AP - The Recognized Standard In Audio Test

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The production environment has special requirements for audio testing. These include speed, automation, and connectivity between the master controller and all the pieces of equipment that comprise the test system.

Testing speed can be achieved by using special test signals that allow numerous tests to be conducted simultaneously. Audio Precision’s 2700 Series and ATS-2 feature multitone generation and analysis. An FFT analysis of the multitone can give simultaneous results for multiple measurements at once. The number of simultaneous tones used in the multitone signal is a balance between resolution and speed. Audio Precision’s High Speed Tester application uses a special 5 tone multitone to achieve super fast results in a production environment. Another special test signal that both instrument series can produce is MLS, commonly used for speaker testing. AP’s new APx Series introduces continuous sweep. Continuous sweep has the advantage of being able to produce a high degree of resolution. In fact, AP’s APx585 instrument can derive 14 measurements in 7 seconds across all its eight channels, and AP's 2-channel APx515 can perform comprehensive test in 3 seconds

Automation is essential for production test. AP’s 2700 Series uses the AP Basic programming language, and can be controlled directly within that environment or by using the AP extensions within Microsoft Visual Basic or any .NET language. A complete API allows for extensive customization, including user prompts. AP’s new APx Series allows automated test sequences to be created within the APx500 measurement software without writing a single line of code. For more sophisticated requirements, the APx has a complete API for use with any of the Microsoft .net languages. The APx sequencer automatically produces a formatted report after running, while both the APx Series and 2700 Series can be programmed to produce sophisticated reports in Microsoft Word or Excel.

Extensive connectivity can be achieved with AP’s analyzers, making it possible to both control and read data from other instruments and devices from within the AP programming environments. Common examples include power supplies, multi-meters, device programmers, position controllers, turntables, and numerous other devices specific to various industries. Both Labview and GPIB drivers are available to interface to a multitude of lab instruments. In addition, any device that can be controlled by a Microsoft .NET language (and additionally Visual Basic for the 2700 Series) can be utilized. The 2700 Series also has built-in control of AP’s DCX-127, which features power supplies and addressable general purpose relay contacts.

Common Challenges

  • Balance speed vs accuracy and breadth. Design testing for the speed and throughput required, but don’t skip vital tests or go so fast that defective units will get missed.

Tips for Optimum Testing

  • Compare production line and bench results. Make sure that the production test environment produces reliable results.

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