Skycaltronics LLC
Reliable, premium quality instrument services on your timeline
Common Problems
Practical Solutions

Working with these instruments for the last 21 years, I have picked up a few tricks of the trade.  Maybe more than a few.  I have attempted to compile some of the more common problems and fixes on the pages that follow in hopes the information will prove helpful, and  in some cases keep you from blowing all your hard earned cash at the OEM.   I also hope you will consider Skycaltronics as a source for instrument calibration and repair services of course.  We are uniquely qualified to meet your service needs with a more timely, cost effective and friendly solution.

12 May 2015    Miz-20A, Miz-22, S-5, S-9

Skycaltronics is proud to offer full service capability for these fine instruments (Unless of course your display has died, whereupon you are out of luck, sorry).  We have new NiMh battery arrays in stock, $275 for a full set of 3.  I also have used circuit boards in stock, available on an exchange basis for those do-it-yourselfers out there.

Instrument Calibration prices vary between $425 and $475 depending on which instrument you have.


I can also repair and calibrate the S-3.  US$375, and new rechargeable cell sets are $175.


12 May 2015    Miz-10A, Miz-10B

Skycaltronics still supports these fine Eddy Current instruments.  We have a vast inventory of good used parts for these testers, and new replacement  rechargeable batteries as well.  Don't waste your time with those 2200mAh evereadys, I have 5000mAh cells available to double your testing time away from the wall outlet. 

Calibration is inexpensive, only $375.  


12 May 2015    Miz-21B,21SR,S21R, Miz-21A

Does your 21series instrument need repair or calibration?  Send it on over, Skycaltronics can make it like new again.

Batteries dead?  We have plenty of High Capacity (2150mAh) arrays in stock.   Check the spare parts page for pricing.

Charger dead?  I can repair those too.  Typically $350 to get it going again.  I also have replacement chargers available which are re-purposed from a Makita drill.

21A boots up with a black screen?  The config battery has likely died causing the instrument to start up with maximum contrast.  Press the left arrow repeatedly to manually adjust the contrast at each power up cycle as a work around until you can get a new battery installed.  It's a Saft LS14250 1/2AA size lithium.  Watch the date code, these have only a 2yr shelf life at best!

Dead balance buttons or power on/off button?  The keypad ribbon cable is notorious for cracking on these signal lines.  We can usually repair the cracked traces and get you testing again.

23 Oct 2013    Miz-17AWIS

The Miz-17AWIS (Aircraft Wheel Inspection Station) uses the 100baseT ethernet comm link to communicate with the wheel handler mechanism in some applications.  This comm control is subject to the same failure mechanism as the Miz-43 instrument discussed in a previous article (Same Motorola 2300 model CPU).  Skycaltronics has devised a fix for this problem, and we can get your Mz-17 up and testing again like new.  I will turn around a 17 in two days at no extra charge if you need it in a hurry.

Is your Mz-17 cursor not tracking where your control direction indicated?    Maybe it does not move at all?  Skycaltronics stocks replacement parts for this repair.  The replacement pointing device is an exact drop in replacement, exhibiting identical performance to the original part.  The new part is $650.00 installed.    Our cal/cert price is hundreds less than the OEM at $525.00, and our turnaround time can't be beat.  Call us for an immediate quote on your specific instrument.  


23 Feb 2013    Miz-27ET, MIZ27CT, Miz-27SI,

Miz-27ET Miz-27CT Miz-27SI white screen at power up.

Commonly called the white screen of death, this problem can be catastrophic...... or not.   However you don't necessarily have to mortgage the house to bring your 27 back to life.  The most common cause of this failure is low DC voltage to the Motorola® Power PC© CPU board.   Pin connections at the power supply output become resistive due to oxidation, causing a low voltage condition at the CPU.   The CPU will cease to boot at a voltage below 4.5VDC. 

How to fix it?

Remove the bottom cover, disconnect and reconnect the power supply connector 3 or 4 times, then re-power the instrument to see if it now boots normally.  This is a temporary fix to get you through the job.  Once oxidation has occured, it will readily re-occur continually.  Rust never sleeps.  The long term fix is to install new pins on the connector, or Skycaltronics offers a modification that actually hardwires the +5V line to the mother board, thus eliminating the problem forever. 

Should your CPU still fail to function, the Flash RAM add-on board may have become defective.  This board's silicon jungle holds your VX Works operating system and M-27 boot rom.  Prone to poor solder connections on the tiny flash IC pins, over time the connections become brittle and can break, causing the instrument to lose its memory.  Skycaltronics has a solid stock of replacement Flash Ram boards available to get your instrument back up and running like new.

Finally, if the Motorola main board has decided to give up the ghost, we have a limited quantity of used boards in stock that can bail you out for a reasonable cost.  Call first to check availability.

22 Feb 2013    Miz-27 Black Screen

 The Black screen of death?  Well not exactly.  Your backlight power supply just went out.  Skycaltronics has parts in stock to fix this problem.  New  backlight power supplies are available for $450 installed. 

Sometimes the display itself goes bad.  This can be a black screen or a white screen symptom.  Replacement displays are available for $750 installed. 

Finally, your power supply may have blown one of its output modules, or the weak input switching module is quietly attempting its inevitable death.  All of these modules are still available and can be replaced one by one, without needing to replace the whole power $upply.  We stock all of the individual modules and can get your instrument going very quickly.  Or we can send you a complete assembly.  Send us your broken supply, and we will send you a refurbished unit immediately for a significant but reasonable fee.

22 Feb 2013    Miz-27ET, Miz-27CT, Miz-27SI, HP

Is your Miz-27 cursor not tracking where your control direction indicated?    Maybe it does not move at all?  Skycaltronics now stocks replacement parts for this repair.  The replacement pointing device is an exact drop in replacement, exhibiting identical performance to the original part.  The new part is $650.00 installed.  $550 if you wish to install it yourself.   Bundle it with our superior calibration/certification service and I will install it without the $100 labor cost.  Our cal/cert price is hundreds less than the OEM, and our turnaround time can't be beat.  Call us for an immediate quote on your specific instrument. 

21 Feb 2013    Miz-27 Keys

Miz-27 keypad / buttons not functioning.  Got a few that don't activate or require multiple pushes or excessive pressure?   Most of the time these buttons can be cleaned internally to bring back proper operation.  Quite involved to get to them, but once you get the circuit board out its fairly straightforward.  "Don't use alchohol, or other corrosive cleaners as this destroys the conductive coating of the contact.  Skycaltronics charges 2 hours of labor to perform this cleaning service.  If the button(s) is/are too damaged to save, I can graft a new contact or even a replacement cover on to get it working as new once again. Call us for an immediate quotation today.  Unbeatable turnaround time, friendly service, and economical pricing hundreds less than the OEM. 

21 Jan 2013    Miz-27 data storage


The MIZ-27 is capable of NFS mounting to a remote network drive using a 10/100baseT link.  This setup procedure describes how to configure an 1100 series Snap Server to work with any MIZ-27XX  instrument or a specially equipped MIZ-17ET instrument.

 Equipment required:  PC running WIN98/2K/NT OS, NIC, TCP/IP service, A valid IP address, and a Network cable (Crossover for direct connection, standard when used in conjunction with a Hub).

The configuration is the same for either the 40GB or 80GB 1100 series Snap Server.


 *  SNAP SERVER Setup:

 Mz-27 Network Page Configuration:

 In [Hardware Config] [IO Config] [Network], you must set up the following parameters:

Desired IP Addr must be set to a valid IP address EX.

Toggle the Drive selected field to Ext NETDRV or EddyNETDRV.  *Note: EddyNETDRV puts the ID/Row/Col header in the Eddynet format for use with this analysis program.  ExtNETDRV uses a standard PC type format for ET Analysis or others.

The Mz27 NETDRV IP Addr must be set to the IP address you set for the Snap.  EX.  *Note: the MIZ27 IP address and the Snap IP address must be in the same range. (The first three groups in the IP address must match. See example IP addresses above. 

Ext mount pnt: must be set to the shared drive you are mounting to. EX. /raw_1  This points the Miz-27 to a raw_1 directory on the Snap Server’s internal hard drive.  Note** MNT PT SHOULD CONTAIN NO DRIVE LETTER. 

The format for the name of the raw directory is raw_XXX, where XXX corresponds with the last 3 digits of the Miz-27's IP address not including leading zeros.  EX. Miz-27 IP address is therefore the raw directory created should be raw_27.  The Miz-27 will auto-create a sub-directory named dir0 where each data file will reside, unless custom directory names are specified. 

Press the [Write New IP] button if you have made a change to the Desired IP Addr field.  Verify all IP and Path fields are correct, then return to the Miz-27 main screen and cycle the Miz-27 power.  Turn on the Miz-27 and verify that it the "Network Drive has been mounted" message appears and that data is able to be recorded. 

Once the Snap and Miz-XX Instruments are configured, the Snap may be connected directly to the Miz-27/17 without the PC or Hub in the system.  (Using a Crossover Cable).  Multiple MIZ-XX’s may be used simultaniously provided a separate valid share is created for each instrument. 

VM Products has refurbished snap servers in stock!  Contact the Service Manager for details.

18 Jan 2013    Miz-43 Network Boot Failure

 The Miz®-43 Eddy Current Instrument is on a collision course with catastrophic failure unless you avert the impending doom!  The Battery on the Motorola® PowerPC© CPU board provides NVRam backup for the network boot parameters.  If this battery is neglected and allowed to  totally deplete (life expectancy is 10 years under normal usage), the instrument will lose its memory of boot parameters and cease to boot.  If this has already happened to your instrument, you need no longer despair, I have devised a work around that involves reprogramming the boot parameters through a backdoor path. .  Contact Skycaltronics for a quote on this repair.  We can have your Miz®-43 up and testing again like new - Guaranteed. 

21 Dec 2012    Miz-27 SI low freq noise problem

  Does your 27SI exhibit noisy data at low frequency?  Read the below exerpts to enlighten and hopefully work around.


  The SI operating guide references proper sample rate settings as an important characteristic for obtaining good signal to noise ratios in low frequency applications.  A rule of thumb is setting the rate to the difference between the 2 lowest frequencies used.  In your case this would be 4Khz - 3Khz or 1khz.  It is only a reference point though, as when using 5Khz in your case, you would not get a good signal with a 2K sample rate.  Page 4-22 of this manual actually states that "In some low frequency applications, an improper sample rate setting can cause "noisy" data."  Please consider experimenting with this setting on some of your applications in the future.

    The "Spiral Shapes" you are seeing are caused by the simultaneous injection signal processing circuitry not being able to differentiate quickly enough between carrier frequencies with less than 3.5 times the filtering rate of the analog board.  The SI analog board uses a 2K filtering rate, (completely independent of BP or DF filters that are user selectable), and ideally should always have a minimum carrier frequency separation of 7KHZ.  This is of course not an option when testing material with a prime frequency near 7KHZ, and that is where the trouble begins.  We can only suggest optimizing the test parameters for these materials by making it easier for the instrument to extract the carrier signal.  This is done by using frequencies that are multiples of each other, and using sample rates that coincide favorably with the test frequencies.  

     I hope some of this information explains the "complication" in finding test parameters

that allow the acquisition of good data.

The problem is not with the tester but more of an inherent configuration setup issue with the SI’s electronic architecture.  Please allow me to explain.  The Miz®-27SI “Simultaneously Injects up to 4 frequencies into the coils of the probe, then must extract EC information from the modulated carrier signal.  The speed at which the instrument can do this is limited by discrete components of a Bessel filter, through which all 4 of the generated frequencies must pass at a particular rate.  The relationship between speed (Sample Rate) to test frequencies and the test frequencies to each other creates a hierarchy of test parameters that work together, among those that do not.  The lower the test frequencies, the more reliance upon even frequency multiples the instrument becomes in order to maintain maximum sample rate.    Non multiple frequencies with non multiple sample rates will manifest signal distortion or noise. 


In your config 12 example:


Freq 1: 15KHz

Freq2: 30KHz

Freq3: 54KHz

Freq4: 92KHz


Sample rate= 1300Hz


The signal looks fine until the sample rate goes above 500Hz, then becomes noisy as the instrument struggles get non-multiple frequencies separated from the carrier signal with the filter.  If the configuration were to be slightly modified with multiples in mind, the data integrity would be maintained even as sample rate is increased.


Freq 1: 15KHz

Freq2: 30KHz

Freq3: 54KHz

Freq4: 90KHz


Sample rate= 1500Hz


In this example just changing 92KHz to 90KHz (90 being a multiple of both 15 & 30) and making the sample rate a multiple as well, we attain a clean ECT signal.  A sample rate of 3000Hz also yields clean data. 


Experimentation with the configuration parameters using the “multiples” principal will help you optimize instrument settings that provide clean data and match as closely as possible your inspection requirements.  Please refer to Page 4-22 of the operating guide for additional information regarding sample rate and low frequency operation of the Miz®-27SI. 


Motorola is a trademark of the Motorola computer group, Skycaltronics has no affiliation with MCG.

Zetec and MIZ are trademarks of Zetec Inc.  Skycaltronics has no affiliation with Zetec Inc. 

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