5 Tools to Help with Fixturing
Your test interface, or fixturing, connects the device-under-test to the tester. Fixturing can be a significant portion of the investment in your test system. You need good fixturing to ensure the accuracy of your test results and maximize your test station’s throughput. This means your fixturing needs to be higher quality than the device-under-test. Remember, you want to test the device under test, not test the fixturing.
Fixturing refers to the interface between the device-under-test and the tester. This bundle of wires and connectors contains three sections:
- The Tester Connector: This connector attaches to the tester and is required to meet conflicting requirements. For example, the terminals need the strength of steel but should conduct like copper.
- The Wire: Insulation on these wires should not break down and should continue to isolate even after exposure to constant handling and thousands of high voltage applications.
- The Device-Under-Test Connector: You have limited choices when building this connector because it must meet design considerations that are important to the device-under-test.
With so many requirements and specifications, building and maintaining fixturing can feel like an overwhelming burden. While it helps to test your fixturing on a regular basis (shorting blocks and a fixturing test in the wire list is easy and a good practice) there is more you can do to protect your fixturing. Cirris provides a variety of products to help you assemble, operate, and preserve fixturing while saving you time and money.
The following products pertain mostly to the CH2, but Cirris provides various tools for its broad line of testers.
Finding parts to build fixturing or outsourcing the task can be expensive. Instead, Cirris recommends the Conductor Discrete Cable. One end of this cable connects to your CH2 tester while the other end has unterminated wires for assembling a device-under-test connector. The cable is compliable with most testing requirements such as 22 AWG stranded annealed silver plated copper wire for good conduction. Each terminal assignment is marked on a shrink tube label without burning or branding, thus ensuring quality insulation. You can use the unterminated wires to build your own mating connectors, thus meeting design considerations.
1. Conductor Discrete Cable
Protect your tester
2. Connector Savers
Connector Savers attached to your CH2 Tester will not only preserve the connectors but allow you to quickly and easily attach and detach connectors for easy interface change over. The VME connectors on the Connector Saver are replaceable, allowing you to preserve the connector on the tester. Moreover, the Connector Saver is built with levers for easy connector changeover. Instead of screwing connectors into the tester, latching levers hold fixturing firmly in place.
Protect your fixturing
3. Cable Savers
Cable Savers protect connectors on fixturing. Your test cables can undergo the same wear from mating cycles as the connectors on your tester. When a pin is damaged or the connector wears out, instead of spending time and money repairing or replacing the fixturing, simply throw the Cable Saver away and snap a new one into place.
4. Smart-Lights™ Devices
Smart-Lights devices allow the software to identify connectors in a test program without the hassle of plugging them in the same place or re-registering connectors for every test. After registering a connector with a Smart-Lights device attached, the software will recognize the cable in subsequent tests. This saves time, since there is no need for you to map test points, and saves money, because you will avoid errors caused by incorrect test setup.
Save test points
5. Header Strip Transition Boards
Cirris’s Header Strip Transition Boards can be used with Smart-Lights devices for even simpler test setup. Header Strips can be positioned side-by-side to allow your adapter cables to plug in next to each other without wasting test points.
Use the Header Strip to simplify your fixturing. By using transition board connectors:
- Assemble cables without having to come up with enough mating connectors to fill all the pins of a standard tester interface (octopus cable)
- Avoid wasting test points by only populating part of a tester connector.
The Header Strip Transition board will help you organize your fixturing even when the pattern of connections is difficult to maintain.
Whether it’s the tester or the fixturing, trust Cirris to help you reach your quality standards.