The Open tDCS Project

Upverter is an online platform that allows for electronics to be designed, parted, and built. As I understand it, once the design is fixed, you shop for parts – inside of Upverter, and then submit your project (to Upverter’s Chinese partners) to be built. I’d mentioned Upverter on the tDCS subReddit a few times. I was hoping to pique the curiosity of the engineer types that had designed and built their own tDCS devices… Crowdsource the design, and then anyone can order one!

What happened was I got an email from Eric Evenchick, a ‘customer success / hardware engineer person’ at Upverter! Eric had seen my post and written to help. He waived the team fee, set up the project and ported theĀ OpenStim Arduino-based tDCS design, by ohsnapitsnathan (Reddit handle).

I hope I didn’t step on any toes by collecting these schematics to one place. I wanted engineers to be able to see quickly how other designers have thought about building their devices. If you’re an engineer type interested in tDCS please join our Upverter team.

It feels silly to put it this way, when the very nature of Open implies extreme democracy, but here goes… Here’s my vision of an Open tDCS project.

  • Build an Upverter team
  • Design, part, and prototype a minimum viable tDCS device
  • Working with an online ‘cognitive test’ site, build a protocol for measuring the effectiveness of tDCS

Later on we could develop a multi-channel device, and maybe this is just a fantasy, but if it could interact with the internet, researchers could design tests and collect data non-locally. How cool would that be?

The rest of this post will attempt to collect in one place the various schematics I’ve seen for DIY tDCS devices. From Go Flow (pdf)

Go Flow tDCS

Go Flow tDCS

 

I called this one Imgur earlier on the blog. It comes from 55tfg7879fe42e345 (Reddit handle)

tDCS by 55tfg7879fe42e345

tDCS by 55tfg7879fe42e345

Shawn Nock has 3 different designs. This was his first and is the simplest. (And I just realized he housed his designs on GitHub under the ‘Open tDCS’ moniker.)

Shawn Nock tDCS V 1

Shawn Nock tDCS V 1

brmlab our Czech friends

brmlab-tdcs

The Focus device. (pdf)

Focus V 1

Focus V 1

And then the more advanced, programmable tDCS devices. OpenStim

OpenStim

OpenStim

Open Stim Multi-Channel

OpenStim Multi-Channel

OpenStim Multi-Channel

Shawn Nock Version 2

Shawn Nock Version 2

Shawn Nock Version 2

If you know of a schematic I missed please let me know, and even if you’re not an engineer, consider joining Upverter and ‘Following’ our project.

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “The Open tDCS Project

  1. …so this is where it came from. Drop the capacitor!
    You NEVER put a capacitor across a current regulated loop! Never! It’s dangerous, especially a 450uF one…

    • That’s what happens when you get people trying to design circuits who are not circuit designers. There’s a bit more to good circuit design than meets the eye. It might look simple but it isn’t. You’d think think people would no better than to cobble togethor circuits with limited knowledge and experience (despite how qualified they think they are) and then proceed to connect it to their brain no less. Of course, if they’re that misguided, maybe a good jolt to the head might not do that much harm! Can’t harm what isn’t there to begin with.

    • Ya, I actually tested that circuit on my arm. Got a burst of coronal shock from what I assumed was the capacitance.

      The problem comes into play if the current source is switched on and the circuit breaks between anode and cathode sponges. If you reconnect the sponges while the current source is still running, the sponges will shock you pretty good. Even with the 5mA fast-blow fuse.

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