Accessory Tester


For a while at Parallax it seemed we had quite an influx of sensors and accessories coming in which needed test procedures. Usually each product gets its own tester, custom to the product. However when I was in Tech Support we needed to be able to test any given device at any time, but there wasn’t enough room to store all the various boards used in manufacturing. When you work with many different products and accessories in a tech support capacity it helps to have something to test the various products. And so the Accessory Tester was created.

All-In-One Solution

I was trying to figure out how many of our sensors, accessories and other devices had similar connections and could be connected to a single test board.

Two of the prototypes.

As an experiment I took a Super Carrier Board (#27130) and mounted some SIP sockets to determine this and I came up with at least 16 devices that could be connected to a single board. The board was tested with and supported the following devices by loading their test codes into the board one at a time and changing only the pin numbers used and sometimes the constants affected by using a BS2p24 instead of a BS2. The following devices were supported:

  1. Standard Servo
  2. Continuous Rotation Servo
  3. Parallax Servo Controller [REPLACED]
  4. 2×16 Serial LCD (with or without backlight)
  5. 4×20 Serial LCD
  6. LCD Terminal AppMod [DISCONTINUED]
  7. Noritake Serial VFD [DISCONTINUED]
  8. Matrix Orbital LCD Displays [DISCONTINUED]
  10. PING))) Sensor
  12. RFID Reader
  14. RF Transceiver [REPLACED]
  15. GPS Module [REPLACED]
  16. Memory Stick Datalogger [DISCONTINUED]

Unsuccessful Merger

While the individual programs ran, in order to make the board compatible with all sensors and be able to select the correct devices without having to constantly load code required using a BS2p24 (multiple slots of memory) and building two boards for devices that required them (such as the RF units). Sadly I ran out of time and while building the board as several of these devices were discontinued, some replaced by new devices, but the demand for test procedures didn’t allow me the time to complete this and eventually I set it aside. I still have both units intact…who knows? Some day maybe…but at the rate Parallax discontinues products it is difficult to expect a product to be around for any length of time.

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