EPICS CA Tools use

This is a brief note about how to use the four basic command line tools from the EPICS package “CA Tools”.
Them gives to the user the possibility of command and control the Canberra 556 AIM interface directly.
You can download the version of CA Tools here: CA Tools official website
You can find here the complete guide about EPICS installation for Windows: Nuclear Physics Laboratory

First, you need to know the name of your ADC. You’ve set it into st.cmd. If you’ve followed the NPL tutorial without changing names the ADC zero first channel is called  aim_adc1.

Once you’ve the EPIC and CA Tools intalled and everything running, you can open an MsDos Window and send the following commands:

caput mcaTest:aim_adc1Start 1 –>Start aquisition adc1
caput mcaTest:aim_adc1Stop 1 –> Stop
caput mcaTest:aim_adc1EraseStart 1 –>Erase/start
caget mcaTest:aim_adc1 > C:\EPICS\test.txt –> Dump to file

It’s quiet interesting that you can dump ADC data directly to a file for further analysis.



556 AIM mac address

Canberra 556 AIM Ethernet address recovery procedure

The Canberra or ND 556 AIM could be easily found on eBay and them are “relatively cheap”.
Sadly 99% of the modules has no ethernet MAC address printed on them. How to recovery it?
The answer is simple: via it’s on-board “Local Terminal” diagnostic software accessible tru RS232 protocol.
Needed material:
-RS232 to USB converter
-PuTTY or any VT100 terminal emulator software
-Female DB9 connector
-A 3 wire cable
-RJ11C connector. Actually It’s a 6P6C RJ25C connector notas indicated RJ11C by Canberra manual
You need to wire the RS232 cable this way:
RJ pin 2 to DB9 pin 5 <- GND
RJ pin 3 to DB9 pin 2
RJ pin 2 to DB9 pin 3

Connect your cable to AIM module front RJ11C female connector. Connect the DB9 to the RS232 to UART converter and it to the PC.

Use “PuTTY” software to connect to your AIM module with this RS232 protocol settings:
Speed: 9600 bps
Data bits: 8
Parity: No
Stop bits: 1

Power up your NIM crate. You should see the boot messages running into your terminal. At the end of boot process you will get the following message

Now press Ctrl+D to enter diagnostic mode

Now press “E” and you’ll get the needed address.