Last Updated
  20th Oct 2006 

Espion Console

[Ordering Information],[Features],[Design],[PowerBloc],[Data Acquisition],
[External Connections], [Impedance Measurement], [Remote Control]


Espion Console

The Espion console is the heart of the Espion Electrophysiology system. This console incorporates a fast Intel computer with integral LCD touch screen, 5 channel data acquisition system and stimulator drivers for all available stimulators. It includes the specifically written software to run standard ISCEV tests as well as setup research experiments in an easy and flexible manner. The software provided supports ERGs, VEPs, EOGs, PERGs etc. provided the correct stimulator is purchased.


Ordering Information

Part No



Espion console including 5 amplifiers, acquisition system, computer, software, headbox, manual and all cables


PowerBloc isolation unit


Additional headbox (supplied in standard system)


Hand control box


Monitor switch box, VGA/S-VIDEO inputs to VGA output



Console and PowerBloc


    • Portable (20lb, 9Kg), and self contained (all major electronics in one box)
    • Compact (12"x18"x14") and ergonomically designed to save desk space
    • Integrated bright 10.4” TFT LCD screen with infrared touch screen
    • Fast Pentium CPU running Windows 98 with 128Mb RAM, large HDD and 250Mb zip drive
    • Advanced real-time DSP processor based acquisition system
    • 5 integral computer controlled fully isolated differential amplifiers with digital low, high and band pass filters, DC input, (not AC coupled)
    • Sophisticated impedance measurement system allowing individual electrode checking
    • 10BaseT Ethernet connection (on PowerBloc) for simple interfacing to existing networks
    • USB, Parallel, RS232 (Isolated), 10BaseT network connections (on PowerBloc)
    • 5 integral computer controlled fully isolated differential amplifiers with digital low, high and band pass filters, DC input, (not AC coupled) and impedance measurement system
    • Infrared mouse and keyboard included
    • Predefined test protocols and the ability to create new custom protocols
    • Industry standard SQL database using an advanced interface for comprehensive data storage and retrieval


Created by a prestigious design house, the soft curves and ergonomic feel of the console make this system look not only modern and sophisticated, but also a make it a pleasure to utilize. The LCD screen incorporates an extremely robust infrared touch screen removing the need for a keyboard and mouse thus eliminating desk clutter whilst allowing use by gloved hands. The front door hides a modern 250MB zip drive for data backup or installation and the other main port combines connectors for the headbox and stimulator. At the back are connectors for the PowerBloc and pattern generator screen and system On/Off switch. All this in a desktop area of 12x18 inches.


The PowerBloc sits under the console and houses the isolation transformers required to isolate the pattern stimulator monitor, an inkjet printer and the ColorDome desktop Ganzfeld if they are located in the patient environment. It also contains all the console breakout connections. Features include:

    • 2.5A isolated output @ 240V input, 5A @ 110V input
    • Internal safety fuses
    • Parallel printer output
    • USB V1.1
    • Isolated RS232 (5 wire subset)
    • TTL compatible trigger input and output BNCs
    • 10BaseT network connection
    • Power on indicator
    • Size 13"x18"x3" 20.5lb (324x465x76mm, 9.3Kg)

Data Acquisition

The data acquisition system is based around a fast DSP microprocessor which controls all the acquisition, amplifiers, stimulators and timing without any overhead from the Windows computer. The system comprises of 5 differential DC coupled amplifiers (prevent AC amplifier lockup) with the following specification:

    • Fully isolated
    • No gain required, Input range +/- 0.5V
    • No calibration necessary
    • Integral anti-alias filter
    • 16 bit ADC resolution with 12 bit DC offset control to produce 24 bit resolution (100nV)
    • Differential channel input balance better than 1%
    • Ultra low noise <1uV p-p
    • Input impedance greater than 109 ohms
    • CMRR greater than 100dB at 50/60Hz
    • 10kHz internal sample frequency decimated down to 5,2,1,0.5,0.2,0.1kHz sample rates
    • Automatic impedance measurement per input, not just channel
    • Filtering is performed digitally by either the DSP or the main PC computer (configurable)
    • Active shielding of Headbox cable to reduce mains voltage 50/60Hz pickup

External Connections

Other than patient headbox and stimulator output, the console has no external connections directly available (except when the VSG pattern stimulator is purchased), but routes all signals through the PowerBloc. The system supports the following standard PC I/O: USB, 10BaseT networks, RS232 (isolated subset), parallel printer, and also includes isolated trigger input and trigger outputs for connection to 3rd party products. Both triggers are TTL compatible and the output may be programmed for both pulse width/duration as well as polarity. The trigger input is activated on the negative edge of a TTL signal.

Impedance Measurement

The integral impedance measurement system uses an advanced electronic circuit to measure each electrode’s impedance individually, rather than in pairs. This makes it easy to pinpoint the single electrode at fault directly. The circuit generates an impedance current of less than 500nA, far lower than other competitive systems, and which may be applied even on a patient with a corneal electrode without any discomfort.

Remote Control

The system supports remote control via a hand control box. This box plugs into the isolation PowerBloc and gives the user the ability not only to start/stop/pause the current test but also change stimulus settings. The remote includes a 2 line display to show current status as well as impedance measurements (when selected).

Finally Diagnosys can offer a custom box controlled by the software to switch the input to the pattern stimulator monitor from current stimulus to S-video automatically whenever the test is paused or stopped. This feature is especially useful when testing children, as their attention can be regained by playing a video of their choice at appropriate times.


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Phone: +1 (978) 458-1755 Fax +1 (978) 458 1600

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