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Overview of the Zebra
Zebra is a digital a stand-alone event handling system, signal level converter and position capture unit. The front panel takes signals from multiple single channel inputs in TTL, LVDS, PECL, NIM or Open Collector format, converts the levels to LVTTL and passes the signals to an FPGA. The rear panel passes encoder signals to the FPGA input via Sub-D connectors. Events can be triggered by input signals, encoder position signals or repetitive time signals, which can all be combined using logic gates in the FPGA to generate and output other events. The system was designed by the Diamond Controls Group and the unit has seen great success at Diamond across many beamlines from tomography to MX and EXAFS, the unit simplifies complex tasks and enables more flexibility.
Diamond Light Source is currently implementing a synchrotron-wide deployment of Zebra units for a variety of applications, from EXAFS double crystal monochromator/Xspress 3 triggering to position capture/compare on MX beamlines and fast/ continuous scanning on tomography beamlines.
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Hardware and software solutions for cutting-edge research
- Supports TTL, LVDS, PECL, NIM and Open Collector inputs
- Encoder signals via RS422 quadrature with Z-channel
- Configured using EPICS, communication via RS232 serial
- 2-10ms per sample, on-the-fly readout time
- Continuous scanning
Interface of Zebra Readout Electronics
Zebra is controlled via the industry standard EPICS interface, ensuring integration with existing beamline equipment. Users are able to control the FPGA from a GUI, where they can set AND/OR, GATE, DIV, PULSE blocks, as well as configuring QUAD blocks and encoders; they are also able to set the system to capture the output so that viewing of the logic processes with time is possible. This makes configuration of the device for even complex scenarios straight forward. The configuration can be saved to internal flash memory.
Features of the Zebra
The front panel takes signals from multiple single channel inputs in TTL, LVDS, PECL, NIM or Open Collector format, converts the levels to LVTTL and passes the signals to an FPGA for processing.
Zebra is controlled via the industry standard EPICS interface, ensuring integration with existing beamline equipment.
2-10ms per sample, on-the-fly readout time allows fast scanning for mapping applications.
Allows the integration of components that would otherwise not be compatible.
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