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DGF Support

Digital Gamma Finder general questions (e.g., you are considering purchasing a DGF and you would like to know whether it suits your particular application):

If you already own a DGF  module and you need technical support:

...please send your comments about XIA web pages:

Common problems:

The XIA Digital Processors (DGF & DXP) are digitally controlled, high performance products for X-ray and gamma-ray spectroscopy. All settings can be changed under computer control, including gains, peaking times, pileup inspection criteria, and ADC conversion gain. The hardware itself is very reliable (no moving parts!). Most problems are not related to hardware failures, but rather to setup procedures and to parameter settings. XIA's DGF software includes several consistency checks to help select the best parameter values. However, due to large number of possible combinations the user may occasionally request parameter values which conflict among themselves. This can cause the DGF unit to report data which apparently make no sense (such as bad peak resolution or even empty spectra). XIA is working towards implementing all the necessary consistency checks in the DGF software. Each time a problem is reported to us, we diagnose it and include necessary modifications in the new versions of our DGF control programs, as well as add the problem description to the FAQ list.

As a first step in diagnosing a problem, it is sometimes helpful to consult most recent data sheets and user manuals for a given DGF product, available in pdf format from the XIA web site. Since these documents may have been updated since the DGF unit has been purchased, they may contain information that may actually help solving a problem in question.

Please check your DGF software/firmware before submitting a problem report:

It is important that the DGF unit is being driven by the most recent software/firmware combination, since most problems are actually solved at the software level. Please visit the XIA's ftp site for the most up to date versions of the DGF software and firmware: ftp.xia.com/ftp/pub. (Note: before upgrading your DGF software it is not a bad idea to make backup copies of your existing software and firmware, and store these copies in a safe place.)

Before submitting a problem report:

In case a problem persists after upgrading the DGF software, the DGF user is kindly requested to collect the following information, which will be used by our technical support personnel to diagnose and solve the problem.

  • Description of the problem, including screen shots and/or spectrum content (if applicable).
  • The DGF type variant (e.g., Pixie-16), and the serial number of the unit.
  • The digital signal processor (DSP) code release number.
  • The FPGA code release number.
  • The type of the X-ray, gamma-ray, or particle detector used.
  • The type and settings of the preamplifier (e.g., RC feedback or reset preamp).
  • The most important are digital settings of the spectrometer unit, i.e., the values of the parameter such as the decimation, settings of the digital trapezoidal filters, etc. The values of these parameters can be captured into an ASCII file by executing an appropriate command from the user interface menu (such as "Parameters --> Save As...", or similar). Please have a printout of this file handy while talking to our technical support personnel.
  • Capturing an oscilloscope image of the preamp output will be extremely helpful. This can be done either with a digital scope, or by making a sketch of the scope image by hand. Please make a note of the signal amplitude, raise time, and decay time (if applicable). Is there any line noise present in the signal?

Submitting a problem report:

Please e-mail your problem report to one of the following addresses. Please include the name of the product in the subject line of your e-mail (e.g. your subject line might look like: Subject: DGF Pixie-16 question). Or please call the company directly.

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http://www.xia.com/DGF_support.html, last updated January 2006
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