Skip navigation
> RoadTest Reviews

Quad-Channel, Analog Output Module - Review

Scoring

Product Performed to Expectations: 3
Specifications were sufficient to design with: 10
Demo Software was of good quality: 1
Product was easy to use: 2
Support materials were available: 4
The price to performance ratio was good: 8
TotalScore: 28 / 60
  • RoadTest: Quad-Channel, Analog Output Module
  • Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards
  • Was everything in the box required?: No - Software needed to be downloaded from TI's website. The wrong USB cable was supplied with the kit.
  • What were the biggest problems encountered?: The software does not communicate with the DAC8775 evaluation module, preventing any further testing

  • Detailed Review:

    This is a review of the DAC8775 on a TIDP215 E1 evaluation board.  The GUI software is also labelled as DAC8775EVM.

     

    References

    • DAC8775EVM Users Guide, SBAU248, November 2016.  Accessed at www.ti.com/lit/ug/sbau248/sbau248.pdf
    • Reducing Size of Group-Isolated PLC Analog Output Modules, webinar June 20, 2017.  Accessed at training.ti.com/webinar-more-channels-less-space-new-trends-highly-integrated-dacs
    • Less Than 1-W Quad-Channel, Analog Output Module with Adaptive Power Management Reference Design, March 2017.  Accessed at www.ti.com/lit/ug/tiducv5/tiducv5.pdf

     

    Overall impression: Poor

        Hardware: Appears to be well designed though the connector is fragile, incorrect cable was provided

        Software: Communicates with the board but does not function correctly

     

    Supplied hardware

        TIDP215 E1 board, featuring the DAC8775

        SM-USB-DIG

        USB cable, Type A to Type B connectors

     

    Unboxing

    I received the entire RoadTest kit in a single box from Element 14.

    DSC_4299.jpeg

     

    DSC_4310.jpeg

    The first two things that I noticed were that the evaluation module had already been opened and that the wrong USB cord was shipped.  Rather than the supplied USB A to USB B cable, TI should have supplied a USB Type A extension cable.  The supplied cable was useless in this case and set aside.

     

    The evaluation board looks to be nicely laid-out.  Unfortunately, it didn't match up at all with the photos or instructions in the DAC8775EVM users guide.  This guide is a combination of hardware and software guide but is unhelpful.  For instance, the guide offers the use of communication test points and jumpers that aren't available on this module.

     

    DSC_4311.jpeg

     

    The software is only available for the PC.  I installed it on a Toshiba laptop running Windows 10 with a 15" screen and a maximum resolution of 1366x768.  The software did not fit on the screen and there was no way for me to resize or adapt the window to see the lowest part of the interface.  I could plug my laptop into an external monitor, but this was inconvenient and shouldn't be necessary.

     

    Upon plugging the module into the USB port, one green LED lit up followed by a second.

     

    IMG_3462.JPG

    The connection between the interface and the board appears to be fragile and could be misaligned.  I don't know why TI could not have used a standard plug that would be more robust.

    IMG_3464.JPG

     

    IMG_3469.JPG

     

    IMG_3463.JPG

     

    After plugging it in, I used the Simple I/O feature of the software.  I was able to write and read to Address A with appropriate changes in the register.  I interpret this as having a valid connection from computer to interface to module.  This was the last success that I had in this process.

     

    I then went to use the standard interface.  This appears to offer a number of ways to test the DAC8775, including fixed and ramped voltages, fixed and ramped currents, and calibration adjustments.  Unfortunately, I was totally unable to detect any voltage on any of the four outputs.  I did measure 3.3v being supplied to the module (both suggesting that the rail was active and that my DVM is functioning normally).

     

    The one thing that I have not done yet is try to insert a higher voltage onto the module.  I believe that J6 is for an external voltage supply but am unclear about its limits, polarity of the terminals, etc.  I'll work on this next.

     

    In the end, this was quite disappointing.  I had hoped to use this module as the basis for a dual rail precision power supply.  I may put more effort into this in the future but, at this point, I'm too frustrated to continue.  My guess is that the board works but that the software is not communicating with the DAC.


Comments

Also Enrolling
Enrollment Closes: Dec 19 
Enroll
Enrollment Closes: Dec 8 
Enroll
Enrollment Closes: Dec 8 
Enroll
Enrollment Closes: Dec 12 
Enroll
Enrollment Closes: Dec 18 
Enroll
Enrollment Closes: Nov 30 
Enroll