FAQ - TTL triggers for OS X and/or Linux Machines

There are several options to send TTL triggers out using OS X or Linux.

Parallel Port (Linux only)

Parallel ports are cheap and fast.
method 1
method 2

LabJack USB Cross-platform DAQ

LabJack make a range of cheap and functional USB DAQ devices. The modern variants (U3, U6 and U9), use a cross-platform shared exodriver that works on both OS X and Linux, built on the current libusb. IanA has built an interface to link the PTB and Plexon Omniplex via a LabJack U3, using both single TTL triggers and 12-bit strobed words for communication. Please contact him if this would be of help. See the LabJack page for more details.

DataPixx Display / I/O Box

The DataPixx allows very fast TTL triggers and strobed words which are guaranteed to be be precisely locked to the video refresh, irrespective of any non-deterministic timing of the display machine.

USB -> Serial Adapters

FTDI make USB->Serial adapters with cross-platform drivers that are known to work well with IOPort in PTB. The fastest way to toggle a single line is to set DTR high / low, and works quickly and reliably under OS X at least.


The bitwhacker is a cheap yet powerful USB device, which supports serial over USB control to toggle I/O lines:

http://www.paintyourdragon.com/uc/ubw32/index.html -- details OS X / Linux support

Though less powerful, the wonderful Arduino may also work, though timing needs to be confirmed (IanA has tried this briefly but didn't achieve reliable timing, but this needs retesting). Matlab interface to the Arduino is found here: http://www.mathworks.com/academia/arduino-software/arduino-matlab.html#

Measurement Devices

USB-1208 and 1608 has HID support and thus is usable under OS X at least: http://docs.psychtoolbox.org/Daq
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