DSL Modem/Router Multi-DUT Tester

DSL Modem/Router Multi-DUT Tester

The Challenge:

To develop an acceptance tester for DSL modem/routers that requires minimal operator assistance and reduces both test time and number of operators required.

The Solution:

Ball Systems developed a test station capable of simultaneously asynchronously testing up to eight DSL modem/routers – testing full port functionality (WAN, Ethernet, DSL, HPNA, WiFi) and ensuring no visual defects and proper LED illumination.

The system utilized interconnected PCs and the BallTest™ software platform using NI’s LabVIEW with XML scripted test sequences and an SQL database.

Features:technicolor 1

  • Server rack with DSLAM and Telebyte devices in order to simulate DSL data and line length, respectively. Server rack also houses a Windows Server and a Linux Server.
    • DSLAM and Telebyte are used for a file transfer to validate the functionality of the DSL ports.
    • Linux Server acts as the FTP server for this.
  • 8 test stations each with the following features:
    • One tester PC and one FTP PC.
    • Isolation chamber.
    • Barcode scanner.
    • Quick-connect fixture inside the isolation chamber.
    • NetGear wireless adapter.
  • Tester software is written entirely with LabVIEW and uses the BallTest™ platform with XML scripted test sequences.
  • Selenium Web Automation add-on for LabVIEW to obtain modem information and to navigate through the modem’s support console.
  • Tester PCs are connected to FTP PCs; a file transfer from the FTP machine to the tester machine and resulting throughput are used to verify WAN, Ethernet, and HPNA port functionality.technicolor 2
  • Software dynamically creates a wireless profile for each modem being tested, and will attempt a connection to this newly created profile in order to validate the WiFi port of the modem.
  • All testing data and results are stored in a SQL database on the Windows Server.
  • Windows Server is accessible remotely, and is used to remotely access tester PCs with VNC for remote testing and debugging.
  • User interface allows operator to enter visual inspection information and also to track test results and progress.


  • Quick connect fixture allows an operator to hook up a DSL modem immediately, saving test time and potential confusion from having to hook up wires individually.
  • Bar code scanner and SQL database allow operator to immediately see if a model has a valid serial number, is in warranty and how many times the unit has been tested previously.
  • Isolation chamber improves testing consistency in a hostile environment where several other modem testers and wireless networks exist.
  • SQL database allows customer to track test results, debug possible issues with the test setup, and also to tweak throughput limits.
  • BallTest™ and XML test scripting allows customer to easily tweak throughput limits, timeout values, reorder test steps, add new test steps or modify existing test steps.
  • Selenium Web Browser Automation toolkit for LabVIEW retrieves data such as hardware revision and firmware version automatically, eliminating the need for an operator to find this data manually.
  • Remote access to Windows/Linux Server and the Tester PCs allow customer to easily debug issues when notified by operators.
  • User interface is easy to use and has been tailored to the personnel using the software.


Ball Systems maintains an expansive array of in-house equipment and immediately available platforms; reducing development time to meet critical customer deadlines. Specific components leveraged in developing the solution above included:

  • Calix DSLAM (digital subscriber line access multiplexer)
  • Telebyte model 458-3SLB 3-slot chassis
  • 2 Dell Power Edge R210 II servers (one Windows server, one Linux server)
  • 8 Dell Optiplex 9020 PCs (Test PCs)
  • 8 HP Compaq dc5800 PCs (FTP PCs)

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