Using the Built-in Photodiode Trigger on SP620U and SP503U Cameras

With the introduction of BeamGage the capability of using the built in photodiode trigger in the SP camera series is now available. However, some customers may not know how to use it or that they even had this capability.

With the recently released BeamGage version 5.4 this capability is now available. Some cameras may need to have their firmware upgraded where others just need to update to the latest version of BeamGage. To see if your camera has the latest firmware make sure you are using BeamGage 5.4 and connect your camera to the computer. Launch BeamGage and when it opens click on the Source tab. Then click on the Tools button and in the drop down list select Firmware Info. This will turn on a new section of the ribbon bar that will show the Current Version of firmware installed in the SP series of cameras. Depending on your computer screen resolution you may need to click on this section of the ribbon bar to expand this area to be able to see this information. For the SP620U it needs to be running version 207 or higher and for the SP503U it needs to be running version 305 or higher.

If by chance your camera's firmware is not a high enough version, you can easily return your camera to Ophir-Spiricon to be reprogrammed with the latest firmware to enable this capability. Please send an e-mail to with the subject line of "RMA for camera firmware upgrade". An RMA Check List form will be e-mailed back to you to complete with your information and the S/N of your camera. Once we receive this form back we will e-mail you an RMA number and shipping instructions for sending back your camera to have the firmware upgraded to enable the built in photodiode trigger.

This built in photodiode trigger is a great option to have if your source is pulsed and you do not have an electronic sync signal to be able to sync the data acquisition of the camera to the source. This build in photodiode works for pulsed sources up to 1 KHz to be able to isolate one pulse per frame.

To enable this function, after making sure the firmware is the most current, all you need to do is click on the Source tab and then in the Trigger section drop down the Trigger box and select On-Board Photodiode. You will get a message that pops up stating "Make sure that the laser is turned off and lighting conditions in the room are similar to those that will exist during the laser measurement." When you click OK you will get a new box that comes up saying "Photo-diode calibration complete! You may now trigger the camera from the on-board photo-diode." Click OK or allow it to time out which will automatically click the OK button. Now the camera will wait for a laser pulse to illuminate the built in photodiode sensor to advance to the next frame.

Please note when using our LBS-300 beam sampler/attenuator option you may need to mount the camera inverted so the built in photodiode sensor will be uncovered from behind the mechanical housing of the LBS-300 assembly.

If you have any questions, or we can be of any assistance, please don't hesitate to contact our Service Department at:Ophir-Spiricon 435-753-3729

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