Chapter 12. Mesytec MCFD-16 Controls

12.1. Overview

The Mesytec MCFD-16 is a 16-channel discriminator in the NIM form factor. Configuration of the device can be performed remotely over different communication protocols: usb and RC-bus. A GUI called MCFD16Control is provided as a part of NSCLDAQ to support communication with the device through both these protocols. A key feature is the ability to generate a tcl script capable of configuring the device with the same settings displayed in the GUI.

The parameters that the GUI provides control over are the threshold, gain, width, dead time, delay, constant fraction, and polarity. All of these parameters can be set individually or commonly depending on the mode setting selected in the GUI. The interface reflects whether or not the device is being configured in either of these modes and prevents the setting of individual settings while in common mode. Doing so may not succeed and is therefore protected against. Finally, the GUI provides the ability to enable and disable channel pairs and to control the pulser.

It is important to know that the two different protocols sometimes accept different value ranges for the same parameter. One can see this by reading the manual and comparing the different ranges accepted for the gain setting in USB and RC-bus. To provide a unified user experience, the RC-bus ranges were chosen over the USB so if the user wants to refer to the manual, he/she should refer to the RC-bus section rather than the USB section.

Finally, the control provided over the MCFD-16 through the GUI is made available through low-level drivers that can be used in any tclsh. The user can incorporate calls to these drivers in any script they want and can build input files to load into the GUI if desired.