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Thread: Smashing Atoms with a Teensy

  1. #1
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    Smashing Atoms with a Teensy

    I'm on the operations staff of the Cyclotron Institute at Texas A&M University. We have two cyclotrons and a variety of ion sources, beam lines and auxiliary systems. A good deal of it is under computer control. The control system is my baby. It has a LabView front end control console and over 100 embedded controllers to handle power supplies, read vacuum, control valves, etc. etc etc. We currently use a Rabbit 3200 module for our embedded controller but we have no backup. I've been building and testing a Teensy 3.5 as a possible replacement. Our standard card has 6 serial ports, an SPI port to control relays and DACs, and a general digital I/O port ( 13 gpio bits ). The Teensy 3.5 is a good fit when combined with a Wiz850 network module. So far, there have been no serious issues while bench testing the prototype. I hope to place it in a high stress environment to test how it reacts to radiation, high energy sparking, and the heavy hand of scientists.

  2. #2
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    Sounds good. Curious to hear how it goes, especially if you can share pictures?

  3. #3
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    Pictures it is.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
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    Gorgeous!!!

  5. #5
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Teensy 3.5 off the bench and reading Ion Gauges (High Vacuum)
    Teensy on the left, Rabbit3200 on the right.

  6. #6
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    Looks great! I wasn't familiar with the Rabbit RCM3200 so I looked it up. Don't tell Paul how much it costs, or he might raise the price of the Teensy :-)

  7. #7
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    Awesome looking unit Cowlander! Hope your commissioning goes well.

    Out of curiosity, do you use EPICS for a control system, or is it all Labview?

    I did the installation of a synchrotron storage ring RF system a few years ago, you picture is bringing back memories...

  8. #8
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    So far, so good! It has been running for a couple of weeks with only minor teething problems.

    The front end is just Labview, but anything that connects to the network can send commands and receive data

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