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Vision Science Research Center School of Optometry | School of Medicine
Instrumentation Module Electronics Laboratory


Location & Contact
VH L-106-C / VH L-106-D
Chester Calvert
Phone: (205) 215-3868


The VSRC Electronics Laboratory designs and constructs analog/digital devices as well as research instrumentation to very stringent specifications. There is no fee for the services provided to VSRC members and their staff; however a small fee may apply to non-stock materials. The module also offers the expertise in repair and maintenance of existing electronic or electromechanical equipment ranging from pH meters and tabletop centrifuges to autoclaves, personal computers, and mass spectrometers.

Examples for repair/service projects: 

·        Data acquisition equipment,

·        AC/DC signal amplifiers, filters, head stages

·        Temperature controllers, voltage/current amplifiers and stimulators

·        Centrifuges, microfuges, and chillers

·        HPLC, Liquid scintillation counters

·        Lasers, NMR, Mass spectrometers

·        Fraction collectors

·        Spectrophotometer, photo detectors, and radiation detectors

·        Gel boxes for electrophoresis power supplies  for electrophoresis

The Electronics Laboratory is staffed by an experienced engineer who provides a variety of support functions ranging from basic electronics to the newest surface mount technology (SMT). The engineer works closely with the scientists from initial ideas to completion to produce quality instruments that meet exact specifications. The main goal is to support members with design, fabrication, or modification of electronic instruments that they are not commercially available.

Since the VSRC’s purpose is to aid with research, the members may require very specialized equipment.. In such cases, the feasibility of different approaches for acceptable solutions for a research project is discussed.  In some cases however, the module engineer can make recommendations for an appropriate commercial equipment to purchase, or advise the clients how to modify existing equipment. Finally, if the required device, equipment or tool is not commercially available, the module engineer designs the instrument based on the client’s requirements and manufactures it in a professional way. If the client needs assistance in finding appropriate parts, equipment, and tools, than the module engineer can assists in locating parts and vendors.

Stocking the Electronic components  and Materials

Electronics Laboratory maintains also a wide spectrum of electronics parts, inclusive TTL/CMOS family devices, microprocessors, memory devices, operational/differential amplifiers, small signal buffers, cables, connectors.

Equipment Design and Manufacturing
VSRC-Electronics module has a PC based professional PCB design and drafting software package which allows for the design of  up to 16-layers and minimum trace with of 10 mills (0.254mm). With the use of a schematic capture and printed circuit board (PCB) layout software, the module engineer can create and modify custom-designed circuits for specialized applications.  143 m

Measurement and test instruments

The Electronics Laboratory contains all instruments necessary for the production of 2-sided (surface mount or through-hole) printed circuit from design to fabrication. We also house miscellaneous tools for other operations: PC CAD stations, running Eagle (CadSoft), prototyping CNC-Machine, large and small drill press, precision temperature-controlled soldering station, suitable for surface mount device (SMD) mounting, assembly microscope, fine soldering irons, and tweezers.

·        Universal device programmer. Standalone or PC operation is possible. Programs all PROM’s EPROM’s PAL’s and GAL’s.

·        PICSTART +. MICROCHIP microcontroller programming device. Programs all PIC family microcontroller and serial EEPROM devices. Kits include programmer hardware and programming software (Free). PC based operation.

·        YOKOGAWA Digital storage oscilloscope. A 4-channel 150 MHz with thermo-printer and VGA-graphics output. Data storage on 3 ½ Floppy disk.
144 m
·        LeCroy Digital storage oscilloscope. A 4-channel 200 MHz with thermo-printer and VGA-graphics output. Data storage on hard drive and USB Memory stick

·        YOKOGAWA 2MHz synthesized function generator. Type FC110. Fully programmable digital function generator.

·        HP-Power supply. Experimental power supply with 0-20V DC and 0-10A DC output.

·        Bench power supply (BK-Precision Inc.). Triple output ±30V DC and 3A, +5V 3A short-circuit protected outputs. Digital display, constant current/voltage mode possible. Dual or tracking voltage operation.      

·        Various  DMM and L-C-R Meters

·        Magnifying assembly microscope (80x). Used for SMT assembly and micro-electrode design.

·        Diverse measurement clips, cable sets, oscilloscope probes, cable adapters.

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