Operant Panel Construction:

1) Gather all materials –

  • Electronics:
    • House light LED
    • Speaker
    • Green emitter LED
    • (2) Narrow IR LED
    • (2) Photodetector
  • Printed Pieces
    • Operant panel – can be affixed to chamber at either beginning or end of building
    • Nosepoke with spout back
    • Nosepoke with LED back
    • (4) Nosepoke side panel
    • Spout calibrator
  • Hardware/other
    • (4) 4-40 screws, self-tapping 3/8″
    • 4-40 screw, 3/8″
    • Heat shrink tubing + Heat gun
    • Soldering iron + solder
    • red/black 22 gauge braided wire + cutters/strippers
    • Parafilm lab wax
    • (14) gold plated crimp terminals and (7) terminal plugs + crimper

2) Using 22G wire, soldering iron, and electronic devices, solder approx 1+ feet wire onto each device (at LED legs/speaker contacts), maintaining consistency of polarity (i.e. red = positive, black = negative). Use heat shrink tubing and heat gun to cover the new connection and any open wires that are in close contact to avoid short circuits

3) Use crimpers to attach crimp terminals on the opposite end of each soldered wire. Fit both wires from each component to a 2-pin terminal plug, maintaining a consistent rule for which side is positive/negative (this will make things easier later).

4) Fit narrow IR LEDs into the channels on one side of each nosepoke and photodetectors into the opposite side (you may need to wrap some parafilm around the photodetectors so they can stay firmly situated). Bend the legs of each device so they lay within the wire track. Press fit the nosepoke side panels into each side of each nosepoke to cover the wires.

5) Connect nosepokes to operant panel by threading connectors through wire holes and securing to panel with 2 4/40 self-tapping screws. Be sure the nosepoke with the larger opening is under the speaker hole.

6) Press-fit houselight (with ~2 layers parafilm wrapped around) and speaker and  into respective holes. Do the same with the green emitter LED for the non-spout nosepoke (will need parafilm again around this LED).

7) Fit pump tubing into spout with larger tubing to act as guide/insulation. Use parafilm again to keep this tubing in place within the spout. Holding the spout calibrator in spout nosepoke, push spout through back hole until it hits the calibrator. Fix in place using 4-40 screw on top of spout nosepoke for tension.

8) Fit all 2 pin terminal plugs onto 16 pin connector (1 pair of pins will be unused)