bPAD+ Single Channel Analyzer


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Background

The bPAD+ is an enhanced version of the bPAD intelligent Single-Channel Analyzer. This device adds an extra analog pulse output, which can be connected to an external MCA for monitoring purposes. Being fully digital, the bPAD+ benefits from the same advantages of the bPAD.  

bPAD is a compact microcontroller-based Single Intelligent Channel Analyzer. The device contains a Preamplifier-Amplifier-Discriminator with TTL digital output. The bPAD also includes its own high voltage power supply for operating standard 14-pin photomultiplier tubes, which are commonly used with scintillator-type radiation detectors [e.g. PVC, NaI(Tl), LaBr, CeBr, etc].

The device is therefore useful as a compact system to monitor the count rate in an energy region of interest.

The detected signal is output as a TTL pulse, making it compatible with most industrial, environmental and laboratory counting systems. In contrast with traditional SCAs the bPAD is fully controlled by a microprocessor, providing easy setup and “smart” modes of operations. bPAD parameters can be conveniently set via USB with a PC and the provided configuration software.

 

 Features

    • Compact Single Channel Analyzer with microprocessor control on a 14-pin photomultiplier tube base
    • Integrates Preamplifier-Amplifier-Discriminator and HV power supply
    • TTL output
    • USB communications
    • Device can be powered from USB and/or an external supply of 9 to 36 Volts via a pluggable terminal block
    • Compact size of 56mm (D) x 71mm (H) - [2.2 in. (D) x 2.8 in. (H)]
    • Very low power consumption, 1 watt maximum.
    • Miniature and efficient high voltage power supply
    • Configuration software for easy setup and visualization of device operation, also implements a “pseudo-PHA” mode of operation
    • LED indicators for communication status and device power, HV power and incoming count rate (ICR)

     

    Description

    The bPAD is an advanced, microprocessor-based, compact electronic device that integrates a charge sensitive preamplifier, a variable-gain amplifier and a window discriminator; all in a 14-pin photomultiplier tube base. This electronic device outputs a TTL pulse per photo-event detected by a scintillator detector in the energy range of interest. This type of device is also often referred to as a Single Channel Analyzer (SCA). bPAD also includes a miniature, programmable and efficient high-voltage supply to provide the power necessary to operate the most widespread range of photomultipliers used with scintillator detectors. The output voltage can be set in the range from 0 to 1500 volts with a resolution of 4096 steps.

    Since the bPAD is a microprocessor-controlled device, it benefits from being easy to setup. The device connects to a PC via its USB interface, and by using the provided software all the operational settings can be configured and fine-tuned for any kind of scintillator detector. Once the setup is complete, all the settings are saved into the device’s non-volatile memory. The PC software also comes with a “pseudo-PHA” acquisition mode. In this mode, the software slides the single-channel window over the whole input range, constructing in such a way an energy spectrum. By using this spectrum, the user can visually identify the energy range of interest and immediately set the boundaries of the bPAD discriminator window. This represents a large improvement over the traditional “blind” method used with most other SCAs.

    bPAD has two modes of operation:

      • Integral: where counts are output for signals above a single energy threshold level
      • Differential: where counts are output for signals within a defined energy window (SCA)

      The output pulses correspond to counted events in the energy window of interest. They are 5-volt TTL signals with 2.5 µsec duration. The bPAD can be ordered to output pulses with a duration of 10 µsec instead.

      The bPAD can be powered via the USB connection or by an external DC power supply of 6 to 36 volts. 

      Three color LEDs are used for status indications: Red for detector high voltage, Yellow for incoming count rate (ICR) and Green for power and communication status.

      The bPAD is a compact device with a size of 65 mm diameter by 71 mm high (60 mm not counting the TTL output connector) . bPAD weights less than 80 grams.

      All the above-mentioned features make the bPAD+ a very attractive component for industrial and automated applications involving photon detection and counting. 

       

      Technical Specifications

      Device and Digital Settings

        • Acquisition modes: Integral and Differential
        • Coarse gain: x1, x2, x4, x8 (optionally also x16, x32, x64, x128)
        • Fine gain: x1...x2 in 4096 steps
        • Upper and Lower Level discriminator resolution: 2048 steps
        • Output: 5 Volts TTL signals of 2.5 µsec duration.

        High Voltage Power Supply

          • Miniature HV power supply embedded into the device assembly
          • Voltage: 0 to 1 500 Volts in 4096 steps

          Data Communication

            • USB 2.0, cable included
            • TTL output via SMA connector, cable included
            • Analog output signal range of 0 to 2V, 50 ohm impedance, cable included

            Physical

              • USB connector: type mini B, used for PC communications or powering
              • Power connector: pluggable terminal block, 9 to 36 Volts, plug included
              • Power consumption: 1 watt maximum
              • Size: Height 71 mm, Diameter 56 mm - [2.8 in. (H) x 2.2 in. (D)]
              • Weight: Approximately 80 grams

              Indicators

                • Red LED for detector high voltage
                • Yellow LED for incoming count rate (ICR)
                • Green LED for power and communication status

                Other

                  • The device is supplied with WindowsTM PC software for setup and pseudo-PHA, the software can also display the CPS value for the defined SCA region

                Certifications

                  • The device is CE compliant