Skip navigation
For most instruments, this chapter is perhaps the most exciting one as I delve into the instrument’s performance capabilities across a number of parameters. However, this time around for some metrics especially, I have been thwarted by two considerations – the first is the instrument’s exemplary capabilities which sometimes well exceed the capabilities of my test equipment suite, and secondly, the issues experienced with the instrument itself which may make these results atypic ...
This in-depth blog posting considers the ways in which I-V testing can be performed “on-device” using the Keithley 2450 SMU in standalone operation.   On-Device I-V Tracing, Let Me Count the Ways! Performing I-V testing on the Keithley 2450 SMU can be achieved in a number of ways. Included by default in the firmware of the unit is the “sweep generator” function. When combined with the onboard graphing functions, you can perform an I-V sweep without the need for a PC. ...
This blog focuses on using the Keithley KickStart 2 software with the 2450 SMU, which provides the I-V Characterizer function for PC-connected I-V tracing.   *PLEASE READ* - This Review is with Caveats! Unfortunately, the SMU I received appears to have a hardware fault causing problems with its 200V range and also produces some occasional unexpected readings even at lower voltages. I have been in contact with representatives from both the Singapore and US branches of Tektronix since 22nd Ma ...
This blog looks at the Keithley 2450 SMU’s remote interfaces and programming capability.   USB Connectivity The Keithley 2450 offers both a front panel USB-A connection and a rear panel USB-B connection. The front panel supports the use of USB Mass Storage Devices with FAT/FAT32 format for saving buffer data, arbitrary data from executing scripts, screenshots and configuration data. It is also used for loading scripts and updated firmware.   The rear USB connection allows the de ...
What is the Keithley 2450 SMU like to use and what do I think of it? This blog looks at the process of getting up-and-running with the 2450 SMU, the user interface and features, my opinion on the user experience, the quality of the documentation and a short experiment involving battery discharge and logging.   Initial Setup & Firmware Upgrade Initial setup of the 2450 SMU is very simple – it’s pretty much as close to plug-and-play as possible, as there are no voltage selecto ...
This blog posting will concentrate on the unboxing process, providing our first introduction to the Keithley 2450 SMU.   Unboxing Process The unit comes inside a long cardboard box, with the distinctly Keithley logo in the top left corner of the side of the box. It also clearly proclaims it to be a Tektronix company, which it has been since 2010.   The side of the box has labels which provide more details on the unit inside. This unit claims to be manufactured 19th December 2019, ...
This blog looks at what a source-measurement unit is, what it does, why you might want one, how it might simplify your test regimes and what you might use it for. Then, we discuss the specifications of the bench-top style SMUs on the market and their relative strengths and weaknesses.   What is an SMU? A source-measurement unit, or SMU for short, can be thought of as a precision voltage/current source and meter in the one unit. Operating over all four quadrants, the SMU is able to source an ...
I reviewed the Rohde & Schwarz HMP4040.04 back in October 2018, which was unfortunately damaged in transit. After almost a year without any resolution, I decided to crack it open and attempt a repair. The first time I opened it, I found a bunch of bad components but I couldn't narrow down the fault conclusively. After receiving a helpful comment which pointed me to the possibility of other bad components, I tested my switching MOSFETs and found them to be a dead short as well. This made it s ...