Author Topic: tiq probe - did not fund on Kickstarter - but will be going into production!  (Read 47757 times)

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Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #100 on: May 01, 2014, 08:37:45 pm »
@idpromnut:

Yes, tiq common is connected to USB ground. If you use a non-ground referenced USB supply then tiq floats (like a 2 pin phone charger or a USB battery). tiq has a choice of 2 ground pins on the device for grounding in this case (header pins on the prototype).

Float like a butterfly -

Mark

 

Offline fcb

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #101 on: May 04, 2014, 04:00:27 pm »
Just checked Kicktraq (http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1866698905/tiq-probe-a-new-way-to-debug-electronics-projects/) - doesn't look like this project will fund...

Offline Nerull

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #102 on: May 04, 2014, 05:41:50 pm »
Quote
but it MUST be battery powered

Don't forget you still need to ground it, so you're basically saying you're OK with 1 wire and not with 2. I accept that attaching the ground can be simpler than attaching power (if, say, it was croc clips), but OTOH not attaching anything at all (because you're grounded via USB) has to even simpler still :)

Sure, I would also like battery power - just dab and read. Magic! Then I remember about ground...

I often work on circuits powered from isolated supplies, and many USB power sources are isolated as well - USB ground may not always be at the same level as circuit ground.

An electrical failure in the probe taking my PC out with it is not a great thought either. I would strongly prefer an isolated USB interface and a ground clip.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 05:43:50 pm by Nerull »
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #103 on: May 04, 2014, 06:06:59 pm »
Firstly, a HUGE thank you to the awesome EEVblog early backers! Thank you for your interest in tiq and your support. It's not always easy to be an early adopter! Had a very strong start, thanks to you - please do let your friends know about tiq. We've got a ways to go yet on the KS campaign, but hard at work on the production version.

Production Version Enhancements

Received great inputs on tiq from hundreds of supporters, especially here on EEVblog, working hard to incorporate the most-desired features and changes into the production version of tiq - to make it even more useful and easy to use!

In the coming weeks I'll update the thread regularly about the progress and exactly what your KS rewards units/production units will look like.

Probe Tip

I've had several people ask for sharp tips, and for ability to change tips (in case they are damaged etc. and to be able to change out for other types of tips). The prototype tiqs have permanently attached tips, and they are more of the "DMM" type than "sub-mm SMT type" (they're supplied by a very well known US test clip manufacturer).

Current plan for the production probe tip is to rigidly mount and recess a standard 4mm banana plug inside tiq so that it can accept a variety of off-the-shelf probe tips. The housing will support the tip body, so the tips will be very solid.

Plan to supply tiq with a very nice replaceable probe tip, with a slender and SHARP stainless steel pin - which is also replaceable. And will supply spare pins, too! Testing and evaluating other off-the-shelf tips that will be compatible with tiq.

Power, Ground and Pulse Generator Connectors

Several supporters here have asked for auxiliary power connectors on tiq, apart from the standard USB power connector. In cases where tiq is powered directly from the device under test this could be more convenient, and auxiliary connectors would allow flexibility in cabling and connecting tiq.

Prototype tiqs use standard 0.1" pin headers for auxiliary ground and pulse generator outputs, worried that these are not robust enough for heavy use, planning to change these out for something much more robust.

So, planning to add compact, robust, standardized connectors for auxiliary power (+5V) and ground, for the auxiliary grounds (2x) and the pulse generator output pin. I'll have some pictures soon.

Enclosure

The tiq enclosure is a large part of the KS production plan - involving injection molding tooling and lots of detailed design. Supporters have given many inputs on this, including "make it as small as possible", "keep it light", "make it comfortable to hold" - so pushing hard on all these issues!

Looks like shouldn't have to increase volume, despite burying a 4mm plug, support and tip housing "channel" in the enclosure (it's quite a bit of volume that was previously mostly outside the enclosure). Will know in the next few days, and will post progress on this in future updates.

Thanks again to our supporters and backers - please keep the questions coming, and please remember to share tiq with folks you know will find it useful!

Keep on tiq-ing!

Mark
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #104 on: May 04, 2014, 06:16:05 pm »
It sounds fabulous now :)

Hope it meets the KS funding level, but what happens if it doesn't?
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #105 on: May 05, 2014, 06:44:02 am »
Of course there are many unknowns with a KS campaign, certainly too early to call this one. On a straight line we're right where we should be, but views on KS have slowed down - I've got a lot of effort going into spreading the word and hopefully having more people visit the KS page (we've been running consistently at 1 pledge per 10 views). I know all you fine folks are spreading the word, too  :-+

Apart from that, development of the KS/production version of tiq is continuing at full pace. 3D models are uploading to Shapeways tonight for a proof-of-concept of a new enclosure with the new probe tip, new connectors and a new curvier, sleeker shape  ;D And a revised PCB is in the works, too, to meet up with the trial enclosure.

So, I'm watching the KS numbers with keen interest, but development work is accelerating!

Cheers -

Mark
 

Offline fcb

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #106 on: May 06, 2014, 09:44:00 pm »
Thanks for the update Mark.  I also read the update & comments on the KS.

I have to say that whilst I don't really care about the internal battery in the tiq, I do see that it would be really neat option.  To get round the issues of posting a LiIon cell (if you were to consider it) I would probably try and incorporate a single AAA NiMh cell and boost converter.

Also, do you have a plan to release the unit if the KS fails?  Can you get round the tooling cost of a custom case some way?

Offline all_repair

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #107 on: May 06, 2014, 10:36:03 pm »
Just checked Kicktraq (http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1866698905/tiq-probe-a-new-way-to-debug-electronics-projects/) - doesn't look like this project will fund...

I hope it can be funded.  I am waiting to see can the promised change make tiq an "ease" tiq that is supposed to be for me.  Probe design and self powering are 2 essential requirement.
 

Offline quantumvolt

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #108 on: May 08, 2014, 12:34:38 am »
I like this project and hope it will be funded. However - as most projects do - imo it has some serious flaws. They are all mentioned in this thread, but can be hard to see using pink sunglasses  :-*

First - drop the custom case. Concentrate on the instrument PCB - not the slimness and 'beauty' of the wrapping. Put an acrylic plate as a second layer and screw it to the PCB via spacers/standoffs - the display and buttons will protrude from this 'front'.

Secondly - where the ground is going to be connected is TOTALLY up to the user. So is the powering of the device. So one end of the PCB has plugs/connectors for signal and ground, the other end has V+ and ground (battery on leads, battery plug-on, USB or PSU - up to the user).

If it doesn't fund, sell some finished PCB's and offer a standard box, or let people enclose them as they like (toilet paper core, cardboard and tape, a small plastic water bottle or 3D - it is the instrument that counts).

Nothing more to say except Good Luck.
 

Offline Zbig

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #109 on: May 08, 2014, 05:59:20 am »
I like this project and hope it will be funded. However - as most projects do - imo it has some serious flaws. They are all mentioned in this thread, but can be hard to see using pink sunglasses  :-*

First - drop the custom case. Concentrate on the instrument PCB - not the slimness and 'beauty' of the wrapping. Put an acrylic plate as a second layer and screw it to the PCB via spacers/standoffs - the display and buttons will protrude from this 'front'.

Secondly - where the ground is going to be connected is TOTALLY up to the user. So is the powering of the device. So one end of the PCB has plugs/connectors for signal and ground, the other end has V+ and ground (battery on leads, battery plug-on, USB or PSU - up to the user).

If it doesn't fund, sell some finished PCB's and offer a standard box, or let people enclose them as they like (toilet paper core, cardboard and tape, a small plastic water bottle or 3D - it is the instrument that counts).

Nothing more to say except Good Luck.

Thirdly - that's the most nonsense and ridiculous piece of advice I've read in a while. No one in their right mind would prefer a half-assed, hacked together prototype over a properly designed actual product in a custom enclosure. Toilet paper core? Plastic bottle? Seriously, are you drunk? The only reason some poeople sell hackaday-style products consisting of bare PCB, some acryllic and standoffs is because they have no resources and/or knowledge to do any better, not because that's somehow the new preferred way of things. Would you like using a DMM in a cardboard box, with some wires sticking out? Driving a car with no body?
 

Offline fcb

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #110 on: May 08, 2014, 08:12:39 am »
I like this project and hope it will be funded. However - as most projects do - imo it has some serious flaws. They are all mentioned in this thread, but can be hard to see using pink sunglasses  :-*

First - drop the custom case. Concentrate on the instrument PCB - not the slimness and 'beauty' of the wrapping. Put an acrylic plate as a second layer and screw it to the PCB via spacers/standoffs - the display and buttons will protrude from this 'front'.

Secondly - where the ground is going to be connected is TOTALLY up to the user. So is the powering of the device. So one end of the PCB has plugs/connectors for signal and ground, the other end has V+ and ground (battery on leads, battery plug-on, USB or PSU - up to the user).

If it doesn't fund, sell some finished PCB's and offer a standard box, or let people enclose them as they like (toilet paper core, cardboard and tape, a small plastic water bottle or 3D - it is the instrument that counts).

Nothing more to say except Good Luck.

Thirdly - that's the most nonsense and ridiculous piece of advice I've read in a while. No one in their right mind would prefer a half-assed, hacked together prototype over a properly designed actual product in a custom enclosure. Toilet paper core? Plastic bottle? Seriously, are you drunk? The only reason some poeople sell hackaday-style products consisting of bare PCB, some acryllic and standoffs is because they have no resources and/or knowledge to do any better, not because that's somehow the new preferred way of things. Would you like using a DMM in a cardboard box, with some wires sticking out? Driving a car with no body?
I think Mark's (tiq) decision to injection mold a casing is correct. So long as he uses the molding to create an ergonomic enclosure.  A couple of acrylic plates sandwiching a PCB might work if done right, it wouldn't have quite the same appeal - but I think it would find a market.  See bus-pirate.

I've backed this KS, because I could use the tiq - but the fact that there isn't really a demand for this unit (evidenced by the KS support and the lack of anything else out there) might be the biggest hurdle.

I love the fact that KS gives inventors the ability to prove an MVP prior to spending considerable personal funds on their dream.

Offline quantumvolt

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #111 on: May 08, 2014, 09:16:51 am »
Well - I am backing the project, but I doubt it will materialize. Freeing it from the fancy box would make the project scalable like any rectangular Atmega/PIC+1602+A few buttons&Some C-code board.

If I had the passion for the device that the OP says he has (and accordingly did not regard it as primarily business), I am sure I could start with 100 boards at USD 50 (or less) a piece. That is without the custom case.

The project is everywhere on the net and has seemingly little momentum. There are - as I write - 167 backers with an average of some 82.99 dollars - in total 13,860 USD. If one cannot deliver ones 'baby' for that (but needs 50 grand), then one probably cares more about the pink/blue dress than the child itself  :o   :-DD

Anyway - a useful instrument bare bone style, or another 'brilliant' idea evaporating in front of our eyes ... it's not my business. Back to my favourite adhesives - solder, glue, tape and chewing gum  >:D

 

Offline idpromnut

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #112 on: May 08, 2014, 11:28:23 am »
First - drop the custom case. Concentrate on the instrument PCB - not the slimness and 'beauty' of the wrapping. Put an acrylic plate as a second layer and screw it to the PCB via spacers/standoffs - the display and buttons will protrude from this 'front'.

<snip>

I think the biggest issue with this kind of packaging would be the fact that it completely changes the way that one would use the device (i.e. an uncomfortable casing would result in it sitting on the bench with leads rather than in your hand). I suppose it could work, but the few acrylic + PCB sandwiches that I own have rather sharp edges and are not pleasant to hold. And if you throw away the holding to use aspect of the tiq, it essentially becomes a bench-top device and should then be compared to various other more capable bench-top devices.

@Zbig - Note that the Bus Pirate was not intended to be held when being used.
 

Offline Zbig

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #113 on: May 08, 2014, 02:16:33 pm »
@Zbig - Note that the Bus Pirate was not intended to be held when being used.

You're responding the wrong person - I was ridiculing the idea of a "ghetto-tiq" all along ;) And the very first thing I've done with my Bus Pirate was to put it in a proper enclosure and, additionally, weigh it a bit with a metal slab so it won't slide all over the desk under the tension of the USB cable. There is no place for a bare-PCB "test equipment" on my desk. If it doesn't have an enclosure, it's not finished in my book, period ;)
 

Offline idpromnut

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #114 on: May 08, 2014, 02:48:34 pm »
You're responding the wrong person ...

Bah. Not enough coffee in the morning ;)
 

Offline scientist

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #115 on: May 08, 2014, 03:15:17 pm »
You could strike a deal with Sparkfun to sell it as a kit if the KS campaign doesn't get funded.
 


Offline Corporate666

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #117 on: May 09, 2014, 09:54:04 am »
Few other options for the case....

1) Make a mold and pot the whole thing (if possible) in clear epoxy.  A mold can be made in silicone to any shape one likes - as rounded, swoopy and ergonomic as desired.  Just have to be sure connector and switches slightly protrude from the mold cavity so they don't get glued shut

2) Make it from acrylic but not just two sandwiched pieces... acrylic can be heated up and draped over a (simple) form... this would allow for simple rounded shapes.  Or, just take a cylinder of acrylic and heat it in an oven and use a jig to squish the cylinder to an oval

3) CNC machine the housings out of plastic.  PCV, vinyl, polypropylene and polyethylene are very cheap materials... and then the case can be made to any shape desired (2D shapes much cheaper to machine than 3D of course).

All of the above are more labor intensive than injection molding and with a much higher per-piece cost, but then again - if you only need a couple hundred cases, it will be drastically cheaper than the cost of the mold plus a run of parts.
It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done.
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #118 on: May 09, 2014, 05:25:05 pm »
Thanks to all for the thoughts and ideas on the case.

it is the instrument that counts

Yes, the instrument is the most important part (and, apart from discussion of the power/USB and the pointy bit, tiq's functionality is well received).

If it doesn't have an enclosure, it's not finished in my book, period

And I totally agree with that statement.

Prototype tiqs have 3D printed cases - designed with OpenSCAD, 3D printed by Shapeways (using SLS). I admit the exterior is a little "blocky"  ;), but it is functional, and not hard or uncomfortable to hold. A lot of the focus on the proto case was interior features to retain and align the LCD etc. See the pic attached for reference.

Shapeways is printing a revised case design - this revision is primarily for fit checks of a new display and the promised revised power, ground and I/O connectors (see the update above, and on KS). It looks very different from the prototype, mainly by being much "curvier"  :)  I'll be posting an update this weekend with screen grabs of this "pre-final fit check case" (I won't have the Shapeways cases for another week or so). The production case will be developed from this version.

So, tiq will have a case, however it's born into the world! 3D printing's only drawback in this case (pun intended) is cost - the Shapeways price is about $25 for the case, vs. <$5 for injection molded, but without the tooling amortization. So, depending on the quantities, 3D is not out of the question. Now, if someone wants to dispense with the case and roll their own (that pun also intended!), then so be it! There is one supporter already designing his own 3D printed case to suit his own preferences.

I love the fact that KS gives inventors the ability to prove an MVP [minimum viable product]

I, too, love this about KS (despite what it might, or might not, do to me!?!?!). I'd really like others to be able to use this tool, since it's made my life easier. A successful KS campaign would mean I can devote (truly devote) the time to polish tiq, incorporate much of the great feedback and put it in an ergonomic case. If the KS doesn't meet the funding target, there are other options, many, but inevitably they will take longer, and probably reduce the amount of polish that can be applied...?!

A quick note on the KS campaign - using the various dashboard and tracking tools that are out there - once people see the tiq page on KS, they pledge (with a pretty constant "conversion rate"). My issue is getting enough people to GO to KS to take a look. Hitting social media hard now, trying to get the Hackadays etc. to cover it (any one know how to get a response from HaD??!). 23 days to go!

Best to all -

Mark


 

Offline casinada

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #119 on: May 09, 2014, 07:06:09 pm »
I like the project but I think the only thing is not making it as successful as it should is the price. Probably a magical $49 would have had it funded by now. Look at one of the projects you funded: 3D printer for $299 Wow. Good luck :)
« Last Edit: May 09, 2014, 07:09:28 pm by casinada »
 

Offline Lizerd

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #120 on: May 10, 2014, 05:16:03 am »
markhen: Nice meter.  Can you show a picture of the backside of the PCB ?
Been checking this thread but failed to find any backside picture of the PCB.
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #121 on: May 10, 2014, 11:17:59 pm »
Nice meter.  Can you show a picture of the backside of the PCB ?

Here you go, backside of prototype board.

Note the production version will be mechanically quite different (a Kickstarter update coming today which will explain most of these - I will link in below for EEVbloggers).

Enjoy -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #122 on: May 11, 2014, 01:40:43 am »
As promised, I've just posted a tiq update on the KS page (update #2). I'll summarize here, full update is at:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1866698905/tiq-probe-a-new-way-to-debug-electronics-projects/posts

Quick summary:
  • tiq will be at the Bay Area Maker Faire next weekend (May 17-18)! Contact me if you want to experience tiq in person! email: tiq@innavatus.com, Twitter: @Innavatus
  • brighter, larger LCD selected for production - you have to see the difference to believe it!
  • replaceable probe tips with replaceable needles for production
  • 2mm banana jacks for ground connections (3x), 5V power input (in addition to the USB plug) and pulse generator output
  • 3D model of the revised enclosure, now curvier and sleeker - currently out for 3D printing

    Keep tiq-ing!

    Mark
 

Offline free_electron

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5 and 3.3 volt only ? dinosaur technology...


where is the 2.5 1.8 1.2 and 0.9 volt ?

Simply give the damn thing a programmable hi and lo level. all you need is use two dacs from the cpu and two fast comparators to make a window detector.
dacs can be mad using pwm channels and filtering if needed. twin fast comparator can be found in sot 23 or msop 8.

Then tiq could tell us : this is valid high and valid lo. you  could even have auto-identify.

I see a usb port : can we have that isolated please / i do not like poking probes attached to my computer in a random test point.
give tiq a small prism cell liion it would have a few hours autonomy. charge through isolated usb dc dc converter.

For space saving reasons : your display module is too big and too thick(as in pcb and frame size compared ot actuall glass size) . look at a cog type display. i would dump the char lcd and switch to a graph lcd like the DOGM series. or a 1.8 inch 128x32 pixel

get rid of the three pushbuttons change to a rotatry encoder with thumbwheel operation (panasonic has those. you can scroll and click using your thumb . digikey has stock )  much more flexible.

using a cog display you could fit the board behind display and attach the prism cell lengthwise. it would become much thinner and narrower.

just my 2 cents...

otherwise its a great idea. it just needs some industrialization tweaks...

oh, and please keep colorblind people in mind ! red /green is a VERY bad choice ....
use RED for high , blue for low.

amber, green , red are indistinguishable for most colorblind people ( red/ green is the most prevalent one )
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 04:21:40 am by free_electron »
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Offline markhen

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@free_electron

Thanks for the solid inputs and comments, some notes below.

where is the 2.5 1.8 1.2 and 0.9 volt ?

As mentioned earlier in this thread, I'm evaluating other logic voltages for this version of tiq. I'll be updating on any extended support during the KS campaign (prior to the end date).

Then tiq could tell us : this is valid high and valid lo.

Yes, tiq does this for 3.3V and 5V (and will for other voltages if extended support is rolled out in the KS version).

I see a usb port : can we have that isolated please / i do not like poking probes attached to my computer in a random test point.

USB port does not have to be connected to a computer - for Arduino etc. that is very convenient - but you can power from ANY USB source (phone charger, USB battery etc.). And in the KS version you also have option of powering via a pair of 2mm bananas.

look at a cog type display.

Yes! The display shown in today's KS update (#2) is indeed a COG type, this is most likely the production display, and yes, it is much more compact (all dimensions) - and much better to view.

get rid of the three pushbuttons change to a rotatry encoder with thumbwheel operation (panasonic has those. you can scroll and click using your thumb . digikey has stock.

I thought so too, tried them out, and found they are hard to operate in a probe-type configuration (where pointer finger is trying to stabilize probe). It was too easy to click when trying to scroll. So I'm vetoing that one - executive privilege  ;)

oh, and please keep colorblind people in mind ! red /green is a VERY bad choice ....
use RED for high , blue for low. amber, green , red are indistinguishable for most colorblind people ( red/ green is the most prevalent one )

Thanks for pointing this out, one of our Beta testers was specifically chosen because he is color blind. Also, the LCD carries the same information (in text) as the LED, so one does not have to rely on the LED color alone.

And from your PM:
Quote
dump the lcd and go for Oled

Have evaluated several OLEDs and many LCDs - putting a display in a device this size is a bit like Goldilocks - they're either too small, or too large.... Definitely true for OLEDs. The KS tiq will be LCD.

otherwise its a great idea.

THANKS!!

Regards -

Mark
 


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