This video shows what is included with the Activadose tDCS Starter Kit from Caputron as well as a quick start guide. For more in depth look at how to use the device or to purchase this device, visit Caputron.com (As mentioned elsewhere on the blog, I have an affiliate relationship with Caputron. If you purchase any product from Caputron using code diytdcs at checkout, you will receive a discount and I will receive an affiliate fee.)
These come up once in a while and I like to alert readers to Caputron specials. I’ll remove the post when I see that the special has ended. Remember to add discount code diytdcs at checkout for additional savings ( I also receive an affiliate fee when you use my discount code).
This github project is a step-by-step manual. Anyone with a high school diploma should be able to follow it and build a TMSuino themselves. That’s what I was aiming for. TMSuino’s principle of operation is taken from a scientific paper published in the 1990s. So it is free of valid patent claims. Costs for parts, materials and shipping should be around 150,- dollars/euros. There is no soldering required! Estimated build time is 2 1/2 hours.
A comment on the blog from Martin Mueller informed me of this very interesting new arduino-based TMS device. I’ve also posted a link to the r/diytdcs Reddit page in hopes of hearing feedback from more technically-minded folks. I will update this post as info emerges. TMSuino3 seems to be loosely based on the work of Steen Dissing whose device we looked at in 2015 (see below) where it’s referred to as Transcranial Pulsating Electro Magnetic Fields therapy or t-PEMF.
The Introduction to the github article collects the author’s frustrations and suspicions around transparency in the bipolar research community and basically comes away from the experience hypothesizing what sounds like a conspiracy. Wait, big pharma and medical device companies manipulating the market to ensure maximum profit? Either way, he shares an article that confirms Steen Dissing’s frustration in getting his device accepted and adopted for treatment of depression in Denmark. An Inventor’s Triumph and Frustration.
It turns out a medical grade device has been developed and approved for treatment of depression in Denmark. The Re5, made by Navamedic. There are a collection of research papers linked to at their site.
————————– Original 2015 article.
Thanks to reader Jerico for alerting me to this. Transcranial Pulsating Electro Magnetic Fields therapy is new to me. It does not seem to be experiencing anywhere near the level of research activity that is going on around tDCS. Some of the research I’m finding dates from 2001 (though the BBC article the quote is from and linked to below is from 2014). But just to have it on our radar, and because the helmet looks so cool…
“The helmet is amazing,” said Annemette Ovlisen, a graphic artist who suffered recurrent depression for 16 years and a participant in the Hillerod trials.
It’s like the fog lifts. It was like somebody hit the reset button.”The device contains seven coils that deliver a dose of Transcranial Pulsating Electro Magnetic Fields (T-PEMF) to brain tissues.The pulses are so minute that the patient cannot detect any sensation, and the only side effect so far is occasional “tiny” nausea that immediately disappears after treatment.
Prof Steen Dissing, of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Health Sciences is the helmet’s principal architect.
He said: “The device mimics electrical fields in the brain, and triggers the body’s own healing mechanism.”
The pulses activate capillaries in the brain, which form new blood vessels and secrete growth hormones.
Update 8/2/18 Looks like the ActivaDose device special has ended but the Muse is still on sale. (If you’d like to receive an email when I notice special tDCS-related deals, please sign up for updates – in the sidebar.)
Update 7/25/18. I bumped this post to the top to alert readers to some very interesting deals Caputron is currently running.
I will remove this when the specials end but at the moment you can purchase the ActivaDose Starter kit for $349, down from $399! Get an additional discount when you use discount code diytdcs at checkout! (At this time anyway, previously it’s been removed on specials.) They also have the Muse EEG headband on sale at $199, that’s $50 off. Not sure how long these specials will last. If you’ve been looking to acquire either of these devices here’s an opportunity to do so at a great price.
Robin at Caputron recently informed me of some new products they’re carrying including the Focus v3. The Focus v3 duplicates the functionality of the v2 (tRNS, tPCS, tACS and tDCS), but adds additional features such as what Focus calls ‘tRCS’, Transcranial Rippled Current Stimulation… as I understand it, a form of transcranial alternating current stimulation that targets multiple frequencies over time. tRCS is something new, invented by Focus, and therefore we have no scientific research to support its use at this time, but it looks very interesting. Considering the variety of stimulation modes the v3 supports, this is the obvious choice for anyone wanting to replicate research in the tACS and tRNS literature. Read more about the Focus v3 here: Instructions Guide.
Caputron is currently shipping the v3 with a variety of electrode options but the base unit is priced at $399. Use coupon code diytdcs at checkout for a generous discount on any product purchased from Caputron.
If you’re looking for a more ‘traditional’ type tDCS device, I recommend Caputron’s ActivaDose II tDCS Starter Kit. This is an FDA approved device (NOT for tDCS, but for iontophoresis, point being the electronics and manufacturing are at an FDA approved level). Note that the ActivaDose from Caputron comes as either an 80 Volt/4 mA Max unit, or a 29 Volt/2 mA Max. The cautious user would choose the 29 Volt model, as 2 mA is the maximum current used in most scientific studies. If you want a simple device your Mom could use, this is the way to go. Again, Use coupon code diytdcs at checkout for a generous discount.
Caputon is now carrying the Muse EEG device. They also carry more sophisticated research devices like those by Soterix. You can even purchase a TMS device through them. They have expert support and a great reputation.
Finnish company Sooma manufactures and supports a tDCS device for the treatment of depression (in Europe). They recently added clearance to treat pain in Canada, and I would assume, are aggressively working towards clearing their device for the treatment of depression in Canada and the U.S.
I would recommend muting the sound (captioned so not necessary) in these next two.
If you follow the blog you’ll know I’m not savvy enough in the ways of electronics to know a well-constructed DIY circuit when I see it. I’ve generally depended on the Reddit crowd to sort through the pros and cons of DIY tDCS circuit design. Now that there are a handful of professionally developed and readily available devices on the market, I’m not seeing as many DIY projects, but here’s a couple that popped up on Youtube in the last week or so.
DIY tDCS Secrets Revealed! Brain Hacking stancurtin
tDCS DIY Device Tutorial NeuoHacking
According to Instructables/reddit user quicksilv3rflash…
This device can be used for any kind of human electrical stimulation, such as tDCS, tACS, tRNS, or tVNS. Its hardware, when properly constructed and tested, limits output current such that -2.1mA < output_current < +2.1mA , based on the 2mA safety limit recommended in these published guidelines.
Transcranial Electrical Stimulator, Arduino Compatible
Discussion on Reddit Clear instructions to build a precision computer-controlled tACS/tDCS/tRNS device, <$100
Build a Human Enhancement Device (Basic TDCS Supply)
Simple TACS for Analogue Electromancers
Full Story: LED headset shows promise for Alzheimer’s, brain injuries | CITY News
This device/protocol is new to me, though I have been looking into Low Laser Light Therapy which looks promising. I will be looking into the science around this device, also its history, i.e. which came first, the device or the science.
Lew Lim, the founder and CEO of VieLight is seen explaining the device in the video.
The technology is called transcranial and intranasal photobiomodulation (PBM). Initial, small-scale results, are promising.
Five people, with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s, used the headsets every day for 12 weeks. The headset frame, with four different LED cluster-heads and an LED that clips to the inside of the nostril, was turned on for 15 minutes a day.
After the three months, neuroscientists noticed some patients, who were not able to speak in full sentences, could now put sentences together. Patients also experienced improved sleep and reduced wandering.
Sorry about the ad in the embedded video!
The device is called VieLight, (which does not include EEG which was used in the study depicted), seems to be available for sale. A smaller device, called the ‘Pocket Miracle’ is also for sale.
Updated with Phil’s follow-up post 3/21/17
Youtube reviewer Phil checks out the Halo Sport tDCS device for the first time. Will post his follow-up review when he posts. I like the idea of him testing with typing speed.
Robin at Caputron sends word of their new ‘exclusively from Caputron’ ActivaDose 29V 2mA max Iontophoresis device. My one caveat with the ActivaDose had been the potential for user error in choosing a 4mA setting (rather than the 1 or 2mA setting traditionally used in tDCS research). This new device removes that possibility. This is the device you could confidently show your Mom how to use. The new version maintains the ActivaDose FDA approval for iontophoresis. This new version becomes the device I can recommend in all confidence, also because Caputron stands behind all the products they offer.
Readers of the blog get a generous discount on this, or any other (including GoFlow) device purchased at Caputron using promo code diytdcs at checkout.
Update 2/2/17. Focus just announced functional Near-InfraRed Spectroscopy (fNIRS) capabilities for their EEG Dev kit!
This was announced a few days ago and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to make of it… a battery-looking EEG thing. Certainly I’m not a ‘Dev’ and so I left it to those who are to parse the details, still… Ah, yes, further details arrived today via email I’m happy to share with you (below). I do get the feeling this will make EEG devs excited.
Update 1/19/17 The focus site now has a photo of their new dry EEG electrode.
Thanks for all your feedback and questions about the focus EEG. A common question has been what exactly is included (see below) and is it everything required (yes).
Included in EEG Dev Kit
- foc.us EEG 24-bit 8-channel EEG with tES & Wi-Fi
- 8 active dry electrodes for EEG, plus bias & reference electrodes
- 2 active bio-potential electrodes for ECG, EOG, EMG or EKG
- 2 wet tES electrodes for tDCS, tACS, tPCS or tRNS
- 10-20 placement cap
- Mains power adapter for recharging
- Raw data access
Next week we will provide more details on the software and SDK for EEG processing.
P.S. The first 100 66 are available at only $999 $499 – half price!
What I’m excited about is the Focus EEG headset, but a recent tweet exchange indicates we’re a good year away from release.
Update 7/25/16 Caputron just announced their Banana Adapter for Focus Devices which facilitates use of Focus with Amrex or Caputron electrodes.
Caputron will be handling all Customer Support on GoFlow devices purchased through their site. At this time they have over 100 units in stock. If you’re not familiar with Caputron please check out my interview with founder Robin Azzam. Caputron has extended their discount to DIYtDCS readers for all products on their site, including the GoFlow. Use voucher code ‘diytdcs’ (without the quotation marks) for a generous discount.
A big challenge for us has been: how do you get through the hair? Well, quite simply, with something that looks like a comb or brush. We engineered the primers to reflect a comb-like design — with rows of soft elastic foam tips called nibs. We spent the last two years coming up with the best shape, material, stiffness, angle, and geometry for these nibs, and then figuring out how to make them.
Learn new skills faster and train for longer with the foc.us Go Flow Sports edition. Studies show that focussed, gentle stimulation of the brain can accelerate the acquisition of sporting skills and extend athletic endurance in elite and amateur sports people alike.