ECAD System Internals

Cable Test System

The ECAD Cable Testing System
The ECAD System acquires and analyzes electrical properties of cables and circuits, including: continuity, impedance, phase angle, insulation resistance and TDR Signature.

ECAD’s data acquisition system is a light weight, military grade, precision test system for evaluating the condition of power, instrumentation, and control circuits. Beyond simple wire testing, PC-based instrumentation embodied into CM’s ECAD wire test systems provides the capability to completely characterize wiring system condition and performance through a single -ended, nondestructive measurement.

No matter if you’re in the power production, petro-chem, or textile manufacturing industries, you’ve got cables. No matter where you’re located, we’ve got the complete test system for those cables.

Data such as capacitance, dissipation factor, inductance, quality factor, impedance, phase angle, AC & DC resistance, reactance, insulation resistance, polarization index, and time domain reflectometry (TDR) signatures are acquired automatically and stored in a database. This data can then be analyzed for problems such as moisture intrusion, baked or cracked insulation, resistive connections, opens, shorts, and faulty end devices. The TDR allows the user to pinpoint the location of the anomalous condition, whether the problem is in the penetration, cable, connections, or DUT.

One Simple Test can Completely Characterize the Condition of your Entire Circuit

tdr graph

Connect the ECAD System’s two-wire test lead to your deenergized instrument, control, or power circuitry from wherever it’s accessible. ECAD then automatically conducts a series of key electrical measurements on the entire circuit. Your two-wire circuit is completely characterized in less than 60 seconds; 10 minutes is required to obtain a traditional Polarization Index.

Let Cable Radar be your Guide

Time domain reflectometry, or TDR (sometimes called “cable radar”), reveals the fault in a circuit even though testing may be taking place on several thousand feet of cable. Where there are anomalous readings of impedance or resistance, ECAD’s computer-controlled TDR shows the location by measuring the time required to send and then receive a return signal from the point of the anomaly.

Anomalous areas are easily identified, as shown in this TDR signature. When critical decisions are necessary to ensure circuit operability, the user-friendly software’s zoom function allows for a more detailed analysis of the suspect area.

Over time, exposure to heat, moisture, or chemicals can deteriorate or even destroy insulation. In many cases, this degradation can go undetected until circuit operability is affected. Through regular monitoring with the ECAD System, you can conduct maintenance before failure occurs.

It’s Never Too Late for Baseline Data

Baseline measurements are always useful, even in aging plants where degradation of cable or other circuit components is in its early stages. The ECAD System will detect problem areas during the initial diagnostic reading, which can help lead to more pro-active maintenance activities.

Life Extension Decisions

When you have to make decisions about extending the life of your aging plants, you’ll want to know the condition of your electrical systems.

With baseline and subsequent condition monitoring data from the ECAD System 2002, you’ll have the documentation to support your decisions. You’ll be acting on the basis of knowledge, not guesswork.

Condition Monitoring Puts you in Control

ECAD lets you characterize and diagnose the condition of your electrical circuits. It describes the condition of your operational circuitry with both numerical results of key electrical measurements and with the TDR signature. A baseline measurement can be compared to later measurements so that degradation trends are detected. Thus, rather than being the victim of degradation, you can actively observe and prevent it from leading to failure.

ECAD System 2005

(PDF Spec Sheet)

ECAD® System 2005 consists of a suite of test instruments that acquire both lumped and distributed data, thereby taking a snapshot of an electrical circuit. This snapshot can be used for trending analysis and basic circuit monitoring.

Up to 15 wire circuits can be tested simultaneously, making ECAD System 2005 ideal for:

  • Repetitive automated testing where hundreds of leads are involved, such as military aircraft or routine BWR plant maintenance
  • Predictable test plans with limited time frames, such as PWR Control Rod Drive Mechanism coil characterization

ECAD System 2002

(PDF Spec Sheet)

ECAD® System 2002 consists of a suite of test instruments that acquire both lumped and distributed data, thereby taking a snapshot of an electrical circuit. This snapshot can be used for trending analysis and basic circuit monitoring.

1 wire circuit can be tested simultaneously, making ECAD System 2002 ideal for process controlled maintenance cycles where wire circuits can only be disconnected and tested one at a time.

Upgrade Kit

An upgrade kit can be used to convert an ECAD System 2002 to ECAD System 2005 for expanded functionality.

PCI Impedence & Switch Cards

  • A digital Impedance Card that can calculate impedance, inductance, capacitance, quality and dissipation factors at a variety of frequencies, available in the PCI form factor.
  • The Switch Card enables different instruments to be connected to the test lead. With elaborate safety checks, the switch card is designed to ensure the safety of both the user and the circuit.


Various add-on equipment is available for the ECAD System.