Do you need to test cables and cable harnesses? You will soon find out that simple continuity testing is not sufficient and that special attention has to be given to the high-speed signal nature of 1394 data transmission. And what can be better than real data streaming and simultaneous error analysis?
Even though FireSpys® are “general purpose” 1394 analyzers and on first sight seem a bit of overkill, certain features can be perfectly used for cable testing purposes. Many of our customers have already had invested in our analysis tool and now benefit from this additional functionality. Because of 1394 specifics a multi-channel tool is needed; configured as both data transmitting and receiving/verification devices the Triple FireSpys® (FS3810 or FS3850) provide just that functionality. Originally developed to analyze the triple redundant bus architecture of the F-35 program nearly all program members now also utilize the additional function. Please click here for further details on FireSpy® uses and GUIs for cable testing.
Granted that the classical analysis is done via Eye Diagram Testing. But these tests require a fairly expensive setup and the test cycles are long. Additionally, the cables are not tested with real data transmissions but with test signals representing the same frequency, signal levels, etc. Actual 1394 transmission analysis on the other hand either utilizes existing 1394 analyzers from DapTechnology or - if no equipment exists yet - gives a perfectly good justification for a purchase as it offers so many more testing possibilities for future requirements. It is not just a dedicated tool!
So what can be tested with a FireSpy®? FireSpy® bus analyzers offer PHY Register Query functionality and physical layer communication verification (CRC error analysis). Is the latter quantitative? If you need to know how many packets had a transmission errors then the answer is YES! Do you need the exact number of how many individual bits flipped then the answer is NO. CRC analysis does not give that level of detail. However, we really believe that running a full BERT is not always needed and semi-quantitative results as provided by the FireSpy can be satisfactory.
Levels of Communication Integrity Testing
|PHY Register Query
Read local and remote PHY registers
|| - /1394b
|Physal Layer Communication
||Send Packets and verify CRCs
||Bit-by-bit Transmission verification