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.
I am facing two problems:
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 down. It was set at 70. I set it at 20, and there is already a huge difference in the ALS spectra
[rana, kevin, udit, gautam]
quick notes of some discussions we had today:
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**
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
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 . And so the modulation depth, . 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?
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.
I was looking at this a little more closely. As I understand it, the purpose of the audio differential IF amplifier is:
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).
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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 robust. 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.
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.
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 in, 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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
Am I missing something obvious here? I think it is impossible to do a THD measurement with the spectrum in this condition...
Did some quick additional checks to figure out what's going on here.
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?
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.
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?
We discussed possible solutions to this ground loop problem. Here's what we came up with:
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...
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.
Summary of my tests of the demod boards, post gain modification:
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?
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.
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.
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:
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.
> 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?
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.
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.
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.
I quickly put together some code that calculates the THD from CDS data and generates a plot (see e.g. Attachment #1).
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 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.
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:
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...
Attachment #1 shows the ALS noise measurement today. Main differences from the spectrum posted last week is that
For comparison, I have plotted alongside today's measurement (left column) the measurement from last week (right column).
I thought a little bit about the design of the preamp we want for the demodulated ALS signals today. The requirements are:
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.
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).
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.
* 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.
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.
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).
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.
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...
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.
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.
I made a LISO fit of the measured TF of the daughter board, so that I can digitally invert the daughter board whitening. Results attached. (Inverse) Filters have been uploaded to the ALS X Foton filter banks.
Then I looked at the spectrum, see Attachment #1. Disappointingly, it looks like the arm PDH servo is dominating the noise, and NOT unsuppressed EX laser frequency noise,. Not sure why this is so, and I'm feeling too tired to debug this tonight. But encouragingly, the performance of the new ALS signal chain looks very promising. Once I tune up the X arm loop, I'm confident that the ALS noise will be at least as good as the reference trace.
I am leaving c1iscey shutdown until this is fixed. So ETMY is not available for the moment.
Random factoid: Trying to print a DTT trace with LaTeX in the label text on pianosa causes the DTT window to completely crash - so if you dont save the .xml file, you lose your measurement.
I was going to head out but then it occurred to me that I could do another simple test, which is to try and lock the X arm on ALS error signal (i.e. actuate on MC length to keep the beat between EX laser and PSL fixed, while the EX frequency is following the Xarm length). Comparing the in loop (i.e. ALS) error signal with the out-of-loop sensor (i.e. POX), it seems like POX is noisy. The curves were lined up by eye, by scaling the blue curve to match the red at the ~16Hz peaks. This supports my hypothesis in the previous elog. On the downside, could be anything. Electronics in the POX chain? The demod unit itself? Will look into it more tomorrow..
As an aside, controlling the arm with ALS error signal worked quite well, and the lock was maintained for ~1 hour.
we tested my noisy POX hypothesis tonight. By locking the single arm with POX, the arm length is forced to follow PSL frequency, which is itself slaved to IMC length. From Attachment #1, there is no coherence between the arm control signal and MC_F. This suggests to me that the excess noise I am seeing in the arm control signal above 30 Hz is not originating from the PSL. It also seems unlikely that at >30Hz, anything mechanical is to blame. So I am sticking with the hypothesis that something is wonky with POX. For reference, a known "normal" arm control signal spectrum looks like the red curve in this elog.
Kevin suggested I shouldn't be so lazy and test the POY spectrum as well. So we moved the timing card back to c1iscey, went through the usual dance of vertex machine reboots, and then got both single arm locks going. Attached spectrum shows that both POX and POY are noisy. I'm not sure what has changed that could cause this effect. The fact that both POX and POY appear uniformly bad, but that there is no coherence with MC_F, suggests to me that perhaps this has something to do with the work I did with Koji w.r.t. the power situation at the LSC rack. But we just checked that
Another observation we made: note the huge bump around 70Hz in both arm control signals. We don't know what the cause of this is. But we occassionally noticed harmonics of this (i.e. 140, 210 Hz etc) appear in the control signal spectra, and they would grow with time - eventually, the X arm would lose lock (though the Y arm stayed locked).
I'm short on ideas for now so we will continue debugging tomorrow.
Unrelated to this work: Kevin reminded me that the high-pitched whine from the CRT TVs in the control room (which is apparently due to the flyback transformer) is DEAFENING. It's curious that the "chirp" to the eventual 15kHz whine is in opposite directions for the QUAD CRTs and the single display ones. Should be a Ph6 experiment maybe.
Update 2:30pm Mar 13: The furthest back I seem to be able to go in time with Frames is ~Jan 20 2018. Looking for a time when the arms were locked from back then, it seems like whatever is responsible for a noisy POX and POY was already a problem back in January. See Attachment #2. So it appears that the recent work at 1Y2 is not to blame...
The working hypothesis, since the excess noise in single arm locks is coherent between both arms, the excess sensing noise is frequency noise in the IMC locking loop (sensing because it doesn't show up in MC_F). I've started investigating the IMC sensing chain, starting with the power levels of the RF modulation source. Recall that we had changed the way the 29.5MHz signal was sent to the EOM and demod electronics in 2017. With the handheld RF power meter, I measured 13.2dBm coming out of the RF distribution box (this is routed straight from the Wenzel oscillator). This is amplified to 26dBm by an RF amplifier (ZHL-2-S) and sent to the EOM, with a coupled 16dBm part sent to a splitter that supplies the LO signal to the demod board and also the WFS boards. Lydia made a summary of expected RF power levels here, and I too seem to have labelled the "nominal" LO level to the MC_REFL demod board as +5dBm. But I measured 2.7dBm with the RF power meter. But looking closely at the schematic of the splitting circuitry, I think for a (measured) 16.7dBm input to it, we should in fact expect around 3dBm of output signal. So I don't know why I labelled the "nominal" signal level as 5dBm.
Bottom line: we are driving a level 17 mixer with more like +14dBm (a number inferred from this marked up schematic) of LO, which while isn't great, is unlikely to explain the excess noise I think (the conversion loss just degrades by ~1dB). So I will proceed to check further downstream in the signal chain.
Today, I decided to check the power coupled into the PSL fiber for the BeatMouth. Surprisingly, it was only 200uW, while I had ~3.15mW going into it in January. Presumably some alignment drifting happened. So I re-aligned the beam into the fiber using the steering mirror immediately before the fiber coupler. I managed to get ~2.9mW in without much effort, and I figured this is sufficient for a first pass, so I didn't try too much more. I then tried making an ALS beat spectrum measurement (arm locked to IMC length using POX, green following the arm using end PDH servo). Surprisingly, the noise performannce was almost as good as the reference! See Attachment #1, in which the red curve is an IR beat (while all others are green beats). The Y arm green beat performance isn't stellar, but one problem at a time. Moreover, the kind of coherence structure between the arm error signal and the ALS beat signal that I reported here was totally absent today.
Upon further investigation, I found that the noise level was actually breathing quite significantly on timescales of minutes. While I was able to successfully keep the TEM00 mode of the PSL beam resonant inside the arm cavity by using the ALS beat frequency as an error signal and MC2 as a frequency actuator, the DC stability was very poor and TRX was wandering around by 50%. So my new hypothesis is that the excess ALS noise is because of one or more of
While I did some work in trying to align the PSL IR pickoff into the fiber along the fast (P-pol) axis, I haven't done anything for the X end pickoff beam. So perhaps the fluctuations in the EX IR power is causing beatnote amplitude fluctuations. In the delay line + phase tracker frequency discriminator, I think RF beatnote amplitude fluctuations can couple into phase noise linearly. For such an apparently important noise source, I can't remeber ever including it in any of the ALS noise budgets.
Before Ph237 today, I decided to use my polarization monitoring setup and check the "RIN" of power in the two polarizations coming out of the fiber on the PSL table. For this purpose, I decided to hijack the Acromag channels used for the PSL diagnostics connector Attachment #2 shows that there is fluctuations at the level of ~10% in the p-polarization. This is the "desired" polarization in that I aligned the PSL beam into the fiber to maximize the power in this polarization. So assuming the power fluctuations in the PSL beam are negligible, this translates to sqrt(10) ~3% fluctuation in the RF beat amplitude. This is at best a conservative estimate, as in reality, there is probably more AM because of the non PM fibers inside the beatmouth.
All of this still doesn't explain the coherence between the measured ALS noise and the arm error signal at 100s of Hz (which presumably can only happen via frequency noise in the PSL).
Another "mystery" - yesterday, while I was working on recovering the Y arm green beat signal on the PSL table, I eventually got a beat signal that was ~20mVpp into 50ohms, which is approximately the same as what I measured when the Y arm ALS performance was "nominal", more than a year ago. But while viewing the Y arm beats (green and IR) simultaneously on an o'scope, I wasn't able to keep both signals synchronised while triggering on one (even though the IR beat frequency was half the green beat frequency). This means there is a huge amount of relative phase noise between the green and IR beats. What (if anything) does this mean? The differential noise between these two beats should be (i) phase noise at the fiber coupler/ inside the fiber itself, and (ii) scatter noise in the green light transmitted through the cavity. Is it "expected" that the relative phase noise between these two signals is so large that we can't view both of them on a common trigger signal on an o'scope? Also - the green mode-matching into the Y arm is abysmal.
Anyways - I'm going to try and tweak the PER and mode-matching into the X end fiber a little and monitor the polarization stability (nothing too invasive for now, eventually, I want to install the new fiber couplers I acquired but for now I'll only change alignment into and rotation of the fiber coupler on the EX table). It would also be interesting to compare my "optimized" PSL drift to the unoptimized EX power drift. So the PSL diagnostic channels will not show any actual PSL diagnostic information until I plug it back in. But I suspect that the EPICS record names and physical channel wiring are wrong anyways - I hooked up my two photodiode signals into what I would believe is the "Diode 1 Power" and "Laser crystal temperature" monitors (as per the schematic), but the signals actually show up for me in "Diode 2 Power" (p-pol) and "Didoe 1 Temperature" (s-pol).
Annoyingly, there is no wiring diagram - on my todo list i guess...
@Steve - could you please take a photo of the EX table and update the wiki? I think the photo we have is a bit dated, the fiber coupler and transmon PDs aren't in it...
Attachment #1 shows the drift of the polarization content of the light from EX entering the BeatMouth. Seems rather large (~10%). I'm going to tweak the X end fiber coupling setup a bit to see if this can be improved. This performance is also a good benchmark to compare the PSL IR light polarization drift. I am going to ask Steve to order Thorlabs K6XS, which has a locking screw for the rotational DoF. With this feature, and by installing some HWPs at the input coupling point, we can ensure that we are coupling light into one of the special axes in a much more deterministic way.
THIS CALCULATION IS WRONG FOR THE OVERCOUPLED CAV.
Mode-matching efficiency of EX green light into the arm cavity is ~70*%, as measured using the visibility.
I wanted to get an estimate for the mode-matching of the EX green beam into the arm cavity. I did the following:
This amount of mode-matching is rather disappointing - using a la mode, the calculated mode-matching efficiency is nearly 100%, but 70% is a far cry from this. The fact that I can't improve this number by either tweaking the steering or by moving the MM lenses around suggests that the estimate of the target arm mode is probably incorrect (the non-gaussianity of the input beam itself is not quantified yet, but I don't believe this input beam can account for 30% mismatch). For the Y-arm, the green REFL DC level is actually higher when locked than when ITMY is misaligned. WTF?? Only explanation I can think of is that the PD is saturated when green is unlocked - but why does the ADC saturate at ~3000cts and not 32000?
This data is almost certainly bogus as the AA box at 1X9 is powered by +/-5VDC and not +/-15VDC. I didn't check but I believe the situation is the same at the Y-end.
3000 cts is ~1V into the ADC. I am going to change the supply voltage to this box (which also reads in ETMX OSEMS) to +/-15V so that we can use the full range of the ADC.
gautam Apr 26 630pm: I re-did the measurement by directly monitoring the REFLDC on a scope, and the situation is not much better. I calculate a MM of 70% into the arm. This is sensitive to the lens positions - while I was working on the EX fiber coupling, I had bumped the lens mounted on a translational stage on the EX table lightly, and I had to move that lens around today in order to recover the GTRX level of 0.5 that I am used to seeing (with arm aligned to maximize IR transmission). So there is definitely room for optimization here.