Ticking sound from the Cyton Board, then it stopped working

Hello everyone how are you doing?
I have this Cyton board I got from my college. I tried turning it on a few months ago and it worked perfectly. Then I put it in its box and left it as I was busy with exams. I tried powering it on again using the same battery pack I had since last time. When I put the switch on 'PC' or 'BLE' , a weird tunning soud could be heard from the board. I tried switching it to OFF and to PC multiple times till it worked normally like in the past. But then suddenly it made this ticking sound and stopped working all together. No tunning sound no blue LED indicator nothing. I tried buying new batteries but that still didn't work out.
So is the board dead? Are there any test I can make to make sure if its still working?
Sorry for my bad English and thankyou fro your time and help.


  • wjcroftwjcroft Mount Shasta, CA

    Amir, hi.

    You could try re-flashing he Cyton mainboard firmware.


    One test you could try with the GUI, is to use the AUTOSCAN feature. If this works, it means the two RFduinos (dongle and mainboard), are alive and you have a functioning serial COM port. This would enable you to do the re-flash.


    Use the arrow on section 5 to expand it.


  • Okay i left for somedays and it somehow works now. But not quietly unfortunately. Iam using the ultracortex IV with the dry comb electrodes. When iam reading data using the OpenBCIGUI, if I read from the headset without wearing it, it's placed on the table, the readings are fine and smooth, and it outputs noise as expected. However, when I wear it, the reading becomes laggy and sluggish and not real time. It speeds up and then slows again and sometimes it totally stops altogether, and there are also these weird impulses across all channels that happens by random. I tried playing with the setting of the GUI, to see if that can fix that but to no avail. And as soon as I remove the headset from my head it works totally normal again.
    I tried using the wet electrodes and they work totally normal, be it when they are just placed on the table or placed on my head. Don't know why the dry electrodes makes this weird behaviour. Any suggestions on to how to fix this would be highley appreciated.
    Thanl you fro your time and reply and sorry for my bad English.

  • wjcroftwjcroft Mount Shasta, CA

    When did you purchase the Ultracortex? If it belongs to your college, it could have possibly been used in many previous courses / projects. The dry electrodes last a long time, but it is not infinite.

    The fact that wet electrodes work normally with your Cyton, points to an issue with the dry electrodes.

  • The Ultracortex is 1 year old and it was used for another project before ours, so it wasn't used extensively fro too long. But the thing I noticed is that even with dry electrodes, the device wasn't just behaving right. For example I couldn't generate Alpha waves by closing my eyes. I tried to change the bias electrode placement from the earlobe to the forehead and then to Oz but all gave me same results. The FFT response was going up and down in all frequencies but wasn't showing anything significant at 8-12 Hz. Don't know if I did something wrong in my test but I will test again and tell you my results.
    As for the dry electrodes and using the headset, I tried changing the electrodes placement and it worked with no lag. But as soon as I put it in the configuration I want, which is electrodes all around the optical lobe, it starts lagging again when it touches my head, then becomes smooth again when I lift it, which is really odd behavor.
    I will try making more test and playing with the electrodes placement, maybe I can finally generate the Alpha waves I want. But if there is a guide on the exact placement and what to expect that would be really appreciated.
    Thank you again fro your reply and time.

  • wjcroftwjcroft Mount Shasta, CA

    the device wasn't just behaving right. For example I couldn't generate Alpha waves by closing my eyes.

    The amount of eyes closed alpha generated is dependent on the individual being measured. Can vary quite a bit, person to person. Also correlated with your state of relaxation, and if coffee, caffeine, other supplements are involved.

    Good locations for alpha are in the neighborhood of O1, O2, Pz. You may also find better results with the wet vs dry setup. EEG is measuring differential voltage between reference and channel. So the larger that distance is, the greater the differential.

    re: lagging. I assume you have read the material on FTDI buffering settings. If set wrong, this will result in lags. But should not be dependent on electrode setup.


  • Regarding the eyes close part, I just got coffee a few hours ago so I think the effect of that is still present in my system, so maybe I will retry again tomorrow morning before I get my coffee.
    Regarding the lag part, I have already adjusted that the first time I tried using the headset with brainflow on python, as the data was coming in bursts, so I read that adjusting the buffering settings would fix that. But it's to note that i am using windows 10. Would switching to Ubunto give me better results? Or it won't be noticable?

  • wjcroftwjcroft Mount Shasta, CA

    That same link I gave (in the left column), shows buffering adjustment settings for all three OSes: Windows, macOS, and Linux. So since you've already fixed it for Windows, no need to move to Ubuntu.

  • Okay then I will continue testing on windows and see if I can get better results. Thank you for your patience. Will keep this post updated with any new thing I try.

  • wjcroftwjcroft Mount Shasta, CA

    Stress level, and the amount of daily sleep you get, also have correlations to your level of relaxation and alpha production.

    EEG meditation studies, have shown that those with a regular meditation / relaxation practice, are better at generating alpha. Although there are different meditation styles that generate different patterns.


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