Three-Channel Pulse Controller

Three-Channel Pulse Controller

The RG Three-channel pulse controller is designed with three independent computer-controlled pulse outputs …read more



The RG Three-channel Pulse Controller is designed with three independent computer-controlled pulse outputs, which may be run synchronously or asynchronously. Each output can work as either a 5V logic output, to directly drive other digital circuits, or it can function as a high voltage, open-collector output using the internal built-in solid-state relay, to drive loads directly as a low-side switch. Each output has a frequency range of 4.1 Hz to 5 MHz with a minimum output pulse width of 80 ns.

The included PC software communicates to the controller through the USB interface and includes a graphical panel for adjusting input parameters as well as a terminal window and scripting host for writing VBScript programs for implementation of more complex control schemes. The Controller software is currently written in Visual Basic 6.0 but is in the process of being integrated into the new RG Control System Suite, which will enable control of not only the three-channel pulse controller, but also any programmable test and measurement equipment.

Output Stage Characteristics

  • Three digitally controlled channels which can be ran synchronously or asynchronously with each other
  • Frequency range of 4.1Hz to 5MHz
  • Phase control between channels of 0° to 360° with delay resolution down to 1.05 ns per step. Pulse width control from 80 ns up

Output Stage Characteristics

  • Output stage operated from regulated 12V Switching supply
  • MOSFETs and drivers socketed for easy replacement
  • Access to MOSFET Drain, and ground of each channel on output terminal connector
  • Aux 5V TTL/CMOS compatible digital output available from same output connections for driving external components

Safety Features

  • HV transient suppression protection circuitry installed through board to protect against HV discharges
  • Output stage MOSFETs & drivers individually protected against transients higher than 1500V
  • 5V output switch is short circuit protected to prevent damage to the unit.
  • Galvanically Isolated USB input for PC connection
  • Protection diodes added to all inputs and outputs to prevent damage from reversed supply and signal inputs.
  • Isolated “Kill switch” trigger input to allow board to respond to fault conditions (E.G. stop your Experiment from melting down)

Additional Features

  • USB port on board for programming and communication with microcontroller
  • Auxiliary general purpose IO port to allow 4 additional peripherals to be connected simultaneously.

Planned Peripherals

  • Data-logging multimeter for monitoring voltage, current, temperature, and other measurable parameters
  • External control panel to modify output parameters without computer connected
  • Three and four-phase sine wave output board
  • Programmable DC power supply
  • Motor control module
  • Sensor Module

PC Software Features

  • PC Control of all channels frequency, phase, and pulse width/duty cycle
  • Enable/Disable Kill switch feature; set fault response
  • Embedded VBScript engine to allow custom control algorithms and macros
  • Support for one or more External serial multimeters for reading in real-time current and voltage values
  • Capability to upgrade firmware via the USB connection.
  • ActiveX Control available for software development
  • Command line support for command execution from outside programs.



  1. The minimum pulse width is stated when the units are operating in high frequency mode (fout ≥ 14.65 kHz). When at lower frequencies, the minimum pulse width increases to 6.88 μs.
  2. Switching Voltage is only guaranteed for the factory installed 1500V IGBTs. When using alternative IGBTs/MOSFETs in the internal output stage, the maximum voltage is depending on the rating of the IGBT/MOSFET used.
  3. The switch power dissipation rating is specified for the factory installed 1500V IGBTs with no additional heat sink added. Power dissipation can be increased with the addition of a heat-sink by the customer and adequate cooling.

The High-Speed Half-Bridge Switch is based on the same architecture as the SSR30A, but includes additional hardware on-board to fine-tune the turn-on and turn-off times of the switch. This board is specifically tailored for producing nanosecond pulses at high voltage in a half-bridge configuration. Locating both the high and low-side switches on the board minimizes lead inductance and reduces parasitics that can reduce performance. The design also features a negative gate drive voltage to ensure that the MOSFETs or IGBTS are turned off as fast as possible.