Status of research on brainwave reading

After much research, We came to the conclusion that it is not possible to obtain reliable information "watching" the brain from the outside.

It's not about budget, It's about seeing the brain from the outside, then only see the result of the sum of the activities of all neurons of the brain together (with minor differences due to the position of the electrodes – so minimal that much of the time it's just noise or interference from the movement)

Whereby "patient" cannot "think of a pressed key" but I get with a different activity. And press is just a side effect of this intense activity. Basically you must learn to involve the entire brain and sync, in order to increase, for example,, alpha waves compared to Beta. An ordinary person cannot do it right, the best they can do it in a few seconds, but just focusing and standing firm.

A bit like saying: "to press up arrow key-on you must stop breathing until you see the button is pressed, to release it again to breathe and after a few seconds you will release "

Perform actions with the thought ?

To perform actions there are better methods. If budget issue Hawking students ( they equipped its super processed helmet Chair. But they tried everything and in the end they chose to look eye-movements with a camera.

With a camera, for example,, eye closure you discover very quickly. With the closing of the eyes you can get four bits of information and many more with eye movements, myoelectric impulses, the direction and speed of the breath etc… With these techniques can easily get tens of bits per second while with an EEG, for how expensive, the response times are of many seconds for a single bit.

For Hawking have done just as well, If you look carefully, in all its recent pictures you see a camera hanging eyeglasses (and in some cases even more experimental sensors).

Stephen Hawking Stephen Hawking

And now Hawking can speak, Surf the internet and even write books. With the thought would never be able to do all these things.

If there was any possibility of using the thought wouldn't have budget problems. The only wheelchair costs as hundreds of MindWave and EmotivEEG and already had lithium batteries when none of us had even heard of.

Can we do better than the MindWave and EmotivEEG ?

Hate to say it, but we can't. Those two devices have been designed with great care and "trying" to obtain the best possible result. Yet the results are more or less confused (When it's good), and completely random (When the subject is not suitable for).

Subject unsuited? Apologies are always the same, you have to train more, It takes more concentration… In practice to press a button you have to relax completely and then focus for a few seconds. What you should do to write a message? Probably ten years of apprenticeship as a Buddhist monk.

Now the electrodes of a certain quality are all non-contact, but the results are always more or less the same: great instability and no security that if worked today will work tomorrow. Even with 24 endings and big devices with a closet have managed to have decent results.

Active electrodes (first version)

The first version, as from previous images, required a particular electrode with Silver tips. We thank Marco Vitali of: for having prepared a test enclosure in silver (see image). To make contact with the skin can do no better than silver, even gold is better, and toes help to go hair and to firmly hold the electrode.

Unfortunately, testing has shown that even with these electrodes just the slightest movement to create potential differences of the same order of magnitude of EEG signals (100 UV). To avoid this you have to degrease the skin with alcohol and press much with belt. And unfortunately it also happens that after some time the tips, as far as rounded, begin to annoy. In less than one hour you create markers in the skin which then lasts for a long time.

In conclusion, hate to say it, but this road is not reliable enough to be part of the system Theremino.

Active electrodes (non-contact)

Fortunately during rehearsals with the shell shield and silver with high impedance electrodes we discovered that even with a thin insulating layer between electrode and skin useful signals continued to pass by capacity.

We discovered the non-contact detecting EEG and ECG!!!
As usual, however it is difficult to get there first.
Just search “Do not contact electrodes” on Google…

Non-contact electrodes have many advantages, first of all the complete elimination of the galvanic connection with patient, then security to 100% without batteries or complicated power circuits with safety regulations impossible.

Advantages of the electrodes without contact:

  • Total security (the patient is electrically isolated)
  • Elimination of complicated isolation circuits
  • Eliminate the need to go to batteries
  • No galvanic contact voltages for which serves the silver
  • Being able to use the copper you do everything with multiple layers of printed circuit board
  • Better signal even if the patient moves
  • “Zero preparation” (You should clean your skin with alcohol)
  • No contact tips
  • The flat surface and easier to sterilize
  • Functioning even through clothing
  • Reduced performance you get even a few centimeters away
  • Reduced performance you can make fabric electrodes (moistened only by sweat)

First tests of the electrodes with signal generator

Those wishing to experiment with ThereminoEEG version 1.0 Please download it from here:

To test it you can use a pin set as input proportional Cap16 and move with a finger. If you move fast you can get beyond the 10 Hertz.

We are preparing the new PCB

Or sooner or later we will start these new tests PCB. The center circle on the right is the electrode that mates with the skin, the ring (and the back face all in copper that is not seen) isolate it from the environment with an active screen that reduces the effective ability to practically zero.

For the first tests we chose an external diameter of 30 mm and the total thickness is below the 5 mm. Are electrodes small enough to fit comfortably in their place them under an elastic band, but at the same time have very 6 cm paintings of active electrode.

The round shape is a major improvement, it becomes much easier to build them mechanically, and then the containers.

Version 2 – compensation capacity

This new version has a more complex compensation circuit, According to the simulations, should improve the functioning even electrodes away from skin. With strong ECG signals you can work even at incredible distances from the skin (10 mm and up to 20 mm with some degradation of bandwidth)

We are doing experiments to determine whether this compensation is actually needed and what are the best values of the components.

– – – – – – – –

Mounting the sensor

First of all keep in mind that we haven't tested so maybe it won't work right. May not work well or not at all for a thousand reasons, could auto-oscillate or collect power frequency interference to the point of being completely useless. Unfortunately the little time we have is leaving everything to the NetHAL and the NetMaster that will work in network and even in WiFi (but not with all kinds of Master Pin and with a single Adc).

Theremino NonContact electrode Theremino NonContact electrode Theremino NonContact electrode

The disc that you see on the left is the face that goes toward the skin. The side towards the skin from now we will call “at the bottom”.

Of course the metallic parts must not touch the skin so it will take even a layer of thin plastic sheet.. A thin plastic like the one of the water bottles can fit. The plastic will “deep drawn” to hot to form a DRAM. Alternatively you might find a exact diameter short and very thin plastic.

The central part of the first disk is a sensitive area that needs to be coupled capacitively with the skin and which is terribly sensitive screen, and then goes as far as possible by electric fields at mains frequency coming from the electric system.

So around the sensitive area is called a ring “on call”.

The second disc is the posterior aspect of the first disk and need to screen electrically sensitive zone centrale from components of the third disc that otherwise would pass for ability their signals to record sensitive doing hopelessly autooscillare everything.

Around the first and second holes are metalized disk acting as a Faraday cage and help to shield the little signal that could have come from the sides.

Both the guard ring that the rear face are connected with a small wire which will pass through a hole to be made in silver rectangle “GUARD” the third disc. You connect them to “GUARD” instead of mass because otherwise the ability to ground completely would Dim the signal.

In the next image we see the silver rectangle where you will make the hole where it passes the wire that will be paid to “GUARD” the first disc. And also the rectangle “In” will have a small hole with a small wire that will be paid to “In” the first disc.

Theremino NonContact electrode

We didn't do the holes in plots GUARD and IN the third disk because you thought you mount it with the component side to the first disk and then do double sided with the back completely at the top and connected by copper by holes to its mass. But this Assembly would have made it impossible to do tests. For example,, change a component or solder a tad bit somewhere to make measurements.

Whereby the prototypes (yet to try) We did the third disc to a face alone and assemble with components to high #8217 &; (not to the skin). But be careful with this kind of installation you will have to pay attention to two things:

1) The outer ring of holes are not metallic and then do not touch the outer face of the first disk.

2) That the components will not be left uncovered but you must add a disk “all copper” to shield upwards. This last screen will be paid with a single side wire, so that you can uncover to access components and then close during the functional test.

And finally, at three pitches on the right: SIGNAL, + 5 and GND, settled three soft wire that will go to a Master Pin configured as Adc16.

– – – – – – – –

For those who want to experiment, Here's the project at present (as soon as we have time to improve)
Eagle project downloads + simulations + 3D images

  1. Livio says:

    We opened the Biometrics section and moved here all posts.

    seppec says:
    03/05/2013 at 4:02 PM
    I would like to know more about Biometry.
    In particular I am interested in that data collected by the sensors available to the human body are transferred on an Excel sheet with W8. Is there any thing about it?
    Thank you. Greetings

    Maurizio says:
    05/05/2013 at 7:06 Am
    In fact, a log is a very useful program.
    Currently there is something written by Alessio, are here
    To save data to a physical phenomenon read by one or more sensors you need to determine in advance some parameters.
    The most important is the sampling rate, that is how many readings per second must be saved. This figure is largely determined by the type of signal read by the sensor, but also on the use that you want to make of the information collected.
    More readings per second you save, the faster the file that contains them becomes large.
    If we explain in more detail what you want to do, Let's see how I can help.

    seppec says:
    05/05/2013 at 10:10 PM
    Should I buy it, but I have doubts about the compatibility of
    Brainwave Starter Kit (Inc. Mindwave Mobile), only with the original software,
    with Windows 8 I don't see it mentioned anywhere.
    I just an Okay okay. Thanks in advance.

  2. Maurizio says:

    I tried the mindwave only on win7, so I can't guarantee 100% that will work in win8, but as far as I know there should be no problem. The support site of neurosky does not show restrictions or differences compared to XP, win7 and win8.
    There are two versions of mindwave, mobile (with bluetooth interface) and that radio interface.
    I own the first, and it's the one I used for experiments. The second is much more compatible with all software I found on the net, While the mobile can be used on iphone/ipad.
    The program we wrote for Theremino should be compatible with both versions, because we used the communication libraries provided by the manufacturer, However it has not yet been tested with the radio version.
    I tried to connect a servo to the raw output of the mindwave, works but obviously the passband of the servant is poor. Different is connecting it to emotion and attention, or a band of frequencies, but here too we must take into account the fact that the mindwave averages and sends a read per second, as said Livio.

    • Livio says:

      To move the motors should write a little’ rules in Theremino Script, controlling more than one output variable of Mindwave and set movement speed and preset positions defined. This could reduce the random appearance of movements and achieve more pleasant.

  3. seppec says:

    Thank you very much. I proceed to the purchase. I'll make you feel in a bit. Greetings.

  4. Maurizio says:

    I remind you that the mobile version is sold without the USB bluetooth, you need to get you. I took the first that happened to me, and it worked, as far as I know there should be criticism. You need to install the drivers that came with the cd of mindwave.
    Neurosky standard programs using the Mindwave through a utility, called Thinkgear Connector, While the Theremino Bridge runs directly.
    I await with interest the results of your tests.


    • Anonymous says:

      It all works. The key is in the box. The only drawback are the six hours that the system employed to download updates from Neurosky and a couple of
      software from Microsoft. As soon as I get the master proceed to other tests. Hello.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In the package there is MindWave USB adapter. Install from CD 20 minutes. For updates 5 hours. Speed 100 k probably due to Web site. The communication
    between the computer and sensor is good. As soon as I get the master ,I ordered, I will start the trials and
    I'll let you know.
    Hello. Joseph

  6. Livio says:

    You don't need the Master, to send data from mindwave to another software (for example the synthesizer Theremin) the software would suffice and you shouldn't spend anything.
    However a Master is always useful, You can move the engines and do a thousand other experiments…
    Definitely a photo of master near the Mindwave was not a good idea, now I have added a sentence of explanation and should not happen again.
    I'm sorry for this mixup, Theremino the system does everything and it is difficult to explain all kinds of interaction…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, but I understood. The Master I need to interface sensors to be applied to the human body. The ultimate goal is to create a biofeedback with alarm outputs or information.
    In this connection I would be glad if you have any advice about where to find the sensors. Possibly not electronic components to assemble, but parts to connect to
    Master. If it will cost too much then I assemble them.
    Of the measures, all those available: temperature, weight (by Libra),
    heart rate monitor, blood sugar etc.. Eventually I'm going to put in a lot of trouble with software, but everything in its time. For now thanks. Joseph

    • Livio says:

      I would recommend for now to inquire about “Plethysmographic curve” that and’ very interesting for the type of application you want to do.
      Talk to Maurizio who knows these things better than I.

      • Livio says:

        About plestimografia, Let me explain, This would involve finding oximetry sensors, with two LEDs (Red and infrared) and a photodiode, to put on the finger. Once you've found the commercial sensor that's cheap and readily available, connect it to the pins of the theremino would be very. With a sensor like you collect many useful data, not only the oxygenation but a curve indicating even how's heart, in some ways even better than an ECG.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, I'm looking for. The problem is that until now I find them matched to appliances. It will take a while’ to have the right answer.

        • Anonymous says:

          To be more clear. There are two kinds. Totally autonomous ones have no exit. Those devices are compatible with the outputs that their. No schema is a problem because they are also heated.

          • Livio says:

            Should have only two LEDs and a photodiode.
            I don't think there can be more, Maybe two resistors for LEDs.
            If it finds one that is cheap then just open it up and look like they are connected the wires.
            If they did well on the project are four wires.

  8. Maurizio says:

    Hello Joseph.
    I read your posts, and replies by Livius.
    As you've undoubtedly read, We plan the realization of various sensors that might be useful.
    I am very interested in developing this topic, so if you have any questions feel free to ask.


    • Joseph says:

      I received my Master and it works fine. I find great Hal. Verifying the ability to transfer it to Phone 7 and 8.
      Meanwhile seeking various sensors, Open. For the Oximeter I see very attractive prices to 9 € but are autonomous or connected via USB to 29€. In both cases I can't take advantage of Hal. Assemble them there is a problem of moulds and precision mechanics, then unwrapped. I'm thinking.
      Greetings. Joseph

      • Livio says:

        The idea of transferring the HAL on other systems is Georgeous. We will not have time to do it so who will take this burden will automatically win the title of Dear-Dr-ing-super-employee-boss and will be in addition to all the little’ assorted forms.

        Oximeters can be connected via USB (with the dll) may move from one connection software that sends the data on slots. Not everything has to pass by the HAL System Center Theremino are slots and work without HAL (you know it but write it for new users)
        But it would be better to find the clip alone and link it to the three Pin HAL, the clip alone, bought by the Chinese, It might cost you very little. If you find the right path the Chinese, in order to sell, they give you everything, even the plastic alone.

  9. Livio says:

    It would seem that Phone 7 and 8 have the USB which cannot’ do by Master (I mean’ only works when connected to a PC and for instance to a memory stick or ThereminoMaster) Maybe there are external drivers that make it go or maybe Microsoft will add’ in a short time. Anyway take care before wasting too much time.

    • Joseph says:

      Thank you for the information.
      For now I'm checking the individual pieces that have to interface with. Then I have to unlock your mobile to be able to set up and rehearse. It will take quite a bit.

  10. Maurizio says:

    Well, the mindwave bridge works precisely in place of HAL, acting as a bridge between the USB receiver and the system theremino the mindwave.
    The main problem in the device driver, that in the case of mindwave are provided by the manufacturer.

    • Joseph says:

      Waiting to receive, next week, the Pulse Oximeter, I uploaded the two codes of HAL and Bridge. USB connected Hardware, I launched the Debug and everything works perfectly. Remember that I'm running Windows 8.

  11. Maurizio says:

    Very good, you've just got tested for compatibility of mindwave RF (did you get that, true? That no bluetooth support?).
    Concerning the Pulse Oximeter, What did you catch? A standalone version you will have to open it to extract the signal, or a version with USB output?
    Obviously, you will have all the support we can to this new implementation.

    • Joseph says:

      Mindwave : the transmitter is MW002, While the headphones are MW001
      Pulse Oximeter: It was a complicated purchase because there are hundreds of models, but without real datasheet . Purchases from China are always difficult even though I know the sources, are strenuous negotiations. If not I'll be forced to cancel the order for the second time, should I keep getting a display object, Bluetooth transmitter and USB connection as well as a power supply for batteries. We'll see if it's true next week.

  12. Maurizio says:

    The codes that you wrote on the site neurosky I can't find them.
    I saw that in addition to remove the codes, They added various accessories, that however are really expensive. Confirm that the version without bluetooth?
    I'm curious to see the Pulse Oximeter you've ordered, even bluettoth!
    When you receive it, you can put a link to technical information?

    • Joseph says:

      This is the receiver that I found in the box.

      • Joseph says:

        Phone 7, do not Exchange data. Phone 8 exchanges only with Bluetooth eWireless. And in some cases even with USB. The Pulse Oximeter which I purchased works independently, It has a display and a USB output. Everything OK.
        The one with Bluetooth was available in a month.
        Now the problem is put together, Phone V8, Master with
        its sensors, Mindwave and Pulse Oximeter. Maybe it's better to turn everything into wireless ? The ideal is to have a default table, but changeable,
        where are the data, from sensors, in the various cells. As Hall, but extended to more data and functions.
        All that work both on a Tablet W8 either on a Phone 8.
        Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
        Thank you

        • Livio says:

          The way thereminica is: do it all with the minimum of components. If you do not find a clamp with two LEDs and a photodiode can be connected and can be found easily by all, then it would be better to wait. There are countless useful projects to do and time is limited. I would love to design something universal. Not that it works only if you have the bluetooth and difficult to repeat next year if the Chinese no longer produce any of the pieces.
          Of course if you want to proceed with the components you have now, ask and we will help you as much as possible.
          Maurice told me that there would also be the ability to decouple all through a web page, I still don't understand this idea but perhaps could help you connect your components. If we do it will be helpful, It is rather easy to get onto the web in DotNet is an example of complete WebBrowser, fully functional, written in Theremino Script, in a few lines. Sometimes when Chrome is slow I open the Theremino Web Browser and in a moment I do what I have to do.

  13. Maurizio says:

    The idea (to evaluate) is to make available the Theremino slot in any device, using a web page rather than a specific program.
    Like this, any device with a web browser (computer, Tablet, mobile phones, etcetera) can access the data, regardless of the operating system used.
    For now I'm super busy, in a few days I will explain this with more detail.


    • Joseph says:

      So the idea would be to make router the mobile phone or tablet. Currently it is already possible to make tethering with your mobile phone. I thought the high end sensors can be mounted directly on wireless while, for example,, those simple end, as a TA, need a wireless interface as the Master.
      Either only processes on the router or you go on a cloud.

  14. Maurizio says:

    Hello Joseph.
    I didn't forget about you. But they are really under pressure to some working grits.
    As soon as I get rid do some experiments with the web server.
    How they are going to your experiments? Keep us updated, We are pleased!

    • Livio says:

      Roberto has found many recent open source webserver, Some also written very well, and in DotNet. We're still evaluating which is the best, When will now ask, do not use that in Vb6 that is a code “long in the tooth”.

      • Joseph says:

        Aside from the manual that I received in German, I employed a tot to do arrive from China English, the Pulse Oximeter works very well.
        I checked it with a cardiological equipment and it seems to me that the results are acceptable. Also I had to do an electrocardiogram to compare the two waveforms that the Pulse Oximeter and ECG.
        The USB connection I was much help. Allowed me to upload what you feel the sensor into the software and change the time base of the signal to make it similar to that of the electrocardiogram.
        For the Mindwave do an EEG is a bit complicated. Apps that I found, aside from the cost, are not compatible with windows.
        I can not find a relationship between a mood and a waveform that is repeatable but above all that is true and acceptable. If I don't find anything, I wonder how they make the app to work. The cost, to be followed with biofeedback, is of 15.000 $ per year. It is unclear whether using the Mindwave or something else.
        I'm walking around the issue of biofeedback to find a solution.
        When you are ready with your webserver, I try it again. I VB2010 and VS2010 for WPH7

  15. Joseph says:

    In the farm of Concorezzo (MB), will start soon, paid courses on Arduino and complete Robot.
    I would have liked a similar initiative for Theremino that I consider more interesting.

  16. Livio says:

    Mauritius has asked:
    Active electrodes “Non-contact” are copyrighted?

    Fortunately the copyright, also if anyone has them required recently, they are all worthless because the technology of active electrodes without contact was discovered over the years 1964 and 1969, but then forgotten for lack of proper hardware. Then it took a few Cubic Decimeter of components for each electrode and should have been put on circuitone to no more than a few millimeters from the electrode.

    Why you used a single FET and, nowhere, you could get the current performance (missed clearing the ability that you can only get with current CMOS operational amplifiers with very low leakage current)

    For the curious here is the original patent written by Richardson in 1969

    Patents, both in Italy and the u.s., have a maximum duration of 20 years, then with his 34 years this patent has expired and when a patent expires its “cliams” become public, and no more patentable.

  17. Roberto says:

    Good morning,I'm a doctor too elettromiografista,then the interest for your project is notable I'd like to test the system. Could you give me information on purchasing the necessary Hardware ? I'm getting a few years then you “pietas ” If I'm breaking any rules of the blog…….I apologize in advance.
    Willing to cooperate
    Kind regards
    Dr Roberto Fiorentini

    • Livio says:

      Welcome To Roberto, There are no rules in this blog, Don't worry. We are very glad of your interest. Non-contact Active electrodes are very interesting, We are trying and soon we will publish the complete project. Hardware will not be available for some time, Kits & PCBs. Among other things we normally explain only how to do it and we do not produce complete systems. Then you should follow the projects and implement them alone. But we are very pleased with the cooperation and we will help you as much as possible. Myself I could make you a prototype and online order form, but it will take some time (months) and it will be a sensor only.

      Later Alexios and perhaps other writers will produce, check this page for their addresses:

      Meanwhile I've updated this page. The new zip file contains what we have available so far: Eagle PCB, the schema, the 3D images, the simulations LtSpice and photos of PCBs still outstanding (now I'm trying them and welded)

      The four PCB you see, will eventually two Suns, double sided. We're going to do from MDSRL and will be much more subtle. Now with four layers total thickness is approximately 9 mm but in the end it will be 5 mm insulation including.

      To accommodate and isolate the sensor, We took two punches that, with the help of hot air, manage thin transparent plastic sheet deep drawing and turn it into a perfect cylinder, with a closed wall. Two of these cylinders, a slightly larger, form the full wrap.

      Before you decide to produce a hundred printed we still testing with prototypes. We are still not sure of values and better Setup for compensating circuits C1. R1, R2 and C2, R4.

      That could take months and will have to wait until the case for research to fill a little’ Since we spent it all for other projects.

      As soon as we get the handouts in professional version, We will send you a gift two or three for your trials. Thanks again for the cooperation proposal and let us know your ideas, the results of your trials and your advice.


      • Roberto says:

        For the moment I think…..and I send you best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a “explosive ” New year's Eve !!! Happy birthday to all the team

      • Roberto Fiorentini says:

        Hello Livio,
        I would like to know whether progress has been made in the field of electrodes and if they are available for testing.
        Thank you for your reply

        • Livio says:

          Unfortunately no, We have many projects underway and little time. It would take other contributors, especially good programmers. The 99% time goes into the software and hardware research running out.
          We also need to finish before the most popular projects. Music, mass spectrometry, olive oil testers, Lightning Detector.

          You may get to Alexis (producer page) If he's willing to get someone to test, but then the evidence should you, and it might not work well. We can't guarantee anything, We tried them only in ECG and we don't know if they work even with the weak EEG signals.

          Especially we experimented by troubleshooting to 50 Hz. Since you want to do everything without contact we foresaw not to connect the patient drive, galvanically to the ground (dangerous). But to isolate it in a faraday cage, that should be a foil on the Chair seat and sides. Metal sheets should be grounded but isolated from the patient with a thin layer of plastic. This test and many others are all still to do and time consuming. We would like and sooner or later we're going to find the time, But if you wait for us might spend years.

  18. Roberto says:

    Egr Livio
    I would love to hear your opinion on the use of Kapton as a substrate for printed circuit boards (flat cable with smd components) about active electrodes for EMG.
    Thank you if you can send me your opinion.

    • Livio says:

      Kapton could reduce the total thickness but I'm not sure that these electrodes are achievable in Kapton (don't know him well)

      You should get the following four layers.
      4) Top layer of shielding, all copper, with metallized holes wreath, which connect it to GND of the layer 3
      3) Layer of SMD components. Shielded from the layer above (4) and under the (2)
      2) Bottom layer of shielding. All copper except a small hole to pass the signal to the electrode layer (1)
      1) Bottom layer with electrode in the Center and outer ring connected to GND via Crown through holes metallics.

      1) I'm not sure that you can do with Kapton metallic holes.
      2) The minimum thickness of Kapton would increase the capacity between the layer of shielding (2) and the respective probe. This may decrease performance and make more critical capacity compensation. Maybe the difference would not be great but, Since it is critical is hard to simulate that offsets. Then you should make a comparison between the two systems to see how much you are losing. In conclusion I would rather avoid increasing too the ability. (that increases exponentially with very small)
      3) The final softness doesn't seem an advantage. In the end you should too, enclose all the electrode in a rigid plastic insulating cylinder, in order not to get dirt on sides and seal tightly against the damp.

      I would use epoxy glass, Maybe thinner than the classic epoxy glass from 1.4 mm. At a guess the ideal thickness, that assottiglierebbe the total thickness, without increasing too the ability, should be around the 0.5 mm.

      The outer shell should be composed of two plastic rods, that fairly thick plastic top (approximately 0.5 mm talking maybe black plastic). The lower cylinder diameter, to enter the upper, should be very thin, 0.1 or 0.2 mm at most, in order to maximise the capacity between electrode and skin.

  19. Roberto says:

    Thanks Livio ,you have been exhaustive and thank you!
    I'm prototype flexforce type sensors applied in the mouth with good results but not being not at all satisfied of surface EMG (used as ctrl) We are being told, I wanted to move to either electrode arrays for positioning thereof on the surface of muscle and get then a sequential reading of data (arrays). The muscles that interest me are neck and head I think understand the problems… any case I shall study the speech ability!!
    I take this opportunity to ask you a courtesy even of your use of the software (with what and how to make the connections in a nutshell !!!!) Good weeck end .

  20. Maximum says:

    the argument is, measurement of electrical changes in plants.
    Looking for tools to try for the purpose, arrival at Mindwave and this site.
    Mindwave is essential ? should I use the sensors of the headband and putting them on the leaves.
    Using instead the card into your site and I would get the same result ? In this type of reading I could even think of leaving the appliance connected days, so you need a data collection, also in graphic form.

    • Livio says:

      The mindwave plants doesn't work for sure because the plants do not emit alpha beta and gamma waves.

      Probably you should measure changes in resistance or electric potential. Theremino the system since the pins are configurable can measure everything, resistance, capacity and voltage (with the pins configured as Cap, RES or Adc)

      How hardware just a Theremino Master to start.

      If the voltages to be measured are so small you need a preamp:

      Many, however, are issues that might deceive and give results that do not originate from biological variations of the plant. For example the material of platelets in the presence of moisture could generate voltage for electrolytic effect. Then, not measure ghosts, You should know exactly what to measure, the tensions, currents and impedance in game, with what kind of electrodes measure and placing.

      Once without the necessary evidence and obtained a significant signal, to store it in time using software called “logger”, such as Theremino_SimpleLogger:

      and finally a log viewer application, for example the fantastic KST, like in this video:

      • Maximum says:

        In the past they used wheatstone bridges and polygraphs, I don't know whether it is better to measure a resistor or a current, your greater experience might indicate.
        The results of old experiences doesn't seem to have lead to prevail a method on’ ' more.
        need a master.
        the quantities to be measured should be very small, the use of door to choose between voltage and current.
        Which sensor used in this case ? to pair it with leaf can use the bed in the old experiments, some sort of gel specially prepared that acted as the glue between the two sides gave the best results.
        Who can I contact to discuss in detail the products and their cost ?

        Thanks to the surgery

        • Livio says:

          The use of the preamplifier does not lead to choose between voltage and current. The pre can be adapted for any worn both voltage and current, by microamps to kV, as stated on page:
          (To measure currents you add a resistor between positive and negative inputs.)

          I would start experimenting, first with the inputs are configured as Adc16, Cap16 and Res16 (by placing an electrode in the damp earth connected to GND and the second electrode on a leaf, connected to SIGNAL)

          A variation might be (using an input Adc16 and always with GND connected to the ground of the vase) to inject a slight current on the electrode SIGNAL connected to the leaf. To do so would add a resistor from 1 mega ohm, between the Central wire coming from our Pin (Red wire + 5 volt) and the signal wire that goes to the leaf (Yellow wire)

          If these experiments will not give satisfactory results, then you could build the pre on a matrix Board and trying to measure current and voltage differentials (between two leaves). In your case you will need to change resistors until you find the most suitable voltage or current range.

  21. Hannah Bailey says:

    Hello Livio,

    about PCB sensors, you've made?
    If they are available, What’ their cost?

    Thank you


    • Livio says:

      We have posted the pattern but we don't build and we don't sell anything. The pattern is here:
      For advice on the production you can watch here:

      • Hannah Bailey says:

        I'm sorry,

        i mean the detectors for Biometrics. I found them for sale, so I thought I could help.

        I'm sorry

        • Livio says:

          Don't apologize, Indeed, thanks for the question that gives us the opportunity to talk about it. The fact is that we are a group of fans without name and without profit. Then, When it comes to producing and selling should I contact for companies that care. See this page:

          Try asking to Alessio if you can help make these PCBS. Unfortunately this project is still experimental, software is just a sketch and requests for these PCBS were very few. So probably no one wants to spend hundreds of dollars to take their first PCBS. Taking into account that usually after the first tests of possible improvements are discovered, PCBs are made and you lose any investment.

          Every now and then ourselves we make small investments for research using the money comes from donations and in the future maybe we can do the first series of PCB ourselves, Thus the production start up faster. But unfortunately currently donations are a few tens of euros per month and just to buy components for new projects and to publish Schemas.

  22. Masimo says:

    master card, Pin 5, subtype Dig in, voltage 3, 3V wire and signal wire, resistance 1Mohm, 1 only the sensor wire, minimum vertical zoom, response speed 5, value 1000 ( What size indicates ? ) There is a technical reason that prevents you from having an automatic conversion of the values according to the Pin set ?
    Getting both hands to the plant ( but not with a single ) Cala until 850 starting from a distance of 5 cm, becomes 40 ' ' if I use an electronic swatter and the value drops to 650.
    In the case of Res 8 or 16 always with resistance 1 Mohm, 900 indicates the ohms ?
    Usound sensor, values between 800/1000. are Hz ?

    • Livio says:

      “…master card, Pin 5, subtype Dig in, voltage 3, 3V wire and signal wire, resistance 1Mohm, 1 only the sensor wire, minimum vertical zoom, response speed 5, value 1000 ( What size indicates ? ) There is a technical reason that prevents you from having an automatic conversion of the values according to the Pin set ? “

      If you set DigIn values are always only two. Or zero or one thousand. DigIn means “digital input” and “Digital” It means “turned off” or “lit”, i.e. 0 or 1000. It is not a technical reason but of logic, you shouldn't use DigIn.

      Also UsoundSensor has nothing to do, connects ultrasonic modules spanning the distance. If the ultrasonic module there is no then what measure has no meaning.

      You should use:
      Res16 (responding to resistance values between 0 ohm at 50 kilo ohms)
      – Or Cap16 with its different options. (reply to capacity values from a few to thousands of pF pF)
      – Or Adc16 and a resistor from 1 Mega between +5 and the signal (This should be the most sensitive method because it responds to resistance values from 0 in many mega ohm)

      You're not “by measuring”, but revealing variations. Whereby the numbers do not match strengths or abilities. 900 not to say 900 ohm resistor.

      What you get is not the value of resistance or ability but a number that varies between minimum (zero) and maximum (1000) and this variation corresponds to the minimum or maximum resistance (maximum or minimum capacity).

      In all cases a wire that comes from GND should be comfortable in contact in the land of the vase (skinned for a long stretch and damp earth) and a wire that comes from SIGNAL should be in contact with a leaf (Maybe moistened to improve the electrical contact)

      Please don't give unloaded with a friggizanzare, the Master may break and also the plant doesn't like for sure.

      What you should get is the maximum sensitivity for “variations” you are looking for. And now he can't help anyone, because no one has done what you're doing. You should be the one to tell us: “I did so and this happens. I measured these values and want to say this and this”

  23. Maximum says:

    Dig in with the sensor in the leaf, within a radius of 35 ' ' touching what's out there, graph drapes down, approaching his hands idem but starting from approximately 15 cm. the closer I get and more drapes down to settle back down according to the distance that I care about the hand s.
    Even with res and adc there are variations, always with the variation in the environment,
    With usensor obvious variations with and without music, but not always..
    Are not identical replicas of themselves, as the subject is living.
    No problem to the plant, I see that has grown, I took a picture, a few days ago, If I had foreseen the effect the shot at the beginning of the tests, I recall that there were signs of growth marked now, in any case the energy and here would be classified type and frequency according to the subject in question, affect cell multiplication.
    Since set a unit of measure is facenda complex, the variations are what I consider.
    The unit of measure you might find by comparing variations, having a tool like Flytrap that has a measurable electrical parameter, If the hand at the same distance from a response
    You can compare the two reactions, If we have several people can see each other's “powers “.
    In any case is evidence of curiosity.

    • Livio says:

      On behalf of all, Thank you!
      Many important findings (like penicillin) originated from errors or unusual searches, that “you were supposed to do” that way.

      Also known, With pleasure, you're starting to consider it impossible to make precise measurements.

      This happens not by defect of the tools but for the great variability of boundary conditions, I'll give an example: “If a acchiapamosche is ten centimeters from a static load sensor 3000 Volts, What is the voltage measured?”
      Reply: impossible to know, just that the air is moist and everything changes.
      And not only: just move the sensor up or down by a few centimeters to measure totally different things (as the air moves and move ions with if)

      So do precise measurements would also specify all parameters of outline, diameter of the blade, air humidity, relative distances, ground clearance etc.. in many cases this is impossible.

      And’ instead can always do and establish measures, for example,, that doing a certain thing, a tension increases or decreases capacity. And it's often more useful this information, I know a precise voltage, but free of all.

      I'll give an example: “I measured 1.334 Volts” Reply: “Glad to hear it, but it doesn't do anything”

      Counter example: “Whenever there is a Flash and then the Thunder the resistance between the ground and the leaves decreases” This could be an interesting information! If verified by other researchers could mean that plants feel the vibrations of Thunder and I get scared.

  24. Maximum says:

    Here's an excerpt of my mail to Paolo
    The 01/07/2014 20.55, wrote:
    What I would like to see is, If a plant in any way changes its switching State compared to something that happens in the environment, talk about emotions would be overkill, in any case it is not so important, at least the way I see it, the exact measure as a variation, are the variations that can say if the plant reacted to an external stimulus.

  25. Maximum says:

    Good morning,
    theremino can be used for a chemical analysis of a liquid such as.

    • Livio says:

      Though we have only done the Input-Output signals. Everything else (feasibility study and research or development of appropriate sensors) will be made on a case by case. The right person to ask is Carman, that is our representative and expert in chemical analysis. Marco is using the system Theremino in some machines, of his invention, for fluid analysis.
      Delivery can be found on its site:

      Anyhow you let me start by saying that you can't do analysis “generic”. You should know, from first, what you want to look for.

  26. Flavio says:

    Good morning,
    Meanwhile, congratulations to the system Theremino, you have done a great job, you're not aliens true? Even if you answer definitely no, then I withdraw the question.
    I embarked on a complex project that revolves around meditation, the sound design and interfaces BCI.
    I just recently purchased the MindWave radio interface, just for starters. I tried to hook it up to your Theremino Theremin, using the MindWave Bridge. Settings: NoteSlot as per MW Bridge (ES. 110, 150, etc), TriggerLevel = 1, VolumeSlot = 2, VolumeNegative set, ThereminClassic, AudioBuf lev. 2000.
    Operation: data from the MW do vary the frequencies of the synth (soft pad, soft string etc.), so it works, However there is a disorder linked to the value of polls, initially set to 5 Ms, as a kind of high frequency noise but perceptible. Increasing the Polling value decreases the frequency of disturbance, also varies the timbre of the sound of noise. Arrived at a value of 1000 Ms noise stabilizes and turns into a kind of “DENNG” with every 1 sec., for higher Polling values does not change anything. Also by varying the Play Effect doesn't happen much. Can you help me?
    Thank you.

    • Livio says:

      Sure we can help but it is a complicated problem. There could be many problems, clashes of slots for example… We will control the parameters, We could probably do it for Skype or phone. You have a fixed? (We can call landlines at no cost). Write to me at and we agree for an hour.

    • Livio says:

      We felt over the phone and we found the defect. In the box was selected the MidiOut Microsoft MIDI synthesizer. By setting “Unused” the fault has disappeared.

      Any advice:
      The application has a standalone synthesizer and Theremin sounds very good even without the help of external synthesizers. Use the MidiOut could serve to sound hardware synth or VST:
      When you play with an external synthesizer might be a good idea to mute the internal one. I cannot turn it off with the RUN key select a sound mute (they are among the last of the list and named “Silence”)

      For applications of bio-relaxation is probably would want to use a continuously variable frequency, without any constraint. It might be useful to set “No play effects” or lower the “Amount” zero. In contrast to a fuller sound or more musically tuned you could use “Load chords” and set “Armonics Do5 Do6” (so Theremino Classic) or any chord progression (so Theremino Pinched)

  27. Maurizio says:

    Hello Livio, and greetings to all the participants in this forum.

    Due to work commitments very invasive, I reluctantly turned away long ago from this project (I mean the project as a whole, not only biometrics), and I'm sorry.
    I am planning, for the future, to resume the collaboration, trying to be helpful with my time constraints and personal skills.
    The site is becoming really large, and branches of research and applications of the system Theremino are becoming more extensive and interesting.
    My time is short, so for now I am struggling just to keep me updated, the work done here is really hard.
    This morning I read the Maximum questions in relation to the measures on plants.
    Long ago I was interested in the subject, and I found this site
    where the reading of the conductivity of the leaves is converted to music.
    On this page
    It also described the patent of the device that is used.
    This perhaps could be of inspiration for the construction of a sensor to interface to the system Theremino.


    • Livio says:

      In the patent simply give an electric current to the leaf (through R1) and measure the tension that occurs across capacitor C1 (It takes to dampen the variations).

      With the system Theremino you just connect the leaf to a Pin configured as Res_16 and the mass of the vase to GND Pin and adjust the damping with the appropriate box in HAL program (No C1 only R1). The result that would be obtained is exactly the same. Probably you would get even better temperature stability since we use an ADC digital instead of analog circuit complex filled with trimmer.

      If a device is virtually identical to that of the patent, you could use the same values of R1 and C1 of the patent (leaf connected to SIGNAL, R1 between SIGNAL and + 5V and ground the vessel connected to GND) and add our preamp. differential:

      Don't worry about the fact that there is a patent. When it came time to go to court that patent would be indefensible. The fundamental principle of measuring resistance, by injecting a current, It has been known for over fifty years. The machines of the truth they used exactly this principle, for measuring biological parameters. The patent is of 2002 and in 2002 the principle was “art note” (in the jargon of patent offices). Usually patent offices are not too picky, registration money take them again. Of course if you want to patent the wheel does not accept, but in some cases’ confused (strange wiring diagrams), leave the decision to any lawyers.

  28. Maximum says:

    Good morning,
    I did tests on a succulent plant.
    Regarding any reactions compared with intentions of human mind, I don't have many items to say, I think I need a deep mental training for testing, I noticed on one occasion a variation, but it is complex subject and not automatically repeatable.

    About the sound, Here is a picture of the chart that I marked a different frequency with and without music:

    I used an Adc 16, and the sensor and only one I slipped in the leaf, It will not be technically correct, but that's what gets me, Let's say that not having particular conditionings exploring areas that otherwise no one would touch ever. I tried different music genres, What after some time it became obvious to me is that it has noticed an increase in plant, then was moved having suspended testing, and after some time a couple of weeks I estimate, I saw her left, I didn't understand the reason, I took it back to the place of evidence, with care and attention to the plant and making them listen to music, ( Vivaldi in particular ) you are shooting at 90%,. the shock made her lose many leaves, now he is in another room but it is no longer grown.

  29. Maximum says:

    With a Theremino Master, would it be possible to connect a sensor, on two outputs, positive pole and negative pole, with frequency control (Max 150 Hz), the wavelength (Max 150 microseconds) and current (Max 25 MAMP)? The maximum values are not binding, However you arrive at those values. Purpose, Verify an answer to an electrical signal sent to a living body. It would be helpful, Since the stimulations are localized in several preset points, graphics that set maximum electrical response, of each point stimulated (scale by uA up to 50 mA).

    • Livio says:

      Negative voltages are not obtainable, If not with additional circuits. Establish the currents and limit them to certain values would require complex circuits. The frequencies can be obtained (but with software) would be zero, up to almost 500 Hz. The waveforms though, they would always be square waves (on off).

      It must also be said that you cannot apply voltages, to animals and humans, with one of our Master. This is because, you couldn't keep insulated “living thing” from your PC, and finally from the electrical system. Usually nothing happens, but sometimes someone might kill me. This kind of links is strictly prohibited, and it would be allowed only with certified circuits, and battery-powered independently.

      Are things that could be done without danger, only by electronics, they know perfectly well what they are doing. Recommend doing these experiments only on plants.

  30. Maximum says:

    I meant maximum battery powered pc 12 V, in any case Theremino is not suitable.

    • Livio says:

      With a laptop running on battery power, the dangers are reduced. Us though (to avoid errors and risks) We do not recommend anyone to do these experiments.

    • Maurizio says:

      I reiterate what already written by Livio, for Max and for anyone intending to do experiments on living beings using electricity.
      12V (However laptops usually are powered by 18-22V) It might seem harmless, as below the limit of 24V imposed by regulations.
      This is statistically true when referring to humans, and in relation to accidental contact between an electrical conductor and skin, that which has insulating capacity read.
      But when contact is made through a specially crafted to achieve a low-resistance electrodes, or through a skin lesion (accidental or intentional, such as needles), even a low voltage can become dangerous.
      And’ then recommended to think well on the circuit that you are using, and implement all circuit solutions that can guarantee that the game will always be current, even in case of failure, extremely small.
      In addition, Remember that the electrical insulation capacity is not evenly distributed. Some acupuncture points, in particular, they can be very conductive.

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