Aperture and Optical Fibers
The optical fibers are made of acrylic plastics. They are softer than glass and can be scratched by sand, metal and other hard objects. These fibers are also sensitive to alcohol and organic solvents. If they must be cleaned, use lens paper, distilled water and mild detergent. When the case is opened, be careful not to touch the fibers. They are glued on both ends and may break when touched.
No UV Light
UV light shortens the lifetime of the fiber optics. If your light source emits UV light and your microscope transmits it, use the appropriate filters to make sure the array aperture is not exposed to this light.
Moisture is damaging to some of the electronic components of the array. Thus it is recommended that the array be stored and operated in a dry environment (humidity <40%).
Avoiding Power-on Surge
There are 1536 high gain amplifier chips in each system. All powered by the same power supply. The accumulated power-on surge current can be very large, causing damage and/or smoke. Be sure to turn the power on and off when all the gain switches are in the low position (X1). Power-on surge may also damage the A/D board when it is not powered. Always have the computer on before turning on the array amplifiers. One way to achieve most this is to leave the computer on continuously.
Measure the resting light intensities with the AC coupling time constant set to 2 seconds.
Cross talk Between Channels
There is always some cross talk between channels even if no channels are saturated. Keeping the amplifier gain small (but large enough so that the noise is digitized well) will inimize this cross talk (<5%). Because this level of cross talk is generally less than the noise in the measurement, we have never detected it in a real experiment. During testing using a step of light that is too large (it saturates some channels) will cause a very large cross talk between channels.
Green Grounding Terminal
In typical installations this grounding terminal is not used. If line frequency noise is detected, you might try connecting this ground to other grounds in the apparatus.