Motorsport harnesses

Motorsport harnesses

Motorsport harnesses live in a hostile world… CableEye makes sure they are ready.

If you stop to think for a moment of the environment that motorsport harnesses have to operate in, it’s a pretty mean place.

  • Chemical contamination
  • Extremes of temperature
  • Vibration
  • Electrical noise

Cimbian UK, working as exclusive distributor for CableEye from CAMI Research, has many years of helping people to both improve their processes and, up-rate their testing to ensure that cable-harnesses leave the assembly department ready for reliable, long-life operation.

CableEye provides two real options for testing motorsport cable-harnesses:

  1. A low-voltage system (M3U) for testing continuity between programmable thresholds as well as measuring resistance and testing diodes.
  2. A high-voltage (HiPot) system (HVX) which does everything the M3U does but also provides a parametric test at high-voltage to test for insulation breakdown and/or whiskers.

The unique measurement algorithms used in CableEye ensure that every point is tested against every other point at high speed, and is tested using a bi-polar method to ensure that the continuity is good in both directions.

After a cable-harness has passed its low-voltage test it will then switch, automatically, into the HiPot mode. Here the assembly undergoes several different stages of test including dcV and acV, both with a programmable ramp-up and ramp-down rates to prevent damage to the insulation that may lead to early life failures (vehicle breakdown).

 

motorsport harnesses - programmable ramp-up

Both the CableEye M3U and the CableEye HVX use the same software, which includes serial number entry by barcode (a single barcode can contain Serial number, batch, operator ID, part-code and more), data logging, and reporting.


Testing motorsport harnesses in the real-world:

Colin Harmer, owner of Creative Motorsport Solutions and user of a 256 pin HVX HiPot tester, seen below, said:

In this test, the customer had an issue that pointed at the corner looms being “suspect”. These were not looms we built but because the CableEye tester is so flexible we could quickly reverse engineer the loom, check it against the supplied drawings, and perform a Hi-Pot test in very little time. In general, motorsport-type builds are typically low volume which puts a premium on flexibility with fixtures and ease of use, which is a true delineator of the CAMI testers. We are now able to easily Hi-Pot test every product we produce which ensures that the client receives a goods that are exactly to specification. By keeping records of all the tests, we can easily retest at a future point to ensure that there’s been no change in the loom.

motorsport harnesses - test result

There are no “off the shelf” (interface fixture) solutions for motorsport connectors, so these have to be made.” “Each board is a breakout of 64 test points. Boards are modular so you can mix and match to fit the loom you’re testing.

motorsport harnesses - test station and report

Image (Courtesy Of Creative Motorsport Solutions) Of  A 256 Test Point Continuity &Amp; Hipot Harness Tester With Interface Fixtures Comprising A 128 Test Point Base Unit ,With One Expansion Module. The Tester Is Further Expandable To 1024 Test Points.

For more information on how a CableEye cable test system can help you in testing your motorsport harnesses simply fill in the form below and drop us a line.

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PinMap puts meaning into your cable test results

PinMap puts meaning into your cable test results

Using CableEye PinMap makes test results relevant.

A cable tester typically has a bank of interface pins that may be labelled 1 to xxxx or A:1 – D:64 etc which is great if you are only testing those cables that have the same reference. But, if your cables have any other form of pin reference your operator is left with no alternative but to use a lookup table; a slow and error-prone method, even on a good day. Enter PinMap!

With CableEye things are very different.

Through our Connector Editor, you can easily create complex, custom connectors from photographs, scans, PDFs, or even draw something yourself. Once done you then switch to PinMap.

PinMap is a fast and simple way of creating an internal lookup table that ‘Maps’ the logical pin names of your connector (ie J1:A, J1:B etc.) to the physical pins of the tester (1,2,3, etc.). This lookup reference table, or ‘PinMap’, is then used in all reporting, be it on-screen or printed.

Finally, your test results actually relate directly to your connectors on your cable or harness assembly.

CableEye’s PinMap, from CAMI Research, enables you to enter data directly into the connector pin-table or by very simply ‘scanning’ the pins into place, as this video demonstrates.

It is really this simple and this quick!

We have customers with hundreds of custom connectors, all mapped and made relevant to their operators, and customers, in this way.

For more information or the loan of a demo system, get in contact with us.

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Generate test reports quickly and easily with CableEye

Generate test reports quickly and easily with CableEye

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In these days of traceability the ability to generate test reports is essential, but how easy can it be?

With a manual test using a buzzer, bulb or semaphore, generating test reports is also manual, generally involving a clipboard and a pen. Manual tests are normally restricted to ‘GO NOGO’ testing only unless a fault is suspected. What this means is that a positive connection from end-to-end marks a pass; however, it does not test for stray connections on other pins/cores in the cable. So an open circuit is a NOGO, and a short circuit is a GO. The potential, here, for allowing ‘False Accepts’ is huge.

Wiring mistakes, tin whiskers, faulty materials can all lead to shorts within the cable and are unlikely to be found. Overall, Manual testing is far from desirable, particularly if having to test AND generate test reports at the same time.

So, we come to ‘system’ testing of cables. Again, there are some products that will test GO NOGO on individual cores, albeit simultaneously. Aside from speed this kind of tester is no better than manual testing and is best avoided. The report may be generated by a simple ticket printer or the ubiquitous clipboard and pen.

Let’s now get a computer involved.

A computer will switch test points much faster and much more reliably than manual testing and can, therefore, test for connections that should NOT be present. Really good computer-based cable testers will also learn the connections (and resistances) from a known-good cable so there is no real programming involved.

Obviously, once we involve a computer we can generate test reports… or can we?

With an embedded computer this can often be a time-consuming task, particularly if it uses an operating system where printer drivers are not readily available.

Enter CableEye, from CAMI Research!

CableEye is Windows PC based where the ever-increasing power and speed of PCs can, and does, positively affect the overall performance of a test station. CableEye will generate test reports and print to just about any printer that has a Windows driver and will print to label printers for labels or A4 printers for generating test reports.

This video will demonstrate the ease and speed of loading a cable, testing a cable, getting the result and generating test reports:

animated gif showing how to generate test reports

Now THAT is cable testing…

For more information or the loan of a demo system, get in contact with us.

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Know what you are testing – Insight on real world cable testing

Do you really know what you are testing?

During a recent training session with a customer they reported that a given cable type was failing HiPot testing and they could not understand why.

military connectors - know what you are testing

Know What You Are Testing

The cable rating showed it was specified to be good to 600/1000V and the test parameters set to 600Vac/1000Vdc as this was the assumed meaning by the operators, and here is failing no.1

The cable rating of 600/1000V actually means 600V between conductor and shield and 1000V between adjacent conductors!

Failing no.2 is a classic and can be seen throughout the world of Test. Fundamentally the operator was not supposed to be testing the cable itself, this is handled by the cable producer and, at best, by their own goods-in process (though in this case it was not).

So what should they have been testing if not the cable specification? Well, quite simply, they should be testing what THEY have done to the cable which was to fit a connector at each end… nothing more!

Testing the specifications of cable stock on an assembled cable is like testing the grade of steel that a car is made of during an MoT or the strength of a rope when it has a knot in the middle.

This approach is likely to result in a high false-failure rate as it’s highly unlikely that the finished assembly will be the same as the cable specification and will definitely NOT be better.

As well as supplying the CableEye range of cable testers we can provide a consultative test service where you can benefit from the extensive test experience held here. Drop us a line for more details on either. Just use our Contact page or call us on 01243 582555.

Evaluating a cable tester

Evaluating a cable tester

How do you go about evaluating a cable tester?

Evaluating a cable tester can make the difference between buying a box to test cables and buying a system to provide test, traceability, documentation and even guided assembly.

The first thing to do is determine the need. Speak to your customers and find out what they are looking for from you today and for the next year or two:

  • Would they want a system where they can flag a concern over a cable or batch of cables and have assurances they were tested?
  • Would they be more likely to pay for testing if they knew the system could be calibrated in the UK to national standards?
  • How about graphically comparing the first-off with their diagrams?

Once you know the customer’s need look at what is involved in delivering this. It could be:

  • a new process
  • new equipment
  • new people

At Cimbian we offer advice as well as product. We can help with assessing the task and in finding a solution with out Consultative Test Service.

If it is new equipment we have demonstration equipment available that can be used to show you what is possible and how to get there.

evaluating a cable tester

So Many Options.

Demonstration equipment can be supplied on a loan basis for a week or two to help you assess how the equipment can, and likely will, help in your objective. If you would like to discuss a demo or a loan unit please call us on 01243 582555 or drop us a line through our contact page.