1990-1996 Corvette Instrument Panel Tester (1990-96)
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Batee.com 90-96 Corvette Cluster Tester v6 - Now Available!
This was originally designed by me to assist us with in-shop cluster repairs. Then we received several requests by both individuals and cluster repair professionals to purchase the testers. The supply chain crisis of 2020-2022 killed our sources for many of the parts the previous cluster testers used. We were forced to redesign the cluster tester, and we took that opportunity to add a huge amount of functionality and to fix some of its shortcomings. I am proud to announce that the Batee.com Corvette Cluster Tester v6 is now available!
-- Bryan "CrazyUncleBurton" Thompson, Owner and Founder of batee.com Corvette Parts and Repair
The purpose of the 90-96 Corvette Cluster Tester v6 is to drive the cluster through all aspects of operation. An additional signal generator or power supply is not needed. The previous version of our tester only tested the gauges statically (one position, not moving). It didn't work for all years of cluster. For Cluster Tester v6, we created the Dynamic Sensor Network to test all aspects of the analog gauges, including accuracy at each and every marked or numbered position, for base and ZR-1/LT-4 variants, for every year cluster from 1990-1996, both static tests and movement tests!
We tested about 100 clusters to gather information about the various models of clusters, and we learned that the analog gauges are highly temperature- and voltage-sensitive. So we built in a mode to report the temperature and voltage, and another test to pull a fixed current to warm up the gauges before we test or calibrate them, and we built in another mode which we call Burn-In Mode which automatically drives the cluster through all modes which can be automated in a looping fashion, until the test is cancelled. We use this here in the batee.com shop to test repaired clusters for 24 hours. Clusters which come in with intermittent or non-reproducible problems frequently reveal issues during an extended test.
Burn-In Mode for automated and extended testing!
Analog Gauge Warmup Mode
Thanks to the factory GM connector and it's notorious non-existent spring tension, we learned that the test cable doesn't last forever. We learned our lesson about replacement parts, so we stocked up on consumables. CPUs, Driver ICs, replacement screens, replacement power supplies, and replacement test cables, as well as repair service, are all available both now and for the extended future. We built the batee.com Cluster Tester v6 to last!
We now include a knurled banana ground point on the rear of the cluster tester - a convenient way to connect ground leads for your meter, scope or other test equipment.
Rear View - Cooling Fan, Ground Lug and Reset Switch now included!
We also include tachometer extension cable to make it easier to calibrate the tachometer via the adjustment in the analog calibration IC.
Tachometer Extension Cable Now Included!
The Cluster Tester Extension Cable In Action!
We changed the power supply from 12V to 15V to test the cluster at the extremes it will experience inside a Corvette with a properly working alternator. We also specced a 90W power supply to allow the cluster tester to continuously drive the cluster during an extended Burn-In test!
Finally, we added what we call Quick Test mode which drives all aspects of the cluster at one time, so you can send a "Hero Photo" of the working cluster to the customer as proof of repairs. Experience shows that clusters which are photographed in a working state sell for up to $250.00 more than identical clusters which are not pictured working.
Batee.com Cluster Tester v6 - Quick Test (Hero Photo) Mode!
Documentation includes Cluster schematics, test and repair tips, wiring diagrams, and best of all, High Res photos of what EACH YEAR cluster looks like at every step during the testing process! The image below is a sample of the ~400 high res (images available in the manual - one for each of the 8 US cluster variants for each of the test modes (up to 52 modes per cluster), so both you and the customer can see exactly how the cluster is supposed to look.
The 1996 Base Model Cluster in Tachometer Test Mode
1 - 90-96 Corvette Instrument Panel Tester v6 with factory connector installed
1 - 90W AC Power Adapter w/ US Power Cord
1 - USB Drive w/ Manual, Schematics, Wiring Diagrams and More
1 - Tach Extension Cable
Product Status as of 10/8/2023
We have been using the cluster tester in the shop for the past six months. We are confident with its design, and we absolutely love using it! Cluster Tester v6 is helping us to diagnose problems that the previous version couldn't hope to catch.
We built the first batch for sale. The batee.com Corvette Cluster Tester v6 is a real, sellable product, in stock as of 10/8/2023. The first batch is extremely limited - believe the available quantity listed on this page. These are handmade by CrazyUncleBurton, on a time-available basis. The lead time for the next batch is at least 6 weeks.
The manual is a work in progress. Over the next few weeks, I'll be adding gauge replacement and calibration procedures, and we will produce a unique manual for each of the cluster variants, complete with specific repair procedures and advice for each of those variants. For now, we're shipping a basic operating manual as a PDF on a USB drive. It includes instructions for each test mode, and a representative photo for that test mode. It currently includes a cluster schematic, cluster wiring diagrams, and reference oscilloscope waveforms of the high-speed LCD drive signals.This data will not be published to the public by batee.com, and it is copyrighted to prevent wide-scale distribution to the public by customers of this product.
We're shooting video now of the cluster tester in action. It should be online in the next week or two.