Multichannel Analyzers (MCAs) are workhorse instruments in many scientific measurements. An MCA analyzes a stream of voltage pulses and sorts them into a histogram, or “spectrum” of number of events, versus pulse-height, which may often relate to energy or time of arrival. The stored spectrum may then be displayed and analyzed.
A ORTEC single channel analyzer (SCA) produces an output logic pulse on the condition that the peak amplitude of its input signal falls within the pulse-height window that is established with two preset threshold levels.
Timers count pulses generated by an internal or external clock and are used to measure elapsed time, or to establish the length of the counting period. Rate meters provide a readout of the pulse count rate.
Multichannel scalers count the number of events that occur during a specified time interval, referred to as the dwell time, resulting in a time-histogram of counts. “Standalone” and programmable computer controlled versions are available.