Installation and Use

The Electrophysiology Manipulator Link (or Ephys Link for short) is a Python WebSocket server that allows any WebSocket-compliant application (such as Pinpoint) to communicate with manipulators used in electrophysiology experiments.

Currently, Ephys Link only supports Sensapex uMp Micromanipulators. However, this platform is designed to be extensible to other manipulators and more may be added in the future.

For more information regarding the server’s implementation and how the code is organized, see the package’s API reference



  1. Python 3.10+ and pip.

  2. An x86 Windows PC is required to run the server.

    1. The server has been verified to work well with Sensapex devices on Windows. It has not been bundled with libraries for Linux and macOS. However, developing the server is possible on other OS’s.

  3. For Sensapex devices, the controller unit must be connected to a Windows PC via an ethernet cable. A USB-to-ethernet adapter is acceptable.

  4. To use the emergency stop feature, ensure an Arduino with the StopSignal sketch is connected to the computer. Follow the instructions on that repo for how to set up the Arduino.

NOTE: Ephys Link is an HTTP server without cross-origin support. The server is currently designed to interface with local/desktop instances of Pinpoint. It will not work with the web browser versions of Pinpoint at this time.


Using a python virtual environment is encouraged.

Create a virtual environment by running python -m venv ephys_link.

Activate the environment by running .\ephyes_link\scripts\activate

A virtual environment helps to isolate installed packages from other packages on your computer and ensures a clean installation of Ephys Link

Run the following command to install the server:

pip install ephys-link


To start the server with the default settings, run python -m ephys_link.

Default settings:

  • Configured for Sensapex manipulators

  • Broadcasts on port 8081

  • No emergency stop button

  • No GUI

  • No verbose logging


All options can be viewed with python -m ephys_link --help.





-h, --help

Show help message and options

-t TYPE, --type TYPE

sensapex or new_scale


Select manipulator type

-p PORT, --port PORT

Valid HTTP port number


HTTP port to serve on

--new-scale-port NEW_SCALE_PORT

Valid HTTP port number


New Scale HTTP server port (deprecating soon)

-s [SERIAL], --serial [SERIAL]

Serial port name (i.e. COM3) or empty


Emergency stop serial port. Auto searches if no port specified

-d, --debug

Enable verbose logging for debugging

-g, --gui

Experimental GUI for server


Version number of server