Nuclear Products general, sales and applications inquiries: sales@xia.com

Technical support for existing products: support@xia.com

Comments about XIA we pages: webmaster@xia.com

Common problems:

XIA Digital Processors are digitally controlled, high performance products for X-ray and gamma-ray spectroscopy. All settings can be changed under computer control, including gains, peaking times, pileup inspection criteria, and ADC conversion gain. The hardware itself is very reliable (no moving parts!). Most problems are not related to hardware failures, but rather to setup procedures and to parameter settings. XIA’s software includes several consistency checks to help select the best parameter values. However, due to large number of possible combinations the user may occasionally request parameter values which conflict among themselves. This can cause the unit to report data which apparently make no sense (such as bad peak resolution or even empty spectra). Each time a problem is reported to us, we diagnose it and include necessary modifications in the new versions of our control programs, as well as add the problem description to the FAQ list.

As a first step in diagnosing a problem, it is sometimes helpful to consult most recent data sheets and user manuals for a given product, available in pdf format from the XIA web site. Since these documents may have been updated since the product was purchased, they may contain information that helps solve a problem in question.

Please check your software/firmware before submitting a problem report:

It is important that the XIA product is being driven by the most recent software/firmware combination, since most problems are actually solved at the software level. Please visit the Nuclear products Software page for the most up to date versions of the Nuclear products software and firmware. (Note: before upgrading your software it is a good idea to make backup copies of your existing software and firmware, and store these copies in a safe place.)

Submitting a problem report:

In case a problem persists after upgrading the software, please collect the following information, which will be used by our technical support personnel to diagnose and solve the problem.

  • Description of the problem, including screen shots and/or spectrum content (if applicable).
  • The product type variant (e.g., Pixie-16), and the serial number of the unit.
  • The digital signal processor (DSP) code release number.
  • The FPGA code release number.
  • The type of the X-ray, gamma-ray, or particle detector used.
  • The type and settings of the preamplifier (e.g., RC feedback or reset preamp).
  • Digital settings of the spectrometer unit, i.e., the values of the parameter such as the decimation, settings of the digital trapezoidal filters, etc. The values of these parameters can be captured into an ASCII file by executing an appropriate command from the user interface menu (such as “Parameters –> Save As…”, or similar). Please have a printout of this file handy while talking to our technical support personnel.
  • Capturing an oscilloscope image of the preamp output will be extremely helpful. This can be done either with a digital scope or with the internal scope function. Important features to capture are the signal amplitude, rise time, decay time (if applicable), and any noise present on the signal.

Email the problem report to support@xia.com. Please include the name of the product in the subject line, (eg Pixie-16).