eBIRST and BIRST - Key Differences

eBirst Logo
Birst Logo

eBIRST and BIRST are tools which can locate faulty relays quickly and easily on switching systems.

Neither tool is designed to find faults not associated with relays (for example internal wiring failures or logic problems) but either tool may diagnose their presence in testing a switching system if they result in incorrect operation of a relay.

Relay failures are the most likely cause of in-service failure of switching systems, either because of lifetime issues or accidental relay abuse.





USB2 from a Windows PC

Embedded in module and supported through the BIRST driver

What do you need to buy

eBIRST tools

Nothing, built into the module

Range of modules supported

Almost all PXI, PCI and LXI controlled switching systems

Limited to matrices. has to be a model which states it has BIRST built in

Relay fault coverage

100% on supported modules

100% of core matrix but may not test components like isolation relays without an external fixture

What it measures

Path resistance between any two pins on the switching system connector(s), measurements which are directly related to data sheet values

Path resistance from an internal access point which is not directly related to data sheet values.

How it outputs data

Output file of paths measured. Graphical view of the PCB layout highlighting the position(s) of the relays which have suspect characteristics. No need to look thru manuals to remove the relay(s)

Text file and soft front panel view of the X Y location (matrix position, circuit identification) of the suspect relays in the matrix. The manual is used to locate the relay physical position

eBIRST is the most capable tool for locating defective paths in switching systems because it has full access to the switching system connector and is capable of performing a test on any supported system. All paths can be tested so in principle any switching architecture can be supported. The eBIRST tools identify relay faults in the switching system by relay number and displays where their physical location is on the PCB assembly.

BIRST has more limited capabilities but requires no tools to be purchased. It is only available on matrix switching systems which include the BIRST hardware and is only capable of testing matrix based products. In some cases fault coverage may not be 100% without the use of an additional fixture, where this is required the fixture is supplied and the manual contains information on how a user can create one. BIRST identifies the location of the faulty relays by their position in the switching architecture (for example by matrix X Y location or relay number), the manual is then used to identify the relays physical location form look up tables in the maintenance section.

Pickering Interfaces is committed to supporting both eBIRST and BIRST. BIRST will be offered on new matrices where it makes technical and economic sense and eBIRST will be offered as a support tool for testing switching systems where it is technically capable of doing so.

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