WinAura Quickstart

This document contains the information you need to know to set up your WinAura system.

System Requirements

To ensure that you get the best performance from your WinAura system, we recommend the following computer configurations:

Computer minimum requirements: For good performance with WinAura you need at least a Pentium III processor at a speed of 800 MHz. The faster the better. Systems based on the AMD series of processors work as well.

Windows XP is recommended as the operating system because is stable and easy to use. We have tested briefly with Windows Millennium Edition and it appears to work. Windows 98 works with WinAura 6.1 or older and Windows 98 prints from Interactive III too.

128 MB minimum of RAM memory for Windows 98 you will need at least 256 MB with Windows XP. If you need to upgrade the memory in your machine, use a quality brand such as Kingston or Crucial. Often intermittent or mysterious problems are traced to marginal memory.

The full installation of WinAura and the Interactive programs will require approximately 60 MB of hard disk space. You do not have to install the Interactive series to use WinAura.

You need a CD-ROM drive to load the program from. A DVD/CD combo drive will work, but no better than a CD-ROM-only drive.

A printer port is used to connect the printer and the "dongle" security key. The key plugs into the printer port and the printer plugs into the key. The printer port key is much more rugged then the USB key so try to get a computer with a parallel port.

A serial port is used for the aura sensing handplate unit. A built in serial port is best if you need an adaptor do not use the cheap ones they do not work. Use a serial card or with a laptop use a serial USB Serial PCMCIA card for a lap top Socket Serial I/O card (RS-232) PCM-SIO-SO2 from or Argosy SP 320-232

At least one USB port is needed, for the camera. Most modern printers have USB interfaces and these work much faster than the traditional parallel setup. If you have more than one USB port on the computer, and a USB-capable printer, use a USB connection for it.

Most cameras use the USB port and this is what we develop and test with. Some WinAura users have used video capture cards and conventional NTSC video cameras, and the new FireWire 1394 interfaces with Digital Video camcorders, but we do not have experience with these setups.

Your display will need to show 1024 X 768 in at least 16 bit color to show the whole WinAura program window. Most computers built in the last two years will handle the display settings you need. You can use the controls on the Settings tab of the Display control panel to see what display can do.

Checking the display settings. You will need to be able to set your display resolution to 1024 X 768.

Additionally you need to be able to set the colors to 256 and to High Color-16 bit if you will be running Interactive III for windows or WinAuraV4.0. WinAura V4.0 looks a little better in 24-bit resolution. Usually four megabytes of video RAM is enough. Use the controls on the Settings tab of the Display control panel to see what your display can do.



Display Properties Dialog. Display Settings as adjusted for Winaura

Click with the right button anywhere on the desktop. A menu will appear. Click on "Properties" and the display Properties dialog will appear as above, left. Then click on the "Settings" tab. ", Now click the little down arrow in the colors box and set the color resolution to 256 colors if you are using Interactive III or High Color if you are using WinAura V.4.0 or later. Then if the resolution is not set to 1024 X 768 pull the slider until the resolution is set to 1024 X 768. When you change display settings, the computer may ask you to restart. If it does, do so.

The colors and resolution adjustments will appear as above, right.

If you can set your display settings dialog as shown above your video card, video RAM and monitor are suitable for use with WinAura.

If you canít get the settings to stay, that is, increasing the colors forces the resolution down and increasing the resolution forces fewer colors, you do not have enough video RAM. You may have to take the machine to a shop to have more video RAM installed or you may need a new video display card installed.

We have had good results with the low cost E-Machines systems. ( for desktop use. We have not seen any Windows PC that did not run WinAura. No special features are required. Note that WinAura does not run on a Macintosh. We have not tried it under a PC emulator on a Mac.

WinAura works equally well on most modern laptop systems.

Some older laptops with small (10-12") screens use a "hardware pan and scroll" to achieve 1024 X 768 resolution. This is not a true 1024 X 768 system. What you see on the screen is a 640 X 480 or 800 X 600 "window" into a virtual 1024 X 768 image. Thatís not what you want. Be sure you get true 1024 X 768 resolution. Many new laptops can display the full 1024 X 768 on screen. These tend to be the pricier ones with the larger screens. We have used the Compaq Presario 1600-series and 1800-series (, and Sony Vaio ( We also recommend the Dell Inspiron 8200 series laptop systems (

Serial and parallel ports are getting hard to find these days on laptops.

Nobody uses external modems or serial mice anymore and most printers, mice, and modems are USB now anyway. Donít despair, you can run WinAura in a USB-only system. There are adapters available which will allow you to connect serial devices, such as the WinAura Hand Sensor, or parallel (printer port) devices to the USB port. There are also USB Hubs, which plug into one USB port and expand this into two or four USB ports. The best of these are made by Belkin ( and they do work well with WinAura. We have also used the Keyspan USB Serial Adapter. Keyspan also makes a 4-port USB Hub. Aura Imaging can supply the Dongle in USB or parallel form. Many printers have both USB and parallel interfaces built-in. We have tested a variety of interface arrangements and have found none that didnít work with WinAura. The major constraint is that the handplate is only available as a serial device. Therefore you must have a serial port for it. This can be either a serial port built into the computer or a USB Serial adapter plugged into a USB port on the computer. Some laptops, notably the latest Sony VAIO machines, have no serial or parallel ports, and one USB port. We have set these up with a 4-port USB Hub and connected the printer, camera, dongle, and serial adapter to the hub. Then the handplate plugs into the serial adapter. Itís a little wiring to remember but it works fine.

When installing USB devices itís best to remember which USB port you first installed each device on, and always connect the devices to their "home" ports. This will eliminate most of the problems wherein the computer fails to access devices that you know worked earlier.

Printer: We recommend the Epson Stylus color series (; or the Canon ( printers A big machine with large replaceable ink cartridges will be cheaper to run. With the exception of the smaller Canons, all of these machinesí printing quality is about equally suitable for WinAura.

We have previously been recommending Hewlett-Packard printers. While these do work well with WinAura, they may be difficult to use for printing snapshots with 5½ by 4¼ size photo paper because of the way the paper feeder is designed. The Epsons are very easy to load paper into and the print quality is excellent. Some printers, when used with a USB connection, can give trouble conflicting with other USB devices like the web camera. Go to the printer manufacturerís website and get the latest printer driver software for your model of printer and operating system and install it. If other measures donít work you can try setting up the printer for parallel connection.

Video Camera: We recommend and use the sort of camera that is sold for use as a "Webcam" or video phone device. The best of these weíve found is the Inside Out Networks Watchport/V.This camera was first sold as the Vista Imaging Vicam, and later, as the 3Com HomeConnect USB. To get one, visit or call Vivid Communications at 1-888 862-3292. We also recommend the Logitech Quick Cam Pro 4000, or any camera that has mirror image feature and 640x480 resolution. Most of the inexpensive USB cameras will work. The image quality varies a bit among the cheapie models

Since WinAura V 5.0, we have improved the programís video technology to support the Video for Windows (VfW) and WDM driver technologies. Some WinAura owners have used a surveillance-type NTSC video camera with a video capture card, or a DV camcorder and a 1394 interface, but we have no direct experience with these setups.

WinAura Hand Sensor: If you have an Aura Imaging 6000 Polaroid Aura Camera, you can use its left handplate. If you donít have a 6000 camera, you can order a "Sensor 1000" handplate for use with WinAura from Aura Imaging.


Television adapter for video recording: If you wish to record a session on videotape you will need an adapter to convert the computerís VGA output to a television video signal compatible with your television set and VCR. We recommend the Avermedia line.

These devices are made in NTSC (for North America) and PAL (for Europe) versions. ( Tel. (510) 770-9899. Also recommended is the Tvator by Antec, (510) 770-1200, Fax 770-1288.

	There are other brands of VGA-to-television converters. You want to be sure that you get one that can handle a screen resolution of 1024 X 768. Some laptops and some desktop video cards have the television adapter built-in and have a television video out connector. If you have one of these the hardware manual will help you configure it.


Recording sound on your VCR:

If you are using a VCR to record your aura analysis sessions and wish to record voice commentary on the video tape sound track you will need a microphone with a line-level output. We have used a Radio Shack Karaoke unit to amplify the microphone for this purpose. The 4 channel microphone mixer #321106 should work if you can not get the Karaoke unit You may want to experiment with their Wireless Microphones. Be careful with these as they can be undependable. If you want the best you can purchase a Art Tube MP for $119 and a AKG C1000 microphone for $199 from your local music shop or call Gelb music (650) 365-8878.

Recording directly on your computer:

As computers have become more powerful, software has become available which will record a live video image straight from your computerís screen. Sound can be recorded from a microphone as well, for narration. This will allow you to save a WinAura session without the video adaptor and VCR. We have been working with a program called Camtasia, from TechSmith ( It will take sound from the mike input of your sound card and record full-motion video from the screen. The recording looks exactly like the original session. The saved video can be edited with various "movie-making" programs. The capture file can be saved onto a CD-ROM. This is very easy with Windows XP. Once youíre set up, you just start Camtasia, start WinAura, tell Camtasia to start capture, do the session, tell Camtasia to stop capture and save the file, quit Winaura and Camtasia, and, optionally, burn the video file to a CD-ROM. It can be played on any computer with Windows Media Player. Or you can video-convert and tape a Camtasia playback.

	While the recording quality is much better than with a video adaptor and VCR, there are limitations. Running the capture software and WinAura together requires a fairly high performance computer with a large hard drive. We get excellent results with a 2 GHz Athlon box from E-machines. The files must be played back on a computer, not a TV.

They are large, so they need to be saved on a CD-ROM burner. Therefore you need a fairly modern machine with a CD-ROM burner, sound card, and Windows Media Player to view them. Camtasia works well and itís inexpensive, but itís tricky to learn to use. There are a few things to configure at first, but once done, you donít have to worry about it again. The instructions foe Camtasia are very good.


Installing the software.

WinAura uses three computer software components, the video camera software, the printer software, and WinAura itself. It is best to install WinAura last, after you have verified that the other parts are working. If you do not already have your printer installed, follow the manufacturerís directions carefully. The instructions with some printers may recommend changing the printer portís operating mode if youíre using the parallel interface. Printing will be faster if you use the USB option on most modern printers. When you get the printer installed, follow the manufacturerís directions to print a test page. When the printer is working you can go on to installing the video camera.


Follow the directions to install the cameraís software. Read it all through first and note whether you should or should not have the camera plugged in when you install the software. Choose another USB port than the one that the printer uses (if the printer is going to be using a USB port) and remember which one it is. Itís best to always use the same port for the same device. Have the printer connected when you install the camera.

Note: There is a problem with USB on some computers. These computers are the ones that have a "Standby" function that kicks in after a few minutes of non-use. The idea is to save energy. However, many USB device drivers conflict with this. The result is that if you ignore the machine long enough to get it to try to go to standby mode it will display an alert saying that some program or driver prevented standby. The default time for this is 20 minutes. Then when you shut down the machine it will hang when the screen says "Windows is shutting down" Then you have to pull the power cord to turn off the machine.

	There are a few solutions. First, connect to the Internet and do a Windows Update. Do the Critical Updates, the Windows regular updates and any driver updates available. You donít have to update Internet Explorer if you donít want to. Bear in mind that some of these updates may take a while if you are using a dial-up connection.

Also, go the website of the printer or camera manufacturer and see if there is an updated USB driver that fixes this issue. Then download and install the new driver.

If you are using a USB serial adapter, install its software. If the machine asks you to restart, do so.

Lastly, go to Start:Settings:Control Panel: Power Management. Then, under Power Schemes, Choose "Always On". This will make the machine never go into standby and prevent the shutdown-hang problem. (Try to avoid this option if youíre using a laptop) While in the control panel you can set the screen turnoff delay if you like. Screen turnoff can be used as long as standby is set to Never.

When you get the camera software installed, use the cameraís software to verify that you can see the cameraís output on the screen. Then set the camera on top of your monitor so you see yourself in the screen. Use the cameraís software controls to select 24-bit color and 640 X 480 format. After you get it working with WinAura you may want to try a higher than 640X480 resolution if your camera supports a higher resolution. Be careful about the format as some cameras can generate formats incompatible with WinAura.

Note on Laptop CD-ROM Drives

These "pop-out" drives are rather delicate. Be careful handling them. Place the machine on a tabletop, not in your lap when inserting or removing disks. When mounting a disk on the drive, pop it out with its button (see computer ownerís manual for location) and pull it gently until it stops. Do not touch the lens or other gadgetry in the drive. Place the disk, label side up, on the hub. Now support the outer end or the underside of the drive with one hand while you snap the disk onto the driveís hub with the other hand. Donít let the driveís slide-in-and-out tracks take the force needed to snap the disk onto the hub. When removing the disk, tilt the diskís rear edge up slightly and it will easily pop off the hub. Donít leave the drive open longer than needed to change disks. Remove disks if you arenít using them.

Note: If you are reinstalling the same version you had before you must uninstall before reinstalling.

To uninstall, open the Control Panels folder. Double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon. Scroll through the list to find the WinAura software you are uninstalling. Click it to highlight it. Then click the "Add/Remove" button. If the system asks you if you want to remove any "shared library files" or "dll files" click the "No to All" button. When the uninstaller is finished, open the "Program Files" folder and find the WinAura folder. Drag this folder to the Recycle Bin. Now you can install the new version of WinAura as detailed below.

Now you are ready to install WinAura. Insert the WinAura CD-ROM into the drive. The new WinAura installer will open in a Web Browser window. If it doesnít, open My Computer and double click the icon for the CD-ROM drive. Find the icon named Install.html. It will be one with a big blue "e". Double click this and follow the instructions on the screen. First, note the line that asks for a click if you havenít installed WinAura before. This is to install the Visual Basic Runtime module required by any program that was written in Microsoft Visual Basic.

Next, click on the link for the operating system you are running. If it is Windows XP or 2000 you must install the Sentinel Security Key driver. This is needed so WinAura can talk to the dongle. If this is not done, WinAura will report that it cannot find the dongle. The link for the key driver is the last one on the page. Scroll all the way down and click the picture of the security keys. Be sure the key is not connected to the machine when you install the key software.

	Now select which version of WinAura you will be installing. In most cases it will be the latest. Click the picture labeled with the latest version. You will see a dialog box asking if you want to save the file or run it from current location. Choose "Run from current location." If you get a dialog box noting that the software is of unknown origin or some such, allow installation. There will also be an End User License Agreement and a Disclaimer. Click Yes to these and WinAura will be installed. When WinAura is installed, go to the Display control panel and click the "Settings" tab. Set the resolution to 1024 X 768. Then, If you are using interactive III it will set the colors to 256 colors.

If you are using WinAura V4.0 or higher, set the colors to High Color (16 Bit) or better (24 Bit) Then click "Apply".

Installing the WinAura Hardware.

There are three things that need to be connected to your computer for WinAura to work:

The Handplate, the Video Camera, the dongle and, (optionally) the Printer. The dongle is the usage counter and copy protection device. You may make and install as many copies of WinAura as you like, but WinAura will run only if thereís a dongle connected to the computer. If you use WinAura in more than one location you can move the dongle from one computer to another as needed. Dongles come in two styles, Parallel and USB. The parallel dongle is a white thing with one connector to plug into the computerís printer port and another connector for the printerís cable. It is a pass-through device that has no effect on printing. To connect the parallel dongle to the printer port, unplug the printer cable, plug the dongle into the printer port, and plug the printer cable into the dongle. If you arenít using a printer you still need to install the dongle or WinAura wonít work. If you have two parallel ports (LPT1 and LPT2) you can plug the dongle into either one. WinAura will find it. The parallel dongle is the one normally supplied with WinAura. The USB dongle is available on request when you order WinAura. Itís a little purple gadget with only one USB connector. Just plug the USB dongle into any USB port on the computer or USB hub. Remember which USB port you are using for the dongle and always use the same one. Windows will find the dongle and install the necessary software.

The Handplate is connected to a serial, or COM, port or USB to serial adaptor. Your mouse or external modem may also be connected to a COM port, especially in the case of an older computer. If you do have a mouse on COM1, look for a similar port marked COM2 and connect the handplate there.

In a newer computer, the mouse is on itís own port This is a round socket, usually marked with an icon of a mouse, and the modem is inside the computer with a telephone line jack on the back of the computer. These modems are usually configured as COM2 or COM3. The serial socket will be marked COM1 or Serial 1. Connect the 9-pin connector from the handplate to the COM1 port.

If you are using the left handplate from the model 6000 Polaroid camera as your sensor box you should have a cable (included with the 6000 camera) with a 9-pin connector on one end and a stereo "headphone-type" connector on the other. Plug the "headphone" connector into the jack marked "Option" on the handplate. The other end then goes to your serial port. When using a 6000-type handplate with WinAura, remember to unplug any printer you may have connected to the handplate. A printer connected to the 6000-type handplate tells it not to talk to its "Option" jack.

While the WinAura setup screen implies that the handplate can be used on all four possible COM ports, it doesnít always work that way, due to computer configuration situations. If you have problems communicating with the handplate, put it on COM1, restart the machine, and see if that helps. See the "Questions about WinAura" document for details.

Connect the cable from the wall transformer to the handplate and plug the wall transformer into a wall outlet. If you are not in the USA and your electricity is not 110V, be sure you have a proper wall transformer. If in doubt contact Aura Imaging for help. The wrong transformer could destroy itself or the handplate. If you are using a 6000 type handplate, the big camera cable does not have to be connected to the 6000 camera.

There is a wriststrap supplied with the Model 1000 Sensor Box. Plug the connector on its cable into the small jack on the fingertip end of the Sensor Box. Then fasten the strap around either wrist as you use WinAura. Without the wriststrap, WinAura will deduct one dongle count every time you place your hand on the handplate. Using the wriststrap prevents these deductions.

Some handplates have the "Helping Hand" option installed. This consists of an 8-pin socket and a switch mounted on the fingertip end of the handplate box. When you are using Winaura, leave the switch near the 8-pin socket in the down position. If this switch is left up, Winaura will show a purple aura when it starts up even with no hand on the plate.

Plug the camera into a USB port on the computer. Be sure you have installed the cameraís software before connecting the camera. The cameraís software will recognize the camera. Make it a habit to always plug the camera into the same USB port, preferably the one the camera was first connected to when its software was installed.

Workstation Setup

Provide a comfortable chair for the subject and a table that will hold the monitor at or slightly above the subjectís eye level. You will also need a place for the computerís keyboard and mouse. We use a computer workstation desk with a pull-out keyboard shelf.

Normal office-level lighting works fine. You probably wonít need a separate light on the subjectís face. You want to avoid bright lights behind the subject that would confuse the camera. For best results and pleasing pictures a plain solid-colored curtain or room divider about three feet behind the subject works well. You will need this backdrop if you will be using the Aura Live option.

Place the printer out of the way but where the operator can easily get to it.

	Place the video camera atop the monitor, in the center, facing the subject. The cameraís cable should pass over the top of the monitor and hang down the back. You might want to use some tape or Velcro to hold the cable and camera base in place. Place the handplate where it will be comfortable for the subjectís left hand. When Windows boots up it looks for devices on the serial ports and this confuses the handplate so you must turn the power switch on the handplate off and boot up the computer. Start up the cameraís own software and observe the subjectís image on the monitor. Have the person sit comfortably and place their hand on the handplate. (for position, not for aura). Position the camera so the personís face is in the center of the screen and adjust the cameraís focus as needed. Quit the cameraís software before starting WinAura.

Turn on the handplate. There is a red light on one end of the handplate to indicate that it is on. See that this is lit.

Connect the wriststrap to the handplate and strap it onto the subjectís wrist. It doesnít have to be tight. The electrodes should both contact the subjectís skin.

	Now verify that the printer, camera, and handplate are connected and powered up.

See that there is paper in the printer.

Look for the WinAura shortcut icon on the computer desktop and double-click it to start WinAura. WinAura should display its startup/configuration screen. Select the options as needed for your setup and click the "OK" button. Wait for the WinAura Small view screen to appear. The light on the camera should blink. The subjectís picture should show in the video area. Place a hand on the handplate. After a few moments an aura should appear. Now click the "Large" button at the top of the screen. The video image should fill the screen, with control buttons at the top. It is important to display an aura once from the small view first whenever you start WinAura, before going to the Large view. This is a software issue which we intend to correct. Once you see the aura in the Small view you donít have to remove the hand from the handplate to go to Large or Medium view

Now you can configure the camera for WinAura.

	The following camera configuration instructions are for the 3Com HomeConnect camera, they may differ if you have a different camera but the settings are very similar among cameras.

  1. Double-click anywhere in the picture. You will see one of the cameraís software configuration dialog boxes.

  2. Be sure "High Quality" is selected. The rest of the settings are OK as they are.

  3. Click the "More" button. You will see more camera configuration options.

  4. If the electricity in your area is 60 Hz, check the "60Hz" box. This is to reduce flickering with fluorescent lighting. In places where the electricity is 50 Hz, (much of Europe) leave the box unchecked.

  5. Click the "Mirror" box to place a checkmark. Now when the subject moves to the left the image will move to the left, just like looking into a mirror.

  6. Under Automatic Gain Control, select AVC Center Average.

  7. Click the "OK" button on this dialog box. You will see another camera configuration dialog.

  8. Set the image size to 640 X 480, and the Image Color Format to 24-bit. Avoid the YUV formats as they will crash WinAura and either WinAura or Windows will have to be reinstalled.

  9. Now click the dialogís OK button. This completes the system setup.



The 3Com Camera setup dialogs as configured for WinAura.

You should see the subjectís picture on the monitor. Get the subjectís face centered in the screen and let them place their hand on the handplate. After a few moments the aura will appear. It may change shape and color. Most auras do. Click the "Print" button at the top. The Print button will turn red. Have the subject sit still until the button turns blue again. The report will be printed.

This completes the WinAura set-up procedure. Now you can follow the accompanying instructions for using WinAura

	If you intend to use the system at a show or expo, be sure to review these instructions and practice setting up and tearing down the system a few times so you are sure you know how to do it and have everything you need. The show floor is not the place to discover that you need help or forgot something.




This device and the software are not intended to indicate or diagnose physical problems or any illness. Please contact your physician, or health care provider or therapist for consultation before beginning any treatment. This program is meant as a self-help and monitoring tool for experimental use only and is not intended to replace competent medical or psychological counseling and treatment under any circumstances.

At the same time, Aura Imaging recognizes the importance of assuming responsibility for your own spiritual health and well-being. We suggest that you continue to take an active role in maintaining your personal spiritual health and well-being. This program is intended for use as a tool for personal exploration. Using this program indicates you are in agreement with the above terms.


The WinAura software is regularly upgraded and improved. If you have problems with the program, or find errors in these instructions please contact us at:

Aura Imaging, 319 Spruce St., Redwood City, CA 94063

Technical Support 650-261-0195, Email

Revised 05/12/03 CAM.