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PADT: Programmable Automotive Digital Tester

DS Auto Electronics has designed and manufactured an exceptionally intelligent reprogrammable machine for testing automotive electronic control units. This machine, called the PADT (Programmable Automotive Digital Tester), provides the following: DS Auto Electronics' PADT

Each type of ECU has its own specifically created wiring loom to connect to the PADT. The technician has the ability to perform a full ECU function test and generate a report showing any faults. The software allows the operator to monitor all ECU outputs and adjust inputs in real time.

For each type of ECU, the technician programs the PADT to perform certain tests. This is done through the PADT software by writing a script which is run to perform a complete ECU functions test. DS Auto Electronics has developed its own script language and engine. Scripts can be written without any prior programming skills. The PADT has built-in software functions to analyze all the input digital data and display important ECU parameters such as injection duration, ignition advance and dwell, duty cycle, etc.

Modular Design

The PADT has custom-made hardware and software and consists of three parts:

The PADT was designed and built as a modular system. It includes a number of printed circuit board cards connected to the main CPU Card. This makes it easily upgradeable through the addition of new card modules. If uppose a new ECU needs to be tested and the PADT does not simulate certain elements of the system that the ECU controls. DS Auto Electronics designs and manufactures a new PADT card, which allows for the simulation of the new system. The card is then mounted in one of the available card slots and the new ECU can be tested.

The PADT software also has a modular design. The machine includes a number of distinct software modules which ensure the device is universal and versatile. The core of the PADT’s function is controlled by the script engine, but there are also modules that let an experienced technician manually control the functions of each card as needed, outside the confines of the automated scripts.

Other software modules include an oscilloscope application for monitoring ECU outputs, a CAN bus monitoring and analysis application, and a program used to design the wiring looms used for testing and running ECUs.

Another exceptionally important part of the PADT software suite is a database application containing and organizing information about thousands of ECUs we have encountered over the years. A technician simply searches for an ECU and is immediately provided with all the information they need (Such as which wiring loom to use, pinouts, circuit diagrams, etc.) in order to test that ECU. This makes it much simpler and faster for a technician to perform their job.

Over the course of a few years, DS Auto Electronics invested a lot of time and energy to develop the PADT. This became a very large project, and thanks to the effort of our team of electronics and software engineers, the PADT became an integral part of our daily working experience. Finally, a single machine capable of simulating and testing the wide variety of ECUs.

DS Auto Electronics' PADT Hardware and Software Design