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digiDART-LF Portable "SMART" MCA

DigiDART-LF Portable Digital Multichannel Analyzer (MCA)
  • High-performance and RUGGED, 2k channels.
  • Available as a complete package including integrated probe.
  • DIGITALLY stable: consistent answers for long counts, changing count-rates and temperatures.
  • Operates WITHOUT an attached PC.
  • Built-in backlit LCD display and control keypad — Live display of acquiring data.
  • Nuclide ID and activity calculation for nine Regions of Interest (ROI).
  • Fits in the palm of your hand or hangs from your belt.
  • Holds >150 2k channel spectra in internal memory.
  • Battery life >9 hours.
  • Only 860 grams, excluding batteries.
  • Literature +

  • More Information +

    The ORTEC digiDART-LF is a high performance Multichannel Analyzer for use with NaI(Tl) radiation detectors and modern scintillators such as lanthanum halides. It has been carefully engineered to perform the most demanding real world, PORTABLE gamma-ray spectroscopy applications. The digiDART-LF is an advanced, all-digital design, incorporating three ORTEC-held patents.

    digiDART-LF. . .  Tough, Yet Light
    Weighing less than 860 grams, the digiDART-LF is an attractive, light-weight instrument; easy to handle, and RUGGED. The case is molded ABS — the same strong plastic used extensively in automobiles. The outside is coated with a shock-absorbing, easy-grip, stay-clean coating — just like your other tools. The display and keypad are recessed to protect them if the instrument is dropped. The connectors are all on one side and recessed for protection. The battery is inside — again for added protection and covered with a splash-proof door. It can be charged in place, even when the digiDART-LF is operating. The battery is truly integrated into the rugged digiDART-LF and not simply clipped on the back panel; exposed and easy to break. Changing the battery is simple:  just open the door and replace.

    digiDART-LF Display and Keypad
    Naturally, the digiDART-LF is entirely computer controllable; but with the built-in display and numeric keypad, it is a DRAMATIC advance from the current generation of portable MCAs. This high-quality display and easy to use keypad mean it can perform a variety of tasks without an attached PC. 

    For in-field applications, a PC is difficult to carry and operate, but without a display you can't see the spectrum or results. The digiDART-LF's built-in, backlit LCD display panel and keypad provide the confidence you need that your data is good. A clear spectral display is provided and start/stop control is accomplished simply by a single keypad entry. 

    The spectral display of the digiDART-LF is patterned after ORTEC's very successful MAESTRO MCA Emulator, in use on thousands of systems worldwide. A 240 x 160 pixel LCD display allows the user to monitor acquisitions and instrument settings status, with no attached PC. It features a live spectral display with region of interest, peak information and online activity calculations. ROIs are shown as a bar below the spectrum.

    Real Time Activity Calculations. . .  NO PC Required!
    DigiDART-LF can also perform nuclide ID and activity calculations using internally stored calibration information, at the touch of a button, and all without the use of an attached PC. Everything is user controlled:  the library for analysis, displayed peak labels, unit labels and calibration parameters. They are all easily downloaded by MAESTRO to the digiDART-LF, but they can be changed in-field to adapt to your changing needs. Activity is calculated for a list of up to 9 nuclides. The spectral data can be saved and later re-analyzed in more detail using a more sophisticated PC-based analysis package such as A66SV-BW GammaVision Gamma Spectroscopy software for scintillation radiation detectors.

    Operator Menus
    All of the digiDART-LF screens and operations are set using the keypad and the display. The operation is simple — select what you want from the displayed list by number and the Enter key. The main groups are: View Status, Enter ID, Nuclide ROI contents, Peak Info, Select ROIs, Select Status contents, Adjust controls, general settings and View memory contents. The complete list of all functions is given in the specification section.

    Using the keypad and the display, the MCA settings can be verified or changed in the field without a host computer.

    Protection of the data is important, so the menus have password protection. The operations are separated into two groups: USER and ADMINISTRATOR. The USER password protects the instrument from unauthorized use. That is, you can protect your data stored in the internal memory. The ADMIN or Setup functions are protected by a different administrator password. The ADMIN functions can only be changed by the Administrator ensuring that your results are based on the correct parameters.
  • Specifications +

    240 x 160 pixel backlit LCD provides LIVE spectral display, status information and analysis results.
    Full Display and Zoom Modes Display of multiple ROIs.
    Status Line User-configurable parameter display. Choice of two from: cursor energy, location, live time, live time remaining, real time remaining, battery life remaining, Count rate, Count rate in ROI, counts.
    The spectral display may be disabled from an attached computer using an administrator function.
    Energy Calibration Two point energy calibration of channel and FWHM.
    On Line Activity Calculation Activity and uncertainty are calculated and reported on screen, online for up to 9 user-defined regions. Activity is calculated as net count-rate divided by user supplied efficiency factor.
    Presets Live time, real time, integral peak count, peak count, uncertainty and Multi-Nuclide MDA. Up to 20 nuclide ROIs may be specified. Acquisition halts when all MDA requirements have been satisfied. Real/Live Time in multiples of 1 sec.
    Keypad 20 numeric and function keys. Many of the DigiDART function keys are multi-function. The precise function depends on the context at the time the key is pushed. When the unit is connected to a computer via the USB, the keypad is locked out.

    Menu Functions
    Pressing the Menu button while a spectrum is displayed brings up the Main Menu.
    View Status
    Displays all of the major MCA settings, including: Live time, Real time, Dead time, Battery voltage, Bias voltage, Fine gain, Coarse gain, Rise time, Flat top, Baseline restore [BLR] setting.
    Enter ID Entry dialog for a numerical ID included with the spectrum.
    Nuclide ROIs View the nuclide report and the setup menu for the Nuclide Report. The following are entered for each of the 9 ROIs: ACTIVE/DISABLED, Label (text), Units (text), Start Channel, number of channels, area multiplier, Clear this ROI, Show these settings.
    Status Line Setup the Status Line at the top of the spectrum display to show any two of the following parameters: Cursor location (energy), Cursor location (channel), Live time, Real time, Live time remaining, Real time remaining, Battery time remaining, Count rate, Count rate in ROI, Counts in marker channel.
    Peak Info Displays the centroid, FWHM, net counts and gross counts for the region identified by the marker position. Access is denied when spectrum display is locked.
    Adjust Controls Displays dialog for the following:
    • HV Settings:  View and set the following:  enable HV, Set Bias Voltage, Set Shutdown mode, View Current HV value, View SOH.
    • Amplifier Settings:  View and set the following:  Coarse Gain, Fine Gain, Rise Time, Flat Top, Pole Zero, Baseline Restore, Optimize, Preamp Type, Input Polarity.
    • Preset Settings:  View and set the following:  Live Time Preset, Real Time Preset, ROI Integral Preset, ROI Peak Preset, Uncertainty Preset, MDA Presets.
    • ADC Settings:  Set the Conversion Gain, LLD, ULD, and gate.
    • Stabilization Settings:  Enable, view and setup the Gain and Zero stabilizers.
    General Settings Change User Password
    Change Admin Password
    Enter Password
    Lock Spectral Display
    Auto-Contrast: Enable or Disable
    Calibrate: Enter or view the Calibration
          Adjust vertical scale to Auto, Log, or Normal
          Set Mode to PHA
          View Settings
    Spectrum Memory  Retrieve, list or erase stored spectra.

    Multichannel Analyzer (MCA)

    Maximum System Throughput
    >100,000 cps
    System Gain Settings • Coarse Gain: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, or 32
    • Fine Gain:  0.45 to 1
    Preamplifiers INPUT accepts either positive or negative pulses with rise time of 10 to 650 ns and decay times of 40 µs to ∞; Zin > 1000 Ω dc-coupled; linear maximum 10 V; absolute maximum 20 V.
    System Conversion Gain Software controlled from 512 to 2k channels.
    Digital Filter Shaping Time Constant • Rise times:  0.8 µs to 20 µs in steps of 0.2 µs.
    • Flat tops:  0.5 to 2.0 in steps of 0.1 µs.
    Dead Time Correction Extended live-time correction according to Gedcke-Hale method. 
    Linearity • Integral Nonlinearity:  <±0.025% over top 99.5% of spectrum, measured with an ORTEC 448 pulser.
    • Differential Nonlinearity:  <±1%.
    • Digital Spectrum Stabilizer: Controlled via computer, stabilizes gain and zero errors.
    Temperature Coefficient • Gain:  <35 ppm/°C. [Typically 30 ppm/°C.]
    • Offset:  <3 ppm/°C, with Rise and Fall times of 12 µs, and Flat Top of 1 µs. (Similar to analog 6 µs shaping.)
    Pulse Pile Up Rejector Automatically set threshold. Pulse-pair resolution typically 500 ns.
    Automatic Digital Pole Zero Adjustment Computer controlled (U.S. Patent No. 5,872,363). Can be set automatically or manually. 
    Digital Gated Baseline Restorer Computer controlled adjustment of the restorer rate (High, Low and Auto)
    LLD Digital lower level discriminator set in channels. Hard cutoff of data in channels below the LLD setting.
    ULD Digital upper level discriminator set in channels. Hard cutoff of data in channels above the ULD setting.
    Ratemeter Count-rate display on MCA and/or PC screen.
    Battery A single battery is inserted through door in case. The compartment is semi-sealed and designed to resist dirt and moisture. The battery may be changed without loss of data or charged in the field with no tools.
    • Battery Life:  Up to 12 hours with fully charged Sony NP-F960 and standard ORTEC resistive feedback preamplifier.
    • Battery Type:  Lithium-ion Camcorder Battery. Sony NP-F960 (7.2 V 38.8 W hr).

    Inputs and Outputs
    Multipin connector with the following:
    • Preamp Power:  1 W max. (+12 V, –12 V, +24 V, –24 V, 2 GND)
    • Amp In:  Normal amplifier input.
    • TRP Inhibit
    • Battery Power:  (5–12 V) for HV module.
    USB Universal serial bus for PC communications.
    Power Connection to supply power from a wall mounted DC supply. (+12 V DC <1.25 A) (Charging circuitry and battery management circuitry internal to digiDART-LF).

    Electrical and Mechanical
    8" x 5" x 3" (20.32 x 12.7 x 7.62 cm)
    Weight <900 gm (1.9 lb) excluding battery
    Operating Temperature Range –10 to 60°C, including LCD Display.

    Radiation Detector High Voltage Supplies
    DIM-POSNAI For NaI and LaBr detectors which already have PMT bases with preamplifier.
    • Preamplifier Power:   9-PIN D female, 1 W maximum (+12 V, 12 V, +24 V, 24 V, 2 GND).
    • Analog In:  BNC male.
    • Bias Out:  SHV (HV) female. 0 +1800 V, 600 µA maximum below 1000 V, 300 µA maximum above 1000 V positive polarity only.
    • MCA Coincidence Gate In: BNC male. Includes leads with mating connectors for connecting to existing detector cabling.
    DIM-296 For Detectors incorporating 10 stage PMTs which have a standard 14-Pin base.
  • Ordering Information +

    Model Description
    DIGIDART-LF DigiDART-LF, 2 cables, battery and charger, MAESTRO MCA software, operator manual, and instruction card. NO Detector Interface Module (DIM). Requires DIGIDART-OPT6 if NOT used with DIM-296 or DIM-POSNAI.
    DD-LF-POSNAI DigiDART-LF with DIM-POSNAI detector interface module for positive bias NaI radiation detector.
    DD-LF-296 DigiDART-LF with DIM-296 detector interface module for NaI or LaBr radiation detector.
    DD-LF-2BY2 DigiDART-LF with rugged, integrated 2" x 2" NaI radiation detector/DIM-296 assembly and carry case.
    DD-LF-3BY3 DigiDART-LF with rugged, integrated 3" x 3" NaI radiation detector/DIM-296 assembly and carry case.
    Spare high capacity battery
    Battery charger 110–240 V 50/60 Hz
    Battery charger 110–240 V 50/60 Hz, CE approved for Europe
    Field Kit:  carry strap/belt strap, auto adapter, universal mains adapter; spare battery
    Fanout cable for use with detectors not including a DIM. Provides analog and gate input. (Requires conventional preamplifier output pulse.)