Scientific Solutions ® Inc.

LabMaster ® ADEX

Product Description

Our Solution Includes

Key Features


Functional Description

Analog-to-Digital Conversion

Digital-to-Analog Conversion


Digital I/O


System Resources

Technical Specifications

Frequently Asked Questions

LabMaster ADEX provides true 16 bit 330Khz measurements on a single small ISA card!


  • Complete 100% compatibility with the LabMaster AD!
  • True 16 bit ADC and DAC
  • High-speed 330Khz operation!
  • Capable of Multiple Concurrent DMA and/or IRQ for optional performance!
  • On-board Sample Memory for data integrity in long-latency operating systems!
  • Small Size. Only 8.3" long (210mm)

The LabMaster Advanced Design Extended (ADEX) combines the features of several high-performance products into a single PC card. With a full range of features such as Analog Input, Analog Output, Digital I/O and Precision Timer/Counters - the LabMaster ADEX provides the functionality required for a wide range of test and measurement applications.  Great care is taken in the design and manufacturing of the LabMaster ADEX to insure a quality product that provides accuracy and stability for demanding applications. Its unique features, rugged design and reliability make it ideal for acquiring and analyzing data in industrial, scientific, and educational fields.

Whether your applications are laboratory research, product development or production testing, the LabMaster ADEX is up to the task and should provide you with years of reliable and trusted service.

Scientific Solutions has been providing data acquisition products since 1974. The LabMaster products from Scientific Solutions are the longest selling and supported PC based data acquisition products in the world. First introduced in 1981, they created the PC data acquisition market and were the world's first add in products of any type for the IBM PC. The LabMaster ADEX continues with this fine tradition.

arrow Product Description

The LabMaster Advanced Design Extended (ADEX) brings the power, performance, and flexibility needed to handle the toughest assignments in engineering and scientific research. Designed for today's faster ISA systems, the LabMaster ADEX delivers the advanced features you expect in a data acquisition interface, with the precision of current technology and ease of use of an all software configurable interface.

LabMaster ADEX is an advanced data acquisition product. It features high speed analog-to-digital conversion, sample FIFO buffering, coordinated simultaneous ADC and DAC capabilities, programmable gain amplifiers, high speed counters/timers and digital I/O on a single card. The product comes complete with the LabMaster card, cabling, and desktop connector termination unit.

The 16-bit analog to digital converter (ADC) handles 16 to 64 input lines at rates up to 330,000 samples/second. Precision software programmable gain amplifiers handle voltage ranges between ±1.25V and ±10V. Two independent 16-bit digital to analog converters (DAC) supply a ±10V output range. Five 16-bit precision counters can time intervals with 250nsec. resolution or count events up to 6MHz. Digital I/O lines (8 input/16 output) connect to switches, LEDs, relays, etc. Connections are made using one 60-pin high density connector with included RF-shielded cable.

arrow Our Solution Includes

arrow Key Features

In/Out expansion

arrow Applications

arrow Functional Description

The LabMaster ADEX installs into an ISA expansion slot of a computer. A single high-density connector is provided for easy access to all  input and output lines.  The  LabMaster ADEX is capable of multiple concurrent DMA and/or IRQ levels for optimal performance. Designed for maximum flexibility, all features on the LabMaster ADEX are software programmable.  The LabMaster ADEX provides complete compatibility with the LabMaster AD while providing higher resolution A/D and D/A functionality.  Existing LabMaster AD applications will run without modification.

arrowAnalog-to-Digital Conversion (ADC)

The Analog-to-Digital converter (ADC) is a 16-bit successive approximation converter with a 3µSec. conversion time for a maximum throughput of 330Khz. The analog inputs (single-ended or  true-differential) pass thru a programmable, precision gain amplifier prior to the analog-to-digital conversion.  Examples  of analog inputs are: Temperature, Flow, Displacement, Voltage, Current, Acceleration, Velocity, Level, Pressure,  Moisture, and Humidity.

A conversion can be started by a software command, a  trigger signal from one of the on-board precision timer/counters, a rising edge from an external source, or self-triggered by the end of the last conversion. An on-board channel/gain memory allows any combination of channels and gains with complete auto-sequencing and burst mode performance. Channels can be selected for conversion one at a time or as a set. The software enabled auto-scan feature automatically increments  the channel number with each conversion. Both the starting and ending channel in the sequence are software selectable.

Converted data is transferred to dedicated  on-board sample memory buffers.  The buffers permit full-speed operation under non-real time operating systems.  High speed transfer of the data to memory is possible using the Direct Memory Access (DMA) capabilities of the computer. When DMA is used, the end of the conversion strobe will initiate the DMA request. When not using  DMA, the end of a conversion can be detected by using an interrupt or  polling the status register. Data is transferred  by reading the converted data byte from the buffer memory or via automatic DMA transfer.

A/D conversions can be coordinated to occur simultaneously with D/A updates.  The LabMaster ADEX comes with 16 to 64 analog input channels.

Analog-to-Digital Conversion Features
Resolution True 16-bit performance over industrial temperature range
Input Range -10volts to +10volts
Conversion Time 3µSec, allows for 330Khz sampling rate
Input Channel Count 16 to 64, single-ended or differential configuration.
Input Current 100pAmps
Input Source Impedance <10Kohms
S/(N+D) 93dB Typical
THD -100dB typical
performance No missing codes over temperature
Voltage Reference 2ppm/ deg C high-precision low tempco dedicated ADC reference
Integral linearity ± 1 LSB
Offset Error Auto-calibrated to zero
Full Scale Error Auto-calibrated within 1/3 LSB (100uVolts)
Programmable Gain 1, 2, 4, 8
On-Board Sample Memory 4 KBytes
Input Protection ± 35 volts
Gain Switching Time 500nsec
Gain Nonlinearity vs. Temperature 0.0003%
Configuration All ADC features are set by software
ADC Trigger (software selectable)
  • On-board precision timer
  • External TTL trigger
  • Software Initiated strobe 
On-Board Channel Gain Array Table Permits converting channels in any sequence at any gain at full speed
Sampling Modes (at maximum rate)
  • Single Channel
  • Non-consecutive channels
  • Auto-scan blocks of channels
Data Format 16-bit Two's Complement
Data Transfer Direct Memory Access (DMA) allows samples to be transferred from on-board memory to system memory without using the CPU
Interrupt Sources (software enabled)
  • End-of-Conversion
  • ADC Data Memory Overrun
  • Bus Mastering Terminal Count

arrowDigital-to-Analog Conversion (DAC)

Two independent 16-bit Digital-to-Analog converters (DAC) can be accurately and simultaneously updated at a 500KHz rate.  The DACs have output ranges of ±10V.  Each output value is latched and remains constant until the next digital value is presented to the DAC.  The DACs are precisely updated from an on-board sample memory buffer with replay control for wave-from generation with zero CPU overhead.  The on-board memory buffer can be loaded using PIO instructions or from system memory using DMA.  The latching of the DAC data is controlled by an on-board precision timer which can be programmed to provide the desired "sample" (update) rate.  Alternatively, an external supplied signal can be used to update the DAC from the on-board memory.As an example of using the DAC, an application could fill the DAC on-board memory buffer with samples to generate a waveform.  The LabMaster ADEX could then be configured to play out the samples to the DAC at a very precise rate.  After the samples have been sent to the DAC, the waveform generation could then stop, or the waveform could be continuously played from the on-board memory if configured for "repetitive" mode.  The on-board timers are very precise and have very little jitter.  The use of the on-board precision timer source for controlling the DAC update results in waveform generation with very low harmonic distortion.

Digital-to-Analog Conversion Features
Resolution True 16-bit performance over industrial temperature range
Output Range -10volts to +10volts
Update Rate 500KHz
Channel Count 2
DNL and INL 1 LSB max
Power-on / reset DAC outputs initialize to 0.00 volts
Glitch Impulse < 2nV - Sec
Output current 5ma
On-board Memory 4KBytes with auto-buffer replay for continuous waveform generation and glitch-free performance.
DAC update (software selectable)
  • On-board precision timer
  • External "update" signal
Data Format 16-bit Two's Complement
Data Transfer Direct Memory Access (DMA) allows samples to be transferred from system memory to on-board memory without using the CPU
Interrupt Sources (software enabled)
  • DAC Data Under-run
  • Data Transfer Terminal Count

arrow System Timer/Counter (STC)

Five independent 16-bit counters count TTL compatible pulses (rising or falling edge) generated from a wide range of equipment and sensors.  Six separate source and gate input lines are provided on the external connector for signals that can be used by any counter.  A TTL compatible pulse/level output signal is available from three counters for the user applications. Each gateable counter counts up or down (binary or BCD).  The accumulated count may be read at any time without disturbing the counting process.  Each of the counters can be connected to others to form a counter with resolution up to 80 bits.  The counters provide a resolution of 250nSec. to 2.5mSec.  External events can be counted at speeds to 6.25MHz.

System Timer/Counter Features
Resolution Each counter is 16-bits and can be cascaded to 80-bits
Number of counters Five independent counters
Logic Thresholds TTL
Interval Counting Resolution 250nSec
Event Counting 6.25Mhz (160 nSec. intervals)
On-board frequency sources 5 precision sources for interval timing to 250nSec resolution.
Input/Output Protection Advanced ESD and Over-voltage protection with fast 6nSec switching
Counter signals 15 total signals Each counter has individual
  • Input (TTL compatible pulses)
  • Output (TTL load, pulse/level)
  • Gate (TTL edge or level)
Uses for Counter Outputs
  • Trigger A/D conversions
  • Update D/A conversions
  • Trigger hardware interrupts
  • Square & complex waveforms
  • Gate counters on/off
  • Drive TTL devices

arrow Digital Input/Output (DIO)

Digital Input/Output is supported by dedicated 8 lines of digital input and 8 lines of digital output. An additional 8 digital output lines are provided and can be used for general outputs, or coordinated with the DAC outputs (including DMA control).  These lines can also be used with a strobe line as a bank select register to expand the Digital I/O up to 256 Bytes.

Digital Input/Output Features
Digital Inputs Dedicated 8-bit
Digital Outputs Dedicated 8-bit
Expansion Outputs 8-bit can be used for:
  • Additional 8 digital outputs
  • Expansion of DIO to 2048 bits
  • Digital waveform from FIFO
Digital Sample Memory 4KBytes for expansion outputs
Logic Thresholds TTL
Current sink/source 10 ma
Input/Output Protection Advanced ESD and Over-voltage protection with fast 6nSec switching

arrow Interrupts

Hardware interrupts (IRQs) allow the computer to react to special events when they occur.  The LabMaster ADEX provides software enabled sources for up to three simultaneous interrupts. Internal interrupt sources are counter output, A/D or D/A data overrun, and A/D or D/A DMA transfer complete.  High speed Direct Memory Accessing (DMA) permit the transfer of data to/from the LabMaster card without CPU intervention.  Normally two DMA channels are used to allow simultaneous ADC and DAC operations.  A single interrupt can be used with the ISR interrogating a status register to determine the interrupt source.  Alternatively, two separate interrupt sources can be used for ADC and DAC operations.

Interrupts & DMA Features
Interrupt Channels (software selectable) Supports three simultaneous interrupts.  Normally one used, with status register to determine source
Interrupt Sources (software enabled)
  • Counter Output
  • A/D over-run
  • D/A under-run
  • A/D DMA transfer complete
  • D/A DMA transfer complete
DMA Channels Normally two used for independent, simultaneously ADC and DAC operations.
DMA sources
  • A/D data from card memory
  • D/A data to card memory

arrow System Resources

The LabMaster ADEX occupies a single ISA slot and is a short board for today's smaller computer cases.  The connection from the computer to the outside world is thru a small 60 pin High-Density connector.  The LabMaster ADEX comes with a double-shielded 1.5 meter cable.  The connectors on the cable and on the LabMaster ADEX are designed for only one correct alignment.  The cable connectors have retaining clips that lock the cable to the mating connector on the computer board.  These clips prevent the cable from being accidentally disconnected and provide a very fast and easy method of connection.

The following picture shows the pin out of the 60pin connector as viewed from the back of the LabMaster ADEX.

ADEX 60 Pin Connector Pin Out

The LabMaster ADEX occupies 16 locations in the I/O space of the computer.  The address of each card in your computer must be unique.  The default base address of 02C0h can be easily changed if there is an address conflict or you are installing multiple LabMaster ADEX cards in your system.

Besides the Base Address I/O space, the LabMaster ADEX can also use Interrupt and DMA resources of your computer.  These resources are software setable and are generally selected by your application software or the LabMaster ADEX device driver.

System Resources
Interrupt Channels (software selectable) 10, 11, 12 or 15
DMA Channels (software selectable) 5, 6 or 7
Base I/O Address (switch selectable) 02C0h-02CFh

Easy to change if conflicts occur

Computer Interface Single ISA 16-bit short slot
Board Size Short card, 8.3" length with narrow height to clear system board.
External Connection 60pin High-Density
Standard Cable Double Shielded, 1.5 meters

The LabMaster ADEX provides 100% compatibility with the original LabMaster AD.  It adds features such as true 16-bit A/D and D/A and is a much smaller size for today's slim case computers.  The following picture compares the size of the LabMaster AD and the LabMaster ADEX.


arrow Technical Specifications

A/D Characteristics
Resolution 16-bit
Input Range ±10V
±10V (per interval) 305µV/Int.
Conversion Time 3µSec.
Maximum Sampling rate 330,000 samples/second
Channel Count 16 to 64
Input Bias Current 100pAmps
Input Source Current < 10Kohms
S/(N+D) 93dB typical
THD -100dB typical
Low Drift Voltage Reference 2 ppm/ºC
Integral Linearity ±1 LSB
Full Scale Error 1/3 LSB, auto-calibrated
Offset Error 0 volts, auto-calibrated
Performance No missing codes
Programmable Gain 1, 2, 4, 8
Gain switching time 500 nSec.
Gain Non-linearity vs. Temp 0.0003%
On-board Sample Memory 4 KBytes
Input Protection ±35 volts
Data Format 16 bit Two's Complement
Data Transfer Demand mode DMA

D/A Characteristics
Resolution 16-bit
Output Range ±10V
±10V (per interval) 305µV/Int.
Maximum Update rate 500,000 samples/second
Channel Count 2
Differential Non-Linearity 1 LSB max
Integral Non-Linearity 1 LSB max
Power-on / reset condition 0 volts
Glitch Impulse < 2nV - Sec.
Output Current 5ma
On-board Sample Memory 4 KBytes
Data Format 16 bit Two's Complement
Data Transfer Demand mode DMA

System Timer/Counter Characteristics
Resolution 16-bit / counter
Number of Counters 5 Independent
Maximum Counter Resolution 80bit by cascading
Logic Thresholds TTL
Interval Counting Resolution 250nSec.
Event Counting 6.25Mhz (160nSec. intervals)
Input/Output Protection ESD Overvoltage, 6nSec. switching

Digital Input/Output Characteristics
Dedicated inputs 8-bit
Dedicated Outputs 8-bit
Expansion Outputs 8-bit
Input Expansion Capabilities 2048-bit
Output Expansion Capabilities 2048-bit
Digital Sample Memory 4 KBytes
Logic Thresholds TTL
Current Sink/Source 9 ma
Input/Output Protection ESD Overvoltage, 6nSec. switching

System Resources
Bus Interface Single ISA slot
IRQ Channels (software selected) 10, 11, 12 or 15
DMA Channels ((software selected) 5, 6, or 7
I/O Address (switch selected) 16 locations
Default I/O Address 02C0h-02CFh
Bus Load 1 TTL load/bus line

Environmental Specifications
Operating Temperature 0º to 70º Celsius
Storage Temperature -25º to +85º Celsius
Relative Humidity To 95% non-condensing
Agency Approvals Class A, CE-Mark

arrow Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Does the LabMaster ADEX replace the LabMaster AD?

A1. Yes.  The LabMaster ADEX is 100% compatible with the LabMaster AD so it will run all the 'AD' applications.

Q2. Why is the ADEX better than the 'AD'

A2. The LabMaster ADEX has a number of advantages including true 16 bit ADC and DAC, and a much smaller physical size.

Q3. Does the LabMaster ADEX have support under all the various versions of Windows?

A3. Scientific Solutions offers true 32-bit kernel mode drivers for the LabMaster ADEX.  These drivers support the various flavors of 32-bit Windows (95/98/NT/2000).

Q4. If I have a DOS application that works with the LabMaster ADEX, do I need the windows drivers to use this application under windows?

A4. First, most DOS applications are written to access the hardware directly. Win 9x allows direct hardware manipulation.  Windows NT/2000 does not.  This means DOS applications should run under Win 9x, but probably will not run under Win NT/2000.  In any case, you do not need a Windows driver to run a DOS application under windows.  However, the driver would help in identifying and resolving resource conflicts with other devices in your computer.

Q5. How do I convert the A/D data from the LabMaster ADEX into volts?

A5. The conversion of the "raw" data to the actual units you are measuring (volts in this example), depends upon four factors - the resolution of the ADC(16bit), the range (-10v to +10volts) of the ADC, the Gain used when the analog signal was converted, and the format of the raw data (Two's complement). Here is a quick equation that you can use, however make sure the arithmetic you are using is "signed" to account for two's complement formats:

volts = (count) * (range) / (gain) / (2 raised to the power of "resolution")

Example: count of 3FFFh, range of -10v to +10v, gain = 1, resolution of 16bit:

note: 3FFFh = 16383 decimal

volts = (3FFF) * (20) / (1) / (2 raised to the power of 16)

volts = (16383) * (20) / (1) / (65536)

volts = 4.999

Q5. What is the direct programming sequence for performing software initiated A/D conversions?

A5. The direct access code to configure the LabMaster AD to perform A/D conversions using software start-of-conversion is as follows:

OUT 2C8, D0        ; disarm counter 5
OUT 2C9, 0           ; select Gain/Array table addr=0
OUT 2CA,0           ; write channel to convert, in this case channel=0
OUT 2C8,5            ; point to counter 5
OUT 2C6, 521       ; mode register
OUT 2C6,2            ; load register
OUT 2C8, 50         ; xfer load register to counter
OUT 2C8, 30         ; arm counter 5
OUT 2C8, F5        ; step counter 5
OUT 2CE, 80        ; enable ADC FIFO
OUT 2C9, 0          ; perform conversion of channel at Gain/Array table address =0