How to Build the PowerLab C Set-Up: PowerLab C, Front-End and Instrument Interfaces

Web video URL

Our step-by-step guide to getting started with the PowerLab C and the C series System


Our Research Product Manager, Sebastian White, demonstrates how to build a simple system containing the PowerLab C, Instrument Interface, and Front End Interface.

Equipment Required:
  • PowerLab C.
  • C-series Front-End Interface.
  • C-series Instrument Interface.
  • Bio Amp.
  • USB-C cables. 
  • BNC cable.
  • USB-PD cable (optional).
  • Computer with LabChart Software installed

Hardware Set-Up:
  1. Connect the analog cable of the BioAmp to the Front End interface.
  2. Connect the USB-C cable from the Front End interface to one of the four numbered ports on the back of the PowerLabC.
  3. Connect the Instrument Interface to the PowerLab C using a USB-C cable.
  4. Using the included mains cable, connect PowerLab C to a power supply and turn on the power switch on the back of the PowerLab C. 
    1. Alternatively, you can use a USB-PD compliant battery connected to the auxiliary power port on the PowerLabC, or you can power the system directly from your PC if enough wattage is available.
  5. Connect the PowerLab C to your PC using a USB-C cable.
  6. You should observe:
    1. A blue power LED on the PowerLab if mains powered, or magenta if auxillary powered, or cyan if PC powered.
    2. Power LED on your instrument interface should be lit up.
    3. Flashing status LED on your Bio Amp. Please note that different front-end devices behave differently here.
  7. Now you can connect your instrument interface to your lab instrument using a BNC cable, and connect your Bio Amp to your subject.

Software Set-Up:
  1. Launch your LabChart software.
  2. All devices should be automatically detected by LabChart.
  3. The Status LED on the PowerLabC should turn green.
  4. In LabChart, navigate to the Devices and Channels Dialog, where you can map different settings in your recording to your selected piece of hardware.
  5. You can change all your hardware settings from the Input Amplifier Dialog in the channel dropdown menu. 
  6. The Front End interface and the Bio Amp will appear with their own specific settings dialog.
  7. Note that the mains filter option enabled by the PowerLab C is also available there. Similar options can also be found in LabChart Lightning.
  8. In this video, only two of the four ports available on PowerLab C are in use. You can easily add additional devices using the described method here to match the needs of your research application. 
  9. You are now ready to record data from the PowerLab C system in this setup.

Further Information: