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Test & Tools

41 Posts authored by: Jan Cumps Top Member
I'm building a GUI for the electronic load we made here on element14. The development will be in a few incremental steps. This is the second iteration: add error logging make the LCD display emulation work a few dedicated controls to set current and enable / disable input   Retrieve Instrument Status: Multiple SCPI Commands Combined  The screen refreshes the GUI controls based on the instrument status. LCD display displays mode, set current, measured current and voltage, inpu ...
I'm building a GUI for the electronic load we made here on element14. The development will be in a few incremental steps. communication with the instrument basic GUI with a SCPI command line and results In the next iterations: add error logging make the LCD display emulation work a few dedicated controls to set current and enable / disable input   Functionality in the 1st Iteration  The application has its basic layout and one function implemented. I want to start with a lay ...
My electronic load failed. In this second post, I test the remaining parts of the DAC/ADC board.   Tests Approach  The eload DACs and ADCs are on a separate PCB, together with the voltage reference and the I2C isolator. The voltage reference isn't damaged. I've tested that in the previous post.   All DAC outputs and ADC inputs are broken out to the connector at the low side of the board. The load's firmware has low level SCPI functions that can directly talk to the convert ...
My electronic load failed. I was trying new hardware and software options. At a certain moment the power MOSFET died. There was no magic smoke, but the source, drain and gate are all shorted (source, drain and gate all measure a few Ohms in both directions). I am not 100% sure of what has happened, but I think that a bad contact at the gate or current sense resistor, while the FET was supplied with 40 V, did it. No sound, no smell. Just an instantaneous death. In this post, I'm checking what ...
I'm designing a low power IoT in the Cloud framework for the Arduino MKR WIFI series. A firmware proof of concept that uses the low power option of this Arduino as much as possible, only to wake up to make a measurement and beam it to Amazon Web Services (AWS). The framework also reports the battery state. This allows the operator to go charge the battery before the defice runs out of juice. This blog measures the solution's power consumption over long time. It takes in account the time spe ...
Now that I have a programmable psu, dc load, oscilloscope and multimeter, it's time to build a flexible test bed. It's main purpose is to specify efficiency of switch mode regulators. But with some tweeking itcan also be used to measure ripple of a power supply under load. It's going to be a flow that can step through voltages, then sweeps the load over a range,makes measurements and log them to a spreadsheet. The flow will be able to loop this process once, or continuous until the STOP bu ...
I'm road testing the  Keithley Bench Digital Multimeter DMM6500. In this post, a simple method to save measurements and list them in a table with a keypress.     Saving Measurements to a Table  This is the default behaviour of the DMM. Measurements are stored in defbuffer1 when you switch on the meter. I'm using this functionality to register a number of measurements, using the TRIGGER button to take a measurement.   I'm measuring a feedback circuit on my bench. ...
One of the things that jump out in Louis Rossmann's videos is the type of flux he uses (and the amount ). The fluxes I have at home are liquid, and that works well when building new PCBs. The Amtech flux I'm testing here is a jelly when applied and becomes fluid when hot. This may be helpful when reworking surface mount ICs, where my flux is gone by the time I'm halfway reworking them.   What I'm hoping to get out of this is to improve my success rate when reworking QFN packages and the ...
I'm road testing the  Keithley Bench Digital Multimeter DMM6500. In this post, I review an experimental app to implement Hold functionality. The script is made by a Keithley engineer in his free time. Experimental. See the end of this post for stability remarks.   The DMM6500 doesn't have a hold function out of the box. The App that I'm reviewing here implements it. It shows a maximum of 8 stable measurements. You can move the meter probes around on your circuit. Every time ...
I'm road testing the  Keithley Bench Digital Multimeter DMM6500. I proposed in my application to focus my review on instrument automation. In this post I review Keithley Communicator, an application to directly send TSP and SCPI commands to the meter.   Keithley Communicator  This utility is great in its simplicity. It's a little app where you can type commands and push them to the DMM6500. The app has an output window to print any info returned by the meter. This is idea ...
I'm road testing the  Keithley Bench Digital Multimeter DMM6500. In this post, I investigate how to use the external trigger to start a measurement. In this post, everything is configured and executed in LabVIEW. In the previous post I used the front panel.     Goal: I want to measure the voltage on a microcontroller GPIO pin just after it is set to high. Check out the last post for the details.   Set Up the External Trigger with LabVIEW  I'm using the SCPI :TRI ...
I'm road testing the  Keithley Bench Digital Multimeter DMM6500. In this post, I investigate how to use the external trigger to start a measurement. In this post, the setup is manual. In the next post I'll use LabVIEW to automate the process.     Goal: I want to measure the voltage on a microcontroller GPIO pin just after it is set to high.   External Trigger  The DMM6500 has an external trigger input at the rear of the instrument.     It's a BNC con ...
I'm road testing the  Keithley Bench Digital Multimeter DMM6500. In this blog, I presents a script that measures a microcontoller power consumption using an EEVblog µCurrent. Knowing the amp hours your application consumes, helps to predict battery life. Battery capacity is given in this unit. With modern switching converters, you can squeeze almost all capacity out of a battery. Knowing how much runtime all that capacity gives you is useful.   Why a µCurrent?  ...
I'm road testing the  Keithley Bench Digital Multimeter DMM6500. In this blog, I verify the performance of an EEVBlog µCurrent via LabVIEW. Note: this is not a real validation of the µCurrent . This is a showcase on how a DMM6500 can be used in such an exercise. For practical reasons I am using an oscilloscope to measure the DC output of the µCurrent. That is not a precision device. And there's way too much noise in my lab to make a meaningful measurement that way. ...
I'm road testing the  Keithley Bench Digital Multimeter DMM6500. In this blog, I verify the performance of an EEVBlog µCurrent; from the DMM6500 frontpanel controls..     The µCurrent is a test instrument that translates current to volt. You can think of it as a shunt resistor with an amplifier. It's specifically designed to be used for low current measurements. In this blog, I want to compare its measurements with the DMM6500, in mA range. Not for a specific ...

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