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instrumentek
08-10-2013, 02:55 AM
Hi, Thought I would post my project here. I have been working on it for nearly 2 years. It is based on the teensy 2.0++. It is going to be sold to oilfield service tec's. I have invested over 10000$ in development. There are to many functions to list and it is growing as the software develops. I have no formal training in programming so a lot of learning has been done.

Functions:

SIMULATE

* Simulate 4-20mA (sink / source). Additionally monitor loop voltage, supply voltage and return voltage drop simultaneously

* Simulate frequency (AC / DC) 0- 24 volts additional configuration to allow for k-factor entry for simulating flow meters

* Simulate RTD

* Simulate Thermocouple

* Simulate voltage output and mV

MEASURE

* Measure 4-20mA (fuse less)

* Measure voltage

* Measure RTD

* Measure Thermocouple

* Measure frequency

* Measure resistance

* Basic oscilloscope 200Ksps

MISC

* Battery voltage indicator

* Backlight

* Internal temp display

* Auto power off

This is what makes it unique:

* Serial data input (pseudo HyperTerminal) RS485, RS232

* Serial data output (WITS oilfield specific) RS485, RS232

* Oilfield specific serial output functions

* several other oilfield related functions

everything is very protected, the protection circuitry took the majority of the work. it is impossible to wreck any I/O unless you apply more than 30 volts. Case is water proof, uses switcher power supplies so it will efficantly work on battery voltage from 6.5 to 25. LiPo, alkaline, NiMh ect all work. 24 hr battery life, auto power off ect............



805806807808809

I hope The teensy 2.0++ Is not discontinued or i'm gonna be out some dollars and effort!!

instrumentek
08-10-2013, 02:58 AM
Forgot... Its also BT active I have an app for android to control certain functions remotely for testing ect.

riotwing
08-10-2013, 04:21 AM
Impressive!

Xeon
08-10-2013, 08:34 AM
Very impressive.
But the price.

instrumentek
08-10-2013, 12:04 PM
Very impressive.
But the price.

The price was for getting set up to mass produce. having over seas companies build tooling for molds, many different versions of the pcb and that price includes the first 20 units. and as being new to electronics there where a lot of "prototypes"

Xeon
08-10-2013, 01:11 PM
The price was for getting set up to mass produce. having over seas companies build tooling for molds, many different versions of the pcb and that price includes the first 20 units. and as being new to electronics there where a lot of "prototypes"

Ah yeah yeah it can get messy.
Interesting project never the less.
Teensy 2++ is still being sold here as far as I know.
Would love to see something like this with the more aggressive teensy3

instrumentek
08-10-2013, 01:30 PM
Ah yeah yeah it can get messy.
Interesting project never the less.
Teensy 2++ is still being sold here as far as I know.
Would love to see something like this with the more aggressive teensy3

I believe the limits right now are my abilities to program not the processor itself (still use arduino language and libraries). I looked at the teensy 3.0 seems like it could do much more and I like the idea of going to a 3.3 V for power savings but I need to recoup some cash before a mark 3.

Xeon
08-10-2013, 01:38 PM
Teensy 2.0 ++ wont go out of style soon.
PS3 hackers love them too much for re-flashing the nand.

Constantin
08-10-2013, 02:02 PM
Awesome project. My only concern would be the availability / consistency of those switchmode power supply daughter-boards. Having a power supply that can be swapped out seems like a good decision, but I have found board vendors to be annoyingly inconsistent with their designs. I suppose if the power supply is mature and won't change for the forseeable future, that risk will be minimal. But I have found OLED and similar display boards in particular to have pinouts that change all the time (thank you Adafruit, for making one of my boards incompatible with the current crop of displays).

With Paul, I imagine you'll have plenty of warning re: any changes, however.

Headroom
08-10-2013, 06:27 PM
Impressive effort, particularly for someone who was a beginner at electronics at the start of a project.
$10,000 I assume only covers the "external" expenses for purchased hardware, software and other services.
It does not cover the time you spend developing ;-)
Hope it sells well!

PaulStoffregen
08-10-2013, 07:19 PM
That's a pretty awesome enclosure. Does it also have a gasket seal against the LCD?

Making something water-tight is no easy job!

instrumentek
08-11-2013, 01:06 AM
Impressive effort, particularly for someone who was a beginner at electronics at the start of a project.
$10,000 I assume only covers the "external" expenses for purchased hardware, software and other services.
It does not cover the time you spend developing ;-)
Hope it sells well!

Yea the cases had option for keypad. before I paid the cash for a custom keypad I was stuck paying 150 just for keypad just for one piece. shipping was 250!!!. now just one error I made was cutting a keypad ribbon cable so I spent 800 just for the first two keypads for development!! many lessons learned here My labor is not included. some places wanted minimum orders of 100 pieces
I would be depressed if I thought about it like that. I think of it as a hobby that I may be able to recoup some on.

instrumentek
08-11-2013, 01:08 AM
Awesome project. My only concern would be the availability / consistency of those switchmode power supply daughter-boards. Having a power supply that can be swapped out seems like a good decision, but I have found board vendors to be annoyingly inconsistent with their designs. I suppose if the power supply is mature and won't change for the forseeable future, that risk will be minimal. But I have found OLED and similar display boards in particular to have pinouts that change all the time (thank you Adafruit, for making one of my boards incompatible with the current crop of displays).

With Paul, I imagine you'll have plenty of warning re: any changes, however.



Yes I worry about this, especially since it has taken me so long to do this and there are so many bits and pieces involved. One major change and I might have to shut the whole thing down.

instrumentek
08-11-2013, 01:11 AM
That's a pretty awesome enclosure. Does it also have a gasket seal against the LCD?

Making something water-tight is no easy job!

I can't take credit for the case it is a prefab. The LCD has its own scratch resistant plate that comes with the case. The case comes is NEMA 4 rated

t3andy
08-13-2013, 12:10 AM
@instrumentek

I have worked in the petro-chemical business for years and if you neglect designing
your equipment for Class I Divison x or try to get your calibrator "class" certified,
which cost a lot of money, then no-one will buy your invention.

Having "all" the proper certifications would be the life or death of any calibrator project. :cool:

For instance, class certification involves making sure your device does not
produce an arc which could ignite petro-chemical vapors and blow-up an entire
petro-chemical plant and kill working personnel. Making the 6 o'clock news would
be automatic if a mishap like this would occur. The lawyers would have a field day.

"Always design for the worst case"

instrumentek
08-13-2013, 01:16 PM
@instrumentek

I have worked in the petro-chemical business for years and if you neglect designing
your equipment for Class I Divison x or try to get your calibrator "class" certified,
which cost a lot of money, then no-one will buy your invention.

Having "all" the proper certifications would be the life or death of any calibrator project. :cool:

For instance, class certification involves making sure your device does not
produce an arc which could ignite petro-chemical vapors and blow-up an entire
petro-chemical plant and kill working personnel. Making the 6 o'clock news would
be automatic if a mishap like this would occur. The lawyers would have a field day.

"Always design for the worst case"

beyond the gas plant or processing facility lol, I have also done this type of work for over a decade. the petrochemical industry of well fracturing, 90 % of the devices on location are not IS rated and only needs to be within a certain distance from wellhead. Right now for serial interface most techs carry a regular laptop out to units to interface. Also all the equipment is skid mount and most gets worked on in shop. As for certification in this industry Ops personnel zero there own transmitters. 3.7 ma to 4.3 is acceptable so my meter's accuracy is well within limits. Also My meter is not marketed as a calibrator it is a simulation tool as guys do not need to calibrate, no one dose in this world. they simply diagnosis failed component and replace. Not once in over ten years of doing this have I been required to produce a certification for any of my meters.

I have already sold out of the mark ones and the first 15 of the 20 mark 2's before they where even finished. Thanks your positive educated reply.

t3andy
08-13-2013, 01:30 PM
My Bad - from the looks of your specs you simulate and measure which are definate functions of a calibrator. Notice all the proper certifications on a Fluke calibrator? When you make a commercial piece of equipment you have to deal with certifications for safety purposes. I hate to be a buzzkill to your project but your application is dealing with the safety of humans.:cool:

bit of humor ...

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck then it is a duck.

If a piece of test equipment measures and simulates then it is a calibrator.

instrumentek
08-13-2013, 01:42 PM
My Bad - from the looks of your specs you simulate and measure which are definate functions of a calibrator. Notice all the proper certifications on a Fluke calibrator? When you make a commercial piece of equipment you have to deal with certifications for safety purposes. I hate to be a buzzkill to your project but your application is dealing with the safety of humans.:cool:

Here is a similar device sold by a large company and many already use in this industry as a simulator not calibrator, it has no IS rating, no certificate of accuracy. I guess the thousands they have sold and are used is an example of how this industry is different. Not everything in the oil and gas sector has the same requirements as a gas plant.

http://www.controlinnovations.ca/images/gallery/products/DSC00768%20copy.jpg

from company webpage
Originally focused on oil and gas drilling instrumentation and well servicing applications, we have since extended our manufacturing to include electronics and instrumentation for petrochemical processing, for the transportation sector, for mining, construction, power and utilities, for manufacturing controls.

t3andy
08-13-2013, 02:31 PM
In the oil and gas business - no certification paperwork - no sale. This includes pipelines, gas plants and storage facilities.
You are designing a piece of test equipment, under the radar, with NO paperwork. I wish you all the luck in the world. :cool:

For $10,000, I got a fancy piece of real estate, in Florida, to sell you. Alligators are included. :o

instrumentek
08-13-2013, 03:36 PM
In the oil and gas business - no certification paperwork - no sale. This includes pipelines, gas plants and storage facilities.
You are designing a piece of test equipment, under the radar, with NO paperwork. I wish you all the luck in the world. :cool:

The fracturing world dose not fall under these three categories. Not a gas plant, not a storage facility, and defiantly not a pipeline. Sometimes we work at well sites but only on the well fracturing equipment.

Do you ignore the fact that other large companies sell test equipment to the well service industries designed for well industries that dose not have class I div 2 rating or accuracy certificate?


http://www.controlinnovations.ca/images/gallery/products/DSC00768%20copy.jpg

Have you ever even worked as a well service tech?

Or just that where you work you need these things (pipelines, gas plants and storage facilities)?

I have seen industrial weed sprayers working on a well site, do you suppose back at there shop there tech's need class 1 div 2 calibrated meters?

t3andy
08-14-2013, 03:15 PM
I have seen industrial weed sprayers working on a well site

The upstream fracking production personnel don't need safety protection by having the proper certification?
You should re-think your product marketing strategies. :cool:

instrumentek
08-14-2013, 04:41 PM
The upstream fracking production personnel don't need safety protection by having the proper certification?
You should re-think your product marketing strategies. :cool:

Just so we are clear I appreciate this discussion because it is a valid point in certain industries and situations. Thank you t3andy.:)

That is correct no certification is necessary in this application. So why would I rethink marketing if it sells and it is legal?

The fracturing industry has a very comprehensive safety program. To work for Shell and other large companies it is required all there companies safety policies are followed. It is common practice that non IS rated devices are used in the oil and gas sector (this is more then just pipelines, gas plants and storage facilities). Do you realize a frac pump is a 3000HP diesel engine working beside a wellhead? to state the obvious this is impossible to make IS rated. The truth is the laws you are trying to imply don't exist in this context. By law if you are a certain distance from well head or other possible source of gas you are required to meet IS ratings. outside that zone you do not need to meet IS.

I'm not sure where you are going with this argument. The technicians are not breaking any safety policies or laws while working outside the wellhead safe area. There is no law saying that diagnostic equipment needs to be certified for well fracturing equipment . This industry has been doing this for decades. As another example. a Cummins mechanic works on these frac pumps and other equipment on location. He also uses meters and computers to diagnose the engine. the computers are not IS rated and the meters are not calibrated yearly. Is another major company willingly breaking laws?

I believe the sector you work for may have different laws or company policies and you are just unfamiliar with the laws and regulations of the other oil and gas industries. I Will definitely reconsider marketing and even the whole project if I see a law specifying that any one working on equipment that is related to the oil gas sector needs to use yearly calibrated IS rated class 1 div 2 devices.

instrumentek
08-14-2013, 04:48 PM
For $10,000, I got a fancy piece of real estate, in Florida, to sell you. Alligators are included.
I would love to have a warm get away is this a serious offer?

Control
09-26-2013, 07:11 PM
Here is a similar device sold by a large company and many already use in this industry as a simulator not calibrator, it has no IS rating, no certificate of accuracy. I guess the thousands they have sold and are used is an example of how this industry is different. Not everything in the oil and gas sector has the same requirements as a gas plant.

http://www.controlinnovations.ca/images/gallery/products/DSC00768%20copy.jpg

from company webpage

Instrumentek

We haven't sold thousands but we do sell them on a regular basis and we have many different versions so we haven't even sold hundreds of any one version. Our website has changed so the new link is http://controlinnovations.ca/product-gallery/

You are correct that we don't have any certification on the product and it is sold as a simulator and troubleshooting tool and not as a calibrator. It doesn't come with a calibration certificate and is not traceable to any standard although we do calibrate them with our calibrated meters so they can be used with reasonable assurance that they are pretty close to the displayed value.

They also don't need hazardous area certification because they are not used in a hazardous area.

Your project looks very interesting and if you are looking for help with manufacturing or marketing I'd be happy to talk about it.

Doug Keller
Control Innovations Inc.

instrumentek
09-27-2013, 12:04 AM
Instrumentek

We haven't sold thousands but we do sell them on a regular basis and we have many different versions so we haven't even sold hundreds of any one version. Our website has changed so the new link is http://controlinnovations.ca/product-gallery/

You are correct that we don't have any certification on the product and it is sold as a simulator and troubleshooting tool and not as a calibrator. It doesn't come with a calibration certificate and is not traceable to any standard although we do calibrate them with our calibrated meters so they can be used with reasonable assurance that they are pretty close to the displayed value.

They also don't need hazardous area certification because they are not used in a hazardous area.

Your project looks very interesting and if you are looking for help with manufacturing or marketing I'd be happy to talk about it.

Doug Keller
Control Innovations Inc.


Thanks, I have used your products professionally for a decade, some the same because there built so tough they last a decade or more. I honestly have thought of contacting Control Innovations for a possible distributor of the FracSim meter. Right now I just am supplying a couple service companies (through word of mouth advertising) as I just rolled out the product last month.