Author Topic: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?  (Read 19816 times)

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Offline Fraser

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2015, 03:29:15 pm »
I just received a 'thank you' voucher for £15 from ebay. Wondering if this is for reporting the suspicious DCA75 and thermal camera auctions, or whether lots of customers got such a voucher. Now to find something to spend it on  :)

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Offline PeakAtlas

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2015, 04:01:54 pm »
Hi All,

Jez from Peak Electronic Design Ltd here.

A couple of people have pointed out this Ebay listing to us, for that I am grateful. It does indeed look like a scam rather than counterfeit. The threat of counterfeiting is a worry for non-China manufacturers, so we try to keep our eyes open (as much as is humanly possible anyway).

Thank you all for your comments in this thread by the way.

From a cost point of view, it is almost impossible for a UK company to compete with Chinese manufactured stuff. So we have to do our best to make it clear that other qualities are important and genuinely do count. Customers (and potential customers) can speak to the actual designers and manufacturers about queries, feature requests or just for guidance. We're also able to respond quickly to people who've had an accident with their unit or encountered a problem (it does happen). Also, our user guides, datasheets, publicity material and web pages are all under our control too, so hopefully we avoid the problems associated with poor (or non-existent) translations that you sometimes see for Chinese gear.

We know though that cost is important too, more important to some people than others, we can't ignore the need to be as efficient as we can. We continue to work hard to make price improvements where possible, and some of those price improvements are already filtering through (both directly from us but also through our distributors).

If anyone has any questions, suggestions or gripes then please do let me know.
Cheers,
Jez
 
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2015, 04:26:03 pm »
Hi Jez,

Great to hear from you. I was one of the 'buyers' of the suspicious units. Sometimes bankrupt stock does sell at great discounts on ebay, but after looking at the other items they were selling I smelt a rat.

You will be pleased to hear I was not looking for a copy of your product and have already placed my order with you for a DCA75 Pro. In fact I received my shipping notice from your company today. I am very much looking forward to receiving the unit.

Now a bit of an off the wall comment on your product if I may....... I have used a lot of expensive test equipment in my career and most is either bench format (large) or hand portable (such as a Fluke 87 multimeter) One sad comment I have heard from others is that though your units are good, they look too small ! From this I am reading that sometimes if an equipment is very small, some people misinterpret its capabilities and quality. If you were to place your DCA75 into a small (but overly volume generous) bench case (as AMSTRAD famously did with his Hi-Fi's) it might make people more willing to spend £100 or so on it. Weird but I think possible true  :o  You could also employ a larger battery for longer run time and built in test sockets for leaded components. I must be honest and say I am not a great fan of the cases you use but that is very much personal taste I know.

Just an off the wall thought as I said  :)  By the way, you have always made some very neat products, thank you. Plus I LOVE to see Made in Britain on products.....its a rare sight these days  :-+

I looked at buying the SOT23 adapter that you sell. Lovely design, but just a little too much money for my needs. I know that the special test sockets are expensive though.

Best Wishes

Aurora
(Fraser)
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 04:31:42 pm by Aurora »
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Offline neslekkim

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2015, 08:32:19 pm »
Now a bit of an off the wall comment on your product if I may....... I have used a lot of expensive test equipment in my career and most is either bench format (large) or hand portable (such as a Fluke 87 multimeter) One sad comment I have heard from others is that though your units are good, they look too small ! From this I am reading that sometimes if an equipment is very small, some people misinterpret its capabilities and quality. If you were to place your DCA75 into a small (but overly volume generous) bench case (as AMSTRAD famously did with his Hi-Fi's) it might make people more willing to spend £100 or so on it. Weird but I think possible true  :o  You could also employ a larger battery for longer run time and built in test sockets for leaded components. I must be honest and say I am not a great fan of the cases you use but that is very much personal taste I know.

I wish they could have made an sort-of modular design, an box with display, connectivity (usb etc), power/battery, and slots where one could insert the various tools. Now I have the DCA55, and DCA75, and want some of the others, especially if they got similar capabilities as the DCA75, but I don't want to have lots of small devices around.

I looked at buying the SOT23 adapter that you sell. Lovely design, but just a little too much money for my needs. I know that the special test sockets are expensive though.

I bought this adapter when I ordered the dca75, when shipping over here, it wouldn't make sense to leave it out :), it's a very well built adapter for this use.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2015, 08:50:04 pm »
I may just buy that adapter then  :-+

Aurora

Update: SOT23 adapter ordered  :)

I am also motivated to buy a small ZIF socket to mount on a similar PCB to the SOT23 adapter. This will enable fast connection of through hole components  :)


« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 09:14:25 pm by Aurora »
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Offline neslekkim

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2015, 05:38:34 am »
I am also motivated to buy a small ZIF socket to mount on a similar PCB to the SOT23 adapter. This will enable fast connection of through hole components  :)

Agreed, ZIF or something easy to stick components into. Also a pcb-plate where one can put the component on, like the PCB on these cheap ones from china.
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2015, 11:31:42 am »
I ordered, and just received a set of SMT adapter plates from adafruit. Great for use with the DCA75  :) Nice plated pads for either pressure or solder contact with the DUT. I will add some PCB test point pins for connection of the DCA test hooks.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/161393801838?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I also bought some simple 18 pin ZIF sockets as they appear to have 3/6 division marker built into them  :)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/261283934016?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

The SMT adapters come as a single PCB that may be broken into individual mini pcbs.

The DCA75 has also just arrived. Yet to unbox it....next job on my to-do list  :)

Aurora
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 11:36:35 am by Aurora »
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Offline SteveyG

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2015, 11:40:50 am »
Now a bit of an off the wall comment on your product if I may....... I have used a lot of expensive test equipment in my career and most is either bench format (large) or hand portable (such as a Fluke 87 multimeter) One sad comment I have heard from others is that though your units are good, they look too small ! From this I am reading that sometimes if an equipment is very small, some people misinterpret its capabilities and quality. If you were to place your DCA75 into a small (but overly volume generous) bench case (as AMSTRAD famously did with his Hi-Fi's) it might make people more willing to spend £100 or so on it. Weird but I think possible true  :o  You could also employ a larger battery for longer run time and built in test sockets for leaded components. I must be honest and say I am not a great fan of the cases you use but that is very much personal taste I know.

I think the improvement wouldn't be to make it bigger as such, but just slight change in form factor more orientated towards bench operation - tilting bale, leads (pluggable?) on the front, battery door etc.
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Offline neslekkim

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #33 on: April 08, 2015, 12:00:09 pm »
I ordered, and just received a set of SMT adapter plates from adafruit. Great for use with the DCA75  :) Nice plated pads for either pressure or solder contact with the DUT. I will add some PCB test point pins for connection of the DCA test hooks.

Ah, clever, now I found that I have ordered those back in 2013, need to find them again ;), forgot that there was this many layouts on them.

 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2015, 01:24:59 pm »
Well I have had a play with the DCA75.

My opinion of it ? ........ very neat  :-+

What I like:

1. The units broad DUT testing and identification capability
2. The amount of data provided by the tests
3. The graphical representation of the DUT
4. The software with its excellent graphical representation of the DUT and commentary.
5. Portability
6. Reasonable cost. Not to be understated here as this is a wholly UK designed and built unit.

What I do not like so much:

1. The case shape. Sorry but I have always disliked the cases used by PEAK. They may have been designed to look 'funky' but, to me, they look like typical Chinese cheap plastic cases. The shape offers me nothing in ergonomics and does not sit well on my lap or bench. Sorry but this is an ergonomics fail for me. I can understand why a cheaper type of case was used for the £40 units as margins are very low, but part of me wishes that the DCA75 was a new product in a new case format for 'professional' users. It is a leap forward in that it has PC connectivity, so why not a change of case to go with such advances ?
2. No LCD backlight. Understandable to save battery power but backlight is expected these days for use in less than ideal lighting conditions and to aid legibility of the graphics. The option to have the backlight on should be a user choice.
3. The need to open the case and expose the PCB in order to fit the battery. Sorry that is less than ideal and it should be a closed case operation. This flaw is dictated by the cheap case used.
4. Fixed probe leads. I understand the intention to make the solution neat but sockets on the units case improves the useability as various test jigs for specialist DUT contacts may be connected. Not a biggy as the test clips can connect to jigs, but still less than optimum.
5. Case size. As already stated, I dislike the cases used, but the size is also an issue for me. A larger, more conventional rectangular case design would offer the possibility of a larger battery (and so backlight capacity ), integrated DUT test socket(s), test lead sockets and a more 'industrial' appearance, often associated with fine engineering, rather than cheap Chinese wares. Such a case should be both hand portable yet bench mountable to meet the needs of a broad customer base.

My comments on having used the unit:

I grabbed my 'odds & sods' semiconductor storage box and started testing the components on the DCA75. I was very impressed with the capabilities of the unit and its graphical display. I missed a backlight though. The software connectivity was flawless and the software installation simple. For me, the PC connectivity makes this unit so much more than other competing semiconductor testers and analysers. The PC software can display large clear colour coded pinout diagrams and a small commentary to the side explaining what the component is. There is then the capability to plot the various I-V graphs for the DUT and even plot more than one DUT on each graph for comparison purposes. In short, I love the PC software and will likely use the DCA75 in PC connected mode most of the time in my lab. I will only use the small internal LCD when out mobile. 

IMHO this is a very capable and useful little component analyser that has been built to a price that is still affordable to the hobbyist. It is designed and built in the UK and that is quite a feat in itself when wishing to keep costs down. Some of the design aspects are not to my liking, such as the case, but that does not stop the unit being excellent in terms of its abilities and performance. It should also be noted that the additions that I would like to see, such as a better case, backlight and DUT test sockets would all add to the BoM cost and so may take the unit out of the hobbyists price range. 

For those who really cannot live with the case design, it would not be difficult to  transplant the PCB into a posh instrument housing. The bad news is that such instrument cases can cost almost as much as the DCA75 !

I would heartily recommend the DCA75 to anyone who regularly works down to component level in repair or reverse engineering.

In spite of my less positive comments above I still wish to say "Thank you Peak for a great semiconductor analyser"

Aurora



« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 01:32:42 pm by Aurora »
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Offline Kjelt

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2015, 04:07:09 pm »
If anyone has any questions, suggestions or gripes then please do let me know.
Cheers,
Jez
It looks like there are enough interested potential customers on the forum, how about organizing a powerbuy or a eevblog discount code or free overseas shipping, for this month?  :)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 04:14:29 pm by Kjelt »
 

Offline PeakAtlas

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #36 on: April 15, 2015, 08:50:19 pm »
Hi All,

Thank you very much for your feedback, it's appreciated. I will consider all the suggestions and I will of course discuss these with my colleagues too. On the subject of an eevblog discount code, I do think it is an excellent suggestion. I will investigate the best way to proceed with something along those lines, I'll post some news in due course.

On a related note (related to some of the recent comments), I've just finished the design of a little stand for the Peak Atlas products that holds it at a nice angle of 30°:

     

     

I've 3D printed it and it does indeed work very well. It is in 2 parts that need simply screwing together with some pan-head self-tappers.

The stand grips onto the purpose-moulded recesses on the top and bottom edges of the Peak Atlas enclosure. It snaps satisfyingly in place and is slightly sprung (due to the centre beam) so it is held very securely and easily transferred to other units if desired.

I've attached the necessary files for anyone wanting to 3D print one or order one from one of the many 3D printing companies out there. The stand STL file includes a mysterious oval block, that's there to improve the quality of the 3D printing process (it helps to even out the layer printing time on the tapered areas), it can be discarded afterwards! Additionally, there are no overhangs greater than 40°, so it will print easily without support material.

Thanks once again for all the feedback so far.
Cheers,
Jez
 
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2015, 09:40:01 pm »
Hi Jez,

Great to hear from you again.

Thank you for spending the time designing a tilt stand for tour units. That will certainly improve the ergonomics of bench use  :-+

I had been looking at the case design and the two indents, top and bottom. I suspected the case was designed to take a belt clip as it has the appearance of a large pager unit. Your use of those mounting points is very neat.

Do you know whether Peak will be producing such stands in the future or is the only path to have it printed by a 3rd party ?

Thanks for reading our comments and I hope that you can see that your product is much liked, and your company respected for what it is achieving in the UK.

Aurora
« Last Edit: April 18, 2015, 11:17:25 am by Aurora »
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Offline PeakAtlas

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2015, 12:14:48 pm »
Hi Aurora,
Thanks for the reply. We will be investigating the possibility of getting this new Peak Atlas Stand moulded, although the viability is very volume dependent. If it was an optional accessory then the volumes may be quite small (compared to the number of instruments we make). If we supply one with every instrument as standard then the volumes would be sensible but the on-cost would need to be assessed as we wouldn't really want to increase the cost of the instruments to our customers. Like I said, we'll look into it further and hopefully have some news soon. In the meantime then I think 3D printing is a good option.
All the best,
Jez
 

Offline SteveyG

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2015, 02:42:40 pm »
This looks great - thanks for going to the effort of producing files for getting these 3D printed!
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #40 on: April 18, 2015, 11:10:42 am »
My "Jez stand" arrived today  :)

All I can say is ....perfect  :-+

I have posted pictures and comment here:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/new-video-peak-electronics-dca75-pro-semiconductor-analyser/msg654782/#msg654782

Aurora
« Last Edit: April 18, 2015, 11:17:57 am by Aurora »
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Offline markbee

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2015, 12:00:39 pm »
Thank you for your nice design! I printed it without any problems.
You could do without the oval block (which could be problematic if your bed adhesion is not very good) and exchange it with a "minimum time per layer" in your slicer software.

markbee

Hi All,

Thank you very much for your feedback, it's appreciated. I will consider all the suggestions and I will of course discuss these with my colleagues too. On the subject of an eevblog discount code, I do think it is an excellent suggestion. I will investigate the best way to proceed with something along those lines, I'll post some news in due course.

On a related note (related to some of the recent comments), I've just finished the design of a little stand for the Peak Atlas products that holds it at a nice angle of 30°:

     


 

Offline ThunderCat

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #42 on: November 14, 2017, 06:58:01 am »
I know this is an old topic but this stand looked like a nice addition to the Peak line. Was this ever implemented? Any other suggestions ever included?

Best,

Mike
 

Offline odessa

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #43 on: November 14, 2017, 07:16:52 am »
You can download the STL from peaks website if you have access to a 3d printer.

Bottom right column

http://www.peakelec.co.uk/acatalog/jz_accessories.html

« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 07:19:04 am by odessa »
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Offline Gyro

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #44 on: December 15, 2019, 11:01:07 pm »
Necroposting an old thread, I know...

I just went to the Peak accessories page, only to find that it has been revamped and the 3D printer files for the DCA75 stand no longer exist. I pulled the old page from Archive.org and found the zip file with the later dated 3D files. I've attached it for future reference - it's the 'full fat' stand, the 'low fibre' one seems to be lost.

P.S. Don't ask me what to do with it, my son printed mine!  :D
« Last Edit: December 15, 2019, 11:15:24 pm by Gyro »
Best Regards, Chris
 
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Online Kean

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Re: Peak DCA75 for $59 really?
« Reply #45 on: January 06, 2020, 11:18:10 am »
the 'low fibre' one seems to be lost.

Attached is the mk2 file, which I think is what you refer to as the "low fibre" version.
 
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