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So I am working with this DAC and I am trying to attach reference voltages and outputs, but I am confused.

Looking at this image of the board, what is the connection to VOUT ? How do I connect to those 5 gold circles? I think only the center is live. Should I also connect +/- 10 volts to VREFP and VREFN? The data sheet seems to be ambiguous about if I should do that, or if I can attach to +5V to VREF and that will work as well? I also do not know what that port/connector is? enter image description here

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome. You seem to be new to electronics, and maybe a bit in over your head. The 5 gold hole pattern is for UHF connectors, though they can carry power as well. Where is your instruction sheet for this board? \$\endgroup\$ – Sparky256 Mar 21 at 16:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ digikey.com/product-detail/en/amphenol-rf-division/132134/… \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Mar 21 at 16:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sparky256 absolutely I am in over my head. I am a physics undergraduate who ended up with a bit of a wild project, but I'm taking one thing at a time. \$\endgroup\$ – Andrew Hardy Mar 21 at 16:53
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The user guide to the DAC you linked should give you the detail you need.

On Page 9, the schematic shows that you can select 0V, -5V, -10V, or an external VREFN (the "5 gold circles" on the bottom in your PCB image). The 0V, -5V, and -10V are all generated on the board. Similarly, VREFP follows.

You can get VOUT from the center pin in the "5 gold circles" labelled VOUT. The surrounding 4 are ground. Ideally you would use a proper connector, not just one wire jammed in the hole. Or, you can get the output from VOUT_BUF, which has a connector installed already. See the schematic on Page 9 to understand the difference between VOUT and VOUT_BUF. From Page 16 you can see this is a "Straight PCB mount SMB jack, 50 Ω". You need an SMB cable.

You will need to supply DGND, VCC, VSS, AGND, and VDD via the terminals at the bottom of your image.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ OK, just to clarify, If I attached say +12 V and -12 V to VDD and VSS respectively, and then an analog ground, along with the +5V and common ground to Vcc and DGND (reading page 3) then this will both power the chip and provide the reference voltages? I have a 5 Pin power supply with these 5 options, which is why I am asking \$\endgroup\$ – Andrew Hardy Mar 21 at 16:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AndrewHardy the board connector is listed on Page 16. If you find another connector with the same footprint, e.g. SMA connector like the one Scott linked, then you could use that. Then find out what mates with that. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Kruse Mar 21 at 16:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AndrewHardy read Page 3 of the user guide to determine the proper VCC, VDD, and VSS voltages. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Kruse Mar 21 at 16:56

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