by Dr. Michael Schubert
Product Manager (Brain Products)
While we recommend to power supply BrainAmp systems with the dedicated battery (i.e. the PowerPack), we understand that there are cases in which power supply from mains can be the better option.
In many labs, BrainAmp systems are used for teaching purposes, where groups of students come into the lab several times a day and week. For their practical courses they often need an EEG system for a whole day and even on consecutive days. Making sure enough batteries are available, charged and re-charged in time, can be tough in these scenarios. During study planning or setting up the equipment and doing first test recordings, batteries may also not be convenient to power the amplifier, even when during actual measurements a battery is used to ensure highest data quality.
In these or other cases, some minor effects from line noise may be acceptable and in fact having mains power supply is more beneficial from an operational point of view than it is when using a battery. Hence, we introduce a new Mains Power Supply solution for BrainAmp amplifiers, so that you can choose the best option for your setup.
The new Mains Power Supply for BrainAmps consists of two parts:
(1) a mains adapter, which is connected to the wall socket via a regular power cable and
(2) a decoupler unit, which isolates the recording unit from mains power and minimizes the chance of line noise being recorded with the EEG data.
The decoupler connects to up to two BrainAmp amplifiers, similar to the PowerPacks that you may have in your lab. The figure below illustrates the complete BrainAmp setup when using the new Mains Power Supply for BrainAmp.
General recommendations for good quality data recordings with respect to power supplies remain the same
Some tips to minimize unwanted coupling with other power sources:
- Unplug or remove all unnecessary electrical devices in the recording environment.
- Avoid a recording environment with strong electrical currents close by (elevators, motors, treadmills, etc.).
- Avoid loops in electrode cables as these easily become induction loops collecting electrical noise.
- Keep cables as short as possible, esp. those that transfer low amplitude signals of relevance (electrode cables).
- Make test measurements to assess signal quality before the actual measurements.
Depending on your needs it may make sense to have both solutions, PowerPack and Mains Power Supply, available in your lab. Please do not hesitate to contact us (via email, contact form or chat) or your local distributor for more information.
A Power Supply for actiCHamp (Plus) is currently not available. However, we are aware that a similar solution for amplifiers of the actiCHamp family would be desirable, too. So, stay tuned!