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Author Topic: SureCal vs MetCal  (Read 36999 times)

Offline step30044

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SureCal vs MetCal
« on: 05-01-2006 -- 21:29:19 »
Looking to automate RF cals, any opinions out there as to which one is superior  would be greatly appreciated. :-D

Freezer

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #1 on: 05-01-2006 -- 21:51:54 »
   I had heard that SureCal was going away, and that they weren't going to develope any more procedures for/with it, at least for AF labs.  They are going to "NextGen" software. 

   I can't confirm this, so it's just rumour. 


Offline Hoopty

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #2 on: 05-02-2006 -- 02:29:28 »
I can vouch for what you have heard Freezer.  I had the opportunity to chat with a reliable source from AFMETCAL a while back, and I asked him what was going on up there with the NextGen stuff I saw in the newsletter.  I told him that I thought SureCal was the answer to all of our automated needs, at least that was what I was told.  He informed me that it was not, and that they were now developing NextGen to replace SureCal.  Wow, that was fast

I told him that I didn't believe it.  I told him that we, in the field, would probably never see a finished automated product.  It is always one thing after another.  I have been hearing the same line for 12 years now.  "It's right around the corner."  First it was Labview, which each lab had to purchase and develop individually.  Yeah, right.  That had 'Big Problem' written all over it.  Then it was SureCal, which would solve all the inconsistancies of the Labview fiasco by centralizing the control of each file with AFMETCAL.  And now its NextGen.  It seems to me that if this is true, then SureCal, for what little (if no) benefit, has been a big waste of time and money.

Anyway, I seriously doubt if this will be the end of the automated saga, and I'll only believe it when I see it.

Sorry to take this off-topic with a rant, but it just really irritates me that we can't come up with a decent solution for the AF labs.
« Last Edit: 05-02-2006 -- 04:08:50 by Hoopty »
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Offline kkudla

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #3 on: 05-02-2006 -- 03:40:57 »
We have both where I'm at and I have to tip my hat to Surecal. The interface is friendlier but the downside is that you have to purchase a license for each model you want to test. I believe METCAL has a deal to where you pay a yearly fee and get access to all the procedures you need. But METCAL is a bit of a PITA to setup.

Offline scottbp

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #4 on: 05-02-2006 -- 05:33:38 »
SureCal is going away? Or is it just the USAF that's dropping support? I work at a civilian cal lab that is in the hunt for upgraded software (we are currently using our own hand-rolled DOS software!  :-o ) We were looking at SureCal to automate our RF station (imagine calibrating thermistor mounts manually!) Tegam (www.tegam.com) took over the System II power sensor calibration system from Weinschel and they are a distributor of SureCal to operate the setup, that's why we were looking at it.

MET/CAL is the industry standard calibration software, and from what I understand they are supporting RF calibrations more and more (I wonder if they will support power sensor calibrations). They already have hundreds of procedures available for the Wavetek 9500 series oscilloscope calibrators. Yes, Fluke has a plan called MET/Support Gold where you can download unlimited procedures for a monthly fee, otherwise they would charge by the procedure for "warranted" procedures (which can run anywhere from $750 for hand held meters to $1500 or more for scopes, etc.) And there are thousands of user-contributed procedures. At last count they have >4000 procedures for electronic equipment alone, but many people use MET/CAL for dimensional, force and pressure calibrations (I guess the readings are manually entered!)

So what is this "NextGen" software? Is it available commercially off-the-shelf, or is it something being developed specifically for the military? If so, reckon they'll let civilian labs have access to it the way they have access to T.O. 33K# procedures through GIDEP?
Kirk: "Scotty you're confined to quarters." Scotty: "Thank you, Captain! Now I have a chance to catch up on my technical journals!"

Freezer

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #5 on: 05-02-2006 -- 10:08:57 »
   I think it's just the USAF that's dropping SureCal.  My opinion, after limited use, is that SureCal was a good product.  We didn't have any trouble with it, but other labs did.  We only used it a few times here because we don't have many of the things it supported, but I liked it when I used it! 
   The NextGen stuff looks like Air Force only product, it doesn't require a license like SureCal did.   Maybe it's open source. :wink:

   I haven't had an opportunity to use NextGen yet, it currently only supports LeCroy scopes, but I'm looking forward to giving it a try!

Offline flew-da-coup

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #6 on: 05-02-2006 -- 10:15:32 »
We use both. I thought the AirForce only had a couple of SureCal programs with a CPIN anyway. We use SureCal for our power sensors and a few SigGens otherwise it's MetCal on everything else. I would go with MetCal only because writing your own automated procedures is easier. I think you will find that most people will agree. Using SureCal may seem easier, but once you master MetCal it's a better software.
You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume.Leviticus 19:35

Offline Snap

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #7 on: 05-04-2006 -- 14:55:40 »
I've never used Surecal, I've only used METCAL.  It works well for the RF work I do.  Fluke doesn't have a lot of RF procedures out yet, but I've been writing my own and have had few problems.

Offline kavin.catalfu

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #8 on: 05-04-2006 -- 18:43:40 »
We basically right now only use the SureCal to calibrate our 8566A/B's , 8902's and  8903's (which by the way cuts down the calibration time considerably...love fire and forget procedures).  I believe the NEXTGEN procedure is to encompass 8340's and the like which again may help us in the long run.  SureCal for all its faults does help out and here is how we set it up run a test, go calibrate something else, run next test, rinse repeat.  Production has increased with the introduction of it to the field.  Now if they can only upgrade the PMCS to a windows based program and then I would be happy.
Kavin Catalfu
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Offline flew-da-coup

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #9 on: 05-04-2006 -- 21:24:47 »
90% of our RF is automated. All our calibrators are cal'd with automation as well.
You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume.Leviticus 19:35

Offline scottbp

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #10 on: 05-19-2006 -- 13:32:32 »
If you intend on getting MET/CAL, don't get it straight from Fluke, but instead get it from On Time Support (http://www.ontimesupport.com). They know their stuff about MET/CAL, and their "hot-rodded" version that they sold to General Motors, some NASA labs and other big name companies can let customers access their data and certificates via the web, sync up a mobile lab with the main lab, work order tracking with bar code support, etc.

I understand that the Navy is ditching Micro$haft for Linux based systems and developed a calibration software called METBENCH... Anybody ever seen that?
Kirk: "Scotty you're confined to quarters." Scotty: "Thank you, Captain! Now I have a chance to catch up on my technical journals!"

Offline shane_kordster

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #11 on: 09-26-2006 -- 22:53:32 »
I use Met/Cal to calibrate a wide range of equipment. It is fairly easy to program in as well. I give it a 10/10.

Shane

Offline mhfuller

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #12 on: 03-02-2007 -- 03:10:09 »
I'm at a beta test site for the Metbench system.  It's a good conscept and has potential.  But, it has a very limited procedure base and needs to ramp up the procedure development.

If you intend on getting MET/CAL, don't get it straight from Fluke, but instead get it from On Time Support (http://www.ontimesupport.com). They know their stuff about MET/CAL, and their "hot-rodded" version that they sold to General Motors, some NASA labs and other big name companies can let customers access their data and certificates via the web, sync up a mobile lab with the main lab, work order tracking with bar code support, etc.

I understand that the Navy is ditching Micro$haft for Linux based systems and developed a calibration software called METBENCH... Anybody ever seen that?

Offline richlundeen

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #13 on: 06-01-2007 -- 17:58:34 »
Quote from: scottbp link=topic=417. msg4830#msg4830 date=1148045552
If you intend on getting MET/CAL, don't get it straight from Fluke, but instead get it from On Time Support (http://www.ontimesupport.com).  They know their stuff about MET/CAL, and their "hot-rodded" version that they sold to General Motors, some NASA labs and other big name companies can let customers access their data and certificates via the web, sync up a mobile lab with the main lab, work order tracking with bar code support, etc. 

I understand that the Navy is ditching Micro$haft for Linux based systems and developed a calibration software called METBENCH. . .  Anybody ever seen that?

Good advice Scott.

I love MetCal, we are a 'Gold' user, but straight from Fluke it took a LOT of tweaking. 
Semper Fi

Rich

Offline scottbp

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #14 on: 06-01-2007 -- 21:42:07 »
Yeah, I'm still banging my head on the wall with MET/CAL. We bought it about midway through last year, and have yet to have the On-Time Support gang come fix it up for us (our management is holding back for other projects at the moment). So I've been piddling with it here and there when I can, learning the procedures, trying to get some of the bugs worked out, hacking the reports, and in general trying to bend it to fit our needs, but one man can't go it alone... :|
Kirk: "Scotty you're confined to quarters." Scotty: "Thank you, Captain! Now I have a chance to catch up on my technical journals!"

 

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