Help for Users
Recommended for Windows XP OS
Software for UNC Thumb Nail Stimulator controller with LabJack USB U12 data acquisition
the latest version of the Visual Basic EXE file: ThumbNailStimulator2010.exe
Just downloading the executable file will not work unless you have
previously installed a version of this software and all the needed DLL, and OCX files.
New Software Help
Old Software Help
The software layout is based on a software package originally developed for the Medoc TSA
II thermode controller
. The parameter table, the magnitude estimation device, the graph, the sounds and the TTL options are practically identical in both packages;
anybody familiar with one should have no problem mastering the other.
The basic system consists of a Thumb Nail Stimulator pressure controller (Visual Interface front panel
). A graph display option (Graph Sample
an "Magnitude Estimation" device option for subject input (Subject input display
). See below for more on both options
Parameter Table Description.
Specifies the way to skip to the next parameter table column during an experiment, when the "Duration"
is set to a negative value (other than a time in seconds).
Specifies the way to increase and decrease the "Destination" value, when the parameter table "Delta"
value is other than zero.
Graph Data Sampling
Lets the user set the recording frequency when recording the data during an experiment.
Magnitude Estimation Device Type
The two types of "Magnitude Estimation" devices suported are self detectable and do not need to be selected. These buttons will automatically be set when a device is detected. The Magnitude Estimation device can be used to abort a test if the check box labeled: "Stop Test when above 99%" is checked.
Prior to Jan. 2009.
The "Stimulus accuracy" was added to the options during design and we know no reason for it to be changed.
The parameter table "Destination" is limited to the value entered in the "Maximum stimulus (PSI)" text box.
The "PSI limiting jumper installed" checkbox should be checked if the hardware jumper
is installed . It limits the pressure command amplifier gain to 1, thus
limiting the pressure command to 30 PSI. so long as the electronic pressure regulator is compatible with the one used in the original system that had a range of 60 PSI at a 10 vdc command. Unfortunately, the following link to "Proportion-Air" information is no longer valid:
Proportion-Air #BB2MFEE060 / PSR-2
|Starting Jan. 2009. The pressure regulators will be ordered to meet the user specifications. Because the pressure command to the regulator has a range of 0 to 10vdc corresponding to 0 PSI to the factory maximum, this maximum will have to be entered
into the new software options “Factory Maximum” text box (shown at right), for the software to correctly adjust the command amplitude.
The software can still be limited to a lower maximum by entering its value into the “Maximum stimulus (0 to XX)” text box.
The “PSI limiting jumper” is still implemented and still limits the maximum to approximately ½ the “Factory Maximum”.
(Click here for instructions on how to enter the calibration procedure).
Reset to Theoretical Values The pressure regulator receives a command from 0 to 10 volt and sends a feed back voltage from 0 to 10 volt where, in both cases, zero volt represent zero PSI and 10 volt represents the maximum PSI for the given regulator. Unless your system has a non standard regulator, the maximum pressure should be 105 PSI.
Thus the pressure read(in PSI): = 10.5 x voltage from the regulator.
The pressure command, however, is sent through a digital to analog converter(DtoA) with a maximum output of 5 volt. This output is amplified by 2 before it is sent to the regulator as a command.
Thus the pressure command out(in PSI): = 21 x voltage from the DtoA.
If the values displayed greatly differ from these, it is recommended to revert to theoretical values before performing a calibration.
Target Values Points #1 & #2 Values too close to the limits should not be used for calibration; we recommend 10 PSI and 80 or any value close to whatever you expect to use as a maximum, but keeping it below 10 PSI less than the maximum attainable (95 PSI for a 105 PSI maximum).
Performing the calibration Follow the instructions that are displayed when clicking the menu Help item. (Link to newer software instructions).
Finishing the calibration Click on "Calculate Calibration" and make sure the values are not too far from the ones shown at left. If satisfied then click "Apply Calibration" and then "OK" to exit the calibration procedure.
Checking out the calibration
This procedure can be used to check the general comportment of the system at different pressures. Just enter the desired target pressure in one of the pink target text boxes and click its associated "Test#" button.
This procedure can also be used as a manual way to send stimuli without making use of the parameter table.
Magnitude Estimation Device (only on units prior to Jan.2009).
The graphing module is shared with other software packages some information is available at: Graph Options
In Case of Problems
Thumb Nail not found - or - In Edit Mode?
The intent of the edit mode is to design and test parameter tables without the pressure controller being attached to the computer interface unit.
When in "Edit Mode", the pressure gage and information text background colors become beige (See a jpeg image of the front panel in edit mode
To revert to "Normal Mode" go to the menu "Tools" then "Thumbnail Pressure" and click on "On".
The front panel gage and information text background colors should turn blue (as seen on this jpeg image
Should the software experience difficulties finding the interface unit...
Prior to 2010
an error message appears (as seen on this image
Starting with the 2010 version
, several messages may appear depending on the circumstances:
|If the Thumb Nail Stimulator is not connected to the computer:
|If several LabJack DAQ units are connected to the computer:
|If the Thumb Nail Stimulator is the only LabJack connected to the computer, but is a different unit from the last time the software was used:
If the Thumb Nail Stimulator is the only LabJack connected to the computer, but this is the first time it is used:
|If the Thumb Nail Stimulator is connected to the computer, but its power is off:
Testing the Computer Interface Unit.
Prior to Jan. 2009.
Starting Jan. 2009.
Should the system behave totally erratically, we recommend unplugging the electronic pressure regulator from the back of the computer interface unit and install a test jumper from pin 1 to pin 2 of the
jack. Great care must be taken not to jumper the wrong pins: shorting ground or the 15 vdc supply to any other pin could cause serious damage. The jack on the interface box is a 5 pin DIN connector
identical to the old IBM keyboard connector, and because the original DIN connectors only had 3 pins, the 5 pin ones have what may seem to be a strange pin lay out. It goes 1 4 2 5 3 (pins 4 & 5 were added
later between the other pins). With this jumper replacing the regulator, the software and interface box can be tested without the fear of damage to the regulator. Future units will be equipped with a wrap test switch to make testing more convenient.
A jumper was added to the circuit board as an option to wrap the "command out" around to the "pressure feed back" / "Monitor" that normally comes from the pressure regulator (See schematics
and jumper J7 location
a 50KB GIF file).
To: Thumb Nail Stimulator main page.
2006 October 23
Latest update 2012 July 27