Discuss Electrical Testing in the field in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

F

Foxxinator

Welcome to ElectriciansForums.net - The American Electrical Advice Forum
Head straight to the main forums to chat by click here:  American Electrical Advice Forum

Hi all,

Before you read anymore I'd like to just say I'm currently a student doing computer science at Aberystwyth. What I want to do for my final year project is develop some software for laptops that you can use when doing your electrical testing so that it can send off templates straight away and mean you don't have to write everything down onto paper and copy it across later.


________________________________________________________________________


I know the rules of this forum are saying I must not be here for commercial purposes - I am not, I am here for educational purposes only.

If people are happy to help me out with talking to me about how you personally go about electrical testing, how you capture the data etc. Please let me know, I'm looking for a few volunteers to say how you do it currently.

I'd also like some input from people on this forum about what issues you have with electrical testing. What doesn't work for you? What's annoying? What could save time etc. I'm well aware that there are software packages out there already such as EasyCert - Does anyone currently use this? If you do and have problems with it or improvements I would be very interested in hearing back from you.

____________________________________________________________________


If you're interested in me contacting you, please leave a message here and I'll get back to you. I am located in Hampshire/Berkshire during the summer holidays but in Wales (Ceredigion) during term time, so it may have to be via phone/email conversation. When I have developed the software to do what I want, I would be willing to give it to the volunteers for free - no charge or catch with this. The only thing I would ask for back is some feedback so you could become my 'user testers' for my final year project.


_____________________________________________________________________



If anyone has any objections or questions don't hesitate to post a reply.

Many thanks for your time all

James




Note - Would it be possible to put down an email address or company name/contact info for you so when I write it up in my project it looks professional.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
F

Foxxinator

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
I realise that some of what I've put down is a little confusing. I did ramble on a bit, but quickly wrote it out on my lunch break.
 

Amp David

-
Mentor
Arms
I personally record all testing results on a cert by hand, then once a week whilst back at home enter all the details into Easy cert. I suppose its a little extra work but looks neat.

There are for me a few things with the software I use that bug me. If you could develop a program though that had things that other didn't you make a mint mate.
 
F

Foxxinator

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
David - what things bug you with Easy Cert? Is easycert not designed to be entered in directly? I guess you just write things down onto paper because it's easy there and then.

I know I could make money off of it, but I'm not really focusing on that part of it right now! I want to get a decent grade for it overall.




Also - I would look into developing the application to run on multiple platforms/computers. So say you had a tablet/iPad it could run on that too. It's just an idea across platforms right now but it's in the pipeline.

I wanted to create something useful and practical for my project rather than a 'game' which will never be used after my degree is completed




Cheers for the reply though
 

topquark

-
Mentor
Arms
I record results on a work sheet and write up the certificate at home.

Implement it in Java and design/test for J2ME the we can all use it on our smartphone! Bit of xml schema for the data model, store it in xml, sorted!

Bit of research on interfacing with the testers. Megger 1553 uses bluetooth, for example.
 
F

Foxxinator

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Cheers topquark,

I haven't decided what language to implement it in yet. I have to analyse the pros/cons between using different ones.

The main two at the moment are Java and C# - but I have to argue my case in my project for what one I would use.



Java developing for Android is extremely easy, I'm not sure what the .NET frame work is looking like at present with compatibility that's all.

Thanks for your input I appreciate it
 
I always found the back of a packet of woodbines was adequate for all logging of test results, and they often use to double up on repairing plug top fuses
 
F

Foxxinator

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Also - would you be able to provide your email address or a bit more about your company so I can gather a bit more information for the 'users' section of my project? I'd need something like this:

Company name:
Company office address:
Email: (optional)

That way I can write up a page about how you individually use things at present - if you could go more in depth then that's great. But I do appreciate you may not wish to post your contact details online.


If you wouldn't mind - private message me with any of the details if you're up for helping.

Cheers again all.

James
 
I use an A4 pad, my handwriting is pretty bad so I get my wife to write out certs because I'm a tightwad
 
F

Foxxinator

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
So would an application where you put it in the values directly on your laptop instead of writing things down - then generates the filled out template for you be a good idea?

Obviously the template would look professional - you could always edit it yourself to make it look better/style it yourself with your company logo.

I think what I'll end up doing is looking at Easy Certs trial and having a look at that.

If there is any little quirk you'd like to see in something like this, or something that would benefit you as strange as it might be. Please let me know.

If anyone is interested in me contacting them a bit more - email me at: [email protected] - I would offer up the program for free when it is completed. But this is limited to a few people as I can't cope with having too many for now.

Chers
 
O

oldtimer

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
I created a quick check sheet ie fill in the boxes then do the paperwork when I get home
 

plugsandsparks

-
Arms
Esteemed
If its domestic, i.e. clean i take my laptop and enter the details directly on site. If its commercial i may do the same unless i have limited time for access to circuits, in which case i use a simple clipboard and pen and key in the data at home. If its industrial i have a plastic bag over the tester and have to use pen and paper as any electronic device would get mullered with the *hit places i get myself into.
They say where theres muck theres brass....... mmmm
 
all i do is testing, i have a laptop where i can enter info in the field but i prefer to hand write everything first, i like to make little notes, draw little pictures etc. ive done it that way for 8 years and it works for me.
 
S

sparks1973

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
i just grab owt to hand...bit of paper...cardboard...owt....copy it down neat later...both my MFTs have the ability to download....never used it though...the download facility that is....
 

ferg

-
Arms
Esteemed
I use pen and paper onsite and enter the data at home.
I wouldn't want the worry of damaging a laptop for the sake of a few minutes at home in front of the pc with a coffee and a fag.

Possibly I would consider using a small cheap and cheerful tablet but I think that it would be more hassle than its worth given the limitations of a small touchscreen device.

I've actually just bought one for storing my reference material on and using as a diary etc.
It hasn't arrived yet so I cant comment on how easy it would be to use with such software.
My intention is to try and use it for filling in certs with existing free software but I'm pretty sure the device will show it's limitations fairly quickly.
 

Des 56

-
Arms
Esteemed
When testing,I capture the data with the Biro tool
The insertion method for the Biro tool is pretty good,although presentation quality is dependant, to a large extent,on the speed the biro tool is operated

It does not, however, have a back up,if the ink cartridges runs out,it means a completely new Biro tool

The Biro tool can also be easily and quickly stored on a computer (as long as there is a ledge to stop it falling off)
Many have tried to improve its function,but none have succeeded
 

Kamikaze

-
Arms
Esteemed
Ease of use and simplicity should be the fundamental musts of any on-site testing software. It is the preoccupation of possible copyright and licensing infringements together with the obsession of dropdown lists, little warning boxes that pop up every time the software does not like a data entry which hampers most if not all testing software. We don’t need to know the life story of a particular item every time the curser hovers over it. It should be all about speed of data entry and the ease of transfer from the mobile device on site to the computer in the office. The mobile device does not need to validated the data since that should be done by another person anyway unless you’re a sole trader of course. The ability to copy and past entire lines of data would be extremely useful as a lot of information is repetitive. Into the circuit description box one should be able to enter several lines of information if required. Limiting the box to lets say 15 characters like in AMTEC is just hopeless.
You crack all the points raised above and I want to be your manager. This time next year we will be millionaires.
 
O

oldtimer

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18
all i do is testing, i have a laptop where i can enter info in the field but i prefer to hand write everything first, i like to make little notes, draw little pictures etc. ive done it that way for 8 years and it works for me.
Yep I agree as I said I fill in my quick checksheet ie fill the boxes in then back home with a beer to do the docs. Also a lot of techies thinks that a laptop on site is the biz but to be honest you have enough gear to lug about with you the last thing you need is a laptop that you could drop and smash or get it stolen plus how long would it last exposed to site conditions ?
 
It sounds a great idea good luck with it of all the latest testers I've yoused recently and with the soft ware aswell you still can't get away from the pen and pad method
 

ferg

-
Arms
Esteemed
I might just be being daft here, certainly wouldn't be the first or last time, but what is preventing the use of existing office software and a lappy for this purpose?
Just an extension of des56's method.

Why the need for expensive 3rd party software in the first place?
 
Well when your on site with tester around your neck tools ladders pen and pad I've got no more hands to carry laptop lol besides havnt ever been given lap top with the firms I've worked for
 
S

sparks1973

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #22
look....whats up with a pen n paper?.....
 
Hi all,

Before you read anymore I'd like to just say I'm currently a student doing computer science at Aberystwyth. What I want to do for my final year project is develop some software for laptops that you can use when doing your electrical testing so that it can send off templates straight away and mean you don't have to write everything down onto paper and copy it across later.


________________________________________________________________________


I know the rules of this forum are saying I must not be here for commercial purposes - I am not, I am here for educational purposes only.

If people are happy to help me out with talking to me about how you personally go about electrical testing, how you capture the data etc. Please let me know, I'm looking for a few volunteers to say how you do it currently.

I'd also like some input from people on this forum about what issues you have with electrical testing. What doesn't work for you? What's annoying? What could save time etc. I'm well aware that there are software packages out there already such as EasyCert - Does anyone currently use this? If you do and have problems with it or improvements I would be very interested in hearing back from you.

____________________________________________________________________


If you're interested in me contacting you, please leave a message here and I'll get back to you. I am located in Hampshire/Berkshire during the summer holidays but in Wales (Ceredigion) during term time, so it may have to be via phone/email conversation. When I have developed the software to do what I want, I would be willing to give it to the volunteers for free - no charge or catch with this. The only thing I would ask for back is some feedback so you could become my 'user testers' for my final year project.


_____________________________________________________________________



If anyone has any objections or questions don't hesitate to post a reply.

Many thanks for your time all

James




Note - Would it be possible to put down an email address or company name/contact info for you so when I write it up in my project it looks professional.
Download easy cert, and use that to guide you. That's what an electrician would want, something similar to that.
 

ferg

-
Arms
Esteemed
Well when your on site with tester around your neck tools ladders pen and pad I've got no more hands to carry laptop lol besides havnt ever been given lap top with the firms I've worked for
I use the pen and paper method myself was just wondering why the guys who use laptops need 3rd party software
 
F

Foxxinator

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #25
Many thanks for all your contributions so far everyone.

The more feedback/functionality you would wish to include within it the better.

It isn't going to be created within the next 6 months - I'm still within the planning stage. I have just decided to do some 'market research' over the summer to find out what I should be aiming for.

But rest assured I will be checking here as often as I can.

James
 
Post up as many of the features as you feel safe to disclose mate, that way you can get the opinions of the guys at the sharp end and tailor it a bit
 
F

Foxxinator

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #27
In theory it will be an application that enables input in an easy to manage way.

There will be options to input into different templates (I believe there are different templates you would need for a generic 'testing template' application - but I'm unsure what these would be right now. EasyCert has a few but I need to look into these a bit more)

The ability to upload a scanned signature into the template. The ability to upload your company logo - which will hopefully auto-resize it to the appropriate size otherwise it'll cause users hassle sorting it out.

The ability to edit the template in a logical way to get it how you want it. IE - looking at how I've done it and realise what you need to do to change it.

Flexibility

Maybe cross platform? I haven't decided/researched this much yet. But definitely 100% an application for WINDOWS laptops/computers.


A lot of it is down to preference and little things that you personally would like in there. I'm not an electrician so it's almost down to the users to have the things like the signature/logo being put in.

Would you like it to be able to email to a customer directly from the program? (Not sure this is 100% available though)

Would you like to be able to save as .doc and .pdf? Keep the data stored somewhere in a storage file to be used in possible upgrades later? I really don't know somethings that will probably end up in it yet, it's a case of dipping my toes in the water to find out the temperature before diving in.

James
 

Marvo

-
Mentor
Arms
Esteemed
..... I have just decided to do some 'market research' over the summer to find out what I should be aiming for.
Have you actually identified a need for this type of software? Looking at the replies nearly everyone uses pen and paper/fag packet when on-site even though similar software products are already available.
 
F

Foxxinator

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #29
I have spoken to several people already in real life who would be interested in some software that does this. Whether the software already exists or not isn't crucial for my project.

Thanks for your input though - I know some people use pen/pad and having seen some responses on this thread alone it looks like some people would use something like what I'm proposing as long as it was fit for purpose and easy enough to do.



Have you actually identified a need for this type of software? Looking at the replies nearly everyone uses pen and paper/fag packet when on-site even though similar software products are already available.
 

plugsandsparks

-
Arms
Esteemed
I use the Amtech S/W, its not brilliant and as others have said inputting is slow. The reason i have software of this type is for the presentation of certs, an electronic copy for me and a database of certs i have done with reminders of when they are due again. There are other benefits like on Zs max for various breakers and validation but TBH the validation is a but too anal and means you have to enter into boxes that really should be blank, this can be annoying so most of my certs fail validation according to amtech but at least i know why and can ignore.
 
Electrical2Go - Online Electrical Supplier
This official sponsor may provide discounts for members

Reply to Electrical Testing in the field in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

CK Tools :) The professionals choice when it comes to Electrical Tools
This official sponsor may provide discounts for members
Top Bottom