Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 08:24:14 -0500

Author: Paul Nord

Subject: Re: PCA-II MCA


Stan, George,

Actually, we routinely run it under windows 95. But you can't switch
back to windows mode while it's running. You need to be in the
full-screen DOS mode. Otherwise it looses counts. Even this way, it
seems that you need to keep the data collection rate low. It quickly
shows a high dead time.

We have one PCA-III. It has a data acquisition processor on the board
and can continue to function without any software running. It also has
a battery that will save your data if the power goes off --- something
that actually happened to some of our students using a PCA-II just last
weekend. The PCA-III also saves the information about the data
collection such as live-time and total acquisition time.

We do use it with Laserjet printers over a Novell network. I setup a
print-screen utility that translates the screen into proper Laserjet
output. Though... I think that the newer version of the program does
that by itself. It's been a while since I looked at it, but I think
that is true. When it works correctly I quickly forget how it got that


On Sunday, October 20, 2002, at 06:06 PM, Stanley A Dodds wrote:

> According to Paul Nord, Tennelec-Nucleus was bought by Canberra
> sometime before September 2000. You can probably find more current
> products listed on the Canberra site,, but the PCA-II
> is long gone.
> Paul also notes that the PCA-II was not designed to be used with a
> multitasking OS, only with DOS. It apparently needs control of the
> whole machine to function properly.
> The solution adopted here is to keep a machine running DOS, solely to
> house the card and software. I've also got a dot-matrix printer, since
> DOS won't readily handle anything more modern. If you already have the
> card and want to go this way I can send you a copy of the manual and
> perhaps even the software.
> An alternative would be a new 'student-grade' system. Spectrum
> Techniques,, offers systems that look
> remarkably like The Nucleus instruments. Pasco, among others,
> distributes them.
> Stan
> On Sun, 20 Oct 2002, George M. Caplan wrote:
>> I am looking for information about the PCA-II multichannel analyzer.
>> I think it is/was made by Nucleus, Inc., but I cannot
>> find a Web site for them.
>> Have they died? Been bought out? Merged with Enron?
>> etc.