Author Topic: Equipment Test sub-forum  (Read 1125 times)

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Offline technogeeky

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Equipment Test sub-forum
« on: August 04, 2016, 02:32:34 am »

Can we create a sub-forum for test equipment tests somewhere on this forum?


What I'm attempting to do is elide actual experiments done with various equipment (I have test equipment in mind, but any equipment that many of us have will do) from the very long threads discussing such equipment.


So, in order to do this, I propose that we have a sub-forum where the original post is an experimental procedure, a list of equipment and settings used (e.g. direction of tongue, hue of gray beard), and results of running the experiment in that setup.

Then, the experimenter can request or suggest variations that he/she is interested in (e.g. can someone with a better signal generator try this, can someone with a better scope try that, can someone with exactly this equipment try it to see if my equipment is funny). The experimenter may also suggest follow-on tests that might provide learning opportunities.


I think this sub-forum would have a few benefits.

  • First, it would provide a common location for people to discuss the hard evidence of things like firmware bugs, or variations on hardware, or the trade-offs between various hardware choices.
  • Second, it would afford hardware manufacturers who otherwise do not have time to wade through dozens (or hundreds!) of posts about some problem and instead review the collective evidence and decide for themselves about the source of the problem and the potential fix. They can also avoid the morass of opinions (I mean this in a bad sense) about what is or isn't going wrong, or how happy or disappointed people are with a product. I'm sure there are people who work at equipment manufacturers want to know about customer satisfaction, but it's certainly not the same people.
  • Third, I think this would directly encourage experimentation and the use of scientific methods and more rigorous protocols. Obviously such things do go on this forum already, but as the popularity of a product or its associated thread post count rise, it becomes harder and harder to discern the facts about a product from people's opinions and expectations of it.

A (bad) example

For instance, see this post in the hundred page long Rigol 1054z thread. No, it's not properly written up and it's not an original post (I was modifying an earlier protocol). No, it's not a great post on its own right. But if we imagine extracting the one or two dozen posts about this particular bug and putting them into their own thread, then people who want to discuss and interpret the results can do so in the normal thread (or the experimental thread). But the added benefit is that someone at Rigol or elsewhere can simply be referred to the experimental thread, they can spend a few minutes reviewing the evidence, and decide on a plan of action (or not).


In short, I think this kind of sub-forum would really benefit this community. I think the kind of benefits I'm suggesting are just the tip of the iceberg, too - I think there is room for improvement. That is why I propose it would be a good idea to create the sub-forum, and let people run with it and see what they can do with it. I suspect we'll be happily surprised.


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