Running Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) Vibration Control Tests Without a PC (Black Box Mode)

The capabilities of Crystal Instruments’ Spider devices are well known and the ability of the Spider to operate without a PC makes it advantageous for several applications, including vibration control.

Spider front-ends are powered by Texas Instruments’ digital signal processors and are capable of performing all the complex mathematical computations required for vibration control in addition to handling massive amounts of data for recording and frequency analysis. The full featured EDM software suite is a powerful tool for setting up the Spider system and for displaying raw and processed data. Once set up, the Spider can operate continuously even without a connected PC or in the event the PC crashes. This powerful operating mode (available to Spider systems) is referred to as Black Box mode.

Owing to these strong capabilities, the Spider system has become a sought-after solution for applications that require independent operation without an attached PC. This expanded the Spider’s use of operating systems to include MacOS and Linux in addition to Windows.

Black Box mode is also included in Crystal Instruments’ new Spider-80M MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) controller, which empowers users to run MIMO control applications without a PC and allows usage of alternative operating systems to Windows.

This unique feature has been capitalized and deployed by an esteemed company for one of their applications in which a Spider operates in a Black Box mode while being monitored on a Mac Operating System running Python scripts.

To achieve this, a user must configure and run the test initially from EDM in order to build a transfer function using the Random pre-test.

Random Pretest.png

Once the pre-test is determined, users can modify the MIMO test to run using the saved transfer function (FRF).


EDM software is designed to automatically assign the most recent transfer function. Run the test once to initialize and upload the test to Black Box mode.

Black Box.png

Users can upload multiple tests simultaneously with a maximum of eight tests supported by all Spider devices operating in Black Box mode.

Users can select an uploaded test from the front panel display of the Spider-81 or by using an API from a range of supported operating systems. Users can also download the data or view it using the API deployed user-customized software or through any supported operating system.