I’ve asked this question before to the OpenTAP guys, but I thought I’d share this in the forum as I’m
curious how others may do this.
An 8-port radio test system for testing one DUT at a time. The DUT is a complicated configuration with many parameters, command automation options and with many power setting tables.
The problem is not with testing the DUT, but with maintaining the system after it has tested 10s of different types of DUT.
Method 1 - Using DUT items:
The Editor soon becomes crowded with DUTs and becomes unworkable (Fifg2.). This is solved by creating a new profile to archive the old DUTs.
It was simple for test steps to select the new DUT, but the issue was that every time a new DUT was added, the connection node ‘Port 1’ had to point to the new DUT. If a previous DUT had to be tested again the connections would need change again. Changes have to made in the Bench Settings and in the Test Plan. It’s easy to see how this would lead to human errors.
Method 2 - Many Profiles:
A profile created for each DUT. This means the system is configured with a single DUT and the Test Plan will select the same DUT. The Connections will also be always connected to the same DUT. This is the way I have chosen to this and it works very well.
There are two minor but significant problems with this, but neither is a deal-breaker.
a) After the switch path losses have had their annual calibration the Connections cable loss tables need updating for all profiles.
b) New profiles have to be created by importing a pre-configured profile with all the correct instruments and connections.
How are others approaching this?
Could Method 1 be viable if there was a way to create a resource with 8-ports that the Connections would use and the DUT item could access to get the connections data? Every DUT item would then access the same ‘dummy’ ports connections data.
The Editor GUI could restrict the number of DUT items shown at the bottom of the screen to stop overcrowding.
Method 2 is very workable, but is there a way I can point the option in the profile dropdown so It opens a profile of my choice?
Also, would there be a way to decouple the Connections cable loss data from the Profile? This way the Connections cable loss could point at another built-in component where cable loss tables can be entered, basically mapping a connections entry with a separate cable loss entry.
Update: I see the DUT as a separate entity from the Connections and Instruments. Say I have 20 profiles, but unfortunately, I now have to swap out the PSU due to equipment failure. I suppose I could simply change all the Instruments.xml file in each profile, but is there a formal prescribed way the Editor could address this?