easySYNC – Interfacing IOX2 with external TTL triggers
The easySYNC device allows users to externally trigger actions in the IOX2 data acquisition software.
The external triggers are driven through our easySYNC TTL* inputs which provides greater timing accuracy and direct external control of physiological data streaming, storage, video start/stop or comment additions.
The easySYNC device is particularly useful in behavioral studies, as it allows the Noldus EthoVision behavior tracking software to externally trigger EMKA’s IOX2 acquisition software. Tracking and analysis of the behavior, movement, and activity of an animal is done in EthoVision while synchronized physiological data from EMKA’s easyTEL+ or rodentPACK wireless telemetry systems is collected in the IOX data acquisition software.
While designed for use with Noldus’ USB-IO box, the easySYNC can be used with other systems supporting an ethernet-based connection with RJ45 connectors.
* Transistor-Transistor Logic
Use of EMKA’ easySYNC and Noldus’ USB-IO box allow for synchronized behavioral and physiological recordings, enabling a new opportunity for researchers whose applications span both fields of study.
For example, you can now collect physiological endpoints (i.e. ECG/EEG/EMG, blood pressure, temperature, activity) from a subject while they are in a Morris Water Maze or on a treadmill.
This development allows researchers to synchronize behavioral changes with physiological changes regardless of the challenge they undergo.
Various easyTEL+ implants models are offered to accomodate different subject sizes and study endpoints. The rodentPACK and easyTEL+ telemetry systems utilize the same acquisition pathway (hardware and software), allowing for an easy transition between systems and/or implant models.
This is ideal for a core research lab with behavioral and/or physiological studies ongoing, as a wide range of telemeters are available to meet unique study requirements.
The easySYNC (EMKA) and USB-IO (Noldus) box can be added onto an existing set up and any time to accomodate evolving or separate research applications.
Technique & Measurements
The easySYNC is used to interface between any device sending TTL signals and the acquisition computer running IOX2 acquisition software.
It is plugged to the computer with a simple usb connection.
Up to 12 TTL signals are received by the easySYNC, through RJ45 connectors, each RJ45 connector having 2 TTL outputs (or signals).
They can come from the Noldus USB-IO box managed by EthoVision software, or any other device providing TTL signals.
TTL signals, meaning “Transistor-Transistor logic”, have 2 logic levels: low and high, corresponding to 0 and 5 V. Level changes (rising or falling edges) are used to trigger actions in IOX software, such as starting/stopping recording of analog signals and calculated data and starting/stopping video.
System configuration & extensions
A typical setup includes:
- An acquisition computer
- An easySYNC box
- RJ45 cables linked to a device producing TTL signals.
For instance, it can be the USB-IO box from Noldus, which is linked to the Ethovision software and the rest of their hardware.
Another data acquisition system can be added to the setup to simultaneously record physiological data from the subject, while receiving marks from EthoVision software related to video tracking of a subject.
For instance, an implanted telemetry system, with a receiver placed within 5 m of the subject, allows for uninterrupted behavioral observations concurrent with high resolution physiological recordings.
In this configuration, the following devices must be added:
- Transmitters: Recording of physiological signals
- Receivers: 1 receiver is required for up to 4 implants (small animals) or 2 implants (large animals)
- Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch: Provides power to the receiver and an ethernet-based connection for data transmission to the PC