CCD 6200 Camera Systems: Overall System Description And Performance Specification

PixCellent Imaging systems are designed to provide precision, high quality digital images using an intuitive software environment within the Windows operating system.

You will also need:

A standard Windows PC with PCI-Express slot (single lane), running Windows XP or Windows 7, both with Professional versions ideally.  You will need a large enough hard disk to handle the substantial data volumes the camera can produce (up to 60 Mbytes/second while data are being gathered).  Our software is able to benefit from the multi-threaded multi-core processors made by Intel (i5, i7, etc).

A supply of liquid nitrogen (5 litres should allow the dewar to cool from room temperature and stay cool for ~ 1day, with a full dewar hold time in downward-looking mode of typically 16-24 hours).

Very occasional access to a turbomolecular or diffusion vacuum pump system.

What's in the box

When you unpack your system you will find the following items:

Camera Head

Incorporates the light sensitive charge coupled device (CCD) installed in a liquid-nitrogen cooled vacuum dewar head, full set of camera electronics.

Power Supply Unit

The PSU supplies the power for the camera head via a 15-pin D-connector/cable assembly.  The PSU connects to line power from 110-240 volts, 50/60 Hz.  A slider next to the line connector socket allows the input voltage to be selected.  It is normally set to 240 volts.


Cables are provided to connect the camera head to the interface box, the interface box to the computer interface card (referred to as the ADLINK card), a USB cable that connects to the camera head, a USB 3-metre extension cable, a power cable that connects the power supply to the camera head and a line cord for the PSU.

Interface Link Card and Interface Adapter box

The interface link between the computer motherboard/bus, and the Camera is an ADLINK 7300A RevB PCI-Express interface card.  Do not remove the interface(s) card from the protective bag until required for installation. The interface card is routed via an adapter box that allws external clocks to control the camera.

PixCel Software

There is a CD containing the installation software needed for the AdLink card, the driver software for the FTDI USB interface to the camera, the code for the lucky console software that controls the camera and the PixCel software which provides you with the graphical interface to the camera for control, acquisition, display and storage of images.


A hardware manual appropriate to your particular imaging system together with a PixCel software manual. Please retain the packing material where possible in the unlikely event you need to return any of the items for repair.

Camera Performance Outline

The CCD 6200 electron multiplying CCD camera systems sold by PixCellent Imaging Limited use E2V Technologies electron multiplying CCDs to provide photon counting performance at high pixel rates. The two CCDs that we use, the CCD97 and the CCD201 have slightly different properties principally in the maximum pixel rate that they can be run at. Our typical systems would be configured to run the CCD97 with 512 x 512 pixels at a pixel rate of 15 MHz and the CCD 201 with 1024 x 1024 pixels will be run at a pixel rate of 25 MHz. These give frame rates as follows:

Frame Rates Achievable with a CCD97

Using a camera system with 15 MHz clock, and setting FrameYSize to the following values gives frame rates as follows: 

Frame Y Size

Frame Rate (Hertz)





















 Frame rate achievable with the CCD201 

Using a camera system with a 25 MHz clock and setting FrameYSize to the following values gives frame rates as follows: 

Frame Y Size

Frame Rate (Hertz)






38. 2



















It is important to appreciate that a very high frame rates produce a very large numbers of data files.  At present, Windows machines cannot store at very high frame rates since the operating system cannot create index entries fast enough.  Future versions of the PixCel software package will have an option that packs together the data files taken into much larger files in a noiselessly compressed format so that the camera may be run at very high rates indeed. 

It is also important to remember that should you happen to have an application that requires large numbers of small files then there are other formats and approaches to readout that may make sense.  Please discuss these with your camera supplier.

CCD 6200 Camera Gain Control

The LuckyConsole software package allows the high-voltage/multiplication clock level to be set interactively so that different games may be achieved with the camera system. Care has to be taken to avoid excessive illumination since this can cause premature ageing of the CCD. However in photon counting mode with very low signal levels gains of several thousand may be used although generally gains in the region of ~1000 will allow reliable photon counting. There is a more detailed description of several aspects of operating these devices in the system manual and it is important that the user is familiar with this in order to ensure that the full lifetime of the CCD is achieved. With reasonable care this will be very many years.

The pages on this Web Site are Copyright of PixCellent Imaging Ltd., 53 Hamilton Road, Cambridge, CB4 1BP, UK.  All enquiries to: sales@pixcellent.com , Reproduction in part is permitted with acknowledgement to PixCellent Imaging Ltd., and of this Web Site Address (http://www.pixcellent.com/).
Comments, please, to webmaster@pixcellent.com
Site last updated: 20 November 2011.