As of May 1, 2016, RBD will be discontinuing support for the PC137 and PCMap1 interface boards for legacy PHI / Perkin-Elmer systems. If you’re still using your PC137 and.or PCMap1 interface board, you’ll have a number of options for keeping your system up and running.
Why we’re discontinuing support:
Both the PC137 and PCMap1 are ISA cards. The ISA interface was designed in the days of DOS computers, and support for the interface has been waning since Windows XP. While these legacy interfaces could still serve their purpose (even at ISA’s slow speed (by today’s standards), security issues have caused Microsoft to drop support for ISA libraries in their latest development environments.
What it means if you are running these legacy interfaces:
If your PC is up and running with the PC137/PCMap1 interface(s), you of course don’t need to do anything right away. However, you won’t be able to upgrade Windows, and finding a replacement PC with ISA slots can be challenging (although they are available).
You also will not be able to run that latest (or any future versions) of AugerScan and AugerMap. Both applications are still being updated with new features and bug fixes, however without available ISA libraries they will no longer support communications with either boards.
Replacing the PC137 and PCMap1 Interfaces
If you chose to update your PC137 / PCMap interface, you’ll be replacing them with a single PCI or PCIe interface board, and an RBD147 interface unit. The RBD147 unit provides all the breakout interfaces (such as DR11) for the individual PHI units. (The PCMap1 is replaced by the PCMap2 interface, which is part of the RBD147 and is physically located inside the unit).
For most systems* you can also choose replace the PC interface card(s) with a PCIe interface (as opposed to the PCI). This board is smaller, uses less power, and serves as an alternative when a PCI slot is not available. The PCIe upgrade also utilizes the same PC147 breakout box.
*The PCIe option is not available for systems with the PHI 79-170 scanning interfaces, such as the 660.
Whatever you chose, be assured your system is still future-proofed and compatible with the latest PC architecture and Windows version. More information on RBD’s upgrades can be found here.