Test Based Applications - Have your say

For Flowcode users to discuss projects, flowcharts, and any other issues related to Flowcode 6.

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PaulNe
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Test Based Applications - Have your say

Postby PaulNe » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:55 am

Hi all,

One of the key new features in Flowcode 6 is the ability to operate in a 'live mode' where users can acquire and stream test data directly into Flowcode. This data can then be manipulated, or used to control other processes. This can be achieved using our own hardware, such as the ECIO or MIAC, or 3rd party test equipment such as oscilloscopes, DMMs, signal generators etc. as long as they have the ability to live stream data to a PC, typically through USB connectivity.

We at Matrix would like your feedback relating to areas of test which are of most interest to you. Perhaps you work in the automotive industry and would like to be able to test signals passing around the car, or maybe you work in PCB production and use ATE test equipment and desire to create test protocols. Whatever your test area is, we would like to know so that we can continue to improve the user experience of Flowcode 6.

Feel free to make this thread into a discussion based on tests based applications, but lets try keep it to test only! While we love to hear all feedback from you we need to keep it organised at least otherwise it will get lost.

Thanks,

Paul
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Re: Test Based Applications - Have your say

Postby balles » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:41 pm

Dear Paul,

i'm pretty new to flowcode, in fact i've tested the trial version and it ended to fast, so now i'm waiting for finance to buy it. It should happens till december. :D

My interest is to read a dozen sensors signals of weather and transmit them. The aplication of it is transmit the info for one central control of harvest. Not to try antecipate the weather, just read the actual parameters. We have a hardware that can transmit via usb and it will be amazing to read the data direct into flowcode to analize it. Is this such application your looking for?

I'm trying to be clear but my native language is portuguese, and i noted on other posts that it can produce some misunderstandings. So if i get it wrong be patient and clarify it a little more.

Can you point me were to find one model or example of such 'live mode' to stream the data directly to flowcode?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Test Based Applications - Have your say

Postby PaulNe » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:56 am

Hi Balles,

Thank you for replying. Yes this is the kind of information we are after. What sensors are you using? Do you have any links to them?

As for the acquiring of live data into Flowcode, Ben wrote an article on our blog which touches on this. He uses a MPU-6050 (accelerometer and gyro) board, connected to an ECIO which then transmits data live into Flowcode. His article is based on a quadrocopter he is building, but the principles of live data acquisition are the same.

We will also look at writing more articles demonstrating this in the coming weeks and put them on our blog.

Thanks

Paul

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Re: Test Based Applications - Have your say

Postby balles » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:53 pm

Hello Paul,

Well i just need to keep some info safe about this project and you may understand it. The most of the sensors are on the market nothing special.

There are sensors for light intensity, infrared sensors, atmosphere pressure, wind speed and direction, soil moisture, environmental temperature, rain gauge, control of day/night, time and date. Plus other that we are developing right now. These are out of topic...

They all have a link to a board that has a usb connection that integrates all these items. That device has the ability to inform through gms all these parameters. The point is to get info for big farms or when the plantation is far away, without someone having to personally verify.

The intention of having flowcode is to get prototypes faster, i'm hiting this key for some time and now seems someone listened. So i'm just waiting the ok to go.

There are little VGA cameras out there and soon as get my hands on flowcode i'll get in contact to see how get it working through pic, to take snapshots of the clouds/sky and transmit them with the gsm capability. So it's one point you guys could look forward to make one component for it, that would be awesome!!

Now you got one idea one it, how can i help as you ask at the begining?

Ok i'll take a look on Benj's article, and wait for the upcoming you're talking about.
Cheers!!

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Re: Test Based Applications - Have your say

Postby Brendan » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:22 pm

Admittedly not the subject of software, but relevant to professional test applications and development...

I've used Flowcode many times for its distinct time-saving and collaborative development benefits in the professional test environment.

Professionally, time is very much 'money', and the ability to purchase off-shelf complimentary eBlock hardware for direct inclusion in test jigs presents huge savings on CAD resource, bespoke PCB fab, and assembly time. Although the cost of eBlocks may be a significant factor for personal purchases and use, such costs are quite insignificant where they present considerable savings. For example, it is often worthwhile to purchase an EB006 (even though we may only need a regulated power source, PIC socket, and minimal I/O requirement), as developing a bespoke alternative can run into many hundreds of pounds... at-least.

The benefit is therefore minimisation of skilled development/design effort in the speedy creation of test equipment, delays alone being a further factor and added cost.

Where things fall down for the EB006 in particular (and other relevant boards) is the 5V-only logic, whereas most of the equipment we design test solutions for commonly adopt 3V3 logic (as with many modern systems). Of-course it is possible to design and build level-shifting interfaces between such boards and custom logic such as ours, but this detracts from the ability to employ off-shelf eBlock products and avoid costly effort. Building in 5V tolerance in our products is not an option for a number of reasons.

I would dearly like to see future eBlock boards optionally able to directly interface to common lower-level logic (particularly 3V3) without need of custom interfacing solutions. For boards such as the EB006 and Flowkit (for example), I believe this requires little more than use of on-board 'L' series devices and switchable 5V/3V3 regulation to satisfy adopted on-board clock frequencies for programming and directly-coupled LV I/O.

Is this a realistic proposition for future products?


Thank you in advance,

Brendan

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Re: Test Based Applications - Have your say

Postby Benj » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:07 pm

Hello Brendan,

Thanks for your comments.

I would dearly like to see future eBlock boards optionally able to directly interface to common lower-level logic (particularly 3V3) without need of custom interfacing solutions.


We have in fact already added this feature to the new EB006 v9 board which has the option to run the target micro at 5V or 3V3. We mainly added the option because the host micro is a 3V3 device and therefore the regulator was on the board anyway so it made sense. I also run into the problem all the time so it was a bit of a no brainer. The only downside is the 3V3 regulator on the board is a bit small so you might be limited in terms of the max current available for you to use.

Image

I'm doing more E-block redesigns soon so I will keep your comments in mind, I fyou have any further comments then please feel free to shout out :D
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Re: Test Based Applications - Have your say

Postby Brendan » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:44 pm

Thanks Ben - that's fantastic news. Today I was hit with a new project request and the v9 hardware would fit perfectly.

The recent update to the board had entirely escaped my attentions :oops:


All the best,

Brendan
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Re: Test Based Applications - Have your say

Postby QMESAR » Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:30 pm

Hi Guys

I like the ICT feature of FC this is great :D
It would be great if FC would support the NI IVI Drivers as most instrument companies make IVI drivers for their instruments
that would make FC compatible with many vendors .

I personaly have a Pico 5000 series 4CH scope which would be great when I could use it in FC , not sure if the communication protocol of the Pico 2000
is similar to the Pico 5000.
IVI Driver support would be a brillian move from your side

I am very happy with FC

Regards
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Re: Test Based Applications - Have your say

Postby Brendan » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:23 am

Hello FC team.

I have suggested this elsewhere, though relevant to this thread in particular...

Due to our successes using Flowcode to develop bespoke, portable, standalone test rigs, we're now integrating large capacitive touchscreens and FTDI's "Vinculum-II" chipsets into the mix. This will support all the usual GUI and hosted USB HID for flexible test platforms, anticipating substantial benefits to this approach that I'll be driving forward this year.

There's one particular exception however and that's the highly-ubiquitous GPIB present on professional test and measurement instruments in widespread use. A GPIB component would permit chaining and driving highly-advanced instrumentation, from power supplies to radio test sets.

Such a component would need to handle data flow to IEEE488.2, supporting instrument addressing and SCPI strings initiated by the user. For ourselves, this holds great attraction for scalable production test processes both at home and abroad, negating the need of temperamental/maintained computers, licensed operating systems, updates and and security management, and affords remote duplication of test platform hardware running OEM-developed firmware created in Flowcode. An added feature to 'sniff' and record GPIB data for subsequent analysis would further facilitate rapid migration of test solutions formerly developed for traditional host workstations.

The inclusion of a GPIB component in Flowcode therefore remains a highly-desired addition, further reaffirming the benefits of your excellent software toolbox for serious professional applications. Please advise if this is a realistic prospect,


Thanks and best regards,

Brendan
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Re: Test Based Applications - Have your say

Postby EtsDriver » Wed May 27, 2015 11:14 am

Hi!

I made one test code to try out my Agilent/Keysight U1232A multimeter functions.

Take a look at this video:
Video

And you can download and play with the code here:
Download here

NOTE: Easiest way to play around with the logging function is to open the "log.txt" in notepad++ and replace all ";" marks with "/n". (Getting values into Excel etc)
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Ill just keep the good work up!