Plexon Motorized Commutator

The Plexon Motorized Commutator is a highly sensitive, electro-mechanical device designed to all but completely eliminate the distractions and negative effects of tangled cables during freely behaving animal experiments.  It is designed for use in high channel count neural recording with analog headstages.

The Plexon Motorized Commutator offers nearly noiseless actuation (both electrically and acoustically) with extremely low actuation forces as low as 300µNm. It is available in multiple channel counts up to 128 channels and is compatible with all Plexon analog headstages.

The exceptionally low actuation forces are attained through the incorporation of a magnetic Hall-effect sensor at the input connector. The highly sensitive sensor monitors the torque exerted at the input and signals a stepper motor that smoothly rotates the commutator and attached input connector, relieving any tension. The commutator then tracks the movement of the animal and untwists the wires. The Plexon Motorized Commutator’s highly-precise stepper motor has three step sizes with adjustable response and variable speed controls. These controls allow tuning of the commutator operation to match the animal’s behavior more closely. As part of an inclusive package, the Plexon Motorized Commutator includes the commutator, a controller to operate the commutator and a power supply.

This is the commutator to choose if using it with a high channel count:

  • OmniPlex® D System utilizing either a DigiAmp™ or MiniDigi™ amplifier,
  • OmniPlex System utilizing an analog amplifier, or even
  • The original MAP system

In addition to this Motorized Commutator, Plexon offers a more compact Standard Commutator for lower channel counts. Should your research also require optogenetics, Plexon also offers the PlexBright® Dual LED + 16 Channel Commutator  for the efficient management of mixed headstage and optical patch cables.

To further enhance your experience and results when using Plexon’s commutators, we offer a breadth of compatible connectors, headstages and headstage cables. If your research also calls for video tracking or behavioral analysis, you may be interested in our CinePlex® Behavioral Research System.

If you have further questions, a Plexon Sales Engineer will be happy to help.

The table below provides many of the most commonly requested specifications. If you have further questions, a Plexon Sales Engineer will be happy to help.

The illustration to below details Plexon’s 32 channel Motorized Commutator, and is used as an example with respect to the specifications table below.

 

Feature32 Channels64 Channels96 Channels128 ChannelsRemarks
Plexon data acquisition system compatibility– OmniPlex® D System utilizing either a DigiAmp™ or MiniDigi™

– OmniPlex System using an analog amplifier
– MAP System
– OmniPlex D System utilizing either a DigiAmp™ or MiniDigi™

– OmniPlex System using an analog amplifier
– MAP System
– OmniPlex D System utilizing either a DigiAmp™ or MiniDigi™

– OmniPlex System using an analog amplifier
– MAP System
– OmniPlex D System utilizing either a DigiAmp™ or MiniDigi™

– OmniPlex System using an analog amplifier
– MAP System
Not for use with an OmniPlex D System using a Digital Headstage Processor (DHP) without specialized adapters. Same for all channel counts.
Headstage compatibilityAnalogAnalogAnalogAnalogResearch utilizing digital headstages require Plexon’s Carousel™ Commutator.
Data channels326496128
Total lines5290130170
Input connectors246826 pin, male Harwin connectors.
Maximum rotational speed60 RPM60 RPM60 RPM60 RPMSame for all channel counts.
Speed step sizes3333⅛, ¼ and ½ steps with adjustable response and variable speed controls.
Power120 or 220V120 or 220V120 or 220V120 or 220VPower automatically selected.
Actuation mechanismContactlessContactlessContactlessContactlessNearly electrically and acoustically noiseless.
Actuation force300μNm400μNm400μNm1000μNmExceptionally low, and is measured on the input connector(s).
Height above mounting plate 237mm312mm312mm312mmSame for highest 3 channel count commutators.
OD above mounting plate78mm78mm78mm78mmSame for all channel counts.
Mounting plate dimensions
(L x H x D) 
200 x 7 x 200mm200 x 7 x 200mm200 x 7 x 200mm200 x 7 x 200mmSame for all channel counts.
Height below mounting plate100mm100mm100mm100mmSame for all channel counts.
OD below mounting plate100mm100mm100mm100mmSame for all channel counts.
Controller dimensions and weight (L x H x D)  203 x 77 x 203mm
1.18kg (2.6lbs)
203 x 77 x 203mm
1.18kg (2.6lbs)
203 x 77 x 203mm
1.18kg (2.6lbs)
203 x 77 x 203mm
1.18kg (2.6lbs)
Same for all channel counts.
Power supply dimensions and weight (L x H x D)  95 x 70 x 160mm
1.36kg (3.0lbs)
95 x 70 x 160mm
1.36kg (3.0lbs)
95 x 70 x 160mm
1.36kg (3.0lbs)
95 x 70 x 160mm
1.36kg (3.0lbs)
Same for all channel counts.
Commutator weight3.22kg
(7.1lbs)
3.67kg
(8.1lbs)
4.21kg
(9.3lbs)
4.62kg
(10.2lbs)
Torque armYesYesYesYesSame for all channel counts. Torque arms are optional.
Length of output cables61cm
(24in)
61cm
(24in)
61cm
(24in)
61cm
(24in)
Same for all channel counts.

Technical Specs and Data Sheets