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Manuscript Title: A data acquisition system for spectroscopy using an IBM PC.
Authors: M. Lowe, S. Blumenroeder, P.H. Kutt
Program title: SPEX8
Catalogue identifier: ABBZ_v1_0
Distribution format: gz
Journal reference: Comput. Phys. Commun. 50(1988)367
Programming language: Fortran, Microsoft Macro Assembler.
Computer: IBM PC/XT, PC/AT.
Operating system: DOS VERSION 3.1.
RAM: 98K words
Word size: 16
Peripherals: disc.
Keywords: Molecular physics, Experiment, Data acquisition, Raman spectroscopy, Real-time, Personal computer, Ibm pc, Clock interrupts, Rs-232, Pulse generation, Interfacing.
Classification: 16.4.

Nature of problem:
The problem is the development of a flexible real-time data acquisition system controlled by a personal computer. We specifically applied the program to Raman spectroscopy, but the interfacing and timing problems are common in many laboratory applications.

Solution method:
An IBM PC coordinates all activities of the system, including photon counting, movement of the stepping motor which adjusts the optics in the spectrometer, display of spectra in real time, and analysis during acquisition. The program consists of a main routine and several subroutine packages for controlling external devices.

Unusual features:
This program was written for a specific hardware configuration, in which all of the components are standard, commerically available, and widely used. Some modifications may be needed for different experimental setups. This program can serve as a starting point for designing a new data acquistion program. The subroutines provide instructive examples on sending TTL pulses through the parallel port, clock-driven interrupts, real-time graphics, and interfacing via RS-232.

Running time:
This is a real-time data acquisition program which is designed to run for the duration of the experiment. The running time is typically on the scale of hours to days.