Author Topic: tiq probe - did not fund on Kickstarter - but will be going into production!  (Read 47399 times)

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Offline markhen

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tiq did not meet its goal on Kickstarter June 1st, 2014. However, I am determined to continue development of this concept and deliver to the electronics community. I will update as progress is made!!

Best regards to all -

Mark

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tiq will be visiting the Bay Area Maker Faire May 17-18! Please email tiq@innavatus.com or tweet to @Innavatus if you'd like to see tiq!

Regards -

Mark

============================
Many thanks t the thousands (!) of EEVbloggers who viewed and commented on tiq over the last couple of weeks!

As promised, you are the first community to be notified - tiq is going live on KS today (I'm pushing the button in the next hour, not sure how long takes KS to activate!?!)!!!

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

Your continued support and encouragement is hugely appreciated!

Best regards and thanks -

Mark

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Greetings, fellow EEVbloggers!

I’m preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign and wanted to preview it here on the forum. I’ll post the link when the campaign goes live.

The product is a handheld debug probe called “tiq”.

tiq is intended as a first-line and field tool, not a replacement for other tools, to give fast, detailed information for zeroing in on problems – many times it should be all you need.

(edit April 18) This one minute video shows what tiq does: http://youtu.be/aNhjCvGdqkA

As an electronics hobbyist and professional, for decades I wanted a handheld probe that could give fast and detailed information about embedded projects I was working on, where I was working on them.

I wanted something that would fill the gap between DMM/probe and scope/analyzer, with good performance, and fit into a compact probe. tiq is aimed directly at that gap. I also wanted ability to generate test pulse streams to drive circuits, servos etc.

So, here's what tiq offers:

- Handheld, displays all information close to the probe tip (if you look away, the probe WILL slip!)
- Automatic function switching based on node activity, fully autoranging - no adjustments or triggering required
- Logic state probe with LCD, LED and audible indicators (l21st Century logic probe)
- Logic pulse analyzer (frequency, pulse high & low times, duty cycle)
      - DC to 20MHz, pulse analysis down to <100nS (66MHz sample rate)
- Auto-ranging and auto-polarity voltmeter (+28Vdc to -13Vdc)
- Built-in logic pulse generator
      - <100nS to 999mS, n pulses or continuous (66MHz clock)
      -  3.3V or 5V logic levels
- USB powered - connect directly to your development PC, USB battery etc.

I’m attaching pictures of a prototype tiq and a chart comparing tiq to common debug tools – appreciate your thoughts.

Looking forward hearing where this tool fits with the EEVblog community!

Cheers –

Mark
« Last Edit: June 03, 2014, 09:41:05 pm by markhen »
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Sounds interesting - I might be tempted to let a few dollars escape my grasp :)

What's the ballpark cost going to be?
 

Offline Bored@Work

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I delete PMs unread. If you have something to say, say it in public.
For all else: Profile->[Modify Profile]Buddies/Ignore List->Edit Ignore List
 

Offline markhen

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dunkemhigh:

The early-bird Kickstarter price is going to be USD $79.

Bored@Work:

I should describe tiq a little more, because tiq really is not like the examples you give (but thanks for the words of encouragement ;-) !!). You'll see in the PDF attached to my first post a lot more comparison information to illustrate.

SuperProbe is a great DIY probe - I own one. It has a 4 digit 7 segment display, many manually selectable modes that run one at a time, and implements everything in firmware on a 20MHz PIC. Highly recommended for a cool weekend DIY project.

tiq displays state, timing and voltage information on a 32 character LCD, an RGB LED and with audio tones, automatically changes modes depending on what you probe (state display <-> pulse analysis display <-> voltmeter), runs the pulse generator independently of the analyzers, and implements all the performance critical functions on a 66MHz pSoC 5LP in HARDWARE (pSoC features reconfigurable digital AND analog hardware!).

Thanks for the links on the handheld oscilloscopes - tiq is definitely not a handlheld 'scope, nor is it trying to be one.

Handheld 'scopes will always suffer from the "severely cramped screen syndrome", and usually have limited performance, too. There's no surprise the RPS2050 'scope you link was a commercial failure - at $255 with a 128x64 1.1" display it was certain! For that money you can get a great performing Hantek DSO5072P or equivalent! No, tiq is not trying to be this.

The classic Wittig/Radio Shack handheld 'scope has an even lower resolution screen (16 x 32 !!!) and low bandwidth (yes, I own one of these, too...). I don't agree it was a commercial failure, they sold a bunch, and there was a slightly-larger screen model, too. People talk about it with that glow we old electronics buffs usually reserve for glowing LED displays.... Plus, if you can find one in good condition, snap it up, it's becoming a collector's item :-)

gabotronics apparently does a steady trade in small format 'scopes, and has had 3 successful KS campaigns, and DSO Quads seems to fly off the shelves, so let's not paint all small format scopes with the same brush - there is demand for them.

tiq sidesteps the handheld-'scope-small-display trap and uses it's displays to show logic states (5V and 3.3V), high performance pulse analysis (freq, high, low, duty - to 20MHz and sub-100nS for period measurements) and voltmeter - automatically, autoranging, without adjustments or triggering. And, unlike small format scopes, all the displays are right at the probe tip!

I've been hacking for over 40 years, and the reason I made tiq - originally for myself - is that there really hasn't been anything like it - ever :-)

Regards -

Mark
 

Online dunkemhigh

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The early-bird Kickstarter price is going to be USD $79

Cool. The primary problem, from my view, of the rps thing B@W mentions was price: we are talking serious wonga for something you may or may not find useful. But at $79 I'd buy one right now  :-+
 

Offline Neganur

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I think you're giving yourself too good grades in your comparison pdf. Everything is top marks, is this advertisement or an honest display of the capabilities?

Better than an DSO to visualise >30 ns pulses on that tiny LCD? The very thing a DSO is a DSO for?
A DSO has a hard time to trigger on low duty cycle signals?
Mixed logic levels? I don't understand the use of this, if you're measuring different busses, what's stopping you from changing the threshold on the other instruments?
What is marginal logic level? If it is marginal it is out of spec (runt pulse?) or maybe I just misunderstand the purpose?

Perhaps define the measurement types a bit better, e.g. you compare against common instruments but you choose awkward measurements like finding floating connections, ease of use (but you really mean, auto setting, auto scale, is this really preferable?), but is that why I reach out for that instrument?

Perhaps also lower the amount of given grades from 3 positives and 1 negative to positive/neutral/negative, e.g.  +/ N.A. / - or similar.



« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 12:00:51 pm by Neganur »
 

Offline markhen

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Neganur:

Thanks for the great inputs and questions. Yes, this is an honest display of capabilities, but please excuse some of my paternal enthusiasm  :) I suppose this is an advertisement, since I'm asking people to back the project on Kickstarter, but I honestly believe tiq is a really novel and useful tool - I had the idea for decades, but I couldn't build it as compactly and low cost as I wanted until some of the great stuff we have now came along.

I've been using prototype tiqs to debug projects for the last 6 months, I realized that lots of other folks could get as much benefit from this little thing as I am, so I decided to KS it and hope that many other makers/hackers can have one, too!

Your ideas on the PDF comparison are well taken - I have revised it with your inputs in mind! Thank you (attached here).

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Perhaps also lower the amount of given grades

Great suggestion, thanks. I picked "I'll reach for it every time" (green), "I"ll use it often" (orange), and "I probably won't use it?" (red). Disclaimer: tiq gets more greens with this (much more useful) scoring method  ;)

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Better than an DSO to visualise >30 ns pulses on that tiny LCD? The very thing a DSO is a DSO for?

tiq doesn't visualize pulses (like a 'scope does), but it will give you the pulse timing instantly by just probing a pin (freq, high, low time and duty %). The DSO is of course excellent at visualizing, good at measuring, but in a  situation like "let me look at what the signal timing is on this pin" tiq will give you an answer faster and easier than a DSO! Truly! And in common cases it will be a LOT easier and faster than with a 'scope/DSO - like low duty cycles, single pulses, moving through a circuit with widely differing timings etc.

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A DSO has a hard time to trigger on low duty cycle signals?

I find even on DSOs it's hard to see very low duty cycle signals (very common in embedded circuits). Yes, triggering can be difficult, especially when you're not sure what you're looking for (like while debugging!). And of course viewing narrow pulses separated by long times requires zooming in and out to see each part - for VERY low duty you might not even be able to see the narrow pulse at all when zoomed out (although triggered). Since tiq only has to display the numbers it doesn't care if they are orders of magnitude different!

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Mixed logic levels? I don't understand the use of this, if you're measuring different busses, what's stopping you from changing the threshold on the other instruments?

Yes, you can change the range or threshold on other instruments, but on tiq you don't need to - it's automatic! That's the beauty!

Quote
What is marginal logic level? If it is marginal it is out of spec (runt pulse?) or maybe I just misunderstand the purpose?

Sorry, I did not explain this (it's now in the PDF) - I mean logic levels that are very close to the thresholds - most usual example being heavily loaded outputs. This can lead to lots of intermittent and hard to catch problems. tiq shows you the logic level interpretation (based on built-in thresholds), plus the actual node voltage, and an "analog bar graph" to visualize how close the node is to the thresholds. Convenient, handy, automatic.

Quote
you choose awkward measurements like finding floating connections, ease of use (but you really mean, auto setting, auto scale, is this really preferable?), but is that why I reach out for that instrument?

Yes! Exactly! That is why you reach out for tiq! It's a debug tool, born from the callouses on my gnarled old hands (and too many late night debug sessions)!!!

Thanks again, and happy debugging.

Mark
 

Offline GiskardReventlov

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What's the proper etiquette to wish someone well on a Kickstarter campain? Break a leg? or Good luck?
Take either or.

I like the idea. The display's got to be bigger. I might even like to have it be detachable so I can set it in an easy to read location/position.

 

Offline markhen

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GiskardReventlov:

Thank you! I appreciate the wish of luck and your endorsement of the idea.

Quote
The display's got to be bigger. I might even like to have it be detachable so I can set it in an easy to read location/position.

I have "old eyes" so really appreciate display size issue... My "prime directive" for tiq is "place all the information displays as close to the probe tip as possible so you don't have to  look away". Part of the logic (no pun intended) is that if you're squinting at a very tiny pin to place the probe, having a small-ish display nearby isn't going to strain your eyes any more than that dang pin is already!!

The RGB LED is used to illuminate the probe, and the color indicates the state of the pin - so you don't have to look at the LCD display with static nodes (white=float, green = low, cyan = 3.3V high, blue = 5V high, yellow=pulsing, red = non-logic voltage).

So that's how tiq ended up looking like this. The display is very readable (good contrast, with a soft backlight glow), albeit "compact"!

I'm planning future models, option of external displays is now on that list, thanks.

Don't let the smoke out -

Mark


 

Offline uprightsquire

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Are you left handed?

Thats screens going to be hard to see when its in your right hand.
 

Offline markhen

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Are you left handed? Thats screens going to be hard to see when its in your right hand.

Ha! Yes! You spotted it! So far 100% of tiqs have been for left handers (well, one left hander...).

The Kickstarter tiq will be available in right handed and left handed models (same price).

Left on -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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Here's a short video (just over one minute) that shows tiq in action - it should help answer all the questions above - please check it out if you're interested in a new way to test your circuits:

http://youtu.be/aNhjCvGdqkA

Cheers -

Mark


 

Offline CanadianAvenger

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if you replace the text matrix LCD with a small graphic one [they run about the same price] you can use an accelerometer or other orientation sensor to flip the image on the display, this way you don't need left and right-handed versions.
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Good idea with the LCD, but the controls and LED would be on the bottom face and tricky to use.

Maybe he could be an LCD on each side - sometimes even right handers will want to hold it left handed.
 

Offline codeboy2k

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What's the proper etiquette to wish someone well on a Kickstarter campain? Break a leg? or Good luck?
Take either or.

I like the idea. The display's got to be bigger. I might even like to have it be detachable so I can set it in an easy to read location/position.

This is my one beef with probes like this... The vertical display while you're probing vertically, so you have to read sideways, and then sometimes there's room glare so you can't read it, so you have to twist it about until you can read it... and then in doing so you risk a short on your board that way...

voice would be nice :)

or a probe that sends its data to a local server that can be viewed by a google glass wearer :) finally a good use for glass...


 

Offline codeboy2k

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I just saw the video... well done! functionality seems quite good and it's fast too.  :-+  I like the functionality, I see it can be useful for some type of work, but due to my personal preference I don't like those large probes with displays you read from the side :)

I won't be buying one, but good luck with your kickstarter .. Break a lead!  :)


« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 10:52:29 pm by codeboy2k »
 

Offline janoc

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This sounds interesting, I am actually looking at replacing my ancient logic probe - I still like it better than having to poke around the board with a scope probe or spend a long time setting up my logic analyzer when I only need to quickly check something.

However:

* Does it do short pulse extension for logic signals? This is an absolutely essential feature for capturing non-periodic signals - e.g. that elusive CS or strobe signal. One very neat way to do this is a simple 4 bit counter as opposed to a monostable flip-flop - in that way any spurious signals (e.g. switch bounce) are immediately visible.

* Please make it possible to power it from the target circuit. Something like 3.3-15V input would be perfect. USB is cool and whatever, but it is not available everywhere, tying the ground of the DUT to the ground of your PC may be undesirable (noise, ground loops, galvanic isolation, etc.) and I have certainly more places around where to hook a crocodile clip than an USB plug. If you want USB power, keep it as an option, but not the only one.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 11:53:27 pm by janoc »
 

Offline tom66

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How well does it work with intermittent logic signals?

I've only encountered a few types which are continuously repetitive, with no additional modulation. Recently, I'm working on a large scale art installation with 50+ LED PWMs. Something like this would be VERY useful... But over the rest of the PCB, the signals are mostly non-repetitive, clock and data lines for example.

Can it decode things like UART? - auto baud sync would be useful (sometimes difficult to implement though.)  What about 1-wire bus? Obviously wouldn't work with I2C/SPI as you have clock & data - unless you give it a second input but that  takes away from its usability.

It'd be nice to see it with a bright display like a VFD or OLED; the LCD looks hard to read at an angle. At least use a backlit LCD with a high contrast display (please do not use blue & white!!)
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Looks interesting.

Some questions:

  • does the LCD have a backlight?
  • can the logic probe also detect High-Z instead of just high and low?
  • is a fast continuity beeper function included?
  • can it decode UART signals? I mean display the text on the lcd and show the bps 8N1 etc.? This would be very handy when searching for serial ports on unknown devices.
  • why not battery powered? The less wires hanging off, the more easy to use. And USB has the problem with grounding.
  • why just 3.3v and 5v? A lot of modern devices are 1.8V - and you write "21st century"...
« Last Edit: April 19, 2014, 10:58:20 am by electronic_eel »
 

Offline markhen

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@CanadianAvenger, dunkemhigh, codeboy2k, tom66, electronic_eel:

On Displays - "engineering is the art of compromise" - very true when trying to get useful displays into a compact device...

Quote
you can use an accelerometer or other orientation sensor to flip the image on the display, this way you don't need left and right-handed versions.

Yes, definitely looking at this approach for the KS unit, and others (including dunkemhigh's two sided idea, but maybe not codeboy2k's ultimate Google Glass!!?). With a single RH/LH unit it seems always need redundant buttons? Which could be ok if they're not in the way, and/or disabled for accidental pushes when not "on top"? Multiple alternatives on the drawing board right now...

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It'd be nice to see it with a bright display like a VFD or OLED; the LCD looks hard to read at an angle. At least use a backlit LCD with a high contrast display

The current LCD (mini 16x2) has a green backlight, good contrast and decent viewing angle and is pretty readable overall (I have bad over-50 eyes and it works well for me). OLEDs are interesting, but sourcing is a little more tricky (just a little more). High contrast, light emitting and good viewing angles. Some coming in for eval as we talk.

Shine a light on it -

Mark

 

Offline markhen

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@janoc, electronic_eel:

On Power and grounds:

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Please make it possible to power it from the target circuit ...If you want USB power, keep it as an option, but not the only one.

A planned Kickstarter rewards (by itself) and reward levels (provided with a tiq probe) will be a very compact, wide-input (3Vdc - 15Vdc) power supply for tiq - it will have crocodile clips for attachment to DUT (or other supply) and a mini B USB cable to power the tiq. This approach minimizes the heft in the probe and doesn't add to the wires hanging off the back.

Seems USB chargers and ports are ubiquitous these days, and often embedded targets are USB powered from computer (Arduino et al), so for a large number of users tiq's mini USB B power connector should provide a lot of flexibility by itself.

Quote
Why not battery powered?

Battery power is the "most asked for feature" so it is going on the list, although not for the KS model, probably an option for a post-KS model. Originally was going to put this into the first tiq, but didn't really want the extra weight in there, maybe some bulk, long-term maintenance issues of batteries (my first-gen logic probe has lasted 30 years with no maintenance  :-+ ).

When I needed to take proto tiqs into the field I tried out a cheapo USB battery (from that auction site) and found this to be very usable. Another advantage of that USB power - lots and lots of commodity options for power!! Example picture attached.


On Grounding:

For those wondering about ground connections, tiq has 3: 1) through the USB cable (which can be to a floating USB charger or USB battery), 2) one pin of the 3 pin header accessible through the top of the unit near the rear (see attached picture - one of the other pins is the pulse generator output) and 3) pin header adjacent to the probe (see picture).

Keep your feet on the ground -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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@janoc, tom66, electronic_eel:

On short and non-repetitive signals:

Quote
Does it do short pulse extension for logic signals? This is an absolutely essential feature for capturing non-periodic signals - e.g. that elusive CS or strobe signal.

tiq has a "single shot" acquisition mode (in addition to "continuous" (BTW there are a dozen or so user values entered via menus, these are all saved in EEPROM). In single shot mode, pressing one of the buttons "arms" the pulse capture (see picture attached - SORRY IT'S BLURRY!!). When a pulse is detected (>30nS) the pulse is analyzed and displayed (see picture). If it was a single pulse the "other" pulse time (high or low) will be blank. If there was more than one pulse, the "other" time will be displayed as well. To capture another pulse, press the button to re-arm. This allows you to catch many of those elusive, once-in-a-long time pulses.

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How well does it work with ... non-repetitive signals?

Of course not all signals are repetitive, for data lines and most other types of non-repetitive signals, analog 'scopes, and tiq, only really show that there is logic activity (the pulse analyzer will continue to measure freq, pulse times, duty cycle, but will be constantly changing numbers). DSOs can be frozen to dig in deeper, and of course the logic analyzer is king for data.

So, if you're probing non-repetitive signals, tiq will tell you there's logic activity, then you'll need to use a DSO or logic analyzer if you need to see what the data is. This is in keeping with the general approach of tiq - one convenient instrument to use first to tell you a LOT about the circuit, without adjustments, so you can decide whether to use the higher end instruments on the bench.

Quote
Can it decode things like UART?

Currently, no. tiq has the necessary hardware internally to do this, but UART decode is not implemented, and not planned for the KS model (perhaps for a future tiq model). For me the main sticking point is that in most cases data will scroll off the small screen too fast to be useful? That said, I think a function that could figure out the baud rate, number of bits and parity settings (without data display) could be very useful (as electronic_eel suggests). That would help with getting serial interfaces up and running, for sure.

Apologies about the quality of the attached "screenshots" - done in a hurry with my iPhone!

Mark



 

Offline markhen

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@electronics_eel:

Answering your questions:

Quote
does the LCD have a backlight?

Yes the LCD has a backlight - see also post above for other display-related answers.

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can the logic probe also detect High-Z instead of just high and low?

Yes, tiq detects high-Z conditions - this is a very handy feature of tiq that is not present in most other tools. The probe is WEAKLY pulled to about 0.68V by >1Mohm, so it will be at an illegal logic level if the line is floating. The display will show an "F" (floating), the bar-graph shows it's not a legal L or H, and the voltmeter shows the actual tip voltage. And the RGB LED will be white (like a flashlight  ;) ). See picture attached.

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is a fast continuity beeper function included?

No, there is no continuity function in the KS version of tiq. Perhaps in a future model.

Quote
can it decode UART signals?

No, the KS model will not decode UART signals, see post above.

Quote
why not battery powered? The less wires hanging off, the more easy to use.

Regarding batteries and USB power, please see the post above.

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why just 3.3v and 5v? A lot of modern devices are 1.8V - and you write "21st century"...

Ah, you got me. "21st Century" without 1.8V, eh?! Yes, you are right. I'm looking into offering this the KS models, thanks for the bump  :-+

Thanks for the interest and the great questions -

Mark
 

Offline janoc

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A planned Kickstarter rewards (by itself) and reward levels (provided with a tiq probe) will be a very compact, wide-input (3Vdc - 15Vdc) power supply for tiq - it will have crocodile clips for attachment to DUT (or other supply) and a mini B USB cable to power the tiq. This approach minimizes the heft in the probe and doesn't add to the wires hanging off the back.

Seems USB chargers and ports are ubiquitous these days, and often embedded targets are USB powered from computer (Arduino et al), so for a large number of users tiq's mini USB B power connector should provide a lot of flexibility by itself.

Oh please, don't do this. Having a rather bulky probe *and* a "power brick" connected to it externally is going to be extremely annoying, a real deal breaker, IMO. What is so difficult to just put a regulator/DC-DC converter inside together with an extra connector (e.g. a barrel jack)? I am quite sure it could fit inside just fine and it costs peanuts.

Also mechanically the USB connector is a rather poor choice for a power connector on a moving device - the USB cables tend to be rather bulky and stiff, it will be putting a lot of strain on the connector as you move the probe around. Over time the connector will loosen up and the cable will be dropping out.


 

Offline markhen

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@janoc:

Understand your concerns, truly, and take to heart. Going to field a group of beta test units in the coming weeks and see how this all fares in the hands of users.

I wish there was a single really good solution here, and if we can zero in on that we'll all be winners!?

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Having a rather bulky probe *and* a "power brick" connected to it externally is going to be extremely annoying

tiq says - "my bright red case only makes me LOOK bulky" :( Seriously, everything is being tried to make the KS version as svelte as possible, since we're all worried about a "fat probe" (?!). Believe me, at 100mm x 15mm x 30mm the prototypes are really not that bulky (and I have small hands)! tiq is currently "full", so putting in a DC-DC (with adequate cooling for when you run it off 12V) will add volume.

The "power brick" is actually about 1 cubic inch (15cc) and more of a "bump in the cable" than something you'd put your coffee cup on. It's just a tiny SEPIC converter - but still significant in size vs. the determined-to-lose-bulk-tiq...

Thanks -

Mark


 

Offline andyturk

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Cool project! Bonus points for using PSoC5.  ;D

I'm not a fan of those LCDs though. What about something like this? They're quite readable at almost any angle for interior conditions. The OLEDs aren't so great in sunlight, but that's not an issue here.

Can you eliminate the USB power requirement? There ought to be enough room for a battery inside the probe itself. It would make the tiq easier to move around on the bench and also help with isolation issues.

Will the firmware be upgradeable? Open Source, maybe?
 

Offline codeboy2k

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I agree with not using USB for power... There are 2 extra wires and unnecessary shielding there that makes the USB cable really inflexible for this device.

I have an awkward time moving my android phone around on the table while it's charging off it's USB connector.

If you also have plans for the USB connector to actually do USB transfers at some point in the future, then I can see your desire to want to keep it.   If this is a future possibility, then I suggest supplying a simple 2-wire USB plug with red/black power and ground croc clips or pincers would be superb to power the device... and don't depend on VUSB to be 5V, but allow for any voltage between 1.8 up to 15V using a small buck-boost DC-DC converter inside. Then you can have the best of both worlds, and the internal buck-boost DC-DC makes it ready for battery operation too.


 

Offline markhen

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@andyturk, codeboy2k and others contributing on the power subject:

If we add or substitute a power(-only) connector, what would be a GREAT choice (not just another choice)??!! And one that everyone can love!!? I'd hate to swap this out for something with just another set of problems....

I know the USB socket has its issues, but I really don't think barrel connectors are much better (in terms of lifetime, reliability, plug compatibility, size etc. - just to pick on one alternative)??

So, what would make this aspect of tiq AWESOME?!?  (The power connector and cable.)

Thanks for the inputs!

Power up -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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@andyturk:

Quote
Cool project! Bonus points for using PSoC5.  ;D

Thanks for the kudos on the pSoC 5LP use! The Cypress pSoCs are FANTASTIC! tiq is implemented entirely inside a pSoC 5LP - I have multiple PAGES of digital and analog schematics all neatly loaded into the darn thing! The (free) Cypress IDE works really well, and it's as easy to use as an Arduino - but SO MUCH more powerful, fast, capable. Really, really recommended for your next project. I like the 5LP, it's the biggest and best, the pSoC 3 is also pretty neat, the newer pSoC 4 seems to be stripped down for certain applications, but cheap ($1 each right now?!) and still pretty useful.

tiq is almost a "text book" application for the pSoC 5LP, too, as it uses much of the digital and analog resources (counters, timers, logic, comparators, DACs, ADCs, opamps etc.).

Quote
What about something like ... OLEDs

Definitely considering other displays and OLEDs for the KS version. The problem with the common 1.1" (like you linked) is they are REALLY SMALL in person. The LCD in the the prototypes has a larger viewable area and larger pixels. I have 2 really good OLED candidates coming in the next week or so, a bit bigger, but won't increase the package size, and 2 really interesting LCD alternatives (one could DECREASE the package size without decreasing the viewable area, one would have THREE LINES for more info display (same character size as the prototypes)).

Quote
Will the firmware be upgradeable? Open Source, maybe?

Yes, there will be a way to upgrade the firmware.

No, the hardware and firmware will not be open source.

Cheers -

Mark
 

Offline codeboy2k

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@andyturk, codeboy2k and others contributing on the power subject:

If we add or substitute a power(-only) connector, what would be a GREAT choice (not just another choice)??!! And one that everyone can love!!? I'd hate to swap this out for something with just another set of problems....

I know the USB socket has its issues, but I really don't think barrel connectors are much better (in terms of lifetime, reliability, plug compatibility, size etc. - just to pick on one alternative)??

So, what would make this aspect of tiq AWESOME?!?  (The power connector and cable.)

Thanks for the inputs!

Power up -

Mark

Barrel connectors are fine, but micro-usb is clearly ubiquitous.   If you force them to use a specific sized barrel connector, it will anger them, even if you supply it, because they will lose the brick that has the power.   I think you will get the least push back from your users if you stick to a micro-usb connector.  This also allows you to upgrade the device in the future to actually do something with the USB connector without having to add it back later.  Users can power it from a USB hub with one of the millions of USB cables they already have lying about if they want to. 

So, my suggestion is to stick with the micro-usb connector, but don't expect them to use only a USB hub to power it.  You should also supply a lightweight power clip with micro-usb on one end and croc clips or grabbers on the other end for powering it from the DUT.  Use a lightweight 24-26 gauge, black/red stranded twisted pair or zip cord wire so it's flexible.
 

Offline electronic_eel

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An external power pack is not a good idea - when you need 2 parts to operate something, you will have forgotten to bring one of them when it counts.

So stick with a micro-usb (not mini-usb! micro-usb is what the phones have, so that is commonly available everywhere). But just for firmware upgrade and charging. To operate the thing from, you fit a small battery into your probe, something like this: http://www.adafruit.com/products/258. Charging / battery management ICs are available in all kinds and sizes, down to so small that you'll have a hard time soldering them.

My advice to you is to build a few prototypes of your current design and give them out to friends and colleagues. Collect feedback from them. Combine it with the feedback you got here. Write all suggestions on a paper and count how often you heard what. And then go back to the bench and implement the most often heard items (like included battery), even if you don't think they are neccessary. Think about the ones you haven't heard that often, implement them if you like them, or leave them out. And when you have a working model of your second generation - then you can go to Kickstarter.

You only have one shot with Kickstarter. The amount of people interested in such a device is limited. And I bet most of them will do a quick google, find this thread and think about the real shortcomings and minor nits discussed here.
 

Offline electronic_eel

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No, the hardware and firmware will not be open source.
Open Source Hardware has a few big advantages, among them:
  • You show that you are part of the hacker/maker community
  • You enable the buyer to improve the product himself if it is missing a feature important to him
  • If someone helped improving the product, he will be much more convinced by the product and spread the word
  • You don't have a "brand name" with established repudiation yet. So the buyer doesn't know how long you will stick around and support your product. With OSHW you can debug and fix all problems yourself. This works just like a lifetime warranty, it increases the value of your product

So why do you not want to make it OSHW? What do you fear?
Someone seeing and commenting on your code quality?
Some Chinese selling a 1:1 clone on ebay?
Someone changing your device, your baby, in a way you did not intend to?
Or something else?

Look at how other people in your position decided about this and what they got from it. Maybe even contact and ask some of them.

Here is a recent example of a successful kickstarter with OSHW: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nickjohnson/re-load-pro-a-dc-active-load

Think about this, try to imagine the effects of each choice. How will it affect you and the future of your product?
Then consider seriously.
 

Offline KedasProbe

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For the (bigger) movable screen you can add a Bluetooth LE. (Min. 10mW)
With the right app you could even have text to speech. (in case you don't want to look)
You would need to be able to choose to enable or disable the Bluetooth signal.
Not everything that counts can be measured. Not everything that can be measured counts.
[W. Bruce Cameron]
 

Offline GiskardReventlov

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@markhen, sounds like you're savvy but I felt obligated to remind you to beware the feature creeps. Get a version 1 out the door then consider more "features".
 

Offline markhen

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Quote
codeboy2k - well done! functionality seems quite good and it's fast too.  :-+  I like the functionality

Appreciate your encouragement and comments on functionality and speed  :)  , on the probe/display orientation and your preferences - for me the benefits of functionality (lots of info fast and automatically in a probe) vs. size and display orientation makes tiq the first instrument I reach for in my reasonably quipped lab. I believe this will be true for many others.

Quote
Janoc: my ancient logic probe - I still like it better than having to poke around the board with a scope probe or spend a long time setting up my logic analyze

The convenience and speed of checking things out with a probe-type instrument can't be beaten, the inspiration for tiq was my own "ancient logic probe" - built 30 years ago in a highlighter plastic case - tiq is approximately the same form-factor  ;)

Here's to fast and easy -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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@electronic_eel:

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stick with a micro-usb

Looking forward to hearing if others in the EEVblog community have an AWESOME alternative to the USB connector on tiq. So far USB in the lead!

Quote
fit a small battery into your probe, something like this: http://www.adafruit.com/products/258

For a probe-type device debugging embedded circuits there will be local power to use. Users are unanimous in wanting their probes smaller and lighter, adding a battery like this would double the mass and increase the size. So, the first version of tiq (on KS) will not have an internal battery (there may be future models for those willing to accept the tradeoffs).

Quote
build a few prototypes of your current design and give them out to friends and colleagues. Collect feedback from them.

Yes, doing exactly this. I've spent my entire career in product development, and by habit I follow a formal product development process, including serious user evaluation and validation.

Quote
The amount of people interested in such a device is limited.

This is your opinion, I think over 200 views per day here on EEVblog alone indicates otherwise. tiq provides powerful measurement capability in a low cost, compact device and provides real value to enthusiasts, makers, engineers, students, Arduino buyers, Raspberry Pi buyers and so on. Why would the number of people interested in this be limited??!!

Quote
real shortcomings and minor nits

Seems most all of the discussion is about the power connector - minor nit? Or real shortcoming? Otherwise comments look mostly like  :-+

Quote
Sounds interesting - I might be tempted to let a few dollars escape my grasp :) at $79 I'd buy one right now  :-+
I like the idea.
I just saw the video... well done! functionality seems quite good and it's fast too.  :-+  I like the functionality, I see it can be useful
This sounds interesting,
Something like this would be VERY useful...
Looks interesting.
Cool project!

Quote
No, the hardware and firmware will not be open source.

No, the hardware and firmware will not be open source.

Regards -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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@KedasProbe:

Thanks, Bluetooth LE is really interesting for instrumentation, I have the TI eval kits and plan future projects around these.

Interestingly speech output is asked for quite often, the hardware here could support some of that even natively  Hmmm. A probe that nags  ;D ?! Again, on the future feature list.

Regards -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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@GiskardReventlov

Thanks for the reminder, and yes, limit the feature creep! Repeat, repeat...!

I hope folks following along with this thread aren't losing sight of the REAL VALUE of tiq. The linked YouTube video shows most of this value:

The ability to make measurements around an embedded circuit and get logic, voltage and timing information by just touching the probe to pins - no selections or adjustments required.

We just don't have another tool that does this! So tiq might have a connector you don't love, a color you don't like and doesn't measure cosmic radiation, but I betcha it'll save you time and frustration which will make those nits insignificantly itchy!

Here's the video again: http://youtu.be/aNhjCvGdqkA

Onwards and upwards -

Mark
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 09:08:06 pm by markhen »
 

Offline tom66

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Got a picture of what the current hardware looks like, or a design plan? I'd like to see layout and component quality. Might consider the KS version myself.
 

Offline markhen

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NSFW (lol just kidding) - tiq porn!!!

It took longer than I expected for y'all to ask for the porn pictures! Thanks to tom66 for breaking the ice!

Here in all it's naked glory is the current proto rev of tiq. Case is 3D printed by Shapeways, design is intended for injection molding. There are 5 complete copies of this rev of tiq (Rev 2).

Also attached is a family picture showing the inspirational logic probe (green), Rev 0 (boxy), Rev 1 (bigger black buttons).

The KS model will be different in a number of detail ways, with the basic circuit, software and enclosure concepts enhanced (no fundamental changes).

Enjoy  :P

Regards -

Mark
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Is the tip you are using a custom made piece or is it commonly available at Digikey, Mouser,...? Tips wear out with time, so it would be good if they were easily replaceable.
 

Offline janoc

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So, my suggestion is to stick with the micro-usb connector, but don't expect them to use only a USB hub to power it.  You should also supply a lightweight power clip with micro-usb on one end and croc clips or grabbers on the other end for powering it from the DUT.  Use a lightweight 24-26 gauge, black/red stranded twisted pair or zip cord wire so it's flexible.

Micro-USB is probably the least robust of any USB connectors. The cable will fall out whenever you move the device after the connector has worn out a little bit. That is a really bad idea that will make people hate you rather quickly. If you want to keep USB for power, then mini USB is a much better (more mechanically robust) option.

However, I would really strongly suggest to find a way to power the device from something else than a "plugpack" and an USB connector. A battery, barrel jack, even two wires on 0.1" pin headers, I don't care, just not an USB cable hanging off a flimsy connector.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2014, 12:09:12 am by janoc »
 

Offline tom66

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If you're set on a mini USB port please use one with through hole mounting as the SMD ones get broken too easily.
Also I'm guessing most of the electronics are on the bottom or under the LCD?
 

Offline London Lad

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I love the tiq idea as a whole but the need for a USB lead hanging out the back for power would kill it for me.

It's annoying for bench work and a deal killer out and about fault finding. You simply have to remember to take too much stuff.

PLEASE make a battery version from the get go or if you REALLY feel the need for USB (for power) then do away with the socket and use a retained and very flexible silicone cable.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2014, 08:37:48 am by London Lad »
 

Offline codeboy2k

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Micro-USB is probably the least robust of any USB connectors. The cable will fall out whenever you move the device after the connector has worn out a little bit. That is a really bad idea that will make people hate you rather quickly. If you want to keep USB for power, then mini USB is a much better (more mechanically robust) option.

However, I would really strongly suggest to find a way to power the device from something else than a "plugpack" and an USB connector. A battery, barrel jack, even two wires on 0.1" pin headers, I don't care, just not an USB cable hanging off a flimsy connector.

I think having USB functionality on the device either now (for firmware updates) or in the future for data transfers is a good thing. So it makes no sense to have two power connectors and only adds to the cost. 

Micro-USB is designed to be more robust than Mini-USB. It has a positive retention latch; that shouldn't wear out after time, if it does than I blame that on crappy connectors; Note to OP.. don't go cheap on the connector :)

If you're set on a mini USB port please use one with through hole mounting as the SMD ones get broken too easily.
Also I'm guessing most of the electronics are on the bottom or under the LCD?

This is probably the single largest micro-usb failure seen to date; it's definitely a requirement to use a PTH connector here, or it will break away far too soon leaving the OP with plenty of angry customers. The tiq's connector will see high levels of lateral stress, torquing stress and rotational stress during its daily use.  The mounting here needs to be strong. 

The other option is to go with a thin lipo pack from the outset and just use the USB for charging not for powering the device.



 

Offline janoc

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Micro-USB is designed to be more robust than Mini-USB. It has a positive retention latch; that shouldn't wear out after time, if it does than I blame that on crappy connectors; Note to OP.. don't go cheap on the connector :)

Being designed and actual practical experience are different things. The latch you are mentioning is a little piece of bent metal that wears out over time. Both my phone and tablet have issues with holding a cable inside of their micro-USB connectors. Whenever the device moves, the cable will fall out sooner or later once the connectors are worn out a bit. If a probe connector was behaving like the connector on my 4 years old phone, the probe would take the shortest route to trash bin, because it would be constantly dropping out during use. This doesn't happen with mini-USB due to the larger surface area, thus more friction holding the connectors together.

Anyhow, there is no problem to use micro-USB for data connection (which is connected every once in a while), but don't use it with a stiff cable for power. That's a really horrible idea.

 

Offline 8086

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This doesn't happen with mini-USB due to the larger surface area, thus more friction holding the connectors together.

Well, it does happen, actually.

And the microUSB standard has the latch on the cable, not the device, so if it does wear out you need a new cable, not a new device.

MicroUSB is better, you just need to be able to leave the past behind and understand that smaller doesn't mean worse.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2014, 01:36:03 pm by 8086 »
 

Offline markhen

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@electronic_eel:

Quote
Is the tip you are using a custom made piece or is it commonly available at Digikey, Mouser,...? Tips wear out with time, so it would be good if they were easily replaceable.

The prototypes (as shown in photos above) use a stock tip from a very well known US manufacturer.

Evaluating a few other ideas, with long life and replace-ability high on the requirements list.

Good point -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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Thanks for all the inputs on the power connector, everything being seriously considered as beta units go out to users.

Moving on, do readers have any questions about the functionality of tiq?

To recap, tiq features:

- Probe any pin in your embedded circuit and get useful information without any adjustments or function/range switching!
- Compact, light, handheld probe
with displays close to probe tip (prototypes are 100mm x 30mm, 15mm)
- High performance pulse analyzer (frequency to 20MHz, pulse high/low measurement times to <100nS)
- Logic state analyzer with logic state displays on LCD and LED, 3.3V and 5V logic level discrimination, and logic state voltage measurement
- Programmable pulse generator (continuous or "n" pulses on button push, pulse high/low time from <100nS to 999mS)
- DC voltmeter for checking power supplies, motor drives etc. 28Vdc to -13Vdc

Note that to have this sort of pulse generation capability alone you'd have to buy a >$250 instrument!

Regards -

Mark


 

Offline markhen

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@tom66:

Quote
Also I'm guessing most of the electronics are on the bottom or under the LCD?

The board is single sided (no components on bottom). As noted earlier, all of tiq's functionality is implemented inside a single Cypress pSoC 5LP device (in a QFN64 package). This is located under the LCD in the photos of the Rev. 2 prototype above. This LCD connects to the PCB with an FPC cable/connector (it just sits above the pSoC and is retained by the features you see on the inside of the case top).

Regards -

Mark
 

Offline tom66

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #50 on: April 21, 2014, 08:45:06 pm »
What is the amplitude of the pulses produced? Is it configurable? What's the output impedance? Will it survive a shorted load, and survive pulsing into the rated DC range (-13V to +28V)?
 

Offline codeboy2k

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Being designed and actual practical experience are different things...

There's a lot of people online posting that they are having problems with the micro-usb, you just have to google to see it. I acknowledge that. However, I attribute it to the larger deployment of the micro-usb vs the mini connector.  The mini-usb was short lived in the market place.. it's all but gone now.  There are billions of micro-usb connectors deployed, so naturally there will be a larger number of problems reported with the connector, and this is why people see the micro connector as worse than the mini (in general).  In my own experience, I have 1 device with a mini connector, and 5 devices with a micro connector, and I use the same charger for all 5 devices. I only realized the significance of this today.  The micro-usb cable I use sees more action than the mini-usb cable does, so the micro will wear out faster.  Your situation (and others' ) might be similar.

Quote
Anyhow, there is no problem to use micro-USB for data connection (which is connected every once in a while), but don't use it with a stiff cable for power. That's a really horrible idea.

I agree.  I don't want a stiff cable hanging off the back either. 
 

Offline all_repair

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #52 on: April 21, 2014, 09:05:51 pm »
Sound like it can be a useful tool. 

Probe may need to be longer and sharper.  Longer to reach deeper, sharper to pierce through laminated or oxidised point.  I assume one of the buttons can "hold" the display of the measurement.

Can't find the ground wire in the demo video. With the ground wire probably in front and microusb  behind, one shall need to see more video to feel the ease of handling.
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #53 on: April 21, 2014, 10:30:10 pm »
@tom66
Quote
What is the amplitude of the pulses produced? Is it configurable? What's the output impedance? Will it survive a shorted load, and survive pulsing into the rated DC range (-13V to +28V)?

The pulse generator output is located in the utility header toward the rear of the probe (not via the main probe tip - see attached picture). This is to allow use of the pulse generator to provide stimulus to the DUT while the pulse analyzer can be used to view the output or response. Or the pulse gen can just be used to provide a signal to simulate something else (like a sensor, PWM input etc.).

This means that the pulse output is not exposed to the conditions on the probe tip (like the full DC voltmeter range of tiq).

The pulse gen output is configurable via the user menus to be 5V or 3.3V logic levels (and the setting is retained in EEPROM).

The output is a conventional logic output with a 4mA source and sink capability. It is protected with a small series resistor and Schottky clamps to the power rails.

@all_repair:

Quote
Sound like it can be a useful tool... Probe may need to be longer and sharper.

Thanks! In practice tiq is very convenient and easier to use than traditional alternatives.

Quote
Probe may need to be longer and sharper.

For the KS model I'm actively looking at alternatives that provide some options for the tip.


As noted previously, you have 3 ground choices available:

Quote
For those wondering about ground connections, tiq has 3: 1) through the USB cable (which can be to a floating USB charger or USB battery), 2) one pin of the 3 pin header accessible through the top of the unit near the rear (see attached picture - one of the other pins is the pulse generator output) and 3) pin header adjacent to the probe (see picture).

Mark
 

Offline tom66

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #54 on: April 22, 2014, 12:21:37 am »
The pulse generator output is located in the utility header toward the rear of the probe (not via the main probe tip - see attached picture). This is to allow use of the pulse generator to provide stimulus to the DUT while the pulse analyzer can be used to view the output or response. Or the pulse gen can just be used to provide a signal to simulate something else (like a sensor, PWM input etc.).

This means that the pulse output is not exposed to the conditions on the probe tip (like the full DC voltmeter range of tiq).

The pulse gen output is configurable via the user menus to be 5V or 3.3V logic levels (and the setting is retained in EEPROM).

This seems awkward though; so if I want to use it as a pulse gen, I need another lead in my toolbox to lose? Could you add a relay to the board which could switch in the pulse generator to the probe tip?  That way, you can put the pulse gen on a pin directly rather than using the hook probe (which won't work at all with an SMD leg.) Obviously, if the relay is engaged, hide the readout.

You could still have both options, so keep the header if you like. If you add the relay, you'd only need to add a few additional protection components, maybe a 470R series resistor 1/2W rated (1206/1812) or higher and diodes will be fine. A little SMD relay 5mm x 8mm is about $2 in 100u on digikey and operates from 3V or 5V DC.

Also: if you use schottky clamps, make sure to add a zener on your board, too. Otherwise, it's possible to back-power the board & USB port if the current fed into the output exceeds the current consumption over USB, which would be bad... I'm guessing tiq uses on the order of 50mA if not less, so that wouldn't be too hard to do.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2014, 01:31:58 am by tom66 »
 

Offline purfield

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #55 on: April 22, 2014, 12:24:59 am »
Hi Mark,
I think this is a pretty neat device.  I personally think it would be nice to have the RGB LED reflect a test condition.  For example, maybe I'm trying to track down a problem related to a 1 Mhz clock signal and 100 different test points to check.  If the LED would light up green when the probe detects the 1Mhz clock, that would make it a lot quicker/easier to check all 100 points instead of reading off the screen every time. 

It's probably just feature creep you should avoid though.  I'm sure we could all come up with things we'd like to see in this device, but you can't please everybody.  :)
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #56 on: April 22, 2014, 12:57:42 am »
@tom66:

Quote
Could you add a relay to the board which could switch in the pulse generator

Thanks, that's an interesting idea, on the future features list.

Quote
if you use schottky clamps, make sure to add a zener on your board, too. Otherwise, it's possible to back-power the board & USB port

Thanks, yes, tiq has a back-power preventer.

Cheers -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #57 on: April 22, 2014, 01:01:41 am »
@purfield:

Quote
I think this is a pretty neat device. 

Thanks! It does make life easier...

Quote
it would be nice to have the RGB LED reflect a test condition

That's interesting, it sounds useful. My knee-jerk reaction is that making the setup easy (for all the possible cases) might just exceed the practical range of tiq's user interface?! But I'd like to think about this "test mask" type functionality some more....

Cheers -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #58 on: April 22, 2014, 02:10:07 am »
I'm attaching a 1 page Quick Reference chart which shows the screens and the configuration menus for tiq.

Enjoy -

Mark
 

Offline hedley

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #59 on: April 22, 2014, 06:34:58 am »
I think the comments re the connector have been made , understood and responded to . I look forward to test driving this innovative instrument and am sure that after a successful Kickstarter more versions will be in the works that will enhance the functionality and include suggestions on the forum . My key change for later versions would be battery power which  makes more usable and hopefully puts the usb connector to bed.
 

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #60 on: April 22, 2014, 08:14:08 am »
Quote
I look forward to test driving this innovative instrument

Not me. Sod this testing phase thing - I want to buy one RIGHT NOW and I don't care who I have to kiss to get one  :box:
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #61 on: April 22, 2014, 03:50:59 pm »
@hedley, dunkemhigh:

Thanks for the encouragement (dunkemhigh - no kisses required!!!?!) - KS have ok'd the project, working on the final prep to go live - targeting next week!

Keep probing -

Mark
 

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #62 on: April 22, 2014, 04:34:27 pm »
Quote
final prep to go live - targeting next week!

Cool! Please let us know here first - for once I'd like to be able to get in the 'super special limited edition and dirt cheap' perk group :)
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #63 on: April 22, 2014, 08:56:05 pm »
@dunkemhigh:

EEVbloggers have given great input and support, so I commit to announcing here on EEVblog immediately before KS goes live, and before I announce this on any other board/media!

tiq is still smarting from being called "bulky" a while back - his comment to the attached picture is "Bulky, REALLY???"  :)

Cheers -

Mark
 

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #64 on: April 22, 2014, 09:31:54 pm »
Cheers, Mark  :-+

Ummm... about the bulk thing. I reckon it's the sharp corners and edges that might make it look ..ah.. boxy. Perhaps if they could be more contoured it would look slimmer but also look more comfortable to hold.
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #65 on: April 23, 2014, 04:59:38 pm »
Attaching a diagram of prototype tiq's user interface and I/Os.

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - bridging the gap between DMMs and 'scopes
« Reply #66 on: April 25, 2014, 05:53:55 am »
Spent a day sweating over the toaster oven ;)  Big shout out to the folks at Rocket Scream for their GREAT Arduino toaster controller!

Prototype tiqs rolling off the line and ready for our beta testers!

Good night -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #67 on: April 28, 2014, 12:50:59 am »
Many thanks t the thousands (!) of EEVbloggers who viewed and commented on tiq over the last couple of weeks!

As promised, you are the first community to be notified - tiq is going live on KS today (I'm pushing the button in the next hour, not sure how long takes KS to activate!?!)!!!

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


Your continued support and encouragement is hugely appreciated!

Best regards and thanks -

Mark

=============================
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 01:00:58 am by markhen »
 

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #68 on: April 28, 2014, 02:18:52 am »
Thank you  :-+

Pledged  8)
 

Offline fcb

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #69 on: April 28, 2014, 09:37:06 am »
Backed. :-+

Good luck with it Mark, hope to play with it in September.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #70 on: April 28, 2014, 09:58:04 am »
I think serial decode/baud+polarity identify (and manual override) would be a very useful addition
Can you override the "outside-logic level" voltage warning? You may want to probe pulses at different voltages, e.g. RS232, 1.8V etc.
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Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #71 on: April 28, 2014, 04:34:28 pm »
@dunkemhigh, fcb and others:

Huge thanks to early backers here on EEVblog! First 12 hours significantly exceeded expectations, very exciting!

@mikeselectricstuff:
Quote
Can you override the "outside-logic level" voltage warning? You may want to probe pulses at different voltages, e.g. RS232, 1.8V etc.

Re: "outside logic level warning" - for voltages >5V or <0V tiq displays the actual probe voltage, and turns the LED red. The LED can be configured to "off" if that warning is not wanted. So you can probe RS232 etc. VOLTAGES, no problem. But tiq doesn't try to decode the logic level or analyze pulses for signals not in the 0V-5V window. Let me think about ways that tiq pulse analysis could be done outside the 0-5 range...

Currently tiq supports 3.3V logic and 5V logic, I'm evaluating whether 2.5V and 1.8V can be incorporated into the KS version (if not, there will be a future version with this capability). You can use tiq to examine 2.5V and 1.8V logic LEVELS, since the low will be decoded, and for the high you can read directly off the voltmeter. However, tiq will not register 1.8 pulses, and will miss some 2.5 pulses (2.0V Vt) so the pulse analyzer won't work in these cases.

Agree on the serial port ID/detect usefulness, won't be in the KS model, but will try out some algorithms to see how this works in practice, for a future model.

@mojo-chan:
Quote
Most objects designed to be held in the hand have rounded edges for comfort.

Definitely looking at ways to make the KS model more ergonomic, "rounded" is something everyone asks for  :)

Thanks to all -

Mark
 

Offline tom66

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #72 on: April 28, 2014, 06:35:50 pm »
Will the relay probe pulse output be on this version?
IMHO, not supporting 1.8V would be a mistake.
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #73 on: April 28, 2014, 07:02:54 pm »
Thanks for announcing the probe here. But I won't make a pledge for this probe, because I don't think it is ready for production in a bigger lot yet:
  • USB cable for power always hanging off the back, makes it unhandy. Missing an internal battery option.
  • Not OSHW, so I can't fix problems myself and there is no way a community could build around this hardware
  • 1.8V and 2.5V logic level support missing
  • too many of the features requested in this thread are pushed to a next version so you'll probably need to buy another probe in the near future if you want those
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #74 on: April 28, 2014, 07:58:58 pm »

Currently tiq supports 3.3V logic and 5V logic, I'm evaluating whether 2.5V and 1.8V can be incorporated into the KS version (if not, there will be a future version with this capability). You can use tiq to examine 2.5V and 1.8V logic LEVELS, since the low will be decoded, and for the high you can read directly off the voltmeter. However, tiq will not register 1.8 pulses, and will miss some 2.5 pulses (2.0V Vt) so the pulse analyzer won't work in these cases.

Hard to see what the difficulty is here - surely all you need is a comparator and a simple PWM DAC to set the threshold...?
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Offline fcb

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #75 on: April 28, 2014, 08:43:46 pm »
Here are my thoughts FWIW:

  • Defiantly have the facility to update the firmware via USB.
  • I don't care about the OSHW thing - I've backed it because I want to use the tool not hack it.
  • Make the reference level for your fast comparator variable (0-near 5v) - you probably do this already.
  • Get the basic features you've outlined working, avoid feature creep, ship ON TIME - do software updates later.
  • I don't care about the generator functions.
  • Make a plastic shroud for the probe - I'll be forever shorting that probe across pins. It won't cost much to mold.
  • Make the probe tip SHARP!
  • Understand the impedance/capacitance of your probe...

Cheers & good luck with the next 34 days.
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #76 on: April 28, 2014, 09:55:58 pm »
@fcb:
Quote
Get the basic features you've outlined working, avoid feature creep, ship ON TIME - do software updates later.

Thanks again for your support - and for highlighting that tiq's existing functionality is genuinely useful, the sooner we all have one, the sooner our productivity goes up and our frustration down :) That's what tiq has done for me. And, yes, there will be improvements, upgrades and new features down the road!

Quote
Make a plastic shroud for the probe ... Make the probe tip SHARP!

A lot of work is going into the probe tip right now - trying to come up with something standard, changeable, with options, and even option to make or adapt your own if the standard ones don't suit a particular application. Any ideas here??!

@tom66:
Quote
Will the relay probe pulse output be on this version?

The KS version will not have a relay to route the signal generator to the test tip, the generator will be on a separate, dedicated output pin.

@tom66, mikeselectricstuff:
Quote
1.8V logic level support

1.8V support is straightforward in principle, and yes, existing hardware supports some of this. I want to be sure the entire product integrates this properly before it's offered (there's the sig gen output to also consider, menus and config - none of it hard, but with a production "features freeze" coming there is a possibility the KS tiq probe remains specifically for 5V/3.3V systems).

@electronic_eel:
Quote
I won't make a pledge for this probe

You pays your money, you takes your choice! Understand this product is not for you, I hope you find one that is (or better yet, make one!) !

Thanks again to all for the valuable inputs!

Mark
 

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #77 on: April 28, 2014, 10:14:11 pm »
Probe idea:

Kinda like this...



THose aren't exactly what I have in mind, but I can't find the right ones. They are similar enough, though, in that they are thin and protected with sharp ends. The ones I am thinking of are also semi-flexible,  but that part probably isn't important for this.

Maybe if you could arrange for the meter end to be a tapped hole, and the probes to have a threaded stub, then to replace them we just need to find (or make) something with a screw on the end. M3 or M5, probably.

Alternatively, make the meter end a 2mm banana plug and give the probe a suitable hole. Then replacing it could involve a short test lead (defeats the point of being handheld, but...) or whatever. I think that might not be feasible if the probe isn't to be a huge thing, though.
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #78 on: April 28, 2014, 10:15:36 pm »
A lot of work is going into the probe tip right now - trying to come up with something standard, changeable, with options, and even option to make or adapt your own if the standard ones don't suit a particular application. Any ideas here??!
How about ending the probe with a male 4mm banana plug? There are tons of good tips available to fit on 4mm banana plugs. Only downside is that it makes the probe longer.

(or better yet, make one!) !
Seriously consindering that. But will not rush a design.


 

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #79 on: April 28, 2014, 10:16:33 pm »

  • Defiantly have the facility to update the firmware via USB.

Absolutely - it would be a dead duck without the ability to update.
If not USB, then by sticking the probe on a serial port.
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Offline fcb

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #80 on: April 28, 2014, 10:52:29 pm »
@fcb:
Quote
Get the basic features you've outlined working, avoid feature creep, ship ON TIME - do software updates later.

Thanks again for your support - and for highlighting that tiq's existing functionality is genuinely useful, the sooner we all have one, the sooner our productivity goes up and our frustration down :) That's what tiq has done for me. And, yes, there will be improvements, upgrades and new features down the road!

Quote
Make a plastic shroud for the probe ... Make the probe tip SHARP!

A lot of work is going into the probe tip right now - trying to come up with something standard, changeable, with options, and even option to make or adapt your own if the standard ones don't suit a particular application. Any ideas here??!

You'll have to prototype a couple of different designs for the probe tip holders, but here's what I think the criteria is for the tip.
1. Interchangable, long and short versions.
2. Must survive being dropped off the bench.
3. No tools.
4. Avoid threads as the often get cross-threaded.
5. Not wobbly - so when using force trying to get a good contact it doens't wander.

I would have a piece of brass turned with a precision 4mm blind hole in it.  This would be designed to mount securly in the case and then use a spring on the circuit board to make contact with end of the brass socket. Probably plate the brass.

I'd then design the probes to have a banana split end, then a 4mm precision journal and a bigger stop flange (the split makes the electrical contact and holds the probe in, the journal stops wobble and the flange gives a solid stop).  Don't under-engineer the probe mount!  You could discuss this approach with a local engineering company that has "sliding head" CNC lathes.
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #81 on: April 29, 2014, 12:30:17 am »
@dunkemhigh, electrconic_eel, fcb:

Do those probes have a 4mm banana on the non-tip end?

4mm banana is a pretty ubiquitous interface... But it also makes the probe loooonger...

Would prefer to avoid custom part(s), but something based around a standard interface would be good/better....?

Mark
 

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #82 on: April 29, 2014, 12:51:01 am »
Quote
Do those probes have a 4mm banana on the non-tip end?

Ha, yes, I believe they do. I found them here:

Ebay link

Maybe Franky can get you thousands of them :)
 

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #83 on: April 29, 2014, 01:50:40 pm »
I was just programming some products on a jig here in the factory and another idea hit me.

Use something like a pogo pin with a small blob of solder to jam the spring action.  These are available with a variety of tip styles and they are fairly low cost. Very easy to replace and they are sharp.

My suggestion would be something like the coda systems (http://www.coda-systems.co.uk/) 1/8" range.  Probably the PA7BS or LPA7BS for the probe and build the receptacle RA7S inside the product.

 

Offline iloveelectronics

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #84 on: April 29, 2014, 02:08:04 pm »
Quote from: dunkemhigh

Maybe Franky can get you thousands of them :)
[/quote

Thanks for the plug (no pun intended) :) Yes, I do carry a lot of different probes that accept 4mm banana plugs in my store.
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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #85 on: April 29, 2014, 08:31:09 pm »
How can I measure voltage using one probe?! With a ground loop through the USB?

(Tongue in cheek alert..)
 

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #86 on: April 29, 2014, 09:33:30 pm »
Some 4mm probe tips here:

http://www.rapidonline.com/Cables-Connectors/SKS-Hirschmann-MZS-2-Transition-Plugs-6A-520000
http://www.rapidonline.com/Cables-Connectors/Test-Probe-to-4mm-Straight-Socket-400363

Love the idea of the Tiq, but it MUST be battery powered. Otherwise there's no point in it for me. If it has to be tied to a bench with a power supply, I might as well use an oscilloscope. Portability will add enormous value for automotive techs, in-field repair engineers, etc.
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #87 on: April 29, 2014, 10:00:14 pm »
Some 4mm probe tips here:

http://www.rapidonline.com/Cables-Connectors/SKS-Hirschmann-MZS-2-Transition-Plugs-6A-520000
http://www.rapidonline.com/Cables-Connectors/Test-Probe-to-4mm-Straight-Socket-400363

Love the idea of the Tiq, but it MUST be battery powered. Otherwise there's no point in it for me. If it has to be tied to a bench with a power supply, I might as well use an oscilloscope. Portability will add enormous value for automotive techs, in-field repair engineers, etc.
Ditto - it's not like this thing will draw much power, and it's the sort of thing you'd want to use where you don't want to set up a scope. Not having battery power is a major drawback. 
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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #88 on: April 29, 2014, 10:27:10 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...
 

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #89 on: April 29, 2014, 10:46:16 pm »
@dunkemhigh, fcb, iloveelectronics, lewis:

Thanks for inputs and ideas on the probe tip. The 4mm banana plug has many options, and ways to make it pretty robust - although it's the b-word (bulky!). I've got several packages inbound to try out some ideas, I'll keep ya updated...!

@fcb - yes, those pogos are interesting, spent a few hours looking at those. Hmmm. Need a few "workarounds" to really use them in this application, but might be worthwhile? More experiments...

Good points!

Mark
 

Offline lewis

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #90 on: April 29, 2014, 10:51:15 pm »
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...


Grounding to a circuit is not a problem. It's just the same as probing! Chances are there'll be a ground somewhere near where the probe tip needs to go. But connecting a relatively heavy USB cable to a power supply/wall wart on the other side of the bench, or in the field where there might not be any power available, is troublesome. The Tiq ethos appears to be 'quick and easy' measurements, but with these constraints a scope would often be quicker.

Grounding via USB is a real no-no, you can get all sorts of common-mode noise and earth loop nasties which might screw up the Tiq's measurements depending on what you're probing. It'll be even more important to ground properly on the Tiq than on a scope, because on a scope it's often obvious when something's probed wrongly.

Battery power will also allow the Tiq to measure differential or non-ground referenced signals (DMX, RS422/485 and CAN bus spring to mind). This would also be a bonus in the lab for those without a differential scope probe. Powering from USB negates this huge potential usefulness.
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Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #91 on: April 29, 2014, 11:02:08 pm »
@lewis, mikeselectricstuff, dunkemhigh:

I use tiq away from the bench often, and all it takes to be portable and battery powered is something like this:

http://amzn.to/1fNTZfy

I even use it on the bench! This is a floating power supply, too (more in the next post).

Understand that some people want the battery built in, but the significant majority want the probe small and light - prototype tiqs weigh 40g (1.4oz), adding a battery would add >25g and some volume - not a good trade for most.

Keep it light -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #92 on: April 29, 2014, 11:12:30 pm »
@lewis:

You're completely right - and there are already solutions available!

 :-+ See above for an immediate, inexpensive, ubiquitous battery approach (I realize it still has a cable to the tiq).

 :-+ USB battery (OR a floating USB charger) allows those non-ground referenced and differential measurements you want!

 :-+ You don't HAVE to ground via USB - it will work most of the time - but if you don't want to do that, use a floating supply, and tiq has 2 dedicated ground pins - one immediately adjacent to the probe tip (for that high freq stuff) and one in the same header as the pulse generator output. Picture attached.

Keep on tiqing!

Mark
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 08:09:14 am by markhen »
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW going LIVE on KickStarter! (April 27th)
« Reply #93 on: April 29, 2014, 11:27:47 pm »
@lewis, mikeselectricstuff:
Quote
The tiq ethos appears to be 'quick and easy' measurements, but with [...a USB cable...] a scope would often be quicker.

Yes! That is the tiq ethos! I love 'scopes, really love 'em, and for detailed work they win every time, every time.

I made tiq because I wanted a QUICKER way to get info when I probe around embedded circuits - where every pin can have a radically different signal on it. Constantly looking away to change timebase, vertical and trigger on the scope really adds up over a day! tiq accomplishes this. Sure, it's got a power cable, but the BENEFITS far outweigh that constraint!

I would like others to have the benefit I've got from tiq, it's the sort of thing that you try and you'll see benefits immediately. It's not perfect, it's not the only tool you'll need, but it is really, really useful! And who doesn't want that?!

Take it easy -

Mark
 

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #94 on: April 30, 2014, 02:15:39 pm »
I like the concept, but like others I also have reservations regarding the USB power connector (reliability and stiffness of cable), although having it for software updates makes a lot of sense.  For projects like this that I make myself, I'd generally use header pins and silicone wires to supply power.  I haven't found a source of figure 8 silicone red/black wire yet, which would be ideal.

One thing in particular I noticed - the bargraphs seem to me to be backwards... is there some reasoning for that?

Oh, and nice to see the HP Logic Dart featured in a couple of your pictures.  I have one, and it is usually my tool of choice for initial troubleshooting.  If I didn't have the Logic Dart, I'd very likely back your project.
 

Offline idpromnut

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #95 on: April 30, 2014, 06:54:22 pm »
Only 50 special first-run edition left-handers?  Well count me lucky I'm left handed ;)   BACKED.  And thanks for the early posting of the KS!
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #96 on: April 30, 2014, 06:54:56 pm »
@Kean:
Quote
figure 8 silicone red/black wire yet, ... would be ideal

Agree! Would be great to find this. I'm working on power/connector options that EVERYONE is going to love (is that possible?!?!)!!! And (I will post the results here first - thank you EEVbloggers!).

Quote
the bargraphs seem to me to be backwards... is there some reasoning for that

 :) Yes, there is a reason - when you're holding the probe it's usually "ass end high" so it made more sense to me to have the "high" part of the bar graph at the "high" end of the probe!? Yes? No?!

Quote
HP Logic Dart

Yup, I'm a lucky owner of an immaculate Dart (don't get me started about collecting HP LED calculators...). Honestly, it's not easy to use, but it is beautifully made.

Now, let's talk about a planned future tiq with glowing red LED display, THAT'S what I want  :-+

Keep it glowing -

Mark
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 07:02:23 pm by markhen »
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #97 on: April 30, 2014, 07:01:29 pm »
@idpromnut:
Quote
Only 50 special first-run edition left-handers?  Well count me lucky I'm left handed ;)   BACKED

Thank you! I know, apparently some people use their RIGHT hand for important stuff?! I was going to only make the left handed versions, imagine how that would have gone over....  :-DD

Note the world population is approx 10% LH, but the early backer LH option is 20% - because I was pretty sure there were a lot of lefties around these parts  ;)  And sure enough, so far something like >15% of backers want something in their left hand!

Thanks again for the support!

Mark
 

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #98 on: April 30, 2014, 08:17:13 pm »
Quote
want something in their left hand!

I'm a righter, but I think I might prefer a lefty tiq: if this were a scope probe I would be knob twiddling with my right hand. When debugging software, it's my right hand that gets the debugger running or stopping, flicks the PSU on or off, etc. If tiq is as good as you say, there would be nothing to do with the left hand because tiq automatically selects the right display.

mmmm... can't afford one of each to find out...
 

Offline idpromnut

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Re: tiq probe - NOW LIVE on KickStarter!
« Reply #99 on: April 30, 2014, 08:19:57 pm »
I didn't see it explicitly stated anywhere, but i am guessing that since to get a "floating" tiq you use a battery supply, that the tiq is not isolated from the USB ground?
 

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
 

Online 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
 

Offline free_electron

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tiny oleds

http://www.ebay.com/itm/0-91-inch-15P-Pins-128x32-OLED-LED-LCD-Display-Module-White-SPI-Interface-/161197919549?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2588250d3d
http://www.ebay.com/itm/White-0-96-inch-128x64-OLED-Display-Graphic-Module-I2C-Serial-Interface-SSD1306-/301026775154?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4616981072

how about embedding a small vibrator motor instead of a beep ?

i dont like the power cable when using it. put a prismatic liion cell in it. charge from usb powerport. put a small 5v 5v dc dc converter in the probe that way you are alwys floating !
if im poking around in a system that is a few hundred voltas above ground i want a complete floater ! no wires coming out. way too dangerous.

there are 5v dc dc converters in dip-8 package with 1000 volt standoff voltage. cost a few dollar. easy to embed.
internal buildu coud be
Code: [Select]
mini usb - dcdc - liion charger - prismatic cell - oled - probe tip

[code]
[url=http://www.ebay.com/itm/Prismatic-UF653450R-3-7-V-1100-mAh-Li-Ion-Battery-/110745104538?pt=Radio_Control_Parts_Accessories&hash=item19c8ec309a]http://www.ebay.com/itm/Prismatic-UF653450R-3-7-V-1100-mAh-Li-Ion-Battery-/110745104538?pt=Radio_Control_Parts_Accessories&hash=item19c8ec309a[/url]
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Online dunkemhigh

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Quote
tiny oleds

They are nice, but at my age I want BIG oleds so I can see them without glasses :)

But... if those meant you could one each side (for left- and right-hand) that would be a winner.

Quote
a small vibrator motor instead of a beep

As a deaf person, this gets my vote  :-+
 

Offline fcb

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I think reading the display might be an issue with the tiq.

I don't think separate left/right handed designs are the best way to solve the issue (I ordered a right handed unit, but I've found I use scope probes in both hands).  Also, if I'm probing around an IC (even an SOIC) I change the angle dramatically with a scope probe - this would require some contortion to read the tiq display.

I guess I could just leave the tiq at the edge of the board and use a flying lead? Sort of defeating the object of the handheldness of the tiq.

It would be great to see a video of mark probing a bunch of varied IC pins on a board.

 

Offline lewis

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Acceleration sensor to flip the display?
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Offline free_electron

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Acceleration sensor to flip the display?
good idea.
with a graph lcd you can rotate image 180 degrees.
instead of a single led use oje above and one below probe tip.

then there is no need for left or right handed operation
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Offline markhen

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Quote
tiny oleds

They are nice, but at my age I want BIG oleds so I can see them without glasses :)

I'll try to remember to post a picture tomorrow of a bunch of OLEDs I've evaluated - as you will see, they are either smaller/too small, or larger to the point tiq would have to be made larger (in the worst direction).

Quote
a small vibrator motor instead of a beep

As a deaf person, this gets my vote  :-+

Hmm, this is something to think about.

It would be great to see a video of mark probing a bunch of varied IC pins on a board.

I'll try to make such a video this week (I'm building up a piece of hardware for portable demos at Maker Faire next weekend so that might be the "target"! pSoC based, of course ;) ).

Acceleration sensor to flip the display?
with a graph lcd you can rotate image 180 degrees.

This was discussed quite early in this thread. Unfortunately the acceleration sensor and flippable display won't help move the buttons....

Thanks to all!

Mark
 

Offline zapta

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MicroUSB is better, you just need to be able to leave the past behind and understand that smaller doesn't mean worse.

+1 for micro USB and make sure the housing is solder to through hole pads, not just SMD pads, otherwise they peel off too easily.   

BTW, a good source for very flexible usb cables are those retracted cables, you open the screw, remove the cable and straighten it.

Drain the swamp.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Quote
a small vibrator motor instead of a beep

As a deaf person, this gets my vote  :-+

Hmm, this is something to think about.

Mark

If you need a small motor to practice, take apart an oral-B toothbrush
16mm long 5mm diameter. A phone one might be better (smaller) this one might make you think you are getting shocked!  :scared:
 

Offline fcb

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I'm sorry to not be all politically correct, but I don't think i'd bother with a vibrator in the unit - how are you going to decide what 'vibrate' means??? Yet more menus etc....

At least with a piezo, you can signal to the user the voltage and any 'movement' on that voltage. And they are pretty low-cost and easy to source - the vibrators less so. Steady low tone for logic low, high tone for high and a warble for pulses.

I thought about the MEMS for flipping the display, but if it's anything like my phone this could get (very) annoying.

 

Offline markhen

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For interest, picture of some of the many small format displays I've evaluated...

OLEDs on the left (Ebay varieties) are TOO SMALL - viewable area is tiny. Good contrast, but TINY characters....

OLED on the right is nice, but would require making tiq quite a bit bigger in the "worst" direction...

LCD in the middle is current front runner - bigger viewable area, larger characters, more compact than proto LCD, MUCH MORE READABLE (pic attached).

Keep it sharp -

Mark
 

Online dunkemhigh

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That display is significantly better, indeed.

Mind, it would be super-cool if it were RGB as well  >:D
 

Offline lewis

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Unfortunately the acceleration sensor and flippable display won't help move the buttons....

Do the buttons need to be pressed much during probing?

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Offline markhen

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Do the buttons need to be pressed much during probing?

Lewis - good point - no, the buttons don't need to be pushed at all in normal probing. There are 3 cases where you might push buttons:

1. If you select single pulse acquisition mode (via the menu button and menus) then one of the buttons is used to re-arm the acquisition after a pulse capture.

2. If you select "n pulses" in the pulse generator menu then another button is used to initiate the pulse stream.

3. The menu button is used for setting up the various probe functions.

Control layout and menu ref attached.

Cheers -

Mark
 

Offline fcb

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Thanks for that Mark.

Good luck at the Maker-Faire, hopefully you can find those extra sales needed to hit MVP on KS.

 

Offline markhen

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Thanks for that Mark. Good luck at the Maker-Faire, hopefully you can find those extra sales needed to hit MVP on KS.

Thank you! Very excited to be going to Maker Faire in the SF Bay Area this weekend - they expect >120,000 people!? I have connected with folks from KS, Cypress, Hackaday etc. and several tiq backers - and expect to meet many more "makers"!

If you want to catch me at the Faire (I'll be roaming a lot) please email me, or use Twitter (@Innavatus).

For those going to the Faire, I will be demonstrating tiq prototypes and people can get hands-on with them. I've built a little box with test points on it to show how tiq automatically transitions between widely different types of signals - pic attached. Built it using Cypress pSoC 4 Pioneer demo board ($25) - I'm totally hooked on these Cypress pSoC devices - the ability to put your own analog and digital circuitry into the chip is amazing - and a really good, free, IDE. More powerful than the Arduino IDE, not a lot harder to use, either. There's even a Cypress pSoC 4 prototype board for $4 !! The pSoC 5LP is the real business, much more powerful and flexible than the 4, but the 4 will let you do a lot of projects. Recommended.

I'll report back after the weekend!

Cheers -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - on KickStarter through June 1st!
« Reply #140 on: May 19, 2014, 06:03:46 pm »
To anyone who hasn't been to a Maker Faire - GO! What an amazing show! I was not prepared for a (large) county fair-sized show for tech enthusiasts!? Absolutely amazing.

Since I didn't book a year ago, I couldn't get a booth/table - so I was a walking demo :-) tiq had a very good reception, everyone who went hands-on with it loved it.

One of the many highlights was meeting, and socializing with, the Hackaday team. I read Hackaday every day (along with EEVblog)!

Hoping the extra publicity leads to more pledges in the coming days - 2 weeks left on KS. Interim prototype cases arrive from Shapeways today (see my updates above, and on KS), and I'm well into the schematic redesign for the next rev of the PCB (planned around the end of this month - pre-production version).

Cheers -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - on KickStarter through June 1st!
« Reply #141 on: May 24, 2014, 09:12:32 pm »
Hi EEVbloggers!

Heading into the last week on Kickstarter for tiq! tiq is behind goal, so if you're not already a backer, and you'd like to help get this new kind of high-performance and time-saving tool into the world, please head over to Kickstarter! EEVbloggers make up most of the support received so far, and with >5500 views on this forum, and >50 views per day, I know we can do it! Thanks to all.

Just posted a project update detailing pre-production enhancements that I've been working on over the last month, largely driven by inputs received right here on this forum - thanks again to faithful EEVblog supporters! These changes include: new curvier case, new power and ground connectors, new, replaceable probe tips - and compatibility with a wide range of commercially available probe tips. Some pics attached (note the display is a mock-up since this rev of the case was sent off for 3D printing before the display choice was locked in - Shapeways are printing the case with the final cutout now!).

For the full update, please visit:

http://kck.st/1h0sYvv

Cheers -

Mark
« Last Edit: May 24, 2014, 09:16:22 pm by markhen »
 

Offline fcb

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Re: tiq probe - on KickStarter through June 1st!
« Reply #142 on: May 24, 2014, 09:17:39 pm »
Thanks for the update Mark.

Are you going to do a more in-depth video showing the tiq in use?
Also, can you confirm that the USB port can be used to update the firmware in the tiq?
 

Offline Kean

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Re: tiq probe - on KickStarter through June 1st!
« Reply #143 on: May 25, 2014, 03:15:32 am »
It doesn't look like this will get funded now, and I think the reason is the price. If you can get it down to about half I think a lot more people would go for it.
While the price may be a factor in getting more backers, I don't think it is at all unreasonable.  A much simpler logic probe from DigiKey with a fraction of the functionality is $40, and I suspect the BOM/tooling/assembly costs are significant portion of the goal, with little room for the improvements recently made.
To my mind, the problem is limited use case, and limited audience.  A handheld instrument that needs an external power source doesn't give much benefit over equipment many people already have.  If you're tied to your bench, the kind of people who are likely to use this also probably have a 'scope/logic analyser/multimeter/etc available.  Yes, a portable USB power pack can be had cheap, but it "feels" clumsy.
Obviously it is more complicated than this, but I do think that is a significant factor based on myself and reading the earlier comments.
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: tiq probe - on KickStarter through June 1st!
« Reply #144 on: May 25, 2014, 10:39:36 am »
Quote
also probably have a 'scope/logic analyser/multimeter/etc available.

Indeed. But the USP of this is that you don't have to look up to read the screen, or move your hands to adjust some knob. IME of probing, the most likely time to slip and short some pin is when you look away to see what the scope/meter/etc is saying.
 

Offline fcb

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Re: tiq probe - on KickStarter through June 1st!
« Reply #145 on: May 25, 2014, 10:57:45 am »
To my mind, the problem is limited use case, and limited audience.  A handheld instrument that needs an external power source doesn't give much benefit over equipment many people already have.  If you're tied to your bench, the kind of people who are likely to use this also probably have a 'scope/logic analyser/multimeter/etc available.  Yes, a portable USB power pack can be had cheap, but it "feels" clumsy.
Obviously it is more complicated than this, but I do think that is a significant factor based on myself and reading the earlier comments.
I think you are bang on Kean.  This is a niche instrument and the lack of internal power does further limit the use case, also the need for left and right handed versions can't help. Price doesn't bother me really as I can see the benefit and it won't be a 'toy'.
 

Offline Kean

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Re: tiq probe - on KickStarter through June 1st!
« Reply #146 on: May 25, 2014, 11:11:48 am »
But the USP of this is that you don't have to look up to read the screen, or move your hands to adjust some knob.
Despite what I said above, I do see a a use case for it for just these reasons.  I'd be very happy to have one on my bench, and decided to back the project a while ago even though I already have a Logic Dart and many logic probes.
If it doesn't reach the goal on KS, hopefully Mark will still work out a way to get the PCBs made up and let us 3D print our own enclosures.  Even better if he can work on open sourcing it (e.g. releasing the schematic and what he can of the PSoC config/code under something like CC BY-NC).
 

Offline lewis

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Re: tiq probe - on KickStarter through June 1st!
« Reply #147 on: May 25, 2014, 05:07:38 pm »
That new case is much better, I love the symmetry and the curvy sides. And the 4mm compatible probe tips.

Speaking of symmetry, this gives you a great opportunity to combine the left-handed and right-handed versions into the same product. Make some holes in the 'other' side of the box for the switches and away you go. Now you only need one box. While you're at it, make some space on the PCB for the 'other' switches and use custom upside-down characters to update the LCD for the flipped version. Now you only need one PCB. Hell, if you're doing all this, permanently add some buttons on the other side of the probe all the time and have a menu option to determine which 'hand' the probe is.

This way the probe can be used by those, like me, who use probes ambidextrously. And you can see the advantages in terms of production cost reduction.  ;)
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 05:10:08 pm by lewis »
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Offline all_repair

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Re: tiq probe - on KickStarter through June 1st!
« Reply #148 on: May 27, 2014, 07:01:35 pm »
I hope Mark would not be dishearted if the target is not hit.  Please push on ver 2.0 with internal power source.  It maybe a good thing that the funding is not hit, the money on the casing mold might have been wasted if the case could not be used beyond the current design.  Frankly, the current design is at pre Alpha state to me.  I hope Mark can come back with a post Beta design that People wanted. 
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: tiq probe - on KickStarter through June 1st!
« Reply #149 on: May 27, 2014, 07:55:00 pm »
the money on the casing mold might have been wasted

This is on of the things I didn't understand about this project. Small quantity, but own custom, injection molded enclosure?  :wtf:

Buy them off-the-shelf http://www.teko.it/it/prodotti/famiglia/AC/serie/29


Get it machined and fit the electronic to the case (yes, this is the second time today that I write this on the forum and use teko as an example).

A few years ago I used the LP1 for a small series of special-purpose probes. We had to shell out some extra money, because the tips that came with the enclosures were all corroded.  :-- And we didn't recognize in advance that a rectangular cable strain relieve was the best way to get the cable out. But it was easy to get them machined, because they have a separate flat "front panel" plate. And all in all it was still much cheaper than getting custom enclosures molded.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 08:04:32 pm by Bored@Work »
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Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - on KickStarter through June 1st!
« Reply #150 on: May 30, 2014, 01:08:28 am »
tiq featured with Mike S on Hackaday at the Maker Faire!

http://hackaday.com/2014/05/29/tiq-probe-is-more-logical-than-most/

Cheers -

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - KickStarter ends Sunday (June 1st) !
« Reply #151 on: May 30, 2014, 05:17:48 pm »
Thanks again to all the contributors here, and particularly the regular contributors and those of you who have backed the tiq KS campaign. We're into the final couple of days, the Hackaday publicity has brought a significant up-tiq (oohh - sorry - couldn't resist!) in pledges - but still a long way to go.... I'm not giving up until the countdown ends!

BTW, KS (and a couple of other sources) provide creators useful data that is very telling about why the pledges have been below goal. While the reasons mentioned above are certainly factors, the biggest "lesson learned" (and useful for any others considering a KS project) is that you have to get enough interested people to GO TO KICKSTARTER. Seems obvious, but the majority of folks are not cruising around KS, don't really know what KS is/does, don't want to sign up and give credit card info etc. etc. But you need visitors to your page at a 5x - 10x multiple of your goal, since even when they get there not everyone will pledge (but a reliable % have, for tiq). And there's the factor that if you tell people about your project on other sites (like this one), not everyone is going to hit the link and go to KS. So there's ANOTHER multiplication factor (like another 5x). In my case, I need ~600 pledges to meet goal, so I need ~6000 KS page visits and that's at least 30k unique people views elsewhere. I started publicizing tiq 2 weeks before the campaign started, and my estimate of unique viewers to-date is ~10k - so I just haven't exposed tiq to enough people  :-\ For others - START PUBLICIZING EARLY! For those doubting there's enough market, Arduinos alone sell at >10k/month, with well over 1m out there....

Regarding life after KS - I've got enough working tiqs to last my lifetime, so I'm ok  :-DD

JUST KIDDING - since tiq has come this far, and there are >250 people who've already demonstrated they'll buy this kind of functionality, I want to bring this to life. I'm able to continue with the "KS plan", however, with the inputs I've received, reduced production expectations, and some new ideas, I likely will make some changes and re-launch in the not-too-distant future. EEVbloggers will be the first to know ;)

But - it's not over until the fat lady sings (Sunday night at 6pm Pacific) - so please continue to support tiq on KS, and if you haven't pledged already, please help - if the goal isn't reached you are NOT CHARGED! (That's an example of something not everyone knows about KS...)

Thanks to all (and to Dave for hosting this great forum - good on yer, mate!)

Mark
 

Offline tvtech

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Re: tiq probe - KickStarter ends Sunday (June 1st) !
« Reply #152 on: May 30, 2014, 05:58:27 pm »
I have never seen a person try harder to get funding than you Mark. Don't worry if Kickstarter did not make it.......at least you are honest, upfront and genuine.

You believe in your product. And so do many backers too. Don't worry. If it does not all come together now....it will later  :)

I admire your honesty with everything. Brilliant product but hard to sell..

All the best,
tvtech
 

Offline fcb

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Re: tiq probe - KickStarter ends Sunday (June 1st) !
« Reply #153 on: June 01, 2014, 01:30:17 pm »
Thanks for the effort Mark,

Look forward to tiq2!
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - KickStarter ends Sunday (June 1st) !
« Reply #154 on: June 01, 2014, 08:29:47 pm »
@tvtech:

You are too kind, thank you for your comments, I really appreciate them. Feedback like yours makes me determined to continue with the development and launch of tiq - THANK YOU!

@fcb:

You're one of my earliest backers and supporters, really appreciate all your help and inputs. Yes, there will be a tiq - because of people like you!

@everyone else:

Every input, and every pledge, from EEVbloggers has been valuable, and will shape how this tool evolves in the near future. Thanks to all - and you haven't heard the last of tiq  ;)

Keep on tiq-ing!

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - KickStarter ends Sunday (June 1st) !
« Reply #155 on: June 01, 2014, 08:32:51 pm »
A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL tiq BACKERS!!!

Here's to all the awesome and encouraging backers of tiq! I am truly humbled by all the support and interest in tiq.

After some great publicity by my new friends over at Hackaday (read it every day!) last Thursday, many more enthusiasts have been introduced to tiq, and many have pledged - even as it is clear the program won't meet the funding goal.... Thanks to everyone for the interest, the support and the great inputs on the product and the campaign.

Life after Kickstarter

A funded campaign would have meant it would be easier to commit 100% of time to the KS rewards version of tiq, and would have funded the injection mold tooling.

However, since a lot of the core development has been done, and with many inputs on the product received during the campaign, not having to deliver the KS rewards version does offer some new, and exciting, opportunities, some of which would not have been possible within the committed KS scope, time and budget.

BTW, Kickstarter (my first campaign) has been a huge, and invaluable, learning experience. Thanks to some great data the project creator is provided by Kickstarter, it's clear this campaign didn't succeed primarily due to me not getting enough interested people aware of tiq AND then heading over to Kickstarter. There are other factors, but they are dwarfed by this one. It's all about the pre-marketing, folks! I will definitely use the Kickstarter platform again in the future. It's really, really powerful. I'm going to write up the learning and make that available - and if you're considering your own campaign I'd be happy to share with you what I've learned.

tiq lives on!

Yes, I am going to continue with development of tiq, I am determined to bring tiq to life. I built tiq for myself originally, and it's my primary debug tool - I want others to be able to have the benefit of this new time-saving tool.

I'm taking a couple of days now to carefully consider all the feedback and ideas that have flowed in over the last weeks, along with the consequences of not having your KS pledge funding to work with.

I already have a new breadboard up and running to try out some of these ideas, and I want to close in on an updated spec for tiq very fast. I've had a few people approach me with ideas on platforms on which to re-launch tiq , and I have a couple of other ideas rattling around as well - plenty of options.

KS Backers will have first options!

To try to repay the support of my backers, folks who have pledged for tiq will be the first to get updates on the next version, and the first to have the option to have their own tiqs.


Mark
 

Offline idpromnut

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Re: tiq probe - KickStarter ends Sunday (June 1st) !
« Reply #156 on: June 01, 2014, 08:59:29 pm »
@markhen: I am also sad to not see this funded, but thanks to your update, I will be waiting to hear back from ya once you've got the details after day.

One thing about the pre-marketing: I don't know that it would have changed a huge amount other than getting a bit ahead of the curve at the start of the KS. I think the big thing is the expected number of backers. Other KS campaigns that I have seen that do the pre-marketing and/or get funded quickly often have an element of "impluse backing": this is what I call people that back not because they have a strong need for the item/service/thing that is being KS'ed but more that they find it cool/neat/handy etc and (especially in our area) potentially hackable and extensible. But this is just the ramblings of some random dude.

Cheers and I will be waiting to hear from you!
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - KickStarter ends Sunday (June 1st) !
« Reply #157 on: June 01, 2014, 09:08:17 pm »
@idpromnut:

Thank you for your kind words and continued encouragement!

Totally agree that something that can be an "impulse buy" to a wide audience has more chance on KS. There are a significant number of folks who spend time on KS regularly who will contribute readily to interesting new gadgets. tiq definitely has some backers in this category. For something a little more unusual, specialized, maybe requiring some thought/analysis (like specs) you have to get target audience over to KS, and have them interested enough to create an account and commit credit card info....

Like I said above, I have some real DATA on the campaign that will help me, and others, to be successful on crowd-fund platforms - I'm organizing that now and will be sharing it.

Cheers -

Mark
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: tiq probe - KickStarter ends Sunday (June 1st) !
« Reply #158 on: June 01, 2014, 09:10:36 pm »
Really disappointed this didn't make its funding target - I made space in my drawer for one, and even considered getting left and right hand versions so I wouldn't have to choose :)

Hope you sort something out, Mark. This is one kickstarter that really deserves to succeed.
 

Offline markhen

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Re: tiq probe - KickStarter ends Sunday (June 1st) !
« Reply #159 on: June 01, 2014, 09:23:53 pm »
@dunkemhigh:

Thank you, you're one of the very early supporters of tiq. Please keep that space in the drawer open, there will be a tiq (or two?!) in there one day...!

BTW, I'm trying out a flippable display for a universal LH/RH product - RIGHT NOW  ;)

Mark
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: tiq probe - KickStarter ends Sunday (June 1st) !
« Reply #160 on: June 01, 2014, 10:34:38 pm »
If you could get it manufactured for $20 with a $15 BOM and charge x2.5 hitting the $50 target you'll have a winner.

Get rid off the RTC connector and USB connector, add two AAA battery compartment (batteries not included).

Set the goal low, and use Stretch Goals to unlock features like others do.

X amount will add optocoupled serial communication for PC datalogging, optocoupled to USB cable sold separately ($15 or $20) using standard RS-232. Making it compatible with some software like http://sigrok.org/ contact them for helping development if needed they do have clients for a lot of platforms.

Y add-on for wireless communication (bluetooth module sold separately for $15-$20).

Z amount serial decoding (CAN bus module as some kind of expansion module?) SN65HVD230  chip cost around a couple of bucks maybe a dollar in quantities, sell it for $15-$20 for those who want to do CAN decoding. Edit: but you probably have the levels figured out without additional hardware, but only available if using the optocoupler option or the bluetooth option and only done on the client PC/droid/etc..

Other stretch goals as you see fit. Edit: like a programmer that will work with PSoC creator via JTAG directly to the 5LP.

Not trying to tell you what to do, just what I think it will help.

But hitting the $50 (not for the early bird but the final product) will make it an impulse buy for many.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2014, 10:58:02 pm by miguelvp »
 

Offline motocoder

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Hi Mark -

I was one of the early funders too (my kickstarter name is "Matthew Humphrey"). I admire your perseverance and still think Tiq will be a handy product. I'll be one of the early adopters if you continue outside of Kickstarter.

BTW - I did want to pass on the feedback I got from a few friends that I showed this too. They both felt the product would be more marketable if you could get the bulk down a little. So please consider that. In fact, I think the off-the-shelf case that someone here suggested might be a good form factor and a good option if you can make things fit in that.

Best Regards,
Matt
 

Offline markhen

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Thanks to all the commenters and contributors - I am continuing with development of the tiq concept, and part of this is to go through this entire thread and take careful note of all the feature requests and inputs - hugely valuable, thank you.

I took a bit of a detour for a week on different displays and a radically different form-factor, it looks promising, but at the moment I'm thinking this might be "another model". More on this when it's presentable....

My biggest challenge remains the enclosure. My desire for this product was to have a custom enclosure so the size and ergonomics could be "appropriate". The development of the highly desirable pluggable probe tip for tiq pretty much ruled out use of an off-the-shelf case, too. Without KS funding the case tooling is out of reach, so I'm looking at a few options - and perhaps to offer (all) these options to users?

  • no case - some folks here, and elsewhere, have expressed interest in developing their own cases
  • off-the-shelf case - there are 2-3 decent "logic probe" cases out there - they'd need to be modified a little - inexpensive  (note they are ALL "bulkier" than tiq ;) )
  • 3D printed tiq case - all the features, 3D printed on a "maker" level machine
  • print-your-own tiq case - from the original STL files
  • 3D printed tiq case - all the features, 3D printed by Shapeways, possibility to remix the STL files, but more costly (like $25)

What do you think?

I'll post here, and to the KS backers, a list of most-requested features, and continue to update as tiq "part deux" develops.

Regards -

Mark
 

Offline idpromnut

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My first thought is this: if the tiq is going to be "closed source" (which is fine), then I don't know how much hack-ability would be needed/wanted in the case. So I would think the best options are to offer both of: 1) no case, or 2) the ShapeWays solution (especially since I don't have any 3D modelling ability).
 

Offline fcb

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I found my old ryley logic probes.  They are round.

You could make a fairly nice case out a turned and milled tubular case, it might mean you need one of those little OLED displays, but could even be designed to take a single AA cell from the end.
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Forget all options that include the phrase "3D printing", DIY or otherwise.
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Online dunkemhigh

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Myy thoughts are very similar to those of idpromnut:

Quote
So I would think the best options are to offer both of: 1) no case, or 2) the ShapeWays solution (especially since I don't have any 3D modelling ability).

But, in the no case case, I think it would be useful to have it designed for an actual off the shelf case so users can give up and use it when reality sets in. Those with the skillz can still wrap a nice custom job around it.
 

Offline purfield

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Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but it seems like you might be able to free up some space on the board by using a Tag-Connect for the JTAG header. 
 

Offline markhen

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Bored@work: why do you say this:

Forget all options that include the phrase "3D printing", DIY or otherwise.

??

Mark
 

Offline tom66

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Too slow for mass production, produces ugly results unless you spend a lot on the machine. (I don't want rough edges all over my product due to the print layers not lining up.)
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Bored@work: why do you say this:

Forget all options that include the phrase "3D printing", DIY or otherwise.

??

Mark

Tom66 already gave the answer. It is just hype. It looks like shit and gets expensive quickly if you want it to look less shitty. Mechanically not robust enough. Electrical safety not guaranteed.

And the intersection of the group of people who have a 3D printer, the group who manage to operate one to get acceptable results, and the group who actually want a probe is rather small.

Use a commercial enclosure. If not a probe enclosure then one of those handheld "soapbox" style ones with some kind of probe tip attachment (which you have to figure out). Make sure is it widely available if the probe comes as a kit. First settle on the enclosure, then design the hole probe to fit the enclosure.
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Offline tom66

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Have you considered maybe cases used for other applications? For example, a handheld probe could also use a case used for a thermometer for medical use. Perhaps you can find a supplier of these?
Currently the Tiq probe looks awkwardly bulky - it works, but I'd prefer something much thinner. With a battery built in too (;))
 

Offline soptea

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Can this probe check if xtal/crystal is working or only via clock ?
 

Offline tjb1

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Bored@work: why do you say this:

Forget all options that include the phrase "3D printing", DIY or otherwise.

??

Mark

Tom66 already gave the answer. It is just hype. It looks like shit and gets expensive quickly if you want it to look less shitty. Mechanically not robust enough. Electrical safety not guaranteed.



No, no, no, and no...baffles me the responses you get from people that clearly have limited experience with 3D printing.
 

Offline tom66

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3D printing has applications and indeed can be done quickly and with a good end result, however you will pay a lot to get those results.
 

Offline Kean

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For a piece of low voltage test equipment, I see nothing wrong with using a 3D printed case.  At least it won't be hard to source a replacement if it gets damaged, and it is easy to customise.
Mind you I already have a 3D printer, and not sure if the dimensions of the tiq would be printable on it (maybe diagonally).

An off the shelf "probe" enclosure is unlikely to have suitable cut-outs for the display, buttons, LED, leads, etc - so it will either compromise Mark's design, or require a bunch of additional machining.  It is a pity he couldn't get the funding to do a custom mould - but maybe he could still fund a small batch with http://www.protolabs.com/protomold (maybe funded via pre-orders?)
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 07:46:03 am by Kean »
 

Offline electronic_eel

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Hi Mark,

would you mind to tell me what the manufacturer (or even including product number) of the marked probe tip is? I'm looking for a very short probe for 4mm banana jacks and this looks like the shortest one I've seen. Or does anyone else know where this probe is from?

Thank you very much.
 

Offline markhen

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Hi Mark,

would you mind to tell me what the manufacturer (or even including product number) of the marked probe tip is? I'm looking for a very short probe for 4mm banana jacks and this looks like the shortest one I've seen. Or does anyone else know where this probe is from?

Thank you very much.


Sure - it's from TPI and I got from Digikey (no stock today?). Note that it has a shrouded MALE banana plug - the piece to the right of this part in the picture is a female-female adapter (which would be required for tiq - since tiq also has a shrouded male plug):

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/SSP2/290-1063-ND/152194

Hope it works for you!

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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Can this probe check if xtal/crystal is working or only via clock ?

I wouldn't suggest use of tiq for measuring directly on xtals - it's really meant for logic level clocks. Depending on the xtal and oscillator circuit the sine amplitude on the xtal legs when probed with an instrument like tiq may trigger the logic level detectors, but you can't rely on that. Better use the 'scope for that one.

Mark
 

Offline hlokk

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3D printing definitely has it's place, but is somewhat "overused" in that some people think it's the greatest thing and can do everything, almost like a buzzword. But really cool to see people tinkering with it and coming up with some awesome designs of both the printers and the parts. It's great to see such a hobby community evolving.

3D printing is great for prototyping though. For case concepts it would be a great idea. However, if you're looking to sell, lets say 50-100 of a "Rev A", perhaps you could make some moulds up using a 3D printed part. Somewhat of a forgotten tech with the 3D printing buzz. Not too hard to print a 3d Positive, hand polish it, mould it, then cast it in hard polyurethane (shore D hardness) or something similar.

Might be worth considering if you want to do a smaller production run and cant raise the capital for an injection moulding setup?

Would be interesting to see a more ergonomic case :)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 03:14:34 am by hlokk »
 

Offline markhen

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Would be interesting to see a more ergonomic case :)

Attached is latest incarnation of the case - more rounded to fit the hand. Specific suggestions on how to make this more ergonomic?

Thanks!

Mark
 

Online rs20

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Sorry if this has already been mentioned in the last 13 pages, but 5 mS is 5 millisiemens, a unit of conductivity. 5 ms is milliseconds, which is probably what this device should be displaying.
 

Offline fcb

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It's looking OK Mark,

I would have thought that you would have put the real LCD slot into the prototype enclosure by now, not the cut out.

Also, have you figured out how to get this tooled ($) yet?  What's your plan?
 

Offline hlokk

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The best way to get something ergonomic is to mould it out of plasticine and see how it feels in your hand :D. What you ideally want is something that "feels natural" in your hands. Dont forget the balance too (too top heavy not good).

I'd thin it out if possible, make sure there are no sharp corners and maybe make some rubberised grip (although the last bit is harder). Perhaps the display could be higher and the grip thinner near the bottom? Maybe just optimise the "width". Seems the thumb rests on a corner that looks fairly sharp. Ideally you'd want the thumb where the lcd is though.. (well, further down). See how you hold a highlighter for example.

Though, you'll want to keep it symmetric so it can be used left and right handed (I assume you can flip the display text for that?).


Although, if the case isnt as ergonomic as it could be, at least if it went into production you could get some going and then keep a fancier case for V2? It may just be easier to add a grip on top and bottom so you can "pinch" the probe similar to what you're doing in the pic but rotated a little so thumb is on the flat, not the corner. Just doesnt feel as ergonomic to me as wrapping the thumb around and having the screen higher up (I was playing around with a highlighter).

I really have no idea if i'm making any sense or being even vaguely useful  :-//
 

Offline markhen

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Sorry if this has already been mentioned in the last 13 pages, but 5 mS is 5 millisiemens, a unit of conductivity. 5 ms is milliseconds, which is probably what this device should be displaying.

Yes, my bad, this has been corrected. Silly error, I'm usually a stickler for correct SI units :-\

Mark
 

Offline markhen

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It's looking OK Mark,

I would have thought that you would have put the real LCD slot into the prototype enclosure by now, not the cut out.

Also, have you figured out how to get this tooled ($) yet?  What's your plan?

I've had the 3D printed enclosure with the LCD cutout for some time (attached here - yes, that's a right-handed version:)), the last pics I posted were a little older, put up to ask the "ergonomic" questions!

Right now I'm thinking of offering a number of enclosure options - allowing folks to pick their own effort/appearance/cost preference.

Cheers -

Mark
 

Offline fcb

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I wouldn't bother offering a number of enclosure options, just make one version. And don't spend forever fine tuning the casing, leave that for a mk2 etc...



 

Offline tom66

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Maybe add a little hand-grip, to make it less likely to slip out of your hand. And a lanyard hook would be nice.
 

Offline idpromnut

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...
Right now I'm thinking of offering a number of enclosure options - allowing folks to pick their own effort/appearance/cost preference.

More options == bigger pain in the ass for fulfillment. I'd pick one enclosure and offer an alternative option of a bare board for those DYIers. And don't worry about getting perfect, there is no perfect in "Shipped".  ;)
 

Offline fcb

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Why does everyone have XE as their avatar?

Also, just adding something valid to this discussion - don't worry about the fine points of the case design, just build the thing!!!
 

Offline idpromnut

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Why does everyone have XE as their avatar?

Xenon is clearly the coolest noble gas.
 

Offline fcb

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Any news Mark on the tiq?
 

Offline markhen

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fcb - thanks for the inquiries and continued encouragement - tiq lives on - a small number of the original prototypes are in regular field use and we've racked up some good experience with them. It's the tool I reach for first every time (despite 2 decent 'scopes on the bench) - and it honestly surprises me all the time what it can tell me fully automatically. The concept continues to hold up and work well in practice. The biggest issue/limitation technically is the display - availability of a really clear, readable, flippable (RH and LH use) display that's small enough to fit into a compact probe and large enough to be easily readable by anyone (aka old folks like me  ;) ). Surprisingly that's hard to find (I did another search yesterday). I have built a version around a pSoC 4 part with a 1" OLED display that fits into a "fat pen" (vs. the "fat highlighter" of the original tiq), stripped out some of the functions people didn't seem to want (signal gen etc.) and added in some they did (1.8V, 2.5V, 3.3V levels). The OLED meets most of the requirements and has great sharpness and contrast, but it's SO SMALL.... Sigh. Have also played with BT 4.0 LE and ESP8266 for wireless connectivity - very practical and low cost nowadays. I'm still intending to bring a version of this tool to market, but in the meantime other projects and "life" have intervened, so I don't have a timeline.
 

Offline ez24

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Have you thought about trying KS again?  I am sure you have learned a lot since the first try.

If so can I suggest a name change?  TIQ pronounced "tick" sounds like a bug that gives you lime disease, a rather nasty bug.  Maybe run a "name that baby" contest here on the forum, with the winner getting one.

If you do change, pick a name someone can pronounce.  I would not know TIQ was "tick".   My point is if you can't think it you can't remember it.
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Offline fcb

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Thanks for the update Mark.

FFS don't introduce wireless into the unit - there's already too much of this around a lab already.  Don't get hung up on getting the *perfect* display, build/release mk1 and see how it goes.

IMHO keep the name, I don't think it is too bad.
 

Offline Kean

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FFS don't introduce wireless into the unit - there's already too much of this around a lab already.  Don't get hung up on getting the *perfect* display, build/release mk1 and see how it goes.

IMHO keep the name, I don't think it is too bad.

I agree with fcb
 


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