ButtonBoxes

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Buttonbox
Buttonbox 03s.png
2013 Buttonbox
Downloads

The buttonbox is used for time accurate(1ms) button press registration. We use it to register buttonpresses, soundkey, voicekey signals and to send tone onset, analog output, triggers with the BITSI protocol. It is suitable for Behavioral, EEG, MEG, and fMRI experiments. The buttonbox is connected to a computer with a usb connection.

The output connector has two binary eight bit ports: input and output. The two ports can be used for responses (input) and stimulus triggers (output). Two 12 bits analog outputs and three 12 bits analog inputs. The output connector has a sound and voicekey which triggers when a amplitude reaches a threshold. By using the serial port, the BITSI can be used platform independently: it works on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. Most programming environments and stimulus packages support serial communication.

There is currently a Microsoft Windows driver issue.

BITSI Protocol

BITSI stands for Bits to Serial Interface. Because the BITSI is designed to interface both in- and output signals, the 'protocol' is asymmetric: the input and output protocols differ.

Input

The input port can be used to interface eight buttons maximally. Button presses are translated to serial output characters/bytes according to the following table:

BITSI Simple
Signal/Button ASCII (rise/fall) Code (rise/fall)
1 A / a 65 / 97
2 B / b 66 / 98
3 C / c 67 / 99
4 D / d 68 / 100
5 E / e 69 / 101
6 F / f 70 / 102
7 G / g 71 / 103
8 H / h 72 / 104

This means that when signal 1 gets active(button press), a capital A will be sent to the serial port. A lowercase 'a' will be sent when the signal is deactivated(button release). Mechanical buttons can be connected directly.

Output

Output knows two protocols: BITSI simple or BITSI extended. To enter a certain protocol two buttons have to be pressed when the BITSIbox is powered. Press button H and A for simple mode and H and B for extended mode.

If no button is pressed when powered it boots the last known protocol. In the simple protocol every byte sent to the BITSI over the serial port, is represented at the 8 bit output.

The extended protocol uses two bytes(or two characters), this combination can access two analog outputs and a tone generator. The first byte selects the output. The second byte determines the value written to this output.

BITSI Extended
Function Byte 1 (ASCII/code) Byte 2
Marker Out M / 77 Marker Value
Pulse Out P / 80 Marker Value
Pulse Time X / 88 ms before pulse reset
Analog Out 1 Y / 89 Analog Output Value
Analog Out 2 Z / 90 Analog Output Value
Tone T / 84 Start Tone
Detect Sound D / S / 83
Detect Voice D / V / 83
Calibrate Sound C / S
Calibrate Voice C / V
Analog In 1 A / 1
Analog In 2 A / 2
Analog In 3 A / 3
Analog In 4 A / 4
LEDs Off L / X
LEDs Input L / I
LEDs Output L / O

Port Settings

Trigger port

Schematic view of the 25 pins connector

The 25 pins female connector has 8 inputs and 8 outputs, respectively 1-8 are inputs and 9-16 are outputs. Three analog input with an analog to digital convertor of 12 bit, pins 17,18,20 and 21. Two analog outputs with an digital to analog convertor of 12 bits on pins 22 and 23.

The inputs 1-8 will be pulled down from 5V to GND when the buttons are pressed. The outputs 9-16 will be pulled up from GND to 5V when the output is activated.

Serial port

Our hardware design allows to be connected to the computers USB and emulates a serial communication Port.

Baudrate 115200
Parity None
Data bits 8
Stop bits 1
Flow control None

USB-Com port

1.Connect the BITSIbox to your computer using the USB cable.

2.When you connect the BITSIbox, Windows should initiate the driver installation process (if you haven't used the computer with an BITSIbox board before).

3.On Windows Vista/7, the driver should be automatically downloaded and installed.

4.On Windows XP, the Add New Hardware wizard will open:

  • When asked Can Windows connect to Windows Update to search for software? select No, not this time. Click next.
  • Select Install from a list or specified location (Advanced) and click next.
  • Make sure that Search for the best driver in these locations is checked; uncheck Search removable media; check Include this location in the search and browse to the c:/beheer/arduino/drivers directory.
  • The wizard will search for the driver and then tell you that a "USB Serial Converter" was found. Click finish.
  • The new hardware wizard will appear again. Go through the same steps and select the same options and location to search. This time, a "USB Serial Port" will be found.

How to Check the Com Port settings(important!)

  • From the Start menu, open the Control Panel.
  • From the control panel, open the System window.
  • From the system properties window, go to the Hardware tab and click the Device Manager button.
  • From the Device Manager window, click Ports (Com&LPT). You should now be able to see which Com Port the USB adapter is assigned to.
  • If the Com Port is 10 or higher, you will have to change it to a lower port.
  • From the Device Manager window, click on USB Serial Port (Com#). Click the Port Settings tab of the USB Serial Port Properties window, and then click the Advanced button.
  • In the Advanced Settings window, use the scroll input to select a Com Port (select 10 or lower). Change Receive (bytes) and Transmit (bytes) to 64. Change the Latency Timer to 1.
  • Click the OK button.

Always connect the usb device to the same port and your settings will be remembered.

Software Settings

Neurobs Presentation

The experiment files needs a few settings for the device to work:

  • In the settings tab: port -> input port -> 1 must be the device that identifies itself as "Arduino Uno" in the device manager. Note that the port must have a number not higher than 10 (COM1-COM10). Use re-enumerate if it is higher.
  • Rate must be set 115200, Parity to None, Data Bits to 8 and Stop Bits to 1, Uncheck FIFO Interrupt.

Buttonbox2.png

Testing Buttonbox

When pressing on the A button within the input channel tester. You will see the following ASCII code.

Testbuttonbox.png

Adding Marker

Output buttonbox1.png

Testing Markers (output)

Send code 1 for Button A

Output buttonbox2.png

Button A will light up.

ButtonboxledA.png

Send code 0 for clearing.

Output buttonbox3.png

Example PCL code you can program a handle to send a marker:

#handle:
output_port OutputPort = output_port_manager.get_port( 1 );

Example to send a marker:

OutputPort.send_code(100); #create a marker


for more information see chapter 8 in the presentation course by clicking here

Python/PsychoPy

Download this site-package to use the buttonbox: rusocsci

Example using buttons from the buttonbox in Python:

 1 #!/usr/bin/env python
 2 
 3 # import the rusocsci.buttonbox module
 4 from rusocsci import buttonbox 
 5 
 6 # make a buttonbox
 7 bb = buttonbox.Buttonbox()
 8 
 9 # wait for a single button press
10 b = bb.waitButtons()
11 
12 # print the button pressed
13 print("b: {}".format(b))

Example using markers with the buttonbox in Python:

 1 #!/usr/bin/env python
 2 
 3 # import the rusocsci.buttonbox module
 4 from rusocsci import buttonbox 
 5 
 6 # make a buttonbox
 7 bb = buttonbox.Buttonbox()
 8 
 9 # send a marker
10 bb.sendMarker(val=100)    #This is your marker code, range code 1-255

Example using BITSI extended in Python:

 1 #!/usr/bin/env python
 2 
 3 # import the rusocsci.buttonbox module
 4 from rusocsci import buttonbox 
 5 
 6 # make a buttonbox
 7 bb = buttonbox.Buttonbox()
 8 
 9 # select a function
10 bb.sendMarker(val=(ord(X)))    #select pulse time
11 bb.sendMarker(val=2)           #set time of dureation pulse to 2ms
12 
13 bb.sendMarker(val=(ord(M)))    #select marker out
14 bb.sendMarker(val=115)           #set marker value 115

Example using BITSI extended analog read in Python:

 1 #!/usr/bin/env python
 2 
 3 # import the rusocsci.buttonbox module
 4 import serial
 5 
 6 # make a buttonbox
 7 ser = serial.Serial("COM2", 115200, timeout = 0.10 )
 8 
 9 while True:
10 	ser.write('A1')
11 	ser.flush()
12 	x = ser.readline()
13 	visual.TextStim(win, text=x).draw()
14 
15 	# black screen for 1000 ms
16 	win.flip()
17 
18 	key = event.getKeys()
19 	try:
20 		if key[0]=='escape':
21 			break
22 	except:
23 		continue


Example using the Buttonbox in PsychoPy:

 1 #!/usr/bin/env python
 2 
 3 # import psychopy and rusocsci
 4 from psychopy import core, visual 
 5 from rusocsci import buttonbox
 6 
 7 ## Setup Section
 8 win = visual.Window(monitor="testMonitor")
 9 bb = buttonbox.Buttonbox()
10 text = visual.TextStim(win, "Press a button on the buttonbox")
11 
12 ## Experiment Section
13 # show text
14 text.draw()
15 win.flip()
16 # wait for response
17 b = bb.waitButtons()
18 # show response
19 text.setText("you pressed: {}".format(b))
20 text.draw()
21 win.flip()
22 core.wait(5)
23 
24 ## Cleanup Section
25 core.quit()

For more documentation click here: http://pythonhosted.org//RuSocSci/index.html

Matlab

  1 function ret = buttonbox(cmd,varargin)
  2 % to initialize connection: (omit 2nd argument if defaults apply)
  3 %    define settings as structure with fields:
  4 %       bb.Device    = 'COM2';
  5 %       bb.BaudRate  = 115200;
  6 %       bb.DataBits  = 8;
  7 %       bb.StopBits  = 1;
  8 %       bb.Parity    = 'none';
  9 % handle = buttonbox('open',bb)
 10 %
 11 % to run: (receiving incoming data, check code for own purposes)
 12 % buttonbox('run');
 13 %
 14 % or
 15 %
 16 % to send a marker: (marker: a numeric value; Fs: sampling frequency device)
 17 % buttonbox(marker,Fs)
 18 %
 19 % or
 20 %
 21 % to wait for a buttonpress:
 22 % buttonbox('clear'); (make sure buttonbox buffer is emptied)
 23 % key = buttonbox('wait_keypress')
 24 %
 25 % to close the connection:
 26 % buttonbox('close'); 
 27 
 28 persistent old_hdl  % keep handle to COM object persistent 
 29 % set defaults
 30 bb.Device    = 'COM2';
 31 bb.BaudRate  = 115200;
 32 bb.DataBits  = 8;
 33 bb.StopBits  = 1;
 34 bb.Parity    = 'none'; 
 35 
 36 if nargin < 1
 37    cmd = 'open';
 38 end
 39 if nargin > 1 && isstruct(varargin{1})
 40    % user overwrites default settings
 41    flds = fields(varargin{1});
 42    for n = 1 : numel(flds)
 43       bb.(flds{n}) = varargin{1}.(flds{n});
 44    end
 45 end
 46 if nargin==1 && isnumeric(cmd)
 47    error('Please also specify acquisition sampling frequency of device that receives the marker');
 48 end
 49 if nargin > 1 && isnumeric(cmd)
 50    marker = cmd;
 51    cmd = 'marker';
 52    Fs = varargin{1};
 53 end
 54 
 55 if ~any(strcmp(cmd,{'open','close'}))
 56    if isempty(old_hdl)
 57       help serial_buttonbox_common
 58       error('Buttonbox not yet initialized');
 59    end
 60    handle = old_hdl;
 61 end
 62 
 63 switch cmd
 64    case 'marker'
 65       fwrite(handle, uint8(marker));%IOPort('Write', handle, uint8(marker), 1); % last argument: blocking
 66       WaitSecs(2/Fs);
 67       fwrite(handle, uint8(0));%IOPort('Write', handle, uint8(0), 0); % last argument: blocking
 68       return
 69    case 'clear'
 70       while(handle.BytesAvailable)
 71          fread(handle, 1);
 72       end      
 73       ret = []; % meaningless
 74       return
 75    case 'open'
 76       % get handle to serial device
 77       handle = open_buttonbox(bb);
 78       ret = handle;
 79       return
 80    case 'close'
 81       if nargin > 1
 82          handle = varargin{1};
 83       else
 84          handle = old_hdl;
 85       end
 86       fclose(handle);
 87       delete(handle);
 88       ret = [];
 89       return
 90    case 'run'
 91       % read incoming data
 92       % code proceeds below ....
 93    case 'wait_keypress'
 94       % start polling for characters (indicating start of scan)
 95       while(1)
 96          data = [];
 97          while handle.BytesAvailable
 98             navailable = handle.BytesAvailable;
 99             % read incoming data
100             [newdata, cnt] = fread(handle, navailable);
101             % concatenate possible new data
102             if cnt
103                data = [data newdata(:)];
104             end
105          end
106          if ~isempty(data)
107             ret = data;
108             return
109          end
110       end
111    otherwise
112       fprintf('Unknown option %s\n',cmd);
113       ret = [];
114       return            
115 end 
116 
117 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
118 % only gets here when cmd = 'run' %
119 %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% 
120 % Initialize output figure
121 win = list_output(' ',[]);
122 while 1
123    % Exit if user closed output figure
124    if ~ishandle(win)
125       return
126    end
127    % start polling for characters (indicating start of scan)
128    navailable = handle.BytesAvailable;
129    if navailable
130       data = [];
131       while navailable
132          % read incoming data
133          [newdata, cnt] = fread(handle, navailable);
134          % concatenate possible new data
135          if cnt
136             data = [data newdata(:)];
137          end
138          % check if any more data left
139          navailable = handle.BytesAvailable;
140       end
141       % output info about which button was pressed
142       for n = 1 : numel(data)
143          line = sprintf('incoming: %03d   %s',data(n),char(data(n)));
144          list_output(line,win);
145       end
146    end
147    pause(0.01);
148 end %while 1 
149 
150 
151 
152    function hdl = open_buttonbox(device)
153       % open handle to serial device (mini buttonbox)      WaitSecs(0.002); % just to load mex-file into memory
154       try
155          hdl = serial(device.Device, 'Baudrate', device.BaudRate, 'DataBits', device.DataBits, 'StopBits', device.StopBits, 'Parity', device.Parity);
156          fopen(hdl);
157       catch
158          if ~isempty(old_hdl)
159             fclose(old_hdl);
160             delete(old_hdl);
161          end
162          hdl = serial(device.Device, 'Baudrate', device.BaudRate, 'DataBits', device.DataBits, 'StopBits', device.StopBits, 'Parity', device.Parity);
163          fopen(hdl);
164       end
165       old_hdl = hdl;      
166       fprintf('Wait for device buttonbox....\n');
167       tic
168       while hdl.BytesAvailable && toc<10
169          navailable = bbox.BytesAvailable;
170          % wait for welcome message device
171          fread(hdl, navailable);
172       end
173       pause(0.5);      
174    end 
175 
176    function win = list_output(line,win)
177       persistent ptr
178       persistent lines
179       persistent edt
180       Maxlines = 40;      
181       if isempty(win)
182          % initialize listbox output figure
183          lines = cell(1,Maxlines);
184          [lines(1:end)]=deal({''});
185          ptr=Maxlines;
186          lines(ptr) = {'Buttonbox output:'};
187          idxs = mod(ptr:ptr+Maxlines-1,Maxlines)+1;         
188          win = figure();
189          % initialize figure to hold output text
190          edt = uicontrol('Parent',win,'Style','ListBox','HorizontalAlignment','left', ...
191             'Max',Maxlines,'BackgroundColor',[1 1 1],'Visible','on','String',lines(idxs), ...
192             'FontSize',12,'Value',Maxlines);
193          pos = get(win,'Position');
194          set(edt,'Position',[1 1 pos(3) pos(4)]);
195       end
196       ptr = mod(ptr,Maxlines)+1; % start
197       lines{ptr} = line;
198       idxs = mod(ptr:ptr+Maxlines-1,Maxlines)+1;
199       set(edt,'String',lines(idxs),'Value',Maxlines);
200       drawnow;
201    end 
202 end
203  end