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I was originally planning to show the use of the multimeter in a tutorial style, however, the multimeter is very easy to use and I feel that a tutorial approach is likely to seem, and be, patronising. So this blog post is just going to focus on practical measurements that can be done with the 34461A. Microcontroller current consumption The power consumption of modern microcontrollers can vary quite a lot, with many of them stating that they have very low power modes. I thought that it would be ...
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 (you're there) This is the part I was looking forward to the most. Interfacing the device with LabVIEW is simple, and quick. In fact I think it took less time to get it talking to LabVIEW than it did to do the initial set-up (even discounting the previously mentioned fuse replacement).   Instructions here are for LabVIEW version 8.6, some points will require you to modify the instructions. These should be obvious. First you'll want to get the LabVIEW drivers f ...
Part 1 Part 2 (You're there) Part 3 So your Agilent 34461A is sitting on your desk all set-up and running. What now? Well, now you use it.   Lets go through a few of the most common ways that you might use your new multimeter. Each of the six white buttons has one or two easy to access functions. Secondary functions, if present will be represented by placing it in square brackets [Like this]. The functions can be accessed by hitting the blue oval shift button, and then the approp ...
Part 1 (You're there) Part 2 Part 3 It was obvious that this kind of post or review was bound to appear at one stage, but my aim is to walk people through my thoughts on the product and so appearance is important (to me at least). On that note, on with the show.   So I arrived at my desk to find a brown shipping box on my desk. Awesome. It was a pretty ordinary brown box. Just a shipping label and packing slip. As seen in the video below I use my handy pocket tool to slit open th ...
Randomness doesn't always come easily As described in my  previous blog entries, I have set up a PIC18F4520 to drive the data in line on a string of WS2811 RGB LEDs.  There are 240 LEDs in the 4m long string.  Previously I wrote a function that generates a properly timed pulse train from an array of values in memory.  I have documented several of the light effects that can be created in previous blog entries.  The challenge in this blog is to write a function that will ...
I first posted this blog entry in my personal blog.  It was meant to be posted in Test and Measurement.  It is now posted in both places.   In this post I compare the trend analysis feature on three instrument:  The Agilent 34461A, the Tektronix DMM4050 and the Agilent 53230A universal frequency counter.  My findings suggest to me that all three instruments provide useful trend features, but the 34461A does so at a lower price point.   I used each instrument to tr ...
This blog entry describes my experience with the histogram function on the Agilent 34461A 6 1/2 digit multimeter. Note:  the symbol table function in the e14 blog editor is not working for me tonight, so I've compromised by using the word "ohm", etc where a symbol would normally have been inserted.   My exploration of the histogram function begins with a plan to build up a histogram of single measurements on batches of same value through-hole carbon composition  resistors all fr ...
The Agilent 34461A is a 6.5 digit multimeter designed as a replacement for the 34401A. It improves on the specifications of the 34401A and, most noticeably, includes a 4.3 inch display instead of the 34401A’s vacuum fluorescent display (VFD). Specifications Rather than copying the datasheet (which can be found at http://cp.literature.agilent.com/litweb/pdf/5991-1983EN.pdf), I will provide a quick summary: DC/AC voltage - 100 mV to 1000 V DC/AC current - 10 uA to 10 A Resistance - 100 Ω ...

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