User application images for PC instrumentation cards - signal capture, 
generation and digital pattern signals
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Prepared Systems

DataQuest Solutions are pleased to supply fully tested optimised systems with Spectrum cards and driver software installed, so taking the worry out of choosing a suitable computing platform and saving you time. Every system we provide is individually tailored to your requirements, single or multiple card installations, fixed or portable. We do not sell standard systems, rather each is prepared to meet your specific needs. You are welcome to contact us to discuss your application.
collage of images reprsenting aspects of system build
indexbar (1K) Systems assembled for best performance, reliability & good cooling
indexbar (1K) Instrumentation cards installed for signal capture, generation & digital I/O
indexbar (1K) Inter-card synchronisation possible for multiple card installations
indexbar (1K) Desktop, 19-inch wide rack mount, PXI and Compact PCI
indexbar (1K) Special multi hard-disk RAID options for fast disk streaming


Rack mount 19-inch wide systems

Based on the widely used 19-inch rack mount modules, we can provide systems of 1U, 2U, 3U, 4U or 6U in height. Into these can be fitted the Spectrum most suitable M2i, M3i or M4i series PCI Express cards, or the industry standard 3U PXI and 6U CompactPCI. Generally it is the higher profile units that provide room for the most number of cards, up to 20 is possible, each with multiple channels. Further racks units may be combined to provide a robust system encompassing hundreds of signal channels. Note that an important aspect is cooling and all of the systems below have this important aspect addressed.

PCI Express

1U Supermicro server chassis - full length PCIe card slot options
  • 1U and 2U chassis
  • Low profile rack mounting system
  • High velocity forced air cooling
The 1U chassis (shown) and 2U chassis are best suited to one or two cards of PCI-Express format. Very low profile yet powerful in computing terms, these systems are best suited to a closed room environment due to the noise from the compact high-velocity cooling fans. Each comes equipped with a multi-core CPU, high quality Supermicro motherboard, a heavy-duty power supply, plus much of the I/O commonly found on a desktop including USB, Giga-bit LAN, CD / DVDROM, plus DDRx RAM and up to four SATA hard disk or solid state drives. Everything is chosen to meet your specific requirements. A RAID configuration is also possible for long period ultra high-speed signal data capture or replay.
3U server type PC - rack mount for several Spectrum cards
  • 3U and 4U chassis
  • Can hold several full length cards
  • Quiet operation
The 3U (shown above with access panel removed) and 4U chassis provides room for several PCI-Express cards up to full length; depending on mother board chosen and available slots. Although requiring greater rack space these systems do have the advantage of using larger slower fans hence much quieter. Good cooling and a wide variety of motherboard options provide exceptional performance and flexibility both in terms of computing components and the configuration of installed cards. Ideal for mixed mode systems of analogue input, signal generation and digital I/O connections to external equipment using Spectrum M2i, M3i or M4i cards. Up to eight external easily accessible SATA HDD/SSD bays also provides massive storage potential for long term signal data capture or replay using RAID.

CompactPCI and PXI

High card volume PXI chassis, here fully populated with Spectrum MX series cards
  • 3U Rack options for up to 20 PXI cards
  • Cards can synchronised via backplane reducing front connections
  • Ideal for high channel count industrial-based requirements
The 3U PXI chassis allows large numbers of PXI cards to be integrated into the rack space; in the picture above is a 16 card system. When fully populated with 8 channel 16 bit MX.4700 series (for example), that's provides 128 analogue channels! Card types can be mixed including those of different functionality, such as digital pattern and waveform generators. With the PXI back-plane all the cards clock and trigger lines are connected allowing perfect synchronisation card to card and as the Spectrum cards have no front end multiplexors all channels are perfectly synchronised too.



Tower and modular stand alone systems

Two views of a Supermicro based tower system with Spectrum cards installed. Panel removed for side shot.
  • PC design of server quality tailored to meet requirements
  • Large power supply and good cooling for multiple cards
  • Up to eight externally accessible fast SATA HDD/SSD
  • Suitable for all lengths of PCI-Express cards
The tower cased PC is a popular choice for Spectrum PCI-Express M2i, M3i and M4i series cards. We can take the guesswork out of choosing a good PC, as years of experience allows us to provide the most the suitable chassis complete with the most suitable power supply, CPU, motherboard, RAID controller and storage technology. This is particularly important for high-speed long period signal capture or replay, so let us ensure you have the most suitable signal streaming solution. Supplied systems include the Spectrum cards, text code programming drivers and SBench installed and tested. We can also supply third-party software drivers for LabView and MATLAB.
3U compact PCI system, here used with Spectrum 3U PXI cards and a customers custom card
  • Compact stand-alone chassis for 3U PXI & 6U cPCI cards
  • Integral CPU/computing module
  • Ideal for mixing card types to create a multi-function system
The PXI and CompactPCI chassis can be made compact to house five to eight 3U or 6U cards (or indeed a lesser number), plus a CPU module, so providing a robust industrial computer system with instrumentation capabilities that takes up minimal space. The system in the picture houses a customer's own card, with a Spectrum 3U PXI format MX.7000 digital I/O card communicating data and sending a trigger to a MX.3000 series A/D card to initiate acquisition of analogue signals at the appropriate time. It is the flexibility of functionality in all our systems that helps the user obtain the best system to meet requirements.

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