Last Updated
  20th Oct 2006 

FAQ, Hints & Tips

Having problems? Here are answers to some common questions

Hardware

  • What is the amplifier gain of the Espion acquisition system
  • How do I install and program the ColorDome Desktop Ganzfeld
  • Networking

  • My Espion console doesn’t communicate on my network
  • Filters

  • What are the filter characteristics used by the Espion
  • Can I add my own filters
  • When is post acquisition filtering going to be available
  • Software

  • I want to install Windows XP on the Espion console
  • I can’t see the TFT screen through the Ruby red filter
  • How do I change the current result for more than channel at a time
  • Selecting patients by date examined
  • Hiding protocols
  • How to change patient field names e.g. zip code to postcode
  • How to change patient field names e.g. zip code to postcode

    All the patient field names e.g. Family name, Post Code etc can be changed to any user defined string. Go to the Configure System menu and select the PROGRAM then DATABASE modules. Search for “Subject Field Names” and then change the field name required.

    What is the amplifier gain of the Espion acquisition system

    The amplifiers have fixed gain, the actual value is not very interesting (input range is +/-0.5V with 16 bit resolution and 8 bit DC offset control) suffice to say that 1 ADC bit is approx. 1uV (without the 10kHz oversampling). The amplifier accepts input voltages +/-32mV chosen from the entire DC 1V range. The acquisition system actually oversamples at 10kHz and then averages 10 values to produce a sample rate of 1kHz. This is the equivalent of adding 2-3 bits of resolution. These values are summed together to form a 19bit sum, but because the software is only 16 bits you have to select either the top 16 bits or the bottom 16 bits. This is chosen by the gain setting. In V2 of the software there is an option on the amplifier menu (under channels in the protocol) to change the gain from 1X to 10X. This isn't really gain control but resolution control. A setting of 10X will produce signals where the sum is taken as the bottom (LSB) 16 bits which produces better resolution (100nV) but restricts the input to +/-3mV i.e. a loss of range. A setting of 1X uses the top 16 bits of the 19bit sum and keeps the range +/-30mV but loses resolution (1uV). The signal will look pixellated at high screen scaling. For most tests, this should be set to 10X. The only time you would want to change it to 1X is if you are recording a long sweep of fairly large signal amplitude and expect a DC drift of greater than 3mV. Not the normal case. V3 of the software no longer has this restriction as it uses 32bit sums and therefore you get the resolution and the range.

    How do I install and program the ColorDome Desktop Ganzfeld

    There is an application note specifically written to answer this topic. Download desktop Installation.pdf [1.1MB]. Also, several ColorDome protocols can be found on this web-site.

    What are the filter characteristics used by the Espion

    In Espion V2 software, the filters were FIR digital 256 tap, time invariance, equi-ripple designs, created in MATLAB. They don't equate directly to standard analogue filters. In Espion V3 software, the filters are IIR digital, 2 pole Bessel (constant group delay through passband) using a bilinear transformation and corrected for aliasing. Roll-off is 12dB/octave and about -5dB at the cutoff frequency. Ripple as standard Bessel (none to speak of). These are created using a program called Filter Solutions from Nuhertz Technologies LLC.

    Can I add my own filters

    Yes, but you will need a filter design package and we recommend Filter Solutions from Nuhertz Technologies LLC. For technical information about installing filter coefficients, contact Diagnosys directly.

    When is post acquisition filtering going to be available

    As most things at Diagnosys, we are running late in our product development path. The Espion software V4 will contain post acquisition filtering including FFTs and should be available near the end of 2003. This will be a free update to all customers and may be downloaded from this web-site when it is released.

    Selecting patients by date examined

    New in V3 build 20 (patch 20) onwards is the ability to select or filter the patients in the database to show all the patients on whom you performed tests on any given day or range of days. To do this, the patient category filter has become a category/date filter. If you enter a valid date into this field, then the program assumes you are filtering by date otherwise it assumes by category. Dates should be in the form dd/mm/yyyy for non US countries and mm-dd-yyyy for the USA (two digit years are allowed). Which format is applicable is set in the configure system menu. Look for “Country Type” parameter under “PROGRAM” and then “GLOBAL” sections. For a range of dates (both dates being inclusive in the search) simply type two dates separated by a space e.g. 01/04/02 30/04/02 will produce all patients who were tested between 1st April 2002 and 30th April 2002 inclusive. The program also understands the words TODAY and YESTERDAY (case insensitive) which can be substituted for a date e.g. YESTERDAY TODAY would show all patients tested from yesterday until now.

    Hiding Protocols

    new in V3 build 20 (patch 20) onwards is the ability to hide protocols. often when designing a protocol, you create a best guess protocol and then record some data with it. The program then blocks your ability to modify the protocol whilst recorded data is stored in the database. This ensures that all data recorded with a particular protocol were recorded in a similar way - data integrity. Thus if you want to keep the data, but modify the protocol you must make a copy of the protocol and modify that. This leaves two protocols listed in the protocol section when you only want one. The solution is to hide the protocol using the new hide option. You can still see the data results listed under the patient that produced them. The hide option is located on the first page of the protocol parameters along with the stimulus generator and number of channels to record. You can re-show hidden protocols by pressing the “Show Hidden” button located at the bottom of the protocol list menu. A hidden protocol has a small black square drawn above and to the right of the protocol description to denote it is hidden.

    How do I change the current result for more than channel at a time

    If you have more than one result per channel, then one of the results is denoted as the “Current Result”. This result is normally painted in a different color and most actions are performed upon it. You can change which result is the current on, by pressing the “Next Result” button in the tools menu which appears at the right hand side of the display, or selecting it directly from the list of results. This action normally only effects the “Current Channel”. However, it is often advantageous to change the current result for all the channels simultaneously. This can be done, by pressing the “Result and Trials” button at the top right of the screen to produce the tools menu, then pressing the “More...” button from the tools menu and finally the “All Channels” button at the top of the tools menu.

    My Espion console doesn’t communicate on my network

    This is one of the more common problems and may be caused by several different causes. all BOSER CPU Espion consoles (Celeron CPUs) contain a 10/100mb/s based LAN and all earlier INSIDE based CPU consoles contain a 10mb/s based LAN. The network hardware is permanently enabled on BOSER cpu cards, but enabled/disabled in the BIOS on INSIDE cpu cards. The first check one should make is that the console can communicate with any other PC i.e. the internal console wiring is working correctly. This requires connecting a PC (or laptop) directly into the PowerBloc using a crossover patch cable. To make matters simple, the network parameters on the console should be set up for TCP/IP with netbeui installed, no DNS, and set to obtain an IP address automatically. This gives the most likely chance of succeeding. If you manage to make this work, then you need to reconnect your network and install the network TCP/IP parameters. If you find you still can’t communicate, then try turning off the 100mb/s mode and changing to half duplex mode. These parameters may be found in the network interface card settings.

    I can’t see the TFT screen through the Ruby red filter

    If you are having trouble seeing the graphic result screen through the red filter, then try turning on the DIM screen mode. Press the “Display” button at the top left of the graphic screen and then the “More...” button in the display menu that appears. You should now see a “Dim” button which if pressed, will remove much of the screen color and make things more visible though the filter.

    I want to install Windows XP on the Espion console

    The following discussion is only applicable to consoles that contain the later Boser CPU cards. Unfortunately we have not been able to reliably install Windows XP on earlier Espion consoles with Inside CPU cards. You can check which CPU card you have by noting the CPU speed and type when the Espion console is booting. All Pentiums (AMD mostly) with a speed below 700MHz are old Inside CPU cards. All CPU cards with Celeron processors running at 700MHz+ are Boser cards. If you are unsure which card you have, then contact Diagnosys with your console serial number. For customers with old Inside CPUs, Diagnosys are offering an upgrade package which will convert the console to Boser CPU, and install Windows XP on as well. To upgrade you will need the following software:

    • Windows XP disc (we recommend the Pro version)
    • Either a network connection, or external USB CD rom drive or other media to load Windows XP from
    • The Windows XP touch screen drivers (available from the download page on this web-site)
    • DIRECTIO software available from www.direct-io.com. You will have to pay a small licence fee for use of this software
    • An upgrade to the pattern stimulator DLL (available from the download page on this web-site)

    Note: We have been unable to find a WAV player that plays WAV sound files through the PC speaker. Thus, the software will no longer make a sound when the touchscreen is pressed, and you should turn off the “Play Sounds” parameter in the GLOBAL parameters.

    Actions

    • Install Windows XP
    • Install the new touch screen drivers and run the calibration. The Espion uses COM2 to communicate with the touch screen at default settings
    • Install the DIRECT IO program
    • Copy the VSG32B.DLL (pattern stimulator DLL) into the ESPION directory
    • Disable the “Play Sounds” parameter in the GLOBAL settings
    • Enable the “Windows XP Direct IO” parameter in the HARDWARE settings

    DIRECT IO configuration

    After installing the DIRECT IO program, you will need to configure it. Run the control panel and perform the following tasks (it is assumed that your Espion program is located in the default directory (C:\ESPION):

    • Under I/O settings add the range 2A0-2AF (Hex format)
    • Under I/O settings add the range 2C0-2CF (Hex format)
    • Under Security settings add the program C:\ESPION\ESPION.EXE
    • Under Security settings add the program C:\ESPION\GANZTEST.EXE

    Then if everything is correct, you should be up and running.


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    Although every effort is made to make sure all the information contained in this web-site is correct, Diagnosys cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies contained therein