QC20-W support and FAQ

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'Getting started with QC20-W ballbar' video guide

Getting started with QC20-W ballbar DVDEvery QC20-W ballbar kit includes the 'Getting started with QC20-W ballbar' DVD which introduces the system, takes you step-by-step through the equipment, set-up, installation and use of the system, and shows you how to carry out a test and review the results.

The videos can be viewed online here, or the complete guide is available on DVD, free of charge, from your local Renishaw office.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Bluetooth communications

Why is the Bluetooth range on my QC20-W poor?

The wireless range is determined by the Bluetooth device in the QC20-W and the dongle or onboard device in the PC.  The ‘Class 2'; device in the QC20-W has a specified range of 10metres.  This ‘specified range'; describes the expected performance when ballbar is used in a ‘good environment'; i.e. when there is minimal interference with the Bluetooth radio signal between the ballbar and the dongle/PC.

Physical obstructions to the wireless path will all affect the Bluetooth range, machine guards and even the PC itself can block Bluetooth signal. The worst materials for Bluetooth transmission are fibrous materials such as office partitions and liquids (the human body being a good screen)

It is good practice to have the dongle pointing towards the ballbar wherever possible. One solution if experiencing loss of communication or poor Bluetooth range is to use plug the dongle in to a USB extension cable, This can then be placed closer to the ballbar or better still, hung over the top of machine guards. 

How do I choose a USB dongle for the QC20-W?

1. Check the packaging – dongles that refer to Widcomm, Broadcomm or Blue Soleil may be more difficult to set up as they are designed for operation with their own stack.
2. If a dongle is packaged without any software, then it will have been designed to use the Microsoft stack and so will stand the best chance of working 'out of the box' with Ballbar 20 software.

How do I check if I have the Microsoft stack installed?

1. Click on the start menu and select "control panel"
2. In the control panel select the "system" icon
3. The system properties window will then appear with multiple tabs along the top
4. Click on the "hardware" tab and then click on the "device manager" button
5. If the device list shows "Generic Bluetooth Radio" and "Microsoft Bluetooth Enumerator" then your PC is both Bluetooth capable and has the Microsoft stack installed.

QC20-W Bluetooth is stated as Class 2, but from my look at Bluetooth dongles there's versions 2.0 and 2.1 - which should I use with QC20-W?

There are two specifications for Bluetooth devices - "class" and "standard"

There are three Classes: 1, 2 and 3. They specify the radio power with 1 being the most powerful with upto 100 metres range. QC20-W is a Class 2 device i.e. 10 metres. Class 3 is very weak - 1 or 2 metres, used for keyboards etc. We can use a Class 1 or Class 2 device on the PC side, Not class 3.
Standard is a version of the protocol that the Bluetooth device is running. The QC20-W is fully compatible with 1.2, 2.0, 2.1. Not compatible with 3.0.
Any of these standards can be Class 1 or 2 or 3

Will QC20-W work with older v1.2 Bluetooth standard?

It will work with any existing class of Bluetooth device. However there are enhancements with each class released and so in marginal applications you will see a degredation in performance if using an earlier version e.g. 1.2 dongle.

Can I use my QC20-W with a Bluetooth mobile phone?

No, you need to use Ballbar 20 software to communicate with the QC20-W.

My PC has Bluetooth - do I need a dongle?

When PCs (usually laptops) have an internal Bluetooth device they will also have a stack installed. The first action for each PC should be to install Ballbar 20 software. When complete, search for a QC20-W from within the software. At this point one of two things will happen:
1. The software will connect to the ballbar and start showing live ballbar readings
2. An error messare will appear stating 'There is no Bluetooth radio present'
When the error message is shown it is most likely that this is due to the Bluetooth device not using the Microsoft stack required to communicate with Ballbar 20 software. At this point there are two options:
1. Use a Bluetooth dongle that uses the Microsoft stack - this is the simplest option
2. Attempt to set-up the internal Bluetooth to use a Microsoft stack. For more information contact your PC manufacturer. If your device cannot use the Microsoft stack, then you will still need a dongle.

I have installed the CD that came with my Bluetooth dongle and now my ballbar doesn't work?

This is probably because the CD that came with the dongle has installed it's own Bluetooth stack (software drivers) which is not compatible with the Ballbar 20 software. To solve this you must uninstall the incompatible stack by following the steps below:
1. Unplug the Bluetooth dongle from the PC
2. Click on the start menu and select 'Control Panel'
3. Select 'Add or Remove Programs' and uninstall the non-Microsoft Bluetooth stack (eg: Toshiba)
4. Remove the CD from the disk drive and restart the PC
5. Check the Microsoft stack is now active by again opening the Control Panel
6. In the Control Panel select the 'System' icon
7. The system properties window will then appear with multiple tabs at the top of the frame.
8. Click on the 'hardware' tab and then click on the 'device manager' button
9. If the device list shows 'Generic Bluetooth Radio' and 'Microsoft Bluetooth Enumerator' then your PC is both Bluetooth capable and has the Microsoft stack installed.
10. Plug the USB dongle into a different USB port (as additional measure) and run Ballbar 20 software For more information on this subject read our Application note: An introduction to Bluetooth® for QC20-W.

The use of Bluetooth devices is controlled in some countries, where can I use the QC20-W?

In many territories devices which use the radio frequencies used by Bluetooth® are exempt from many of the normal regulations covering radio devices, whilst for others specific approval is required. Please see the Support document: Compliance of QC20-W ballbar with radio device regulations for up to date information on the compliance of QC20-W use. 

Ballbar 20 software

What is .NET and how does it relate to Ballbar 20

'.NET' is Microsoft's platform for building applications. Renishaw Ballbar 20 is built using '.NET framework 3.5'.

Can I change the partial arc sweep angle and overshoot angle

No, the partial arc analysis will only work with a 220deg sweep angle and 2 deg overshoot. This combination is the best compromise for collision safety and data capture.

I want to install Ballbar 20 software on my PC - do I need to uninstall my Ballbar 5 first?

No, the installer for Ballbar 20 will perform an upgrade on your software to the latest standard.

QC20-W hardware 

What spares can I get for QC20-W?

There is a downloadable QC20-W spares list available under 'Support articles' on this page.

Can I use rechargeable batteries in my QC20-W

Renishaw do not recommend the use of rechargeable batteries.  Customers who choose to use rechargeable CR2 batteries in their QC20-W should be aware of the following:
1. When a rechargeable battery is used with a QC20-W the noise expected from the unit can be 2 to 3 times higher than it would be using a prime CR2 battery. The full impact of this noise would only be seen if the customer was using the ballbar at its maximum sample rate (for example a high speed small radius test) where they could see 200 to 300nm of noise on their plot.
2. On less demanding (and perhaps more typical) tests this noise will reduce proportionally; for example a 100mm test run at 3000mm/min feedrate give around 60 to 70nm noise.
3. We have done less testing on this configuration and hence our understanding of how noise changes between different battery manufacturers is limited.
4. We would advise anyone wanting to use a rechargeable battery in their QC20-W to try it out with the ballbar sitting on a zerodur first to see whether the noise level is acceptable to them.
5. It is our understanding that some rechargeable CR2 batteries do not include a PTC device (an internal short circuit protection mechanism) which protects the QC20-W against the battery being inserted with reverse polarity.  Extreme caution should be taken to ensure correct polarity of the battery.

Test setup

Is there a recommended orientation for the ballbar when using the small circle adaptor? The manual shows the transducer in the centre, but what if transducer on the spindle side?

It is not essential to mount the small circle adapter in a particular orientation. The orientation shown in the manual is recommended because the centre of gravity of the ballbar helps to secure the device into the cups. This orientation is good practice.

Can I carry out vertical tests whilst using the small circle kit?

It is now possible to carry out vertical tests providing that you are using ‘high strength' magnets supplied by Renishaw. These can be identified by the holes drilled around the base of the toolcup and centre cup. The new ‘high strength' magnet has four holes drilled into it whereas the ‘standard' magnet only has two.  Failure to use 'high strength' magnets could result in the QC20-W falling out of the cups.

Please contact your local subsidiary for full details of how to obtain these items.


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