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Simple GUI to control the Arduino-based dynamic clamp
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Configuration.m
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README.MD

Dynamic clamp controller

25/10/2019 Kyle Wedgwood

This repository contains files to run a lightweight GUI for uploading parameters to the excellent Arduino and Teensy-based dynamic clamp (https://www.eneuro.org/content/4/5/ENEURO.0250-17.2017). My hope is that the software is straightforward to use and these notes are are kept only for reference.

Software

Developed and tested on MATLABR2018a. Please let me know if you experience any bugs on a different version of Matlab.

Installation

To install, simply clone the repository into your folder of choice. No additional steps are necessary.

Setting up

The only thing you need to change in the code is the COMPort in line 148. This should be set to the COM port number that the Teensy is on. This will be the same as the COM port as the one displayed in the Arduino software when you are uploading the sketches to the Teensy. In later versions, I plan to edit this so that the COM port can be set in the settings window.

Running

To start the GUI, simply run the file DynamicClampController.

Closing

To stop using the GUI, simply close the window. The program will automatically stop communicating with the Teensy.

Important

If you switch sketches whilst the GUI running, make sure that you reset the Teensy before loading the appropriate parameter file or configuring a new one. Resetting the Teensy will interrupt the communication over the serial port. Loading a parameter file or configuring a new one will reopen the serial port fresh. If you fail to do this, an error will occur when you attempt to transmit values to the Teensy.

Using the GUI

There are three main windows in the GUI: the main window, the configuration window and the settings window. When actually using the GUI to control the Teensy, only the main window should be open. If you are using the controller for the first time, you will need to open the configuration window to set up the parameter configuration.

Main window

alt text

The main window displays the current parameter values, their minimum and maximum value and buttons to upload, save and load parameters.

Each row of parameters contains (in order), the parameter name (this does not have to match exactly the name in the Arduino sketch), the minimum value, the set value and the maximum value. Trying to set values outside of the allowed range for that parameter will cause the program to display an error message.

  • Load

Opens a window to load a parameter configuration file and resets the connection to the Teensy

  • Configure

Opens a window to configure the parameter set, including minimum, maximum and default values.

  • Save

Opens a window to save the current parameter values.

  • Upload

Uploads the set value to the Teensy and saves the parameters to the file last_used_parameters.mat.

  • Last

Restores the last used parameter settings (loaded from last_used_parameters.mat.

  • Zero

Sets all of the parameters to 0 and uploads to the Teensy. This does not overwrite the last_used_parameters.mat file.

  • Preferences icon

Opens a window to change settings (currently only the fontsize can be changed).

Configuration window

alt text

The configuration window facilitates the creation of parameter sets to be controlled by the main window. Here, you can set the names of the parameters as well as their allowed range.

Please note that the names of the parameters do not have to match the Arduino sketch, but the order in which they appear must.

  • (+) button

Adds a row for an additional parameter.

  • (-) button

Removes the last parameter row.

  • Save

Opens a window to save the parameter configuration. After saving, these parameters and limits will be loaded in the main window and the configuration window will close.

  • Cancel

Closes the configuration window without changing parameter configuration.

Preferences window

alt text

The preferences window allows users to change preferences associated with the DynamicClampController. Note that the settings do not change the way in which the controller interacts with the Teensy.

Feedback

If you would like to provide feedback make a feature request, please email me at k.c.a.wedgwood@exeter.ac.uk. For bug reports, please raise a new issue.

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