BCAM Calibration Manual

© 2008 Alex Asen, Brandeis University.


Calibration Procedure
Cheat Sheet


Outline of BCAM calibration procedures followed at Brandeis. This manual is designed to compliment, but not replace, an in person demonstration.

After practice, expect it to take about five minutes to calibrate a single ended BCAM and nine minutes to calibrate a double ended BCAM.

Calibration Procedure

  1. In the Calibration notebook, write down your name, the date and the type of BCAM you are calibrating. Take notes in this notebook as you go. The Calibration Notebook and the other tools you need are in the BCAM Bucket.

  2. BCAM Bucket
    BCAM Bucket
    notebook BCAM Note Book

  3. Align the roll cage base plate with the appropriate arrow pointing towards the back wall. Do not overtighten the allen bolts that hold it down.

  4. roll cage base
    Roll Cage Base

  5. Gently, place the aluminum roll cage on top of the base plate. On the bottom of the cage are three grooves. First lock in the cone groove, then the slot, then the flat. The roll cage is fragile and must be handled gently. When setting it down, you should make almost no clanking noise. Tiny dents in the roll cage from repeatedly being set down too hard will ruin the calibration data.

  6. Place the BCAM on the roll cage. Azimuthal BCAMs require an adapter. Use only the torque Screw driver with a blue handle to attach the adapter plates. DON'T USE ANYTHING BUT A TORQUE SCREW DRIVER. The torque driver will prevent overtightening. A normal allen key will easily allow you to overtighten and damage the cage.

  7. torque driver
    Torque Driver

  8. Again, using a torque Screw driver with a blue handle, screw the BCAM down to the roll cage. You will have to remove two piece of tape from the BCAM to slide the bolt through it. The Polar and Azimuthal BCAMs require different size bolts.

  9. BCAMs on cage
    BCAMs Bolted to Roll Cage

  10. Plug the ethernet cable labeled "7" into the BCAM.

  11. Download and install the LWDAQ and download a copy of the Apparatus Database.

  12. Open the LWDAQ. From the "Tools" menu choose "BCAM Calibrator."

  13. Click "Configure," click "Choose Apparatus Database File," and point to the Apparatus Database you just downloaded. Next, "Choose Calibration Database file." Name the file "date_yourname_calibration_data.txt" and close the configure box. This file is the text document where all the data you create will be stored. At the end of each day, email it to Kevan. Create a new file each time you calibrate.

  14. Pay attention to the text at the top of the Calibrator window, it will be your guide. As it says, click "Execute."

  15. Under "calibration type" note:
    f = front
    r = rear
    c = camera / CCD
    s =sensor / laser

  16. Under "operator _name" write your name and write the entire BCAM barcode number under "device_ id." Note that each BCAM type has a different letter preceding the numbers in the barcode:
    A = Black Azimuthal BCAM
    B = Blue Azimuthal BCAM
    L = Black Polar BCAM
    M = Blue Polar BCAM

  17. In the notebook record the calibration type and the last three digits of the BCAM barcode number. It is easy to lose track of what you have done, taking notes has been proven to save everyone a lot of time.

  18. Click "Execute"

  19. If calibrating the CCD, put a piece of paper in front of the BCAM to take a test image. You want to make sure that the CCD is not dirty. Refer to the the CCD Cleaning sections of the BCAM repair manual. Make a checkmark in your notes to record that the test was done.

  20. BCAM dirt test
    BCAM with Test Paper in Front

  21. Click "Forward". You will use the Reference BCAM Block if you are calibrating lasers or Source Block if you are calibrating the CCD. Gently put the block in place. DO NOT SLIDE IT ACROSS THE TABLE. The aluminum will wear away, ruining the block. Plug in the block and take an extra second to make sure it is flush with the metal edge of the ruler and the peg.

  22. Reference BCAM Block
    Reference BCAM Block
    Source Block Near
    Source Block at Near Position
    Source Block Far
    Source Block at Far Position

  23. Follow what the LWDAQ says. Always rotate the BCAM towards yourself except when rotating from 270 degree position back to 0 degree position. In this case rotate a -270 degrees so you untangle the ethernet cord.

  24. BCAM Rotation
    BCAM Rotation Positions

  25. Remember to press "Store" when instructed to, otherwise your work will not be saved. Calibrate each part of a BCAM before moving on to the next BCAM. Don't forget to re-cover the bolt holes with tape.

  26. Email Kevan your calibration file at the end of the day.

Cheat Sheet