Multifunction DAQ

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which type of the M.DAQ i should use for brainwave analysis

good morning, i got an ideal from my lecturer to do my final year project in brainwave analysis.

i would like to use labview as my interface, i would like to know which type of the DAQ i should use?

i need to make out a proposal including the budget that i need in this project. so is really needed by me to know bout it.

i hope to get some comment bout my project title "brainwave analysis"  from all of u.


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Message 1 of 11

Hello Kannajin,

To measure brain wave signal, you would need to have EEG sensor. The DAQ system that you need would includes signal conditioning as the EEG Sensor's output is in the mV region.

On top of the signal conditioning module, the data acquisition for EEG signal can range from 256Hz to 10Khz for each point (Wikipedia), dependent on how fast you would like to sample the signal from the EEG. Based on this information, I believe that USB 6255 would be a possible solution for you as it provides you with 80 AI channel with acquisition speed up to 750KS/s (agregate). It also allow you to measure in the range of -100mV..100mV range. It would allow you to measure signal with sensitivity of 6nV.

Please let me know if you plan to have more than 80 channels or if you have additional information regarding the electrode that you are going to use to get the EEG signal.


 James - NI Application Engineer, ASEAN


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Message 2 of 11

thanks for the information, it really useful for me, i did some research on the brain wave rhythm.

and i also check the price for the USB 6255, the cost is too heavy for me. if change to malaysia ringgit it cost around RM 9,400 above.

do u have any other type? USB 6009 able to be use ?

actually i got interest to do project using labview, but there always short of instrument for experiment!

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Message 3 of 11

Hello Kannajin,

I wouldn't recommend  you to use 6009 for the EEG measurement since it's measurement range is -1..1V with accuracy of 37.5mV. USB 6009 also only have 4 channels of AI where EEG measurement commonly uses more than 4 channels.

Since USB 6255 is too costly, we can reduce down the measurement capability of the system through reducing channel or the resolution of the ADC of the DAQ system or even changing the system from a USB to PCI card format.


Please let me know the number of channel that you will be required for your experiment and if you can provide me with budget that you are looking at, I may be able to propose something for your system.


James G

Application Engineer, ASEAN

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Message 4 of 11

for your informattion, my lecture would like me to just make about 8 channel because the fund there is not much.

if there possible for us use braine wave to read something that we wan to say;

mean we detect the signal when we think wat we wanna to say out, just like we talk using the brain wave.

can u give me suggestion which type of the EEG electrode can be use.

i also foudn some infor to make own electrode.




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Message 5 of 11
You should not simply connect any electrical equipment to a subject and take measurements, even if it is battery powered. You need to ensure that your equipment meets the relevant electrical safety standards, and you may also need to get ethical approval before making measurements on human (or animal for that matter) subjects. I don't know what the regulatory requirements are in Malaysia, so I suggest that you contact your nearest hospital or university Medical Physics or Biomedical Engineering department and ask their advice before proceeding.
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Message 6 of 11

Hello Kannajin,

From the information that you gave, you can consider USB 6212 that have 8 Differential AI and measurement resolution that can be used for EEG measurement. USB DAQ will give you more flexibility and transportability of the data acquisition.

More information about the hardware can be found in this link:,n2:7563,n24:USB/lang/en/nid/1036/ap/daq/sd/23d1eb...


Another option would be a PCI DAQ such as PCI 6221 that also have 8 differential AI and measurement resolution down to 5.2uV. When you use the PCI DAQ, the card would be installed inside the PCI slot in a PC so it will less flexible.

More information about this hardware can be found at:




James G

Application Engineer, ASEAN


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Message 7 of 11

Sorry - you cannot acquire an EEG signal (or any biopotential signal) directly with NI data acquisition products.  You must have an isolated differential amplifier input with high common-mode rejection to successfully (and safely) acquire signals from an electrode attached to an animal or human.  The EEG signal is typically about 100 microvolts measured at the scalp, but is riding on top of 200 millivolts or more of DC generated by the electrode offset potential (like a half-cell battery), plus there is typically a lot of common-mode line frequency (50 or 60Hz) interference that can swamp the small differential EEG signal.


The easiest way to manage all of this is to purchase or borrow a commercial EEG amplifier (or more general biopotential amplifer) that has an analog output that is high level (+/-1V or more) and ready to connect to an NI data acquisition board for digitizing, processing, and storing on the PC.


As noted earlier, there are real safety concerns with attaching electrodes directly to people (or animals) and then plugging those electrodes into system that is then connected to wall power.  Even battery voltage has the potential to create a nasty burn if there is a fault of some sort.  Read up on these safety issues - this could be a good part of your project.


As for sampling rates, you must decide what you want to do with the data.  For simple visual review, 200 samples/sec is sufficient to capture the waveform with good fidelity (the signal conditioners are usually setup for 0.1 to 70Hz bandpass, but most of the energy in the signal is below 30Hz).  If you are hoping to do spectral analysis, a higher sampling rate is often required.  If you are doing anything that requires tight synchronization between channels, then you may need a A/D board that has simultaneous sampling to prevent channel-to-channel sampling skew.


Hope this helps.



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Message 8 of 11

By the way - we have started up a Life Sciences discussion forum here: where hopefully we can get more good discussion going around topics like this.




Message 9 of 11

i though then input for the braiwave is in very low voltalge, would be in mircovolt.

i would juz supply 5V dc for the electrode. i might make an electrode or test the type of electrode i get usingan amplifier.

anyway thanks for ur information.


jin ling

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Message 10 of 11