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ACES - Installation and calibration

Each ARIEL CES machine is carefully inspected, tested and calibrated prior to delivery. Normally only a simple installation procedure, including a calibration check, is required before the system is operational. The installation procedure is described in this section. In addition, the full calibration procedure will be explained as well as certain system utility functions.


ARIEL exercisers are shipped as number of separate components. These components include the exercise station (Multi-Function or Arm-Leg), the computer, monitor and associated accessories such as cables, backup software and other optional items. Upon arrival, carefully unpack these components and inspect for shipping damage.


Position the exercise station in the desired location. The computer for the Arm-Leg exerciser should be placed in front of the exerciser about 3 to 4 feet away. The computer for the Multi-Function exerciser should be placed to one side of the exerciser within a few feet of the bench. Each exercise station will have a single cable that connects the machine to the Ariel analog box. You will notice that the electrical connector on each end of the cable is a different type to prevent incorrect connections. It is recommended to cover the cables between the exercise station and the computer so that users do not trip on them or damage them when walking in the vicinity of the exerciser. Flat rubber cable conduit may be obtained for this purpose, or the cables may be taped directly to the floor using duct tape.

Unpack the computer monitor and optional items (printer etc) and place them in the desired positions. Plug the monitor, computer and stepper motor power supply into a multi-outlet power strip. This allows all the CES components to be turned on/off with one switch. It is recommended that no other electrical equipment or appliances be connected to the same circuit as the ARIEL CES.

The diagram above illustrates the hardware connections of the basic Ariel CES components. The boards may be in different slots than shown (depending on computer model). Slot numbers are designated 1 through 7 going from bottom to top.

Slot 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 have no external connections.

Slot 4 connects to the external Analog Input box. Use the ribbon cable supplied with the A/D box. This cable connects to the external Analog-to-Digital (A/D) box. Make certain that the connector is plugged in the correct way.

Slot 7 has a single 15-pin connector. The color monitor connects to this slot.

The keyboard plugs directly in the keyboard connector.

The PS2 mouse connector is used to for the mouse.

The Parallel Port 1 is usually used for the optional printer.

The Serial Ports 1 and 2 are not used on this computer system.


The Ariel Analog to Digital (A/D) Input Box has two types of connectors for each of the sixteen channels. The RJ11 type connector is used for the Pre-Amplified electromyogram (EMG) electrodes. The BNC type connectors are used for single-ended analog signals. Up to 14 channels can be sampled simultaneously with the CES exercise session. Channels 15 and 16 are reserved for the CES system operation. Channels are numbered sequentially from left to right. Only one connector should be used per channel. Sampling should begin with Channel #1 and sequentially add the desired number of channels. It is not recommended to skip a channel. The last channel used should be specified in the CES software module.


The optional Pre-Amplified EMG electrodes are supplied by Ariel Dynamics with the RJ11 connectors already installed. Connect the electrodes into sequential channels beginning with channel #1. The Pre-Amplifier in the electrode requires a voltage supply for power. Power is normally supplied from the computer power supply. Optionally, one may use the supplied nine-volt batteries anytime the electrodes are being utilized. Batteries should be inserted into the B1 and B2 nine-volt battery holders. Jumper J1 should be on the upper 2 pins while Jumper J2 should be on the lower 2 pins. Power switch (SW1) is used to turn the system on and off. When the system is turned ON, the two LED lights (D1 & D3) should be illuminated. Dimly lit LED's indicate weak batteries. Batteries should be removed or the switch turned to the OFF position if Analog sampling will not take place for an extended period of time.


Component installation is now complete and the system is ready for a functional test designed to check the correct operation of each component. Turn on the main power strip switch. Then turn on the power switch to the monitor, (optional printer) and computer. If no display appears, turn off the power and check all cable and power connections. If the source of the problem is not a bad connection, refer the problem to qualified service personnel.

When the system has been powered up successfully, the computer will display the Microsoft Windows desktop. The CES-System folder should be visible in the upper-middle portion of the display. Double-click the CES-System icon to display the CES and Program software modules. Double-click the CES icon to display the CES Log-On menu. Select the Cancel button. You will notice several pull-down menus displayed at the top of the screen. Select CALIBRATION and then CHECKOUT to display the CES Hardware Checkout menu.

The Hardware Checkout menu allows the user to check signals for the three CES transducers; position, force and the stepper motor. The position and force analog channels are inputs to the computer that provide measurements from the position and pressure transducers in the exercise station. A number of measurements are continuously taken from each of the transducers. The average �Raw� analog value of these measurements is shown next to the names of each transducer, as well as computed value in �User� units..

When the ARIEL CES is properly adjusted, and when the bar is not moving, the average value for F/Torque should be approximately +3500. The value for position should change with the bar position. When the bar is at the lowest point, the value should be approximately not be less than -3500. At its highest point the value should not be more than +3500. If any of the analog values are zero (0) or 4095 and do not change with movement of the bar, or if the values differ significantly from the guidelines above, the transducers may not be adjusted properly or indicate a connection problem. In addition, the values should always be stable when the bar is not moving. Rapidly fluctuating values (when the bar is stationary) indicate unreliable analog measurements and are usually due to noise or electrical interference. Check that the cables between the exercise station and the console are connected properly. If problems persist, contact the Ariel technical service department.

You may also test the Stepper Motor operation. The stepper motor is used to open and close the valve in the hydraulic resistance mechanism. When the Checkout menu is opened, the bar on the exerciser should move freely. If the bar moves with appreciable resistance, or not at all, then the valve has not opened properly. Check that the cables are properly connected between the exercise station and the computer. Also make certain the external power supply is connected to the power strip and the power line is connected to the Analog input box. If this does not appear to be a connection or power problem, contact Ariel technical service department. Once you have verified that the bar moves freely when the valve is open, type the number 400 in the #Step field and select the STEP button. This will cause the stepper motor to completely close the valve. The bar on the exerciser should be locked and should not move even with your full body weight applied. If the bar will not lock, make certain that you entered the number 400 properly (it should be displayed in the POS field), and that the cables are connected properly between the station and computer. If the stepper motor does not close the valve properly, the system might require service. Finally, press the OPEN button to open the valve again and verify that the bar moves freely. Select the OK button when complete.

The installation and functional test of the ARIEL CES has now been completed. At this point, the user may wish to perform a calibration check. If so, refer to the following section. Otherwise, you may wish to try a sample exercise session. The system is now ready for use.


ARIEL CES machines are fully calibrated prior to shipping. However, as with any precision instrument, it is recommended that calibration occasionally be checked and, if necessary, readjusted. Also, in the event that the CES requires adjustment or replacement of exercise station transducers or the computer electronics, re-calibration will be required. In addition, certain system options are specified during calibration and some users may wish to modify one or more of these options. This section will explain how system calibration is performed.


The first menu in the calibration process is the Station Parameter menu. This is used to set a number of items of information about this individual exercise station as well as selecting certain system options such as units of measurement.

SITE NAME is the name of this installation (e.g. club, clinic, hospital, etc). It will be printed on copies of exercise and rehabilitation results.

STATION TYPE identifies the station connected to this computer as either Multi-Function or Arm-Leg.

UNITS selects the system of measurement as either English or Metric. English units measure force in pounds, work in foot-pounds and linear movement in inches. Metric units measure force in kilograms, work in kilogram-meters and linear movement in centimeters. Units should be set to the same value for all exercise machines at a given installation otherwise user files could be interpreted in the wrong system of units. NOTE: If the units are changed from English to Metric (or vice versa), the calibration procedure must be repeated. Units cannot be changed without calibration.

BAR MEASURE selected to set how bar position and bar movement are measured and reported. Linear reports the movement of the bar in linear units (e.g. inches or centimeters) while Angular reports the movement of the bar in degrees around the pivot point. Angular bar measure is recommended, especially for the Arm-Leg exerciser.

RESISTANCE MEASURE is available for the Arm-Leg exercisers. Since the bar length on the Arm-Leg exercisers is adjustable to accommodate different limb lengths, while the Ariel CES exercisers are calibrated with a fixed bar length, the true force on the bar cannot accurately be reported when the bar length is adjusted. To solve this problem the Arm-Leg exerciser may optionally report torque about the pivot point rather than force on the handles of the bar. Torque measurement is not affected by a change in bar length, thus it is the recommended mode for the Arm-Leg exerciser.

BAR LENGTH is the length of the bar on the exerciser from the pivot point to the handle (point of force application). This value is fixed for the Multi-Function. For the Arm-Leg exerciser, it is the length from the pivot point to the center of the handle. This can be any distance as long as the correct value is entered and maintained during the calibration process.

BAR RANGE is the full range of movement of the bar from lowest to highest position. The actual value of these parameters will never change, as they are mechanically fixed. The numeric values will, however, change when system units change. These parameters are always displayed in the current system units.

VALVE RANGE refers to the total number of stepper motor steps in the full physical rotation of the hydraulic valve. Hardware �stops� or limits prevent valve rotation beyond this range. The value for this item must not be less than the true physical valve range, and it is recommended to set it slightly larger than the actual range. It is recommended to use the value 450 (the default range). The usable portion of the valve range is always less than the full physical range. This is due to the geometry of the valve which permits the motor to step the valve some number of steps past the open and closed positions. The full physical open position is defined as step position 0 (zero).

VALVE OPEN/LOCK define the stepper motor step positions of the effective valve open and valve closed (locked) positions, in other words, the usable valve range. These values are critical to the correct performance of the ARIEL CES and can be determined either automatically (using the VALVE Calibration) or manually (using the Checkout menu option). Once the Valve Lock is determined, the Valve open can be calculated as it is always the Valve Lock value minus 200 stepper motor units. For example, if the Valve Lock position is 350, then the Valve Open position is: 350 - 200 = 150. Both the Valve Lock and Vale Open positions are automatically entered when the VALVE calibration is performed.

RESPONSE RATE selects how rapidly the hydraulic valve will respond to an application of force on the bar. Any value between -25 (slowest) and +25 (fastest) can be set by the user. The default value of 0 (zero) has been designed to give the best �feel� during normal exercise for the widest range of users. If the predominant mode of exercise for this station will be at low force levels (e.g. rehabilitation) try setting this item to a higher value to achieve optimum response. Setting this value unnecessarily high may result in the valve opening too quickly during exercise.

PRESET ADJUST is used to modify the valve starting position. For example, the software calculates a starting position for the valve based on the expected exercise. A fast velocity exercise will start with the valve opened more than a slow velocity exercise in order to minimize the distance the valve must travel to meet the expected response. A value of -25 (easiest) relates to the valve starting in a more open position while a value of +25 (hardest) relates to the valve beginning in a more closed position. The default value of 0 (zero) should provide the best feel for the widest range of users.

Station Parameters are now complete. The next step is Valve calibration. This will determine the Valve Lock and Valve Open positions.


The VALVE calibration procedure sets the stepper motor step positions for the usable range of valve travel (valve open and valve locked), as described in the Station Parameter section above.

A series of displays will instruct you to move the bar to a high position (for the Arm-Leg exerciser about 30 degrees forward of vertical), hang weights on the bar (approximately 50 lbs / 22 kgs. suggested) and then signal by pressing OK. The ARIEL exerciser will then automatically determine the valve limits and, when done, report those limits and instruct you to remove the weights from the bar.


Selecting FORCE calibration actually performs Position and Force calibration. Position calibration establishes a correspondence between the full travel of the bar and the values measured from the position transducer in the exercise station. A series of displays will instruct you to move the bar to its upper and lower limits and, for the Arm-Leg exerciser, to parallel and vertical (use a level for this procedure). Make certain that the bar is positioned exactly as requested and that it is not moving when the positions are entered. Then press the OK button.

Force Calibration establishes a correspondence between the force on the handles of the bar and the values measured from the force transducer in the exercise station.

The initial menu prompts the user to enter two weight values to be used in Trial #1 and Trial #2 of the calibration. The first weight value should be low (25 to 50 lbs.), and the second should be higher (80 or more pounds). Ideally, the two weight values should represent the lower and upper ranges of the force expected during exercise. If you do not have accurate bar-bell type weights at your disposal, do not attempt force calibration. Make certain that the �Calculate Up From Down� option is selected. This will automatically calculate the �Up� calibration from the �Down� data without having to perform a calibration in the opposite direction.

The next display prompts the user to move the bar first to the �Lowest� position and then SLOWLY to the �Highest� position. This step calibrates the position transducer as well as establishes a �zero� baseline for the force transducer. The reason for moving slowly to the highest position is that the system records the internal pressure in the exerciser�s hydraulic system throughout the entire range of motion.

The next display will ask you to move the bar first to the �Stop� position and then to the �Start� position. In this manner the ARIEL CES determines the portion of the range of motion that is being calibrated as well as the bar direction (up or down). Since the weights must fall during the calibration, the �Stop� position must be the low position and the �Start� position must be the high position.

The bar will lock at the start position and you will be asked to hang your first weight value on the bar. Press the READY button to start force calibration. The bar will fall slowly to the �Stop� position and you will be asked to remove the weights. Next you will be asked to move the bar back to the �Start� position where the bar will again lock so that you my hang the second (higher) weight value on the bar. Press the READY button to repeat the force calibration for the Trial#2 weight, after which you will be asked to remove the weights.


After completing the calibration process, or simply to check the calibration, the Calibration Check can be selected to check or verify the current system force calibration. You will be asked to move the bar to the �Stop� and �Start� positions as you did with force calibration. The bar will lock and you will be asked to hang a known weight on the bar. Press the READY button and the bar will slowly fall through the range of motion. The system will then plot a graph of measured Force vs. Position on the monitor and display the average value over the range tested. You may copy this graph by pressing the Print Screen key and then �paste� it into a graphic program to keep a record of system calibration.

See also

ACES FAQACES - Frequently asked questions
Exercise ProgramACES - Setting up an exercise program
Exercise ResultsACES - Exercise results
InstallationACES - Installation and calibration
IntroductionACES - Introduction
Sample SessionACES - A sample exercise session
SoftwareACES - How to run the software
TechnicalACES - Technical description: limits and resolution of measurement

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This page was last modified on 12/07/2008 at 22:47 PST. Copyright � 1994 - 2002, all rights reserved, Ariel Dynamics Inc. Please send your comments or feedback to or proceed to our feedback form. This page has been accessed many times since Dec 12, 2002. Our privacy policy is here.