nscope-1.0 Documentation


This is an attempt to provide an introduction to the nscope control program for Pixie16 modules in PXI crates developed at NSCL/MSU. Hopefully with the aid of this guide you can quickly get started to looking at data with the Pixie16 modules.

The program is graphically driven but responses to input will be displayed graphically or in the terminal. Typically terminal output consists of results from booting and MCA runs.

File menu.

The file menu contains three options. The first option is loading the DSP parameter set file through a file open dialog box. This sets the location of the file for use when booting the pixie16 modules.

After loading a DSP parameter set file (*.set) you must still boot the modules by clicking on the "boot" button.

The second menu option exits the program and the third menu option displays the nscope version number and intended purpose

Channel Setup menu

The channel setup menu contains most Pixie16 parameters that can be set on a channel-by-channel basis. Each menu item in the channel setup menu refers to a class object tasked with inspecting and changing specific parameters associated with the menu parameter. For example, the Energy Filter menu item activates a separate pop-up window to control the energy rise time and energy flattop parameters which affect the energy determination in the Pixie16 module.

The last menu item "Save2File" saves the current set of Pixie16 parameters from the modules to a *.set file for later use. In this manner multiple acquisition modes can be configured before the start of an experiment and the change between the two can be accomplished simply by booting the modules with the appropriate *.set file.

  • The *.set file must have a size of exactly 120 k. Anything else suggests a corrupted set file. If you are having problems with nscope check the size of the set file.
  • The channel parameters are firmware dependent. In the documentation of each class of nscope a statement is provided as to what firmware parameters are being altered.
  • For most parameters there is not an automatic readback of the parameter value from the module. To obtain the current value in the module you must load the parameter again. This is particularly important in the energy filter where there is a limit on the sum of the rise time and gap setting that varies as a function of the filter range.

Module Setup menu

The module setup menu contains two items to control most Pixie16 module level parameters. The module variables menu item provides a drop down box to set various parameters that require numerical values.
The ModCsrb menu controls the bit sets for the module csrband includes things such as external triggering, multiple crate acquisitions, ... See your firmware for more details concerning the operation of each bit.

Parameters, especially module csrb parameters, are firmware dependent. Please check your firmware to ensure you are changing the appropriate parameter.

Run Control

The run control menu list contains the commands to accumulate data with Pixie16 through nscope:

FindTau is not very robust yet, further development is underway.
Do not attempt to change parameters while the system is running. Corrupting the DSP parameters is possible.


The Scope menu items control the time width of the bins in the trace display. The minimum time difference is 60 ns.


There are four buttons that are always present on the nscope display
The first button is always the boot button and controls the booting of the Pixie16 modules.
The second button is called either:

The third button is called either:

The fourth button is called:

Adapting nscope for you home institution

Certain portions of the nscope program are necessarily dependent on the local method of installing and running the codes at the home institution. The following is hopefully a comprehensive list of the items that need to be changed to ensure that the program will compile and run successfully:


This section attempts to describe some of the known features of the code:

 All Classes Functions Variables
Generated on Thu Feb 16 22:47:00 2012 for nscope-1.0 by  doxygen 1.6.3