Electronic test equipment (sometimes called "testgear" or "bench top") is used to create signals and capture responses from electronic Devices Under Test (DUTs). In this way, the proper operation of the DUT can be proven or faults in the device can be traced and repaired. Use of electronic test equipment is essential to any serious work on electronics systems.
Practical electronics engineering and assembly requires the use of many different kinds of electronic test equipment ranging from the very simple and inexpensive (such as a test light consisting of just a light bulb and a test lead) to extremely complex and sophisticated such as Automatic Test Equipment. ATE often includes many of these instruments in real and simulated forms.
The following items are used for basic measurement of voltages, currents, and components in the circuit under test.
Voltmeter (Measures voltage)
Ohmmeter (Measures resistance)
Ammeter, e.g. Galvanometer or Milliameter (Measures current)
Multimeter e.g., VOM (Volt-Ohm-Milliameter) or DMM (Digital Multimeter) (Measures all of the above)
The following are used for stimulus of the circuit under test:
Digital pattern generator
The following analyze the response of the circuit under test:
Oscilloscope (Measures all of the above as they change over time)
Frequency counter (Measures frequency)
And connecting it all together:
Advanced or less commonly used equipment
Solenoid voltmeter (Wiggy)
Clamp meter (current transducer)
Wheatstone bridge (Precisely measures resistance)
Capacitance meter (Measures capacitance)
LCR meter (Measures inductance, capacitance, resistance and combinations thereof)
EMF Meter (Measures Electric and Magnetic Fields)
Electrometer (Measures charge)
Logic analyzer (Tests digital circuits)
Spectrum analyzer (SA) (Measures spectral energy of signals)
Protocol analyzer (Tests functionality, performance and conformance of protocols)
Vector signal analyzer (VSA) (Like the SA but it can also perform many more useful digital demodulation functions)
Time-domain reflectometer (Tests integrity of long cables)
Semiconductor curve tracer
Digital pattern generator
Network analyzer (used to characterize components or complete computer networks)
Electrical tester pen
In-circuit test (ICT) is an example of white box testing where an electrical probe tests a populated printed circuit board (PCB), checking for shorts, opens, resistance, capacitance, and other basic quantities which will show whether the assembly was correctly fabricated. It may be performed with a bed of nails type test fixture and specialist test equipment, or with a fixtureless in-circuit test setup.
FCT refers to functional test. The functional test is typically performed in the last phase of the production line of a product, as a final quality control. FCT are performed to ensure that the device under test (DUT) fulfills its functional specifications.
FCT consists in emulating or simulating the operational environment of the product in order to check its correct functionality. The environment includes, as an example, any device that communicates with the DUT, the power supply of the DUT, loads necessary to make the DUT work properly...
Test software is the one that allows production line operators perform the functional test in an automatic way through a computer. To do this, the software communicates with external programmable instruments as Digital MultiMeter, I/O boards, communication ports,.. The software in conjunction with the test fixture that interfaces the instruments with the DUT, make possible to perform a FCT.