Using USB3 cameras with Scanbox

Scanbox has long supported the use of GigE cameras for behavior, but integrating USB3 cameras which support an external trigger is also possible.  As an example, consider the Mako-U series.

Wire up the camera

To use one of these cameras you have to be using a trigger cable.  Different manufacturers offer cables that differ in their color coding (usually included with the cable shipment).  To avoid confusion, will be explaining the required connections using pin numbers instead.

The figure below shows two views of the trigger cable.  When viewing directly at the connector on the camera the pin numbers are as indicated on the top diagram, with the numbers increasing in a counterclockwise fashion.  When looking at the connector that goes into the camera, the pin numbers are as shown in the photograph, with pin numbers now increasing clockwise.  Pin #5 is GND and Pin #3 is the trigger input.  Identify these pins and use a multi-meter to make sure which of the wires are connected to these pins.  You can isolate the other wires.

You can get a BNC screw connector along with a BNC-SMA cable to make the required connections.  Connect the GND wire to the – screw of the BNC adapter, and connect the trigger wire to the + screw of the BNC adapter.  Then connect the BNC-SMA cable to the adapter and the SMA end to the CAM TRIG 0 output from Scanbox.


Install Vimba software

Once the camera is wired make sure you install the Vimba SDK package (select custom installation and proceed to install all packages).

Install Matlab’s support for Genicam interface

On the Matlab toolstrip click on “Add Ons” then select “Get Hardware Support Packages”.  Search for “genicam” and you will see listed the support package for the Genicam interface.   Install the package.

Now launch imaqtool in Matlab and check the camera is recognized by the imaging toolbox.  If so, proceed to the last step.  If not, make sure you can access the camera using the Vimba software.  If the camera is still not recognized, make sure it is connected to an USB3 port.  If you can’t still make the camera work email us and we will help.

Note that Vimba will not be able to access the camera simultaneously with imaqtool.  So have either Matlab or Vimba open at any one time.

Edit the scanbox_config.m file

The last thing that needs to be done is to edit the ballcamera and eyecamera names in the config file to match the model name of the Mako camera.

That’s all…  Let us know if you have any problems or questions.