View Full Version : EMG systems and software - Summary of Responses

12-19-2002, 02:11 AM
I would like to thank everyone who responded to the message that I posted
to the Biomechanics list serve on Thu, 21 Nov 2002.

My original message was:
I am buying an EMG system for the laboratory. I was interested in
learning about other people's experience with Motion Lab Systems' MA-300-6
(United States), Mega Electronics' MESPEC8000 (Finland), and Bortec
Biomedical's Octopus (Canada).

Also, I was interested in other people's experience with the software that
is available with Motion Lab's and Mega's systems. How easy is it to
download the data, process it yourself, and then use the manufacturer's
software on the reprocessed data? Are there macros provided for
additional data filtering? Are the functions that these software packages
provide as versatile and easy to use as the web sites imply, or do you end
up writing your own software to analyze EMG data anyway?

I would like to acquire the data, save it to a ASCII file (or one that is
easily converted to ASCII) and apply some additional filtering. Then, I
would like to upload my processed data to the manufacturer's software and
find such things as; the RMS moving average, integrated EMG, turns, or
compute the fourier transform.

Thank you.
Kathi Shyhalla - University at Buffalo - Engineering


(A) I would like to thank Rosalind Coombs at the University of East London
and Nori Okita at the Oregon Health & Science University for compiling the
names and websites of vendors of EMG equipment that I started my work
with. For those interested, those summaries are available at
http://isb.ri.ccf.org/biomch-l/archives/biomch-l-2001-04/00061.html. and

(B) Here are responses to my questions from users:
(1) From: Peter W. Johnson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
University of Washington
Department of Environmental Health

We use the MSPEC 8000 and Megawin software and have been quite
satisfied with it's performance. We use the system for occupational EMG
applications so I can only speak to that extent (EMG Gaps, Spectral
Changes, Amplitude Calculation, APDFs). The system is well documented
for the collection and analysis of data. The user can export a raw
data file contained in the MegaWin database as an ASCII file.

The software filtering met our needs which fit into the realm of typical
EMG filtering (select filter window size, widow overlap, window step, #
samples, etc).

(You may also want to consider that) Biometrics LTD, the makers of the
electrogoniometers are also coming out with an 8 channel EMG system. The
North America distributor is NexGen Ergonomics in Montreal. I believe
their website is www.nexgenero.com.

(2) From: Brian T. Fay, Ph.D.
University of Texas

I have used a Delsys system and have been very happy with the performance.
I do
research into muscle fatigue which requires a very clean signal.

(3) From: Kevin Netto
School of Biomedical and Sports Science
Edith Cowan University
Joondalup Drive
Joondalup, Western Australia

We use the Mega ME 3000 data logger together with the MegaWin software for
EMG testing. It is very easy to download the collected signals to an ASCII
file. We have written some code in LabView to process the signals and this
seems to work quite well.

(4) From: Juan C. Garbalosa, Ph.D., P.T.
Associate Professor
Department of Physical Therapy
University of Hartford
West Hartford, Connecticut 06117 (USA)

In our lab we have a Bortec Biomedical 8 channel Octopus system. I do
indwelling and surface EMG recordings from lower extremity muscles
during various locomotor activities. The system is an outstanding system.
It is very durable and trouble free. We have had the system for
approximately four years and have had no difficulties with it. The
company is very responsive to questions and is able to give support should
you need it.

I have been using Matlab to do my (other) analysis."

(C) Here are responses from corporations:

(1) Mega Electronics in Finland indicated that data acquired with their
software could be converted to ASCII or MatLab format, other operations
performed, and the new files import (as ASCII files) to MegaWin and the
moving average, RMS, fourier transforms determined. Their revised
software (coming in another 1-2 months) would convert the integrated EMG.
You may contact
Kari Tiihonen
Export Manager
Mega Electronics Ltd, P.O.Box 1750
70211 Kuopio, Finland
Tel +358-17-5817700
Direct +358-17-5817727
Mobile +358-40-5052411
Fax +358-17-5800978
Email kari.tiihonen@meltd.fi
Internet www.meltd.fi

(2) Reading about your needs and your intentions, I would recommend that
look into KineMyo as well. It is the only true wireless system available,
and it is very easy and simple to use, with all the features you are
You can gather greater information at www.kine.is or feel free to contact
me directly.
Best regards,

Carola Frank A?albjornsson, Ph.D.
Research & Development
Kine ehf.
Skulagata 26
101 Reykjavik
Phone # (354) 580-8303/ 580-8300
fax# (354) 580-8309

(3) I would recommend taking a look at BIOPAC Systems, Inc. MP100 or MP150
EMG system. You can collect your data, do online and offline filtering,
create a linear envelope or perform an RMS, and you can do an FFT, among
many other analyses. You don't even need to bring the data into a
self-written program. It is also easily compatible with other data
acquisistion systems, and can trigger things like motion analysis systems
so the data can be correlated.

If you would like to look at their website, go to www.biopac.com.

Heather Medema, M.S., ATC

And here is some additional information from the BioPac representatives:
Each amplifier has independent gain control. The software allows to use
different scaling regardless of the gain you are using. You do not need a
common reference (ground) for each channel since the system is ground is
common for all amplifiers connected to our system, ie you only need one
ground for the system and it could even be from an ECG amplifier if you
are recording both signals.
Yours truly,
Guy Jennings
Biopac Systems Inc.
(Northeast Office) Tel.: 800-245-5969
(Main Office) Santa Barbara, CA Tel.: 805-685-0066
Website: www.biopac.com

(4) We are a software producing company, SIMI Reality Motion systems. May
you have heart of it. We are working strongly together with a german
manufacturer of an EMG system, which is sold all over the world, e.g.
NASA, Calgary (Human performance center, Benno Nigg).
We provide the software to work with that EMG. Further you just could
capture up to 6 digital cameras synchronized with the EMG with one mouse
click. All kind of filters, transformations are available. You also
could get the module "Wavelet analysis", which was basically developed
in Calgary from Vincent Tscharner in collaboration with Benno Nigg.
Please find attached more information about it.

Feel free to contact me in case of any further questions.

Best regards

Stefan Klippel
Sales Management Motion Systems

SIMI Reality Motion Systems GmbH
Max-Planck-Str. 9-13
85705 Unterschleiheim
+49 (0)831/6971752 (Office)
+49 (0)174/3154604 (Mobile)
+49 (0)89/321459-0 (Company)
+49 (0)831/6971753 (Fax)

(5) We are currently marketing an excellent EMG system called Myolab and
it comes with 4 or 8 channels. We think that it is the best on the market

Tom Carrington
Country Manager
35 Tillinghast Trace
Newnan, GA 30265

Office #: (770) 683-6805
Mobile #: (678) 772-5897
FAX #: (770) 683-6806

(6) Noraxon is continuously upgrading their systems.
Contact: Jeff Dooley
Noraxon USA, Inc.
13430 N. Scottsdale Road
Suite 104
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
800-364-8985 or 480-443-3413 (office)
480-443-4327 (fax)
602-284-6360 (Cellular)

Kathi Shyhalla

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