Description: Description: Description: Description: C:\jClamp source 2001\HELP\html help\images\boards.gif

Supported Hardware

The program is written to work with the HEKA EPC 10 USB patch clamp, Tecella Pico patch clamp (issues remain, however -- see below), Power 1401 from CED, 1200, 1200A, 1320, 1440 and 1550 series boards from Axon Instruments (Molecular Devices), the Labmaster DMA from Scientific Solutions, the DAQP-308 PCMCIA card from Quatech, the IOtech daq2000/XP Pro PCI board, the IOTech Personal daq 3000 (2 or 4 DAC) and the National Instruments E series PCI-MIO-16XE-10, PCI-6052E, PCI-MIO-16E-1, and PCI-MIO-16E-4 boards, and M series USB 6251. NI PCI-6035E and PCI-6024E boards are supported in a limited way (see below).

jClamp also supports video capture using a Video for Windows compatible board or any camera (e.g., webcam mounted on microscope) that supports Microsoft WDM video capture - see the Look32X! section. Streaming video capture and playback; record video during data collections; control through script or via Look! video window. Check script command section and check menu on the Look! window. For analog cameras, I suggest a Hauppauge video (see capture card - WinTV PCI - you can get them without the TV tuner for less than $100. The default capture driver is number 0, but now you can provide other numbers in the jClamp ini file under the "misc" tab. Setting the driver number to 999 causes jClamp to skip the check for a board, and no capture will be available.

CAVEAT: if you have different board types, protocols created with one board selected may not be the same if you use them with another board. This is because specifications, e.g., minimum clock, synchronous digital output, voltage out, can be different. You should set the board type to the board that was used to save the data when viewing the data. You don’t need the board present, but can work in math model mode. Actually, I have tried to make the aforementioned not a requirement. For example, the board type is saved with a data file and I use it to select the board type when analysis mode is in effect, so that data files are matched for board characteristics. In the command utility the board that made the protocol is now exposed, and when loading data files the board that was used is exposed in the window. Nevertheless, it is safest to select the board on startup to look at data generated with a particular board!

Gain setup in ini file

  1. First check that the output is working.
  2. Set the gain for D/A to 0.001 in the textbox. Save the ini file. Restart jClamp or reinitialize. Set Vpulse to zero. Set the cc hold to 1000 mV and the meter connected to your output channel should read close to that. Verify that the output corresponds to changes in cc hold.
  3. Now set the D/A gain to that required for your amplifier. For example if you need 10 times the voltage set the gain to 0.01. Save the ini file. Restart jClamp or reinitialize. Verify that the output corresponds to 10 times the changes in cc hold.
  4. Now that the D/A is set correctly, you can set the A/D scale. Remember to always set the D/A scale first.


The configuration settings must be set correctly for each AD board.

CED boards

The Power 1401 from CED (16bit in/out) works in WIndows 95/98.NT/2000/XP Pro. Follow the setup described by CED. Digital in 0 (Event Input 0) is used for triggering -- pulse to low for trigger. Trigger BNC is not used. Digital out 0 (hi byte 0) on front panel is scope trigger. Other digital outs are low byte on expansion connector. Fastest clock supported is 3 usec for synchronous in/out. CED command files must be placed in the jclamp32\CED\ directory. They are ADCMEM, MEMDAC and MEMDAD. Analog output on channel 2 and 3 is controlled with DAX window. CC monitoring for a 3rd and 4th amplifier uses channels 2/2 and 3/3 in/out. Synchronous digital out issupported . Other models may be supported.

Axon A/D D/A boards

The 1200A (12 bit in/out) and 1320/1440 series (16 bit in/out) boards are useable in WIndows 95,98, NT4, 2000/XP Pro. Follow the setup described by Axon. For both boards, digital in 0 is used for triggering -- pulse to high for trigger. Start trigger is not used because it is not directly accessible to third party software, except for the 1440 series (in this case, start BNC is used to collect data). Digital out 7 is scope trigger out. The 1200 Axon boards are configured by supplied Axon software (e.g., Axoscope), and the axdd1200.ini file located in the Windows (Win 95 & Win 98) directory is used by jClamp. If there are problems, check the hardware address, interrupts, and DMA channels in Axoscope. Get that to work! The 1200 board may be functional only in Win 95/98.

Unlike the other boards, the 1320 series boards treat the synchronous digital output as another channel; therefore when using these boards the clock will change in the command utility when synchronous digital output is enabled. The 1440 series supports synchronous digital output and multiplexing is not used, so clock remains the same regardless of input channel number.

The DD1550 board is supported but sets clock increment to 2 us because that is required by Molecular Devices. There is still a jitter that I detect that MD cannot recapitulate. I think it is present not just in jClamp but also in Clampex. I will fix when they acknowledge and fix.

Under NT or Win2000/XP Pro, the 1200A board does not work well with jClamp -- the drivers supplied by Axon (from SSI) are dysfunctional. Cm tracking does not work, but the 2-sine command protocol it works.

The drivers for all Axon boards are installed with the manufacturer's software program Axoscope. See the instructions supplied with the boards. Get Axoscope to work!

For the 1320 series (1320A, 1321A, 1322A), Axoscope version 9 (or above - but see their website to make sure which Axoscope to use!) must be installed, since the new drivers that are released with this version are used by jClamp versions greater than 10.9.0.  The boards should be occasionally calibrated with the Axon software Axoscope – see the Axon documentation. jClamp uses the board’s hardware stored calibration data.  The file <AxDD132x.dll,   ver.> found within the Axoscope 9 directory must be copied into the jclamp32 directory for the board to work with jClamp. For the 1440 series, AxDD1440.dll must be copied into the jclamp32 directory. However, if you have a new Axoscope version that works get the files from that version's directory (see below)

In order to use MD (Axon) boards you will need to copy some files to the jClamp32 directory. You must get Axoscope to work with their boards before running jClamp. If Axoscope identifies the boards then jClamp will work.

1322 boards:


1440 boards:



wdapi1011.dll (?)

1550 boards:



wdapi1140.dll (?)

wdapi1011.dll (?)

You may want to copy all regardless of board you have. The the required files may change so email me for information.

The software version of the Axon Multiclamp Telegraph system is supported – see telegraphs.

Labmaster and Axon 1200 boards

jClamp for the Labmaster DMA and for the Axon 1200A and B boards is free -- no license required. However, it is not sure whether they will work with the newest versions of jClamp since I don't have the boards anymore to check.

The Labmaster (12 bit in/out) must have the Port address set correctly in the jClamp ini file.

Remember the free license is only available when the ini file is set to use the Labmaster board or axdd1200 board (under gain tab). Set the proper address for the Labmaster! The Labmaster board is controlled exclusively through Port I/O witht the jClamp VXD or SYS driver. The only differences with the hardware setup required by pClamp is that the ports A0-A7 should all be configured for output. A7 is scope trigger. See the hardware manusal. B0 is trigger input. C channels are not used. Cm tracking and gap-free are functional only in Win 95/98, althought 2-sine command protocols are supported. Win 2000/XP Pro performance is superior. The Axon 1200 board needs the DriverLinx installation (NT version for Win2000 and above). Axon supplies the drivers. Email me if you have a problem getting them. Axoscope 9.2 is the last version of Axoscope to support the board, so you must use that program to verify that everything is working before using jClamp. Normally, if there is no hardware license the registration window will appear, indicating that the license is software only or that so many days are left in the hardware fulldemo license. For the free labmaster or Axon 1220  support, there is no license, so the register window will open. If you want to bypass that window you may create a shortcut on the Windows desktop to jclamp32.exe, as you would do for any other program. In the properties window, target line, you should append the word "skip_reg". For example, <"C:\Program Files\jclamp32\JCLAMP32.EXE" skip_reg> is taken from the target line of a shortcut. It will run jclamp but not display the registration window. You could also specify a particular ini file other than the default jclamp32.ini by doing the following. <"C:\Program Files\jclamp32\JCLAMP32.EXE" my_ini_file.ini skip_reg>. Note there is a space after the executable name and between the ini filename and "skip_reg".

DAQP board

The DAQP-308 (16 bit in/ 12 bit out) must have the Port address set correctly in the jClamp ini file.

The DAQP-308 should be set up according to the manufacturer. The board is controlled exclusively through Port I/O witht the jClamp VXD or SYS driver. The port address is found in the windows Control Panel. That address should be set in the jClamp ini file. Only four (0-3) digital in and out channels are available. Scope trigger in on Ch3. Ch0 is trigger input. Cm tracking and gap-free are functional only in Win 95/98, although 2-sine command protocols are supported. Win 2000/XP Pro performance is superior.

IOTech boards

The IOtech daq2000/XP Pro PCI board (16 bit in/out; 100kHz) should be set up according to the manufacturer. It will work in Win NT and 95/98. It is inexpensive ($500) and quite nice. It has features not present in the other boards. Unfortunately, currently it has a noise problem on the DACs, which may be fixed in the second version.

The IOTech Personal daq 3000 (2 or 4 DAC) is a great board at about $1500. There is a 4DAC version supported by jCamp. Clock down to 1usec. Trigger in to start episodes is via (digital port) B7 AND Trig input (which should be coupled together) – a high TTL triggers start. Nice.

Tecella Pico patch clamp system

Support for the Tecella Pico ( USB patch clamp amplifier. Fully contained in a very small enclosure. Clock down to 25us in 25us steps. Synchronous digital output with analog out/in. Four individual units supported simultaneously. Waiting for company to fix some bugs in their driver.

National Instruments boards

National Instruments E series PCI-MIO-16XE-10 (10 usec), PCI-6052E (3 usec) boards ( both 16 bit in/out), PCI-MIO-16E-1 (1 usec support, 12 bit in/out) and PCI-MIO-16E-4 (4 usec support, 12 bit in/out) should be set up with version 6.7 of NI-DAQ, which comes with the boards. Inputs should be single ended. Triggering is done on PF10 (TRIG 1). Scope trigger uses digital out 7. Both are setup to have an ADC range of +/- 10 V. Programmable gain is available 1,2,4,10 for PCI-6052E and PCI-MIO-16E-1, and 1,2,5,10 for PCI-MIO-16XE-10.

The PCI-6035E (16 bit in/ 12 bit out) and PCI-6024E (12 bit in/out) are boards that have 5 us analog in but only 100 us analog out. They are supported, but they are functionally limited. Support is for 100 us in and out, so that synchronous in/out can be performed. Gain is limited to 1 or 2, with 20 supported in CC manual gain mode. The slow speed limits CC parameter estimation, since only slow time constant current responses can be fit accurately.

The M series NI 6251-USB is supported (16 bit in/out), with synchronous digital output. Clocks down to 1 usec for a single channel. The NI PCI-6221 board is also supported with synch digital and clock to 4 usec. Programmable gain option is employed with both.

These boards will be the preferred boards for jClamp starting 6/2007. The NI PCI-6221 board is used by Neobiosystems to control their PatchMAX 100Aand jClamp will work with their system to provide user friendly patch clamp and two electrode voltage clamp solutions. When controlling their system you must switch back to math model in jClamp (accessable in the pop-up window when the mouse goes over the user graphic in CC). After cell encounters, press their release button and turn off math model in jclamp to start clamping! Digital out 1, 2 and 3 are used exclusively by their system and are set high and disabled in jClamp.  Digital 0 is available for synchronous output with analog out. Out 4,5, and 6 are useable for non-shynchronous use; 7 is scope output trigger and digital in 6 is for episode or start triggering. To enable use with their system you must check the NeoBiosystems box under the History tab in the jClamp ini file.

In jClamp ini editor select <nidaq> for E series boards and <nidaq_mx> for M series boards.

The PCI-6052E can also be used with the <nidaq_mx> drivers.

Support for new board, NI USB X Series. Amazing! 1 megaHz 16 bit sampling on all 8 channels without multiplexing. Synchronous digital output.  About $3K. Could not ask for more. The new NI-DAQmx 9.3 (or higher) drivers need to be installed.  Trigger to start is PFI6. Visit NI at

Synchronous digital out with analog is not supported by the E series boards ( so DAX is not supported), although jClamp can provide non synchronous digital out. Board number (eg., 1; obtained from NI Explorer - NiDaq 6.7 drivers for E series; NiDaq mx ver 8.5 for M series) needs to be entered in the jClamp ini file under Gain tab after choosing the NI board. Functional in Win 95/98/NT/2000/XP Pro.


Support for up to 4 amplifiers. See HEKA literature for details of operation. All features of jClamp are supported.

This is a usb controlled patch clamp amplifier. jClamp has been tested with the 2 amp model, but should work with four. Minimum clock is 5 usec, but the AD/DA boards used necessitates strange clock requirements depending on number of channels used. jClamp handles this issue. You need to read their manual to understand the issues (

DAX (no longer available)

DAX hardware simply connects to the digital out BNCs. The single male BNC connects to ch0, the attached white wire connects to ch1, and the other four BNC assemblies attach to any of the digital out channels ch2-5. A 4.5 - 5 volt power source (central pin positive) drives the DAX. Output from each channel is +/- 5 volts.

Episode length capabilities, etc.

Axon 1200 boards can have episodic collections up to 0.5 million pts in W98, and 1 million points in Win NT. Axon 1320 boards have episode lengths up to 1 million pts, as does the IOtech daq2000/XP Pro. Episode time for 1 million pts at 10 us is over 10 sec per episode!! If longer episode lengths are required this may be possible. Contact me. Episodic delivery for the National Instruments is up to 10 million pts (this should be checked with your hardware before using on cells!). CED board and Axon 1440, 1550 boards is up to 5 million points.

When in dual voltage output mode, the default setting is 2 analog inputs. For the NI boards using nidaq_mx drivers, and for the Axon 1320 and 1440 series boards you may increase the number of inputs up to 8 channels.