Putting the test fixture together;
1) Setup up computer. Attach mouse, keyboard, monitor. Do not power up.
2) Connect USB Blaster to one of the USB ports on the front of the computer.
3) Connect the 50-pin SCSI type cable labeled ‘Group 0’ to the top 50-pin connector on the back of
4) Connect the 50-pin SCSI type cable labeled ‘Group 1’ to the bottom 50-pin connector on the
back of the computer.
5) Connect the other end of the 50-pin SCSI type connectors to the back of the phasing card
backplane cage. The connectors on the backplane are labeled ‘Group 0’ and ‘Group 1’
6) Turn on the computer.
7) The computer will boot to a login screen. Click ‘Automatic Login’ and the computer will log in to
the operating system.
8) You are ready to go!
Programming a phasing card;
Once a phasing card has been assembled, the Altera PLD needs to be programmed before the
card can be used or tested further. These are the steps to program the PLD. If programming is
successful, this only needs to be performed once per card;
1) Make sure power is disconnected from phasing card backplane cage.
2) Make sure the DIP switches (labeled ‘C2’) on the phasing card are all set to ‘OFF’.
3) Connect the 10-pin cable of the USB Blaster to the 10-pin JTAG header on the phasing card.
4) Slide phasing card in to backplane cage. Any spot should work. Be careful seating the cards into
the backplane. You may need to wiggle the card a little to get it to seat. Seating is easier if
there are multiple cards in the backplane.
5) Connect power to the phasing card backplane cage.
6) On the computer, double click on the ‘Quartus’ icon on the right hand side of the screen. This
opens the Altera PLD programming software. It takes a few moments for this software to open,
so have patience after double clicking the icon.
7) Once the Quartus software opens, click on ‘Open Recent project /home/radar/… PMAT_1 –
PMAT_1’. This will open the file to program the phasing card PLD.
8) Under the ‘Tasks’ pane on the lower left side of the screen, double click on ‘Program Device
9) Once the programmer has opened click ‘Start’. The PLD is being programmed.
10) In the main Quartus window, check the ‘Messages’ pane at the bottom to make sure
programming was successful. (If programming is not successful, then there is a problem with
the card or with the programming setup)
11) Remove power from the backplane.
12) Disconnect USB blaster from phasing card.
13) The PLD is programmed!
Testing and programming the EEPROMs.
This part of the test procedure tests the EEPROMs on the phasing cards and programs them
appropriately for further testing. Make sure the PLD has been programmed (see previous section)
1) Make sure the DIP switches (‘S2’) are set to OFF. This was step 2 in the previous section, and
should not be necessary, but it is critical that the DIP switches are set to OFF for this procedure.
2) Slide phasing card in to backplane. Make sure that the only card in the backplane is the card to
be tested and programmed.
3) Power up backplane.
4) On the computer, double click on the “Phasing Card Prep” icon. This will open a terminal.
5) The software will prompt for a card number. Enter a card number. The number is not critical,
and is just provided as a reference, and creates an error file with the card number in case there
is an error programming the EEPROM.
6) Type ‘Y’ to proceed. Type ‘Y’ again if prompted to overwrite a file.
7) The EEPROM is being programmed. You should see the ‘CS’ LED on the phasing card lighted.
You should see the ‘WE’ LED lighted or flashing, and the ‘S/A’ LED lighted or flashing. You will
also see a binary progression through the ‘Delay’ LEDs.
8) This test takes less than 3 minutes.
9) If there are errors programming then error statements will be printed to the screen.
10) If there was any error, then a test failure notification will be displayed.
11) Press enter to exit software.
12) Failures indicate a problem with the card or with the test setup.
Test the RF path of the cards.
Once the PLD has been programmed, and the EEPROM tested and programmed the RF signal through
the card need to be tested;
1) Seat the card in the backplane.
2) Set the ‘T/R’ jumper on the back of the backplane. It’s on the lower right side of the backplane.
a. For main array card: set jumper to ‘T/R TX’
b. For interferomter card: set jumper to ‘T/R RX’
3) Connect power to backplane.
4) Apply a 0 dBm (~0.6Vpp), 10 MHz signal to the phasing card.
a. Main array card: Apply signal to ‘PWR DIVIDE’ connector
b. Interferometer card: Apply signal to ‘TX connector
5) Connect output to oscilloscope and 50 Ohm load.
a. Main array card: look at signal from ‘TX’ connector
b. Interferometer card: look at signal from ‘PWR DIVIDE’ connector
6) On computer double click ‘Phasing Card Tester’. This opens the program that steps through the
13 phase delays of the phasing card.
7) Enter card number.
8) ‘Y’ to proceed. ‘Y’ to overwrite file if prompted.
9) Press enter to advance through delays. Check the output voltage on the scope to make sure
that the voltage is greater than 0dBm (~0.6 Vpp) for each phase delay. Press ‘enter’ to step
through delays, checking the output voltage each step. After the 4th delay you will see the
‘Delay’ LEDs light up one-by-one as you step through the delays.
10) If the output voltage was low for any delay then the card has an error associate with that delay.
11) Note any errors.
12) De-power the backplane and disconnect the phasing card… you’re done.