In order to help you most efficiently, please, have the following information handy before you contact Technical Support.

PCGrates FAQ

Customer:

What is the difference between perpetual and permanent licenses?

Support:

PERPETUAL – a fully free upgradable license (v.6.7 and higher), pure software key (SL):
– may be paid by two equal payments during one, after ordering, year;
– one has to pay, after two first years, for the technical support only;
– a price as for an upgrade from vv.6-4-6.6 to v.6.7 (perpetual license, the same series and type) is 2/3 from the full price (e.g., the current full price for PCGrate-SX v.6.7 Complete is $38,398., the upgrade price is $25,599.);
– a technical support for both versions during one year – for old vv.6.4-6.6 and new v.6.7;
– an upgrade to higher series and types is the difference between two current prices of two codes.


PERMANENT – a non-free upgradable license, pure software key (SL) or USB electronic key (HL):
– a one-time paid license (100% prepayment);
– an upgradable hardware (USB key included) or pure software license;
– after the first year, need to pay for the technical support of any PCGrate code;
– a non-free upgrade to any higher version, type or series (e. g, from v.6.4-6.6 to v.6.7); the price is a difference between two current prices of two codes.

Permanent Perpetual
Upgrades Not Included Included
Tech support 1 year 2 years
Key types USB and SL SL only

Customer:

What is the difference between SL and HL keys?

Support:

There are two options for PCGrate licenses: USB (HL) type or SL (pure software license) type.

The Sentinel HL key is a physical USB or ExpressCard key that connects to a computer, or a chip that is embedded in the computer.

The Sentinel SL key is a software-based key that locks your software to a specific machine. 

We suggest using the SL type due to several reasons:
– In case of SL type, you won’t need to pay and wait for the delivery. The license will be shipped to you via email.
– The SL type is bonded to the PC, so it is harder to lose the license. If you need to transfer the license to the other PC, it can be easily done via the ‘Rehost procedure’.

Sentinel HL Max - Micro Form Factor | Sleek Design | Thales

Customer:

When using the v.6.1 program version, I could not as yet load/run the profiles (input *.grt files) and projects (output *.pcg files) generated by the PCGrate v. 6.0. When I attempt to do so the message “PCG Kernel ERROR: Value out of range” appears. How can I convert those files?

Support:

The PCGrate v. 6.0 and v. 6.1 series are separate programs. You can run both v. 6.0 and 6.1 software on your PC, but there is no way to convert the earlier files of any type into the new formats. We did that deliberately because a lot of changes and additions were made in the new 6.1 version. In going to the new 6.1 version you should reload your important input profiles manually and save the earlier output data as .xls or .txt format files.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

You can also have the earlier PCGrate®-S(X) v. 6.0 software and the PCGrate®-S(X) v. 6.1 software installed on the same machine, but it is strongly recommended not to run different versions simultaneously.

Customer:

I am trying to calculate the simplest kind of transmission grating, namely, a lamellar grating having a substrate with a real index of 1.5 and zero imaginary index. I think I installed everything properly (it really seems very straightforward owing to the very simple user interface), but I cannot get any transmitted orders. I got 10 percent of the energy reflected, which is probably right, but I cannot view or plot the reflected orders.

Support:

For efficiency calculation of transmitted orders, you should use only the “Resonance Calculation mode” and “Finite Type of low border conductivity” options in the General/Accuracy optimization bookmark. If you would like to determine efficiency of the reflected orders of a transmission grating, you can also use the “Normal” calculating mode and the “Finite” type of conductivity for the substrate.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

If you change one “Calculation mode” for another, all parameters of the grating except the scanning parameters will be set to their default values. Therefore, with change of “Calculation mode” you will see a confirmation window.

Customer:

The example I have sent (see Figure #28) is a lamellar grating and on top of it there is a layer of material. Thus, when I look at the grating profile, I see a series of rectangular ridges with a layer on top of each of them. The layer of the coating material is actually rectangular as well, so that we have two rectangular profiles arranged one above the other. How can I proceed using the PCGrate?

Support:

Attached here is an example of such a grating design and efficiency modelling by the PCGrate-S(X) v.6.1 software (see PCGrates_FAQ_A.zip). When constructing these lamellar border profiles, we used the “Trapezoidal Function of border profile” type with close to vertical slopes (but not equal exactly to 90 deg.) and small values of the “Vertical shift between borders” parameter for each layer (see Figure #29).

IMPORTANT NOTE:

There is an approximate relationship between minimal values of the “Accuracy parameter” Nk for border # k and big ratios of the “Period” to the “Minimal metric thickness between (adjacent) borders” d/T to reach an acceptable convergence of efficiency results, viz., υNk, min = d/T, where υ is a coefficient which is approximately equal to one or an integer greater than one.

Known problems

Problem:

I have 6.5 (or 6.1) version installed on Windows 10 PC. It doesn’t run displaying error message: ‘’Can’t start PCGrate Solver’’.

Possible reasons and elimintation:

Sentinel is no longer supports the old HL and HASP4 keys. It means there is no guarantee your old HL key will work on Windows 10 OS. We encourage our customers to upgrade their PCGrate versions to resolve this issue.

However, there is a chance that your old HL key might work. First of all, you need to check whether your key works on other PCs with earlier Windows OSes. Then try to start Solver.exe manually and in compatibility mode. You can also try to install earlier HASP drivers’ versions from the Sentinel website.

Problem:

When trying to apply the v2c-file, the error “HASP_OLD_VLIB: Vendor library versions too old.” (Code 56) appears.

Possible reasons and elimintation:

This error might occur due to the wrong installation order or some Windows privacy settings. To resolve the issue, try to replace the DLL file in the Aladdin folder:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Aladdin Shared\HASP\ (or C:\Program Files\Common Files\Aladdin Shared\HASP\ for 32bit);

with the file from the archive from the link.
And repeat an activation attempt.

Problem:

My problem is described as follows. I would like to make a wavelength scan using the refractive indices from the library. I made the following settings: General/Light and optical geometry/Wavelength: 500nm; Scanning options: Scan range 1 = 500:10:700 nm; Refractive Index From library: Al_Palik.RI. When I ran the “Check” option I always got the message “RI-Library not found”. I browsed through the RI folder and tried selecting one file after another. I tried *.ri files and *.ari files (after making them show up in the browse list). No matter what file I tried, calculations were performed only with the refractive index for 500nm but not according to the actual wavelength range.

I tried to uninstall and install the PCGrate once more. But when I select an index from the file, then the code cannot find the file. I can use the RI Editor and find the files, but then the PCGrate will not find them. How can I make the PCGrate find this library?

Possible reasons and their elimination:

This is a fairly serious problem apparently connected with some additional software installed on the client’s PC. Occasionally the problem may be resolved by reinstalling the Windows® operating system. In your specific case, the problem was fixed by changing the type of HASP® key and uninstalling/reinstalling the PCGrate-S(X) v. 6.0 software.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

At the present time we implemented a special PCInfo tool into the PCGrate-S(X) v. 6.1 program. This tool enables one to collect information about registry keys, directories, crash reports, log files and computer configuration. As to the PCGrate-S(X) v. 6.1 software, we are not aware of any problem of this kind.

Problem:

We have made a simulation of a symmetrical phase grating operating at normal incidence, and the efficiency in the 1st and -1st orders is different (0.42 and 0.32). What is the reason for this? I used the “normal” calculation mode and the “finite” type of low border conductivity.

Possible reasons and their elimination:

This discrepancy is not an error inherent in the method promoted or in the programming as such but is due to a singularity effect which develops on edges or on steep facets. We have substantially accelerated the convergence of the method for such situations through the use of some refinements of the solution at the points responsible for divergence of the results.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

This discrepancy does not appear in the updated PCGrate-S(X) v. 6.1 program (a release of 05/03/2005).

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