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Smart Tweezers Offset Calibration Board Available in the LCR-Reader Store

// May 24th, 2017 // No Comments » // LCR-Reader, LCR-Reader Store, News, Smart Tweezers, ST-5S, Uncategorized

Offset Calibration Board for Smart Tweezers LCR- and ESR-metersSiborg’s newest addition to the LCR-Reader Store is the Smart Tweezers Offset Calibration Board.

This PCB emulator allows Smart Tweezers and Colibri LCR-meter users to easily and accurately find the offset capacitance to a varied range of components (02014, 0402, etc.) with a simple measurement. The PCB uses holes at the width of components; when the tips of a device are inserted in the holes, the device will give the actual offSmart Tweezer probes and offset calibration boardset value. This value can then be subtracted from the value of the component being Smart Tweezers ST-5S and Offset Calibration Boardmeasured.

Previously, to find out the parasitic value, users had to approximate the width of the component with the tips. This method was unreliable for accuracy.

The Offset Calibration Board also makes setting the Smart Tweezers’ semi-automatic offset subtraction value easier.

The Smart Tweezers Offset Calibration Board is available in the LCR-Reader Store in all Smart Tweezers and LCR-Reader Pro and Plus task kits as well as alone.

Updated Smart Tweezers with Bluetooth: Now Sends and Receives Information

// March 24th, 2017 // No Comments » // Bluetooth, LCR-Reader Store, News, Smart Tweezers, ST-5S, Uncategorized

The Smart Tweezers ST5S-BT has been updated to include the ability to send and receive information to and from the device. The previous model allowed device only to be sent from the Smart Tweezers device to the communication software; the update allows software to control the device by sending test settings.

Smart Tweezers with Bluetooth is based on the ST-5S model with the same features and basic accuracy of 0.2%,  while also offering the ability to remotely record measurement data. The device connects to PC, tablets and smart phones with iOS and Android platforms. To connect to PC, the Bluetooth USB receiver stick is required. The device is then able to communicate with software such as NI LabView, Windows’ Smart Tweezers Bluetooth Utility and dedicated apps.

When connected to apps, users can set custom profiles using previous measurements or from scratch. The profiles set parameters that components must measure between. When a measurement is completed, the program will either determine if the component meets these specifications and is marked as red or green. Profiles can include the type of component, measurement values or secondary values. Profiles are also able to set device test settings like frequencies or test modes; these settings are sent to the device.

Depending on the software used, the measurements can be saved to Excel compatible files or databases for other file types for later review or processing. The ability to remotely record measurement values in real-time is essential for jobs where quality control is required.

Smart Tweezers ST5S-BT2 receiver stick uses an FTDI bridge that creates a virtual RS232 serial port for connection.

The newest model of Smart Tweezers Bluetooth is available in the LCR-Reader Store.

Windows' Smart Tweezers Bluetooth Utility measuring using a custom profile.

Windows’ Smart Tweezers Bluetooth Utility measuring using a custom profile.

How to Remove False Measurements

// February 24th, 2017 // No Comments » // FAQ, help, LCR-Reader, Maintenance, News, Smart Tweezers, Smart Tweezers Maintenance, Smart Tweezers Questions and Answers, Smart Tweezers Tricks and Tips, Uncategorized

False measurements are when the device shows a measurement while not being in contact with a component. The device will stop showing a measurement value when the tips are removed. False measurements will cause the device to continue displaying a measurement and not turn off, leading to the battery being drained.

There are a few reasons as to why the device is showing a false measurement. This could include the tips being misaligned or shifted during transportation or if the device has been dropped or mishandled. Replacing the tips with a new set may also cause false readings. Generally, these false measurements are caused by metal or plastic debris caught between the tips and arms of the device and can be fixed with these easy steps:

  1. Start by removing the tips and cleaning the arms with isopropyl and a soft cloth or gauze to remove any extra debris. Reinstall the tips to the device. If the device is still showing a reading, remove the tips and continue to step two.
  2. Try removing any excess flex cable from in or around the screw-holes. Gently rotate a drill bit by hand or use a Philips head screwdriver that is twice the size of the hole. This will scrape away any extra plastic and gold from the flex cable. The red circles in the image below shows where interference can occur.screw hole on an armDrill bit clearing interference
  3. Sometimes bits of metal remain stuck in the threads from assembly. These bits can be removed using a tap or one of the screws to clear the threads. Tighten and remove a few times.
  4. Cleaning the screws may also help. Sometimes debris can be stuck between the threads.
  5. If all else fails, make sure there is no metal bits stuck under the flex cable around the screw holes. Very rarely does metal get between these two pieces, but it can create false measurements. Always try scraping away extra flex cable first. Use sharp tweezers to remove any visible metal pieces without tearing or damaging the flex cable.

NOTE: Removing the flex cable will damage the glue and may cause issues when re-adhering the flex cable which can impact the accuracy of the measurements.

  1. Make sure to clean away any residual plastic or metal using isopropyl and a soft cloth or gauze before reinstalling the tips.

If these steps do not remove the false readings, please contact Siborg Systems Inc.

New Model of Smart Tweezers: ST5S-BT; Bluetooth Enabled Device

// May 3rd, 2016 // No Comments » // News, Smart Tweezers, Uncategorized

Around mid-May, Siborg Systems Inc. will begin offering a new model of Smart Tweezers, the ST5S-BT.

This new model allows users to record measurements remotely and in real time using Bluetooth technology. The ST5S-BT is based on the ST-5S and will offer the same features, functions and 0.2% basic accuracy.

The Bluetooth feature allows connectivity to the NI LabView® environment, with the eventual capability to connect to Windows, iOS and Android compatible apps. The ability to connect and record results will allow users to be more efficient and control past measurement values.

The Bluetooth connection is provided by a USB reciever stick that establishes a virtual serial port. Each measurement value are sent as a string of comma separated values, ie: C1.398nF, R3.461kR,10kHz,0.5,S,,,,,;

This string of values represents the device’s display when the measurement was taken: “C” impedance value type (capacitor) and its value (1.398nF), “R” secondary impedance (R) and its value (3.461kR), the test frequency (10kHz), at the test signal level of (0.5V), followed by the measurement mode (S for serial), and 4 reserved values. The information is then sent to the port and can be recieved by any communication software, such as free Tera Term software.

TeraTerm Screen.jpg(STBT-may032016)This image shows the Tera Term terminal receiving data from the ST5S-BT. This data can be save into a file or documented as neededd. With the LabView software, the computer would be able to process and store the data in a database.

The ST5S-BT will be available in mid-May 2016 in the LCR-Reader store and possibly Siborg’s amazon sales channels in the future.