Reporting for duty

Wheel Analytics 1.3.1 is now available. This release enhances printable reports — Target Plot and Live Tensio now have a print button, which collects optional metadata for wheel traceability. Add details like the date, the name of the technician and a reference number. Use the reference number to tie the report to a build sheet, invoice or customer. It’s possible to use a barcode scanner to populate the reference field if you have one.

Reports automatically scale to any paper size configured on your computer. Reports are clear and legible even when printed on small stock, such as 100mm (4″) shipping labels. Labels have fun applications — for example paste them into a “wheel birth certificate” that documents how a wheel leaves your workshop. Your work differentiates your service so it’s helpful to show people what that means.

Check out example PDF reports for alignment and tension balance.

Bestest workstation

Photo courtesy of Wheelworks

Many people ask about the best setup for running Wheel Analytics or think we prefer a particular setup because of a demonstration. The tablet configuration seen at trade shows is a good example.

The ideal setup is a personal matter. The Islandix recommendation is to build a workstation using parts you have already. If you have a tablet, for example one used for Di2 programming, try that. If you have a computer or laptop, try that. See what you like and what you don’t. These options are pretty different in terms of workbench layout.

Some people find this advice too generic and ask a followup question: what would the ideal workstation look like if it was purpose-built from scratch? Arguments can be made both ways but I like computers better than tablets for a few reasons. First, screen size with a computer is unlimited, which means you can mount it further back. At the expense of space behind the truing stand you get less clutter in your near field with no loss of visibility. Second, computers have better browsers and better browser choice. We find desktop browsers have the best printing support, especially if you want to do advanced things like send reports to a label printer. Third, computers have USB support. The WA-1 controller can plug into a computer directly, receiving power and data over USB. It creates a tiny single-purpose network consisting of your computer and the controller, totally isolated from the rest of your network. A private USB connection does not suffer from interference compared to Wifi and seems to generate fewer support requests for this reason. Finally, for all these advantages a computer setup can be less expensive than a modern tablet. It’s perfectly acceptable to use a toy computer like the Raspberry Pi 400 to drive the big screen.