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Computer Interface for the Stanford Research SR830/SR850 Lock-in Amplifiers

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - We have provided the LabView drivers to interface a computer to the Stanford Research SR830 and SR850 Lock-in Amplifiers. The drivers use the VISA communication standards to allow interfacing via serial or GPIB cables.

A lock-in amplifier is a really cool instrument. It focuses so tightly on a particular frequency that it rejects nearly all noise to read the true signal down into the fA region. The details explaining how lock-in amplifiers work is documented under AboutLIAs.pdf.

The Stanford Research SR830 and SR850 are nearly identical in their specifications. They both have dual-phase and digital-signal processing (DSP) capabilities. The dual-phase means they measure both the X (in-phase) and Y (out-of-phase) components of an electrical signal. These measurements easily convert into the magnitude and phase difference of your measurements. DSP means they both use digital circuits to process the final signals therefore reducing the noise components even lower, stabilizing the final measurements even greater.

There have existed LabView drivers for the SR830/SR850 for sometime. However, the drivers are extremely simple and obscure. The drivers written by us are far more current and provide a lot of automatic functionality, mainly based on the frequency locked into by the amplifier. These automations allow a beginner to quickly and effectively use the lock-in amplifiers with relative ease. Please visit our Software Download page to acquire the drivers for your own needs.

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