Electronic test equipment


Electronic test equipment

Electronic test equipment (sometimes called "testgear") is used to create signals and capture responses from electronic Devices Under Test (DUTs). In this way, the proper operation of the DUT can be proven or faults in the device can be traced and repaired. Use of electronic test equipment is essential to any serious work on electronics systems.

Practical electronics engineering and assembly requires the use of many different kinds of electronic test equipment ranging from the very simple and inexpensive (such as a test light consisting of just a light bulb and a test lead) to extremely complex and sophisticated such as Automatic Test Equipment.

Generally, more advanced test gear is necessary when developing circuits and systems than is needed when doing production testing or when troubleshooting existing production units in the field.

Types of test equipment

Basic equipment

The following items are used for basic measurement of voltages, currents, and components in the circuit under test.
* Voltmeter (Measures voltage)
* Ohmmeter (Measures resistance)
* Ammeter, e.g. Galvanometer or Milliameter (Measures current)
* Multimeter e.g., VOM (Volt-Ohm-Milliameter) or DVM (Digital "Volt" Meter) (Measures all of the above)

The following are used for stimulus of the circuit under test:
* Power supplies
* Signal generator
* Pattern generator
* Pulse generatorThe following analyze the response of the circuit under test:
* Oscilloscope (Measures all of the above as they change over time)
* Frequency counter (Measures frequency)

And connecting it all together:
* Test probes

Advanced or less commonly used equipment

Meters

* Solenoid voltmeter ("Wiggy")
* Clamp meter (current transducer)
* Wheatstone bridge (Precisely measures resistance)
* Capacitance meter (Measures capacitance)
* LCR meter (Measures inductance, capacitance, resistance and combinations thereof)
* EMF Meter (Measures Electric and Magnetic Fields)
* Electrometer (Measures charge)

Probes

* RF probe
* Signal tracer

Analyzers

* Logic analyzer (Tests digital circuits)
* Spectrum analyzer (SA) (Measures spectral energy of signals)
* Vector signal analyzer (VSA) (Like the SA but it can also perform many more useful digital demodulation functions)
* Time-domain reflectometer for testing integrity of long cables

Signal-generating devices

* Signal generator
* Frequency synthesiser
* Function generator
* Digital pattern generator
* Pulse generator
* Signal injector

Miscellaneous devices

* Continuity tester
* Cable tester
* Hipot tester
* Network analyzer (used to characterize components or complete computer networks)
* Test light
* Transistor tester


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