Daqarta for DOS Contents
installing a "real" ADC board. Instead of a true ADC which takes samples of an analog input signal, this driver takes samples of a system counter's current value.
Since the counter is a separate hardware device, its operation is independent from the sampling operation. This means that if the sampling operation is delayed for any reason, the counter will go on counting nonetheless. When the counter is finally sampled it will be the wrong value for the intended sample time, and will show up as a discontinuity in the waveform.
This intolerance for sampling errors allows DEMO to test the integrity of interrupt-driven DDisk recording: If sample interrupts are missed while data is being written to disk, errors will show up. That wouldn't happen if the samples were simply generated by software, as they are for the built-in Virtual Source: After a lapse of any duration, the software would simply continue where it left off, without acknowledging any missing time.
Another feature of this DEMO driver is that it allows you to record data in any standard format with 8, 12, or 16 bits. This allows you to emulate any real board for purposes of testing DDisk file compatibility with other software.
Also, DEMO allows you to use the STIM3 Stimulus Generator to provide a signal input instead of the system counter, just as though you had a real board with a DAC or digital output connected back to an ADC input. You can thus experiment with different stimulus parameters and view the resultant spectra.
And although this doesn't provide an integrity check like the counter does, it does allow DDisk recording of the stimulus for playback on another system as a conventional .WAV file. There is no added noise or distortion such as might arise from actually generating the stimulus with a DAC and recording it with another ADC.
DQA.CFG file. Each parameter is given as a letter and colon, followed immediately by a value.
However, since this DEMO driver was designed to work with all systems, without the need for any added boards, it doesn't require such things as base address, board model, or IRQ and DMA numbers that are normally set via parameters.
Thus, the only supported parameter is F:0 to suppress loading of this DEMO.HLP file. The DEMO.ADC driver normally attempts to load this file on start-up, and exits with an error message if it can't find it. Setting F:0 on the ADC configuration line tells the driver not to look for the file. You would probably only want to use this option if you are really short of DOS memory, since loading the Help file only increases memory use by a few hundred bytes for its separate link stack and directory. (The file itself shares the text buffer of the Main Help file.)
Note that ALL Help files, including main, can be omitted via an F:0 parameter on the INIT line (first line) of the DQA.CFG file. If this is present, no individual module Help will be loaded.
STIM3 Stimulus Generator active, this just changes the displayed channel number and nothing else. Channels from 0 to 15 may be set directly, with a start-up default of channel 0.
When STIM3 is used, certain channels behave as though they were wired to certain "board" outputs controlled by STIM3:
Source Stimulus CH0 DAC 0 CH1 DAC 1 CH2 - CH7 Normal DEMO Waveform CH8 DOUT bit 0 CH9 DOUT bit 1 CH10 DOUT bit 2 CH11 DOUT bit 3 CH12 DOUT bit 4 CH13 DOUT bit 5 CH14 DOUT bit 6 CH15 DOUT bit 7
scroll among arbitrary input ranges of +/-10 V, 1 V, or 100 mV full scale. The size of the waveform on the trace remains unchanged, while only the Y-axis changes to show the new range.
The KeyOn option forces Range to +/-10 V, which is the default on start-up.
DDisk recordings and also reported in the Trace Bits item of the Trace Information Menu.
8: xxxx xxxx LO 12: 0000 xxxx xxxx xxxx HI 12: xxxx xxxx xxxx 0000 16: xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxThe KeyOn option forces Bits to 16, which is also the default on start-up.
binary data formats in standard use.
The KeyOn option forces Two's Complement, which is the default on start-up.
sample rate, and this Frequency setting controls the count range... not, as you might expect, the rate of counting. (The count rate is fixed in all PC-type systems at 1.19318 MHz for bad historical reasons.)
Thus, with Frequency set to 100 Hz (the default), the counter is set to count 11932 "ticks" of this counter clock before reloading and repeating the count sequence. Daqarta reads the current count at each sample period, and converts it to a selected waveform with the proper number of data bits and format.
If the Frequency is set to a higher value, the counter will be set to count fewer ticks before repeating. Note that if the Ramp-F and Tri-F waveforms are selected, the height of the wave is directly related to the count value: At higher frequencies, the smaller counts result in smaller waveform amplitudes. (The other waveforms are scaled to give constant amplitude.)
Ramp-F Fast Ramp, level decreases with Freq Tri-F Fast Triangle, level decreases with Freq Square Fast Square, constant level Ramp Ramp, constant level Tri Triangle, constant level Sine Sine, constant levelThe Ramp-F, Tri-F, and Square waveforms are computed directly from the system timer count by simple means, so they are faster and thus may be more suitable when you are running at high sample rates in RTime mode on a slow system. The Ramp-F and Tri-F levels go down as frequency increases, whereas the Square level is constant.
The remaining Ramp, Tri, and Sine waveforms are all scaled from the system timer count to maintain a constant level, equal to half of the full scale range. They run a bit slower, possibly limiting the maximum RTime sample rate on slow systems.
The Sine mode is particularly useful for checking the DDisk capabilities of systems that will be using interrupt-driven RTime sampling, either for LPTX or laboratory-type ADC boards. If excessive lags associated with disk writes cause sample interrupts to be delayed, the signal timer counts will be wrong and the sine wave will be distorted. (Sound cards and some lab-type boards use DMA to avoid these problems.)
Using this DEMO driver you can check the system before installing (or building) the "real" ADC hardware. Since the time to generate a data point with DEMO is at least as long as the time to read a data point on most real ADC boards, this is a conservative test. It will show up differences between disk cache On and Off, or the presence of the DDISK13 driver, or the use of a RAM drive. You can use the automatic glitch scan method to check the DDisk files you record.
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