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Instrumentation.Alibavar1.3 - 11 Jun 2013 - 10:55 - AlvaroDosiltopic end

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Useful links:

General considerations

Alibava setup

The readout chain is a set of boards and cables which are prototypes and are not fully tested, for this reason you must be specially careful in the power up in order to avoid overcurrents. The rule to follow is to plug all the connectors before the power supply.

Alibava firmware

There are three different versions of the Alibava firmware. The official version comes with the Alibava board. The other two firmware versions were created to work with pairs of beetles in the I2C directions 0x10-0x12 and 0x14-0x16.

To upload the firmware you need to use the Xilinx Platform Cable USB II and the iMPACT Xilinx software

Alibava software

Alibava software main window

We are currently using version alibava-0.3.1-3, that can be downloaded from: More information can be found in

Installing in Mac OS X

Not yet ready, but we are working on that

Installing in Windows

Download the Alibava_Setup.exe file and execute it to install alibava-gui. You need also to install the FTDI driver for this to work. To do so, go to

and download the windows VCP driver. Follow the instructions to install it and you have everything to enjoy alibava-gui.

Installing in Linux

When you have downloaded the tar.gz file, you have to be sure that all the required “ingredients” to build the alibava software are present in your system. The easiest is to type the following:

  • For systems using yum as the application for managing package installation (RedHat?, Fedora, Scientific Linux,..): sudo yum install intltool libglade2-dev python-dev

  • For debian systems using apt-get (like ubuntu): sudo apt-get install intltool libglade2-dev python-dev

If you are not in the sudoers list, remove sudo from the previous commands and execute them as root. (Never use the name of root in vain... try to be in the sudoers list and avoid doing things as root)

Then, do as follows:

Expand the tar.gz file: tar zxf alibava-x.x.x-x.tar.gz

`cd' to the directory containing the package's source code and type `./configure' to configure the package for your system.

Type make

If no errors are found type sudo make install

After this process you have alibava-gui installed and almost ready to use. There is, however, a subtle problem with privileges.

The installation procedure creates a group called alibava that has access to the USB port where alibava is visible. To avoid having access problems, make add your userid to that group by typing:

sudo /usr/sbin/usermod -G alibava {your user name}

Now you should be able to use alibava-gui.

Launch alibava-gui

Type alibava-gui in a terminal. #To avoid problems the motherboard must be reset with the blue button before launching the program with root permissions.#

If communication is sucessful, you should see this:

  • Reseting the board

  • Sending Beetle configuration

  • Sending Trigger configuration

Otherwise there may be error messages, possibly due to firmware mismatch.

Below the functions that integrates the software are detailed:

Used to take a pedestal run . The number of events that we will take is listed under "Max. no of events ". Extra noise from 1st channel of each Beetle - to investigate.

Additionally, the software allows you to save the pedestals or load them from a file (from Settings drop-down menu), so this functionality can allow us to know how to read output data files.


This feature uses the test pulse functionality, injecting more and more charge in each step. The step settings can be tuned.

Laser Sync:

This feature can be used in conjunction with the trigger output to perform a timing scan. It’s useful to know the timing settings where we are reading the Beetle in Laser Run mode. The trigger out is designed to input a laser which impinges on the sensor. In the absence of sensor we could use the soul of a Lemo cable without mesh to induce directly a signal in the pitch adapter, the closer (even touching) put the "antenna" better.

With this function we perform a scan in the injection timing signal using the trigger output. We can tune the timing settings taking data with the Beetles in Laser Run mode. The trigger out signal is designed to be used as a trigger for the pulsed laser that will impinges on the sensor. For testing purposes, as we don’t have a sensor bonded to the pitch adapter, we used the core of a lemo cable as an antenna to induce a signal directly in the pitch adapter.

The ‘Latency’ parameter, into Settings->Beetle, is another useful setting. The pulse remains 1.2 us in high state, and in order to see both rampings on the oscilloscope’s screen we had to set the latency to 130, (vfs may be placed between 0 and 50) and then we did a scan of about 1500 ns with a step of 2 ns.

-- AlvaroDosil - 04 Jun 2013
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I Attachment sort Action Size Date Who Comment
Alibava_Setup_II.png manage 1743.4 K 04 Jun 2013 - 15:44 AlvaroDosil Alibava setup
image02.jpg manage 107.9 K 04 Jun 2013 - 17:09 AlvaroDosil Alibava software
04_2012_0x10_0x12.mcs manage 570.5 K 05 Jun 2013 - 15:39 AlvaroDosil Alibava firmware to read beetles at I2C 0x10-0x12
04_2012_0x14_0x16.mcs manage 570.5 K 05 Jun 2013 - 15:40 AlvaroDosil Alibava firmware to read beetles at I2C 0x14-0x16
stable_18_11_2010.mcs manage 583.4 K 05 Jun 2013 - 15:40 AlvaroDosil Original Alibava firmware

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