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Author Topic: SureCal vs MetCal  (Read 36998 times)

Offline richlundeen

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #15 on: 06-01-2007 -- 22:58:15 »
I've had Fluke fokls on the phone for hours, Scott.  But it's worth it when it's all said and done.  I'd have rather had someone come to our location, but at least I know the inner workings enough now, that I can handle any future issues in regard to compatibility with UUT.

Still, I hear ya.  I'm not interested in being a Beta test mouse, especially when you've paid over $10K for a software package.
Semper Fi

Rich

Offline Armypmel

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #16 on: 09-08-2007 -- 22:24:19 »
Both Met/Cal and SureCal have their places.    

I've been using both for years.    For scopes, meters, and writing code to the down right dirty (in the good sense), you can't beat metcal. 
        
Fluke wants you use certain standards, and as long as you have the common dc/low equip, no probs.
RF/uW is a different matter, SureCal can subsitute standards, but its up to the tech to know the limitation/specs of that equip.        Alot of labs have different gens, specans, etc, and that is the strong point of Surecal, substitution of standards.                           

With all that said, I surely would drather be using automation than punching and writing all that data.                            .                            
« Last Edit: 09-08-2007 -- 23:59:22 by Armypmel »

Offline paddler

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #17 on: 10-10-2007 -- 23:38:46 »
New member here, greetings, X-AF PMEL, I'm not familiar with SureCal but am self-taught in MetCal and I like it.   The latest version 7. 2 will now allow for standards to be in a family.   An example would be a HP 8642B and a Fluke 6071A would both be members of the same RF Generator family and could use the same Standard driver.   We haven't upgraded to the latest yet but from the sales pitch I've heard it should make MetCal alot more flexible.

As ArmyPMEL said, for scopes and meters MetCal is pretty hard to beat.   If the new flexible standards work as advertised, RF cals are going to take off.
Metrology,
1972 to present, the changes have been interesting!

Offline GIMP

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #18 on: 04-02-2008 -- 08:38:21 »
Getting ready to fire off a Cal of an HP 8563E in SureCal and then turn around and fire the 8563E Cal off in MetCal 7. 2.  Yes, Fluke posted the HP 8563E! We have the HP Basic 8563E program as well but we have to keep kick starting our old HP Basic computer and the HP program will not run in HT Basic.  We are a Fluke Gold member and we do download alot of MetCal procedures.  The Tek TDS and TPS procedures are alot of fun.  Both SureCal and MetCal have drivers and use the N5531S.  Looks like Fluke MetCal is now competing with SureCal. 

Offline Armypmel

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #19 on: 04-19-2008 -- 09:54:04 »
GIMP---

Being a gold member intitles you to the ISO disks of their procedures.  Fluke started about 1/2 year ago providing a disk with all their waranted procedures, which can be d/led from their support page, so much better than d/ling each procedure from their site.  One thing to point out, the ISO disk is 'suppose' to contain all the warranted procs, but it doesn't, so if you dont find it on the disk, check their page.


As for programming SureCal, there is a little you can do to customize without the scorce code.  'But' with the source (@4X the price of ea proc!) & their 'programmers package' (another $2600), you can do practically do anything you want.

 SC is written in HTBasic, which is very very close to HPBasic.  Alot of HPBasic programs will run under HTBasic (SC) in the windows environment with some tweaking. . . .  hmmm. .  all those old HP instruments alignment/verification programs running in windows. . . .  life is good!

.

Offline tetter868

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #20 on: 06-17-2008 -- 18:01:17 »
Hey Gimp---

I was interested in how the SureCAL 8563E compared to the Met Cal procedure time wise.   I'm interested because I wrote it.   I write all the SureCAL Spec An procedures.   I also do most of the RF sig gens.   Wrote the drivers for the N5531S & FSMR too.   Unlike our commercial customers, I rarely get calls from military labs, but I'll take feedback any way I can get it.   I love to tweak code.   They stripped away the old school management that used to penalized engineers for making software changes.   Nothing stays the same anymore.   Improvements, even on fielded software is high priority.   Recently I shaved about an hour off the 26. 5 GHz PSA test time and I'm attempting the same with the ESA series too.   And just for the record, SureCAL is not going away.  We are working on a new GUI and other enhancements.   

-Todd

Offline CalLabSolutions

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #21 on: 06-26-2008 -- 05:53:46 »
Tetter868... and all..
I have never ran SureCal  so I have absolutly no frame of reference..

But I can say we have an 8565E\EC procedure that is able to test a UUT from end to end in less than 1 hour and 20 minutes.  That is all the test points per the manufacturer's written procedure.. NO SHORT CUTS, NO SKIPPED OPTIONS.  100% by the book.

I know it is by the book because the last QA hit one of my customers thought they found as the EC come standard from the manufacture with option 007..  Those companies that are slapping in the color screens and calliing it an EC are not installing that option.   Our procedure was correct and tested the unit like an E without option 007. (Agilent did not change the ID / Options querries over the GPIB Buss)

It took me quite a while to develop this procedure in Met/Cal.  The hardest part was finding all the options and option configuration that made a difference in the procedure.  But once it was done it really cut the calibration time down. 

--Mike Schwartz
-- Cal Lab Solutions

 
Michael L. Schwartz
Automation Engineer
Cal Lab Solutions
  Web -  http://www.CalLabSolutions.com
Phone - 303.317.6670

Offline RFCAL

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #22 on: 01-15-2009 -- 22:24:25 »
MetCal by far,but get procedures from Cal Lab Solutions NOT FLUKE!!

Offline CalLabSolutions

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #23 on: 01-21-2009 -- 07:32:59 »
Another source for quality MET/CAL procedure is Cal Lab Solutions.  We have been working hard to provide our customers with best procedures on the market.  We have a huge library of automated calibration procedures for HP and Agilent equipment.  With our recent Agilent Channel Partnership we are now able to offer our customer Turn-Key custom solutions both hardware and software.

We like MET/CAL, thought it is an old technology, it is still the great choice for metrology based automation.  We have used it to develop procedure for customers who use both MET/CAL and SureCal.  Side by-side, I always here the same complaints about MET/CAL when compared to SureCal.  One, there is no support flexible standards.  And two MET/CAL does not allow the user to select the test they want to run.

Over the past few years we have been able to overcome both of those obstacles. 
1)   We have created an interchangeable driver model, where we can change a standard by simply changing one line of code in a configuration sub.  This allows us to change from an HP 8902A to an Agilent N5531A or even the R&S FSMR in ONE line of code.
2)   We have also created a tool called MultiChoice, this tool allows us to write procedure that run in End-to-End mode (with minimized connections) or in test selection mode where the operator is able to choose the test they want to run and the order.  (This is standard on all RF and microwave procedures)

Some of our customers prefer to run our procedure over the SureCal procedures, because we customize the procedure to meet their exact needs, using their existing lab standards.  We cover all the options in the manual and MET/CAL is able to calculate the uncertainties. 
Our support is the best in the industry.  All of our procedures are 100% tested, but if one of our customers has a problem we usually get them an update within 24 hours.  With some customers we are able to remote into their compute and fix the problem on the spot.

Http:\\www.CalLabSolutions.com

I may be stepping over the line here, But sounds like there are some users here who could use some assitance when it comes to MET/CAL.

If you have any questions you can Email me directly MSchwartz@CalLabSolutions.com
Michael L. Schwartz
Automation Engineer
Cal Lab Solutions
  Web -  http://www.CalLabSolutions.com
Phone - 303.317.6670

Offline CalibratorJ

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #24 on: 02-13-2009 -- 03:45:31 »
tetter,

just curious, you have a cal procedure for the 26.5 PSA? What standards are you using? Just curious, and you can PM me if you would rather. I think we are getting Agilent's off the shelf system to cal them and am curious as to what I am gonna be looking at. Last I heard the 4419 in the system, the power ref is insanely spec'd from Agilent!

Offline CalLabSolutions

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #25 on: 02-13-2009 -- 07:10:10 »
PSA E444xA Procedure are available free for Fluke Gold users.

Fluke had us at Cal Lab Solutions write this procedure and license it to all Fluke Gold members. Fluke had us write it around the Fluke 9640, the replacement for the HP 3335.

We are able to write verification procedures for any of the PSA's based on you labs existing standards.  Our procedures are written to your labs specification and there are no anual subscription fees.  For some labs this can be a huge savings.

Mike
Cal Lab Solutions
www.callabsolutions.com 

Michael L. Schwartz
Automation Engineer
Cal Lab Solutions
  Web -  http://www.CalLabSolutions.com
Phone - 303.317.6670

Offline Wilk

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #26 on: 02-13-2009 -- 23:27:57 »
ROFL, has anyone here actually looked at the Measurement Uncertainty provided for an accredited cal of a  Fluke 9640.   They are lucky if they hit 2:1 on most of the calibration.   The important paramters of this instrument like the power output is 1:1. 2 throughout most of the range.   The specs on this instrument are fantastic, the problem is that Fluke cannot provide a calibration that supports the specs they have published.   If you gaurdband the tolerances of this instrument to compensate for the uncertainty issues in the calibration it can't compete with Agilent, or R&S middle of the line gear.   An Agilent PSG signal generator will eat that Fluke for lunch.

 

Offline CalLabSolutions

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #27 on: 02-14-2009 -- 00:05:26 »
I have to disagree..  But, I do want to give the impression the Fluke 9640 is the best thinkg sense sliced bread.  The Fluke 9640 does exactly what it was designed to do.  The PSG is is a great generator but is is not a replacement for the HP 3335A.

You know Fluke built the 9640A for the military as a replacement for the HP 3335A.  Because Agilent did not have any instrument that could replace it.

The millitary wanted an 3335 replacement, mostly becaue they did not want to rewrite all of their procedures..


Agilent has updated their procedure to use a PSG with a calibrated step attenuator.  And yes is works great.  The problem is now you have to track the calibration data on your attenuators.  Because you are now using calibrated values (not the attenuator specification) you have to track the change from each calibration.  If the data changes to much you have to do a recall on everything you calibrated.  Most labs are not doing this.  On paper they are showing good uncertainties, but in reality they are not doing their due diligence to insure they are meeting their confidence requirements. 

Think about it.  If you are using the uncertainties of the calibrated values, and the attenuator comes back with new values that have changed more than the uncertainties you where using in the calibration process, then you have to recalculate you uncertainties (adding in the drift) then recall all the instruments that may have been effected because your attenuator drifted. 

(BIG CAN OF WARMS)

Mike
« Last Edit: 02-14-2009 -- 19:10:20 by CalLabSolutions »
Michael L. Schwartz
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Cal Lab Solutions
  Web -  http://www.CalLabSolutions.com
Phone - 303.317.6670

Offline Hawaii596

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #28 on: 02-17-2009 -- 16:22:35 »
I had an old 3335A at my previous lab with a flaky attenuator (just a little over a year ago).  I took the internal attenuator assembly apart (more than I probably should have), cleaned all the internal contacts with grain alcohol and q-tips, and it worked great ever since.  I would probably buy an old used 3335A before anything else (until you can't find them any more).

Someone needs to stand outside of Agilent with picket signs and demand they make more 3335A's.  If they can keep making 478A's, I would think (all logic aside) that they could make some more 3335A's.
"I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind."
Lord Kelvin (1824-1907)
from lecture to the Institute of Civil Engineers, 3 May 1883

Offline Duckbutta

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Re: SureCal vs MetCal
« Reply #29 on: 02-17-2009 -- 16:45:45 »
CalLabSolutions,

No recall would ever be necessary because the Air Force has you chart the attenuator prior to each use. It's not that big of a deal because the tests that use it (Scale Fidelity, Input Attenuator, Reference Level, and RBW), are all done at the same frequency, usually 40 MHz.

They do the same thing with filters too. They are verified prior to each use. That one drives me nuts but that's a topic for another day: AFMETCAL Policies and Procedures and the Nitwits Who Write Them. Some of the guys up there should really consider another line of work.
« Last Edit: 02-17-2009 -- 17:03:11 by Duckbutta »

 

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