MeasureLINK™-MCS software customer release notes
1. New Features
MeasureLINK-MCS software (ML-MCS) is a simple yet powerful tool that allows scientists to implement open-ended measurement systems from a set of common instrumentation components. It combines drivers for Lake Shore and third-party instruments, measurement procedures, and data visualization elements so you can quickly validate a data set for export to an analysis tool (Mathcad, Mathematica, etc.)
ML-MCS is a one-time purchase and includes both built-in scripts and functions that you can use to build your experiment sequence as well as a custom scripting option. The license can be used on up to 5 PCs.Use ML-MCS with any of our application packs for expanded functionality. (The QD-MultiVu pack requires the additional purchase of the ML-AP-MULTIVU extension.)
ML-AP-MULTIVU is an additional purchase that enables ML-MCS to use the QD-MultiVu application pack in order to coordinate the MultiVu™ software of a Quantum Design PPMS.
1.2 Application Packs
MeasureLINK-MCS supports an increasing number of different instruments and measurement types. To better allow users to select what they are interested in, Lake Shore has created application packs. Application packs are an installable collection of related device drivers, configuration files, measurements, examples, and documentation. As installed, MeasureLINK-MCS does not have any application packs. Visit https://www.lakeshore.com/products/product-detail/measurelink/measurelink-mcs-application-packages to download any application packs you are interested in. Section 1.8.1 of the user’s manual describes how to install and use application packs. Lake Shore currently offers the following application packs:
|Electrical||18.104.22.168||M81-SSM instrument and modules, LS155|
|Field platform||22.214.171.124||F41, F71, LS64X, Manual Field, Permanent Magnet|
|Janis cryostat*||126.96.36.199||Janis Cryostat, Janis PLC, LS625, Dual LS625, LS336|
|Quantum Design||188.8.131.52||QD MultiVu|
|Temperature||184.108.40.206||LS336, LS-CCR/CCR-O (336 Basic and 335 Basic included with default installation)|
* Limited release; contact Lake Shore for assistance.
1.3 Additional Instrument Drivers
Many additional instrument drivers are now supported by MeasureLINK. In addition to the drivers in the application pack, the universal driver and a simple 336 temperature controller driver are installed with the MeasureLINK-MCS application. Driver functionality has been improved with better monitoring in the Monitor Pane and improved APIs. Many drivers have extensive documentation with examples. See the Help menu in the MeasureLINK backstage view to access online help.
1.4 New Features
- Major new features
- More display options for Pause sequence steps
- Sequence Pause and Resume feature
- Charts can now show Boolean values
- Model 372 driver
- All sequence step settings now have scroll bars if the window is too small to show the content
- M81-SSM driver improvements
- M91 FastHall™ controller measurement improvements
- Time values now use improved time entry control that allows seconds and milliseconds
- DC electrical source loop improvements
- Temperature controllers can now work with sensor units
- Fewer pop-up dialogs (especially in system configuration); many remaining dialogs have an option to not be shown again
- User Preferences can restore default values
- Major new features
- Improved quality and quantity of documentation
- New sequence file workflow to allow the user to decide if a sequence can be re-run; duplication is no longer needed
- Ability to define custom headers in M81 Synchronized and Stream measurement steps
- Performance improvements:
- Hardware-assisted rendering of charts if supported by the PC graphics card
- Large dataset load time
- Faster adding of data to the chart
- Memory usage reduced
- MeasurementResults tables now have elapsed time and timestamp columns; these are in all results now, but in the future may only be added to MeasurementResults with a known time base; for example, an M81 stream measurement bulk-reads cached data from the instrument, so our timestamp won't always match when the data was collected
- New sequence steps:
- Temperature measurement
- Group step: allows a logical grouping of other sequence steps so they can be moved, copied, pasted, expanded, and collapsed as a unit
- Multi-segment discrete temperature loop
- Chart recorder now has a default series defined when the utility is opened
- Charts now correctly display values greater than 1 × 1029
- M81 measure modules can display resistance values from the instrument
- When an error occurs in a sequence, the error message now displays the sequence step in which the error occurred
- Chart recorder now takes readings of all selected channels at a user-selectable frequency; this makes the data clearer and allows the user to control the rate of data
- Clearer and better-formatted notification/warning/error messages
- User-preferred default folders for documents and exported data
- New features
- Time-optimized field reversal in Variable Field Hall step
- RMS support in source interface and source drivers
- New M81-SSM module features
- Duty cycle in M81-VS-10
- FIR PSD filter, FIR cycle settings, and digital filter in M81-SSM measure modules
- Disable on overload for M81-BCS-10
- Resistance measurement on M81-SSM measure modules
- System configuration validates if more than one module is on the same channel
- EMP CCR driver settings updated and connection/disconnection issues fixed; room temperature is now a user setting
- Performance improvements
- Hardware acceleration in chart rendering
- Overhead in loading measurement results reduced 15 to 20%
- When a sequence contains multiple measurements, they all load simultaneously
- Adding data to a measurement results no longer happening on the UI thread
- M81-SSM streaming performance improved, especially in the simulator
- Reports no longer scroll to top when new data is added
- Any numeric or Boolean value can now be displayed on a double chart axis
- Diagnostics and usage information now collected over the internet; user can opt in or out easily
- All drivers now handle monitor pane errors so that a monitor pane operation or update will not crash ML-MCS
- New “native” communication interfaces were added for serial and TCP/IP instrument connections. This removes the requirement to install a VISA.NET implementation to use ML-MCS. VISA is still required to use IEEE-488 (GBIB) instruments. NI-VISA is no longer distributed with or installed by ML-MCS.
- Several new M81-SSM features are supported by the M81 drivers.
- LS625 and dual LS625 now handle ramp rates, currents, and current limits correctly in all cases.
- Sequence steps
- New M91 variable-field FastHall measurement step added.
- M91 FastHall step now supports DC Hall with no field reversal.
- Many improvements to the M91 FastHall measurement step.
- All M91 measurement steps now work in loops correctly.
- M81 BNC adapter module driver added
- Documentation and context help links added for Keithley drivers
- LS 335 and LS 336 Basic driver simulators now allow initial temperatures to be set
- LS 335 and LS 336 Basic drivers now allow heater ranges to be selected for each output. When the user starts a temperature ramp the heaters are automatically enabled at this range.
- LS 335 and LS 336 Basic drivers work more effectively with Celsius units.
- Chart Recorder data channels added to the LS-625 driver
- M81-SSM monitor pane and data channels use new Immediate calls if firmware supports that feature. Most M81-SSM API calls now use READ instead of FETCh to ensure a “fresh” reading.
- Janis cryostat driver now works with a field loop
- Sequence steps
- Sequence step menus in the Sequence Editor are now sorted alphabetically
- Keithley 2181/2182a configuration step added
- Go To Electrical Source value step
- Continuous Field Loop step
- SCPI special values (±Infinity, NAN) are now handled correctly
- “Add Driver(s)” dialog in the System Configuration utility allows sorting and multiple selections and the dialog is resized to show more information
- Fixed error where duplication of sequences could sometimes result in loss of data in the duplicated sequence or invalid sequence files
- Drag-and-drop sequence steps (sequences now support nested loops)
- DC electrical measurement step
Collects voltage or current readings from supported instruments.
- Discrete electrical loop step
Supports multi-level nested loops for sweeping electrical parameters in both DC and AC modes. Sweep amplitude, frequency, and offset.
- Discrete field loop step
Magnetic field loop. Loop through a discrete set of magnetic fields and perform measurement functions at each field. Combine with temperature and electrical looping to create a full experiment, with no programming.
- M81-SSM Stream measurement step
Collects high-speed data from the M81 and writes it to buffered memory while MeasureLINK provides high-speed block reads to optimize data throughput.
- Configuration steps for all M81-SSM modules
Configuration steps for each module permit the user to configure all user configuration settings inside a sequenced measurement as it is executed. This ensures that the configuration setup is maintained as part of the sequence, regardless of prior settings.
- Iteration loop step
Create a sequence of repeated measurements that repeat a specified number of times.
- Chart sequence step allows any data in the sequence to be put on a chart
The chart steps permit the real-time display of collected data during the experiment.
- M91 four-wire measurement step
M91-specific 4-wire measurement
- Driver support for Lake Shore M81-SSM
This release fully supports the M81-SSM Synchronous Source Measure System. Including drag-and-drop measurement steps, sourcing loops, and measurement steps, including streaming and synchronous collection of data.
- Chart Recorder utility to allow real-time charting and capture of instrument data
The Chart recorder utility provides an excellent view of how process variables evolve over time. Determine when the sample has stabilized with this utility, independent of the sequenced measurement activity.
- Improved documentation with context help links on most pages in the app and a reorganized and expanded User’s Guide
Scripted Measurement Features
- Script IDE improvements include symbol lookup and line number search.
- Integer control in user interfaces.
- Generic Source interface for power and current source instruments.
- Better display of preferred units for field and temperature.
- New APIs to allow measurements to do:
- Data formatting.
- Legends in charts.
- Enabling/disabling controls.
- Showing/hiding controls.
- Changing UI values from data acquisition scripts.
- The Device References dialog has been improved so it is impossible to build conflicting device references.
Some application packs will add utilities to the Utilities level of the MeasureLINK-MCS main window. For example, the field platform application pack installs a field platform utility to customize linearization, PID, and other aspects of an electromagnet platform.
2. Updating from Versions Earlier than 220.127.116.11
Older versions of MeasureLINK-MCS included all instrument drivers. These drivers will now be in one or more application packs. To update the software:
- Install version 18.104.22.168 of the software
- Run MeasureLINK-MCS.
- There will probably be some error messages as MeasureLINK attempts to load older drivers. Accept these errors.
- Using the instructions in section 1.2 of this document, obtain the application packs you require for your system configuration. Then stage them for installation using the Application Pack utility in MeasureLINK-MCS.
- Restart MeasureLINK. After restarting, the new drivers will be installed. You can select your normal system configuration from the System Configuration level of MeasureLINK.
3. Updating to Versions Later than 22.214.171.124
When installing a new version of MeasureLINK, be sure to also update your application packs. Check the installed application packs and their versions against the application packs on the Lake Shore website. Then update any application packs that are newer than what is installed.
If your system configuration includes drivers that are not compatible with the new version of MeasureLINK-MCS, you will get start errors and a new, empty system configuration will be activated. After updating your application packs, simply select your original system configuration and activate it from the System Configuration level.