AIP Digital Archive
Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
A versatile interface card for Apple IIe computer and various peripheral devices are designed to control instruments which generates transient signals like in graphite furnace atomic spectrometer. The interface card consists of a multiplexed analog-to-digital converter, a digital-to-analog converter, and a timer/counter chip. The timer/counter chip with 16 built-in registers can be programmed in many modes which provides a time base for real-time measurements. A stepper motor runs under the control of timer/counter chip independent of computer. A light chopper connected to the stepper motor is controlled easily by computer. A dual high-voltage switch can modulate dc light sources under computer control. This system is applied to D2-lamp background correction graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer. The D2 lamp is chopped by a mechanical chopper driven by a stepper motor and a hollow cathode lamp is modulated electronically. The data acquisition program is written in machine language and synchronization between light sources and computer is provided by chopper position signal through the interrupts. A sampling rate of 16 during a signal period at 50-Hz chopping frequency is found to be the optimum value. A large number of data collected during atomization period is compressed in machine code. This saved storage space and analysis time.
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