Consider this scenario in which Dave and CJ have been working on a design that uses a Li-Ion battery charger chip. They have been collaborating between their labs; CJ in Madison, WI and Dave in Denver, CO. As with any remote development the snags are more difficult to deal with, so they use the Fluke Connect functionality of their and meters to ease data sharing and communication. Here is a situation where they were able to put the datalogging, live sharing, and video conferencing features of the Fluke app to work in order to figure out a problem remotely.
Dave wrote some simple firmware to program the charger chip registers for their application. He tested it in his lab with no problems, and sent the prototype to CJ for integration with the rest of the design.
CJ, being the methodical engineer, tries to repeat the test Dave completed to qualify the design in his own lab before integrating it into the prototype. However he doesn’t get acceptable results. Here’s how they used Fluke Connect to troubleshoot the problem:
An email from Charles to Dave:
I ran the code you sent. When I go to charge a battery I see 500mA instead of the desired 1000mA.
I’m attaching the data here from Fluke Connect that shows my results.
What do you think?
You’re right. It also doesn’t jibe with the testing I did here in Denver. The next time you’re in front of the system could you initiate a video chat in the Fluke Connect app so I could check out your setup and the data as it happens?
Later that day CJ connected with Dave over the Fluke Connect App for troubleshooting. See the video on how it went:
No remote interaction will ever be as good as connecting in person, but having a single phone app with data logging, live data sharing, and integrated video chat was very helpful in this case.
When asked about the performance of the Fluke Connect system, Dave couldn't say enough about how great it was to have data streaming straight to his phone. The video conferencing was very helpful too. It might have been nicer to have the ability to take the video full screen when he wanted to see more of CJ's lab, but he was able to see the over-current indicator on his supply in this case, which is good. CJ was glad that Fluke added data streaming and video conferencing without changing the standard user interface that he has known for years. Does this mean people software developers will stop blaming bugs on the hardware? Probably not, but it can certainly reduce the e-mail back-and-forth required to solve a problem.
Dave and CJ have been reviewing Fluke's new Fluke Connect system with articles and videos being released every other week. Other articles in the series: