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Using aerogel as radiator and multi-anodephotomultiplier tubes (PMTs) for photon detection, a proximity focusing Cherenkov ring imaging detector has been constructed and tested with beams containing pions, muons, and electrons. The aim is to experimentally study the basic parameters such as resolution of the single photon Cherenkov angle and number of detected photons per ring. The resolution obtained is well approximated by estimates of contributions from pixel size and emission point uncertainty. The number of detected photons per Cherenkov ring is in good agreement with estimates based on aerogel and detector characteristics. The values obtained turn out to be rather low, mainly due to Rayleigh scattering and to the relatively large dead space between the photocathodes. A light collection system or a higher fraction of the photomultiplier active area, together with better quality aerogels are expected to improve the situation. The reduction of Cherenkov yield, for charged particle impact in the vicinity of the aerogel tile side wall, has also been measured.