FAQs for Older Huntron Products
The Huntron Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) listings address questions that are asked by users the most often. The sections are divided by product with the most recent being near the top. Use the links below to navigate to a particular section and read the questions listed with each section.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Tracker Model 30 Systems
Q: What are the primary differences between the Model 30 and ProTrack?
A: The main differences are hardware related. The Model 30 requires a PC for use where the ProTrack could be used with or without a PC. Because the Model 30 uses a PC for display, it does not have a built-in display. This makes for a more compact package and less expensive price compared to the ProTrack's original selling price. The ProTrack had a built-in Pulse Generator where the Model 30 does not.
Back to Top
Q: What type of accessories can be connected to the Model 30?
A: The Tracker Model 30 can be used alone with the Huntron Workstation software but there are several time saving accessories. The Scanner 31S and Scanner II (30S) can be used to inteface cable style connections such as DIP Clip cables to a PCB under test. For full test automation, the Model 30 can be connected to a Robotic Prober such as the Access Prober or Access 2 Prober.
Back to Top
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Huntron Software
Q: What is the latest version of Huntron Workstation®?
A: Version 4 is available for purchase. Current version 4 users can download the latest release as well as updated tutorials from the Software web page. Contact Huntron for more information.
Older versions (before version 4) are no longer available. More information is available on the Obsolete Products section of this web site.
Back to Top
Q: I am new to Huntron Workstation®. Where do I start?
A: The best way to get started is by viewing the software tutorials included with the software package.
Version 4 software includes Software and CAD Import tutorials with the installation. These tutorials are also available on the Huntron Workstation Support web page.
In Huntron Workstation version 3.x, view the "Building Test Routines" and "Running Test Routines" tutorials. These are accessed through the Help menu in "Getting Started". It works best to print these tutorials for easy reference. For additional assistance, contact Huntron Technical Support.
Back to Top
Q: I want to create a Prober test for my panelized boards but I don't want to teach each individual panel. Is there a way to do this?
A: Yes. Huntron Workstation version 4 has a built-in utility for creating additional panels offset from the original. Select the Prober/Panelize pane to add an offset panel (panels are added as new Sequences).
Using version 3.X, here is the basic lowdown on creating a panelized test. This method only works if each panel is treated as a component in one section.
- Create a System, Board, Section.
- Create a component (called something like "panel1") for all of the desired points on one panel (the one closest to the home position)
- Teach the new component (first panel).
- BACK UP THE TEST! Just in case the next steps do not go as planned.
- Create another Temp board/section.
- Copy the taught component to the Temp board/section.
- Go into the temp board/section.
- Select Align and align to the same points but on the SECOND panel -DO NOT close the Align window....
- Click the Realign button and realign to the original points used for the FIRST panel.
- After the realign is complete, rename the component to something like "panel2".
- Copy the renamed component to the original board/section.
- Go to the original board/section and try running the test.
- If it works properly, back up the test.
- Repeat the process for each panel.
When all is done, you may wish to choose new alignment points for the whole board rather than the ones on the first panel.
Back to Top
Q: Can I use CAD information to generate a Huntron test?
A: Yes. Huntron uses third party software that offers the possibility to output a Huntron specific file that can be imported into the Workstation software to create a complete robotic prober test (sans signatures of course). This software is optional to Huntron Workstation.
More information on importing CAD data can be found in the Huntron Workstation Help or view the CAD Import tutorial on the Huntron Workstation Support page.
Back to Top
Q: Sometimes I see colors in my black and white Prober (RP388, Tracker 5500, Prober II or Prober III) camera image. What is the problem?
A: At times, the switching between color palettes in Windows does not occur properly and can result in colors (usually magenta) appearing in the Prober camera image. If you are using Windows 98, try opening the Display Properties/Web and deselecting "View my Active Desktop as a web page". In some cases, it may help to go into the Display Properties/Settings and reselect 256 colors as the color mode. Newer versions of Huntron Workstation (specifically 3.5.4) have eliminated this problem by adding support for video modes of 16-bit and higher.
Back to Top
Q: How do you store multiple signature sets for a component?
A: Huntron Workstation 4 allows for any signature scan to be set as a "Reference" and used for comparison. Simply click the Set Reference button in the Signatures/Troublesheet tab after scanning or select the Reference check box in the Tree/Component Scans tab. Version 4 also has the ability to create a Merge signature set by clicking the Merge button in the Signatures/Troublesheet tab after scanning.
Huntron Workstation 3.X software allows you store up to 10 individual sets of signatures per component (based on the serial number name) plus 1 merged (min/max) set (the merged set is separate from the serialized signature sets).
To store additional signature set, scan the component normally. When the Signature results window appears (whether it be Passed or Failed), select the Save button so the Store Signature window is displayed. There are a number of radio button from which to choose:
- Don't Store: do not store an additional serialized signature set
- Store: store a signature set based on the serial number name (the name structure is "serial number name:signature set number" e.g. 1234)
- Replace: write the current signatures over the signature set selected below in the serial number list
- Don't Merge: do not create/add to the Merged (Min/Max) signature set
- Merge (Min/Max): create/add to the current Merged (Min/Max) signature set
- Overwrite: replace the stored Merged (Min/Max) signature set with the current signatures
In general practice, the Store function will be used to store individual good signature sets. The Merge function will layer multiple scans on top of one another with the result being a signature with increased tolerance. Use the Compare Priority radio buttons in the Serial Number window to control which signature sets are used for comparison when testing.
Back to Top
What is the function of Huntron "Buttons"?
A: The Huntron Buttons function allows you to launch specific Windows applications from within the Huntron Workstation program. Functions can be selected from the Buttons Toolbar (version 4), Buttons drop menu or from an on-screen menu dialog (version 3.x). For a more detailed explanation, view the Huntron Workstation Tutorial (version 4.x) or go to the Application Notes section of this web site and download the "Using the Huntron Workstation Buttons feature" PDF file (for version 3.x).
Back to Top
Q: What can be done to a board test to shorten the test time?
A: The most beneficial method is to reduce the number of test points by creating a NET based test or testing only the unique nodes on the circuit. This eliminates any redundant re-testing of component pins. Generally, CAD data or schematics are necessary to create a net test.
Other things that can be done to reduce test time is to decrease the number of test ranges used (though we recommend using at least two), disabling the "Z Home between Components" in the Preferences window and grouping small discrete components into one component test. Disabling the "Show Pin/Range on Scan" in the Preferences window and increasing the test range frequency to 200Hz or higher will also result in shorter test times.
More suggestions are available in the Technical Support Quick Tips
Back to Top
Q: What is Tolerance and how is it calculated?
A:Tolerance as it relates to the Huntron software can sometimes be difficult to explain but here is our best short explanation.
The software samples a single cycle of the applied sinewave regardless of frequency. For signature creation, sine information for both the voltage (horizontal) and current (vertical) are examined but only the horizontal data is used when comparing. We digitize these waveforms by plotting 100 locations across the entire waveform cycle. These points are the byte location. We then look at the location of where the waveform crosses through a particular byte location and assign it a number (referred to as a signature point). This signature point will be positive or negative depending on it's location within the byte location and can be 0-99*. The tolerance is the number allowed for a compared signature point to be "different". For example, your tolerance is set to 5. If the STORED signature point in byte location 10 is "20" and a compared signature point for the same byte location is "30", then the signature would fail because the difference between stored and compared is 10. If the compared signature point was 25, then it would pass. When viewing signatures in the Zoom mode or in the Troublesheet, the deviation (the Dev number) is how different the compared signature point is from the stored signature point minus the tolerance for the largest difference on that waveform. So essentially, the Dev number is the amount you would need to add to the tolerance to get a PASS result. The Area number is the sum of all deviant signature points and is used for sorting the failed signatures. In the Zoom Signature window, click the Data button to see the actual byte and signature (data) point information. This may help visualize how we derive the signatures.
The number of byte locations used for comparison is determined by the Compare Resolution setting in the Preferences window. A Normal setting results in 20 positions being used and a High setting results in all 100 positions being used.
Voltage amplitude could be related to the signature but this would relate only to the horizontal signature information. For a Tracker range amplitude of 1Vpk, each signature point would be 1/100th of a volt making a signature point worth approximately .01V. This would mean that a tolerance of 5 would allow the horizontal voltage amplitude to differ by up to .05V. With this analogy, you can see why the tolerance is sometimes related to a percentage.
* Note: Data byte values can exceed 99, but normal full scale is 100. Values like 101 or 102 (mostly on capacitors) could be displayed and it is possible for values up to 127 but this means that the voltage has exceeded the voltage output by the Tracker.
Back to Top
ProTrack Systems FAQ:
Q: I cannot get my Huntron ProTrack® I Model 20 to connect to my PC. What is the problem?
A:There can be several reasons why this can happen.
- Check the PC BIOS settings for the parallel port mode set to Standard or Normal.
- In the Hardware Settings window (Settings/Hardware Settings), make sure the parallel port is selected correctly. If you are not sure, try each one (LPT1, LPT2, etc.).
- Make sure the parallel port is configured properly in Windows and that no conflicts exist.
- Make sure the parallel cable you are using is good and is the correct configuration (straight-through, 25-pin IEEE 1284 standard).
- Make sure the ProTrack I is configured as a Model 20. Using the ProTrack I front panel buttons and LCD screen, press the Menu button. Press the Prefs button. Press the Advanced button. The menu item second down on the left side should say M20. If it says M10, press the corresponding button to toggle it to M20. Press the Store button to save this setting.
- You may need to install a separate parallel card into your PC if the built-in port is not 100% IBM compatible.
- For USB ProTracks, make sure the ProTrack USB driver is installed. The driver is available on the Huntron Workstation installation CD. The ProTrack should be recognized as a USB device when connected to the PC USB port. Once this occurs, the driver can be installed.
Back to Top
Q: I cannot get my Huntron Robotic Prober to work. What is the problem?
A: There can be several reasons why this can happen.
- For Access USB Probers, make sure the motor control driver is installed by looking in the Windows Device Manager for the HS20USB device. Make note of the COM port assigned to this device so you can select the correct COM port in the Tools/Options/Hardware settings in Huntron Workstation.
Probers with serial COM connections (9 pin connection):
- Make sure the COM port selection in the Prober Hardware Settings is correct. If you are not sure, try each one (COM1, COM2, etc.).
- Make sure the cable is good. A 9-pin serial cable is used.
- Make sure the STOP button on the Prober is not being inadvertently held down by some object.
- Check the COM port settings in the Windows Device Manager and ensure there are no conflicts.
Back to Top
Q: I cannot get a camera image with my Prober. What's wrong?
A: Here are a few suggestions for getting a camera image.
- Make sure the PC display properties are set to 256 colors (software previous to version 3.2.1 on Electrim black and white camera systems).
- For Electrim black and white camera systems: With the PC cover off and power ON, measure the voltage at TP1 on the camera card (located at the top rear corner of the card -- use the PC chassis as ground). Adjust R8 (Gain) until the voltage reads 1.9VDC. Start the Huntron software and bring up a window that has a camera image (such as camera offset). Put the image to LIVE mode. Adjust the Intensity knob to minimum. Mount a dark colored board in the Prober. Position the camera over a visible object such as the white text on the camera offset board. Now adjust R9 (Bias) slowly (counter-clockwise to start) while watching the image on the PC monitor. You should be able to get an image. Adjust it so the image looks good with the Intensity set to a middle position.
- For color camera systems: Ensure that the camera cable is connected to the proper BNC connector on the Prober and that the power is ON. Also verify that the software driver for your camera card (either Sensoray or NI IMAQ) has been installed. - A white or blue image can also be caused by a connection problem. Double check your camera card to prober cable.
Back to Top
Q: I see a lot of noise in the signatures on my ProTrack. What is the problem?
A: It is likely that the Common fuse has opened and needs to be replaced. Be sure to replace this with the same type of fuse. Noise in the signature can also be caused from outside influences such as flouresent lights. Try using the black Common lead (ships with Probers) with the ferrite bead installed to help reduce noise.
Back to Top
Q: I am having difficulty probing fine pitched components with my Prober. What is wrong?
A: Getting good results from your robotic prober depends on how accurate you set the Camera Offset for the selected slot (top, middle or bottom), the quality of the selected alignment points (are they easy to see and repeatable from one board to the next?), how well the alignment is set, and how accurately the component was positioned in the Teach mode.
- Camera Offset: when performing this procedure, it is extremely important that it be done as accurately as possible. If you find that the XY component position looks okay in the camera view while in Teach mode but the probe tip misses the test points when probing, you need to recheck your camera offset. It has a direct relation to how well the probe tip touches the test points.
- Selecting alignment points: select alignment that are exactly the same from one board to the next. They need to be easy to see yet small enough to ensure that the alignment is precise. Toggle between the Original (Stored) image (stored when the alignment point is first taught) and the Current image making sure that the alignment is as close as it can possibly be to the original.
- Be as accurate as possible when teaching component XY positions. Being very precise at the beginning will save you a lot of time later on.
- Make sure the rails of the prober are clean and well lubricated. Dirt or lack of lubrication can cause the XY movement to bind therefore causing inaccurate probing.
- Make sure the probe tip is straight and in good condition. The symptom of a bent probe tip is that it will probe some pins okay while missing others on the same component.
Back to Top
Q: Can a Prober II or Prober III with a black and white camera system be upgraded to color?
A: Unfortunately, no. Color camera upgrades for the Prober II and Prober III are no longer available.
Back to Top
Q: Is it possible for a ProTrack to damage components on my PCB?
A: Using a Huntron Tracker including the ProTrack will not damage a component under test when using proper techniques. Two advanced and exclusive features of the ProTrack's ASA are the Smart Tracker Active Range (STAR) and the MaxV (Maximum Voltage) feature. Both these features prevent components from being inadvertently exposed to possibly excessive test current levels (for example, 20 Volts and 10 ohms). The STAR settings were derived from previous Tracker range limitations that have proved to be dependable over the last two decades. The ProTrack's MaxV feature is an additional built-in test safeguard and is user definable. The ProTrack's STAR feature is always enabled and cannot be disabled. The STAR feature is designed to limit the maximum power of any test range available at the ProTrack's output terminals. This feature ensures that especially for special types of power sensitive solid state components, the test range parameters cannot be set to any combination that might overpower the component under test.
There are guidelines that should be observed when testing certain types of transistors.
It is possible for a Tracker to alter the current gain (hFE or ß) of a bipolar transistor whenever the emitter is tested. Either the base-emitter or collector-emitter test circuits satisfy this criterion. While heating of the device due to the current produced by the instrument may cause a temporary change in hFE (most noticeable in a 10V or higher range), a permanent shift in hFE may occur whenever the base-emitter junction is forced into reverse breakdown (~6-20 Volts). If the voltage is above 6 Volts, then the magnitude of the shift depends on the duration of the test and the resistance selected. Reducing the voltage to 5 Volts or less will avoid this problem. Most bipolar transistor circuit designers take into account a wide variation in hFE as a normal occurrence and design the related circuitry to function properly over the expected range of hFE. The effects mentioned above are for the most part much smaller than the normal device variation so that the use of this instrument will have no effect on the functionality of good devices and can fulfill its intended purpose of a means to locate faulty components. However, some circuits may depend on the hFE of the particular part in use e.g. instrumentation that is calibrated to certain hFE value, or precision differential amplifiers with matched transistors. In such instances, we suggest following these guidelines:
1. Use 5 Volts or less for testing the base-emitter or collector-emitter.
2. If using 6 Volts or greater, then keep the duration of the test as short as possible.
3. Identify the base, emitter and collector pins of the device and then test the collector-base junction to determine whether it is an NPN or PNP. Since the emitter is not tested there will be no effect on hFE regardless of the selected voltage.
Also note that the gate in many power MOSFET transistors is not internally protected and can be damaged by excessive gate-to-source voltage. When in a properly designed circuit, the needed protection is provided. This is mainly an issue if testing parts out of circuit. To minimize the possibility of damage, use only use range settings below 10V when probing power MOSFET transistors.
For more information, download this independent study regarding the affects of Huntron Trackers on analog and digital devices:
Independent Study on Huntron Trackers
Q: How do I upload my user settings or put my ProTrack back to factory settings?
A: If you have downloaded the User file (usually called ptuser1.ptc) from your ProTrack using the ProTrack Diagnostics then you can upload the file to restore your ProTrack settings. This is sometimes necessary if the Flash memory in your ProTrack has become corrupt. If you do not have your PTC file, contact Huntron for the original file created when your ProTrack was set up at the factory.
Here are the steps for uploading the file to your ProTrack:
- You need to save the file on your PC in the "c:\winhunt" directory (Workstation version 3 software) or "Documents and Settings/All Users/Application Data/Huntron, Inc" folder (Workstation version 4.1/4.2) or the "Users/Public/Public Documents/Huntron Hardware Files" folder (Workstation 4.3).
- Once you have the file saved, start Huntron Workstation.
- Go to Control/Maintenance/ProTrack Diagnostics (ver.3) or Tools/Maintenance/ProTrack Diagnostics (ver.4)
- Select the Write to ProTrack button
- Verify that User 1 is selected
- Click Upload - the file will be uploaded to your ProTrack (you will see some block information displayed briefly on the ProTrack LCD)
- When the Upload is complete, close the Protrack Diagnostics
- Go to Settings/Hardware Settings (ver. 3) or Tools/Options/Hardware (ver. 4)
- Select ProTrack I as the Test Hardware and click Save
- The ProTrack should connect to the PC
Back to Top
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Huntron Benchtop Instruments and Older Products
Q: I cannot get my Tracker 5100DS to communicate. What is the problem?
A:Usually the problem is caused by the GPIB (ISA) card and/or the PC having incorrect settings. Old GPIB cards with revision H or J will only work with the DOS version of the Huntron software (last version was 7.5). When using the DOS software with the current fast computers, the program must be started as follows:
There is a space between the 51DS and the /D. The "D" must be upper case. This adds a slight delay in the GPIB communication for fast PCs.
To use Huntron Workstation for Windows software (version 2.2) you must use a newer revision D or E GPIB card (assembly number 181065-02).
Switch settings on a revision H or J card are 2 and 4 are ON. All others are OFF. For revision D or E cards, switches 4 and 6 are ON, all others are off. The GPIB drivers base I/O address should be set to 2B8h. This ISA card (part number 777463-01) is still available from National Instruments with support for Windows 95/98/ME only.
To use your Tracker 5100DS in Windows 2000 or XP, you need the 3.x 32 bit version of the Huntron Workstation software and the PCI-GPIB card available from National Instruments (see question below). The software can be purchased by contacting Huntron Technical Support to verify what your situation requires.
Huntron Workstation version 4 does not support the Tracker 5100DS.
Back to Top
Q: I want to use a PCI version GPIB card with my Tracker 5100DS. Is this possible?
A: Yes. The PCI-GPIB card available from National Instruments can be used with a Tracker 5100DS provided Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP is being used along with the 32bit version of the Huntron Workstation software (version 3.X only).
Install the PCI-GPIB card and the included software drivers (the GPIB driver installed with the Huntron Workstation is for the ISA card only). The main issue is setting up the Tracker as a GPIB device. Make sure the device name (typically in the Device 1 position) is set to HTRKER. Other settings may vary depending on the installed operating system. Download the 5100DS GPIB SETUP APPLICATION NOTE for more information on configuring the NI driver software settings. Please note that the Tracker 5100DS originally shipped from Huntron with an ISA version GPIB card and that Huntron Technical Support will supply only limited assistance with alternate GPIB configurations.
Back to Top
Q: My Tracker 2000 shows a vertical trace on the CRT all of the time. What is wrong?
A: It is likely the signal line fuse has been blown. This is usually caused by a power source or charged capacitor being applied to channel A or B. Open the Tracker case and check the fuse F1 on the signal PCB (the small card mounted on top of the main PCB). Replace the fuse if necessary with the same type- 1/4 amp AGC fast blow.
Back to Top
Q: I have a very old Tracker 1005B. Are parts and manuals available for it?
A: Parts and printed manuals for the old 1005B Trackers are no longer available. The Huntron Products Manuals CD containing all Huntron manuals can be purchased through the Huntron Online Store.
Back to Top
Q: I love my Huntron Microprobes. Can I get them directly from Huntron?
A: Yes. The part numbers to use for ordering Huntron MP10 or M20 Microprobes are 98-0078 (MP10 standard banana jack) and 98-0249 (MP20 shrouded banana jack). Huntron Microprobes can be purchased through the Huntron Online Store.
Back to Top
Q: The open circuit trace on my Tracker 1000 is at a 45 degree angle when in the Low range. Is this normal?
A: Yes. Unlike more recent Huntron Tracker designs where the Low range open signature is a horizontal line, the Huntron Tracker 1000 displays a 45 degree trace for the Low range open circuit signature.
Back to Top