Skip navigation
1 2 3 Previous

Gough Lui's Blog

41 posts
As I continue to evolve my RoadTest procedures, inevitably, some things just don't make it into the original review. Part of this may be due to an abundance of caution in making sure the review is delivered on time, while in other cases, it's purely because I discover something in the process of using the equipment for other tasks. This posting is reserved for discoveries "after the fact" and serves as an addendum to the original review, to be updated whenever new developments are made.   [ ...
The final detailed blog corresponds to the most difficult part of the review and potentially the most interesting as well – how well does the HMP4040.04 perform? I threw my barrage of test equipment at it to try and find out.   Things to Note If you have not read the unboxing chapter, it is important to note that this HMP4040.04 arrived in a damaged condition. Rather than delay releasing a RoadTest review significantly, I have decided to release this review of the damaged unit with an ...
While the Rohde & Schwarz HMP4040.04 can be used stand-alone, its true power lies when incorporated into an automated test system through the use of a computer controlling the power supply via SCPI commands.   Things to Note If you have not read the unboxing chapter, it is important to note that this HMP4040.04 arrived in a damaged condition. Rather than delay releasing a RoadTest review significantly, I have decided to release this review of the damaged unit with an understanding that ...
In the previous sections, I’ve taken a look at how the R&S HMP4040.04 compares to the rest of the products on the market and completed the unboxing process. In this blog, I will look at the usability aspects of the power supply, with some basic testing of functionality and special features.   Things to Note If you have not read the unboxing chapter, it is important to note that this HMP4040.04 arrived in a damaged condition. Rather than delay releasing a RoadTest review significan ...
In this section, I go through the most enjoyable part of owning a new product – the unboxing process. Except, in this case, it wasn’t so much enjoyable as somewhat depressing …   Thinking “Outside” the Box Being in Australia, I live roughly half-way around the world from most places, so things don’t always arrive swiftly nor in great shape. This particular shipment was no great exception and was plonked onto a hard concrete floor unceremoniously by a cou ...
In order to better understand how the Rohde & Schwarz HMP4040.04 stacks up with the competition, I like to begin my RoadTests by first looking at what the market has to offer and comparing on-paper specifications. This will give us an idea of how competitive the product is on specifications and pricing.   Surveying the Market … What Market? The Rohde & Schwarz HMP4040.04 is a four-channel, 384W programmable DC power supply. Knowing this, my initial instinct was to scour the N ...
It's been a while since I've blogged or even had the chance to build something, so last weekend when I was busy trying to get something to work, I was thwarted by a failure of an ESP8266 Wi-Fi Shield that was so elusive that derailed my plans entirely and resulted in butchering a few components.   However, out of the ashes of testing the components that remained, rose a little consolation prize built from scraps and half-broken bits. Something built for the "sake" of building it. Something ...
Regular readers of my RoadTests will understand that I very much dislike posting partial or incomplete reviews, as my view about a product could change during a more considered evaluation, but also as it might "tire" out some readers who visit expecting an update but never find one, or otherwise may have visited expecting a full review only to get a partly-finished review. I know it's really a matter of style and preference - some people like to rally up interest about a product and get the view ...
The interesting part of reviewing an instrument is to actually test the instrument against the datasheet to understand how this one particular unit performs and determine how well it holds to the claimed specifications. As I now have a sizeable collection of test equipment, I felt it was only responsible to put it through a gauntlet of tests.   Voltage Reading Accuracy One of the two primary measurement parameters is voltage, which is a parameter that can be more easily verified than some o ...
Aside from the computer-connected interfaces, the BA6010 is also capable of remote-control operation without involving a computer. This is achieved through the handler interface, which is intended to connect to an automated cell handling equipment, providing and receiving logic signals to control its operation.   Handler Interface Documentation Of all of the BA6010’s features, the handler interface proved to be the least well documented aspect. The only information is provided within ...
While the BA6010 can be used interactively with its large LCD and front panel buttons for spot measurements, the unit seems more suited to remote operation as part of a larger automated testing system especially with its higher reading rate modes. In this section, I focus on the provided documentation, interfaces provided by the BA6010 and using the BA6010 with a PC to run a number of experiments.   Documentation and Support B&K Precision have provided a programming manual for the BA601 ...
As a piece of bench-top test equipment, there’s a good chance that you might be using it “face-to-face”. I try to find out how easy is the BA6010 to use in this interactive scenario, what is it capable of and what are its limitations.   Documentation In order to get the most out of your test equipment, I’m an advocate for reading the manual from cover to cover. Having done this for the B&K Precision BA6010, my impression of the supplied documentation is that it i ...
After a bit of a struggle through Australian Customs (for no known good reason) resulting in a delay of a week, the box has finally arrived, so let’s take a look at what it looks like and what’s inside.   Unboxing The unit comes packed in a recognisably blue-and-white box, branded proudly with the B&K Instruments logo. On the side, the product name, barcode, serial and voltage setting are clearly shown. This is potentially important as the fuse and holder orientation needs ...
We begin our review of the B&K Precision BA6010 Battery Analyser with a Market Survey, but it’s probably worth going over some of the basics about battery analysis.   Quick Introduction to Battery Analysis If you look around for information about battery testing, there is a lot of often confusing and contradictory statements around. There have been a lot of debates about different test methods providing different test results and whether certain methods of testing are equivalent, ...
In order to test the RTM3004, it was important to have something that generated signals that could be used to challenge the unit. I view testing the unit to be an important part of properly reviewing a product and using the inbuilt demo features or generators is often not sufficient to uncover deficiencies. As a result, I pulled together some of the scraps I had at home and all of the skills I had to generate some signals.   This part details some of the special-purpose programs and design ...