Programming and test station for Smart Home

For users of a 'smart home' it is important to always be sufficiently informed about all processes in their own household and to be directly warned in case of an error. This applies especially to the use of modern heating systems. Via WiFi the heaters communicate with the smartphone or tablet of the user as well as directly with the manufacturer. This connection is not only used to provide information but also to make settings, e.g. by controlling the room thermostats in the 'smart home'.

To achieve this connection with WiFi and/or ZigBee (specification for wireless networks), which is often used for home automation, circuit boards generate the corresponding signals. In order to establish and maintain this communication channel without interference, circuits are required that are able to generate the WiFi/ZigBee signal for the communication and control of the 'smart home' and simultaneously exchange information with the heating system via CAN interface.

For programming and testing these boards, MCD Elektronik has developed a programming station and a function tester for a successful international manufacturer of energy systems, which have been adapted to the requirements of these devices under test (DUT) down to the last detail. It was particularly important to arrange the testing of the many individual processes/signals of the board in such a way that they can be tested within a short test time of less than 1 minute. Also the adjustment of frequency and output power of the radio signals according to the legal requirements and specifications was implemented with great care. Both systems are linked by a database. This also prevents incorrectly flashed DUTs from entering the functional tester. This process control enables additional saving of time and effort during ongoing production.


1. Programming Station

  • Fully automatic programming of up to 4 DUTs
  • Programming takes place in 3 blocks in parallel or separately for each DUT
  • Programming time for 4 PCBs: 30 seconds
  • Incorrect insertion of a DUT by the operation personnel is avoided by means of various guide pins and holders as well as visual illustrations
  • Continuous monitoring of the test process via MCD TestManager
  • Emergency switch on the front side


2. Functional Tester

  • Safety measurement of WiFi and ZigBee signals via a shielded RF hood
  • Contactless testing, verification and frequency adjustment via a spectrum analyzer using an antenna
  • Functional test of information exchange via Raspberry Pi
  • Voltage measurements
  • Programming of user-specific information like password and WiFi-ID
  • Printing of QR and barcode labels with all information per board to enable an instant start-up of the heater by simply scanning the barcode
  • The adapter with the DUTs receives all test signals only via one main connector
  • Emergency switch at the front side
  • Optical test status determination by LED with closed hood
  • Termination of the testing process via MCD TestManager CE and Toolmonitor Data Manager

Equipment components: