Here are some pictures showing how we set up our PowerDAQ patch panels
for Linux-based A/D capture systems:
breakoutbox.jpg: 71 KB image.
This box is used in McCrea's lab. It contains a
a bundle of thin coax cables is attached, one per input channel.
These coax cables, which come out of the box at the top of the picture,
have mini-phone plugs on the other end. These plug into a patch panel
in the rack which distributes the signals from all amplifiers in the rack.
Currently, it only has 16 input cables, but will be expanded shortly to 32.
(We have a 64 channel PowerDAQ card in the PC.) The large connector on the
right of the box goes down to the buffer box shown below.
bufferbox.jpg: 63 KB image.
This black box contains a
The white cable protruding from the left of the box is a
cable from the breakout box above,
and it goes to the input connector on the buffer amplifier.
The grey cable protruding from the right of the box is a
(1 metre) cable which goes to the PowerDAQ card in the PC under the box.
According to UEI, this output cable should not be longer than 1 metre.
bufferboxopen.jpg: 61 KB image.
This is the same buffer box, turned over with the cover removed.
It shows how we mounted the
inside the box, and removed the
covers from the ends of the two cables so they could bend (gently) at
right angles and come out of either side of the box.
bufferinbox.jpg: 52 KB image.
Here is a close-up of the shot above, to see the construction in more detail.
patchpanel.jpg: 52 KB image.
As an alternative to the breakout box at the top of this page, here is
a patch panel that we typically use on most of our PowerDAQ-based systems.
It also contains a
to which all the front-panel BNC jacks
are connected. Some labs use mini-phone jacks instead of BNC jacks, but
the construction is otherwise the same. This patch panel has 16 input
jacks, but the same technique could be used to build a 32 or 64 channel
patch panel, though it might require a taller box.
panelandboxv2.jpg: 31 KB image.
This patch panel is built like the one above, but using mini-phone jacks.
It is shown here with the buffer box and cables.
The shorter (1 metre) cable on the right goes to the PowerDAQ card in the PC.
cables have come with molded covers on the connectors, so we can't remove them
as for the earlier buffer box design above, so we modified the design of the
box as shown below.
bufferboxv2.jpg: 35 KB image.
The new version of the buffer box has the cables with intact covers, and
the end of each cover and cable coming out of the top.
bufferboxopenv2.jpg: 39 KB image.
With the box lid removed, you can see how the buffer board fits in the bottom
of the box, with the two cables plugged in.
Slots in the lid allow it to be fitted around the two cables and lowered
over the two cable end covers.
bufferinboxv2.jpg: 58 KB image.
Here is a close-up of the new buffer box, showing the construction.
Plastic spacers hold the board at the four corners.
The cable on the right is the buffer output, which connects to the
PowerDAQ card in the PC.
pdconnpcb.jpg: 31 KB image.
This is a close-up of the
board in our breakout box and patch
panels. It features a right-angled connector for the 96 wire cables used
for PowerDAQ systems, so the board can easily be mounted in a patch panel
as shown above, with the connector coming out the back of the box.
The holes to which you solder your wires are all clearly labeled with
the input channels to which they correspond, so wiring the patch panel is
The extra holes on the right side of the board are not really needed for
the patch panel, so that part of the board may be cut off if needed to fit
in the enclosure. Only the rows of holes labeled J2 and J3 are needed for
connection to the jacks or plugs.
You can get more information about PowerDAQ accessories, including how to order, from
UEI's web site, http://www.ueidaq.com/.
In Canada, you can order them through their Canadian reseller,
A-Tech Instruments Ltd.
Contact UEI for distributors in other countries.
See our Fact Sheet for more information
on the PowerDAQ equipment we recommend, and where to order it.