Recommended for Windows 7 OS.
Parameter Table Help
Running for the first time.
The software layout is based on a software package originally developed for the Medoc TSA
II thermode controller
. The parameter table and the sound option 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
) and an optional dual push button switch input unit
to replace the Medoc TSA mouse like input box.
Parameter Table Description.
Definition of Parameters
The tables are saved in text files with the ".dnc" extension. Their format is as follows:
Line 1: number of columns
Each following line represents each column of the table. Each parameter separated by commas in the same order as in the table:
"Destination" (amplitude in PSI), "Delta" (PSI), "Rate" (PSI/sec.), "Duration" (sec.), "Jump to" (column number), "Repeat", Sound.
Example parameter text file:
Number of columns in the table.
Set pressure at 0 PSI and wait for Space Bar.
Go to 10 PSI, Sound the wave file defined by #1, Stay at 10 PSI for 3 seconds.
Go to 20 PSI, Sound the wave file defined by #2, Stay at 20 PSI for 3 seconds.
Go to 40 PSI, Sound the wave file defined by #3, Stay at 40 PSI for 3 seconds.
Go to 70 PSI, Sound the wave file defined by #4, Stay at 70 PSI for 3 seconds.
Go to 100 PSI, Sound the wave file defined by #5, Stay at 100 PSI for 3 seconds, then jump to column #2 two more times.
Go to 0 PSI, Sound the wave file defined by #6, End of program.
Followed by the "options" below. Sample parameter file (Text File)
NEW August 2010
Except for the "Pressure" options that remain the same for all the parameter tables, these options are saved along with the parameter table data and caution should be taken that they be set correctly whenever the tables are being saved to disk.
1 - 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).
2 - Specifies the way to perform an "Emergency Jump" when the column number in the jump row is set to a negative number (See sample parameter table).
The optional dual push button switch input unit
should be used for this purpose rather than the keyboard spacebar.
Specifies the way to increase and decrease the "Destination" value, when the parameter table "Delta"
value is other than zero. The optional dual push button switch input unit
can be used for this purpose as well as the keyboard "Page Up" and "Page Down" keys..
These option settings are saved along with the index of the selected column at the time the table is being saved to disk.
Program Starts at:
Instead of always starting the experiment at column #1 of the parameter table, it is possible to have the experiment start at whatever column has been selected. This option however could present some problems with inexperienced users and, in some cases, should be avoided.
Table is disabled check box:
To avoid accidently entering bad data into the parameter table it is possible to "disable" it through this option.
-- The pressure regulators are 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 (PSI)” text box (shown on the left), 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 allowed (PSI)” text box.
-- The "Adaptation stimulus" should probably be called something like the "Idle Pressure". Instead of returning to a zero pressure it is recommended to keep a very low pressure to prevent any movement of the subject thumb in relation to the plunger.
-- The “PSI limiting jumper” electronically limits the maximum to approximately ½ the “Factory Maximum”. It is imperative that this check box agrees with the actual position of the hardware jumper on the circuit board. A calibration must also be performed whenever the jumper position is changed.
The units of force to be displayed are selectable through the "menu/View/Units of Force"
The displayed force is derived from the pressure in PSI, the area of the piston applying the force, and the selected choice of unit of force. The piston area is set at the factory and is saved in the "Defaults" file named : "ThumbNail_DFTs.ini" and should only be changed if found to be erroneous.
Sample "Defaults" file.
Because the pressure is measured in PSI (pound per square Inch), the piston diameter is in inches (Sorry, it is Reagan's fault if the US is the only country in the world to have never adopted the metric system).
The color of the empty portion of the tube, as well as the color of the liquid, can be changed by clicking on the portion to be changed.
A standard color dialog
opens in order to permit color selection.
In Case of Problems
The main window does not show on the monitor.
The window location specified in the defaults file may be off the current monitor. Press "F2" to restore the location to x=0 y=0.
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 information text box and selected column 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 aquamarine (as seen on this jpeg image
Should the software experience difficulties finding the interface unit...
Several messages, including those mentioned at the top of this page, 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.
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 September 11