Poll

I'm obliged to prepare a list of questions. Are You interested in asking Him a question?

Yes I am.
7 (70%)
No. Who is He?
3 (30%)

Total Members Voted: 10

Voting closed: March 09, 2021, 06:14:11 pm

Author Topic: I have opportunity to ask Q to Mr John Pickering (Datron/Wavetek/Metron Designs)  (Read 3479 times)

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Offline doktor pyta

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I have opportunity to ask questions to Mr John Pickering (Datron/Wavetek/Metron Designs).
It has to be done in a single email to save His time.  You have 14 days.

Example:
-service commands for 4700 and 4800 calibrators for dumping calibration NVRAM.
-short story of Datron
-volume of DMM and calibrators production
-personal engineering achievement You are most proud of
« Last Edit: February 24, 2021, 09:02:57 pm by doktor pyta »
 
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Online Kosmic

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I don't personally have any question but it's a pretty cool initiative thanks!  :-+
 

Offline 2N3055

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That is awfully nice both from you and him!!

If nobody asks anything more useful, the reason behind the cutouts on LTZ1000 reference PCB ?  ^-^
He should know :-)
 

Offline capt bullshot

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First, just give him some congrats on the designs. I've repaired a Datron 1061A and I found the overall design quite interesting, thanks to the description of operating principles in the manual.
I've got another Datron, a 1061-S86. Maybe he knows what this option (S86) is, the only thing I found there's a "ACF" setting at the front panel, but no explanation what it's supposed to do.
Safety devices hinder evolution
 

Offline picburner

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By now we all know that using the DUMP? command we can do the NVRAM backup of 1271/1281 DMMs.
I would ask him if there is a trick or a hidden command to do the restore as well.
 
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Online syau

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By now we all know that using the DUMP? command we can do the NVRAM backup of 1271/1281 DMMs.
I would ask him if there is a trick or a hidden command to do the restore as well.

Can same command be use on the calibrator ?
 

Offline volvo_nut_v70

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Here is my kick at the can while I ponder.....   :)

- Service commands for 4000, 4000A, 4200, 4700 and 4800 calibrators and also 4920 and 4950 meters for dumping/saving calibration NVRAM and restoring it via GPIB
- Data structure and location of the cal values in the NVRAM in both DMMs and calibrators, documentation?
- Is the NVRAM cal data format and location the same/static across the firmware revisions? (So if one upgrades the firmware on a unit does it invalidate the cal constants or are
  they still valid?)
- Hidden or undocumented service commands for the 12X1, 49X0, 4000, 4000A, 4200, 470X and 480X equipment
- Is there any special servicing software for any of the above equipment?
- Is there service manuals/schematics/documentation for the 4920AVMS, 4922 Wide band module and 4950 meters. (4920M service is out "there", I can't find anything on the
  4920AVMS and 4950 service manuals/docs) I find this particularly vexing.....
- Is there any user/service docs/schematics for the 4707?
- Any documentation of the 1271 OPT10 and OPTION 12 boards?
- Are there programming documentation/files to create or recreate any of the FPGAs, PALs or GALs used in the equipment?
- Any service/voltage/waveform notes for troubleshooting the above equipment?
- Any documentation on the serial communication structure/protocols used on the 470X/480X/12X1/49X0 for the displays and also the serial communication to the various boards?
- Service bulletins for any of the above equipment, including any component changes or equipment enhancements
- Was there differentiation in selection of components/boards to increase the accuracy/specifications between a 4700 to 4705 to a 4707/4708. Same for the 4800 to 4805 to
  4808. What was any criteria or test protocols on the boards?
- If the 4708 firmware was transplanted into a 4700 or 4705 does it "improve" the performance of the recipient 4700/4705? (same question for the 480X series)
- What was the highest release/ revisions of firmware for the DMMs and calibrators? Documentation of what the firmware releases fixed? Any "repository" of the firmware releases
  available?
- What is the compatibility of the 4000/4000A, 4200, 470X boards if they are used in different models (ie a 4200 or a 4700 Sine board into a 4708) and cross use of a 470X board
   into a 480X unit? Also the reverse, a 480X board being used in a 470X unit
- What is the compatibility of the boards (excluding the firmware) of the 12X1 and 49X0 units between each other?
- Is there a listing and any documentation of the various special options? ie I have seen 4700s with a S175 option.
- Any commonality between the 4920, 4920AVMS and 4920M?

- Service commands for 9000, 9100 and 9500 calibrators for dumping/saving calibration NVRAM and restoring it via GPIB
- Data structure and location of the cal values in the NVRAM for the 9000, 9100 and 9500 documentation?
- Is the NVRAM cal data format and location the same/static across the firmware revisions? (So if one upgrades the firmware on a unit does it invalidate the cal constants or are
  they still valid?)
- Hidden or undocumented service commands for the 9000, 9100 and 9500 equipment
- Is there any special servicing software for any of the above equipment?
- Service manuals/schematics/documentation for the 9000, 9100 and 9500 including the options.
- Are there programming documentation/files to create or recreate any of the FPGAs, PALs or GALs in the equipment?
- Any service/voltage/waveform notes for troubleshooting the above equipment?
- Any documentation on the serial communication structure/protocols used on the 9000/9100/9500 for the displays and also the serial communication to the various boards?
- Service bulletins for any of the above equipment, including any component changes or equipment enhancements
- Was there differentiation in selection of components/boards to increase the accuracy/specifications between a 9000 and 9100?
- What was the highest release/ revisions of firmware for the 9000, 9100 and 9500 calibrators? Documentation of what the firmware releases fixed? Any "repository" of the
   firmware releases available?
- What is the compatibility of the 9000 and 9100 boards if they are used in a "opposite" model? ie: a 9000 board into a 9100 and vice versa.
- Are there any commonality of the boards between the 9000 to 9100 to 9500?

- Any service documentation/schematics for the 49XX and 700X voltage standards?
 


What was on the drawing board for the next iteration of DMMs and calibrators?
Was any of the upcoming designs transposed into Fluke products after the sale of Wavetek to Fluke?
The Fluke 8508A bears a huge resemblance to the 1271/1281? How much of it is 12X1?
How was the conditioning/burn in done on the DMM and calibrator boards. How were the 1N429 and LTZ1000 voltage references burned in? What was the "pass" criteria?

All or most of these questions would also be applicable to the 106X/107X/108X DMMs also.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2021, 04:17:05 pm by volvo_nut_v70 »
 
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Offline Echo88

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Thats basically: "Can you ship me the HDD with all Datron production files on it? Thank you very much"  :wtf:
 
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Offline branadic

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Beside all the technical questions I would like to hear about the story how he started at Datron, how Datron was then taken over by Wavetek, before Fluke took them over and how he finally made it to Metron.
If we could under this perspective hear what products were developed under what payrole and circumstances and how the takeover changed products like the DMMs and voltage standards, that would be interesting.
Also interesting to hear is the background related to his patents such as LTZ conditioning and his high isolation transformer, which is all related to each other.

-branadic-
Computers exist to solve problems that we wouldn't have without them. AI exists to answers questions, we wouldn't ask without it.
 

Offline chekhov

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Hi,

Would be nice to hear about why there were no meters/calibrators designed with artifact calibration capability ? That is awesome feature, maybe they wanted but business went down for example, etc.
 

Online TiN

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HP and Fluke had patent for ACAL concept. 1271/1281/4950 have somewhat related self-cal procedures build-in but they still built on external artifacts for proper traceability.
YouTube | Metrology IRC Chat room | Let's share T&M documentation? Upload! No upload limits for firmwares, photos, files.
 

Offline Micke

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I think it would be interesting if he could give some insight how the "big players" do burn-in of LM399/LTZ1000 devices, for how long, temperature cycling etc. What are the criterias for reject/keep? Do they order already "cherry-picked" devices  from manufacturer (probably they do, how much "better" are these devices than the rest we other can buy?) and then continue burn-in, testing/screening and binning for different grades of equipment? For example I am thinking of LM399 based FLUKE 8845A/8846A DMM where 8845A has 1 year 10VDC accuracy specification of 35ppm, but 8846A has 24ppm. Some of this can be contributed to the fact 8846A has better resistor networks, but it might well be that they keep the best LM399´s for 8846A.
 
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Offline alanambrose

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I wonder whether you can drop in a thought about whether he might consider doing a little youtube series - pretty much historical-stream-of-consciousness and maybe the odd general open question as a prompt. It would be fascinating and also a legacy.

Alan
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"
 

Offline LaserEng

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In the early 90's I was supervisor of a small calibration facility in South Wales and occasionally the Sales Rep for Datron or Wavetek, I think it was Wavetek by then as the gear he was demo'ing had white front panels by then.

Anyway, the sales rep liked to call just before lunch so the company I worked the boss was famous for liking a boozy lunch, at one of these lunches we where discussing what new stuff was being worked on and he mentioned a calibrator or DMM, these are hazy memories, that would do more than 8.5 digits and I recall him saying that it was destined for NMI's only and used many (seem to recall over 20) LTZ1000 paralleled and all inside their own oven so double ovened if you like.

Would love to know if there was any truth in this, being young and newly out of college, I wasn't sure but with hindsight and experience I tend to think this fella was talking out of his backside.

Other than that any technical information about the Datron stuff is most welcomed, would love to see full copies of ALL the service manuals for the Datron gear made available as some of them are still hard/impossible to find.
 

Offline MadTux

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Inside workings of all the CLAxxx inside D1271/1281, so people can fix them.
#1 reason why I sold my D1271.
 
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Offline doktor pyta

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Just as I wrote in my first post, selected questions were sent to JP on March 10, 2021.
Other questions have to wait for next occasion.
 
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Offline AnJu

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1) Wavetek 9500 calibrator Service Manual
(Wavetek 9100 calibrator option 250 Service Manual I was already to buy)

2) Actel FPLD firmware:
  - for 9100 calibrator: 401240, 401241, 401256, 401379 and 401652
  - for 9500 calibrator: 401283, 401290, 401294 and 401768

3) 9100/9500 calibrator PCMCIA PC-Card firmware update card image

I am servicing this equipment and willing to pay $$$ for this information (email: UsedPribor gmail com)
Also I had to do reverse engineering FPLD ACT1010 (firmware 401240-2.0) from the Power PCB Assy 401238
« Last Edit: March 18, 2021, 12:04:05 pm by AnJu »
 

Offline picburner

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@doktor pyta:
How did it end then? Was there a response from John Pickering or not?
 
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Offline doktor pyta

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Hi,

JP sent me an email:
'(...) Unfortunately I've been very occupied (...).
(... during) Metrology Meeting (...) I'm talking about al lot of things that the questions were about. (...)'

So I' wouldn't expect more than that what was already said during MM2021.
Sorry folks. There is not much I can do.


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