This is a follow-on from the initial review which can be found here

Software Upgrade

When we were checking the Keysight website documentation, it was noted there was a firmware upgrade available.

As shipped the meter had ver 1.09, and the new version is 3.02.

The changes are here (it's not a lot)

Firmware revision updates:-



Version 3.02

- Change Identity to Keysight

- Add alert message in EBR and mA


Version 1.00

- Initial release version

The software installer was downloaded and installed, and the driver for the USB to serial adaptor installed itself without problems.

The software was unable to find the meter, and checking the Com port showed it only went to 15.

Since my laptop has seen many USB devices, it had allocated port 30.

So for anyone thinking of using the lead, make sure you set the com port to something less that 15.




Port Setting

In Win7 ... Open Control Panel, Hardware and Sound

Then click on Device Manager

This opens up another window, and select the Ports tree, which should show the USB adapter.

Right click on the adapter and choose propertie

then select Advanced

In the bottom left corner you should have a drop down to select what ports are free.




I simply chose COM9 (port 9) despite it having something else previously using it.



Software Update process

The software updater checks to see it can see the meter, and verify the version.


(version number removed by me)

For some reason while the software was able to read the model, serial number and version, when I clicked on Upload Firmware it brought up a window that said "Meter Disconnected".

Now this was strange as it was showing that it was talking to the meter.


I repowered the meter, disconnected the lead and repeated the process and strangely when I clicked Upload Firmware it worked.


          Image of the Firmware Update on both the computer and meter.

What are some of the other features?

As I eluded in the review, this meter is more than just an Insulation Resistance meter.

Included in the kit are a J Type Thermocouple and K Type thermocouple.

Both are for measuring temperature, and the difference had me wondering.

When I need information I usually resort to either :-

1. The manual (that's usually the paperwork that you left in the box)

2. A little known search engine called Google.

Surprisingly we find many community members are unsure about this Google search thing, but it's very easy to use, and more importantly FREE.

So after checking with Google and a little cutting and pasting I sorted out this chart and information.


          source  Thermocouple - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So the answer comes down to a different range and sensitivity.


The thermocouples come with a polarised plug where the two pins are different sizes.

This is to ensure they get plugged in the right way around (correct polarity).

HOWEVER the adapter can be plugged in either way around, and worse still you do get a temperature reading.

I sort of missed that when I plugged it in and was wondering why the temperature was 11 deg when it should have been 21 or 22 deg C.

So do pay attention and you'll be rewarded with the right reading.


Logging Software

I have another Agilent/Keysight meter I purchased for Logging, and haven't needed to use it ....yet.

It uses the same optical connector which ensures total electrical isolation.

I'm not going to go very deeply into this, as it is secondary to the meter, but is a real benefit.

I logged the temperature as I warmed the thermocouple and it cooled down.


While the time on the graph shows as relative, the table view records the actual time based on the PC



You can elect to view the data as a graph (above) or table, and even as a virtual meter showing the current figure on the meter.



Once the data is plotted you can zoom in and drag it around, and it's very intuitive.


Full data capture below



Zoomed in section.



One other very useful feature is the remote control of the settings.


In this case it shows where the control knob is set, and allows the choices for that position.




Why bother with temperature?

The temperature of the device under test can make the difference between a pass or fail.


With apologies to Keysight I extracted this explanantion




If the last test you did on a motor was just after it had been running, then it's likely to have a much lower Insulation Resistance than when it's cold.



What about Dampness?

Moisture always condenses on surfaces below the dew point.

For those of us who live in more temperate climates, winter tends to damp and cold, rather than dry and cold, and the windows are often the coldest condensing surface.


Combine this moisture with dust and dirt, and you suddenly have increased leakage paths and reduced Insulation Resistance.


So the temperature probe ensures you can make proper recordings.

The logging software ensures that you can record and retrieve it easily.

I'll cover some of the other features in the next blog, and see if I can't find a faulty motor or transformer.