By Bruce Hofer, Chairman & Co-Founder, Audio Precision
We introduced the APx585 last May because so many of our customers were asking for a multichannel solution and switchers just weren't cutting it. The product was very well received in the market, but many customers said “Great. Except 8 channels isn't enough!”
So this spring we're bringing out APx586, the 16-channel big brother to the APx585.
We're also releasing version 2.0 of the APx500 software. Version 2.0 includes new features, like THD+N residuals on the oscilloscope signal monitor, automated regulation for setting reference levels and support for CEA-2006 tests, as well as a significant overall increase in speed.
On the 2700 side, we're pleased to announce that our AP2700 LabVIEW driver was certified by National Instruments earlier this month. Documentation is coming, but you can download the driver now from the NI website. Finally we gave the AP website a facelift this month. Check it out at ap.com and let us know what we can add to make your testing more productive.
-- Bruce Hofer
New from AP this month
New -- APx586 16-channel audio analyzer
Power amp testers have a specific set of requirements for their measurement equipment. Just as we met the needs of Dolby and DTS testers in APx v1.1, with APx v2.0 and the 16 channel option we now have a complete solution for power amp testers. The APx586 features 16 independent input channels and 8 independent output channels.
Expanding on the APx585, the APx586 was designed for manufacturers of automotive amplifiers and other multichannel devices who need to test 8 or more independent channels.
Visit the APx webpage for more information or to download the new brochure www.ap.com/products/apx.htm
New -- APx500 software v2.0
APx 2.0 has several new measurements as well as an overall improvement in performance.
The Consumer Electronics Association's CEA-2006 standards define audio performance requirements for mobile (read “automotive” ) power amplifiers. With APx v2.0 you can run through all the required tests and report any limit failures, allowing for faster testing and higher confidence in meeting the requirements. Included are continuous maximum output and peak maximum output, viewing power spectrum graphs with a regulated frequency sweep and other required measurements.
Key new features in v2.0:
New -- Certified AP2700 LabVIEW Driver The AP2700 LabVIEW Driver allows LabVIEW users to operate 2700 Series models 2702G, 2712G and 2722-192KG through the GBIP interface. The Driver comprises approximately 60 Virtual Instruments that are connected in several Example Projects. Examples include Multitone Analyzer, Frequency Response, Gain Linearity, THD+N vs. Frequency, THD+N vs. Level, and Digital Domain Frequency.
Using AP instruments through LabVIEW has several advantages. First, you can connect your 2700 Series into an automated test environment and control it directly from LabVIEW. No AP control software or dedicated host PC is required. Second, the driver is distributed with source code, allowing end-users to modify it for their own purposes.
AP's Tech Support department is working on documentation for using the LabVIEW driver (available next month), but if you have LabVIEW (version 8.2), you can download and install the driver now from the NI website.
New – AP2700 v3.21 AP has released AP2700 control software v3.21 to fix some bugs in the v3.20 version. No new functionality has been added, however, we strongly recommend that all users running v3.20 software upgrade to v3.21. Those of you who have downloaded and installed the interim v3.21 (posted on the AP website in December) are requested to download the v3.21 version now on the website and reinstall. Note: You must uninstall v3.20 before installing v3.21.
Download the v3.21 software here ap.com/software/ap2700_software.htm
Update -- OS compatibility We have an update since last month's Audio.TST on Windows Vista compatibility.
Microsoft has released a patch that allows AP2700 and ATS software Help files to run on Vista. We've created a short PDF to help you when installing on Vista . Please visit the AP Software page at ap.com/software for all the details
Q: What is the AP policy regarding support for System One and other discontinued models?
A: Audio Precision products that have been discontinued for a period of at least five years are placed in a product life-cycle category called “Conditional Support”. Conditional Support means that Audio Precision can no longer guarantee its ability to service or repair a product due to the unavailability of certain key components or assemblies, or depleted repair stock inventories.
Audio Precision will continue to provide hardware service for these older products on a case-by-case basis subject to the following procedure:
All repairs performed on Conditional Support products will be on a “best-effort” basis subject to the availability of key parts and assemblies. In certain situations we may propose the use of refurbished assemblies from a previously salvaged unit.
AP products under conditional support
Conditional service begins
New AP Website AP has launched a new website, so please check any bookmarks for your favorite pages. The new site is built on the Ruby on Rails web development framework, which gives us much greater flexibility for adding functionality. Let us know what you'd like to see and we'll do our best to add it to the site. Please send any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bruce Hofer in Test & Measurement World Senior Technical Editor Martin Rowe talks with Bruce Hofer about accredited calibration. Read more at Test & Measurement World's website: