In 2012 I bought one of those amazing NeuroSky Mindwave EEG readers. At first I could not get it to work, it turns out that I was doing everything wrong, so here are a few tips on what to do and what not to do:
This example is using Windows 7, details may vary with different versions of Windows or Mac. Note, the NeuroSky Mindwave (Not Mindwave Mobile) only works with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
The Mindwave Software
Insert the Mindwave Application Disc and click on Mindwave-setup.exe and select language. It asks if you want to check for a new version (the new version takes quite a while to download), then install.
During the setup process it will ask you to plug in the “Mindwave Wireless USB adapter”
Mindwave Wireless USB Adapter
I tried plugging the Mindwave Wireless USB Adapter into a USB hub, but that did not work, it should be plugged directly into your computer USB port.
If after you plug in the Mindwave Wireless USB Adapter, the software still cannot find it, then reboot your computer and try again.
Note, the Mindwave USB Adapter is actually a RF (Radio Frequency) dongle that communicates with RF devices. If you lose your Mindwave USB Adapter you can buy another one here.
Once the software has installed, a message will pop up saying “Please insert a fresh battery into your Mindwave and turn it on”. Do so, if the software has trouble finding the Mindwave, insert a fresh new AAA battery (the battery that came with my Mindwave, did not have enough power).
Once the software has found the Mindwave, a tutorial video will pop up and also the “Mindwave App Central”.
Before choosing an App, check the Thinkgear Connector. To do so double-click on the little cloud on your bottom toolbar (on my computer the bottom left corner).
It is showing “Starting Port: COM1”. But is your Mindwave USB Adapter actually plugged into COM1? To find out, click on your computer “Control Panel”, then click on “Device Manager”, then click on “Ports”. Aha, it is showing that my Mindwave USB Adapter is actually plugged into COM3.
Again double-click on the little cloud (Thinkgear Connector), click on the little arrow next to “COM1” and choose COM3 (your adapter might be plugged into a different COM). Also unless you intend to use your Mindwave everyday, I would uncheck where it says “Enable Thinkgear on startup). Note, this does not seem to be good design on Neurosky’s part, why assume that everyone will plug into COM1?
So next put on the Mindwave, and attach the clip to your left ear.
The Minty Ant
Now from the “App Central for Mindwave” pick a free game to play (personally I like The Minty Ant).
Here it is showing no signal, connecting can take a while (sometimes up to 60 seconds), so wait and if it is still not getting a signal, adjust until you get a signal, then start playing and see how you do.
NeuroSky has a Mindwave support website, which includes more tips in case you are having problems:
Has anyone else had problems getting their Mindwave to work? What finally did the trick for you?