A temperature controlled chamber for an analytical instrument which includes a circular conveyor for transporting assay cartridges, the chamber enclosing the outer peripheral part of the conveyor on which the assay cartridges reside. The temperature controlled chamber has a bottom wall of polymeric material located beneath the conveyor, an outer wall of polymeric material extending upward above the conveyor, a metallic top wall and a metallic inner wall which extends downward to the upper surface of the conveyor. Thermal control, including rapid thermal response to compensate for temperature perturbations induced by periodic introduction of assay cartridges which are at a temperature less than that of the chamber, is accomplished by heating elements located above and below the conveyor. The heating elements are pulsed by an electrical circuit at a rate substantially faster than the rate of introduction of new assay cartridges. Pulses of electric current applied to the heating elements are modulated with pulse-width modulation to adjust the temperature within the chamber in response to signals emitted by a temperature sensor located within the chamber.