Smart-Lights® Devices Best Practices
Smart-Lights devices have become one of the most useful tools for quick test setup and fixturing organization. Connect a cable containing a registered Smart-Lights device anywhere on the tester to have it immediately recognized by Cirris Easy-Wire® software.
If you have never used Smart-Lights devices and want to learn how Smart-Lights devices can organize your fixturing and speed up the test setup process, check out this article.
If you already use Smart-Lights devices, keep reading to ensure you are getting the most out of them.
While you may be familiar with the basic uses of Smart-Lights devices, you can benefit from following some of these best practice tips. We hope you have already mastered Smart-Lights devices and that you are already doing every one of these things, but if not, we encourage you to incorporate some of these strategies into your process.
Smart-Lights devices take two test points on the tester-side connector of a fixturing cable. Sometimes it can get confusing which two test points should be used for the Smart-Lights device. The confusion can cause inconsistencies throughout the wiring of Smart-Lights devices.
The following ideas will help you remain consistent when wiring Smart-Lights devices:
- When building a new fixturing cable, follow a set pattern such as pin 1 goes to cavity 1, pin 2 to cavity 2, and so on. Wiring the connector pins/cavities in order will make troubleshooting and repair easier.
- Standardize the method you use for wiring Smart-Lights devices. For example, always use the final two test points for the Smart-Lights device. Use this method consistently across all your fixturing cables.
- Verify the Smart-Lights device registration by probing the connector after it has been registered. From the main window of Easy-Wire, select “Create Test” then “Learn with Easy-Wire adapters or Smart-Adapters.” Once the software has scanned the cable, select “Probe Points” from the Edit window. Probe each pin of the adapter and confirm that the correct pin is displayed in the probe window.
In some cases, not all fixturing connects directly to the tester. Sometimes intermediate fixturing is used. Intermediate fixturing will connect to the tester on one end and have some type of adapter system on the other end. The header strip is an example of intermediate fixturing.
This system is used to preserve connectors on the tester or to make exchanging cables easier. Fixturing cables, with Smart-Lights devices attached, can be connected in any position to the adapter end of the intermediate fixturing device. However, the intermediate fixturing must then connect to the tester in the same position. If the fixturing is connected to the tester out of order, the tester will not recognize the cables and could produce false results. Not even Smart-Lights devices can help if the intermediate fixturing is set up incorrectly.
During a Test
Cirris Easy-Wire software detects Smart-Lights devices at certain points in the setup process and when starting a test. Moving around fixturing cables after the software has detected the Smart-Lights devices can create problems for the test process. For example, after starting a test run, do not rearrange the fixturing. The software will not recognize the change during a test run and will produce false results.
Companies that have more than one test station may network those stations together. That makes it easy to share test programs, Smart-Lights devices, and other information to different stations throughout the company.
If you don’t have a shared network database, contact Cirris Tech Support to learn about setting up a network. In the meantime, you must have consistent information on each test station to use Smart-Lights devices.
It is important to be organized and consistent when stations are not networked together. Smart-Lights devices must be registered in Easy-Wire before they can be used in test programs. Cirris recommends registering all Smart-Lights devices on a single station, then exporting the Smart-Lights device information to other stations. This will prevent registration conflicts if connector information differs on other stations.
After exporting Smart-Lights devices to different test stations, if the names of the connectors and pins, pin order, and pin labels are different than what is recorded on the master station, the Smart-Lights devices will not work on that station. Be consistent in the naming of your connectors and pins. If even a period is out of place, the Smart-Lights device will not be able to import onto that station. For consistency, register all Smart-Lights devices, connectors, and other pieces of fixturing on a single station and export the information onto other test stations. A shared network database will also eliminate the problem and the need to export and import to different stations.
The most important piece of advice Cirris can give is to be consistent. Whether in wiring your Smart-Lights devices, building fixturing, or naming pins and connectors, create a standardized system that will create consistency throughout the company.