The Daq Toolbox
Control the USB-1208FS or USB-1608FS (see below) data acquisition device.
The Daq Toolbox is a set of functions providing communication with
a particular USB data acquisition device (daq): the USB-1208FS made by
Measurement Computing (see URL below). This daq costs $150 and offers “50
kHz” input and output 12-bit sampling of analog voltages (8 in, 2 out)
and 16 digital i/o lines, with signals brought out to screw terminals.
(“50 kHz” is a theoretical upper limit: as of 18 April 2005 we attain 2
kHz. See DaqTest.) The USB-1208FS is the size of a wallet and is powered
through its USB cable. We have complete control of it from within Matlab or,
Octave via the PsychHID extension.
There is a Daq M file (see DaqFunctions)) for each USB-1208FS firmware
command, plus a few more to facilitate use of the device.
There is a near-perfect isolation of the dependency on platform and
device at the two levels of code in the Daq Toolbox. The PsychHID MEX
file (written in C) is highly dependent on the platform, but
independent of the particular HID-compliant device. It provides generic
HID commands. (HID, or Human Interface Device, is a USB class specifying
a communication protocol for the device and host.) The Daq M files are
specific to our HID-compliant device, the USB-1208FS, but independent of
the platform, and would run unchanged in MATLAB or Octave on any other
computer for which we provided the PsychHID extension. We hope that users
of the Psychtoolbox will find it easy to write new MATLAB M files
using PsychHID to support other HID-compliant devices, using the Daq
Toolbox as a model.
NOT RESPONDING? If PsychHID is not responding, e.g. after unplugging it
and plugging it back in, try quitting and restarting MATLAB or Octave.
We find that this reliably restores normal communication.
LINUX: If you want to use these functions without the need to run
Matlab or Octave as root user (i.e., without need for root login or the
sudo command), you have to run the script PsychLinuxConfiguration once.
This happens automatically during invocation of DownloadPsychtoolbox,
UpdatePsychtoolbox, or SetupPsychtoolbox, but if you didn’t install
Psychtoolbox by one of these means, you’ll need to run it manually.
Then after unplugging and replugging your device, non-root access should
Denis Pelli, 30 April 2005.
From November 2007 through January 2008, the functions in this toolbox
were tested with a USB-1608FS. There are significant hardware
differences between the two devices, notably one Digital I/O port vs. two
and no analog output ports in the 1608. Nevertheless, most of the
command codes are the same, so the two devices can share a lot of common
software. The USB-1608FS was connected to a Mac Pro running Leopard for
most tests (some tests also run with Tiger; no significant performance
differences were found in those cases). If you have a 1608 and have
trouble running any of the code here, you might try e-mailing
Mickey P. Rowe, 10 January 2008.
From August 2011 on, these functions should also work on MS-Windows and
GNU/Linux, due to the availability of PsychHID for these platforms.
Mario Kleiner, 15 August 2011.
web http://www.measurementcomputing.com/cbicatalog/directory.asp?dept_id=403 -browser;
web http://psychtoolbox.org/daq.html -browser;
See also: DaqFunctions, DaqTest, PsychHIDTest, PsychHID,
PsychHardware, DaqPins, DaqCalls, DaqCodes,
DaqDeviceIndex, DaqFind, DaqDIn, DaqDOut, DaqAIn, DaqAOut, DaqAInScan, DaqAOutScan.