Open Ephys is a collaborative effort to develop open-source tools for extracellular electrophysiology with a level of quality that equals or surpasses their closed-source counterparts.
Since the spring of 2011, our main focus has been on creating a multichannel data acquisition system optimized for recordings in freely behaving rodents. However, most of our tools are general enough for applications involving other model organisms and other electrode types.
We see three main advantages to using open-source tools in our research: (1) they are much, much less expensive, making it easier to scale up experiments; (2) they are easier to modify, giving us a degree of flexibility that can't be found in any of the available commercial systems; and (3) they make it easier to understand what's going on "under the hood," since all of the designs can be downloaded for free.
We want to make this wiki the go-to source for all the information needed to build, use, and extend the tools created as part of the Open Ephys initiative. We strive to make the content accessible to neuroscientists without any engineering or programming background, so don't hesitate to edit a page or add a comment if something seems unclear. We hope that everyone who uses our tools will contribute to this wiki!
If you're using our tools, please be patient. We are a team of volunteers who feel that neuroscientists are severely handicapped by the lack of an open-source platform for collecting electrophysiology data. We're working toward the point at which all of our knowledge has been dumped into this wiki, and using our tools is as frictionless as it would be if they were designed by professionals. The great thing about open-source tools is that you can fix them yourself.
If you encounter a problem, the best response would be to figure out what's going wrong, and learn about the tools in the process, and document how you fixed the issue on here and on the issue tracker on github. If you get stuck, definitely let us know.
Also post any issues or topics for discussion on our mailing list.
We're optimistic that our hardware and software will really start to shine once more people start adding features and polishing what we already have.