Afterthought Software points the way for leading antenna firm

Published 19 June 2012

Afterthought Software has been called in by a major antenna manufacturing firm.

Deltenna Limited, a leader in wireless antenna design and manufacturing, asked Afterthought Software to help in the testing and debugging of new products.

Afterthought Software’s Byron Bradley has been working at Deltenna's HQ in Chippenham, Wiltshire, since March.

Byron's experience in testing hardware and software has been vital at key points in the Deltenna production cycle. “When hardware prototypes come back from fabrication they will always have bugs,” Byron explains.

“The problem is knowing where they are - in the hardware itself or in the embedded software. Typically the answer is both. Finding them means checking everything at a fundamental level.”

Armed with an oscilloscope and a logic analyzer, Byron has been testing Deltenna’s newly designed circuit boards pin by pin. At the same time he has had to comb through the code for the device drivers and the operating system. “Byron’s expertise at low-level software has been critical,” says Afterthought Software director Andy Duller. “Hardware manufacturers like Deltenna don’t need this type of support every day, but when they do, we’re able to provide them with exactly what they need.

"Once the circuit boards are in full production they must still be fully tested before shipping to customers. Testing each individual board manually is extremely time-consuming, so Byron designed a series of software apps to automate the process."

Byron adds: “The testing system requires several pieces of software have to talk to each other. Data has to be injected, measured and tested. It’s complicated, but the result is that Deltenna will know if a board is good or not within a matter of minutes.”

Although Byron’s work with Deltenna technically makes him a ‘consultant,’ he has not changed his down-to-earth, problem-solving style that is a hallmark of Afterthought Software.

When Byron found out that Deltenna were looking at potential manufacturing problems on one of their updated product lines, he offered to take a look. Thirty minutes later, and at no extra cost, a software fix allowed them to avoid costly changes to their manufacturing processes.


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