M3i option details

These options are available to further increase the versatility of the M3i.21xx, M3i.32xx, M3i.41xx and M3i.48xx series boards. Please contact DataQuest Solutions should you require any further information.

Synchronisation Star Hub

The Star Hub is an additional module for all M3i boards to allow synchronisation without any phase delay between cards, hence all channels are perfectly synchronised. There are two options to choose from:

  • Small star-Hub (SH4) for up to four cards
  • Large star-Hub (SH8) for up to eight cards

The SH4 option requires no addtional slot, the SH8 has a higher daughterboard fitted to master M3i so does required the space occupied by an adjacent slot, however it allows a up to 16 analogue channels (eight M3i cards each with 2 channels) to be connected.

Image showing cards fitted with M3i Star Hub connectors and associated ribbon cables


Across the star hub, clock and trigger information is common and exchanged between all the boards via short ribbon cables (see image). Any board may be assigned the master trigger - then used to initiate recording across all boards.

Star-Hub Synchronisation requires only one purchase per system of boards.

BaseXIO (Asynchronous I/O and triggers - cost option).

BASEXIO images showing the boards SMB connections for digital I/O and triggers

This option provides digital input and output lines asynchronous to the analogue inputs of the A/D cards. One of their advantages is their 32mA source capability, so with this simple-to-use versatile enhancement it is possible to control a wide range of external instruments or other equipment, such as that producing a signal source. Eight asynchronous digital I/O are available and can be programmed 8 inputs, 8 outputs or split 4/4. When using the BaseXIO lines as digital I/O, they are completely independent from the board’s function, data direction or sampling rate and directly controlled by software. Special purpose lines are also added to provide two secondary TTL trigger lines to allow an AND type operation within the main external trigger starting the board. So for example you can start and stop the board by monitoring a condition at two sources. Finally a RefClock input comes with this option to allow the Time Stamp option (a standard enhancement included with the card) to accept a precise 1Hz pulse from an external timer card.

Remote Server

Remote Server arrangement with cards in a remote location monitored by the Client PC

The Remote Server option provides a way to programme, control and monitor Spectrum M2i, M3i or M4i cards in a remote location. The option need only be activated by software licence in any one of the Spectrum cards in the remote system. This turns the system into a remote controlled instrument with an IP address, close to where electrical signals are being acquired or generated, but programmed and setup from another PC (the Client) at some distance across an LAN network. For many commonly used network standards, this transmission distance can be up to 100 metres.

In a situation where access is difficult, such as an industrial site, or simply to allow remote operation for convenience, this new option is of great benefit. Data may be acquired during signal capture from a digitiser card for a live display and logging, or transmitted to a Spectrum waveform generator. Works in conjunction with text coding, MATLAB™, LabVIEW™ and Spectrum's own logging and display package SBench6. It is even possible to mix operating systems, i.e. Linux™ on one computer and MS Windows™ on the other.

The Remote Server options order code is SPc-RServer and you will find it listed on the Spectrum card datasheets, together with other useful enhancement options.

DataQuest Solutions Ltd. | Phone: 01526 557171 | Email: info@dqsolutions.co.uk