Custom Test Instruments Created with Personal Computer Surpass Capabilities of Conventional Instruments 920257

The automotive testing field is in the middle of a major transformation as conventional test instruments such as digital scopes, strip chart recorders and waveform analyzers are replaced by personal computers. In the past several years, commercially available A/D converter cards and software for storage, analysis and output have been released that allow the personal computer to duplicate the functionality of nearly any instrument. The personal computer provides a very powerful, yet compact and inexpensive package for in-vehicle, in-field, and in-lab testing and instrumentation.
This paper discusses how one of the latest trends in software allows the user to create “custom instruments” with far more capabilities than conventional instruments thus, providing substantial time savings and improving the accuracy of the testing process. Another important new capability offered by custom instruments is the ability to control all aspects of the testing process including signal conditioners, sensors and transducers.


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