We have released the official documentation for the mezzanine cooling fan designed to fit the SPEC board. The fan design is described on this page.
The company INCAA has written Labview drivers for the FMC DEL 1ns 4cha and FMC TDC 1ns 5cha mezzanine cards. These drivers work both for the PCIe-based SPEC carrier and PXIe-based SPEXI carrier board.
The source code of the drivers is available under the GPL license.
Open Hardware doesn't stop at just having a good hardware design. We at CERN believe it is also important to provide a good production test system with the hardware to ease the manufacturing process. For this we have set up a testing environment, called PTS.
The SPEC board also has a range of tests that can run in the PTS environment that has been used to test the cards after production. The company Seven Solutions has just improved the Production Test Suite (PTS) of the SPEC board so that now all memory addresses lines are tested and that boards will not signalled to be defective while they actually are OK. Also the speed of testing has improved. Companies producing the SPEC board should take the latest version out of the PTS repository.The files that have been modified are:
- test/spec/python/gn4124.py (so that this DMA library automatically configures the Interrupt enable mask register)
- test/spec/python/test07.py (so that all the address lines are checked and the test procedure is accelerated)
- test/spec/firmware/test07.bin (to correct the intermittent-error generation)
It's getting serious now as we received at CERN four boxes with in total 52 SPEC boards from the company Seven Solutions. All boards are individually packed and have an LHC barcode on it that will ease us entering the cards in our equipment database.
These boards will be used together with ADC, Fine Delay and digital I/O mezzanines, often in combination with firmware supporting White Rabbit and therefore giving precise time stamping of data.
The SPEC board together with a 5 channel Digital I/O card have passed the most restrictive EMC tests of each class (domestic and industrial) successfully:
- EM Radiated Emission: Class B (Domestic) EN 55022 (2006) / A1 (2007)
- EM Immunity (Industrial): EN 61000-4-3 (2006) / A1 (2008) / A2 (2010), EN 61000-4-4 (2004) / A1 (2010) / Corr (2010), EN 61000-4-6 (2009), EN
61000-4-2 (2009), EN 61000-4-8 (2010).
The test report is publicly available.
First field tests of two SPEC boards running a White Rabbit timing link between them have been made in Siberia. These tests are made by DESY to verify the usability of the board at the Gamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray experiment HiSCORE-EA at the Tunka site. Full results of the tests will be made available soon. Two kilometres of fibre where outside, while the SPEC boards were nicely warm inside the counting room.
In the year 2011 the company Creotech has produced and sold fifty SPEC boards. With the twenty cards from the pre-production of the seventy that CERN has ordered from the company Seven Solutions, in total seventy SPEC boards have been produced in 2011.
The pre-series of the first commercial series production of SPEC cards has succeeded. After repairing some assembly problem with the FMC connector, all twenty cards passed the test on the test bench that was prepared by CERN. The cards will be sent to CERN for a final inspection before giving the OK to produce another fifty.
CERN has placed an order for EMC testing according to EN 55022(2006) /A1 + EN 55024(1998)/A1 (2001)/A2. Once these tests are done, it will allow the board to carry the CE approval.
The modification for a better mechanical fit has been made and halogen-PCBs will be ordered to start the first series production of SPEC boards.
A serious piece of automated test software has been made that will check all soldered connections on the board and that will measure the different supply voltages. This is all possible because of the groundwork done by the Production Test Suite project software logically called PTS and the FMC Carrier tester test card that measures all connections to the FMC connector. We have used these to create the "PTS for SPEC" production software. The user manual gives a good overview of the ease of use.
We are now ready to send a complete test bench (PC, SPEC reference card, FMC test card, cables etc.) to the company that will produce and test 70 boards. First 10 though, just to be sure...
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