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FaultFinding

Honest – we don’t have many problems with the NaTKiT board, but nothing in life is perfect (except maybe some Little Feat, John Prine, and Suzy Bogguss tracks).  If you are doing a new installation first work through the section INSTALLING THE NaTKiT1 in the user guide.

Changes

Remember the NaTKiT is a comparative test system.  If something changes in the measurement chain, it is accommodated.  This is fine if, for example, the change is some temperature dependency in the driver.  Not so good if the power amp has fried and nobody has noticed.

If the NaTKiT was working fine but is now failing every thing, something has changed.  You have to work out what has changed and then decide whether it matters.  If you decide it doesn't matter then have to arrange things so units pass under the new circumstances.  If you decide it does matter you have to correct the change.

Supposing the microphone goes low sensitivity.  The displayed response curve will drop.  You could just re-calibrate but maybe the level has dropped so low units fail the polarity test.  You could increase the output level for both tests and re-calibrate or you could change the mike.  The right decision is to do something about the mike.  If its sensitivity has changed it's likely to change again but to keep the line running you might adjust the tests and re-calibrate.

NOTE: If you have changed the NaTKiT board have you also remembered to change the calibration file?

Hardware

This section assumes your problem is a hardware fault with the NaTKiT board or the associated amplifier and measurement chain.  The Four Rules of Engineering apply.

The Four Rules of Engineering

Rule 1  It’s always the lead.
Rule 2  Is the same as Rule 1
Rule 4  Many Engineers are enumerate.

For the more sophisticated there is a fifth rule.  Rule 5  Never turn anything on for the first time late on Friday.  It will explode and spoil your weekend.

Leads

Leads are the most likely thing to fail and the easiest to change.

PCs

Do not run NaTKiT in a DOS window under Windows.  NaTKiT will run slower and errors may occur because NaTKiT does not have guaranteed access to the PC’s resources.

If there is some problem with the PC that you suspect is the NaTKiT board try relocating the board in a different slot or re-seating it in the same slot.

Assuming your problem is a hardware fault with the NaTKiT board or the associated amplifier and measurement chain (perhaps flatlining):

Is NaTKiT Reporting "NaTKiT hardware not found …"?

Yes - if the NaTKiT has been found previously try moving the NaTKiT board to another slot, or re-seating in the same slot, otherwise work through the section Installing The Hardware in the user guide.  If moving the board doesn’t solve the problem contact NaTCH.

No – try the next section.

Is There Sound From The Loudspeaker During Tests?

Yes – try the next section.

No – something is faulty in the output chain, ie the NaTKiT, power amp or leads.  (Maybe you even have a dead loudspeaker.)  The easiest way to identify the fault is by substitution.  Rules 1 and 2 apply, and anyway the easiest thing to substitute is the leads, so start there.

If you are testing crossovers you could substitute a loudspeaker for the test unit to do this test.

If You Clap Near The Mike During A Test Do You Get Something Like This?

Screen dump of clapping on the NaTKiT1

Yes – contact NaTCH.  However, at the moment we are just as baffled as you are.

No – something is faulty in the input chain, ie the microphone, microphone pre-amp, NaTKiT, or leads.  The easiest way to identify the fault is by substitution.  Rules 1 and 2 apply, and anyway the easiest thing to substitute is the leads, so start there.

AGP
NaTKiT1 screen under Windows with dodgy VGA driverThere can be a problem when NaTKiT1 is run on a machine using a AGP display board.   The symptom is a "Chinese writing" screen like the one on the left.

The problem first manifested running the  simulation version (NK1_SIM.EXE) in a window under NT.  (As it says on page 4 of the user guide NaTKiT1 shouldn't be run under Windows.  The NaTKiT will run slower and errors may occur because it does not have guaranteed access to the PC’s resources.  In fact we only support  NaTKiT1 if it's running under DOS.)  Recently the problem has also occurred under DOS.

We suspect that those nice people who write drivers haven't maintained full DOS inheritance ... and it has to be said that so far this problem has only occurred on Dell PCs.

Fixes that have been used are: 

Thanks to Sunil Mathur at B&W Loudspeakers for helping to identifying this one.

Y2K
One user (Martin Audio) has one PC which when tested rolled over to Jan 1 2084.  They discovered if the date is greater than 31 December 2078 then NaTKiT ends with the error message "Illegal function call in module NK_LREL at address XXXX:XXXX".  One to watch out for.

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