Multichannel Analyzer MCA4 / Questions and Answers

In the MCA4 it is included a dual fast MCS option. Only two channels? Is it possible to add one more option for the other two channels? Do I need to purchase one TAG bit option for each channel? Is the Replay Software included also in the MCA4-MP2 System?

The MCA4 has 8 BNC connectors. The left four connectors are analog inputs for pulse height analysis (PHA) or sampled voltage analysis (SVA). The four connectors at the right are in PHA mode Gate inputs for the respective ADC channel and in SVA mode the sample input for the respective ADC channel. In PHA and SVA mode the RAM is used as a FIFO. It is possible to record a list file. The maximum count rate can be as high as 1 MHz in each of the four channels. The list file contains for each event 8 bytes with the information of the input channel, RTC value in units of 1 msec or 8 ns with the RTC option, eventually tag bits, and the result of the PHA. MCS and dual MCS mode is a completely different operation mode. The analog part with the four fast sampling ADCs is switched off. The four right BNC connectors are the START, STOP1, STOP2 and external Channel Advance (CHADV) input. The signal can be selected between positive (TTL) and negative (NIM) pulses, rising or falling edge.

The input impedance can be selected between 50 Ohm and 4.7 kOhm. The RAM is used for histogramming, so it is not possible to record a list file. The maximum count rate can be 400 MHz in both STOP inputs. The minimum dwelltime is 30 ns in MCS mode with one count input and 50 ns in MCS2 mode with two count inputs. Scope Mode is a variant of PHA mode and shows the waveform of the pulse. It is mainly for monitoring the input signals and adjusting parameters. The pulse height analysis is then done in the software. The maximum count rate is rather low, in the order of a few kHz. It is still possible to record a list file. The START connector can be used as an external trigger input in Scope mode. If more than two Stop inputs for MCS are required, it is possible to use more than one MCA4 module. Up to six modules can be operated with the software. We have several MCA4 for sale on stock. All hardware options are available. Now (Sept. 2015) we have also the MCS4 on stock, the version without any PHA channel. It is a simpler version without the rather expensive part containing the four ADCs.

MCA4MCS: available
MCA4opt-TAG: available
MCA4opt-RTC: available    
MCA4DLL: available
MCA4LINUX: available
MCS4: available

The Linux software is now available. It contains a driver, a library and a console test program, with the complete source code. It is able to histogram single spectra and to write a list file. It contains also source code and instructions how to get a special MPANT software working as a Linux program under Wine. The MPANT software has then the same capabilities as under Windows including multiparameter coincidences when enabled. The Tagbit option means that the 8 digital I/O ports are used as tagbits. They are sampled with 2.5 µsec sampling frequency and inserted into event data of each ADC. The option must be purchased only once, not for each ADC channel seperately. The RTC option is seperate for each ADC channel. It means that the time stamps in the event data are in units of 8 ns instead of 1 msec. The 8 ns RTC is required for each channel that is used for multiparameter acquisition. We have now a comparison table in our website showing the features of our 4 multiparameter systems MPA-3, MPA4, MPA4T and MCA4-MPA, the link is on the overview page for multiparameter systems.

The MCA4M2 (= MCA4-MPA2) contains the multiparameter software for two channels MCA4S4 and the internal replay, but not the external Replay. The MCA4M4 (= MCA4-MPA4) contains the multiparameter software for four channels MCA4S5 and as well the internal as the external replay. Internal replay means that the MCA4 must be connected, the external Replay MCA4S3 is a dongle.

Multiparameter Multichannel Analyzers, Multichannel Analyzers, MCA4