Author Topic: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter  (Read 37779 times)

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Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #250 on: August 14, 2019, 10:33:12 pm »
Some similar projects are scams, in that the guys leading them KNOW their idea sucks and that they will never deliver.

I don't think that's the case for Vion. I think they were just a bunch of well-meaning people, but inexperienced and not knowing anything much about electronics in general, safety and metrology in particular. Looks a bit like a bunch of pure software guys willing to develop a hardware product.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #251 on: August 14, 2019, 11:02:07 pm »
Dave, your video is unlisted on YT. On purpose?

Yes, early release because it wasn't the right time of day.
Actually re-editing this morning to get the time down and add that update from Vion saying the software has bugs.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #252 on: August 14, 2019, 11:03:04 pm »
Some similar projects are scams, in that the guys leading them KNOW their idea sucks and that they will never deliver.
I don't think that's the case for Vion. I think they were just a bunch of well-meaning people, but inexperienced and not knowing anything much about electronics in general, safety and metrology in particular. Looks a bit like a bunch of pure software guys willing to develop a hardware product.

But the software sucks  ;D
 
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Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #253 on: August 14, 2019, 11:11:24 pm »
Some similar projects are scams, in that the guys leading them KNOW their idea sucks and that they will never deliver.
I don't think that's the case for Vion. I think they were just a bunch of well-meaning people, but inexperienced and not knowing anything much about electronics in general, safety and metrology in particular. Looks a bit like a bunch of pure software guys willing to develop a hardware product.

But the software sucks  ;D

Well, that's unfortunate really.
I'm almost feeling some sympathy for them. ;D
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #254 on: August 15, 2019, 05:24:01 am »
If anyone was a backer then worth posting my video in the comments.

New video:
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #255 on: August 15, 2019, 11:45:23 am »
They stated back in the February update that the Vion case is "fusion bonded", I hope they have some non-destructive means to open every housing, repair the faults and stick the thing back together in accordance with the certification.   :palm:

That explains why I had to use the dremel.
 

Offline Kean

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #256 on: August 15, 2019, 12:40:20 pm »
If anyone was a backer then worth posting my video in the comments.

Done!
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #257 on: August 15, 2019, 03:08:03 pm »
Some similar projects are scams, in that the guys leading them KNOW their idea sucks and that they will never deliver.

I don't think that's the case for Vion. I think they were just a bunch of well-meaning people, but inexperienced and not knowing anything much about electronics in general, safety and metrology in particular. Looks a bit like a bunch of pure software guys willing to develop a hardware product.

This seems like the most plausible assessment to me. My bet is on either a couple of software/apps developers, or maybe industrial designers...

It probably started started with a couple of guys looking at a conventional multimeter and its probe leads, and thinking: "Hey, wouldn't it be cool to have just the probes, and replace that stupid display & rotary switch with a cool touch interface on your smartphone?" More likely than not, the first concept drawing had two free-wheeling probe tips, without the need to connect them with a clumsy wire. 8)

And then reality gradually came into play...
 
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Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #258 on: August 15, 2019, 03:13:29 pm »
If anyone was a backer then worth posting my video in the comments.

New video:

Can't access the original, but this seems much more... appropriate (for lack of a better word) than I remember, so 'good job' :)
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #259 on: August 15, 2019, 03:25:33 pm »
More likely than not, the first concept drawing had two free-wheeling probe tips, without the need to connect them with a clumsy wire. 8)

Oh, that reminds me of those wireless ESD wrist straps... ;D
 

Offline blacksheeplogic

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #260 on: August 15, 2019, 09:41:33 pm »
Looks a bit like a bunch of pure software guys willing to develop a hardware product.

It wreaks of the script Kiddies crowd.

Software Joe Blogs would be generous. That app was not written by a software developer, putting together a simple UI like that is less than a day's work. Given the level of understanding of a multi-meter they seem to have it's hard to see they had any knowledge outside of plug and play.

I typically are not a fan of these tear people apart videos, but I think this is a case where it's very much a needed and justified. There's no way they had the knowledge or should have been developing a product that was advertised as suitable to measure in lethal environments and had the balls to fake meeting electrical standards. I'm all for the give then a chance camp until they pull this kind of shit.
 
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Offline janoc

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #261 on: August 16, 2019, 09:43:27 am »
Not to defend software developers doing silly things (looks in a mirror, uhm ...) but I don't believe that Vion app was done by a semi-competent software dev neither. A software dev, even if they don't have a clue about how a multimeter works or how is it used, wouldn't  have left such crazy bugs in both the device's firmware and the app itself.

Looks like they are a bunch of businessmen/designers who have dreamed up a silly idea and then gave the job both to hardware and sw engineers who barely knew what they are doing (= i.e. bidding for the lowest cost). And were sufficiently incompetent/clueless to make sure it was done properly/didn't care about the result.

Also that Nordic MCU they have used is great for Bluetooth Low Energy support but it does not support classic Bluetooth - could that be why some people have issues connecting to the device? I don't see BTLE being requirement mentioned anywhere. But then it could have also been a simple bug/crappy programming because it is unlikely the older phone would have been working and a new one not.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #262 on: August 16, 2019, 10:40:03 am »
Also that Nordic MCU they have used is great for Bluetooth Low Energy support but it does not support classic Bluetooth - could that be why some people have issues connecting to the device? I don't see BTLE being requirement mentioned anywhere. But then it could have also been a simple bug/crappy programming because it is unlikely the older phone would have been working and a new one not.

Going for BLE only in the 121GW meter was a big mistake. We thought we could just implement a simple serial protocol and that would be it, but BLE doesn't properly support serial interfaces like the full bluetooth stack does. It was a massive multi-month effort by David2 to get it all working as seamlessly as it does, and he's a gun programmer (although had no experience in BLE). Expensive mistake.
(BTW, same thing has happened again with USB-PB on the uSupply, it makes the BLE problem look like a cake-walk)
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #263 on: August 16, 2019, 10:52:40 am »
I typically are not a fan of these tear people apart videos, but I think this is a case where it's very much a needed and justified. There's no way they had the knowledge or should have been developing a product that was advertised as suitable to measure in lethal environments and had the balls to fake meeting electrical standards. I'm all for the give then a chance camp until they pull this kind of shit.

The be fair, what standards are they "faking"?
Anyone is free to stamp CATIII on their meter, that's not really "faking" anything unless you fake UL or ETL marks.
Sure it may not meet the CATIII standard, but you don't really know that unless you get it independently certified. No different to many cheap meters on the market.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #264 on: August 16, 2019, 03:24:56 pm »
Going for BLE only in the 121GW meter was a big mistake. We thought we could just implement a simple serial protocol and that would be it, but BLE doesn't properly support serial interfaces like the full bluetooth stack does. It was a massive multi-month effort by David2 to get it all working as seamlessly as it does, and he's a gun programmer (although had no experience in BLE). Expensive mistake.
(BTW, same thing has happened again with USB-PB on the uSupply, it makes the BLE problem look like a cake-walk)

Actually, I think it was a good choice for a device like this, BLE and specifically that Nordic nRF52 chip series are extremely low power (like 10mA while transmitting and down to single digit uA when sleeping).

I have used a nRF52832 recently for a project to be used with a PC, where BLE support is a bit more hit&miss than on mobile - and no big issues. However, I did implement a custom HID (HID over GATT) device instead - that works in Windows 10, Linux (and likely Mac too but I didn't test) and all mobile hw out of the box. I have used the excellent free HIDAPI library to write a small client to read the data from my vendor-specific report but you could use e.g. a gamepad or something else standard too. Not as simple as opening a terminal emulator to read the data but not that much more complicated neither.

The Nordic SDK has an example of a HID mouse, with a bit of research and hacking of descriptors you can make a custom device.

BLE doesn't have the standard profiles like the classic Bluetooth had but the fact that you don't need to "pair" (well, bond in the BLE terminology), that you can have multiple devices bonded and connected (!) (e.g. your phone AND the PC at the same time), much lower power consumption are more than enough to balance that out.

The regular serial device profile (SPP) in Bluetooth Classic is neat but compared to the simplicity of GATT and the need to either use preprogrammed modules or to buy expensive dev kits is a major downside, IMO.

The nRF52 series lets you do all of this stuff in a single cheap module, with regular ARM dev tools (no proprietary stuff needed, only a binary blob you flash if you need BLE) and supports all sorts of protocols - not only BLE but also Shockburst (used by the popular nRF24L01+), Zigbee and ANT (if you are into fitness stuff). And FCC certified modules are cheap (like $2-5, in singles) if you don't want to implement the SoC on the board yourself.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 03:35:08 pm by janoc »
 

Offline Nomad576

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #265 on: August 16, 2019, 06:01:23 pm »
Being an old fart who always looks at the bottom dollar, I just wanted to find out how much they are charging those folk who are short of a multi-meter  :bullshit: on their workbench.  I have one of those 2 dollar jobbies from the cheap bin at the hardware store, then awhile back I picked up an auto-sensing POS that sort of works but has a huge readout so my old eyes can read the numbers, and I do have one of those pen type that is autosensing as well, now that one I do like when I am working on electric stuff in my RV as it's handy and works just fine in a 12/120/240 volt AC/DC environment.  Owning a motor home automatically makes you a mechanic/electronic/truck driver (36 foot RV + tow bar + car) and expert at backing large outfits.  Don't think I have room in my toolkit for some useless POS like this but still wonder how much folks are willing to part with for the privilege of owning such soon to be rare item.
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #266 on: August 17, 2019, 07:40:39 am »
Looks a bit like a bunch of pure software guys willing to develop a hardware product.
Looks like pure software people trying to develop any kind of product.
I've seen this so may times.
I've love technology. Rapid prototyping. Agile hardware. Minimum viable product. Lean startup. Ship it and then we improve based on the feedback.

I have some feedback. Go back writing java applets, you code monkey.
 
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Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #267 on: August 17, 2019, 10:40:35 am »
Quote
vMinimum viable product. Lean startup. Ship it and then we improve based on the feedback.

To be fair, that's pretty much normal (except it's not exclusive to lean startups). The initial release would normally be expected to pay for later improvements, and if you have the guts you'll charge more for early adopters too.
 

Online thm_w

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #268 on: August 28, 2019, 10:07:14 pm »
Going for BLE only in the 121GW meter was a big mistake. We thought we could just implement a simple serial protocol and that would be it, but BLE doesn't properly support serial interfaces like the full bluetooth stack does. It was a massive multi-month effort by David2 to get it all working as seamlessly as it does, and he's a gun programmer (although had no experience in BLE). Expensive mistake.
(BTW, same thing has happened again with USB-PB on the uSupply, it makes the BLE problem look like a cake-walk)

Ah that seems not too surprising, USB-PD seems absurdly complex for what you get. QC3 can be done with four resistors and 2 I/O pins.
Of course USB-PD is the way to go for PC based compatibility and future use, just fun to compare the two..
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #269 on: August 29, 2019, 04:50:03 am »
Going for BLE only in the 121GW meter was a big mistake. We thought we could just implement a simple serial protocol and that would be it, but BLE doesn't properly support serial interfaces like the full bluetooth stack does. It was a massive multi-month effort by David2 to get it all working as seamlessly as it does, and he's a gun programmer (although had no experience in BLE). Expensive mistake.
(BTW, same thing has happened again with USB-PB on the uSupply, it makes the BLE problem look like a cake-walk)

Ah that seems not too surprising, USB-PD seems absurdly complex for what you get. QC3 can be done with four resistors and 2 I/O pins.
Of course USB-PD is the way to go for PC based compatibility and future use, just fun to compare the two..

Yep, and David's still working on USB-PD...
It has involved both hardware and software USB protocol decoders (both of which had bugs that hindered progress) and countless hours. It's not just USB-PD though, it's HID and all that other stuff and getting it to work as driverless and as universal as possible.
It's why the TS-80 soldering iron uses QC3 instead of USB-PD
 
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Offline janoc

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #270 on: August 29, 2019, 12:54:47 pm »
Yep, and David's still working on USB-PD...
It has involved both hardware and software USB protocol decoders (both of which had bugs that hindered progress) and countless hours. It's not just USB-PD though, it's HID and all that other stuff and getting it to work as driverless and as universal as possible.
It's why the TS-80 soldering iron uses QC3 instead of USB-PD


What does USB-PD have to do with HID?  ???

HID is a major pain in the butt, especially given the millions of ways the same thing can be encoded in the descriptor but only one or two work in Windows (so the standard is not really the spec but "whatever Windows accepts"). But I don't see why that would be a reason why a soldering iron would use QC3 instead of PD, given that HID is totally unrelated to it.
 

Online thm_w

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #271 on: August 29, 2019, 10:52:32 pm »
What does USB-PD have to do with HID?  ???

HID is a major pain in the butt, especially given the millions of ways the same thing can be encoded in the descriptor but only one or two work in Windows (so the standard is not really the spec but "whatever Windows accepts"). But I don't see why that would be a reason why a soldering iron would use QC3 instead of PD, given that HID is totally unrelated to it.

Because daves power supply needs to communicate with the PC, presumably for the SCPI control. HID = comm, USB-PD = lots of power.
The TS80 does not use HID, but uses comparatively simple QC3 to get the high USB power transmitted. Implementing PD would add cost and development time.

edit: I'm working on a QC3 based power device, but not similar to the usupply. Its an easy way to get 5-20V at 1-2A without screwing around buying expensive wall warts.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 10:59:01 pm by thm_w »
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #272 on: August 30, 2019, 09:45:15 am »
What does USB-PD have to do with HID?  ???

HID is a major pain in the butt, especially given the millions of ways the same thing can be encoded in the descriptor but only one or two work in Windows (so the standard is not really the spec but "whatever Windows accepts"). But I don't see why that would be a reason why a soldering iron would use QC3 instead of PD, given that HID is totally unrelated to it.

Because daves power supply needs to communicate with the PC, presumably for the SCPI control. HID = comm, USB-PD = lots of power.

The TS80 does not use HID, but uses comparatively simple QC3 to get the high USB power transmitted. Implementing PD would add cost and development time.

But USB-PD does not depend on HID for anything (and neither the other way around).

You can use HID + QC3 or you can use HID + USB-PD or whatever other combination. The two technologies are totally unrelated, heck they don't even talk over the same wires (HID runs over standard USB or Bluetooth, USB-PD uses the CC pins of the USB C connector).

USB-PD is a complicated mess but it is a different mess than the HID protocol. That's why these statements don't make any sense to me.

« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 09:49:44 am by janoc »
 
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Online thm_w

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #273 on: August 30, 2019, 09:41:18 pm »
But USB-PD does not depend on HID for anything (and neither the other way around).

You can use HID + QC3 or you can use HID + USB-PD or whatever other combination. The two technologies are totally unrelated, heck they don't even talk over the same wires (HID runs over standard USB or Bluetooth, USB-PD uses the CC pins of the USB C connector).

USB-PD is a complicated mess but it is a different mess than the HID protocol. That's why these statements don't make any sense to me.

No one said it did.
The PSU needs both USB-PD and HID to be considered "complete". They have been decided as the requirements, for better or for worse.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Vion: The World's Silliest Multimeter
« Reply #274 on: August 30, 2019, 09:47:45 pm »
I think it's an interesting experience to share for others who would think of using either (HID and/or USB-PD). Expect tears and spending a lot more time on it than you initially thought.
 
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