I'm constantly amazed by the wide range of people I meet through LinkedIn. Just the other day, for example, following a contact via LinkedIn, I ended up chatting with Robin Salter from KWIPPED.com (“Equipped,” get it?).
Now, if the truth be told, I've never really considered what I'd have to do if I were to find myself in need of high-end test equipment. These days, my hands-on engineering activities are limited to building my hobby projects, so my needs for test equipment are relatively rudimentary. I'm usually to be found playing with 16MHz Arduinos, so if I do find myself requiring something like a signal generator or an oscilloscope, I simply amble over into the next bay and look pitiful until they lend one to me.
Back in the day, way back in the mists of time when I was a real, practicing engineer, I worked for large companies and everything we needed on the test equipment front was there for the asking. Of course, things were much simpler in those days of yore — much of the time you could get by with little more than a multimeter and a reasonably good oscilloscope or logic analyzer. These days, by comparison, you can end up requiring access to a mindboggling array of devices operating at frequencies and accuracies that make your hair stand up on end.
There are several problems here, not least being the fact that the price-tag on some of these units will really make your eyes water. This is exacerbated by the fact that you may need access to a certain piece of test equipment for only a month or two every now and again — the rest of the time it can end up sitting on a shelf gathering dust, making you feel guilty, and causing the bean-counters to gnash their teeth and rend their garb.
Even large companies can find the cost of purchasing myriad pieces of high-end test equipment to be a burden, while medium and small companies can be brought down to their metaphorical knees.
This is where KWIPPED enters the picture….