steve was showing me some foam we have, I'll use that. If anyone has comments on other changes that should be made / additional tests that should be done, please let me know.

20180111_2200: I'm running some TF measurements on the delay line box with the Agilent in the control room area (script running in tmux sesh on pianosa). Results will be uploaded later.



  13557   Thu Jan 18 00:35:00 2018 gautamUpdateALSFiber ALS assay


I am facing two problems:

  1. The X arm beat seems to be broadband noisier than the Y arm beat - see Attachment #1. The Y-axis calibration is uncertain, but at least the Y beat has the same profile as the reference traces, which are for the green beat from a time when we had ALS running. There is also a rather huge ~5kHz peak, which I confirmed isn't present in the PDH error/control signal spectra (with SR785).
  2. The Y-arm beat amplitude, at times, "breathes" in amplitude (as judged by control room analyzer). Attachment #2 is a time-lapse of this behaviour (left beat is X arm beat, right peak is the Y arm peak) - I caught only part of it, the the beat note basically vanishes into the control room noise floor and then comes back up to almost the same level as the X beat. The scale is 10dB/div. During this time, the green (and IR for that matter) stay stably locked to the arm - you'll have to take my word for it as I have no way to sync my video with StripTool Traces, but I was watching the DC transmission levels the whole time. The whole process happens over a few (1< \tau <5) minutes - I didn't time it exactly. I can't really say this behaviour is periodic either - after the level comes back up, it sometimes stays at a given level almost indefinitely.

More details:

  • Spent some time today trying to figure out losses in various parts of the signal chain, to make sure I wasn't in danger of saturating RF amplifiers. Cabling from PSL table -> LSC rack results in ~2dB loss.
  • I will upload the updated schematic of the Beat-Mouth based ALS - I didn't get a chance to re-measure the optical powers into the Beat Mouth, as someone had left the Fiber Power Meter unplugged, and it had lost all of its charge angry.
  • The Demod boards have a nice "RF/LO power monitor" available at the backplane of the chassis - we should hook these channels up to the DAQ for long term monitoring.
    • The schematic claims "120mV/dBm" into 50ohms at these monitoring pins.
    • I measured the signal levels with a DMM (Teed with 50ohm), but couldn't really make the numbers jive - converting the measured backplane voltage into dBm of input power gives me an inferred power level that is ~5dBm higher than the actual measured power levels (measured with Agilent analyzer in Spectrum Analyzer mode).
  • Looking at the time series of the ALS I and Q inputs, the signals are large, but we are well clear of saturating our 16-bit ADCs.
  • In the brief periods when both beats were stable in amplitude (as judged by control room analyzer), the output of the Q quadrature of the phase tracker servo was ~12,000 cts - the number I am familiar with for the green days is ~2000cts - so naively, I would say we have ~6x the RF beat power from the Beat Mouth compared to green ALS.
  • I didn't characterize the conversion efficiency of the demod boards so I don't have a V (IF)/V (RF) number at the moment.
  • I confirmed that the various peaks seen in the X arm beat spectrum aren't seen in the control signal of the EX Green PDH, by looking at the spectrum on an SR785 (it is also supposedly recorded in the DAQ system, but I can't find the channel and the cable is labelled "GCX-PZT_OUT", which doesn't match any of our current channels).
    Note to self from the future: the relevant channels are: C1:ALS-X_ERR_MON_IN1 (green PDH error signal with x10 gain from an SR560) and C1:ALS-X_SLOW_SERVO_IN1 (green PDH control signal from monitor point - I believe this is DC coupled as this is the error signal to the slow EX laser PZT temp control). I've changed the cable labels at the X end to reflect this reality. At some point I will calibrate these to Hz.
  • The control room analyzer signals come from the "RF mon" outputs on the demod board, which supposedly couple the RF input with gain of -23dBm. These are then routed reverse through a power splitter to combine the X and Y signals, which is then plugged into the HP analyzer. The problem is not local to this path, as during the "breathing" of the Y beat RF amplitude, I can see the Q output of the phase tracker also breathing.

Next steps (that I can think of, ideas welcome!):

  1. For Problem #1 - usual debugging tactic of switching X and Y electronics paths to see if the problem lies in the light or in the electronics. If it is in the electronics, we can swap around at various points in the signal chain to try and isolate the problematic component.
  2. For Problem #2 - hook up the backplane monitor channels to monitor RF amplitudes over time and see if the drifts are correlated with other channels.
  3. There is evidence of some acoustic peaks, which are possibly originating from the fibers - need to track these down, but I think for a first pass to try and get the red ALS going, we shouldn't be bothered by these.



  13559   Fri Jan 19 11:34:21 2018 gautamUpdateALSFiber ALS assay

I swapped the inputs to the ZHL-3A at the PSL table - so now the X beat RF signals from the beat mouth are going through what was previously the Y arm ALS electronics. From Attachment #1, you can see that the Y arm beat is now noisier than the X. The ~5kHz peak has also vanished.

So I will pursue this strategy of switching to try and isolate where the problem lies...

Somebody had forgotten to turn the HEPA variac on the PSL table downsad. It was set at 70. I set it at 20, and there is already a huge difference in the ALS spectra

  1. For Problem #1 - usual debugging tactic of switching X and Y electronics paths to see if the problem lies in the light or in the electronics. If it is in the electronics, we can swap around at various points in the signal chain to try and isolate the problematic component.
  13562   Fri Jan 19 23:04:11 2018 gautamUpdateALSFiber ALS assay

[rana, kevin, udit, gautam]

quick notes of some discussions we had today:

  1. Earlier in the day, Udit and I measured (with a 20dB coupler and AG4395) ~20dBm of RF beat power at input to power splitter (just before delay line box) at the LSC rack. This means that we have ~17dBm going into the LO input of the demod board. The AP1053 can only really handle a max of 16dBm at the input. After discussion with Rana, I put a 3dB attenuator at the input to the power splitter so as to preserve the LO/RF ratio in the demod circuit.
  2. Need to make a detailed optical and RF power budget for both arms.
  3. The demod circuit board is configured to have gain of x100 post demod (conversion loss of the mixer is ~-8dB). This works well for the PDH cavity locking type of demod scheme, where the loop squishes the error signal in lock, so most of the time, the RF signal is tiny, and so a gain of x100 is good. For ALS, the application needs are rather different. So we lowered the gain of the "Audio IF amplifier" stage of the circuit from x100 to x10, by effecting the resistor swaps 10ohms->50ohms, 1kohm->500ohms (more details about this later).
  4. There is some subtlety regarding the usage of the whitening interface boards - I need to look at the circuit again and understand this better, but Rana advised against running with the whitening gain at low values. Point #3 above should have helped with this regard.
  5. I wanted to test the new signal chain (with 3dB attenuation and modified IF gain) but ETMX is not happy now, and is making it impossible to keep the X arm locked. Will try again tomorrow.
  6. Eventually: need to measure the mode of the fiber, and up the MM efficiency to at least 80%, which should be doable without using any fancy lenses/collimators.
  7. Udit and I felt that the back panel RF power monitor wasn't working as expected - I will re-investigate this when I have the board out again to make the IF gain change permanent with the right footprint SMD resistors.

RXA: 0805 size SMD thin film resistors have been ordered from Mouser, to be shipped on Monday. **note that these thin film resistors are black; i.e. it is NOT true that all black SMD resistors are thick film**

  13571   Wed Jan 24 00:33:31 2018 gautamUpdateALSFiber ALS assay

I did some work on the PSL table today. Main motivations were to get a pickoff for the BeatMouth PSL beam before any RF modulations are imposed on it, and to improve the mode-matching into the fiber. Currently, we use the IR light reflected by the post doubling oven harmonic separator. This has the PMC modulation sideband on it, and also some green leakage. 

So I picked off ~8.5mW of PSL light from the first PBS (pre Faraday rotator), out of the ~40 mW available here, using a BS-80-1064-S. I dumped the 80% reflected light into the large beam dump that was previously being used to dump this PBS reflection. Initially, I used a R=10% BS for S-pol that I found on the SP table, but Koji tipped me off on the fact that these produce multiple reflected beams, so I changed strategy to use the R=80% BS instead.

The transmitted 20% is routed to the West edge of the PSL table via 2 1" Y1-1037-45S optics, towards the rough vicinity of the fiber coupler. For now it is just dumped, tomorrow I will work on the mode matching. We may want to cut the power further - ideally, we want ~2.5mW of power in the fiber - this is then divided by 4 inside the beat mouth before reaching the beat PD, and with other losses, I expect ~500mW of PSL power and comparable AUX light, we will have a strong >0dBm beat.

Attachment #1 is a picture of my modifications. For this work, I

  • Closed PSL shutter, turned HEPA up 
  • Moved HP GHz spec analyzer to the side for ease of access to the table.
  • Moved several optics that look to me as to have once been part of the RefCav setup - I don't think this would have been a useful alignment reference in any case as we moved the RefCav in a non-deterministic way for the PSL secondary shelf install.
  • Used one 1" 45 deg S-pol optic from the optics cabinet - remaining optics were scavenged from PSL table and SP table.
  • Removed an SMA cable connected to an EOM, whose other end wasn't connected to anything.
  • Turned HEPA back down, IMC locks fine now.


  13573   Wed Jan 24 00:58:59 2018 gautamUpdateALSX Green PDH modulation depth

On Friday, while Udit and I were doing some characterization of the EX+PSL IR beat at the LSC rack, I noticed that there were sidebands around the main beat peak at 20dBm lower level. These were offset from the main peak by ~200kHz - I didn't do a careful characterization but because of the symmetric nature of these sidebands and the fact that they appeared with the same offset from the main peak for various values of the central beat frequency, I hypothesize that these are from the modulation sidebands we use for PDH locking the EX laser to the arm cavity. So we can estimate the modulation depth from the relative powers of the main beat peak and the ~200kHz offset sidebands.

Since the IR light is used for the beat and we directly couple it to the fiber to make the beat, there is no green or IR cavity pole involved here. 20dBm in power means \frac{\beta^2}{4} \approx 10^{\frac{-20}{10}} \approx 0.01. And so the modulation depth, \beta \approx 0.2 \mathrm{rad}. I will do a more careful meaurement of this, but this method of measuring the modulation depth can give us a precise estimate - for what it's worth, this number is in the same ballpark as the measurement I quote in elog12105.

What is the implication of having these sidebands on our ALS noise? I need to think about this, effectively the phase noise of the SR function generators we use to do the phase modulation of the EX laser is getting imprinted on the ALS noise? Is this hurting us in any frequency range that matters?


  13574   Wed Jan 24 10:45:14 2018 gautamUpdateALSFiber ALS assay

I was looking into the physics of polarization maintaining fibers, and then I was trying to remember whether the fibers we use are actually polarization maintaining. Looking up the photos I put in the elog of the fibers when I cleaned them some months ago, at least the short length of fiber attached to the PD doesn't show any stress elements that I did see in the Thorlabs fibers. I'm pretty sure the fiber beam splitters also don't have any stress elements (see Attached photo). So at least ~1m of fiber length before the PD sensing element is probably not PM - just something to keep in mind when thinking about mode overlap and how much beat we actually get.  


  13583   Thu Jan 25 13:18:41 2018 gautamUpdateALSFiber ALS assay

I was looking at this a little more closely. As I understand it, the purpose of the audio differential IF amplifier is:

  1. To provide desired amplification at DC-audio frequencies
  2. To low pass the 2f component of the mixer output

Attachment #1 shows, the changes to the TF of this stage as a result of changing R19->50ohm, R17->500ohm. For the ALS application, we expect the beat signal to be in the range 20-100MHz, so the 2f frequency component of the mixer output will be between 40-200MHz, where the proposed change preserves >50dB attenuation. The Q of the ~500kHz resonance because of the series LCR at the input is increased as a result of reducing R17, so we have slightly more gain there. 

At the meeting yesterday, Koji suggested incorporating some whitening in the preamp itself, but I don't see a non-hacky way to use the existing PCB footprint and just replace components to get whitening at audio frequencies. I'm going to try and measure the spectrum of the I and Q demodulated outputs with the actual beat signal to see if the lack of whitening is going to limit the ALS noise in some frequency band of interest.

Does this look okay?


The demod circuit board is configured to have gain of x100 post demod (conversion loss of the mixer is ~-8dB). This works well for the PDH cavity locking type of demod scheme, where the loop squishes the error signal in lock, so most of the time, the RF signal is tiny, and so a gain of x100 is good. For ALS, the application needs are rather different. So we lowered the gain of the "Audio IF amplifier" stage of the circuit from x100 to x10, by effecting the resistor swaps 10ohms->50ohms, 1kohm->500ohms (more details about this later).

  13586   Thu Jan 25 23:59:14 2018 gautamUpdateALSFiber ALS assay

I tried to couple the PSL pickoff into the fiber today for several hours, but got nowhere really, achieved a maximum coupling efficiency of ~10%. TBC tomorrow... Work done yesterday and today:

  • I changed the collimator from the fixed focal length but adjustable lens position CFC-2X-C to the truly fixed F220-APC-1064 recommended by johannes.
  • Used a pair of irises to level the beam out at 4" with two steering mirrors.
  • Used a connector on the PSL table to couple the EX laser light to the PSL fiber - then measured the mode using the beam-scanner (beam is ~300uW) 
  • Measured the mode of the PSL pickoff beam, also using the beam scanner. 
  • Per specs on the Thorlabs website, the F220-APC-1064 has a divergence angle of 0.032 degrees. So expected waist is ~1200um, and the Rayleigh range is ~4.3m, so this is not a very easy beam to measure and fit. I may be thinking about this wrong?
  • Measured beam 1/e^2 dia over ~0.65m, and found it to be fairly constant around 1800um (so waist of 900um) - beam is also pretty symmetric in x and y directions, but I didn't attempt an M^2 measurement.
  • The pickoff from the PSL also did not yield a very clean beam profile measurement, even though I measured over ~1m z-propagation distance. Nevertheless, this looked more like a Gaussian beam, and I confirmed the fitted waist size/location approximately by placing the beam profiler at the predicted waist location and checking the spot size.
  • Used jammt to calculate a candidate mode-matching solution - the best option seemed to be to use a combination of a f=150mm and f=-75mm lens in front of the collimator. 
  • Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get more than ~500uW of light coupled into the fiber - out of the 8mW available, this is a paltry 12.5% sad
  • Because the mode coming out of the fiber is relatively large, and because I have tons of space available on the PSL table, this shouldn't be a hard mode-matching problem, should be doable without any fast lenses - perhaps I'm doing something stupid and not realizing it. I'm giving up for tonight and will try a fresh assault tomorrow. 
  13587   Fri Jan 26 20:03:09 2018 gautamUpdateALSFiber ALS assay

I think part of the problem was that the rejected beam from the PBS was not really very Gaussian - looking at the spot on the beam profiler, I saw at least 3 local maxima in the intensity profile. So I'm now switching strategies to use a leakage beam from one of the PMC input steering optics- this isn't ideal as it already has the PMC modulation sideband on it, and this field won't be attenuated by the PMC transmission - but at least we can use a pre-doubler pickoff. This beam looks beautifully Gaussian with the beam profiler. Pics to follow shortly...


I tried to couple the PSL pickoff into the fiber today for several hours, but got nowhere really, achieved a maximum coupling efficiency of ~10%. TBC tomorrow... Work done yesterday and today


  13591   Wed Jan 31 15:45:22 2018 gautamUpdateALSFiber ALS assay

Attachment #1 shows the current situation of the PSL table IR pickoff. It isn't the greatest photo but it's hard to get a good one of this setup. Now there is no need to open the Green PSL shutter for there to be an IR beat note.

  • The key to improving the mode-matching was to abandon my "measurements" of the input mode and the mode from the collimator.
  • The best I could do with these measurements was ~25% coupling, whereas now I have ~78%yes (all powers measured with Ophir power meter).
  • Focusing was done using two f=300mm lenses (see attachment).
  • By moving the second (closer to collimator) lens through ~1inch of its current position, I was able to see a clear maximum of the coupled power.
  • By moving the second lens by ~5mm, and touching up the alignment, I couldn't see any improvement.

All this lead me to conclude that I have reached at least some sort of local maximum. The AR coating of the lens has ~0.5% reflection at 8 degrees AOI according to spec, and EricG mentioned today that the fiber itself probably has ~4% reflection at the interface due to there not being any special AR coating. There is also the fact that the mode of the collimator isn't exactly Gaussian. Anyways I think this is a big improvement from what was the situation before, and I am moving on to debugging the ALS electronics.

There is 3.65mW of power coupled into the fiber - our fiber coupled PDs have a damage threshold of 2mW, and this 3.65mW does get split by 4 before reaching the PDs, but good to keep this number in mind. For a quick measurement of the PMC and X end PDH modulation depth measurements, I used an ND=0.5 filter in the beam path.


  13593   Wed Jan 31 16:29:42 2018 gautamUpdateALSModulation depths

I used the Beat Mouth to make a quick measurement of the PMC and EX modulation depths. They are, respectively, 60mrad and 90mrad. See Attachments #1 and #2 for spectra from the beat photodiode outputs, monitored using the Agilent analyzer, 16 averages, IF bandwidth set to resolve peaks offset from the main beat frequency peak by 33.5MHz for the PMC and by ~230kHz for the EX green PDH.

For this work, I had to re-align the IFO so as to lock the arms to IR. c1susaux was unresponsive and had to be power-cycled. As mentioned in the earlier elog, to avoid saturating the Fiber Coupled beat PDs, I placed a ND=0.5 filter in the fiber collimator path, such that the coupled power was ~1mW, which is well inside the safe regime.

For the EX modulation depth, I could have gotten multiple estimates of the modulation depth using the higher order products that are visible in the spectrum, but I didn't.

  13594   Wed Jan 31 16:33:53 2018 gautamUpdateALSALS electronics at LSC rack

[steve, gautam]

We installed some rails to mount the 2U chassis containing ~100m of delay line cabling, and the 1U chassis containing the FET demodulators for the ALS signals in the LSC rack. This has made it MUCH easier for a single person to work there and remove/reinstall these chassis. The delay line box has 100m of cable inside it, and so was rather heavy (~8kg) - previously, it was being supported only by a pair of brackets on the front, so the new arrangement is much more robustyes. Steve is looking into acquiring plastic spacers of the appropriate width, so that we can secure the units to the rack using usual rack mount screws (but the material of the newly installed rails and the screw heads holding them in place necessitate this plastic spacer). 

Delay line box has been re-installed, demodulator chassis has been removed by me for characterization. Steve will put up photos once the units are re-installed.

For this work, I had to disconnect a bunch of cabling, but only those connected to ALS. All cables were labelled, and I will re-connect them once I am done with the demod chassis.


Anyways I think this is a big improvement from what was the situation before, and I am moving on to debugging the ALS electronics.


  13595   Wed Jan 31 22:32:11 2018 gautamUpdateALSALS signal chain + power budget


I do not have an answer to the question "What is an appropriate gain for the IF amplifier stage in the D0902745 FET demod boards?", because of the following problems.


The plan is to lower the gain of the IF amplifier stage on the FET demodulator board from 100 to 10. As per Attachment #1, this will make the overall gain from RF beatnote from the Beat Mouth to the signal input to the D990694 whitening board +19dB, assuming "typical" values for the conversion loss of the mixer, and the various other passive components on the FET demod board. I've used numbers I measured a couple of weeks ago for the delay line loss and the cabling loss from the PSL table to the LSC rack. This in turn will set a limit on how much RF beat power we can handle, from the Beat Mouth. According to this power budget, if we have -5dBm of beat, we will have an input to the whitening board of ~6Vpp, which is about half its full range. The trouble is, I don't know what the transimpedance gain of the Fiber Beat PDs are. The datasheet suggests a "maximum gain" of 5e4 V/W, which presumably takes into account the InGaAs responsivity and the actual transimpedance gain. However, according to the last power budget I did inside the Beat Mouth, I had -8dBm of beat for a combined 400uW of PSL+EX light, which definitely does not add up. I've emailed the company to ask about the spec, haven't gotten anything useful yet...

The problem is further complicated by the fact that the fiber inside the Beat Mouth is NOT polarization maintaining, and so the actual relative polarizations of the arm IR light and the PSL IR light is unpredictable, and also uncontrolled. I suppose we could simply place a HWP before the fiber collimator at either end, and rotate the polarization until we get a desired amount of beat, but this still does not solve the problem of the polarization being uncontrolled.

I am going to characterize the demod board using E1100114. I am unsure as to the conversion loss of the mixer - the datasheet suggested a number of 8dB, but T1000044 suggests that the conversion loss is actually only 4dB. I figure it's best to just measure it. Would also be good to verify that the overall transfer function and noise of the IF amplifier stage match my expectation from the LISO model.

Option #1: Rana ordered 50ohm and 500ohm SMD resistors of the 0805 package size, I asked Steve to get a few more values just in case we want to twiddle with the gain of this stage further (specifically, I asked for values such that we can set it to x5, x3 and x1). But changing the feedback resistors modifies the overall TF shape - see e.g. Attachment #2. Need to also look at how the noise performance varies.

Another possibility is to turn down the gain of the IF amplifier stage to x10, retire the ZHL-3A, and use a lower gain amplifier in its place. We do have the recently acquired Teledyne amplifiers, but we would have to package it in such a way that it can be integrated into the existing Fiber ALS signal chain. This would allow us to handle significantly larger RF beatnote powers, which I expect we will have if we improve the mode matching into the fibers (provided the aforementioned polarization drift possibility doesn't hurt us too much).

A third possibility is to attenuate the power coupled into the fibers to lower the RF beatnote amplitude. I don't like this option so much because placing an ND filter or a PBS+HWP combo in the beam path is likely to screw up the mode-matching into the fiber collimator, which I have already spent so many hours trying to improve, but if it must be done, it must be done.

The correct option is of course the one that gives us the lowest ALS noise. It is not clear to me which one that is at this point.

  13596   Thu Feb 1 01:24:56 2018 gautamUpdateALSD0902745 revamp underway

I effected the change to the Audio IF preamp stage on channels 3 and 4 (Xarm and Yarm respectively) using the resistors Steve ordered (the ones Rana ordered don't have any labeling on them, and I couldn't tell the 50ohm and 500ohm ones apart except by looking at the label on the ziplock bag they came infrown, so I decided against using them). I've started a DCC page to collect photos, characterization data, and marked up schematic etc for this part. Characterization is ongoing, more to follow soon. Note that for the photo-taking, I disconnected all the on-board SMA connectors so that the cabling wouldn't block components. I have since restored them for testing purposes, and was careful to use the torque-limited SMA tightening tool when restoring the connections.

In order to test various things like conversion loss etc, I figured it would be useful to have two RF signal sources, so I scavenged the Fluke RF generator that Johannes was using from under the PSL table. In the process, I accidentally bumped the PSL interlock on the southeast corner of the PSL table. I immediately turned the NPRO back on, and relocked PMC/IMC. Everything looks normal now. Acromag may even have caught my transgression.


I am going to characterize the demod board using E1100114. I am unsure as to the conversion loss of the mixer - the datasheet suggested a number of 8dB, but T1000044 suggests that the conversion loss is actually only 4dB. I figure it's best to just measure it. Would also be good to verify that the overall transfer function and noise of the IF amplifier stage match my expectation from the LISO model.


  13597   Thu Feb 1 15:31:12 2018 gautamUpdateALSALS signal chain + power budget


A reasonable level of RF beatnote power for operating within the specs of the demod board is 17dBm arriving at the input to the power splitter just before the delay line.


Stuff is beginning to look clearer now that I've done some initial characterization of the demod boards. I will upload a more detailed report of the characterization on the DCC page, but important findings are:

  1. The overall conversion factor from RF to IF is ~2.3V IF per volt of RF.
    • 50ohm source connected to RF input of demod board, level = 10dBm on Marconi screen, consistent with inferred value from RF mon output.
    • LO driven at 14dBm by Fluke function generator.
    • The ratio was calculated for IF voltage input into a High-Z load.
    • So let's say we want to run at half the ADC full range of 10Vpp into the whitening board - this means we need to keep the RF input to <=11dBm. 
  2. The Teledyne amplifier has a rated maximum input voltage of 17dBm. If we want to stay 3dB below this, we can send in 14dBm into the LO input of the demod board, which is what my characterizations were done with.

The delay line has a loss of ~3dB. The power splitter has a loss of 3dB. So putting everything together, 17dBm at the input of the power splitter gives us just the right amount of RF power to have the LO input driven at 14dBm, and the IF output be ~5Vpp into a High-Z load, which is about half the ADC full range.


  13599   Fri Feb 2 00:26:34 2018 gautamUpdateALSD0902745 revamp underway

I saw some interesting behaviour of the Audio IF amplifier stage on the demod board today, by accident. I was testing the board for I/Q orthogonality and gain balance, when I noticed a large gain imbalance between the I and Q channels for both Board #3 and #4, which are the ones we use for the IR ALS demodulation. This puzzled me for some time, but then I realized that I had only reduced the gain of this stage from x100 to x10 for the I channel, and not for the Q channel! The surprising thing though was that the output waveform still looked like a clean sinusoid on the o'scope, and there was no evidence of the voltage clipping that is characteristic of an op-amp being driven beyond its voltage rails. The conversion factor with a preamp gain on x10 was measured today to be 2V IF / 1V RF. But this means that for a preamp stage gain of x100, we expect 20V IF / 1V RF, which is well in the saturation regime of the AD829, since the Vcc is only +/-15V. I'm guessing the diodes D2 and D3 are for overvoltage protection, but given that the pre-amp gain is x100, the input signal at the inverting input of the AD829 is only 0.2V at DC, which isn't above the forward bias voltage for the switching diode BAV99. Perhaps there is some interaction between the pre-amp and the FET demodulator that I dont understand, or I am missing something about the differential to single-ended topology that would explain this behaviour. 

I found it puzzling why the large preamp stage gain didn't hurt us with the green beat - even though the green optical beat signal was smaller than the current IR beat, a back-of-the-envelope calculation suggested that it would still have saturated the ADC with a x100 gain on the preamp. Perhaps this observation is part of the story, and there is also the unpredictable behaviour of the D990694 board for an input signal with large DC levels...

I did the following tests on this board today:

  • Check +/-15V supplies, power reg board.
  • Check DC offset on I and Q front panel output with LO driven at +10dBm, RF input terminated. Found it to be 0.
  • Checked calibration of back-panel DSUB connector monitors for LO and RF powers. Data to be uploaded, looked quite linear.
  • Checked conversion gain from RF input to IF output for two sets of LO/RF powers.
  • Measured conversion gain as a function of the IF frequency (i.e. frequency offset between LO and RF inputs, out to ~700kHz, 8 datapoints)
  • Checked orthogonality and gain balance of the I and Q outputs.
  • Measured the noise of the I and Q outputs in the audio frequency range using the SR785.

I didn't really measure the transfer function of the preamp stage after the modification because there wasn't a convenient test point and I couldn't find the high impedance FET probe for the Agilent - I wonder if somebody in WB has it? Anyways, all the tests suggested the board is operating as expected, and I now have calibrations for the back panel DSUB for LO/RF power levels, and also the conversion gain from RF to IF. I will put together a python notebook with all my measurements and upload it to the DCC page for this part. I need to double check expected noise levels from LISO to match up to the measurement.

I will now proceed to the next piece (#3?) of this puzzle, which is to understand how the D990694 which receives the signals from this unit reacts to the expected DC voltage level of ~4Vpp.

After discussion with Koji, I have also decided to look into putting together a daughter board for an alternative Audio IF preamp stage. The motivation is that for the ALS application, we expect a high DC signal level all the time (because the loop does not suppress the beat note amplitude). So we would like for the preamp stage to have the usual shape of some zero around 4Hz, a pole around 40Hz, and then the LowPass profile of the existing preamp stage (to cut out the 2f frequency product, but also to minimize the possibility of the fast AD829 going into some unpredictable regime where it oscillates). So, the desired features are:

  • Whitening (z,p) at (4Hz,40Hz) or (15Hz,150Hz) so that we have frequency dependent gain that can handle the large DC signal level expected. Need to measure noise of the actual IR beat signal to determine what the appropriate whitening shape is.
  • Low-pass above a few 100kHz to cut out 2f modulation product
  • Low-passing at input of AD829 (or just use OP27?)
  13600   Fri Feb 2 13:16:55 2018 gautamUpdateALSALS signals whitening switching

While setting up for this measurement, I noticed something odd with the whitening switching for the ALS channels. For the usual LSC channels, the whitening is set up such that switching FM1 on the MEDM screen changes a BIO bit which then enables/disables the analog whitening stage. But this feature doesn't seem to be working for the ALS channels - I terminated all 4 channels at the LSC rack, and measured the spectrum of the IN1 signals with DTT in the two settings, such that I expect to see a difference in the spectra if the whitening is enabled or disabled - FM1 enabled (expected analog whitening to be engaged) and FM1 disabled (expected analog whitening to be bypassed). But I see no difference in the spectra. I confirmed that the BIO bit switching is happening at least on the software level (i.e. the bit indicator MEDM screens indicate state toggling when FM1 is ON/OFF). But I don't know if something is amiss in the signal chain, especially since we are using Hardware channels that were previously used for AS_165 and POP_55 signals.

Is the whitening shape such that we expect the terminated noise level to be below ADC Noise even when the whitening is engaged? I just checked the shape of the de-whitening filter, and it has -40dB gain above 150Hz, so the inverse shape should have +40dB gain. 


I will now proceed to the next piece (#3?) of this puzzle, which is to understand how the D990694 which receives the signals from this unit reacts to the expected DC voltage level of ~4Vpp

gautam 2.15pm: This was a FALSE ALARM, with the inputs terminated, the electronics noise really is that low such that it is buried under ADC noise even with +40dB gain. I cranked up the flat whitening gain from 0dB to 45dB for the X channels (but left the Y channels at 0dB). Attachment #2 is the comparison. Looks like the switching works just fine.

  13606   Mon Feb 5 14:11:01 2018 gautamUpdateALSHuge harmonics in ALS channels

I've been trying to setup for the THD measuremetn at the LSC rack for a couple of days now, but am plagued by a problem summarized in Attachment #1: there are huge harmonics present in the channel when I hook up the input to the whitening board D990694 to the output of a spare DAC channel at the LSC rack. Attachment #2 summarizes my setup. I've done the following checks in trying to debug this problem, but am no closer to solving it:

  • The problem is reminiscent of the one I experienced with the SR785 not too long ago - there the culprit was a switching power supply used for the Prologix GPIB-ethernet box.
  • Then I remembered sometime ago rana and i had identified the power supply for the Fibox at the LSC rack as a potential pollutant. But today, I confirmed that this power supply is not to blame, as I unplugged it from its powerstrip and the spectrum didn't change.
  • There are a couple of Sorensens in this LSC rack, from what it looks like, they supply power to a BIO interface box in the LSC rack. I thought we would want to keep this rack free of switching power supplies? Wasn't that the motivation behind keeping the (linear) power supplies for all the LSC rack electronics in a little separate rack along the east arm?
  • I confirmed that when the D990694 input is terminated, these harmonics are no longer present. 
  • I plugged the output of the SOS dewhite board to an oscilloscope - there is a ~20mVpp signal there even when the DAC output is set to 0, but this level seems too small to explain the ~1000 ct-pp signal that I was seeing. The whitening gains for these channels are set to 0dB.
  • I also looked at the signal in the time domain using DTT - indeed the peak-to-peak signal is a few thousand counts.
  • This isn't a problem with the particular input channel either - the behaviour can be reproduced with any of the 4 ALS input channels.

Am I missing something obvious here? I think it is impossible to do a THD measurement with the spectrum in this condition...

  13608   Mon Feb 5 22:57:28 2018 gautamUpdateALSHuge harmonics in ALS channels

Did some quick additional checks to figure out what's going on here.

  1. The SOS/dewhite board for which I didn't have a DCC number is D000316. It has a single ended output.
  2. I confirmed that the origin of this noise has to do with the ground of the aforementioned D000316 - as mentioned in my previous elog, having one end of a BNC cable plugged into the whitening board D990694 and the other end terminated in 50ohms yields a clean spectrum. But making the ground of this terminator touch the ground of the SMA connector on the D000316 makes the harmonics show up.
  3. Confirmed that the problem exists when using either the SMA or the LEMO monitor output of these D000316 boards.

So either something is busted on this board (power regulating capacitor perhaps?), or we have some kind of ground loop between electronics in the same chassis (despite the D990694 being differential input receiving). Seems like further investigation is needed. Note that the D000316 just two boards over in the same Eurocrate chassis is responsible for driving our input steering mirror Tip-Tilt suspensions. I wonder if that board too is suffering from a similarly noisy ground?


Am I missing something obvious here? I think it is impossible to do a THD measurement with the spectrum in this condition...


  13609   Tue Feb 6 11:13:26 2018 gautamUpdateALSPossible source of ground loop identified

I think I've narrowed down the source of this ground loop. It originates from the fact that the DAC from which the signals for this board are derived sits in an expansion chassis in 1Y3, whereas the LSC electronics are all in 1Y2.

  • I pulled the board out and looked at the output of Ch8 on the oscilloscope with the board powered by a bench power supply - signal looked clean, no evidence of the noisy ~20mVpp signal I mentioned in my previous elogyes.
  • Put the board back into a different slot in the eurocrate chassis and looked at the signal from Ch8  - looked clean, so the ground of the eurocrate box itself isn't to blameyes.
  • Put the board back in its original slot and looked at the signal from Ch8 - the same noisy signal of ~20mVpp I saw yesterday was evident again no.
  • Disconnected the backplane connector which routes signals from the DAC adaptor box to D000316 board - noisy signal vanished yes.

Looking at Jamie's old elog from the time when this infrastructure was installed, there is a remark that the signal didn't look too noisy - so either this is a new problem, or the characterization back then wasn't done in detail. The main reason why I think this is non-ideal is because the tip-tilt steering mirrors sending the beam into the IFO is controlled by analogous infrastructure - I confirmed using the LEMO monitor points on the D000316 that routes signals to TT1 and TT2 that they look similarly noisy (see e.g. Attachment #1). So we are injecting some amount (about 10% of the DC level) of beam jitter into the IFO because of this noisy signal - seems non-ideal. If I understand correctly, there is no damping loops on these suspensions which would suppress this injection. 

How should we go about eliminating this ground loop?



So either something is busted on this board (power regulating capacitor perhaps?), or we have some kind of ground loop between electronics in the same chassis (despite the D990694 being differential input receiving). Seems like further investigation is needed. Note that the D000316 just two boards over in the same Eurocrate chassis is responsible for driving our input steering mirror Tip-Tilt suspensions. I wonder if that board too is suffering from a similarly noisy ground?


  13612   Tue Feb 6 22:55:51 2018 gautamUpdateALSPossible source of ground loop identified

[koji, gautam]

We discussed possible solutions to this ground loop problem. Here's what we came up with:

  1. Option #1 - Configure the DAC card to receive a ground voltage reference from the same source as that which defines the LSC rack ground.
  2. Option #2 - construct an adapter that is differential-to-single ended receiving converter, which we can then tack on to these boards.
  3. Option #3 - use the D000186-revD board as the receiver for the DAC signals - this looks to have differential receiving of the DAC signals (see secret schematic).  We might want to modify the notches on these given the change in digital clock frequency 

Why do we care about this so much anyways? Koji pointed out that the tip tilt suspensions do have passive eddy current damping, but that presumably isn't very effective at frequencies in the 10Hz-1kHz range, which is where I observed the noise injection.

Note that all our SOS suspensions are also possibly being plagued by this problem - the AI board that receives signals is D000186, but not revision D I think. But perhaps for the SOS optics this isn't really a problem, as the expansion chassis and the coil driver electronics may share a common power source? 

gautam 1530 7 Feb: Judging by the footprint of the front panel connectors, I would say that the AI boards that receive signals from the DACs for our SOS suspended optics are of the Rev B variety, and so receive the DAC voltages single ended. Of course, the real test would be to look inside these boards. But they certainly look distinct from the black front panelled RevD variant linked above, which has differential inputs. Rev D uses OP27s, although rana mentioned that the LT1125 isn't the right choice and from what I remember, LT1125 is just Quad OP27...

  13613   Wed Feb 7 10:16:26 2018 gautamUpdateALSALS signal chain + power budget

After emailing the technical team at Menlo, I have uploaded the more detailed information they have given me on our wiki.


The trouble is, I don't know what the transimpedance gain of the Fiber Beat PDs are. The datasheet suggests a "maximum gain" of 5e4 V/W, which presumably takes into account the InGaAs responsivity and the actual transimpedance gain.


  13616   Wed Feb 7 15:51:15 2018 gautamUpdateALSD0902745 revamp complete

Summary of my tests of the demod boards, post gain modification:

  • DC tests (supply voltage, DC offsets at I and Q outputs, power LEDs etc)
  • RF tests
    • Back panel RF and LO power level monitor calibration
    • Coupling factor from RFinput to RFmon channel
    • Conversion loss as a function of demodulated beat frequency
    • Orthogonality and gain balance test
    • Linearity of unit as a function of RF input level
    • Electronics oise in the 1-10kHz band at the IF outputs.

Everything looks within the typical performance specs outlined in E1100114, except that the measured noise levels don't quite line up with the LISO model predictions. The measurement was made with the scheme shown in Attachment #1. I didn't do a point-by-point debugging of this on the board. I have uploaded the data + notebook summarizing my characterization to the DCC page for this part. I recommend looking at the HTML version for the plots.

*I'd put up the wrong attachment, corrected it now...


I will put together a python notebook with all my measurements and upload it to the DCC page for this part. I need to double check expected noise levels from LISO to match up to the measurement.

gautam 9 Feb 2018 9pm: Adding a useful quote here from the LISO manual (pg28). I think if I add the Johnson noise from the output impedance of the mixer (assumed as 50ohms, I get better agreement between the measured and observed noises (although the variance between the 4 channels is still puzzling). The other possible explanation is small variations in the voltage noise at the various mixer output ports. Could we also be seeing the cyclostationary shot noise difference between the I and Q channels? 

For the computation of noise, the distinction between uinput and iinput is ignored, since no input signal is assumed. The source-impedance given in the uinput or iinput instruction is assumed to be connected from the input node to ground. It will affect the gain of noise contributions from their source to the output. The impedance itself is considerednoise-free, i.e. no Johnson noise is computedfor it. If you want to compute the source impedance’s Johnson noise, you must explicitly enter it as a resistor.

In any case, I am happy with this level of agreement, so I am going to stick this 1U chassis back in its rack with the primary aim of measuring a spectrum of the beatnote, so that I have some idea of what kind of whitening filter shape is useful for the ALS signals. May need to pull it out again for actually implementing the daughter board idea though... I have updated DCC page with LISO source, and also the updated python notebooks.

  13621   Thu Feb 8 00:33:20 2018 gautamUpdateALSD990694 characterization / THD measurement plan

I decided to try doing the THD measurement with a function generator. Did some quick trials tonight to verify that the measurement plan works. Note that for the test, I turned off the z=15,p=150 whitening filter - I'm driving a signal at ~100Hz and should have plenty of oomph to be seen above ADC noise.

  1. Checked for ground loops - seem to be fine, see black trace on Attachment #1 which was taken with the FnGen hooked up to the input, but not putting out any signal
  2. Spectrum with 1Vpp sine wave @ ~103Hz. The various harmonic peaks are visible, and though I've not paid attention to bin width etc, the largest harmonics are ~1000x smaller than the main peak, and so the THD is ~1ppm, which is in the ballpark of what the datasheet tells us to expect around 100Hz for a gain of ~10 (=20dB). The actual gain was set at 0dB (so all opAmps in the quad bypassed)

I'm going to work on putting together some code that gives me a quick readback on the measured THD, and then do the test for real with different amplitude input signal and whitening gain settings.

**Matlab has a thd function, but to the best of my googling, can't find a scipy.signal analog.

To remind myself of the problem, summarize some of the discussion Koji and I had on the actual problem via email, and in case I've totally misunderstood the problem:

  1. The "Variable Gain" feature on the D990694 boards is achieved by 4 single gain stages cascaded together in series, with the ability to engage/bypass each stage individually.
  2. The 4 gain stages are constructed using the 4 OpAmps in a quad LT1125 IC, each in standard non-inverting configuration.
  3. The switches unfortunately are on the output side of each op-amp. This means that even if a stage is bypassed, the signal reaches the input pin of the OpAmp.
  4. For proper operation, in closed-loop, the differential voltage between the input pins of the OpAmp are 0.
  5. But this may require the OpAmp to source more current than it can (just using Ohms law and the values of the resistors in the feedback path).
  6. As a result, a large differential voltage develops between the input pins of the OpAmp.
  7. The LT1125 is not rated to operate in such conditions (this is what Hartmut was saying in the ilog linked earlier in this thread).
  8. Part of the internal protection mechanism to prevent damage to the IC in such operating conditions is a pair of diodes between the input pins of the OpAmp.
  9. When a large differential voltage develops between the input pins of the OpAmp, the diodes act to short the two to bring them to the same potential (minus whatever small drop there is across the diodes). Actually, according to the datasheet, when the differential voltage between the input pins exceeds 1.4V, the input current must be limited to 25mA, to avoid damaging the protection diodes? If so, we may already have damaged a bunch of these amplifiers.
  10. While the LT1125 IC is protected in this condition, the infinite input impedance of the OpAmp is reduced to the resistance between the inverting input and ground. The output voltage may still be saturated, but the output current draw is within what the IC can supply.
  11. As a result, Ohms law means that the preceeding stage is overdrawn for current. This is clearly not ideal.
  12. Another possible problem is that there is some sort of interaction between the 4 opamps in the quad IC, which means that even if one stage is overdrawn for current, all of them may be affected.
  13. The Advanced LIGO version of this board addresses #11 and #12 by (i) placing a series resistor between the input signal and the non-inverting input of the opamp, and (ii) using single opamp ICs instead of a quad, respectively.

So my question is - should we just cut the PCB trace and add this series resistance for the 4 ALS signal channels, and THEN measure the THD? Since the DC voltage level of the ALS signal is expected to be of the order of a few volts, we know we are going to be in the problematic regime where #11 and #12 become issues.

  13622   Thu Feb 8 01:27:16 2018 KojiUpdateALSD990694 characterization / THD measurement plan

> So my question is - should we just cut the PCB trace and add this series resistance for the 4 ALS signal channels, and THEN measure the THD?



  13623   Thu Feb 8 12:00:09 2018 gautamUpdateALSD990694 is NOT differential receiving

Correcting a mistake in my earlier elog: the D990694 is NOT differential receiving, it is single ended receiving via the front panel SMA connectors. The aLIGO version of the whitening board, D1001530 has an additional differential-to-single-ended input stage, though it uses the LT1125 to implement this stage. So the possibility of ground loops on all channels using this board will exist even after the planned change to install series resistance to avoid current overloading the preceeding stage.


So either something is busted on this board (power regulating capacitor perhaps?), or we have some kind of ground loop between electronics in the same chassis (despite the D990694 being differential input receiving). Seems like further investigation is needed. Note that the D000316 just two boards over in the same Eurocrate chassis is responsible for driving our input steering mirror Tip-Tilt suspensions. I wonder if that board too is suffering from a similarly noisy ground?


  13625   Thu Feb 8 13:13:14 2018 gautamUpdateALSD990694 pulled out

After labeling all cables, I pulled out one of the D990694s in the LSC rack (the one used for the ALS X signals, it is Rev-B1, S/N 118 according to the sticker on it).

Took some photos before cutting anything. Attachments #1-3 are my cutting plans (shown for 1 channel, plan is to do it for both ALS channels coming into this board). #1 & #2 are meant to show the physical locations of the cuts, and #3 is the corresponding location on the schematic. These are the most convenient locations I could identify on the board for this operation.

I don't know what the purpose of resistors R196, R197, R198 are. I'm assuming it has something to do with the way the ADG333ABR switches. The aLIGO board uses a different switch (MAX4659EUA+), and doesn't have an analogous resistor (though from what I can tell, it too is a CMOS SPDT switch just like the ADG333ABR, just has a lower ON resistance of 25ohm vs 45ohm for the ADG333ABR).

As for the actual resistance to be used: Let's say we don't have signals > 5V coming into this board. Then using 301ohms (as in the aLIGO boards) in series means the peak current draw will be <20mA, which sounds like a reasonable number to me. Larger series resistance is better, but I guess then the contribution of the current noise of the OpAmp keeps increasing.

  13627   Thu Feb 8 18:10:36 2018 gautamUpdateALSD990694 pulled out

This is proving much more challenging than I thought - while Cut #1 was easy to identify and execute, my initial plan for Cut #2 seems to not have isolated the input of the second opamp (as judged by DMM continuity). Koji pointed out that this is actually not a robust test, as the switches are in an undefined state while I am doing these tests with the board unpowered. It seems rather complicated to do a test with the board powered out here in the office area though - and I'd rather not desolder the 16 and 20 pin ICs to get a better look at the tracks. This PCB seems to be multilayered, and I don't have a good idea for what the hidden tracks may be. Does anyone know of a secret place where there is a schematic for the PCB layout of this board? The DCC page only has the electrical schematic drawings, and I can't find anything useful on the elog/wiki/old ilog on a keyword search for this DCC document number. The track layout also is not identical for all channels. So I'm holding off on exploratory cuts.

*I've asked Ben Abbott/Mike Pedraza about this and they are having a look in Dale Ouimette's old drives to see if they can dig up the Altium/Protel files.

  13628   Fri Feb 9 13:37:44 2018 gautamUpdateALSTHD measurement trial

I quickly put together some code that calculates the THD from CDS data and generates a plot (see e.g. Attachment #1).

Algorithm is:

  1. Get data (for now, offile file, but can be readily adapted to download data live or from NDS).
  2. Compute power spectrum using scipy.signal.periodogram. I use a Kaiser window with beta=38 based on some cursory googling, and do 10 averages (i.e. nfft is total length / 10), and set the scaling to "spectrum" so as to directly get a power spectrum as opposed to a spectral density.
  3. Find fundamental (assumed highest peak) and N harmonics using scipy.signal.find_peaks_cwt. I downsample 16k data to 2k for speed. A 120second time series takes ~5 seconds.
  4. Compute THD as \mathrm{THD} = \frac{\sqrt{\sum_{i=2}^{N}\mathrm{V}_i^2}}{V_1}where V_i denotes an rms voltage, or in the case of a power spectrum, just the y-axis value.

I conducted a trial on the Y arm ALS channel whitening board (while the X arm counterpart is still undergoing surgery). With the whitening gain set to 0dB, and a 1Vpp input signal (so nothing should be saturated), I measure a THD of ~0.08% according to the above formula. Seems rather high - the LT1125 datasheet tells us to expect <0.001% THD+N at ~100Hz for a closed loop gain of ~10. I can only assume that the digitization process somehow introduces more THD? Of course the FoM we care about is what happens to this number as we increase the gain.


I'm going to work on putting together some code that gives me a quick readback on the measured THD, and then do the test for real with different amplitude input signal and whitening gain settings.


  13635   Fri Feb 16 01:09:55 2018 gautamUpdateALSEX green locking duty cycle

I have been puzzled as to why the duty cycle of the EX green locks are much less than that of the EY NPRO. If anything, the PDH loop has higher bandwidth and comparable stability margins at the X end than at the Y end. I hypothesize that this is because the EX laser (Innolight 1W Mephisto) has actuation PZT coefficient 1MHz/V, while the EY laser (Lightwave 125/126) has 5MHz/V. I figure the EX laser is sometimes just not able to keep up with the DC Xarm cavity length drift. To test this hypothesis, I disabled the LSC locking for the Xarm, and enabled the SLOW (temperature of NPRO crystal) control on the EX laser. The logic is that this provides relief for the PZT path and prevents the PDH servo from saturating and losing lock. Already, the green lock has held longer than at any point tonight (>60mins). I'm going to leave it in this state overnight and see how long the lock holds. The slow servo path has a limiter set to 100 counts so should be fine to leave it on. The next test will be to repeat this test with LSC mode ON, as I guess this will enhance the DC arm cavity length drift (it will be forced to follow MCL).

Why do I care about this at all? If at some point we want to do arm feedforward, I thought the green PDH error signal is a great target signal for the Wiener filter calculations. So I'd like to keep the green locked to the arm for extended periods of time. Arm feedforward should help in lock acquisiton if we have reduced actuation range due to increased series resistances in the coil drivers.

As an aside - I noticed that the SLOW path has no digital low pass filter - I think I remember someone saying that since the NPRO controller itself has an in-built low pass filter, a digital one isn't necessary. But as this elog points out, the situation may not be so straightforward. For now, I just put in some arbitrary low pass filter with corner at 5Hz. Seems like a nice simple problem for optimal loop shaping...

gautam noon CNY2018: Looks like the green has been stably locked for over 8 hours (see Attachment #1), and the slow servo doesn't look to have railed. Note that 100 cts ~=30mV. For an actuation coefficient of 1GHz/V, this is ~30MHz, which is well above the PZT range of 10V-->10MHz (whereas the EY laser, by virtue of its higher actuation coefficient, has 5 times this range, i.e. 50MHz). Supports my hypothesis.

  13636   Fri Feb 16 01:34:40 2018 gautamUpdateALSD0902745 in-situ testing

Having implemented the changes to the audio amplifier stage, I re-installed this unit at the LSC rack, and did some testing. The motivation was to determine the shape of the ALS error signal spectrum, so that I can design a whitening preamp accordingly. Attachment #1 is the measurement I've been after. The measurement was taken with EX NPRO PDH locked to the arm via green, and Xarm locked to MC via POX. Slow temperature relief servo for EX NPRO was ON. Here are the details:

  1. Mode-matching into the BeatMouth PSL light fiber had deteriorated dramatically - it was ~1mW out of 4.4mW. I spent 5 mins getting it back to 3.2mW (72% efficiency) and then moved on... I am a little surprised the drift was so large, but perhaps, it's not surprising given that there has been a lot of work on and around the PSL table in the last couple of weeks. There is a 300mm focusing lens after the last steering mirror so the effect of any alignment drifts should be attenuated, I don't really understand why this happened. Anyways, perhaps a more intelligent telescope design would avoid this sort of problem.
  2. I removed the ND filter in the PSL pickoff to BeatMouth path (this was not responsible for the reduced power mentioned in #1). I verified that the total power reaching the photodiode was well below its rated damage threshold of 2mW (right now, there is ~620uW). I will update the BeatMouth schematic accordingly, but I think there will be more changes as we improve mode matching into the fibers at the end.
  3. Hooked up the output of the fiber PD to the Teledyne amp, routed the latters output to the LSC rack. Measured RF electrical power at various places. In summary, ~6dBm of beat reaches the splitter at the LSC rack. This is plenty.
  4. The main finding tonight was discovered by accident.
    • For the longest time, I was scratching my head over why the beat note amplitude, as monitored on the control room SA (I restored it to the control room from under the ITMX optical table where Koji had temporarily stored it for his tests on the PSL table) was drifting by ~10-15dB!
    • So each time, having convinced myself that the power levels made sense, I would come back to the control room to make a measurement, but then would see the beat signal level fluctuate slowly but with considerable amplitudeindecision.
    • The cause - See Attachment #2. There is a length of fiber on the PSL table that is unshielded to the BeatMouth. While plugging in RF cables to the BeatMouth, I found that accidentally brushing the fiber lightly with my arm dramatically changed the beat amplitude as monitored on a scope.
    • For now, I've "strain relieved" this fiber as best as I could, we should really fix this in a better way. This observation leads me to suspect that many of the peaky features seen in Attachment #1 are actually coupling in at this same fiber...
    • The beat note amplitude has been stable since, in the ~90 mins while I've been making plots/elogs.
    • Surely this is a consequence of differential polarization drift between the PSL and EX beams?
  5. There are prominent powerline harmonics in these signals - how can we eliminate these? The transmission line from PSL table to LSC rack already has a BALUN at its output to connect the signal to the unbalanced input of the demod board.
  6. Not sure what to make of the numerous peaks in the LO driven, RF terminated trace.
  7. The location of the lowest point in the bucket also doesn't quite match previous measured out-of-loop ALS noise - we seem to have the lowest frequency noise at 150-200Hz, but in these plots its more like 400Hz.

Conclusion: In the current configuration, with x10 gain on the demodulated signals, we barely have SNR of 10 at ~500Hz. I think the generic whitening scheme of 2 zeros @15Hz, 2poles@150Hz will work just fine. The point is to integrate this whitening with the preamp stage, so we can just go straight into an AA board and then the ADC (sending this signal into D990694 and doing the whitening there won't help with the SNR). Next task is to construct a test daughter board that can do this...


  13644   Tue Feb 20 23:08:27 2018 gautamUpdateALSD0902745 in-situ testing

Attachment #1 shows the ALS noise measurement today. Main differences from the spectrum posted last week is that

  1. I have tried to align the input polarization axis (p-pol) to the fast axis of the fiber, and believe I have done it to ~75dB.
  2. Steve and I installed some protective tubing for the vertical lengths of fiber going into the beat mouth.
  3. Today, I decided to measure the noise at the differential rear panel outputs rather than the single-ended front panel outputs. For the test, I used a DB25 breakout board and some pomona mini-grabber to BNC clips to connect to the SR785.

For comparison, I have plotted alongside today's measurement (left column) the measurement from last week (right column).


  • The clear daylight between red and green traces in the left column give me confidence that I am measuring real laser frequency noise in the red trace. It even has the right shape considering the bandwidth of the EX PDH servo.
  • The installation of protective tubing doesn't seem to have reduced the heights of any of the peaks in the red traces. I hypothesize that some of these are acoustic coupling to the fiber. But if so, either the way we installed the protective tubing doesn't help a whole lot, or the location of the coupling is elsewhere.
  • Judging by the control room analyzer, there doesn't seem to be as large drifts in the RF beat amplitude tonight (yes) as I saw the last couple of times I was testing the BeatMouth®. For a more quantitative study, I'm gonna make a voltage divider so that the ~10V output I get at the rear panel power monitor output (for a LO level of ~0dBm, which is what I have) can be routed to some ADC channel. I'm thinking I'll use the Y ALS channels which are currently open while ALS is under work.
  • Still have to make preamp prototype daughter board with the right whitening shape... This test suggests to me that I should also make the output differential sending...
  13648   Thu Feb 22 00:09:11 2018 gautamUpdateALSD0902745 in-situ testing

I thought a little bit about the design of the preamp we want for the demodulated ALS signals today. The requirements are:

  1. DC gain that doesn't cause ADC saturation.
  2. Audio frequency gain that allows the measured beat signal spectrum to be at least 20dB the ADC noise level.
  3. Electronics noise such that the measured beat signal spectrum is at least 20dB above the input-referred noise of this amplifier.
  4. Low pass filtering at the input to the differential receiving stages, such that the 2f product from the demodulation doesn't drive the AD829 crazy. For now, I've preserved the second-order inductor based LPF from the original board, but if this proves challenging to get working, we can always just go for a first-order RC LPF. One challenge may be to find a 2.2uH inductor that is compatible with prototype PCB boards...
  5. Differential sending, since this seems to be definitively the lower noise option compared to the single-ended output (see yesterday's measurement). The plan is to use an aLIGO AA board that has differential receiving and sending, and then connect directly to the differential receiving ADC.

Attachment #3 shows a design I think will work (for now it's a whiteboard sketch, I''ll make this a computer graphic tomorrow). I have basically retained the differential sending and receiving capabilities of the existing Audio I/F amplifier, but have incorporated some whitening gain with a pole at ~150Hz and zero at ~15Hz. I've preserved the DC gain of 10, which seems to have worked well in my tests in the last week or so. Attachments #1 and #2 show the liso modelled characteristics. Liso does not support input-referred noise measurements for differential voltage inputs, so I had to calculate that curve manually - I suspect there is some subtlety I am missing, as if I plot the input referred noise out to higher frequencies, it blows up quite dramatically.

Next step is to actually make a prototype of this. I am wondering if we need a second stage of whitening, as in the current config, we only get 20dB gain at 150Hz relative to DC. Yesterday's beat spectrum measurement shows that we can expect the frequency noise of the ALS signal at ~100Hz to be at the level of ~1uV/rtHz, but this is is around the ADC noise level? If so, 20dB of whitening gain may be sufficient?


Still have to make preamp prototype daughter board with the right whitening shape... This test suggests to me that I should also make the output differential sending...

*Side note: I was wondering why we need the differential receiving stage, followed by a difference amplifier, and then a differential sending stage. After discussing with Koji, we think this is to suppress any common-mode noise from the mixer outputs.

  13655   Sun Feb 25 00:03:12 2018 gautamUpdateALSDaughter board prototyping

Using one of the prototype PCB boards given to me by Johannes, I put together v1 of this board and tested it. 

Attachment #1 - Schematic with stages grouped by function and labelled. 

Attachment #2 - Measured vs modelled Transfer function.

Attachment #3 - Measured vs modelled noise. Measurement shown only between positive output and ground, the other port is basically the same. I will update this attachment to reflect the expected signal level in comparison to the noise, but suffice it to say that given the measured input referred noise, we will have plenty of SNR between 0.1Hz and 10kHz. The single stage of whitening should also be sufficient to amplify the signal above ADC noise in the same frequency band

Attachment #4 - Positive output as viewed on a fast (300 MHz) scope using a Tektronix x1 voltage probe.

Attachment #5 - Daughter board noise with measured ALS noise overlaid (the gain of x10 on the existing audio pre-amp has been divided out). 


  • I may have overlooked the GBW of the OP27 in the design - specifically, the negative feedback is wired for gain x100 at high frequencies, and so the input signal should be filtered above 8MHz/100 ~80kHz. But the LC poles are at ~500kHz. I wonder if the small deviation seen between modelled and masured TFs is reflecting this. Practically, the easier fix is to add a feedback capacitor that rolls off the gain at high frequencies. 300pF WIMA should do the trick, and we have these in stock.
  • I don't understand why the modelled response starts to roll off around 5kHz, even though the poles of the LC filter at the input stage are at 500kHz. This happens because at low frequencies, the 1.5uH inductor is basically a short - so the RC divider at the input of the Op27 has a pole at 1/2/pi/R/C ~5kHz for R=499, C = 68nF.
  • I am not sure what to make of the peaky comb seen in Attachment #3, but I'm pretty sure it's electronic pickup from something. The GPIB adapter power suppy is not to blame. The peaks are 10 Hz spaced.
  • From Attachment #4, I don't suspect any opamp oscillations given that the signal seen is tiny, but I don't know what amplitude is characteristic of an oscillating op amp, so I am not entirely confident about this conclusion. 
  • Initially while thinking about the design, I was trying to think of making the design generic enough that we could use these signals for high-bandwidth ALS control (a.k.a. Fast ALS) but in the current incarnation, no consideration was given to minimizing phase lag at high frequencies. 
  • Putting the PCB board together was more painful than I imagined as the board is configured for 4 single op amps whereas my design requires 5 - so I needed to do some trace cutting surgery. Rather than make 3 more of these, I'm just going to finish the characterization, and if the design looks good, we can get some custom PCBs printed.
  • Power decoupling caps (47nF) are added to all op amp power pins, but is not shown in the schematic.

Given the overall good agreement between model and measurement, I am going to test this with the actual RF beat. For this test, we will need a differential receiving AA board to interface the output of the daughter board with the ADC input


Next step is to actually make a prototype of this.

  13657   Mon Feb 26 20:55:56 2018 ranaUpdateALSDaughter board prototyping

Looks good.

* for bypass type applications, you don't have to use Wima caps (which are bigger and more expensive). You can just use any old ceramic SMD cap.

* This seems like a classic case to use the 3 op-amp instumention amplifier config. This is similar, but not quite.

* Ought to use output resistors of ~50 Ohms by default in the output of any circuit. SInce this is a daughter board, maybe 10 Ohms is enough, but the eventual PCB should have pads for it.

  13658   Tue Feb 27 21:10:45 2018 gautamUpdateALSDaughter board testing

I thought a little bit about the next steps in testing the daughter board. The idea is to install this into the existing 1U chassis and tap the differential output from the FET Mixers as inputs to the daughter board. Looking at the D0902745 schematic, I think the best way to do this is to simply remove L3, L4, C10, C11, C15 and C16. I will then use the pads for L3 and L4 to pipe the differential output of the FET mixer to the differential input of the daughter board. 

The daughter board takes care of whitening the ALS signal.

Then we need to pipe the differential output of the daughter board into the differential input of a differential receiving AA board. Koji and Johannes surveyed the available stockpile from the WB workshop. The best option seems to be to use the available v5 of D070081 and install 4 of them into a 1U chassis unit (also available from WB EE shop). The v5s can be upgraded to v6 by replacing the set of input and output buffer OpAmps with AD8622, as per the revision history notes. Koji ordered 100pcs of these today. 

The input to the proposed 1U chassis housing these 8 AA boards (each with 8 channels) is a DB9 connector. The aLIGO demod board chassis that we use to demodulate the ALS signals has a nice DB25 output connector that supplies all the differential I and Q demodulated signals. But since we will install a daughter board, we will hae to hack together some connector solution anyways. I propose using a DB9 connector to pipe the outputs of the daughter board to the inputs of the AA board. Space is tight in the LSC rack, but I think we have space for a 1U chassis (see Attachment #3).

Finally - how to interface the AA board with the ADC? Koji and I discussed options, and seems like the least painful way will be to install a new ADC in the c1lsc expansion chassis in 1Y3. I checked the computer hardware cabinet and there seems to be 1 spare general standards 16bit ADC in there (see Attachment #1). Its health/providence is unknown. But Koji and I will test it after the meeting tomorrow. I also have another ADC card that Jamie and I removed from c1ioo sometime ago. I have labelled it as "GPIO0 LED RED", though I don't remember exactly what the problem was and can't find any elog about it. Incidentally, there are also 2 spare DAC cards available in the cabinet, although their health/rpovidence too is unknown. There are sufficient free slots in the c1lsc expansion chassis (see Attachment #2 though we will need a LIGO ADC adaptor card). Then we can just change the input ADC channels for the ALS signals in the c1lsc model.

In the short term, while the hardware for this plan is being put together, I can test the uncalibrated noise performance of the demod + daughter board combo (uncalibrated because I will make a measurement of voltage noise with an SR785 as opposed to frequency noise). A second daughter board will also need to be assembled - I'm just going to do it on another prototyping board as figuring out how to use Altium will probably take me longer. There is also the matter of fine tuning the polarization axes alignment of the input to the EX fiber coupler.

  13661   Wed Feb 28 19:13:25 2018 gautamUpdateALSADC test for differential receiving in c1lsc

[koji, gautam]

we did a bunch of tests to figure out the feasibility of the plan I outlined last night. Bottom line is: we appear to have a working 64 channel ADC (but with differential receiving that means 32 channels). But we need an aLIGO ADC adaptor card (I'm not sure of the DCC number but I think it is D0902006). See attached screenshot where we managed to add an ADC block to the IOP model on c1lsc, and it recognizes the additional ADC. The firmware on the (newly installed) working card is much newer than that on the existing card inside the expansion chassis (see Attachment #1).


  • Watchdogged all optics because we expected messing around with c1lsc to take down all the vertex FEs. Actually, only c1sus was killed, c1ioo survived.
  • Closed PSL shutter. Shut down c1lsc FE machine.
  • Started out by checking the functionality of the two ADC cards I found.
  • Turns out the one Jamie and I removed from c1ioo ~6months ago is indeed broken in some way, as we couldn't get it to work.
  • Took us a while to figure out that we require the adaptor board and a working ADC card to get the realtime model to run properly. A useful document in understanding the IO expansion chassis is this one.
  • Another subtlety is that the ADC card we installed today (photo in previous elog) is somewhat different from the ones installed in c1sus and c1lsc expansion chassis. But a similar one is installed at the Y-end at least. Point is, this ADC card seems to need an external power supply via a 4-pin Molex connector to work properly.
  • We borrowed an adapter card from c1iscey expansion chassis (after first shutting down the machine).
  • It seems like a RED GPIO0 LED on these ADC cards isn't indicative of a fault.
  • Added an ADC part from CDS_PARTS library. Added an ADC selector bus and an "MADC" block that sets up the 64k testpoints as well as the EPICS readbacks.
  • We were able to see sensible numbers (i.e. ~0 since there is no input to the ADC) on these readback channels.
  • To restore everything, we first shutdown c1lsc, then restored the adaptor card back to c1iscey, and then rebooted c1iscey, c1lsc and c1sus. Recompiled c1x04 with the added ADC block removed as it would otherwise complain due to the absence of an adapter board.
  • Did rtcds restart <model> on all machines to bring back all models that were killed. This went smoothly.
  • IMC and Yarm locked smooth.

Note that we have left the working ADC card inside the c1lsc expansion chassis. Plan is to give Rolf the faulty ADC card and at the same time ask him for a working adapter board.

Unrelated to this work: we have also scavenged 4 pcs of v2 of the differential receiving AA board from WB EE shop, along with a 1U chassis for the same. These are under my desk at the 40m for the moment. We will need to re-stuff these with appropriate OpAmps (and also maybe change some Rs and Cs) to make this board the same as v6, which is the version currently in use.

  13663   Fri Mar 2 01:45:06 2018 gautamUpdateALSnew look ALS electronics

I spent today making another daughter board (so that we can use the new scheme for I and Q for one arm), testing it (i.e. measuring noise and TF and comparing to LISO model), and arranging all of this inside the 1U demod chassis. To accommodate everything inside, I decided to remove the 2 unused demod units from inside the box. I then drilled a few holes, installed the daughter boards on some standoffs, removed the capacitors and inductors as I outlined yesterday, and routed input and output signals to/from the daughter board. The outputs are routed to a D-sub on the rear panel. More details + better photo + results of testing the combined demod+daughter board signal chain tomorrow...

  13666   Mon Mar 5 17:27:34 2018 gautamUpdateALSnew look ALS electronics - characterization

I did a quick test of the noise of the new ALS electronics with the X arm ALS. Attachment #1 shows the results - but something looks off in the measurement, especially the "LO driven, RF terminated" trace. I will have to defer further testing to tomorrow. Of course the real test is to digitize these signals and look at the spectrum of the phase tracker output, but I wanted a voltage noise comparison first. Also, note that I have NOT undone the whitening TFs of (z,p) = (15,150) on these traces. I wonder if these noisy signals (particularly the 10Hz multiple harmonics) are an artefact of measurement, or if something is wonky in the daughter board circuits themselves. I am measuring these with the help of a DB9 breakout board and some pomona minigrabbers. Reagrdless, the sort of ripple seen in the olive green trace for the I channel wasn't present when I did the same test with RF signal generators out on the electronics workbench, so I am inclined to think that this isn't a problem with the circuit. I'm measuring with the SR785 with the "A" input setting, but with the ground set to "Float". I need to look into what the difference is between this mode, and the "A-B" mode. At first glance, both seem to be equivalent differential measurements, but I wonder if there is some subtlety w.r.t. pickup noise.

Perhaps I can repeat the test at the output of the AA board. I looked into whether there is a spare +/- 24V DC power supply available at the LSC rack, to power the 1U AA chassis, but didn't see anything there.

  13668   Thu Mar 8 00:40:25 2018 gautamUpdateALSnew look ALS electronics - characterization

I am almost ready for a digital test of the new ALS electronics. Today, Koji and I spent some time tapping new +/-24VDC DIN terminal blocks at the LSC rack to facilitate the installation of the 1U differential receiving AA chassis (separate elog entry). The missing piece of the puzzle now is the timing adapter card. I opted against trying a test tonight as I am having some trouble bringing c1lsc back online.

Incidentally, a repeat of the voltage noise measurement of the X arm ALS beat looked much cleaner today, see Attachment #1 - I don't have a good hypothesis as to why sometimes the signal has several harmonics at 10Hz multiples, and sometimes it looks just as expected. The problem may be more systematically debuggable once the signals are being digitally acquired.

ELOG V3.1.3-