Q. What is the advantage of the new three-chip CCD camera offered by Kay?
A. For stroboscopy, general endoscopy, and FEES, Kay's standard packages include a single-chip CCD camera. Kay now also offers a three-chip camera, though it is not standard due to its higher price. The major advantage of the three-chip camera technology is that instead of integrating red, green, and blue on a single chip, the three primary colors each have their own separate CCD chip and circuitry. The result is truer color, higher signal-to-noise ratio (56 dB), and higher resolution (700 lines) than are possible with single-chip cameras (46 dB signal-to-noise, and 430 lines of resolution). Some customers will undoubtedly view the improved clarity worth the extra expense. And although the cost difference is still substantial (approximately 70% higher for the three-chip models), it has declined steadily over the last two years, a trend that will likely continue.
Q. On the RLS (Rhino-Laryngeal Stroboscope), the audio volume knob [located in upper right section of the front panel] controls the audio microphone signal level. Do adjustments of this knob affect extracted amplitude measurements?
A. No. The audio microphone (attached to the top of the CCD camera and plugged into the strobe unit) has two functions. One is to provide voice amplitude measurements in real time as the patient phonates during the stroboscopic examination. This measurement is completely independent of the audio volume knob's position.
The second function is to provide the voice signal to the VCR so you can hear the patient's voice on playback of video recordings. The volume knob controls the audio microphone's signal level being fed to the VCR. Observe the VU meter on the VCR during phonation, and make adjustments so that the meter is at mid-range during comfortable phonation. You may need to make adjustments in extreme cases: for patients with very soft voices (e.g., unilateral vocal fold paresis), turn the knob clockwise to increase output level to the VCR; for very loud voices (e.g., professional singer phonating fortissimo), adjust the knob counterclockwise.
Q. How can I import Palatometry data into the CSL to compare physiologic and acoustic data?
A. The Palatometer acquires data from 96 electrodes embedded in a custom-fitted pseudopalate worn in the mouth as well as the acoustic signal (using microphone input). Within the Palatometer software, the speech waveform is time-linked to the linguapalatal contact patterns made during a speech utterance. These two sets of data are stored to a single file (.nsp format) when saved to disk.
Users may wish to perform in-depth acoustic analysis (e.g., spectrographic, pitch, amplitude, etc.) concurrently with analysis of the physiologic data provided by the Palatometer. The CSL allows importation of data for this purpose from both Kay's Palatometer as well as the Reading (Hardcastle) Electropalatograph.
Within CSL, load the file of interest; the acoustic waveform will load to view A. Now create a new view (preferably square-shaped) to accommodate palatometric data. With the new view active, click Analyze on the Main Menu, then "Show Palatometer Display". The file's palatometric data will appear in this view. You may now create additional views for spectrographic, pitch, and other data; link all views. Cursor positions in all views of data are precisely linked in time to the palatometric data of the spoken utterance.