Dan Blair - Addicted To Technology

Tiq Probe

Check out Tiq on Kickstarter!

tiq defines a new category of electronic debug & test tools for makers & professionals – filling the gap between DMMs & ‘scopes.

tiq – debugging without adjustments or range switching

tiq is designed to be the first tool you’ll use when chasing issues in your electronic project, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, internet-of-things-thing or robot – automatically giving you fast, detailed information in an easy-to-connect handheld probe. No other tool offers tiq‘s unique combination of powerful features.

tiq displaying logic level (LCD, LED, voltage and audio)
tiq displaying logic level (LCD, LED, voltage and audio)

Simply touch tiq to a circuit and it instantly displays repetitive pulse activity and timing or detailed logic level analysis with voltage measurements. Fully automatically, no settings or adjustments required!

The information is on a crisp LCD screen close to the probe tip, augmented by LED colors and audible tones, so you don’t need to look away at a screen, risking dangerous probe slips.

Here’s one minute video showing just tiq’s key and unique features (if you don’t have time for the full 3 minute video above) :

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 PLAY

tiq is primarily a logic debug tool, with a voltmeter function that works from +28Vdc to -13Vdc, great for motors, servos, sensors and power supplies.Recognizing when problems arise they are often in challenging places, tiq even has a bright LED light to illuminate the problem area!

tiq displaying a non-logic voltage (with red LED caution)
tiq displaying a non-logic voltage (with red LED caution)

tiq is also ideal for schools, students, production lines and repair shops – giving immediate and accurate timing, level and voltage measurements with absolutely no training!

tiq is not only an analyzer, it provides a powerful, programmable digital pulse generator – so you can provide stimulus to circuits under test, or exercise a servo, motor or LED driver (without a separate, bulky, expensive pulse generator!).

tiq's high-performance programmable pulse generator
tiq’s high-performance programmable pulse generator

tiq Features Summary

  • Perfect for microprocessor-based project test & debug
  • For professionals, makers, hobbyists, students, enthusiasts
  • Handheld, displays information close to the probe tip
  • Logic level probe with LCD, LED and audible indicators (logic high (3.3V or 5V), low or float (illegal))
  • Logic pulse analyzer (frequency, pulse high & low time, duty cycle (frequency to 20MHz, repetitive pulse analysis to <100nS)
  • Auto-ranging and auto-polarity voltmeter (+28Vdc to -13Vdc)
  • Built-in logic pulse generator (<100nS to 999mS, n pulses or continuous, 3.3V or 5V logic level output)
  • USB power connector – connect directly to your development PC, USB adapter or USB battery (for field use)
tiq powered from your development computer, or any other USB power source. tiq has 2 additional grounding pins for connection to your circuit (see below)
tiq powered from your development computer, or any other USB power source. tiq has 2 additional grounding pins for connection to your circuit (see below)

The story of tiq

There has always been a big gap in capabilities between the DMM and logic probe, and ‘scopes and logic analyzers:

As an electronics hobbyist and professional, I dreamed for decades about a compact probe that could give me fast and detailed information about circuits I was working on, where I was working on them. My first- and most-used tool used to be a simple logic probe I built into a highlighter case 30 years ago! I wondered how I could make something that would fill the gap between DMM/probe and scope/analyzer, with good performance, low cost, and fit into a convenient portable probe.

tiq with a highlighter for size comparison
tiq with a highlighter for size comparison

There have been attempts to fill these gaps in capability, and some are amazing – like a slew of small, low cost digital ‘scopes – even here on Kickstarter. As clever as these are, they are very limited in bandwidth, not fast enough for digital and microprocessor work, and even though they are small, they can’t display close to the probe tip.

Since the whole point of embedded electronics is to be buried in something else, we usually have to debug or test circuits in places it’s inconvenient or hard to get a ‘scope to! Compact, easy to hook up tools really save a lot of time.

I realized I didn’t want a small ‘scope, I wanted a “logic probe on steroids – with some analog“. And along came the Cypress pSoC 5LP. A single chip with CPU, memory, configurable digital hardware, AND CONFIGURABLE ANALOG HARDWARE! This – coupled with a reasonable (small) display, RGB LEDs – could surely provide the answer?

So, tiq was born. I have been using tiq prototypes for all my debug since 2013, adding and improving features as I used them. tiq has been through a couple of prototype stages, and now tiq is ready to launch(and start a line of tools specifically for modern embedded projects). tiq truly is a time saver, and so easy to use. tiq rev.1 was even used to debug itself (!), and to debug rev.2.

tiq inspiration (top) and prototype family
tiq inspiration (top) and prototype family

Apart from fast and automatic logic and voltage measurements, circuits often needsimulated pulse trains for debugging projects with multiple modules, sensors and motors. Simple digital pulse generators cost several hundred dollars (at least!), and are far from hand-held. The power of the pSoC 5LP allows us to build in a fullyprogrammable digital pulse generator, capable of generating pulse bursts (1-999 pulses, on a button push), or continuous streams of pulses, from nano-seconds to fractions of seconds in width.

tiq has performance matched to the needs of embedded microprocessor debug (likeArduino, Raspberry Pi, AVRs, PICs, ARMs etc.), and most of the time it’ll save you having to pull out and hook up a ‘scope.

tiq automatically analyzing a very low duty cycle signal (hard to see a full cycle on a 'scope)
tiq automatically analyzing a very low duty cycle signal (hard to see a full cycle on a ‘scope)

Why tiq?

tiq’s default sound setting (which can be changed, and is permanently stored) is to make a short sound on any change in state – a “tick”!

It could also be short for test IQ ?

tiq Target Specification

tiq "Maker" probe target specification
tiq “Maker” probe target specification

tiq Production and Use of Funds

tiq is designed to be manufactured cost-effectively in the United States. We will be qualifying electronics assembly houses and injection molding tooling and production suppliers in the USA early in the process, and working with them to ensure the final parts are correctly designed for manufacturing (DFM).

The main use of campaign funds will be for enclosure design and plastic part tooling, parts sourcing and ramping-up electronics manufacturing.

We will continue a program of user testing (Beta) and factor lessons-learned from this period into the final product and software.

tiq target production schedule
tiq target production schedule