Author Topic: Equipment wikis?  (Read 5365 times)

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Online rhbTopic starter

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Equipment wikis?
« on: November 29, 2017, 02:05:09 am »
It would be very useful for people looking to buy gear to have a wiki where owners could document performance, features and bugs.  This is going on to some degree, but there's a lot of noise in the threads. I recently got a FeelTech FY-6600 60 MHz AWG and have been doing various tests on it.  Particularly with cheap eBay and Alibaba gear the potential buyer is really just gambling as there is no reliable documentation either online or supplied with the units.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2017, 02:09:16 am »
Not all user posts are trustworthy. (I dont mean on any specific unit, just generally) Certain kinds of (new) equipment seems to attract what can only be described as marketing activity.

I would like to see a wiki, however, about used HW, because I would like to have an easier way of evaluating said HW on-line before deciding to buy it or not. Common failure modes, availability of service manuals, etc, would be good to know about.
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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 03:03:03 am »
I agree that an equipment wiki would be very useful and a time saver. The forum is great for ongoing discussions, reviews, and repairs of equipment, but can require quite an effort to search for specifics ex post facto. On the flip side, maintaining a high S/N ratio as the wiki grows could be challenging.
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Offline kalel

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2017, 03:44:51 am »
On the flip side, maintaining a high S/N ratio as the wiki grows could be challenging.

Would user moderation help with that? Amount of moderation grows as users and content does. Many Wiki's function that way, but I'm not sure how well it works with a smaller to mid size Wiki.
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 04:18:06 am »
Yes, moderators would certainly be required. It's still a challenge to get and keep good moderators. That's all I was getting at.
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Online rhbTopic starter

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 04:32:05 pm »
What I have in mind is documentation, use case examples with screenshots, bug list, etc.  Yes it *would* need to be moderated, but I don't think that would be too much of a problem, though I could be wrong.  Content inappropriate to the wiki could simply be moved and linked with "Discussed in this thread".

Just having links to messages in other threads would be immensely useful to someone contemplating a new acquisition whether new or used and all new kit eventually becomes used kit.

The sort of thing I have in mind is similar to the scope, DMM and SA lists but easier to find and with links to more info.
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2017, 02:20:48 am »
Yeah, I like it. Being able to upload diagrams, manuals, etc. would be nice, too, since they have been known to disappear from other sites over the years.
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Offline cdev

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2017, 02:06:47 pm »
If there was a centralized, coordinated effort it would likely be possible to improve on much of this old often no longer supported equipment with new technology, added inexpensively, and then verify the modification's performance.

Not necessarily the manufacturer's original hardware options, but better. Also, if people sold such mod kits, it could be a link to their kits web sites.
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2017, 05:36:39 pm »
Some already exist.

Before getting started on creating a new one(s) it would be highly useful to all involved to create a list of those already extant. I'll get the ball rolling by pointing out the Tektronix wiki, I'm sure there must be others.
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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2017, 07:53:42 pm »
A variety of T&M info at xDevs https://xdevs.com/
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Offline kripton2035

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2017, 10:47:07 am »
lots of (old) details on https://www.radiomuseum.org/
 

Offline DimitriP

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2017, 11:56:37 am »
We must just need a wiki documenting all the wikis...If only there was a way to search the internet ;)
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Online rhbTopic starter

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2017, 03:30:43 pm »
We must just need a wiki documenting all the wikis...If only there was a way to search the internet ;)

Try a search for tech info on cheap T&M kit sold on eBay.  The noise level gets rather high.  As an example try to find information about the spectral output of a FeelTech FY-6600 AWG.  How good is it?  How long did it take you to find it?
 

Offline npelov

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2017, 10:34:31 pm »
If wikipedia can be moderated, then any wiki smaller than it should be possible to moderate. You just need:
1. The right people
2. The right software

I feel like if you Wikipedia meats Stackexchange and they decide to have children, a good thing would come out. The only way you can trust moderators is if you vote for every moderator or editor action. In stack exchange the best answer is most often the one with the most votes, not the one that the question author chose.

I was thinking about a wiki that gives quick, condensed reference of all the fundamental fridays and other educational videos. Once you watched the video you know what you are looking for, you just forgot the details - the wiki would help a lot. Like I know there is at least one case where X5R caps more suitable than X7R but I forgot what was it. Instead of fast forwarding the video I could look at the wiki.

Same is valid for questions asked in the forums. A wiki that contains the useful information as brief as possible will help a lot. If only there are trusted people that can move the information from the forum to the wiki.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2018, 02:50:48 pm »
What about this wiki's governance, so that it and its members combined efforts would survive the various human and political shifts that can occur?

It would need to exist in the international space - above countries

 even above multinational corporations!

Equal or above the international economic governance organizations.
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Offline Brumby

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2018, 12:20:17 am »
Do you mean ..... God?
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2018, 12:02:40 am »
Sure, we want to keep our great old test equipment around so we can use it, but others want to force everybody to buy new.

They will find a way.


Do you mean ..... God?

No, I didn't. 
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 04:18:48 am by cdev »
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Offline helius

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2018, 12:22:16 am »
cdev, I see you edited out the line of your last post about what "THEY" don't want you to know (or did THEY suppress this valuable insight?). I couldn't help being reminded of the pitch for Popular Paranoia magazine:

Always keep your tinfoil ready and beware of THEM.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2018, 08:07:53 pm »
Can we keep this on topic and free of conspiracy theories please.

The software that runs wikipedia is freely available. I think at one point Dave set one up, perhaps it's worth expanding that, we all know that erm test equipment is kind f his thing.
 

Online rhbTopic starter

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2018, 08:24:04 pm »
I previously volunteered to integrate wiki access control with the forum access control, but never heard anything.  I presume that the blog is FOSS, but have no idea what package it is or where to find the code.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2018, 08:54:55 pm »
The wiki idea seemed to fall dead but it was about general electronics and rivaled by many other sources. but maybe if it was repurposed and/or expanded with test equipment stuff it might make more sense to work on.
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2018, 09:19:54 pm »
Sounds like a plan, Simon. :-+
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Offline jolshefsky

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2018, 09:31:06 pm »
"Throw wiki at it" doesn't actually do much good—nothing fixed about S/N ratio in that alone, nor does it encourage anybody to produce content.

The key I think is to have some kind of structure. For an equipment wiki, you'd likely need template pages for each device, presumably one page per main model. The template would need facts like the name of the device, its main function(s), the manufacturer, model number(s), and introduction date and discontinued date. (I'd personally like home-country and manufacture-country, but I don't think many people care.) From there you'd need a section with an enforced NPOV (neutral point-of-view, a staple of wikis) which outlines the specifications. In theory this should be comparable between devices, so make up a list of all the devices and make templates for them (analog oscilloscope, digital oscilloscope, mixed-signal scope, multimeter, function generator, etc.) Some kind of NPOV, factual usage section that includes tips and scenarios—probably on different pages for all but a list of one-sentence hints. And finally a section for opinions and comments.

Already, there is a ton of work to do before opening the doors. And then it's a constant vigil against spammers, vandals, content wars, and just anyone with an axe to grind. Don't forget about letters from lawyers! It sounds like a big headache to me, but if you're up to it, go for it.

To be honest, getting a domain and Wikia software is not hard. I use Dreamhost and it's one of their "one click installs", included with most packages, so I know for a fact it's about US$10/month to get going. Other hosting services are equally competent.
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Online rhbTopic starter

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Re: Equipment wikis?
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2018, 01:02:46 am »
"What we have heah is a failure to communicate."

I was specifically referencing test and measurement equipment.  I should have thought that obvious from the comments.

Yes, there are wikis devoted to HP, Tek and similar top end gear.   I doubt that FeelTech will be so successful as to receive such treatment.  Given their willful neglect of their customers who have received hardware with seriously defective firmware they ever will outside of someplace like EEVblog.
 
There is a lot of cheap Chinese T&M kit for sale with little or no documentation.  In my experience, "none" is the operative word.  You want pinouts?  Try google.

Quite a number of the cheap stuff has it's origins in some magazine article or blog post.  Collecting links, test measurements made with proper gear would be very helpful to people struggling with limited budgets.
 


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