Buying Amplicon digital I/O hardware

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The hardware comes from Amplicon Liveline Ltd (;  (telephone 0800–525–335, technical support 01273–608–331, next-day delivery is usually available).


Prices shown here may be out of date. Last checked August 2001.


For each 72 lines, you will need one I/O card (this can be PCI or ISA) and one distribution board. For high-voltage (>5V) devices, you will need up to three I/O panels, each with 24 lines. The vital components are


PCI272 PCI digital I/O board. Interfaces the computer with up to 72 input/output lines. Part no. 960–035–23. £149 each.
PC272E ISA digital I/O board. Interfaces the computer with up to 72 input/output lines. Part no. 909–562–33. £99 each.
78-way cable. Connects one I/O card (PCI or ISA) to a distribution board. Part no. 909–663–49. £61 each.
EX233 distribution board. A bridge between the computer and the high-voltage (24V) input/output panels. Can also accept 5V inputs and outputs directly. Part no. 909–663–33. £99 each.


If your inputs and outputs all use TTL voltages (5 V), that's all you need. If you want other voltage systems, as we usually do, you may connect up to three 24-line panels to each distribution board. Amplicon supply a 24-way output panel, a 24-way input panel and a mixed 16 input/8 output panel, which you may install in any combination. They are:


EX213 output panel. Provides 24 outputs of several kinds (see below). Part no. 909-663-63. £199 each. The manufacturer's worst-case switching speeds for these outputs are 8 ms to close the relay (of which 1 ms to turn on the logic circuit; 7 ms to close the relay itself) and 7 ms to open the relay (of which 5 ms is to turn off the logic circuit and 2 ms is to open the relay).
EX230 input panel. Provides 24 inputs of several kinds (see below). Part no. 909-663-73. £129 each.
EX221 mixed panel. A combination of the above, with 16 inputs and 8 outputs. Part no. 909-663-83. £149 each.
37-way ribbon cable. Connects each input/output panel to the EX233 distribution board. Part no. 908-920-05. £20 each.


You will probably also need:


A DC power supply. The Amplicon output panels need a 24V DC power supply. (The distribution board and input panels can draw power from the computer, and this is recommended.) You may already have a DC power supply for your operant chambers; if this is 24V and sufficiently powerful, it can drive the Amplicon output panels too.
DIN rail mounting. Amplicon cards will clip onto DIN rail, which you can attach to something convenient, like a wall. Deep top hat DIN rail (35 mm wide, 15 mm deep), punched, from RS Components ( is part no. 176-703 and costs £3.24 per metre.