MCA Model SPA-3 (multi-input)

The SPA-3 Multi-Input Multichannel Analyzer System is designed as an ultra fast list mode system with input ports for 4, 8, 12 or 16 ADCs, multiscalers or time-of-flight devices. The open system technology concept is capable of accomodating future system expansion. The SPA-3 is derived from the high-performance MPA-3 Multiparameter System by combining the proven hardware with a new efficient multi-MCA version of the MPA-NT operating software. While the SPA-3 Base unit has been specifically designed for its intended use, the expansion units such as the quad ADC ports are being taken from the MPA-3 system. 
A monitoring mode is available to view the spectrum accumulation on-line during active data acquisition. List data can be stored on the local hard disk device or any other directly addressable storage device. 
PHA mode will enable to accumulate and histogram multiple spectra in the RAM memory of the PC. Multiple windows with spectra from any or all MCAs can be simultaneously displayed. 
The MPA-NT software is a 32-bit  and native 64-bit software that operates under Microsoft WINDOWS XP/Vista/7/8 (32 bit and 64 bit).

Our 2-Year Warranty covers all types of FAST ComTec SPA-3 multichannel analyzers.

The main features are:

  • Ultra fast Multi-Input Multichannel Analyzer System based on the proven hardware of the FAST ComTec MPA-3 Multiparameter System
  • ADC-port modules allow the flexible configuration of 4, 8, 12 or 16 independent Multichannel Analyzers
  • ADC ports for up- to 64k (16 bit) ADCs (and/or other compatible frontends like Multiscalers, Position Analyzers, Time-of-Flight devices etc.)
  • Ultra high data throughput:
  • >4.000.000 events/s (number of total ADC conversions)  using 16 ADCs
  • Livetime correction and presets on all ADC inputs
  • Independent Start/Stop for each input
  • PCI-bus interface card
  • Modular construction for providing the user the essential flexibility in configuring the system to any specific application
  • Fully remote-controllable by host computer (RS232C, experiment control line or Ethernet)
  • Excellent reliability by extensive use of a high density gate-array
  • Easy to use operating software MPA-NT

PULSE-HEIGHT DIGITIZER: Successive-approximation ADC with two stage input analog pipeline and sliding-scale linearization. Software selectable resolution: 16k, 8k, 4k, 2k, 1k, 0.5k and 0.25k channels. The sliding-scale linearization technique reduces the top end of the ADC scale by 1/32.

PULSE PROCESSING TIMES: Minimum pulse peaking time is 250 ns. Acquisition time of the analog pipeline ≤2 s. ADC conversion time ≤5 s.

PEAK DETECTION MODES: (See Figure 1) First Peak After Threshold (V1): Standard to nuclear instrumentation MCAs. Absolute Peak Above Threshold (V2): Typically used in airborne particle sizing analyzers, in environmental air monitoring systems and in aerosol research.

DIFFERENTIAL NONLINEARITY: <±0.6% from 15 mV to full scale.

INTEGRAL NONLINEARITY: <±0.02% over full scale. GAIN STABILITY: Gain <±10 ppm/ºC; zero drift <±3 ppm/ºC.

LOW LEVEL DISCRIMINATOR: Software selectable threshold, in increments of one channel, up to half of full range. Threshold accuracy <±0.5% of full range.

MEMORY: Nonvolatile, 10 years data retention. The memory is segmented and can store up to 128 different spectra. The number of groups available for spectral storage depends on the ADC resolution and is given as: 32k/[ADC RESOLUTION].

MAXIMUM COUNTS PER CHANNEL: 4.29 x 109 counts (4 bytes).

TIMERS: Real and Live Timers. Data acquisition real or live time preset in multiples of one second. Maximum preset time 16777215 (224 - 1) seconds. Shorter or non-integer accumulation times can be achieved by gating the input signal with Gate 1 or Gate 2. Every time a data acquisition is started a start time-date stamp is stored in the current memory group. The MCA8000A is year 2000 compliant.

INTERFACE: Serial, high speed 115.2 kbps. Software selectable baud rate selection: 4.8 kbps, 9.6 kbps, 19.2 kbps, 38.4 kbps, 57.6 kbps, 115.2 kbps.

SECURITY: Each MCA8000A unit is assigned a unique serial ID number that is embedded internally and is accessible through the computer software. A five digit MCA lock number can be used to lock data in the internal memory. Zero lock number disables the security feature. 


POWER: Power is turned on either via computer using PMCA software or with the ON/OFF button. When operating on battery power, the automatic power-off function turns the power off whenever the MCA is not acquiring data or exchanging data with a computer. If the MCA is powered via an external power adapter or the data acquisition is active while on battery power, the automatic power-off function is disabled.

Power Consumption: <300 mW in data acquisition mode with active serial interface, <250 mW in data acquisition.

• Quad ADC-port extension module to allow the flexible configuration of 8, 12 or 16 MCA systems
• ADC ports for up to 64k (16 bit) ADCs (and/or other compatible frontends like Multiscalers, Position Analyzers, Time-of-Flight devices etc.

Ultra fast single- and list mode data acquisition system expansion to 8, 12 or 16 ports for external ADCs, multiscalers or TOFs

The Quad ADC Port Module extends the SPA-3 Multi- Input MCA System inputs to 12 or 16 MCAs, provides input ports for ADCs, multiscalers or time-of-flight devices in increments of four ports.

Quad ADC Port Module ADC-port: four 16 bit ADC ports, data (64k) and control
lines. Each ADC port can be software configured to be compatible to practically every existing model of nuclearADC (Canberra, ND, Ortec, Silena, Laben, TN etc.)

Seven segment display indicates module address for easy identification of port number.

ADC port: four 25 pin D-SUB (female) for data input and control lines for external ADC
FAST MP Bus (FMP- Bus): 50-pin Centronics (female) for module interconnection

Ordering Information:
Order No. MP3PORT shipment includes MPA-3 Quad ADC Port Module with
Module Bus cable and X-TRA power cable

The Base Module contains all control circuitry of the SPA- 3 System and interfaces to the Quad ADC Port Modules and the PCI-Bus card. Up to 16 independent MCAs can be configured. Three front panel LEDs indicate the system status.

BASIC OPERATING MODE: List-Mode, PHA (Pulse Height Analysis) performed by SPAWIN-NT
LIST-MODE: Max. Throughput: List-Mode data stored in RAM or on optional hard disk array: <4.000.000 events/s (number of total ADC conversions) using 16 ADCs, single parameter mode 

ADC-port: four 16 bit ADC ports, data (64k) and control lines. Each ADC port can be software configured to be compatible to practically every existing model of nuclear ADC (Canberra, ND, Ortec, Silena, Laben, TN, Eurisys, etc.) Live/True Time: resolution 1 ms
Preset Range: 1 ms to ¥ Digital Stabilizer: Multipoint Gain and Zero stabilization
DISPLAYS: Power Good LED, Active LED, Busy LED

ADC port: four 25 pin D-SUB (female) for data input and control lines for external ADC
FAST High Speed Link (FHS): 37-pin D-SUB (male) for SPA-3/PC communication FAST MP Bus (FMP-Bus): 50-pin Centronics (female) X-TRA POWER-In: 9-pin D-SUB (male) for supplementary power POWER-Out: 9-pin D-SUB (female) for powering ADC Port modules
PCI-Card: FAST High Speed Link (FHS): 37- pin D-SUB (f) for SPA-3/PC communication I/O Port: connector cable with PCmounting bracket with 15-pin D-SUB connector

Ordering Information:
Example for a four-MCA System: Order No. SP3Y02 - SPA-3 System includes: SPA-3 Base Module, PCI Card with FHS-cable, SPA-NT Multiparameter Software for WIN-NT
Options: Order No. MP3PORT - MPA-3 Quad ADC Port Module - extends SPA-3 system by four ADC ports (max. two additional Quad ADC Port modules per system) Other system configurations on request
Shipping Weight: approx. 2.5 kg