Main Vision Manual


Vision Program for Precision Testers

The Precision Family of Ferroelectric Testers
The Precision Materials Analyzer family of ferroelectric testers provides a full range of high-speed, high-precision ferroelectric material characterization instruments to meet every budget and research need. A comparison of model cost, speed and voltage capability is given at Vision Testers. All systems are capable of internally-generated sample stimulus voltages of 10.0 Volts1. Most systems include internal amplifiers that allow 100.0-Volt measurements. 200.0-Volt and 500.0-Volt options are also available. Voltages of up to 10,000 Volts can be used by adding an accessory High Voltage Amplifier (HVA) and High Voltage Interface (HVI). The researcher may connect any existing amplifier, provided a logic unit (known as an ID Module) is obtained from RTI. The latest HVI model, released in 2017, has the ID module built into the instrument. It is programmed for delivery at Radiant Technologies, Inc., but may be reprogrammed at any time by the user.
The Vision Program
A single, unifying program, called Vision, provides a consistent compatible interface across all hardware architectures. It is designed with the understanding that what is important in ferroelectric testing is maintaining a complete and accurate history of the signals applied to, and the responses of, a sample. The researcher has the capability to create custom experiments that are as simple or elaborate as required. Experiments can be run, rerun, reconfigured and repeated. As an experiment is executed, it is saved along with the measured data to be recalled for reuse. Data can easily be recalled for examination. On-board tools are available to provide data analysis and comparison of multiple data vectors. Data may be exported directly to Excel, Word, text files or a printer for analysis and publication. Data are organized into archives that hold both the data and the experiments that produced them. These archives are uniquely named and are written to individual files that may be sorted and stored in any way that is most logical to the researcher. These files can be emailed or written to an external data storage (USB drive, CD, etc.) for use by other researchers that are running the Vision program. Vision can be installed on non-tester computers for the purpose of recalling and reviewing data or creating experimental Test Definitions.
This manual provides a complete description and set of instructions for the use of Vision Version 5.x.x. (As of this writing, Vision 5.26.4 is being shipped.) The system is large and complex, but is designed so that the new user can begin to get immediate results without exhaustive training. Much of the detail of the program is segmented into Tasks that perform specific functions. Tasks may be very simple or very complex, but the user need only learn to use the Tasks that are important to the research at hand. The manual gives a complete overview of the program, a number of tutorial sessions, step-by-step operating procedures for the most common operations in Vision and a detailed description of each Task including a discussion of every control that appears on every dialog. The Task descriptions are also available using the Click For Task Instructions button on any dialog associated with the Task.
The Vision program, its Tasks and its Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL - Previously referred to as the "Driver"), as well as these help pages, are under constant development. In order to use the most up-to-date and efficient release of the Vision program please visit the Vision download form regularly. The current Vision version and release date are noted near the top of the form. If an update is in order, fill in the form and click Submit. You will be linked to the Vision installer download page. Review the information on the page. Then click the installer download button and install or update per the instructions on the page.
A Note on Vision Structure and Versioning
The Vision program is a framework program that provides services to Vision Tasks. Tasks are semi-independent agents that perform the work within the program. Tasks loaded by Vision at runtime into the Task Library. Some Tasks are also loaded into the Vision QuikLook Menu.
Figure 1 - Tasks in the Task Library and Figure 2 - Task in the QuikLook Menu.
The Vision program version is divided into three sections. The first is the main version. It represents major changes or additions to the program that occur infrequently. The current version is "5". The second digit represents changes to the main framework program that happen frequently but are of significant influence on the program. At this writing the second digit in the Vision version is "12".  In some cases these changes will not be apparent to the customer. The final digit (currently "10") represents minor changes. In all cases, changes to the Vision version number refer only to changes to the framework program, not to changes to individual Tasks or groups of Tasks. The Vision version can be seen by going to Help->About Vision. Note that the "(R)" in the version number indicates that this is a release compilation of the program for customers.
Figure 3 - The "About Vision" Dialog.
As a semi-independent agent, each Task has its own version. The first two numbers of the Task version will always agree with the first two digits of the Vision program version. When the Vision version was updated to "5.12.0" all Tasks were also updated to "5.12.0". After that point, the Vision program version - representing changes to the framework - and the Task version will diverge as changes are made to individual Tasks. Task versions will also differ from each other. The configuration dialog for each Task will show the Task version, the date of the version and the initial release year. Measurement Tasks that present data in a dialog will show the same information on that dialog.
Figure 4 - Task Versions.
The "About Vision" dialog of Figure 3 also shows a "H.A.L.". The Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) is a Windows DLL program that takes input from Vision and formats it so that it can be understood by the tester. It communicates the information to the tester and receives tester response. The response is reformatted for, and passed back to, the Vision program. The HAL program version will generally resemble the Vision version but is completely independent. The "Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)" has been recently renamed. It was previously known as the "Driver".
If you are having trouble with your tester, your Vision program or with Windows interface to either we will often ask you for the Vision and/or HAL version. Vision provides tools that make it easy for you to obtain that information in a suitable format and send it to us. If we need such information we will guide you to those tools.
Vision is freely distributed to any and all parties who have an interest without further license. The program may be downloaded any number of times and may be instaled on any number of host computers. The practical uses of the program are limited without a Precision tester, but the program is fully operational with or without a tester. With no tester present, data-collecting Tasks will generate meaningless synthetic data. Any party can register a DataSet taken by any other party to review archived data and investigate the construction of the experiment (Test Definition).
Licensing Custom Task Suites
A number of groups of Vision Tasks, known as Custom Task Suites must be purchased and licensed before they will operate. The Tasks are freely distributed with Vision. Any user can open the Task configuration dialog for review and to access the Task Instructions. Any user can review Custom Task data collected by a licensed installation of the Custom Task. However, to operate the Task it must be licensed. The license is in the form of a file named Security.sec that is placed in C:\Program Files (x86)\Radiant Technologies\Vision\System. The Task is coded to the Task Suite or Task Suites being purchased. It is also coded to an embedded ID in the tester for which it is purchased. In order for a Custom Task to operate, the security.sec file must be in place and the specified tester must be connected to the Vision host and powered.
The security.sec file may be copied to any number of host computers. However, it cannot be transferred to any other Precision Tester.
Task Suites include:
Figure 5 - Notice Appears when Unlicensed Piezo is Accessed. The Configuration Dialog will Open when the Notice is Closed.
A small note on text format in these Help pages.
There is not a large list of various textual representations in the Vision help pages. However, these few rules do apply:
A small note on Vision documentation
This collection of documents forms the main Vision manual. It, along with Task-specific and dialog-specific help, accessed by clicking Click For Task Instructions/Click For Dialog Instructions on any Vision dialog, form the complete set of program documentation. The Vision program changes frequently. Documentation will normally lag behind program updating, sometimes by significant periods of time. One consequence is often that an image of a dialog or set of controls in the documents to not exactly resemble the program windows being discussed. Nevertheless, Vision is designed to grow naturally so that older documentation will still be correct and helpful, even where it may be incomplete.
Note that Task Instructions will provide more detailed Task-specific information that is also likely to be more up-to-date than these general Vision help pages. The Task Instructions should form the major reference for the Vision program.
System Requirements
All modern Windows-based host computers have sufficient resources to install and operate the Vision program. Vision should install and operate correctly under 32-bit and 64-bit Windows operating system from Windows XP through Windows 10. However Radiant Technologies, Inc. can no longer provide customer support for installations on Windows versions older than Windows 7.
Maintaining Vision
The Vision program does not have tools installed on the host computer to search for version updates. However, the Vision program is upgraded very frequently. Two or three version updates in a week are not unheard of. Often these updates include significant improvements or important fixes. Furthermore, the first request when you are asking Radiant Technologies, Inc. for assistance will be to ensure that you are running the latest Vision.
To update Vision, go to, fill in the form and click Submit. You will be linked to the Vision Installer Download page. Review the information on the page and click the download button. Acknowledge all warning. Allow the file to download and then run it. The installer will quickly update most installations. Older Vision installations must be uninstalled before the installer will write the newer version. Uninstalling using the standard Windows program uninstall tool will leave custom files such as security.sec and custom DataSets in place.
Figure 6 -Vision Install/Update Form.
Figure 7 - Vision Installer Download Page
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