Troubleshooting

This section aims to help the user solve and avoid problems while using the software and operating the instrument.

Common Problems

Your MFLI Instrument is an advanced piece of laboratory equipment which has many more features and capabilities than a traditional lock-in amplifier. In order to benefit from these, the user needs access to a large number of settings in the LabOne User Interface. The complexity of the settings might overwhelm a first-time user, and even expert users can get surprised by certain combinations of settings. To avoid problems, it’s good to use the possibility to save and load settings in the Config Tab. This allows one to keep an overview by operating the instrument based on known configurations. This section provides an easy-to-follow checklist to solve the most common mishaps.

Table 1. Common Problems
Problem Check item

The software cannot be installed or uninstalled

Please verify you have administrator/root rights.

The software cannot be updated

Please use the Modify option in Windows Apps & Features functionality. In the software installer select Repair, then uninstall the old software version, and install the new version.

The Instrument does not turn on

Please verify the power supply connection and inspect the fuse. The fuse holder is integrated in the power connector on the back panel of the instrument.

The Instrument performs poorly in single-ended operation

the signal inputs of the instrument might be set to differential operation. Please ensure that differential input mode is turned off in the Lock-in Tab or In / Out Tab.

The Instrument has a high input noise floor (when connected to host computer by USB)

the USB cable connects the Instrument ground to computer ground, which might inject some unwanted noise to the measurements results. In this case it is recommended to use the Ethernet connection which is galvanically isolated using a UTP Cat 5 or 6 cable (UTP stands for "unshielded twisted pair").

The Instrument performs poorly at low frequencies (below 100 Hz) :

the signal inputs of the instrument might be set to AC operation. Please verify to turn off the AC switch in the Lock-in Tab or In / Out Tab.

The Instrument performs poorly during operation

the demodulator filters might be set too wide (too much noise) or too narrow (slow response) for your application. Please verify if the demodulator filter settings match your frequency versus noise plan.

The Instrument performs poorly during operation

clipping of the input signal may be occurring. This is detectable by monitoring the red LEDs on the front panel of the instrument or the Input Overflow (OVI) flags on the STATUS_TAB of the user interface. It can be avoided by adding enough margin on the input range setting (for instance 50% to 70% of the maximum signal peak).

The Instrument performs strangely when working with the MF-MD Multi-demodulator Option

it is easily possible to turn on more signal generators than intended. Check the generated Signal Output with the integrated oscilloscope and check the number of simultaneously activated oscillator voltages.

The Instrument measurements are unpredictable

Please check the Status Tab to see if there is any active warning (red flag), or if one has occurred in the past (yellow flag).

The Instrument does not generate any output signal

verify that signal output switch has been activated in the Lock-in Tab or in the In / Out Tab.

The Instrument locks poorly using the digital I/O as reference

make sure that the digital input signal has a high slew rate and clean level crossings.

The Instrument locks poorly using the auxiliary analog inputs as reference

the input signal amplitude might be too small. Use proper gain setting of the input channel.

The sample stream from the Instrument to the host computer is not continuous

Check the communication (COM) flags in the status bar. The three flags indicate occasional sample loss, packet loss, or stall. Sample loss occurs when a sampling rate is set too high (the instrument sends more samples than the interface and the host computer can absorb). The packet loss indicates an important failure of the communications to the host computer and compromises the behavior of the instrument. Both problems are prevented by reducing the sample rate settings. The stall flag indicates that a setting was actively changed by the system to prevent UI crash.

The LabOne User Interface does not start (when running the LabOne on a PC)

Verify that the LabOne Data Server (ziDataServer.exe) and the LabOne Web Server (ziWebServer.exe) are running via the Windows Task Manager. The Data Server should be started automatically by ziService.exe and the Web Server should be started upon clicking "Zurich Instruments LabOne" in the Windows Start Menu.

If both are running, but clicking the Start Menu does not open a new User Interface session in a new tab of your default browser then try to create a new session manually by entering 127.0.0.1:8006 in the address bar of your browser.

The user interface does not start or starts but remains idle

Verify that the Data Server has been started and is running on your host computer.

The user interface is slow and the web browser process consumes a lot of CPU power

Make sure that the hardware acceleration is enabled for the web browser that is used for LabOne. For the Windows operating system, the hardware acceleration can be enabled in Control Panel → Display → Screen Resolution. Go to Advanced Settings and then Trouble Shoot. In case you use a NVIDIA graphics card, you have to use the NVIDIA control panel. Go to Manage 3D Settings, then Program Settings and select the program that you want to customize.

Location of the Log Files

The most recent log files of the LabOne Web and Data Server programs are most easily accessed by clicking on btn uielements logs um in the LabOne Device Connection dialog of the user interface. The Device Connection dialog opens on software start-up or upon clicking on btn uielements sessiondialog um in the Config tab of the user interface.

In the case that the Web and/or Data Server are running on the MFLI device (and not on the PC) the log files are physically stored on the MFLI instrument and can be accessed through the File Manager Tab of the LabOne User Interface in the Log folder. If the Web and/or Data Server are ran on a PC and not on the embedded computer of the MFLI (see Running LabOne on a Separate PC) the log file locations on disk are given in the sections below.

Windows

If the Web and/or Data Server are running on a Windows PC, their log files can be found in the following directories.

  • LabOne Data Server (ziDataServer.exe):

    C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Local\Temp\Zurich Instruments\LabOne\ziDataServerLog
  • LabOne Web Server (ziWebServer.exe):

    C:\Users\[USER]\AppData\Local\Temp\Zurich Instruments\LabOne\ziWebServerLog

The C:\Users\[USER]\AppData folder is hidden by default under Windows. A quick way of accessing it is to enter %AppData%\.. in the address bar of the Windows File Explorer.

windows explorer app data
Figure 1. Using the %AppData%\.. shortcut in Windows Explorer to access the hidden folder.

Linux and macOS

If the Web and/or Data Server are running on Linux or macOS, their log files can be found in the following directories.

  • LabOne Data Server (ziDataServer):

    /tmp/ziDataServerLog_[USER]
  • LabOne Web Server (ziWebServer):

    /tmp/ziWebServerLog_[USER]