The Perception Analyzer system includes:
- Comfortable, easy-to-use, hand-held dials, so participants can privately respond to questions
- Software to program the questions, capture individual responses, and analyze data
- Console to wirelessly communicate between the dials and a PC
- Peripherals for connecting to various audio/visual equipment
The dials present the available responses to participants on an LED display. Each participant turns the dial's knob to select the desired answer. The system monitors dial movement, so the operator knows when all participants have made their selections. The operator can then poll the dials for data capture and reporting.
The dials communicate wirelessly with the rest of the system, or through modular telco cabling if necessary, depending on the venue and environment.
The Perception Analyzer software offers setup, editing, operation, and powerful analysis tools. See Software for more information.
The console connects through a USB port to the computer and wirelessly communicates with the dials. In certain environments, wired communication is also possible using the provided cables.
In wireless mode, the Perception Analyzer system uses an FCC approved radio frequency (RF) band from 902 to 928 MHz and a CE approved frequency of 868 MHz.
The console selects one of six possible preset frequencies (or channels) within the ISM band to communicate with the dials. Every venue has slightly different RF environmental characteristics, where other RF energy might interfere with normal Perception Analyzer operation. Having six available channels from which to select provides a wide range of operation in different environments. The Perception Analyzer software's built-in RF diagnostics help you choose the best available frequency for any given environment.
In the rare case of local RF interference, the consoles can operate in wired mode, with up to 50 dials running off a single console. For more than 50 dials, two or more consoles can connect together, expanding the system's capacity. Provided cables connect the dials to the console, and the console provides power to each dial.
The Perception Analyzer software should be run on computers with the following specifications.
Recommended Minimum Specifications*
|Type||Notebook or Desktop. Notebooks are typically used.|
|Processor||No digital video playback required: minimum 800 MHz processor; 256 MB RAM. With digital video playback required: minimum 1.6 GHz processor; 512 MB RAM.|
|Storage||60 MB available hard disk space.
(It is recommended that Windows XP-based systems additionally have 300 MB available for trouble-free operation.)
|Operating System||Windows XP® is recommended.
Windows 98® and Windows 2000® can also be used.
|External data display connection to overlay device||One available USB 2.0/3.0 port to connect the USB-VGA external display adapter (available from Dialsmith)
PC card slot if using Margi or VTBook PC card (Note: these are no longer available and are not compatible with Windows Vista or 7).
|External respondent question display||-VGA monitor port recommended -Using a Display Port output may require a third-party cable adapter and/or a third-party DVI to VGA conversion device, depending on the user’s display requirements.|
|Perception Analyzer console connection||One available RS-232 serial port or one USB-2.0/3.0 port with external USB-to-serial adapter.|
|Lenovo®||ThinkPad® R, ThinkPad, X, or ThinkPad T series|
These are recommendations based on our experience. Dialsmith does not endorse nor support the use of any specific computers.
Other brands might be acceptable if they meet the minimum requirements above. However, due to video card incompatibilities and under-powered USB ports, Dell computers are not recommended.
Wide-Screen vs. Standard Aspect Displays
Wide screen displays are acceptable. However, some overlay devices and displays may not accept wide-aspect VGA monitor signals. In such a situation you might have to set the resolution of the display to a standard-aspect resolution such as 1024x768. This could result in a display that appears horizontally stretched or a display that does not fully fill the computer's wide-aspect screen.
An Apple computer with an Intel®-based processor running Windows (as described above) facilitated by Apple's Bootcamp drive-partition utility is acceptable. MacBook®, MacBook® Pro, MacBook® Air, Mac® Pro, Mac® Mini, and iMac® are acceptable. These must meet the computer specifications described above. These computers may require a DVI to VGA adapter cable for external data display.
Virtual Machine software running in MAC-OS X, such as Parallels® or VMWare® Fusion®, is only acceptable if an external respondent display will not be used. These VM software solutions do not support the multiple monitor requirement for external respondent display.
The software displays analysis results on the PC screen. For additional screens for the participants and/or moderator, the PC must be able to drive additional monitors. Dialsmith offers a participant display device that works with the Multiple Monitor feature in Windows® to allow results to be displayed on additional display screens.
To overlay results on a video or other real-time media, an external overlay device is required. The device superimposes the data as line graphs over the video. Dialsmith provides this overlay device.