Articles on: X-Headstage

Notes regarding the reliability of the connectors used on the X-Headstage

X-Headstage uses ultra small connectors, called board-to-board connector, commonly used in the PC industry. These types of connectors have cycle rating of about 50 cycles according to the manufacturers. But that doesn't mean it will fail at 51st cycle. In fact, we have tested plug and unplug cycles to be more than 200 cycles (it is 241 cycles to be exact, just ask our intern Mark). KonteX is not the first company in the field to use this type of connector and as such some might have experienced reliability issue from this type of connectors. While the reliability is a legit concern, KonteX's design differs from others in several ways and so the reliability isn't as much of a concern. Here are why:

X-Headstage is designed to be embedded with the electrode, improving the signal quality and making daily plugins a breeze since the HDMI connector is very easy to plugin. Therefore, we expect the plug and unplug cycle to occur only after each chronic experiments when electrode board is removed from the X-Headstage. So this means 1 mating cycle every 3-4 months or longer. Even with manufacturers conservative rating, this will mean a usage of time of well more than 10 years.

X-Headstage uses an adapter based solution to interface with standard neural connectors such as ones from Omnetics. Since X-Headstage is attached once to the adapter and securely locked with screw armor, the plug-unplug cycle limitation does not apply to the actual connectors on the X-Headstage. In fact, when the Omnetics connectors do fail as they eventually will, it is much more economical to replace the adapters instead of replacing the entire headstage.

Knowing the cycle limitations. we designed a throw away adapters that serves as the primary interface with the electrode side. So if it do break, just replace the cycle extension adapter.

Rooted in the electronics manufacturing hub in Taiwan, KonteX technicians/engineers are well trained in complex electronics repair. We offer repair service to replace the entire connector modules of the X-Headstages for a fee. This could prolong the runway of your headstage investment. Although we can't guarantee every repair to be successful as there could be eventual decay at the solder joints, KonteX will attempt the repair and fully test the repaired X-Headstage. If the repair is unsuccessful, you will not be charged. See repair and service for more information.

Updated on: 24/09/2022

Was this article helpful?

Share your feedback


Thank you!