Experimental PC

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Revision as of 08:54, 27 April 2022 by Paul Dryburgh (talk | contribs)

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2022 Update

Much of the information in the Experimental PC old page is now out-dated and/or refers to hardware that is no longer in use. This new page attempts to build a modern version, please contribute by adding instructions for software they use regularly.

Back to Linux How-tos

Extra stuff for all the experimental hardware that might need setting up, for instance in PCs like blanket, carpet, pouffe etc.

The information contained here will also be useful if you want to install any of these bits of hardware on any other Linux PC.

Includes a bit of information about c-scan too.


Scenario 1: inherited PC with working hardware, updating Linux

  1. Make a list of all the hardware you have (or likely to have) attached to the PC
  2. From this list, work out which programs/utilities you use
    • Most of these will already be installed in /usr/local/bin/
  3. Work out how to recompile (and re-install) all these programs
    • Most will have their source code in /home/scan/source/hardware/
  4. Save all the configuration files you think you might need
    • Most of these will be in /etc/

Scenario 2: Adding new hardware to an already up-to-date PC

  1. Use this wiki, find the instructions for the relevant hardware
  2. Any extra configuration files you need (e.g. /etc/stages/IW_stage_origin) - copy off a PC that already has this hardware installed (or you may find a copy in /home/share/backup_system_files/<name of PC> )

Scope (and AFG) utilities

These are the standard command-line utilities to grab traces, save setups etc


(Used by Agilent and Tek utilities, and a low-level diagnostic tool in its own right)

  • cd /home/scan/source/hardware/vxi11/
  • make clean; make; sudo make install
  • Installs:
    • vxi11_cmd
    • vxi11 user library

Agilent scope

  • cd /home/scan/source/hardware/agilent_scope/
  • make clean; make; sudo make install
  • Installs:
    • agetwf
    • agilent_load_setup
    • agilent_save_setup

Tek scope/AFG

  • cd /home/scan/source/hardware/tek/
  • make clean; make; sudo make install
  • Installs:
    • tgetwf
    • tek_load_setup
    • tek_save_setup
    • tek_afg_upload_arb
    • tek user library

LeCroy scope

  • cd /home/scan/source/hardware/lecroy/
  • make clean; make; sudo make install
  • Installs:
  • lgetwf

PI USB stage driver

This is a bunch of lines we ran to in order to the usb stages (kinda..) to work. I think the format of udev rules has changed since the scripts were first written and the SYSFS should be replaced with ATTRS. This should fix the problem of the device not being recognised automatically when plugged in.

  • cd /home/scan/source/hardware/pi_usb_stage/utils/cmd_line_utils/
  • make clean; make all; sudo make install;
  • sudo /sbin/modprobe -q ftdi_sio vendor=0x1a72 product=0x1007 (for dc motor controller, product=0x1001 for stepper motor controller)
  • sudo ./actually_install_pi_usb
  • (maybe run pi_usb_send MN /dev/pi_usb0)
  • check if /etc/udev/rules.d/98-pi-usb.rules exists
  • cd /home/scan/source/hardware/pi_usb_stage/utils/manual_usb_stage/
  • make clean; make all; sudo make install;
  • ... restart?
  • look at /etc/pi_stage/usb_installed_stages, change stage_model_here to whatever model file you need to use... (axis 0 m-062.pd)

Newport mirrors

Control of the capacitive feedback newport CONEX mirror. Separate scripts for Newport Agilis.

  • cd /home/scan/source/hardware/newport_CONEX
  • sudo make; sudo make install;
  • Installs:


ThorLabs APT control components

See ThorLabs apt stages.


  • cd /home/scan/source/hardware/scanner/
  • make clean; make; sudo make install
  • sudo cp ~sds/bin/cscan /usr/local/bin/
  • Installs:
    • c_scan
    • c_scan man pages
    • cscan: this performs a "touch" on the con-file that you're running with c_scan, so you can see the time at which you started the scan, and - by the time stamp on the data file - the time at which you finished the scan.


To be written.