Pulse Pal

The open source pulse train generator for physiology & behavior


4/25/2016: The Sanworks website is now live, and the assembly service is open! The first ten pre-assembled Pulse Pal 2's were sold in less than a week. A new batch of 25 Pulse Pal 2 boards arrives next week from our USA-based manufacturing partner, and pre-assembled second-generation Pulse Pals will be in stock shortly. The Pulse Pal 2 design files are now available in the Sanworks repository, and the bill of materials is here on the wiki. An assembly guide will follow in the coming weeks. Thank you, to Pulse Pal users worldwide, for your valuable comments and feedback, which helped us build an exceptional open source product!

3/2/2016: Progress was temporarily slowed by relocation from Denmark to New York, but Pulse Pal is moving forward again, this time backed by a dedicated electronics workshop and a full-time workforce. The Pulse Pal 2 design has passed internal hardware and firmware validation, and the first round of 10 is being manufactured. A much larger batch will follow shortly, if the manufacturing process returns good units. Pulse Pal now has a retail website, which is being tested live: http://sanworks.io. When the website opens for business, Sanworks LLC will sell pre-assembled Pulse Pals, and other open source Neuroscience instruments. The Sanworks repository on Github will host all future software and hardware updates. It already hosts two major updates: 1. Pulse Pal 1.1 (shown above), which adds a few final improvements to the Maple-based design (you can read more about it on our news feed). 2. In the same repository, Pulse Pal now supports GNU Octave. It also adds support for Psychtoolbox 3 to provide a low-latency USB serial interface for MATLAB. Lots of good things are coming, and we are *really* looking forward to launch day! 

*Please keep in mind that if you create an account to help us test Sanworks.io, we will notify you to recreate it on launch day. 

11/20/2015: Pulse Pal 2, based on Arduino Due, is almost ready for release. Its new circuit design features an improved 12-bit DAC, a 4-layer circuit board with a dedicated analog ground plane, an improved power decoupling scheme, and an 8GB microSD card. This translates into a substantially lower noise floor on the output channels providing effective voltage resolution of 5mV in the range of -10 to +10V, and the ability to store ~unlimited settings profiles when used as a stand-alone device. Pulse Pal 2 uses mostly surface mount parts to lower the cost of small-batch manufacturing, and pre-assembled Pulse Pal 2 will soon be available without a quote from a dedicated online assembly service, based in New York.



Pulse Pal is now formally integrated into Bonsai. Developed by Goncalo Lopes at Champalimaud Institute, Bonsai is an open source software tool for easy manipulation and processing of data streams. Applications range from video tracking of behavior to electrophysiology and closed-loop control of stimulation. More details are available on the Bonsai wiki and in the recent Bonsai publication.

7/1/2015: Pulse Pal is powered by an open source microcontroller platform: LeafLabs Maple. Leaflabs recently published an end-of-life notice for the Maple. The Maple board is becoming increasingly difficult to find. For now, we will maintain a list of vendors who appear to have it in stock. A new design based on Arduino Due is under revision, and will be released this coming fall.

4/25/2015: For those who would prefer not to build Pulse Pal, a limited number of fully assembled and tested PulsePal devices are now available, and will ship from Denmark. For inquiries, contact sanders@dandrite.au.dk.

A research paper describing Pulse Pal is now available. It was published in Frontiers in Neuroengineering, and contains measures of performance and reliability, as well as a detailed description of the hardware and software design.