This UNC program communicates with the Medoc TSAII through an old Visual Basic 6 Medoc driver called "Shoval32.exe". When starting, this Medoc program attempts to communicate with the TSAII as shown at left.
|| Should communication fail to be established, an error message such as the one at left, or that one , will be displayed.
| Sometimes communication fails on the first try and restarting the program may be sufficient provided the TSAII is connected, powered on, and the specified COM port is correct.|
For more information troubleshooting initialization errors help.
Modes of Operation
Medoc TSAII . . Subject Display . . Investigator's
Downloads (VB.NET Version)
UNC Software Zipped Folder:
VB.NET version zipped folder
with all the files needed to run the application.
UNC Application File:
Needed Medoc Files:
Medoc Files to be included in the same folder as the executable file above must be purchased from Medoc with the TSA SDK package ($3,200 as of August 2008):
"SHOVAL32.EXE", "AAA.DRV", "Options.ini", "VATOD.DRV", "VSAATOD0.DRV", "VSAATOD1.DRV", "VSATABLE.DRV", "BLACKBOX.DAT" and "LogVAS.drv".
This file is used and modified by "SHOVAL32.EXE": Options.ini
Needed Windows Files:
Other UNC Files:
Remote Control of the TSAII:
Calibration, and Accuracy Check vs Calibration Check
Calibration vs Calibration Check
To compensate for the fact that Medoc does not provide a useful method for calibrating the TSAII (±1°C offset), three types of Calbration/TSAII Accuracy Checks are now available with this package:
- A TSAII Accuracy Check procedure (used to be called: "Calibration Check") to enable the user to verify the actual temperature put out by the TSAII when using other programs such as the Medoc WinTSA and Covas, and our previous versions.
See also how to improve the TSAII accuracy.
- A Software Calibration procedure is now available. The calibration values are saved in the defaults file: "TSA-II_DFTs.ini". It is very important to understand that only this new version of UNC programs located in the same folder as the defaults file can take advantage of such calibration: none of the Medoc software nor our previous versions will be affected by this calibration in any way.
- A Software Calibration Check procedure that is similar to the TSAII Accuracy check procedure (#1 above) can also be performed while preserving the calibration settings, thus checking the effectiveness of the "Software Calibration".
All 3 features require a precision thermometer to be connected to the computer(see below).
The thermometer supplied by Medoc is a YSI 4600
precision thermometer with an RS232 serial interface that can be connected to any computer with an RS232 serial port, or a USB port through a serial to USB adapter.
Thermometer COM Port:
||Selecting any of the 3 calibration and check features above will cause the software to search for a valid thermometer. Should the thermometer not be found, the feature will not be enabled, but clicking the menu => Tools => "Thermometer COM Port" will show the form at left permitting to manually select a COM port to help troubleshot the problem.
TSAII COM port:
The COM port refers to the port to which the TSA II is connected (not to be confused with the YSI4600 thermometer COM port).
To find out to which COM port the TSAII is connected, go to the windows "Start" menu and select the Control Panel
at the control panel in the "Hardware and Sounds" section, select View Devices and Printers.
Below the "Devices" and the "Printers and Faxes",
there should be an "Unspecified" section in which you should find the TSAII COM port that will appear and disappear as you plug and unplug the TSAII cable. If you are planning on using the pain "Magnitude Estimation" device, you should also see a mention of the "LabJack U3" device.
The Medoc WinTSA and Covas programs have a special offset feature accessible through a special code. The range of this offset is ±1.0°C. It permits
correcting for differences between thermodes. If your thermode calibration is off and Medoc changed that offset for you, then you should type the same value in the "Temperature Offset" text box of the "UNC-TSA Options" form.
These options are saved along with the parameter table at the end of the file (See sample parameter table file).
- "Table disabled" check box. Its purpose is to prevent accidental modification of the parameter table by an inexperienced user.
- "Program starts with" radio buttons, give the choice of either always starting a program in column #1 whether it is or not selected, or to start the program with which ever column is selected at that time.
Data Sampling Rate.
Calibration Check Settings.
The "Precision" and the "Offset" are used in accuracy and calibration check modes, to decide whether the thermode "Passes" or "Fails" the test.
Editing the Message List
- click the down arrow and select the message to be deleted.
- click the "Delete this Message" button.
- click the down arrow and select the message to be edited.
- Edit the message in the text box next to the selection number.
- Press the keyboard "Enter" key.
- click the down arrow and select the message located where the new message is to be inserted.
- Enter/edit the new message in the text box next to the selection number.
- Click the "Insert this Message" button.
The MarStock method is a threshold determination protocol for the thermal senses. It was originally developed by Drs. Heinrich Fruhstorfer and W. Schmidt of Marburg, and Dr. Ulf Lindblom of Stockholm.
The MarStock mode
can be entered through the menu Tools => MarStock Mode => On.
If the parameter table is saved while this menu option is checked, the mode will be automatically entered whenever this same table is loaded.
The MarStock report
consists of a certain number of columns (6 in our example) containing the temperature at which the response was received, each followed by a column containing the device through which the response was received: KB = Keyboard spacebar; TSA = The TSAII mouse-like input device; ME = the UNC pain "Magnitude Estimation" device.
Four more columns give, first, the average of all the columns, and second, the average of all the columns except the first and the last (4 in our example).
Subject Response Mode:
The subject response mode
can be entered through the menu Tools => Subject Response Mode => On - Upward or Downward.
If the parameter table is saved while one of these menu options is checked, the mode will be automatically entered whenever this same table is loaded.
Remote Control Mode:
It allows any software to control a TSA II using text files.
The command file is generated by the controlling software and must be located in the same folder as the TSAII application.
Its name must be: “TSAII_Remote_Cmd.txt
It must contain one of the following:
- - A temperature command in °C.
- - The word: "Off" to close the TSAII application.
The Status file is generated as fast as the computer permits.
The Status file resides in the same folder as the command file.
Its name is: “TSAII_Remote_Stat.txt”.
It contains the TSA thermode tip temperature as reported by the TSA.
The absence of this file is an indication that the TSA is not online.
Remote feature test software:
This program can now be used with more accuracy: it incorporates a software calibration that makes the TSAII more accurate by adjusting the commands to compensate for the inaccuracy of the device.
Software Calibration Check
The "Calibration Check" no longer checks the accuracy of the TSAII, instead, it checks the accuracy of the software calibration that only affects this program.
TSAII Accuracy Check
This is not a new feature; rather, it is a new name for the previously misnamed: "Calibration Check".
Use Calibration Check Box
A check box label: "Use Calibration" was added to the "Status" frame at the right side of the main window.
When this box is checked, the software uses the calibration factor and offset determined by the last calibration.
Recording is no longer sent directly to Excel, instead it is saved in a "csv" file that can later be displayed with any spreadsheet software, such as Excel, that recognizes this format (see sample file
Magnitude Estimation Device
When the menu "Tools=>Magnitude Estimation=>On" is checked, this TSAII program communicates with the Magnitude Estimation
program. The "Messages" are then displayed to the subject and the subject response can be recorded along with the thermal stimuli and/or used for timing when in "Subject Response" mode.
The estimated pain magnitude is displayed in the main window.
"Status" frame under: "Pain Magnitude" and the value display turns red whenever the Magnitude Estimation device "OK" button is depressed.
Stimulus On / Off
Now the user can turn the TSAII pump off (menu Tools=>Stimulus=>Off) when not in use without having to exit the program. Testing can be resumed by turning the "Stimulus" back on.
Temperature and Magnitude Estimation Recording
The temperature files are now saved in "csv" format. Whenever the "Magnitude Estimation" device is available and checked on in the tools menu, the estimated pain magnitude and "OK" button status are recorded alongside the temperature (see sample file
TSAII COM Port Troubleshooting Help
Using the Program Menu=>Tools=>Options
- From "Edit" mode select the "Options" from the "Tools" menu.
- Clicking the COM Port combo box down arrow, will give you the list of COM ports currently present on the computer, including the one the TSAII is connected to, that should look something like this list.
- Disconnect the TSAII serial port at the computer end.
- Clicking the COM Port combo box down arrow again should show the same list minus the port that was just disconnected: the TSAII port. It should now look something like this list.
- Reconnect the TSAII serial cable.
- Click the COM Port combo box down arrow once more and select the COM port that just re-appeared.
- Click the "OK" button.
- Exit the program.
- Restart the program.
- You should now be able to hear the TSAII water pump chirping away, or should I say: sputtering away:)
Using Medoc Options.ini File
- Through the computer "Start" button open the "Control Panel" "Devices and Printers" . Locate the TSAII COM port (plugging and unplugging the TSAII USB cable will help identify the port).
- Open the Options.ini file in a text editor.
- In the [Miscellaneous] section, edit the line containing the COM Port number: " Port=COM#"
- Start the program.
- You should now be able to hear the TSAII water pump chirping away.
2011 October 04
Last updated 2015 May 20