Equipment Cables

From Casper

Jump to: navigation, search


Power Cables


Both BEE2 and IBOB are powered by a single +5VDC supply. The power cable uses a Molex 42816-0212 housing along with Molex 42815-series crimp terminals.

Due to their high current draw, it is recommended that BEE2 power cables use at least 8AWG wire. 10 or 12 AWG is customary for IBOBs.


ROACH boards use standard ATX form-factor power supplies and cables.

For the vegas system at NRAO, Green Bank, the Roach2 rev2 boards are powered by a 120W picoPSU power supply unit, which is powered by a TDK-Lambda +12VDC power supply

Serial Cables


The BEE2 and IBOB boards use a custom 5-pin inline connector for their RS-232 interfaces. A wiring diagram for this cable can be found here. The 5-pin connector on the BEE2/IBOB end should be 1x5 0.1" (2.54mm) spacing.

Suggested parts: Molex 70066-series crimp housing + 70058-series or 71851-series crimp terminals.


With its full-functionality PowerPC, ROACH is considered a DTE. As such, a null-modem RS-232 DB9 serial cable should be used to connect another computer system to the ROACH's serial port.

XAUI/10GbE Cables

The following cables have been used with CASPER boards for high-speed serial links:

For longer transmission distances (tested at BWRC up to 100m), an optical transceiver can be used to adapt CX4 to optical fiber: Fujitsu FPD-010R008-0E + FOC-CCxxxx

Tyco(pre-2010may14 Zarlink) ZL60615 family of fiber optic CX4 cables eg OFNR 5m ZL60615MJDC and 10m ZL60615MJDE and OFNP 15m ZL60615MLDF

Tyco PARALIGHT fiber optic CX4 cables eg OFNP 2064782-5

Here is information on the CX4 cabling the UCB's Radio Astronomy Lab uses at ATA and other observatories and in the lab:

iBob v1.3 -> BEE2 1.0 and 1.5m WL Gore Cu cables.
iBob v1.3 -> BEE2 10m and 15m Zarlink FO cables.
iBob v1.3 -> BEE2 lab test only: 15m Tyco PARALIGHT FO cables.
iBob v1.3 -> ATA F Board 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 3m WL Gore Cu cables.
iBob v1.3 -> Roach1 5m Zarlink FO cables and briefly 10m Zarlink FO cables.
BEE2 <-> BEE2 1 and 1.5m WL Gore Cu cables.
BEE2 <-> BEE2 0.5m WL Gore Cu cables during the self test.
Roach1 <-> Fujitsu XG700 3m WL Gore Cu cables
Roach1 <-> Fujitsu XG2000 3m WL Gore Cu cables
Roach1 <-> Fujitsu XFPCXF4 3m WL Gore Cu cables
Fujitsu switches <-> Chelsio N310E-CX 10 GbE NIC 1m WL Gore Cu cables.

Here is information on the SFP+ cabling used in the vegas system at NRAO, Green Bank:

Roach2 Rev2 w/ SFP+ mezz. board -> Brocade TurboIron 24X -- 15m LC/LC duplex fiber cable, Tripp Lite PN N320-15M, with
a Finisar PN FTLX8571D3BCL transceiver on each end
High Performance Computer <-> Brocade TurboIron 24X -- 1.0m Mellanox copper cable, PN MC3309130-001
High Performance Computer <-> Brocade TurboIron 24X -- 5.0m Molex copper cable, PN 74752-3501

ATA purchased Zarlink (now Tyco) FO cables from:

Anthony Thia
TechBiz, Inc.
48521 Warm Springs Blvd.,#316
Fremont, CA 94539
Tel: 510 249 6800 x 101
Fax: 510 249 6808
Anthony has provided very professional service. Very prompt, helpful, ...

Since 2010may14 these Zarlink part numbers are now Tyco products and are still available from TechBiz.

Warnings about fiber optic units and more generally any sort of active CX4 cable assembly.

They are powered off of 3.3VDC supplied by the host (BEE2, iBob, Roach, NIC, switch) board's
power supply via the CX4(Infiniband 4x) connector. Not all hosts support active (powered)
CX4 links.
Do not count on the BEE2 board having the necessary supply current to power
a full or even partial complement of active CX4 links even though it has the
auto-detect power up circuitry on every CX4 port.


The BEE2's TI PT6521 8Amp @ 3.3V integrated switching
regulator isn't able to power the usual loads on the board and more than 5 or so of the Zarlink
FO transceivers. Maybe less.
This component, P26, isn't overheating (w/ proper heatsink) rather it momentarily goes into over
current shutdown; and then cycles on and off.

1 or 2 active FO Zarlink cables on 1 BEE2:
(With ~12 other passive copper CX4 cables)
BEE2 runs fine. ATA runs its ~ 16 Beamformer BEE2s this way.

3 active FO Zarlink cables on 1 BEE2:
(With ~12 other passive copper CX4 cables)
BEE2 runs fine I think but I've only run this for short tests.

4 active FO Xarlink cables on 1 BEE2:
untested. Just never got around to this case.

5 active FO Zarlink cables on 1 BEE2:
With ~12 other passive copper CX4 cables:
BEE2 lock up after a few seconds.
Totally UNusable.
Have to power cycle to wake back up.

8 active FO Zarlink cables on 1 BEE2:
With no other passive copper XC4 cables: BEE2 passed 1
execution of the "TESTALL" command of the Test Suite.
I didn't try anything else; never tried with any operational gateware.

iBob v1.3 Boards with 1 FO Zarlink cable:

runs without trouble.
Personal tools