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Atlas DCA Support Page: The Atlas DCA - Model DCA55 Atlas DCA Testing a component

 
Atlas DCA (model DCA55) Feature Upgrade Service
   
We can upgrade your unit here at the factory only. The version number of your Atlas DCA is displayed for a very short time when powering up. Check this document to see list of version numbers.

What do I get with this service?

  • Software upgrade to the latest version for your unit (R3.0x).
  • Full function verification test.
  • New user guide (if required).

Send us your Atlas DCA (in a padded envelope or box) and book your upgrade by clicking on the button below. If sending your unit from outside the UK, it is vital that it is clearly marked it with
 "Item for repair - Inward processing relief."
Send to the address shown on our Contact Us page.

UK shipping is 3 for the whole order. Airmail outside UK charged by total order weight and is calculated at checkout before you confirm your acceptance.
Payments are made in UK Pounds and will be converted to your local currency by your credit card provider, we have no control over the exchange rate used.

DCA Upgrade
12.00 inc VAT
(10.00 + VAT)
 

 
Atlas DCA55 (model DCA55) Repair Service
   
If your Atlas DCA (model DCA55) is out of warranty or you think you may have blown it up then don't worry

The best thing to do is to send us your unit so we can assess what needs to be done. We will then contact you (usually on the same day) to discuss the options available. If you wish, we can return your unit, free of charge if you're in the UK. Alternatively, you can book your repair online, send us your unit and we'll get on with it as soon as it gets here.

Full Repair Consists of:
  • Hardware repair
  • Software upgrade (if applicable) to the latest version available for your unit (R3.0x).
  • Full function verification test.
  • New user guide (if required).
  • 12 months repair warranty.

Send us your Atlas DCA55 (in a padded envelope or box) and book your repair by clicking on the button below. If sending your unit from outside the UK, it is vital that it is clearly marked it with
 "Item for repair - Inward processing relief."
Send to the address shown on our Contact Us page.

UK shipping is 3 for the whole order. Airmail outside UK charged by total order weight and is calculated at checkout before you confirm your acceptance.
Payments are made in UK Pounds and will be converted to your local currency by your credit card provider, we have no control over the exchange rate used.

DCA55 Repair
19.20 inc VAT
(16.00 + VAT)
 

Atlas DCA55 - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  Is the DCA ok with germanium transistors, can it measure leakage current and does it take into account the leakage current for it's gain measurement? Yes. The DCA will detect the germanium (or silicon) type of semiconductor. It will measure leakage current and it takes that leakage into account when measuring gain (unlike most multimeter hFE measurements).  
I've noticed the leakage current of my germanium transistor gradually drop with each subsequent measurement. Is my DCA battery failing or something else wrong? Leakage current is extremely temperature dependent and particularly noticeable for germaniums as the current is fairly high to start with. The leakage current can double for just a 5C increase in temperature. So after some handling, the transistor temperature slowly falls and can lead to a decreasing leakage current. That's completely normal and correct. Additionally, DCA55 test currents are completely independent of battery condition.
The Collector and Emitter of my germanium transistor is showing the wrong way round, is the DCA55 wrong? If the leakage current of the germanium transistor is quite high (due to warming from your fingers for example), the DCA55 can reject the "correct" pinout. However, it will then search for all other device types and configurations. It can, in those circumstances, find a transistor with the C-E swapped (although gain can be very low). Tests in a simple circuit confirm that you can get a germanium transistor to work, with some gain, in that way. So the DCA55 is not wrong, it's just found a configuration that yields a low leakage current. Try keeping your transistor cool during testing to avoid this situation.
Can the Atlas DCA measure Zener diodes? Perhaps low voltage ones? No, the DCA doesn't currently support Zener diodes. Low voltage (<5V) zener diodes can lead to confusing results although the displayed forward voltage may represent the Zener voltage which can be useful. Higher voltage Zeners (>5V) will be shown as a regular diode and the forward voltage will be the voltage of the pn junction not the zener voltage).
Can I use the DCA to match transistors? Yes. The main parameters that you may be interested in are hFE and VBE. Both of these parameters are measured by the DCA. This enables you to group your transistors that have similar gain figures for example.
What will the DCA show if my component is faulty? Generally, the DCA would show "Faulty or unknown component". Sometimes it may still be able to see a pn (diode) junction within the component you're testing, in which case it would display "Diode or diode junction(s)". If there is a short circuit within your component then the DCA will display "Short circuit on RED GREEN" for example.
Can my Atlas DCA be upgraded online? The only way to upgrade the firmware is to send your unit to us. It's a very low cost process. Click here to see how to order an upgrade. We can upgrade even the oldest units.
What is the latest version of the Atlas DCA? The latest firmware version is 2.8 and 2.9. Both are current versions (different numbers for two PCB manufacturing streams). Version 2.8 added "digital transistor" support.
Why can't the DCA analyse triacs or thyristors that need higher currents than 5mA? The test currents of the Atlas DCA are deliberately kept below 5mA to avoid damage to any potentially random component that can be connected any way round. The Peak Atlas SCR is aimed specifically at analysing a wide range of triacs and thyristors that require test currents from less than 100uA up to 100mA.
How long is the warranty period? All our products now have a warranty of 24 months. This doesn't cover accidental damage or abuse however.
   
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