Test and Measurement News
Pi Shurlok test with dScope IIICambridge, UK: Pi Shurlok, a world leader in automotive engineering services and the development and manufacture of electronic products for the international OEM market, is using Prism Sound's dScope Series III audio analyzer to thoroughly test a new audio product it is developing for its core market.
Based in Cambridge, with manufacturing facilities in South Africa, Pi Shurlok offers a complete range of support for its customers, from advanced technology electronic system development to world class electronic manufacturing. The company supplies many of the world's leading car manufacturers with products ranging from vehicle security systems to instrument clusters, body and drive train controllers and telematics.
While Pi Shurlok has worked on aspects of many audio related projects in the past, this is the first automotive audio product that Pi Shurlok has been involved in from start to finish: from design through to implementation, test and manufacture. The ability to measure audio performance is critical to the development of this product.
Hardware engineer Paul Gregory, who is responsible for developing the electronics side of Pi Shurlok's new products, says: "My job involves liaising with our test department to ensure adequate test coverage during the production of new products. As audio is a relatively new area for us, I carried out some research on equipment that could test audio quality and produce repeatable tests. The Prism Sound website showed the dScope Series III in an example system set-up that appeared to be suitable for our application. My decision to buy a dScope unit was made even easier when I realized that Prism Sound is also based in Cambridge. This meant we could get excellent support when we needed it and make full use of all the additional services the company offers with regard to automated testing, set-up, demonstrations etc."
Pi Shurlok invested in one dScope Series III unit and an audio filter to reduce out of band noise. It is now using this to analyze every section of its audio system so that it can guarantee performance.
"We are measuring the product from end to end, including all of sub sections in between," Gregory adds. "This particular automotive audio product involves audio sources coming in from a variety of different places. These are then routed out to four individual outputs. Each of these system configurations are different and need to be tested, along with audio software settings to these configurations, so the number of possible configurations is actually quite large. The dScope Series III is being used to measure every configuration between different hardware levels and software builds. It is also allowing us to undertake repeatable measurements so that we can thoroughly compare the performance of the system. In terms of measuring the audio quality of various PCB versions, it is already proving to be an invaluable tool. It has also helped us to understand one of the issues we were seeing with some passive components."
Prism Sound's dScope Series III is a comprehensive and powerful measurement system for analogue and digital audio generation and analysis, including digital audio carrier testing and testing of Windows® sound devices. This industrial strength audio test and measurement system comprises a Windows PC (XP® and Vista® compatible) software application coupled with an external high-precision audio I/O processor for equipment-under-test (EUT) connections.
The compact and portable nature of the dScope Series III has also made it a popular choice with Pi Shurlok.
"It's very easy to use thanks to the inclusion of help menus on the software," Gregory adds. "We have also received excellent support from the staff at Prism Sound, who are really knowledgeable in field of audio testing."
The R&D stage of Pi Shurlok's new audio product is now well advanced, thanks to the company's investment in Prism Sound's dScope Series III. Paul Gregory remains convinced that, without dScope, the R&D process would have been severely hampered because measuring audio performance to ensure consistently high quality is such a vital part of this new product's development.
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