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Home Experiments Ionizing Radiation Detection d.i.y. Handheld Multichannel Analyzer (MCA) based on 16F877 PIC Microcontroller and LCD
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d.i.y. Handheld Multichannel Analyzer (MCA) based on 16F877 PIC Microcontroller and LCD

Isotope gama spectra obtained with d.i.y. multichannel analyzer (MCA)

Some time ago I was developing a medical instrument which required histogramming, which got me in the mood to retake my own PIC MCA project(http://home.comcast.net/~prutchi/index_files/scint.htm ).   I used the variable RAM in the microcontroller (16F877), so I limited the number of channels to 95 and let the histogram run until some channel reaches 240 counts (the highest 8-bit number that yields an integer when divided by 8 which is also divisible by the 30 pixel height of the LCD). The firmware then displays the spectrum as a bar with a maximum height of 30 pixels for each one of the 95 channels.

Click here for complete how-to construction instructions in pdf format.

Click here for a pdf of the schematic diagram for the front-end of the MCA

diy Multichannel Analyzer (MCA) prototype by David Prutchi PhD

 

Please visit www.prutchi.com and www.diyPhysics.com for other cutting-edge d.i.y. projects, and remember to check out our new d.i.y. Quantum Physics book:


 

 
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2 Comments  comments 

2 Responses

  1. David Holman

    Hi,
    Is 240 really the largest 8-bit number divisible by 8? I would think it’s 248.

    – David

    • admin

      Thank you David!
      I should have further qualified that statement to incorporate the 30 pixel height of the display. I have modified the portion in parenthesis to “the highest 8-bit number that yields an integer when divided by 8 which is also divisible by the 30 pixel height of the LCD.”
      Cheers,
      David