Huntron Support Forum

All User Forums => General Discussion => Topic started by: uriahsky on August 30, 2010, 03:43:48 pm

Title: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: uriahsky on August 30, 2010, 03:43:48 pm
I have used a 2000 for years and sometimes I have no luck at all trying to find a problem on a circuit board after hours and hours of comparison with a good board.  Is there any info on what problem the Huntron can't find and why, or some tips on what I might be doing wrong.  I have read most of the info on the website and I do have the manual. Thanks, Russ
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: admin on August 31, 2010, 11:12:31 am
Hi Russ,
Thanks for joining the Forum.

Trackers rely on a change in circuit impedance when comparing good versus bad boards. Changes in impedance generally indicate possible electrical damage at that point on the board. It is possible that an electrical failure can occur deep inside a more complex IC and therefore be masked at the pin level where you have test access.
There is not a list of what can and cannot be tested (although crystals come to mind) because a Tracker is a general purpose tester. It is used by people on the majority of existing electronic components. That said, you may be working outside the limits of the Tracker 2000 where its range settings can limit the component values where you will see useful signatures (i.e. a 15000uF cap will look like a short). We have addressed range limitations to some extent with the newer Tracker designs that use variable ranging (i.e. ProTrack, Tracker model 30, Tracker 2800).
In the end, Trackers may not be able to help you find EVERY problem on a PCB but I have always find them to be an invaluable tool to have in the shop.

Thanks.

Curtis
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: cimbian on September 28, 2010, 10:20:06 am
Russ,
I think Curtis is right in that the most common problem is saturation of the part of the signature you are interested in. This is why the ranges are more finely adjustable on newer units.

There is a lot of information contained within a signature and it is all about extracting the pertinent bit.

The self-paced training course can help a lot but I am not sure about the ranges when used with a 2000, perhaps Curtis could answer this one?
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: admin on September 28, 2010, 11:36:53 am
The current version of the Self-paced Training Course (SPTC) is designed for the newer Tracker models with variable range capabilities. Trying to use a Tracker 2000 with this course would be pretty limiting. The old SPTC for the Tracker 2000 is no longer stocked as a kit but the book is still available. Here is a download link copy/paste):

http://www.huntron.com/privatesales/21-1217-2000sptc.pdf

Thanks.

Curtis

Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: Aurora on November 14, 2010, 11:08:52 am
Dear Curtis,

You 2000SPTC link is no longer active.

Would you be able to rectivate the link for me please as I would very much like to read the manual. Was a SPTC manual ever available for the Tracker 200 (TR210) please ?

Kindest Regards

Fraser
Huntron Tracker HTR1005B-1S
Tektronix/Huntron Tracker TR210
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: admin on November 15, 2010, 08:28:08 am
Here is a revised link. I had moved the file on our server:

http://www.huntron.com/privatesales/technical/21-1217-2000sptc.pdf

There was not a SPTC for the Tracker 200 specifically. The Tracker 2000 SPTC would mostly work with a Tracker 200. Some of the exercises may not fit however.

Thanks.

Curtis
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: Eaton Aerospace on February 04, 2011, 10:42:53 am
it can't wash my car yet....unless I put a wash mit on the prober and my car surface underneath at bottom side slot (top).... :o
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: admin on February 07, 2011, 07:10:41 am
We can let you know when the automotive sanitation accessories are available.  ;)
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: tracker on February 20, 2011, 03:15:24 am
Hi Russ,

What type of boards are you faultfinding?
Huntrons are great for most things ,like Curtis pointed out ,but recently some battery powered esr testers came on the market ,which are worth a mention.

I have not found many leaky caps using huntron 2000 as easily as i have with an esr meter.
Reason is the tilt which trackers show in-circuit are not conclusive enough for me . For something very fast ,you just can't beat an esr meter.

2000 CAN'T display equivalent series resistance ( esr )  in caps  , since it does not send a  high enough test frequency  ie 100khz, so you CAN'T  see/display  esr ,either in or out of circuit. >:(
Look at user manual and find the  table of typical esr values of different caps to get a better understanding of what i am talking about.

http://www.peakelec.co.uk/acatalog/jz_esr70.html
 
 
Best tool for esr is peak atlas esr 70 (which measures both cap value and esr value) or  blue esr meter(esr values only) .They are  Low cost and also very good for low ohms work in-circuit.(down as low as 0.05)Well worth the money ,typically usd 200

http://www.anatekcorp.com/blueesr.htm#

you are an experienced 2000 user, are you  using  the same method when troubleshooting  boards ?

------------------Here are my Huntron power-off troubleshooting tips----------------------------
 
moved  to new post ,check it out there.




Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: AES Wind on April 27, 2011, 11:43:27 am
I discovered you can op-check various components w/the tracker (things like relays and fiber xmtrs).  Also, I piggyback boards together (one hooked up to the prober, the others hooked, daisy-chain fashion, to each other).  This works very well when I'm testing large(er) boards that have analog and digital ground plains, alleviating the need for a spaghetti factory of cables snaking across my table from/to the  prober/CCAs. 

I would like to see something akin to an old A/B switch for switching between "alt" on the tracker and single sig testing (w/probes).  Maybe a physical switch on the tracker? Currently I have to unplug from the com, to goto the "B", and back again.  I know I could simply get another lead, but that adds clutter.  I know this may seem an odd thought, but it works on my config.

Alas, I have yet to figure out how to get it to walk my dogs!
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: admin on April 27, 2011, 03:17:16 pm
Hi AES,
I may not get your suggestion entirely but you do have control of the Tracker channel at the Pin level of the Tree pane.

Your Prober could walk a very, very  small dog, I think...

Thanks.

Curtis

Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: AES Wind on April 28, 2011, 06:41:18 am
I'm referring specifically to the actual physical requirement of plugging/unplugging the leads from the A/B/COM on the front of the tracker to switch from taking a single reading using both the leads in hand, to doing a comparison (A/B) reading.  For instance; you're doing a board comparison (A/B (signature pane, tracker tab)), you get a funky reading, you want to switch to individual checks for the specific component (like reading just the IC in Q, or verifying the diode is good) that showed a change from the known good board.  Gotta physically unplug the lead from the "B", and stick it in the "com".  Not a huge issue I know, but time consuming and eventually a wear & tear factor on the lead or the receptacle. 

Two more things: Thanks for the update!  And howgozit!!!???
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: Support on May 05, 2011, 08:31:33 am
You could buy another pair of probes (Non-shrouded) and leave one plugged into the Common jack with the clip leads. Then you just need to pick up the other probe.
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: AES Wind on May 10, 2011, 08:02:11 am
Yeah, but my issue is space (the final frontier!).  I've considered on a number of occasions just biting the bullet and simply plugging in a third lead, but I'm already heavily short on real estate, and I want to minimize any further cluttering of my workspace.  I'm leaning towards an aftermarket A/B switch kind of thing. 


Howdy Curtis!
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: jvthorsley on October 01, 2012, 04:48:05 pm
A ProTrack with built in ESR meter would be a good combination to sort problems that a Huntron alone can not do.
With perhaps an oscilloscope and bench P.S.U.!!!!!
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: admin on October 02, 2012, 09:50:50 am
A ProTrack with built in ESR meter would be a good combination to sort problems that a Huntron alone can not do.
With perhaps an oscilloscope and bench P.S.U.!!!!!

It would probably be easier to integrate a software controlled ESR meter (or LCR meter that has ESR as well) into Huntron Workstation using the Workstation SDK.
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: jvthorsley on October 02, 2012, 05:01:51 pm
SigAssist in Preferences in Workstation 3.5.4 gives you capacitance & resistance readings. Do you think you could give an ESR reading from analysis of the signatures on this? Or does Workstsation 4 already do this sort of calculation.
Most ESR meters work at 100KHz, but the ProTrack only goes up to 5KHz. Capacitor manufacturers typically quote the ESR of their products at 100KHz.
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: admin on October 10, 2012, 07:14:33 am
SigAssist can only get so close to an approximate measurement. The range settings have to provide a fairly equal amount of horizontal and vertical (voltage and current) data to trigger a calculation. There would be the same limitations on trying to calculate an ESR reading.
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: jvthorsley on October 21, 2012, 09:40:40 am
Possible development here for new Huntron impedance signature analyzer with inteligent ESR reading!
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: jvthorsley on July 11, 2013, 04:56:55 pm
But as said before on this forum one of the best ideas for fault finding would be for Huntron to design in the equipment  the " Beep Mode " as designed on the Polar T6000.
The T6000 incorporates the facility to sound an audible warning when the deviation between two signatures under comparison exceeds a specified value. This feature enables the operator to probe the devices under test without looking away from the circuit boards being compared.
That is if the specified deviation / tolerance is exceeded the T6000 beeps a warning to the operator.
But I don't suppose our Huntron Guru Curtis will go for this idea.
And is cheaper and quicker than an automated prober for small quantities of circuit boards.
Polar is a company in the U.K. And the T6000 was produced in the early 90's.[img][img]
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: admin on July 14, 2013, 08:17:30 am
This would only be useful when probing manually and you still need to look at the display when it beeps. As I am sure you know, signatures can be different but not caused by a true fault so you would probably hear many beeps before getting to something meaningful (and maybe why Polar did not carry the beep feature on to later products).
Most of the users of our current "manual" Tracker 2800 have opted to use them with software. The software prompts them to move to each pin and the test results are displayed on screen when complete. Much more efficient.
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: jvthorsley on July 18, 2013, 05:23:39 pm
Cannot agree. Only this week I opted to use the Polar T6000 rather than my Pro Track because I needed a fast turnaround. There was not enough time to write the program for this Fork Truck circuit board and as the customer had lent me a known good board, I was able to set the tolerance I wanted and test all the IC's on the board without looking at the display and find two faulty IC's on the board that now works. The faulty IC's had pins with tolerances at and over 18%. I consider the " Beep Mode " wins every time with this sort of situation where there are only a small quantity of boards that does not justify the time spent to write a program.
I think you will find that Polar no longer push impedance signature analysers as a method of fault finding circuit boards. The modern controller circuit board uses just a few IC's that do not lend themselves to this type of fault finding, whereas its predecessor that had several TTL IC's, transistors, and diodes etc and was relatively easy to fault find with Impedance signature analysers. You at Huntron are the main dealers in this type of equipment now.
When I know that I will have a number of the same type of board to test, I do then take the time to use your Workstation software to write a very effective program.
And fortunately for me I do get asked to repair a wide range of equipment with lots of different components.
An example of a circuit that does not lend itself to this method of testing is the modern car ECU, whereas I was asked to test a 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Bosch Motronic ECU that had a mixture of IC's, transistors, and diodes and was able to confirm using my Pro Track and also a signal generator to simulate the cars distributor points that the fault was in the cars wiring not the ECU. No not all circuit boards justify the time spent to write a program and " Beep Mode " is very useful here as you don't have to look  at every pin you probe. Also lacquer coated IC's have to be manually probed with sharp tip probes. But I don't suppose you are convinced.
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: admin on July 22, 2013, 12:06:11 pm
...But I don't suppose you are convinced.

Not yet but your are gaining ground.  ;)
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: CoraDias on April 03, 2018, 08:56:28 am
Hi...i am a new user here. As per my knowledge it is possible that an electrical failure can occur deep inside a more complex IC and therefore be masked at the pin level where you have test access.There is not a list of what can and cannot be tested because a Tracker is a general purpose tester. It is used by people on the majority of existing electronic components.

smt circuit board assembly (https://www.7pcb.com/smt-assembly.php)
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: admin on April 03, 2018, 10:41:49 am
Welcome to the Huntron Users Support Forum, CoraDias!

I agree that more complex ICs can fail in a way that you will not see the effect of that failure at the pins. It would like trying to troubleshoot a complex circuit board from the connectors only. The good news (if you want to call it "good") is that core failures of complex ICs are fairly rare since these problems are mostly caused by process issues during manufacture. These ICs will almost always fail the first time they are powered up.
Title: Huntron Training
Post by: MichaelHeit AD7VV on September 03, 2019, 02:06:41 pm
Curtis,

I downloaded the self training manual you linked in a previous message; this manual will not apply to our 2800 we have, but it is an introductory form of needed knowledge. I am planning to purchase the self directed training course listed on the Huntron website, will this course fill our needs for the 2800 we have now?

For now I will print out the manual and study it pending the purchase of the course. I wish the company would sponsor my attending the classes in WA state; it would be great to attend and learn from the masters ...

Thank you very much for your time and assistance.

Mike
Title: Re: What can and can't the Huntron do?
Post by: admin on September 04, 2019, 08:23:22 am
The ASA Training Course is great for those who have never used a Tracker before as it covers the basics of signature analysis.