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Multi-Channel Analyzer / Pulse Height Analyzer Systems

The MCA4 series is a family of USB interfaced, software controlled Multichannel Analyzers. The design is capable of converting incoming analog pulses (PHA mode) on up to 4 channels at virtually no event processing induced dead-time. PHA data is transferred via the USB 2.0 interface in list-mode at a max. rate of > 1 M events / sec on each input. Four 125MHz, 16-bit ADCs provide a 32k resolution for PHA mode.

In MCS mode the internal memory is used to accumulate spectra of up to 16M bins. An automatic sequential mode allows to acquire up to 65536 sequential spectra – each with a presettable number of sweeps – with no additional dead-time between each cycle or synchronized with external signal. The minimum dwell time is 30 ns for 1 input channel and 50 ns for 2 channels and can be set in steps of 10 ns up to 781 h. The maximum count rate is 400 MHz.

An 8 bit digital I/O port provides controlling external devices or to react on additional external signals. It can be used for tag bits that are sampled with 2.5 µsec.

The “GO-LINE” compatibility allows to synchronize start and stop of the experiment across many measurement devices.

The 32-bit or 64-bit MPANT Windows Software is able to handle 6 MCA4 providing up to 24 MCA channels. In-field upgrade options enable upgrading of MCS mode, more MCA channels, 8 ns RTC time tagging, and multiparameter coincidences for 2 or 4 ADCs including Replay of list files.

 Multi-Channel Anaylzer (MCA) USB Module, MCA4 Series
 Selection Guide
 Model  ADC
 Internal ADC
 MCS mode
 MCS mode Count
 Rate Capability
 MCA4  1  32k (15-bit)  n/a  1
 or 2
 @ 30 ns
 @ 50 ns
 400 MHz
 MCA4-MPA2  2  32k (15-bit)  2  n/a  n/a  n/a
 MCA4-MPA4  4  32k (15-bit)  4  n/a  n/a  n/a
 MCA4-1  1  32k (15-bit)  n/a  n/a  n/a  n/a
 MCA4-2  2  32k (15-bit)  n/a  n/a  n/a  n/a
 MCA4-3  3  32k (15-bit)  n/a  n/a  n/a  n/a
 MCA4-4  4  32k (15-bit)  n/a  n/a  n/a  n/a
 MCS4  0  n/a  n/a  1
 or 2
 @ 30 ns
 @ 50 ns
 400 MHz
Options, MCA4 Series

 Model  Description
 MCA4DLL  DLL for LabVIEW, “C”, Visual Basic
 MCA4TAG  TAG bit input, 8 bit, stored with ADC data
 MCA4MCS  2ch fast MCS, 30ns mininmum dwell time option for MCA4-x units
 MCA4RTC  RTC 8 ns, per ADC channel
 MCA4MP2UPG  Multiparameter software for 2 channels (requires RTC option for 2 channels)
 MCA4MP4UPG  Multiparameter software for 4 channels (requires RTC option for 4 channels)

The RTC option applies to each ADC channel separately. The RTC provides time stamps in the event data in units of 8 ns instead of the standard 1 msec. The RTC option is required for each channel that is used for multiparameter acquisition.

The Linux software is not yet available (as of June 2015), it can take 2-3 months until it will be ready. The Linux software will be able to histogram single spectra and to write a list file. It will not be able to do PHA in scope mode and multiparameter data evaluation. It contains a driver, a library and a console test program, with the complete source code.

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