The Biosignal How-To

This page shows you with the help of YouTube clips how to measure heart activity (ECG), brain waves (EEG), muscle activity (EMG) and other bio-signals.

You will also learn how to to distinguish noise from actual biosignals and will see that often noise is “sold” as a biosignal. These clips will help you to critically evaluate these claims and make up your own mind.

Check out our YouTube channel for additional videos and playlists.



Non electrical biosignals

Interpreting biosignals

The clips below take a homourous approach how to interpret biosignals and show that there is no easy route from mental states to, for example, blood pressure and that noise can be mistaken as EEG.

Build your own bio-amplifier

The amplifier is an instrumentation amplifier at a gain of x5 - x20. The highpass filter usually has a cutoff frequency in the region of 1 - 0.1Hz depending on the signals measured.

Bill of materials

Qty Value Parts
4 1N4004 D1, D2, D3, D4
1 1M R9
1 4.7uF C1
2 100R R3, R4
2 100nF C5, C6
1 INA128 IC4
1 Pad per hole PCB
  • Farnell have a really good product selection tree so that you find your components quickly. The order codes can directly be copy/pasted into their Product Search form at the top of the page.
  • RS will provide you also with all components but the web page is a bit more cumbersome.

The signal of the bio-amplifier is then fed into an USB-DUX sigma data acquisition board which also provides the electrically isolated power.


For those who are too scared of a soldering iron… We've made a fully tested and CE marked bioamp which is called "ATTYS". Vasso Georgiadou, our main presenter explains how it works (and why it's called Attys):

The Attys follows the same approach as shown on this page, namely two stage amplification but does the highpass filtering and 2nd stage amplification in software. Even that it's ready made you can still change all filter parameters in software. All software is open source so you can learn how it's done in digital and then hack the code to write your own applications. The Attys has software for general purpose data recording (AttysScope), ECG (AttysECG) and EEG (AttysEEG).


Further infos

We have been featured on Hackaday: All About Biosignals!