Note the most recent version of this manual is found here: http://www.aw-el.com/lcd90_man/lcd90manual.zip

To download the file to your PC such that Aw-Radw's LCD-90 Help will display it, click on above link or copy-paste the link to your internet browser. Windows "File Download" pops up. Click "Save" then "Save As" pops up. Browse to the location on the PC where you installed the Aw-Radw files, for example C:\AWARE and then click "Save".

Next click "Open Folder" then right-click lcd90manual.zip then click "Extract All". Extraction Wizard pops-up. In "Select a folder to extract files to" enter C:\AWARE. Otherwise E-mail Aware Electronics and we will E-Mail back the updated manual.


Aware Electronics New LCD-90 Pro Micro-Controller Data-Logger

The LCD-90 Pro Micro-Controller Data-Logger is a new device from Aware Electronics Corp. used in conjunction with any of our RMs (RM-60, RM-70, RM-80, RM-G90, etc.) or PMI-30s. The LCD-90 Pro is easy to use and includes many advanced features.

Note: If you are using WordPad to view this file and/or to view the most recent htm version, click the link or copy and paste it to your internet browser:
http://www.aw-el.com/lcd90_man/lcd90manual.htm
New version LCD-90 Pro now includes built-in USB interface with flashing transmit LED and flashing receive LED as-well-as a built-in serial COM port, both of which can be used simultaneously.
Click the following link or copy-paste the link to your internet browser, to open Aware Electronics website's LCD-90 page which includes suggested accessories, updated wireless connections, customer feedback and additional photos:
www.aw-el.com/lcd_90g.htm

Shown below is a Class 1 Bluetooth wireless adapter with built-in rechargable Lithium Ion battery and stub antenna, plugged into the LCD-90's serial port (300 feet range) allowing wireless control and downloading both stored data and real-time data from the LCD-90 to a PC. Also available are wireless network adapters. Alternatively the LCD-90 can be plugged directly into the PC’s serial and/or USB port. (For Bluetooth wireless with extended range up to 19 miles (30 km) see links at bottom of page)

LCD-90, RM-80, Bluetooth
Class 1 Bluetooth Adapter with built-in rechargable Lithium Ion battery, plugged into the LCD-90's serial port, feeding real-time data wirelessly to Aw-Radw seen in the background


Shown below is an RM-60 plugged into the LCD-90. (The RM-60 has a radiation source from a smoke detector placed above its alpha window). The two units can be connected together with Velcro. The telephone cable can be extended 1000 feet with standard telephone cable.
LCD-90 and RM-60
RM-60 plugged into the LCD-90

The LCD-90 with an RM-80 in a laboratory setup.

LCD-90 and RM-80
RM-80 plugged into the LCD-90

The LCD-90 is very easy to use (just plug the RM in and push the on button) but includes an extensive set of advanced features. The custom-made display is large and easy to read. It contains a scrolling, seven digit – text character display, a six digit real-time clock display and a full set of operational icons. Two LEDs are included, one flashes with each detection and the other pulses on and off with alarm condition.

An efficient electronic clicker-buzzer makes the classic Geiger click sound as well as a pulsing alarm sound. The alarm feature can also power up external devices.

The internal flash memory can record an unlimited number of radiation data files and will store up to 110,000 data points allowing for even years of continues data logging along with the date-time of each point. Data can be downloaded to a PC by-way-of a serial port, USB port or wireless connections. The LCD-90 will also act as a real-time data source for the PC software.

Shown below is a Class 1 Bluetooth wireless adapter plugged into the LCD-90's serial port (300 feet range) allowing wireless control and downloading both stored data and real-time data from the LCD-90 to a PC. Also available are wireless network adapters. Alternatively the LCD-90 can be plugged directly into the PC’s serial or USB port. (For Bluetooth wireless with extended range up to 19 miles (30 km) see links at bottom of page)


LCD-90 and RM-60
Class 1 Bluetooth Adapter plugged into the LCD-90's serial port

All the radiation data files within the LCD-90, as well as the settable menu items are stored in non-volatile flash memory such that even with all power sources removed from the LCD-90, the data and settings are retained.
Quick Connection and Startup Directions

If the battery is not installed, unscrew back cover, plug battery pack MOLEX connector into the LCD-90's MOLEX connector located at bottom edge of printed circuit board, install battery and replace back cover.

Plug the telephone type cable from the RM or PMI-30 into the MOD jack.

To turn the LCD-90 On or Off push the On-Off button. The LCD-90 will show a startup message and then will begin displaying the radiation level. The startup message is as follows: First "STARTUP" is displayed, the RM is powered up and the LCD-90 code searches through its flash memory to build file pointers. Next "AWARE ELECTRONICS V24B" scrolls out where V24B equals the firmware version number i.e. V24B stands for version 2.4B. Note if the USB cable is plugged in, the LCD-90 will cut short the "AWARE ELECTRONICS V24B" scroll and instead display "USB ON".

Note the plastic colored button caps are included in the shipment but we do not install them. When installed they project out from the surface of the LCD-90 case ~1/8 of an inch. To reinstall gently snap them in place. Once installed the plastic caps can be removed by gently pulling them off with say a small pliers or spring clamp with rubber coated fingers.


Connecting the LCD-90 to a PC

To use a legacy serial port, plug one end of a standard nine pin RS-232 serial cable into the LCD-90’s serial port RS-232 jack and plug the other end into the PC’s serial port.

To use the LCD-90 Pro's built-in USB port, first install the USB driver as follows: Run the install program CDM20814_Setup.exe found on the CD in the FTDI folder. The install program will prompt to re-boot. After Windows reloads, plug the LCD-90 into the PC’s USB port by-way-of the included Micro-B to A USB extension cable. (Note: The latest FTDI USB chip drivers can be found here: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm).

Note pre V1.4 LCD-90s did not include a built-in USB port but rather used a USB to serial port adapter plugged into the LCD-90's serial port. To use this USB adapter with older LCD-90s, first install the Prolific USB driver as follows: Run the install program PL2303_Prolific_DriverInstaller_v130.exe found on the standard size CD from Aware Electronics, in the USB-Prolific folder. The install program will prompt to re-boot. After Windows reloads, plug the USB to RS232 adapter into the LCD-90’s serial port and the other end of the adapter into the PC’s USB port by-way-of the USB extension cable. (Note the small CD that is included within the USB serial port adapter packaging holds older Prolific drivers. As indicated above the newer driver is on the standard size CD from Aware Electronics. Prolific website for latest driver "PL-2303 USB to Serial Bridge Controller" is found here: http://www.prolific.com.tw/eng/Download-2.asp?ID=17)


Setting up Aw-Radw to communicate with the LCD-90

Step 1: Start Aw-Radw software and click menu item “Rad Options” – “Find RM or MicroController” and Aw-Radw prints to its main screen each COM port on the PC that is not in use. The COM port with the LCD-90 plugged into it will display as “AWARE-MSP430 Detected --- on COM X” where X is the COM port number.

Step 2: Click menu item “Rad Options” – “Micro-Control Source Switch” such that it is checked.

Step 3: Click menu item “Rad Options” – “Micro-Controller Options” – “Micro-Controller COM Port” and then enter the COM port number found in step 1. (Note: The reason Aw-Radw doesn’t automatically set the found COM port is that there might be more then one RM or LCD-90 connected to the same PC).

To test the connection click 'Rad Options' - 'Micro-Controller Options' - 'Get Micro-Controller Info.' and then Aw-Radw queries the LCD-90 for info. and prints the info. to Aw-Radw's main window.

(See near bottom of this file for more info. about using the LCD-90 with Aw-Radw)

To set the Calibration Factor to match the RM

(Note most of the LCD-90 menu items can be set by-way-of the Aw-Radw software. The following describes using the LCD-90’s Menu system)

The LCD-90 calibration factor defaults to the RM-60 calibration factor. RM-60 factor is 105.00. RM-70 factor is 140.00. RM-80 factor is 354.00. RM-G90 factor is 960.00.

Momentarily push the MENU button until “CALB” followed by a number scrolls out on the display. To increase the calibration momentarily push the UP arrow button and to decrease, momentarily push the down arrow button.

While changing the number the “CALB” text disappears and only the number remains. Once the correct number is displayed, push the ENTER button and the new value is stored in the internal flash memory.

(Note: As indicated above, when momentarily pushing 'Menu' button each menu item scrolls across the display, in turn. One only need to wait for the first letter of the menu item string to appear before pushing 'Menu' button again in-which-case the currently scrolling menu item stops and the next menu item beings to scroll. This allows one to quickly reach a menu item without waiting for each previous menu item to fully scroll).


LCD-90 FEATURES IN DETAIL

The LCD-90 includes one of TI's more advanced and newer MSP430 microprocessor platforms featuring an ultra-low power 16-bit RISC mixed-signal microcontroller with extended memory, 125-ns instruction cycle time and a 160 segment integrated LCD driver.

ABOUT THE DISPLAY:

As indicated above, the LCD-90’s custom-made liquid crystal display includes a seven-character starburst main display along with a real-time clock display. The starburst characters allow display of both text and numbers as-well-as scrolling text. Radiation units display from zero to 9,999,999 directly. Above 9,999,999 the display uses scientific notation to beyond 4 billion radiation units. The display includes a moving decimal point with leading zeros as in 0.010 µSv/hr or 0.0001 mR/hr.

LCD-90 Pro

The display is extremely efficient and uses next to zero power.

The display includes operational mode icons that activate with each display mode as follows:

The display also includes the following additional icons:


LCD-90 Pro CONTROL BUTTONS

The LCD-90 Pro includes five high-quality control button switches as follows:

“MENU” - “Up Arrow(MORE)” - “Down Arrow(LESS)” - “ENTER” - “ON-OFF”

The following describe the actions of these buttons and the menu system:

More about the “Up Arrow(MORE)” “Down Arrow(LESS)” “ENTER” Buttons:

While in MENU mode, the "MORE" and "LESS" buttons allow changing of the menu item variables and the "ENTER" button causes the LCD-90 to accept the new menu variables and store them to flash memory such that even if the power source for the LCD-90 is removed, when power is restored all the menu item variables are maintained.

When not in Menu Mode, pressing the "MORE" "(BYTES LEFT)" button causes the LCD-90 to scroll out on the display the remaining unused memory for radiation data file storage.

When not in Menu Mode, pressing the "LESS" "(RESET AVE.)" button causes the LCD-90 to reset the running average buffer for the display and alarm. This is handy in that if one enters an area with higher radiation levels, one can hit the RESET AVE. button such that the display begins displaying the higher radiation levels without the influence of the previous lower radiation values residing in the running average buffer.

Note the plastic colored button caps project out from the surface of the LCD-90 case ~1/8 of an inch. If one would rather a flush type switch these plastic caps can be removed by gently pulling them off with say a small pliers or spring clamp with rubber coated fingers. To reinstall gently snap them back in place.


POWER SUPPLY

A typical alkaline AA battery with a very low power draw will supply ~2500 ma hr. down to ~1.3 VDC. The ultra-low power requirements of the LCD-90 allow very long battery life and are as follows:

Sleep Mode (with real-time clock running and RAM retention): 1.5 micro-amps (~190 years with 2500 ma hr power source)

Active Mode: ~20 micro-amps (~14 years with 2500 ma hr power source)

Active Mode with RM-60, RM-70, RM-80, RM-G90, or any of our other RMs drawing power from the LCD-90 with background radiation levels: ~0.1 ma (~1000 days with 2500 ma hr power source).

Active Mode with RM powered as above and UART on feeding data to the PC: ~0.11ma.

The LCD-90 includes a sophisticated internal regulated power circuit, which can accept voltages from less than 3 VDC to more than 12 VDC. It will automatically draw power from the standard DC power plug, the serial port, the USB port or the internal battery pack, whichever has the higher voltage. Included is an internal CMOS regulator for the microcontroller and circuits and a power MOSFET under microcontroller control that powers up the attached RM or PMI-30 directly from the power source. This is handy in that if one uses say a nine-volt battery, the full nine volts is sent to the RM or PMI-30 for greatest cable noise rejection but the internal microcontroller and circuits will run with the internal regulated voltage. Note our RMs will run with voltages anywhere between 2.7 and 20 VDC. The PMI-30 needs at least eight VDC.

The power jack on the LCD-90 is a standard 2.1mm x 5.5mm barrel jack and, as indicated above, will accept voltages anywhere between 3 VDC to above 12 VDC. The polarity of the supply is automatically sensed by the LCD-90 such that either polarity power supply can be used (i.e. positive internal negative external barrel plug or negative internal positive external barrel plug).

Battery options include two AA batteries, three AAA batteries or one nine-volt battery, any of which fit inside the LCD-90. A standard MOLEX plug inside the LCD-90 allows plugging in any of these battery packs, or other battery packs. We include a nine-volt battery clip, a two cell AA battery holder and a three cell AAA battery holder.


A NOTE ABOUT BATTERIES

When carbon or alkaline batteries have become discharged, the chemistry of the cells will degrade and some hydrogen gas will be generated. This out-gassing will result in increasing pressure within the battery. Eventually, the excess pressure will either rupture the insulating seals at the end of the battery, or bulge and rupture the outer metal canister, or both. When this happens, an acidic (for carbon cells) or caustic (for alkaline cells) electrolyte gel will ooze from the battery. In addition, as the battery ages, its zinc (for carbon cells) or steel (for alkaline cells) outer canister may gradually corrode or rust, and this can further contribute to leakage failure.

The leaking electrolyte can corrode the metal housing and battery contacts and it can damage or destroy the LCD-90 circuitry. The most important thing to remember is this: dead batteries will eventually leak and all batteries will gradually self-discharge (even if they are not operating the device they are installed in, and even when they not installed at all but just sitting on a shelf or in a drawer, they will slowly lose energy capacity over the passing of time). So, no matter how good the brand name, your batteries will eventually go dead even if you don't use them, and when they go dead they will eventually leak. These simple facts lead to just three easy rules to protect your investment:

1. Use high quality batteries such as Rayovac Maximum, Duracell Coppertop or Energizer.

2. Always remove dead batteries immediately.

3. Remove batteries when equipment is stored.


ABOUT THE DETECTION OF RADIATION EVENTS

With each detection of a radiation event from the attached RM or PMI-30 the LCD-90 will flash the "EVENT" LED and click the internal Geiger "Clicker" as per the menu items described above. The display is updated once per second. The detection pulse can be a fraction of a microsecond.


ABOUT THE GEIGER CLICK

The human ear is a truly remarkable instrument. It can distinguish between some 400,000 different sounds and can hear frequencies ranging from about 20 cps. to about 20,000 cps. In recognition of this, the LCD-90 contains a very high performance electronic circuit devoted entirely to creating the Geiger click sound from the built-in speaker, rather than relying on the micro-controller to generate the clicks.

This allows the ear to distinguishing between various changing radiation levels from very low to very high levels, just by the sound emitted by the LCD-90. As indicated above, the menu system includes four Geiger click modes, namely "No Click", "Short Click", "Medium Click" and "Long Click". The “Short Click” mode is handy for discriminating, by ear, changes in radiation level in a high radiation field whereas the “Long Click” mode is handy for background radiation levels where a louder “click” is desired.


ABOUT THE ALARM

When the LCD-90's running average moves to or above the alarm set point as per the menu item described above, the "ALARM" LED will flash on and off twice per second, the "ALARM" icon will light on the LCD display, and the internal alarm buzzer will pulse on and off twice per second.

The LCD-90 also includes an internal standard MOLEX connector for a cell phone type vibrator, powered-up with alarm by-way-of an internal power MOSFET. In addition, one of the unused pins in the six-conductor RJ-12 jack (which accepts the four-conductor RM or PMI-30 cable) is supplied with voltage when the alarm is triggered. (The other unused pin in the RJ-12 jack is connected to ground). In addition, a jumper inside the LCD-90 allows voltage to be applied to one of the unused pins in the RS-232 jack with alarm condition. Either of these alarm signals can be used to activate with alarm, external devices for example fans, strobes, sirens, etc.


ABOUT THE STORING OF RADIATION DATA INSIDE THE LCD-90

The LCD-90 can record counts from 0 to over 4 billion counts per TBU. It stores radiation data to its internal flash memory without continuously erasing and writing the flash. Its FAT (file allocation table) is embedded within the data so there is no need to erase then update a FAT with each write. This allows very long flash life i.e. it is very easy on the flash.

When storing the data to flash, the LCD-90 compresses the data such that at normal radiation levels, with say a 60-second TBU, the LCD-90 can record ~110,000 data points equal to an 83-day long file. With a ten minute TBU this would approach 830 days of data. If set to store the average radiation level four times a day (a TBU of 6 hours) it has room to store ~15,000 days (41 years) of continues background radiation data. Note that even with a long TBU such as 6 hours, each radiation detection event is included within the data average.

To start storing one selects the "Store" option. (See "STORE" menu item description above). To stop storing one selects the "Stop Store" option. To start another file just select the "Store" option again. One can create as many separate radiation data files as one desires, up to the limit of storage capacity. Each data point created includes the time as per the LCD-90's real time clock.

When downloading these files to the PC, Aw-Radw presents a file selection menu allowing the user to create a name and location for the file on the PC. Both a binary file and an ASCII file can be generated. With each file to download from the LCD-90, this menu pops up in turn until there are no more files left to download. When downloading and displaying the data, Aw-Radw applies its current “RM Calibration Factor”, found under the “Rad Options” menu, to each point in the file, before displaying the data and before saving the data to an ASCII file. It also uses all the settings under Aw-Radw’s menu “Output Options” - “ASCII Text File Options” when writing the data to an ASCII file. See Aw-Radw’s help file about “RM Calibration Factor” and “ASCII Text File Options”.

Note the act of downloading the files does not erase the files from the LCD-90’s memory. The stored files can be downloaded an unlimited number of times. In fact one can download the same data file the LCD-90 is actively storing to i.e. while the LCD-90 is storing data to a file, the PC can download the same file. Only issuing the Erase Flash command (by-way-of Aw-Radw menu item or LCD-90’s menu system) is the flash memory erased making room for more data files.

As indicated previously, since the user settable menu variables and any radiation data files are stored within the LCD-90’s flash memory, even if all power is removed from the LCD-90, a later restoration of power will allow downloading of the preexisting files.

While the LCD-90 is storing radiation data to its internal memory, it also continues with all the normal display features i.e. while storing, one can change any of the features that effect the LCD-90’s display of radiation data for example the conversion to other radiation units, the alarm levels and/or any of the other features without affecting the storing. The same is true while the LCD-90 is acting as a real time data source for the PC software i.e. the process of storing data to the internal memory, downloading data to the PC and acting as a real time data source for the Aw-Radw software are completely separate processes from all the other functions of the LCD-90, which continue to run as normal while the interaction with the PC continues.

Note that when turning on the LCD-90 the display shows a sign-on message. During this time the LCD-90 searches through the data file area of the flash memory, building file pointers. If one or more large data files already exist, the sign-on message will remain on the display for a few additional seconds as the code searches through the file(s).


ABOUT CONNECTING TO A PC

The LCD-90 can connect to a PC by-way-of the LCD-90's 9 pin RS-232 jack, the built-in USB port or by-way-of any of a number of readily available wireless connections. When so connected, Aware's Aw-Radw software can communicate with the LCD-90. Aw-Radw includes menu items allowing one to set the LCD-90 menu items described above from the PC i.e. without using the LCD-90's menu buttons.

The software will also download any radiation data files stored inside the LCD-90, saving the data to the PC in the form of Aware's standard binary radiation file format and/or an ASCII file with all the features available for ASCII file generation by the Aw-Radw software.

The LCD-90 will also act as a real time radiation data source for the Aw-Radw PC software. In this mode the Aw-Radw software first automatically sets the LCD-90'c clock to the same time as the PC's clock. Next it tells the LCD-90 the TBU (Time Base Unit) and then begins displaying the radiation data to the PC's display and storing the data with all the features of the Aw-Radw software, including auto alarms, triggers, real time graphs, binary and/or ASCII file generation etc.

In this real time mode, with each TBU the LCD-90 sends a variable size packet of data to Aw-Radw using no loss data compression and includes a time code and the count. Each packet includes 16 bit CRC (cyclic redundancy check) error detection. If Aw-Radw detects an error in transmission due to a bad CRC, an uncoordinated time code or a Windows communication error, it will request a repeat of the packet from the LCD-90. This insures that if the data is accepted, it is accurate. Aw-Radw will also optionally click the computer sound system with each radiation detection event by-way-of a secondary signal (separate from the packetized data).

Since this sophisticated real time communication uses standard baud rates and format (2400, 4800 or 9600 BAUD, 8 bits, 1 or 2 stop bits, no parity) it allows the use of wireless serial connections, wireless modems, serial to WiFi and serial to network servers between the radiation sensing equipment (LCD-90 with RM or PMI-30) and the recording/controlling PC.

A serial to network server makes it possible for one PC to monitor and control an unlimited number of remote LCD-90s located anywhere on the network (even through the internet). With the built-in CRC error detection and correction, one can be confident that the date received is correct even with wireless connections. (Note most serial servers, USB communications, wireless modems and wireless serial ports include error detection and correction. The LCD-90 to Aw-Radw CRC error correction is on top of and in addition to any such error correction).

There are hundreds of devices that can be used to wirelessly extend the LCD-90’s serial port or seamlessly connect the LCD-90 to a network. For a few examples of available wireless serial ports and serial network servers, see links at bottom of page.

The Aw-Radw software will also automatically set the LCD-90's real time clock i.e. it will set the LCD-90's clock to the same time as the PC's clock. It also allows even finer tuning of the LCD-90's clock beyond the Real Time Clock Tick Adjustment described above by selecting the LCD-90’s internal crystal load capacitance (10pf, 14pf or 18pf). 18pf is the default.

The LCD-90 has a user settable unique identification string which can be up to 80 characters long and is stored in its flash memory. Aw-Radw.Exe allows setting this identification string and also reading it by-way-of menu items “Edit MicroController ID” and “Get MicroController ID so for example one could set a LCD-90 ID string to “My Location #1”. If one forgets which COM port is associated with a particular LCD-90 one can issue command by-way-of Aw-Radw “Get MicroController Info”, the information is displayed and one will know one is connected to “My Location #1”. When one issues Aw-Radw menu item “Edit MicroController ID” first Aw-Radw queries the LCD-90 to find out the current ID string then it displays it as default in the edit box.


Some of Aw-Radw's LCD-90 Menu Items
Aw-Radw's LCD-90 Menu Items

EXAMPLE OF THE VERSATILITY OF THE LCD-90

The LCD-90’s embedded software allows, for example, the following scenario:

Display radiation data on its display in MicroSV format with a 120 second running average with once per second updates and with an alarm set point of 100 MicroSVs. At the same time store radiation data to the LCD-90's internal memory with a TBU of one minute. At the same time act as a real time data source for Aw-Radw PC software displaying radiation data on the PC with microR/hr. format and a TBU of 1 second with Aw-Radw’s auto-alarm feature activated, or any variation of the above. In addition, as indicated above, while the LCD-90 is storing radiation data to an internal memory data file the PC can simultaneously download the same data file.


CONTROLLING AND DOWNLOADING DATA FROM THE LCD-90 USING OTHER SOFTWARE

When communicating to and from Aware Electronics Aw-Radw software, the LCD-90 uses variable size packets including time code, data compression and CRC checks, in binary format. For use with other software, for example a terminal program, the LCD-90 will respond to certain standard ASCII characters sent to it through the serial port or USB port such that the user can by-way-of a terminal program, set all of the various menu items as described above, start and stop storing of radiation data to the flash memory, download stored radiation data and command the LCD-90 to send real time radiation data to the PC in ASCII format. When downloading stored data or acting as a real time ASCII data source, the LCD-90 sends both a time code and the radiation count for each ASCII data line. Sending a XOFF and XON character will temporally stop and then start the data flow. Sending the ESC character aborts the sending of data.


HOW THE LCD-90 Pro USES SUCH A SMALL AMOUNT OF POWER

LCD-90’s embedded code is interrupt driven. About 99% of the time the LCD-90’s microcontroller is held in sleep mode which draws on the order of 1 micro amp. Meanwhile counting is performed by an internal high-speed CMOS counter circuit. Only when needed (by-way-of the real time clock or other interrupt) does the microcontroller awaken from its sleep for a few milliseconds, updating the display, performing communication tasks, checking for button pushes, alarm conditions, etc. The liquid crystal display is driven directly by the microcontroller and is extremely power efficient drawing next to zero current.

In addition, the LCD-90 automatically senses when the USB port is plugged in or is unplugged. When first plugged in the LCD-90 scrolls out on its display “USB ON” and it turns on its microcontroller’s USB chip drive pins. When the USB port is unplugged, the LCD-90 scrolls out “USB OFF” and it turns off the microcontroller’s USB chip drive pins, preventing any current leakage from the microcontroller to the powered down USB chip, thereby saving power.


UPDATES AND CUSTOM SOFTWARE

The LCD-90 includes an internal programming port such that Aware Electronics can update or install modified or custom embedded software for customers anytime after they have purchased the LCD-90.


ABOUT CONNECTING THE LCD-90 TO THE RM OR PMI-30

One can plug the RM into the LCD-90 with the 7-foot telephone cable included with the RM. As with the RM to PC connection one can extend the cable to the LCD-90 with telephone extension cord up to 1000 feet. Both the RM and LCD-90 are palm sized (about the size of a bar of soap) and one can connect the two together with Velcro to form one unit which one can then easily separate. This is a handy feature in that one will find it very useful to have the ability of separating the readout from the sensor with snap in telephone wire. For example the sensor can be mounted inside a room with the LCD-90 mounted outside the room by the door.


PLUGGING MORE THAN ONE RM INTO THE LCD-90

Aware Electronics line of RMs use an open collector output therefore one can plug more than one RM unit into the LCD-90 using a standard telephone line splitter. In such a case, the LCD-90 tallies counts from all RMs. An example: A work station hood area with three RMs (one at either side of the hood area and one at the back), plugged into the same LCD-90, would be better equipped to detect a radioactive spill, as compared to a single more sensitive detector, in that flux levels drop by the square of the distance.


LCD-90 SPECIFICATIONS

For examples of simple batch files to send commands to the LCD-90, including syncing the LCD-90's date-time to the PC's date-time, see zip file:

  • command_batch_files.zip

    To connect LCD-90 Pro to LABVIEW and/or ASCII devices:

  • Connect LCD-90 Pro to LABVIEW and/or ASCII devices

    For detailed info. about Sending and Receiving ASCII Data With Aware Electronics LCD-90 Pro and USB-MSP:

  • Sending and Receiving ASCII Data with LCD-90 Pro and USB-MSP
    New Firmware Update V2.6G, dated 09/15/2013 adds user selectable precision floating point number display with three digit decimal precision including automatic rounding. Allows, for example, a CPS or CPM running average with values incrementing in units of 1/1000th of a CPS or CPM, on the display, or, with a microR/hr or microSv/hr running average, in units of 1/1000th of a microR/hr or microSv/hr. (The LCD-90 Pro includes a built in display with six decimal points). The update also allows calibration factors in units of 1/1000th the previous version's factors and deadtime correction in units of 1/1000th of a microsecond versus one microsecond with the previous version. A new DECIMAL menu item has been added to support the new decimal precision feature. Our PC program Aw-Radw has also been updated to support these additional features.

    ASCII input-output to any program capable of reading and writing ASCII data from a COM or USB port (for example Window's free Hyper-Terminal) has also been greatly improved, allowing real-time and flash memory download with deadtime and calibration factors applied, in any of the supported radiation units, as-well-as the three digit decimal precision. Even accepts ASCII commands as it is downloading ASCII data.

    V2.6G also adds a new feature that works in conjunction with a new feature added to the Aw-Radw Windows program, namely, "Send LCD-90 or USB-MSP Alarm Signal On-Off" allows Aw-Radw's sophisticated alarm algorithm to activate the LCD-90's alarm, overriding its internal alarm, even over a wireless (radio) connection. The Aw-Radw menu option opens a pop-up menu with two options, namely "Send LCD-90 or USB-MSP Alarm Signal with Aw-Radw's High Alarm" and "Send LCD-90 or USB-MSP Alarm Signal with Aw-Radw's Low Alarm" They can be checked or un-checked by clicking on them. If either are checked, then, when Aw-Radw is using the LCD-90 Pro as a real time data source, it will send a command to the LCD-90 Pro telling it not to use its internal alarm system to activate its alarm, but rather, activate its alarm only when Aw-Radw sends it an alarm command i.e. when Aw-Radw enters an alarm state. The alarm actions carried out by the LCD-90 Pro depend upon the "Alarm's Action Settings".

    For information about updates to the LCD-90's firmware:

  • Aware Electronics Corp. LCD-90 Pro Firmware Updates
    MORE DETAIL ABOUT the LCD-90's DISPLAY OF RADIATION UNITS

    As mentioned above the "UNITS" menu item allows switching the display to mR/hr (milli-Roentgens per hour), µR/hr (micro-Roentgens per hour), µSV/hr (micro-Sieverts per hour), CPS (counts per second), CPM (counts per minute) or Total Counts. One can change the display to any of these radiation units without need to change the calibration factor.

    The flow of data within the LCD-90 to its display is as follows. Once per second the LCD-90 takes the counts accumulated during the last second (with dead-time correction applied, if any) and stores it in the running average buffer. Next it calculates the running average according to the "AVERAGE DEPTH" menu item. Next it applies the calibration factor, if any. The resulting value is compared to the alarm level, triggering the alarm if need be and the data is displayed.

    The minimum displayable values (besides zero) are 0.001 microR/hr, 0.001 MicroSV/hr, 0.001 MilliR, 0.001 CPS, 0.001 CPM and 1 Total count.

    The maximum displayable value is 4,294,967,294 which shows on the display with scientific notation 42949 E5. Above this value the display shows MAXIMUM.

    All modes except Total mode use the running average buffer, according to the "AVERAGE DEPTH" menu item. In total mode the total accumulated count is displayed and updated once per second.

    In CPS, CPM and Total mode, no calibration factor is applied.


    MORE DETAIL ABOUT INTERFACING WITH AW-RADW PC SOFTWARE

    Step 1. Plug the LCD-90 into a unused serial port (COM port) on the PC by-way-of a RS-232 serial port cable or plug the LCD-90 into a USB port by-way-of the included USB Micro B to A cable. (First install the USB to Serial driver software. See “Setting up Aw-Radw to communicate with the LCD-90” near top of this file)

    Step 2. Make sure the LCD-90’s internal UART is on and set to 9600 baud, which is the default baud rate: Press-release 'Menu' button until UARTxxx scrolls across LCD and then press 'Up' button until UART 9600 scrolls. Next hit 'Enter' button and the UART icon on the LCD activates indicating the UART is on.

    Step 3. On PC start the Aw-Radw software and click 'Rad Options' - 'Find RM or Micro-Controller' and Aw-Radw displays "AWARE-MSP430 Detected on COM X" where X is the COM number the LCD-90 is plugged into.

    Step 4. Click Aw-Radw menu item 'Rad Options' - 'Micro-Controller Source Switch' and a check mark appears by it.

    Step 5. Click 'Rad Options' - 'Micro-Controller Options' - 'Micro-Controller COM port' and enter the COM port number found in step 3.

    Step 6. To test connection click 'Rad Options' - 'Micro-Controller Options' - 'Get Micro-Controller Info.' and then Aw-Radw queries the LCD-90 for info. and prints the info. to Aw-Radw's main window.

    The remaining Aw-Radw 'Micro-Controller Options' menu items are described:

    “COM Port Baud Rate & XON-XOFF” Choose 2400, 4800 or 9600 to match LCD-90’s baud rate (Default is 9600 baud). If “Use X-ON X-Off” is checked by clicking it, Aw-Radw will direct the PC’s COM port to use one way X-On X-Off flow control (software flow control). During flash data file downloads, if the LCD-90 receives an X-Off it will stop sending the data until an X-ON is received. Note some Windows COM port drivers don’t work well with one way X-ON X-OFF so this item defaults unchecked.

    “Use CRC Check” Click to check or uncheck. If this item is checked, Aw-Radw and LCD-90 will use 16 bit CRC error detection and correction (default).

    "Download Stored Data" Downloads all stored data files from the LCD-90 and optionally saves the data to an Aware binary file and an ASCII file. The data files within the LCD-90 are always in the form of counts per unit time. When displaying the downloaded data and writing the data to an ASCII file, Aw-Radw applies the current "RM Calibration Factor" to each downloaded data point. (See description of RM Calibration Factor in Aw-Radw's help file). Since an Aware binary file is always in the form of counts per unit time, as is the stored data in the LCD-90, the calibration factor has no effect on the data stored to an Aware binary file.

    When downloading the stored data, first Aw-Radw asks “Enter Detector Dead Time”. Accept the default or change or enter 0 for no dead time correction.

    Next if there are any files to download, Aw-Radw firsts asks for an 'Aware Binary Data File' name. Enter a file name or hit 'Cancel' to skip creating the binary file.

    Next Aw-Radw asks for an ASCII file name. Enter name or cancel as above. If you choose to create an ASCII file, the format of the file is determined by all of Aw-Radw's 'Output Options' - 'ASCII Text File Options'. See Aw-Radw's help for more information about ASCII Text File Options.

    Aw-Radw then downloads the data to the file(s). If there is more than one data file in the LCD-90, Aw-Radw repeats the file name prompts for each file, in turn. One can download stored data even while the LCD-90 is storing data. After the data is downloaded, Aw-Radw reports on its main screen whether or not the download passed the CRC check. If it failed one should try downloading the files again. Note: On slow PCs, close all Aw-Radw child windows including the graph windows and Summary Window to speed up the download.

    "Express Download Stored Data" Same as "Download Stored Data" described above except program prompts for the filenames only once. Each file downloaded will be given the filename with (#) appended to the filename body where # is the file download number. For example if there are three rad files stored in the LCD-90 and to the first filename prompt one enters "MYDATA.RAD", the first file downloaded will be given the filename MYDATA(0).RAD, the second file MYDATA(1).RAD and the third. MYDATA(2).RAD. The same situation is applied to the ASCII files.

    "Erase Store Memory" Click this item and Aw-Radw sends a command to LCD-90 instructing it to erase all the stored radiation data files in its flash memory, freeing up the space for new files.

    "Set Storing TBU" sets the default LCD-90's storing TBU. See description of LCD-90's STORE menu item above.

    "Start Store Command" tells LCD-90 to start storing the radiation data to a flash memory file.

    "Stop Store Command" tells LCD-90 to stop storing data.

    "LCD Display's Calibration" sets LCD-90's calibration factor for the LCD display and alarm. One can also set the display mode radiation units to mR/hr, µR/hr, µSV/hr, CPM, CPS, or Total Counts and the appropriate icon activates on the LCD-90’s display.

    In Total Counts mode, with each detection the LCD-90 display increments by one up to +4 billion counts. (Note in Total counts mode when the count reaches the alarm set point, the alarm circuits will activate so one might want to turn off the alarm).

    "LCD Display's Detector's Dead Time" sets LCD-90's Dead Time correction in units of 1/1000th of a microsecond.

    "Display's Running Average" sets LCD-90's running average for the LCD display and alarm. See description of LCD-90's AVE DEPTH menu item above.

    "Display's Decimal Precision" sets LCD-90's Decimal Precision i.e. the number of digits to the right of the decimal point.

    "Display's Alarm Level" sets LCD-90's internal alarm level.

    "Alarm's Action Settings" opens a pop-up menu with three options which control how the LCD-90 will react with alarm condition. The options are "Alarm LED" (turn alarm led on with alarm), "Alarm Buzzer" (pulse the buzzer with alarm) and "Alarm Vibrator" (powers-up the vibrator MOLEX connector with alarm). First check or uncheck the desired alarm actions by clicking on them in-turn. Next click "Send Above Settings to Micro-Controller" to send the desired alarm actions. When first activated, the "Alarm's Action Settings" pop-up menu defaults to Alarm LED and Alarm Buzzer.

    "Send LCD-90 or USB-MSP Alarm Signal On-Off" allows Aw-Radw's sophisticated alarm algorithm to activate the LCD-90's alarm, overriding its internal alarm. The menu option opens a pop-up menu with two options, namely "Send LCD-90 or USB-MSP Alarm Signal with Aw-Radw's High Alarm" and "Send LCD-90 or USB-MSP Alarm Signal with Aw-Radw's Low Alarm" They can be checked or un-checked by clicking on them. If either are checked, then, when Aw-Radw is using the LCD-90 as a real time data source, it will send a command to the LCD-90 telling it not to use its internal alarm system to activate its alarm, but rather, activate its alarm only when Aw-Radw sends it an alarm command i.e. when Aw-Radw enters an alarm state. The alarm actions carried out by the LCD-90 depend upon the "Alarm's Action Settings" (See above).

    When both menu options are un-checked, or when Aw-Radw is not using the LCD-90 as real time data source, then the LCD-90 will default back to using its own internal alarm system.

    "Get Micro-Controller Info." Aw-Radw queries the LCD-90 for info. and prints the info. to Aw-Radw's main window.

    "Edit Micro-Controller ID" Aw-Radw queries the LCD-90 for its current ID string and then presents it as default in an edit box, allowing user to change the ID string, then Aw-Radw sends the new string back to the LCD-90. The ID string can be used to help identify which LCD-90 is connected to which COM port. The ID string can be up to 80 characters long.

    "Sync Time with PC's Time" Aw-Radw sets LCD-90's real time clock to the same value as the PC's Date-Time. (Note LCD-90 uses UNIX time code i.e. the number of seconds since Jan. 1st 1970).

    "LED Event and Clicker Settings" opens a pop-up menu with options allowing control of how the LCD-90 flashes the Event LED and sounds the clicker, with each detection event. First select the desired options by clicking on them and then click "Send Above Settings to Micro-Controller" to send the desired options. When first activated, the "LED Event and Clicker Settings" pop-up menu defaults to "Short Event LED" and "Medium Long Click".

    "Adjust MSP430 Clock Rate" Aw-Radw queries LCD-90 for its current TICK ADJUST number (see description of LCD-90's "REAL TIME CLOCK TICK ADJUSTMENT" menu item above). Next Aw-Radw presents the TICK ADJUST number as default in an edit box, allowing user to change the number after-which Aw-Radw sends the new TICK ADJUST number to the LCD-90. One can also make very small adjustments to the clock rate by directing the LCD-90 to use various crystal load capacitances. 18pf is the default. 14 and 10pf slightly speeds up the clock rate. (see description of LCD-90's "XTAL CAP" menu item above).

    For example if the LCD-90 clock is running slightly slow, try using a value of 9 instead of 10 tick adjustments.


    USING LCD-90 WITH RADIATION MONITOR AS A REAL-TIME RADIATION DATA SOURCE FOR AW-RADW

    First make sure the first five steps described above under INTERFACING WITH AW-RADW PC SOFTWARE have been carried out. (Note Aw-Radw saves these settings to disk so once set they shouldn't need to be set again unless the Micro-Controller COM port has been changed).

    Next proceed as one normally would to collect radiation data with Aw-Radw i.e. click Aw-Radw's 'Rad Collection' - 'Express Start Collection of Rad Data' (see Aw-Radw's help).

    When starting real-time rad collection using the LCD-90 as source, first Aw-Radw syncs the LCD-90's real time clock with the PC's clock. Next it sends to the LCD-90 the desired TBU (i.e. the TBU entered in Aw-Radw's menu item 'Rad Options' - 'TBU'). Next, every TBU the LCD-90 sends a time code, the counts from the latest TBU (up to a maximum of 4 Billion Counts per TBU) and a 16 bit CRC error detection.

    Aw-Radw receives this information, checks that the time code is in the correct order, checks for correct CRC and then uses the count to calculate all the parameters as it normally would when connected directly to a radiation monitor i.e. Aw-Radw applies the calibration factor to the count, the dead time, calculates the auto-alarm data and activates any of the alarm options, and stores the data to the file(s), etc.

    If Aw-Radw detects an error in the time code, CRC or Windows communication error, it sends a NAK to the LCD-90 which causes the LCD-90 to repeat the packet. If this fails Aw-Radw stops the real-time radiation data collection.

    Note that when using the LCD-90 as a real-time radiation data source, the LCD-90's real time clock is used to determine each TBU, not the PC's clock. Also Aw-Radw's menu item 'Rad Options' - 'Geiger Click Options' - 'Geiger Click On' - 'Geiger Click Off' turns on or off the LCD-90's Geiger beeper.

    While the LCD-90 is being used as a real-time data source by Aw-Radw, all the other features of the LCD-90 are available i.e. it can be storing radiation data to its flash using the flash storage TBU, calculating the LCD's value using its current calibration factor and running average depth, sounding its alarm, running its menu system, etc. i.e. using the LCD-90 as a real-time radiation data source for Aw-Radw has no effect on any of the other aspects of the LCD-90 except its Geiger beep.


    CONTROLLING AND GATHERING DATA FROM THE LCD-90 Pro IN ASCII FORMAT USING OTHER PROGRAMS OR ASCII DEVICES

    To connect LCD-90 Pro to LABVIEW and/or ASCII devices:

  • Connect LCD-90 Pro to LABVIEW and/or ASCII devices

    For detailed info. about Sending and Receiving ASCII Data With Aware Electronics LCD-90 Pro and USB-MSP:

  • Sending and Receiving ASCII Data with LCD-90 Pro and USB-MSP

    The LCD-90 Pro will respond to any program that can send and receive characters through the COM port (i.e. standard COM port, USB to Serial, Bluetooth Serial, WiFi Serial etc.) and/or the LCD-90's built-in USB port which presents itself as a virtual COM port. The LCD-90 will respond with standard ASCII characters. Set the program's COM port to the COM port the LCD-90 is plugged into or the USB virtual COM port presented by the USB driver, and set 9600 Baud, 8 Data Bits, No Parity, 1 Stop Bit, No Flow Control.

    When sending command characters to the LCD-90, it expects two characters, first a CTRL-G and then the command letter. The CTRL-G is included to help avoid noise etc. from triggering a command. The CTRL-G character can be typed on a PC’s keyboard by holding down the CTRL key then tapping the G key then releasing the CTRL key. CTRL-G is known as the Bell Character. In C programming language, the CTRL-G Bell Character escape sequence is \a. i.e.to insert the Bell Character in a C string one includes \a. To copy a CTRL-G into a text file, open a command prompt or use the Run command and type “copy con mytext.txt (enter key) Ctrl-G Ctrl-Z”.

    When the LCD-90 receives one of the commands from the first set of the following command letters (the ones that need a follow-up string or number from the PC such that the new command is accepted by the LCD-90), it first sends back a short description of the command followed by a string or number indicating its current condition. One responds to this with the new string or number.

    The following descriptions of command letters the LCD-90 responds to should each be prefixed with a CTRL-G, for example CTRL-G $

    $ sets the LCD-90’s ID string. LCD-90 first sends its current ID string. Send it the new ID string (followed by enter i.e. carriage return) and LCD-90 stores it in flash memory and then sends back the new ID string.

    T sets LCD-90’s time. LCD-90 sends back current time (UNIX time code). Send it the new time code(enter), and LCD-90 sets and sends back the new time. One could copy and paste a UNIX time code from the internet. One could also set the LCD-90 time to UNIX time zero by setting a time code of zero.

    C sets LCD display's and alarm's calibration factor. LCD-90 sends back current CALB. Send new calb (enter) and LCD-90 sets, stores in flash and sends back new CALB.

    Likewise follow the same procedure for the following:

    E sets dead time in 1/1000th of a microsecond for display and alarm

    V sets radiation units for display. 0=cps 1=cpm 2=microR 3=microSV 4=milliR 5=Total.

    A sets alarm level.

    L sets alarm action with alarm condition as-well-as how the LCD-90 will flash the Event LED and sound the clicker with each detection. A four byte number in ASCII format.
    The bottom byte: 0 = No Alarm LED or Buzzer; 1 = Alarm LED; 2 = Alarm Buzzer; 3 = Alarm LED and Buzzer.
    The second from bottom byte: 0 = No Alarm Vibrator; 1 = Alarm Vibrator.
    The third from bottom byte: 0 = No Click; 1 = Short Click; 2 = Medium Click; 3 = Medium-Long Click; 4 = Long Click.
    The top byte: 0 = No Event LED; 1 = Short Event LED; 2 = Long Event LED.
    For example, for short event LED, medium-long click, no alarm vibrator, alarm LED and alarm buzzer, the ASCII number is 16,973,827 (hex 01030003).

    . (the period character) sets LCD-90's decimal precision i.e. the number of digits to the right of the decimal point.

    I sets running average depth in seconds for display and alarm.

    U sets real-time data UART output TBU (for binary data only)

    K adjusts clock rate ticks. A two byte number in ASCII format.
    The bottom byte: 0 to 20. 0 = the fastest, 10 (hex A) = no adjust and 20 (hex 14) = the slowest.
    The top byte: 16 (hex 10) = 10pf; 32 (hex 20) = 14pf; 48 (hex 30) = 18pf crystal load.
    For example, for no adjustment to clock rate and a crystal load of 18pf, the ASCII number is 12298 (hex number 300A).

    F sets radiation data file Flash storage TBU.

    The following do not need a follow-up number or character string and do not need a carriage return (Enter key) i.e. they act immediately:

    [ character tells LCD-90 not to use its internal alarm system to activate its alarm, but rather, only activate its alarm when signaled to do so by the command letter '!' and ',' (see below). Note: This mode is automatically canceled when the LCD-90 exits ASCII real-time mode.

    ] character cancels the above [ i.e. tells LCD-90 to use its own internal alarm instead. Note: Stopping ASCII real-time data mode with the ESC command or turning the LCD-90 off then on automatically cancels the above alarm mode.

    ! character tells LCD-90 to activate its alarm. Only works when the ! command has been sent and when the LCD-90 is acting as a real-time ASCII data source.

    , (comma) tells LCD-90 to deactivate its alarm.

    ? LCD-90 returns information about its current condition.

    + Geiger click On and RI line in RS-232 is pulsed with each click.

    - Geiger click off and RI line in RS-232 is not pulsed with each click.

    # ID string is returned

    @ Just the number part of the firmware version is returned i.e. version V2.6G would return 26

    S starts radiation data file Flash store

    X stops radiation data file Flash store

    R erases radiation data file Flash memory

    M to receive radiation data stored in flash with LCD-90's calibration factor and deadtime correction applied and expressed in units with desired decimal precision, LCD-90 sends (assuming a ten second TBU for Flash Storage):

    Start File 1
    Units: MICROSV
    Calb: 105.000
    Dead Time: 121.000
    Secs. Per pt.: 10
    File Start Time: 1379559160)
    1.086 MICROSV 1379559170 (Value TAB units TAB time code)(Note time codes are UNIX type time
    1.429 MICROSV 1379559180
    0.914 MICROSV 1379559190
    1.543 MICROSV 1379559200
    1.200 MICROSV 1379559210
    0.571 MICROSV 1379559220
    Total Points: 6
    End File 1

    Start File 2
    Units: MICROSV
    Calb: 1121058816
    Dead Time: 121.000
    Secs. Per pt.: 10
    File Start Time: 1379559228
    0.629 MICROSV 1379559238
    1.143 MICROSV 1379559248
    0.686 MICROSV 1379559258
    0.457 MICROSV 1379559268
    1.086 MICROSV 1379559278
    0.914 MICROSV 1379559288
    Total Points: 6
    End File 2


    A blank line separates each file.

    D to receive radiation data stored in flash in raw count mode i.e. with no calibration factor or deadtime correction applied. LCD-90 sends (assuming 10 second TBU for Flash Storage):

    Start File 1
    Raw Count Mode
    Secs. Per pt.: 10
    File Start Time: 1207516030
    4 1207516040
    3 1207516050
    6 1207516060
    Total Points: 3
    End File 1

    The LCD-90 will send the above for each data file stored in flash. If there are no files it returns NO FILES.

    Q toggles on-off the descriptions of the files i.e. the LCD-90 sends just the value-TAB-units-TAB-time code without the descriptions at the top and bottom of the file values. For use with the M or D as above, or P as below.
    0.629 MICROSV 1379559238
    1.143 MICROSV 1379559248

    Z toggles on-off the units character string following the value.

    J toggles on-off the time codes.
    0.629 MICROSV
    1.143 MICROSV

    ESCAPE (Esc key) aborts download, realtime mode, and returns the Q, Z and J back to the default on.

    P causes LCD-90 to immediately send the same floating point number that is being displayed on the LCD-90’s display, followed by tab units tab time code, followed by carriage-return line-feed. The above Z and J apply.
    1.143 MICROSV 1379559248

    N causes LCD-90 to send the same floating point number that is being displayed on the LCD-90’s display, followed by tab units tab time code, followed by carriage-return line-feed, sent periodically according to the display’s running average depth. The above Z and J apply.
    0.629 MICROSV 1379559238

    For example to receive the display’s average value once per 60 seconds in the form of CPM (counts per minute), first use the V command above or the LCD-90's menu system (or Aw-Radw) to set the LCD-90's display units to CPM. Next use the I command (sets running average for display and alarm as described above) to set the running average depth to 60 seconds and then send N. LCD-90 then begins sending the display’s number in the form of CPM (the 60 second running average CPM), followed by the tab character followed by the UNIX time code followed by carriage-return line-feed. The numbers received have applied the LCD-90's dead-time correction unless the dead-time is set to zero. In the case of MicroR, MicroSV and MilliR display units, the LCD-90’s calibration number is applied.

    An example using Windows HyperTerminal program (Windows “Start” button – “All Programs” – “Accessories” – “Communications” – “HyperTerminal”) or any other free terminal program such as Putty or Tere Term. Set the terminal program's COM port to the COM port the LCD-90 is plugged into and set 9600 Baud, 8 Data Bits, No Parity, 1 Stop Bit, No Flow Control.

    Hold down Ctrl key and tap G key. Let go of Ctrl key then tap V key and LCD-90 sends back “UNITS X” where X indicates the radiation units. (0=cps 1=cpm 2=microR 3=microSV 4=milliR 5=Total). Type 2(enter) and LCD-90 sends back 2 to indicate it set the radiation units to microR.

    Hold down Ctrl key and tap G key. Let go of Ctrl key then tap I key and LCD-90 sends back “Ave. Depth X” where X is the current running average depth. Type 60(enter) and LCD-90 sends back 60 to indicate it set the running average depth to 60 seconds.

    Next hold down Ctrl key and tap G key. Let go of Ctrl key and tap N key then every sixty seconds LCD-90 sends the same number that is being displayed on its display followed by a tab character followed by the UNIX time code followed by carriage-return line-feed. (Note UNIX time code is the number of seconds since Jan. 1st 1970).

    Note that while receiving this real time ASCII data, one can change the radiation units, the running average depth, the decimal precision, the calibration factor, etc., using the LCD-90's menu system buttons or by sending the relevant ASCII command characters, which will then immediately apply to the ASCII data being sent.

    If you first set the LCD-90’s time to zero using the T command, the time codes in the above example will be sent starting from zero seconds.

    A note about the LCD-90's clock display when its internal UNIX time code is set to less than or equal to 1000000000 (Sat Sep 08 21:46:40 2001):
    To match Aw-Radw's method of cancelling out any effect of variation between local time and GMT, the clock display routine within the LCD-90 first subtracts 18000 from its internal UNIX time, before the clock routine displays the time, as-long-as the UNIX time is greater than 1000000000 (Sat Sep 08 21:46:40 2001). If the LCD-90’s UNIX time code is set to less than 1000000000, the clock display routine will not subtract the 18000. This allows a clock display that starts at zero hrs. zero minutes, zero seconds when its internal UNIX time code is set to zero. (Added with firmware version 2.4B).

    To convert UNIX time code to Excel-Quattro-Lotus spreadsheet time code, one can use the formula: +((X-18000)/86400)+25569 where X equals the UNIX time code.

    One could use the conversion formula in a spreadsheet by importing the ASCII data such that column A contains the radiation values, column B contains the UNIX time code and column C contains the formula +((B1-18000)/86400)+25569. Format column C to display as Date-Time format, then one could graph column A as Y-axis and column C as X-axis.

    For examples of simple batch files to send commands to the LCD-90, including syncing the LCD-90's date-time to the PC's date-time, see command_batch_files.zip (Also found at http://www.aw-el.com/command_batch_files.zip)

    Windows HyperTerminal program can save the received data to a file as it is received as can the free terminal programs Putty and Tera Term. Microsoft Excel can be set to auto load and auto refresh the same file that the terminal program is saving to. For information about using Excel to load and auto-refresh ASCII data see: http://www.aw-el.com/excel.htm


    Below is an enlarged engineering diagram of the LCD-90's printed circuit board, as one would see it looking into the back of the LCD-90.

    The diagram shows the location of the VIB (vibrator) motor MOLEX connector.

    Also shown is the alarm pin out (pin 1) of the 9-pin RS-232 connector that is activated with alarm but only if the solder jumper has been jumped with a blob of solder.

    The alarm pin in the six-conductor RJ-12 jack is also shown. (The bottom right jack with six pins). It is always connected. The four middle pins of the RJ-12 jack connect to the RM or PMI-30 using a RJ-11 four-conductor telephone cable. The two unused outer pins are alarm and ground.

    From top to bottom the six pins in the RJ-12 jack are as follows:

    1. Ground.
    2. Ground.
    3. Signal in from the RM or PMI-30.
    4. Power Out to the RM or PMI-30. Connected to battery + or power jack + by-way-of power mosfet when the LCD-90 is turned on.
    5. Ground
    6. Alarm Out. 3.3VDC applied with alarm condition by-way-of 1K ohm resistor.

    One could gain access to the two outer RJ-12 pins by, for example, using a six-conductor telcom RJ-12 cable to connect the LCD-90 to the RM or PMI-30 and strip the two outer wires to gain access.

    Another option: Plug a six-conductor telcom RJ-12 cable into the LCD-90. Plug the other end of the cable into one of the jacks of a telcom RJ-12 Duplex Surface Jack with screw terminals and plug the RM or PMI-30's telcom RJ-11 or RJ-12 cable into the other jack of the Duplex Surface Jack. The screw terminals allow access to the two outer wires. These telcom products can be purchased from www.mcmaster.com for a few dollars.

    These alarm outputs can be used to trigger external transistor switches, power SCRs, TRIACs, etc. which in turn could activate relays, blowers, sirens, Radon mitigation equipment, etc.

    Please Note: As indicated above the alarm output pin(s) go high with alarm condition but only if one or more of the ALARM menu items are active i.e. ALARM LED, ALARM BUZ, ALARM LED BUZ and/or ALARM VIB. These items can also be set with Aw-Radw's menu item "Alarm's Action Settings" (see above). This allows turning off the alarm output pin(s) without the need to select an alarm level of zero. The alarm output pins do not have their own menu item to save program space. As indicated previously, if nothing is connected to the VIB MOLEX connector, then activation draws no extra power, therefore one could activate the ALARM VIB menu item to allow control of the alarm pins even if the ALARM LED and ALARM BUZ menu items are turned off, without drawing extra power. Contact Aware Electronics for more information.

    An enlarged engineering diagram of the LCD-90's printed circuit board
    LCD-90 Alarm Pins

    LCD-90 and RM-60. LCD-90 snap-in-place button caps are removable providing flush with face buttons

    LCD-90 and RM-60

    LCD-90 with snap-in-place button caps installed

    LCD-90 and RM-60
    Class 1 Bluetooth Adapter plugged into the LCD-90


    Below are enlarged engineering diagrams showing some of the internals of the LCD-90’s liquid crystal display and printed circuit board

    LCD-90 Liquid Crystal

    LCD-90 PC Board


    Notes about using Bluetooth wireless serial port adapters

    When using Aw-Radw to collect radiation data through a Bluetooth wireless serial port, first click to uncheck Aw-Radw's menu item: "Rad Options" - "Driver Interface" "Don't Search for Ports". Otherwise when Aw-Radw first starts, it will rapidly check for the presence of COM ports by opening and closing ports and this action might delay the Bluetooth serial port’s ability to respond to a second opening of the port for the actual radiation collection session.


    Note: If you are using WordPad to view this file and/or to view the most recent htm version, click the link or copy and paste it to your internet browser:
    http://www.aw-el.com/lcd90_man/lcd90manual.htm
    Examples of available wireless serial connections, serial to WiFi and serial to network servers

  • http://www.rovingnetworks.com/bluetooth-serial-adapters.php
  • http://www.rovingnetworks.com/rnusbt.php
  • http://www.rovingnetworks.com/rnusb.php

  • http://www.rovingnetworks.com/WiFi-Serial.php
  • VSPM-Virtual Serial Port 2.5 http://download.cnet.com/VSPM-Virtual-Serial-Port/3000-2085_4-10749594.html
  • Quatech Airborne Enterprise Wireless Device Servers
  • Airborne Enterprise Wireless Device Server Serial to 802.11b/g Wireless LAN (~$179.00 from Distributor)
  • http://www.quatech.com/pdf/thinqw.pdf

  • Quatech RS-232 Serial Device Servers
  • http://www.aircable.net/products/host-xr3.php (Bluetooth Extended range up to 19 miles (30 km))
  • http://www.moxastore.com/Default.asp

  • http://www.serialio.com/products/adaptors/BlueSnapStd.php

  • http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=serial+port+servers&fp=8f7f83f7d74d4cf7

  • http://www.google.com/products?q=wireless+rs232+serial+port&hl=en

  • http://www.bb-elec.com/products.asp
    About TI's MSP430 microprocessor platforms used by the LCD-90

  • http://www-s.ti.com/sc/techlit/slab034.pdf

  • http://focus.ti.com/paramsearch/docs/parametricsearch.tsp?familyId=914§ionId=95&tabId=1530&family=mcu

    Click the following link to open Aware Electronics website's LCD-90 page which includes suggested accessories, updated wireless connections, customer feedback and additional photos:
    Aware Electronics Corp. LCD-90 Pro


    Please Note this is a preliminary manual with enough information to get started with the LCD-90.

    If you have any questions, no matter how small, feel free to contact us.

    Phone: 800-729-5397 or Phone-Fax: +302 655-3800

    E-mail Aware@aw-el.com

    Aware Electronics Corp. Website