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Troubleshooting Tips

The MouseOx Plus® is easy to use but there are occasions when customers have difficulty. We have listed the most common issues and linked to the solutions below.

Calibration not Confirmed Error Message

The Calibration Not Confirmed error message will occur for one of two possible reasons.

The first possible cause is that the MouseOx control unit was manufactured after the date of the software release and the calibration values are not available in the software look up table. If you continue to operate the software, default gain parameters will be used in place of the correct ones. Measurements will thus not be maximally accurate. To fix this problem, download the latest revision of software from this website.

The second possible cause is that the USB connection is not established. To fix this problem, reestablish communications by following the step below.

  1. Close the MouseOx Software
  2. Unplug the USB cable from either the MouseOx control box or the host computer
  3. Wait 10 seconds
  4. Open InstaCal (Located in the Windows Start menu -> All Programs -> Measurement computing group)
  5. InstaCal may detect that a MouseOx is no longer connected to the host computer
  6. InstaCal will remove the corrupt driver from the referenced location
  7. Close InstaCal
  8. Plug the USB cable back in to the MouseOx and computer
  9. Wait 10 seconds
  10. Open InstaCal
  11. InstaCal should detect the MouseOx and install a new driver that is not corrupt for proper USB communications
  12. Close InstaCal
  13. Restart the MouseOx software and communications should be re-established

Data are Not Being Saved to a File

The MouseOx software creates data files using ASCII file types. This requires the windows language settings to be set to English. To fix this issue follow the instructions below:
In Windows XP:
Go to: Control Panel -> Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options -> Regional and Language Options -> Formats tab

  • In the drop-down menu labeled “Select an item to match your preferences”
  • Select English (United States)
    In Windows Vista:
    Go to: Control Panel -> Regional and Language Options -> Formats tab
  • In the drop-down menu labeled “Under Current Format”
  • Select English (United States)

General Information about Getting Better Signals with your MouseOx

  • If you have detached the sensor while the sensors lights are illuminated, you should press the “Start/Reset” button. This will reset the amplifier gains and allow the MouseOx® Plus device to converge on the correct values faster. Note that this will not interrupt data recording.
  • Be aware that LED light reflecting off of shiny surfaces can sometimes make signal processing difficult for the MouseOx® Plus. We have observed this from materials as seemingly innocuous as Formica. We recommend that animals be placed on a non-reflective material that hides a reflective lab bench surface.
  • A light-blocking cloth should be used in all anesthetized applications if the room is extremely bright from either artificial lights (such as surgical lights) or direct sunlight. Fluorescent lighting in particular, is more problematic than other types of artificial lighting or direct sunlight.
  • Did you deliver too much anesthesia? Very high anesthesia levels can lower the breath rate (BR must be ≥ 25 brpm), and even sometimes the heart rate (HR must be > 90 bpm), outside of the valid ranges of the MouseOx®. You can use the anesthesia alarms to help you to assess this, or you can simply note if the animal is gasping, a sure sign of over-anesthesia.
  • Dark fur can impede transmission of light. Make sure that you shave the sensor sight if the animal has dark fur. Note as well, that animals with dark fur may also have highly pigmented skin, which can also impede light transmission. If this is the case, it may be necessary to find a thinner section of perfused tissue, or a section of tissue that is less pigmented.
  • Even if the subject has light-colored hair, signal quality can always be improved by shaving the sensor site.

Neck Measurements

  • For freely moving animals, make sure that the clip is located in FRONT of the shoulders and BEHIND the ears. Be sure that the clip does not capture either of the ears in any manner. It also helps to push the clip down on the neck of the animal, then to squeeze the tines together.
  • Note that the Conscious Measurements Enclosure provides a shiny surface, which can cause reflections that affect the integrity of the light signals used for measurements in the MouseOx® Plus. We recommend that you use some bedding in the enclosure to minimize reflections.

Thigh/Foot Measurements

  • Because pulse distention provides a direct measurement of signal strength, low values of pulse distention (<5.0 m) indicate a need to reposition the sensor if the weak signal is due to poor access to arterial blood. Note that it is also possible that the animal actually does have a low pulse distention, which may be due to a number of factors such as low fluid volume, low cardiac contractility, low body temperature that causes poor peripheral perfusion, etc.
  • Keep the subject warm. If the appendage on which the clip is placed feels cool to the touch, the subject probably needs to be warmed. We suggest a drug store heating pad set on “Low.”
  • If signals are poor after trying all of the above, move the sensor clip to the other foot or thigh, keeping in mind that it should not be placed on an appendage that is cannulated.
  • [For mice only] The non-LED side of the sensor should be on the side of the thigh that is not directly exposed to room lighting. Make sure that the sensor clip is covering muscle tissue, and not just skin, since skin is poorly perfused.
  • [For mice only] Try moving the sensor inward on the thigh, toward the pelvis. Perfusion generally improves proximally.
  • [For rats only] The non-LED side of the sensor should go on the bottom of the foot (the pad) and the sensor should run lengthwise with the foot, not across it. Both sensor pads should always be COMPLETELY covered/filled by perfused tissue. Thus, the clip should be placed on the center of the foot from side to side.
  • [For rats only] If good signals cannot be obtained from the foot, try the sensor on the calf or thigh. Remember, if the subject has dark fur, the sensor site will need to be shaved.

MouseOx Software Will Not Run on the First Try on a Given Computer

Some versions of the Windows® operating systems require that InstaCal™ be run before the very first time the MouseOx software is opened. To do this, follow the instructions below:

  • Check that InstaCal™ and the MouseOx program are both installed and that the MouseOx USB and power supply are both connected correctly.
  • Close the MouseOx software then Open InstaCal. InstaCal is located in the Windows Start Menu under the Measurement computing Group. InstaCal will automatically detect the MouseOx system and put the correct drivers in place for proper USB communications.
  • Once InstaCal adds a board to the list, close InstaCal and restart MouseOx software.

MouseOx® System is Running Fine Then it Just Stops Working

The MouseOx system uses HID (Human Interface Device) Driver USB communications to pass data from the subject to the computer. If there is any interference with the USB communications, the MouseOx software will
stop working. Here is a list of things that may cause this interference:

  1. The host computer may have power saving features turned on such as System Standby, System Hibernate, and/or screen saver. These features usually stop the power from going to the USB port so that the system can save power. To fix this problem, make sure that these features have been shut off on the host computer. These are typically found in the Control Panel windows or settings.
  2. The system may undergo a power surge or a power drop due to the power grid that the system is connected to. Sometimes large devices that could have periodic large power needs (e.g., a refrigerator) may be on the same circuit as the MouseOx system. To fix this problem, use an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) or a surge protector. These can be purchased from any electronics store. We recommend purchasing one with a minimum of 450 volt-amps.
  3. A heating pad or some other piece of equipment may be interrupting the USB communications with an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP). To fix this issue, place the MouseOx control box away from equipment that may be causing this interference.

There are two ways to re-establish USB communications after one of the above situations may have severed it:

If the error that caused a disruption in communications did not damage the software driver, follow these steps:

  1. Close the MouseOx Software
  2. Unplug the USB cable from either the MouseOx control box or the host computer
  3. Wait 10 seconds
  4. Plug the USB cable back in
  5. Wait 10 seconds
  6. Restart the MouseOx software and communications should have been repaired

If the error that caused a disruption in communications did damage the software driver, follow these steps:

  1. Close the MouseOx Software
  2. Unplug the USB cable from either the MouseOx control box or the host computer
  3. Wait 10 seconds
  4. Open InstaCal (Located in the Windows Start menu -> All Programs -> Measurement computing group)
  5. InstaCal will detect that a MouseOx is no longer connected to the host computer
  6. InstaCal will remove the corrupt driver from the referenced location
  7. Close InstaCal
  8. Plug the USB cable back in
  9. Wait 10 seconds
  10. Open InstaCal
  11. InstaCal will detect the MouseOx and install a new driver that is not corrupt for proper USB communications
  12. Close InstaCal
  13. Restart the MouseOx software and communications should be re-established

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