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There may be times when you need when more current than your DC bench power supply can provide. In these situations, there are traditionally two ways to go. You could add another similar power supply and parallel the two outputs together for higher power. You could also find a totally different power supply thats rated for enough power to satisfy your testing needs. Both methods require the hassle of searching for another power supply unit to meet the requirements of the test. An ideal solution would be a power supply which allows you to get that higher power within the capabilities of the same box.

Which is why you may be interested to meet the new E36312A and E36313A bench power supplies from Keysight Technologies. You can use the built-in auto-parallel mode available in the new E36312A and E36313A bench power supplies to get double the power than you would otherwise get from a single output eliminating the hassle of looking for a different power supply all together.

 

What enables this is a feature called auto-parallel mode. Auto-parallel mode uses built-in relays to combine channels 2 and 3 into a single higher current DC output channel rated for 25V and 4A. The readback system measures as a single channel too!

 

You can enable auto-parallel in two easy steps:

Step 1: Press the Output Settings button

Step 2: Press the Mode Parallel button

 

Auto-parallel front panel output connections are shown on the large graphics display. In figure 1, Channel 2 (highlighted in green) is connected to the load. The display shows that Channel 2 is now rated for 25V and 4A, while the output connectors on Channel 3 (highlighted in blue) are disabled.

 

 

 

Figure 1. Setting up auto-parallel mode.

 

A 4-wire operation can be easily configured using the Channel 2 rear panel output connector.  Note that 4-wire, or remote sensing, improves the voltage regulation at the load by monitoring the voltage at the load rather than at the output terminals. This automatically compensates for the voltage drop in the load leads, which is especially useful for CV operation with load impedance that varies or has significant lead resistance. Activate 4-wire remote voltage sensing by pressing Source Settings > Sense 4w buttons.

 

The E36300 series bench power supplies have a large, crisp display that lets you see all three output channels at the same time. By toggling the meter key button, you can drill down for more detailed information on each channel. The channels and the display are color coded so you can easily track each channel.

 

By selecting Channel 2 (highlighted in green) and toggling the meter key button, you will see more detail on Channel 2 settings and measurements.

 

In figure 2, the power supply was set for 12V, and the current limit default is set to 4A. The power supply read back (measurement system) is displaying, 12.000V, 3.452A, and 41.420 W.  You will notice that Channel 3 (dark blue color) is now blanked out and showing that it is in connected in parallel with Channel 2.


Figure 2. Auto parallel mode example.

 

You can enter or change the voltage and current limit settings by.

  1. Using the front panel voltage knob. The output voltage will change when the knob is turned. You can easily see this on the display.
  2. Using the numeric entry field in the meter display, if you know the exact voltage value that you want. Use the navigation keys to select the field (it will be highlighted) and use the numeric entry keys and enter the value.
  3. Pressing the Source Settings key and using the navigation keys to highlight the voltage field. Enter the voltage value using the numeric keys. You can use the voltage knob to adjust the value in the voltage field as well.

 

We hope this helps you get higher current capability on demand, using auto-parallel mode. For other tips, read our application note Speed up Your Test with an Upgraded Bench Power Supply.

our "Power Up Your Bench Contest" Week #2 winner is Basanta Bhattarai from Helsinki, Finland!  Basanta's story is about how the E36312A will be able to provide safe and reliable power for his drone project. 

 

Here's Basanta's story:

I am studying electronic engineering. We use Agilent oscilloscope from couple of years and now that there are new ones (with named Keysight now), I just love them.

 

I am hobbyist designer and electronic enthusiastic. I love building things at free time YET, I am limited by things like power supply and oscilloscope which I am desperate to have since long time now. Being student its costly to fund living and fund my hobby also. Most of the designing and proper powering ,I do it in college.  Untill today when I heard this new of giving away and I immediately started writing this.

  

Most of the opamps i have are dual +-power supply. I use it most of the time and without dedicated power supply its quite hard to manage (but not impossible).

  

I love playing around with embedded technology which is sensitive to supply power and it would be easier to have dedicated power supply to work with them. This is a temperature sensor using PIC microcontroller

 

Temperature sensor using PIC microcontroller

  

This is quite badly made and soldered board but works.

 

I am also building drone from scratch and it has this battery (gifted by friend) with banana connector for charging. Even for li-po battery its easier to have dedicated power supply to work smoothly and easily. Although i have this old charger which works well.

 

Drone battery

  

There are cheap modules for stepping up voltage which i have been using in my projects.

 

 

I am planning to have my power supply bench made using this power supply which has various power supply ranger and more importantly negative voltage (-VE) also. But its quite risky to use such self made PSU’s.

 

CPU PSU

 

I am also enthusiastic in RF field and would be easier to have dedicated power supply to step up power transfer in self build fm transmitter circuit which i am currently working on using 2N2904 and power amplifier. Beside self build I also have fun with these prebuild modules which are really fun to work with.

 

FM transmitter 

I would really love to have Keysight product in my desk beside me, reminding every time I sit in front of my table for doing projects. Yes, at least I have a good power supply to work with.

 

End of story.

 

 

Congratulations Basanta.  We are sending you our branding new E36312A!

 

Don't miss out.  Submit your entries now to win our brand new E36312A Triple Output DC Power Supply!

 

Go to www.keysight.com/find/PowerUpYourBench for more details. #PowerUpYourBench

 

 

 

 

Our "Power Up Your Bench Contest" Week #1 winner is Rushiraj Jawale from University of Mumbai, India!  His story is about how the E36300's dual and triple output will be able to power his differential amplifiers and op amp based designs. 

 

Here's Rushiraj's story:

 

Power supply and power management are the two most important things in any electronics product. However, most of the engineers while making projects ignore these two aspects of electronics.

 

Im a recent graduate student of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from University of Mumbai, India. I started with electronic projects when I was in my high school so I have a good experience in electronics (5+ years). As someone who has recently graduated in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering, I will be talking about the importance of power supplies from the student point of view and how often we ignore the test and measurement domain in the university curriculum. As the engineering students are future engineers they need to understand the importance of power supplies.

 

Personally, I have faced a lot of problems while working with projects. I have been designing analog circuits and RF circuits (Amatuer radio) since last 3 years. In circuits where a single power supply is needed, they are easy to power using a battery or a AC-DC switching adapter or a normal single output bench supply. But certain circuits like differential amplifiers and op amp based designs often require dual power supply for their operation. Using a single power supply causes the AC output of the amplifier to get clipped. To get the full voltage swing in the output dual power supplies are needed.

 

Now the most common method employed to get a dual output supply from a single output bench power supply is to use two single output benches such that the negative terminal of the single output bench is connected to the positive terminal of the other single output supply and this common connection is used as a ground for the supply.

Here’s a diagram explaining the connections

Ground

 

This method of generating a dual supply output can damage both the supplies. Because in order to connect the two supplies in the above manner the output voltage of the supplies has to be same otherwise, there are chances that the supply will get damaged. Another limitation is that you can

only generate a +V/-V output from this. For example, +5V/-5V, or +12V/-12V, etc. You cannot generate outputs like +5V/-3V or +12V/-5V, etc type of outputs.

 

What would I do with it?

 

Now thats where the new Keysight E36312A triple output power supply comes into picture. It offers excellent specifications with a triple output. Programmable power supplies are better than conventional ones as you can get a higher degree of precision. Not just that, it also offers OVP, OCP, OTP protection for the circuit.

I would like to use the E36312A supply for testing my projects like the 20/40/80 metre band HAM transceivers and om amp circuits. Currently, I dont own a bench power supply as they are costly and I cannot afford to buy one. I use switching adapters as a power supply. A programmable triple output power supply would be a great addition to my Electronics Lab. Yes, I have a small Electronics lab at my home which I set up in the year 2013. If I win the new Keysight E36312A bench supply it will be the first big thing in my lab and it will certainly help me in powering my future projects. It will POWER UP MY BENCH. Also, load line regulation, ripple rejection and noise are a problem in power adapters and they cause interference in RF circuits. This will help me to test my transmitters are receivers without any noise.

 

So, before I start working on new project, LET ME POWER UP MY BENCH FIRST with the new Keysight 36312A Bench power supply.

 

End of story

 

Congratulations Rushiraj.  You'll be receiving your E36312A soon!

 

Don't miss out.  Submit your entries now to win our brand new E36312A Triple Output DC Power Supply!

 

Go to www.keysight.com/find/PowerUpYourBench for more details. #PowerUpYourBench

Just tell us how a new Keysight power supply will help you “Power Up Your Bench”.
Go to the website: www.keysight.com/find/PowerUpYourBench and upload a story, picture or video today!
There will be 22 new power supplies awarded over the next 22 weeks! Each winner will receive a new E36312A with GPIB (valued at $1550 U.S. list price each) from August 28, 2017 through January 26, 2018. A panel of judges will select the best entries based on innovation and creativity, uniqueness of benefits and clarity of presentation. Multiple entries allowed!

Get more from your power source with the surprising capabilities of Keysight’s new E36300 series triple output power supplies
- more confidence with accurate programming/readback and low output ripple/noise
- more convenience with 5.4 inch color LCD, USB/LAN/GPIB and front and rear connections
- more capability with low range current measurement, data logging and auto-series/parallel connections

How can I get more power from my power supplies?

If you need more voltage than one of your power supply outputs can provide, you can put power supply outputs in series to increase the total voltage. If you need more current than one of your power supply outputs can provide, you can put power supply outputs in parallel to increase the total current. However, you do have to take some precautions with series or parallel configurations in a multiple output power supply.

 

Precautions for series connections for higher voltage:

  • Never exceed the floating voltage rating (output terminal isolation) of any of the outputs
  • Never subject any of the power supply outputs to a reverse voltage
  • Connect in series only outputs that have identical voltage and current ratings

Precautions for parallel connections for higher current:

  • In most applications, one output must operate in constant voltage (CV) mode and the other(s) in constant current (CC) mode
  • In most applications, the load on the output must draw enough current to keep the CC output(s) in CC mode
  • Connect in parallel only outputs that have identical voltage and current ratings


You can use remote sensing with either a series or parallel configuration. Figure 1 shows remote sensing for series outputs and Figure 2 shows remote sensing for parallel outputs.

On our E36300 series multiple output power supplies, configuring series and parallel output configurations is simple. With a single button setup, the E36312A and E36313A can be set to series or parallel mode to double the output voltage (up to 50V) or current (up to 4 A), respectively.  The setting is done through the front-panel display with graphical user interface instructions.

 

Once set up, you can control the combined channels as a single output and use them to measure as a single channel. You save time by eliminating the need for external wiring between channels for the connection. 

 

You can find more information about power supply series and parallel configurations in an Agilent power supply document called “Ten Fundamentals You Need to Know About Your DC Power Supply

 

Refer to tip number 4. This document also covers nine other useful power supply fundamentals.

 

 

To learn more, see bench power supply testing

Data acquisition (DAQ) instruments can normally meet many application needs by its scanning mode and universal input capabilities. With its scanning mode, you can configure each of its channels to measure various types of inputs such as AC/DC Volts, AC/DC Current, Resistances, signal frequency and temperatures. With its built in DMM, you can do a lot of measurements. However,

·        What if you want to use the DAQ for switching purpose?

·        What if you have measurements that consists of a matrix of different tests and multiple DUTs?

·        What if you want to perform data logging on measurements that cannot be done by the DAQ’s built in DMM i.e. high frequency power and other measurements?

·        What if you want to provide multiple sources or loads into your DUT(s) i.e. AC or DC source, arbitrary waveform, electronic loads, etc?

Suddenly, switch modules become really handy. Please refer to the module selection guide below.

Module selection guide

34901A, 34902A and 34908A can be used as scanning modules and also as switching modules. Differences are its relay switches with tradeoffs between switching speed and power handling.

34903A has dedicated SPDT switching relays that can drive actuators as well as general switching applications.

34904A is a dedicated 4 X 8 switch matrix.

34905A and 34906A are RF switch multiplexers with 50 and 75 termination respectively.

So, how do you AUTOMATE with your DAQ switching modules?

·        Simple automation without programming would be to use the BenchVue DAQ software. Figure below shows graphical switches you can easily toggle the switches

BenchVue graphical switches

·        Figure below shows a simple Testflow graphical tool toggling a switch 10 times

Testflow switching

In the command expert, this SCPI command to switch open channel 101 is as shown below:

Command expert

:ROUTe:OPEN (@101)

Similarly, to close switch channel 101, it is

:ROUTe:CLOSE (@101).

To speed up your automation, you can switch on/off a group of switches in a single command. Here are two examples:

-         Switch open channels 01 through 05 on the module in slot 100. ROUTe:OPEN (@101:105)

-         Close Switch channels 02 through 07 and 09 on the module in slot 200 and channels 02 through 08 on the module in slot 300

ROUTe:CLOSE(@202:207,209,302:308)

For more information on Keysight’s general purpose DAQ instruments, please visit:

www.keysight.com/find/34970A

www.keysight.com/find/34972A

For more information on Keysight’s BenchVue software, please visit:

www.keysight.com/find/benchvue

 

Data Acquisition (DAQ) helps you to measure real world physical conditions (such as temperature pressure, force, electrical signal, or current), and then we convert these analog signals into digital signals with an Analog to Digital Conversion (ADC) system. Finally, you have a computer hook up with the software, analyze the signal to solve the problems that you are working on.

DAQ system

What does the DAQ unit do internally?

I will be referencing DAQ capabilities based on Keysight’s 34970/72A DAQ/data logger. First of all, it uses sensors or we sometimes called transducers, to transform these physical parameters into analog electrical signals such as AC/DC volts, AC/DC currents and so on.

In the subsequent step, the DAQ has built-in circuitries to perform signal conditioning i.e. to reduce noise and make them easier to measure, to boost weaker signals to make them more immune to noise, to filter out unwanted noise, to attenuate, to average or to compensation.

These conditioned signals are then read via DMM or digitized and data logged and saved into memory for further post analysis.

 

So, what are the 5 benefits DAQ can offer you to make your job easier?

1)     Solves your problems faster (using BenchVue software)

a.     Quicker setup – using BenchVue graphical user interface, you can setup and control the instrument fast.

b.     Accurate measurements – with the built-in 6 ½ digit DMM

2)     Easy documentation (using BenchVue software)

a.     data export capability to Matlab, Excel, Word or .csv file

3)     Flexibility

a.     DAQ provides built-in signal conditioning for many temperature sensors so that you can focus on selecting the right sensor for the job and no worry about the complexity of the setup

b.     Besides temperature measurements, the DAQ is capable to measure other signals such as AC/DC Voltage and Current, 2/4 wire Resistance, Frequency/Period of signals and with transducers, it can measure pressure, strain, humidity, more.

4)     Cost

a.     Capable of measuring up to 40 channels per module, saving the need to buy many instruments (using 34908A multiplexer module)

b.     Capable of measuring scan speed up to 250 scans/s, meeting most demanding performance measurements at reasonable cost ((using 34902A multiplexer module)

5)     Many options and accessories

a.     Modules with 2/4-wires RTD temperature and resistance options

b.     Switch modules

c.      Thermistor / Thermocouple kits

d.     ANSI Z540 calibration

 

For more information that you require on DAQ product, please refer to our general-purpose bench 34970/72A DAQ / Data Logging Unit on our website:

www.keysight.com/find/34970A

www.keysight.com/find/34972A

10 Tips to improve your thermocouple accuracy Part 2 of 2

New 80-W and 160-W programmable DC bench power supplies provide best-in-class ease of use, modern connections and multi-channel display

  • Simultaneously displays all three color-coded channels on a 4.3” color LCD 
  •  Provides industry-leading output stability under extreme, dynamic load conditions
  •  Enables data logging plus output sequencing and coupling


Meet the new E36300 Series triple-output programmable DC power supplies from Keysight Technologies. With a large color display, intuitive user interface, modern device connections via LAN (LXI, USB and optional GPIB, the E36300 gives you the performance of system power supplies at an affordable price.


”Today’s complex designs place higher demands on the systems that power them,” said Bill Griffith, application engineer manager at Keysight Technologies. “But these power systems often cause design problems, and basic power supplies may be incapable of uncovering them. With the E36300 Series, engineers can simulate power problems early in the design cycle. And advanced features, such as low-current measurements, auto-series and auto-parallel connections, sequencing and data logging help them detect power problems.”


The E36300 Series’ low, normal mode noise specifications mean that you get quality power for precision circuitry applications, so you can power your designs with confidence. These bench power supplies are acoustically quiet too. Each model provides excellent line/load regulation of 0.01%, fast transient response time of <50 us, low current measurement down to 80 uA and over-voltage, over-current and over-temperature protection to prevent damage to the device under test.

Additionally, you can control these bench power supplies to set parameters and status alerts, visualize power output, and log changing voltage and current over time with Keysight BenchVUe software. The included Test Flow capabilities let you quickly automate power-supply setups and measurements into test sequences.


In addition to design engineers, the E36300 Series is ideal for new users and students learning to use power supplies. With a full-menu, front-panel interface, the E36300 Series is easy and intuitive to use. The units provide individual knobs for voltage and current, individual On/Off on each channel, and a keypad and softkeys to easily configure the power supply, simplify operation and improve productivity. Even new users can quickly control and measure the unit to deliver results.


The E36300 Series is available now, with prices starting at $1,100 USD.

Learn more about these new bench power supplies and see how upgrading can save you testing time.

 

 

Product number

 

 

Power

 

 

Max. Voltage

 

 

Max. Current

 

 

E36311A

80 W

6V, +25V, -25V

5A, 1A, 1A

E36312A

80 W

6V, 25V, 25V

5A, 1A, 1A

E36313A

160 W

6V, 25V, 25V

10A, 2A, 2A

10 Tips to improve your thermocouple accuracy Part 1

Four tricks you didn't know you could do with Trueform waveform generator

The vast majority of electronic tests involve using a digital multimeter (DMM) at one time or another. There are a variety of ways to reduce DMM measurement times to improve overall test throughput. Of course, test time improvements sometimes require compromises in other areas, but knowing the tradeoffs involved in throughput improvements and identifying what is important in your specific test situation will help you determine which trade-offs make the most sense.

Auto zero: Accuracy versus test time Auto zero is a DMM feature that helps you improve accuracy. When you use the auto zero feature, the DMM makes an additional zeroing measurement with each measurement you make, thereby eliminating the offsets of the amplifier and integration stages inside the DMM. However, turning this feature off cuts the measurement time in half. These offsets are initially calibrated out, but the offsets can drift slightly with a change in temperature. Therefore, if your measurements are taken in an environment with a stable temperature, or if there are several measurements taken in a short period of time (temperature changes occur over longer periods of time), the improvements in throughput by turning auto zero off will far outweigh any slight compromise in accuracy. For example, with auto zero off in a stable environment, the Keysight 34460A/61A/65A/70A DMMs typically adds only an additional 0.0002% of range +5 μV for DCV or +5 mΩ for resistance accuracy specification. Note that with auto zero off, any range, function, or integration time setting change can cause a single auto zero cycle to be performed on the first reading using the new setting. Consequently, turning auto zero off and constantly changing settings defeats the time savings advantage. Check your DMM auto zero operation to be sure of the circumstances leading to an advantage from this change.

DMM pic

Reduce the number of changes Changing functions or measurement ranges also requires extra time in most DMMs. Try to group your measurements to minimize function changes and range changes. For example, if you make some voltage measurements and some resistance measurements, try to do all of the voltage measurements together and all the resistance measurements together instead of changing back and forth from one function to the other. Also, try to group your low-voltage measurements together and your high-voltage measurements together to minimize range changing. Voltage ranges above 10 V use a mechanical attenuator that takes time to switch in and out. Grouping your measurements by function and range will reduce your measurement times considerably.

Auto range variations Auto range time can sometimes contribute to longer test times, but not always. The time to auto range varies with the DMM design. DMMs using flash A/D converters and parallel gain amplifiers can actually reduce test times by using auto ranging, since the time to change ranges is zero. In these cases, the time to issue a range change command from a host computer and parse the command in the instrument will be slower. Manual ranging of integrating DMMs is still the fastest way to take a measurement. Manual ranging also allows you to keep the DMM on a fixed range, which eliminates unwanted zero measurements and prevents the mechanical attenuator from needlessly actuating. Note that the I/O speed and range command parse time for the Keysight 34460A/61A/65A/70A DMM is significantly faster than the auto range algorithm.

 

Integration time versus noise Integration time is another parameter over which you have direct control, but there is a clear tradeoff. DMMs integrate their measurements over a set period of time: the integration time. The biggest benefit to choosing a longer integration time is it eliminates unwanted noise from contributing to your measurement, especially AC mains line voltage noise. However, longer integration times obviously increase your measurement times. For example, if the integration time is set to an integral number of power line cycles (NPLCs) such as 1, 2, 10, or 100, the power line noise contribution will be minimized due to averaging over a longer period of time and due to increasing the normal mode rejection (NMR). With an NPLC setting of 10 in a 60-Hz environment, the integration time is 166 ms (200 ms for a 50-Hz line). The larger the integral NPLC value, the larger the NMR (for example, 60 Hz rejection), but the longer the measurement time.

 

DMMs are used in virtually all electronic test systems; therefore, making conscious choices about how to make DMM measurements can save large amounts of test time, thereby increasing throughput. Here is a helpful checklist for better throughput:

  • If appropriate, turn auto zero off
  • Minimize function and range changes
    • Group similar measurement functions together (DCV, DC ohms, ACV, etc.)
    • Use fixed ranges instead of auto range, if appropriate
    • Shorten integration time with consideration for noise rejection, resolution, and accuracy

 

For more info on Keysight DMMs click here

Power line communication or power line carrier (PLC) is getting a lot more attention these days since it is used in many of the new green energy electronics such as smart grid devices, solar inverters, and home automation. PLC is communication technique that uses the power wiring in buildings or grid power transmission lines as its communication channel. In this post, we will look how you can easily generate complex PLC signals for test purposes with a low-cost function / arbitrary waveform generator (FG/AWG). For a more general overview on PLC click here. Generating communication signals for testing typically requires costly test equipment like a signal generator for the carrier and a FG/AWG for the baseband. For PLC signals, we can skip the costly signal generator and just use a modern FG/AWG. There are two main reasons we can skip the signal generator for simulating PLC signals. The first one is the carrier signal for PLC is typically less than 1 MHz so it falls well within the bandwidth capabilities of a FG/AWG. The second is modern FG/AWGs have advanced features for creating complex signals. These features include:

  • Large waveform memory for storing not only arbitrary waveforms, but also arbitrary signals.
  • Arbitrary waveform sequencing, which is analogues to a playlist on an MP3 player. It allows you to seamlessly combine multiple waveforms from memory to create a complex signal.
  • Optional second independent channel for creating an I and Q signal.
  • Advanced modulation capabilities such as waveform summing, modulating an arb with an arb, and for two channel FG/AWGs the ability to modulate the signal from one channel with the other channel.

Let's look at a couple of examples using Keysight's 33522B / 33622A FG/AWG. Here is a simple example just using built-in waveforms. In the below screen shot from the 33522B / 33622A, a BPSK signal with a 135 KHz carrier was created. For the baseband, a built-in waveform known as a pseudo random bit stream (PRBS) was used. The PRBS waveform just delivers a close to random stream of 1s and 0s at a chosen bit rate, for this example 5.5 kbps was used. Of course, an arbitrary waveform made up of real data could have been used for the baseband as well.

JPF

For the second example let’s look at something a little more complicated. In this example a QPSK signal with a frequency hopped spread spectrum carrier was created using Matlab. The bit rate of the digital data was 10 Kbits/s. The signal lasts for 15 ms and consists of >500,000 data points. The waveform was transferred to the 33522B / 33622A via a USB stick and a CSV file. Below is a screen shot of a portion of the signal.

QPSK screen shot

In this example, we used the FG/AWG's large waveform memory to output a large arb file (greater than 500K points) to create a 15 ms signal segment with the baseband modulation and the frequency hopping already in signal. This frees up the FG/AWG's modulation capabilities for other purposes such as simulating communication channel noise. Below is an example of using the modulation function to add some channel noise. The noise signal was a sharp pulse signal representing a large load transient on the power line. This was done on the 33522B / 33622A by using the "sum" modulation feature. The source of the pulse noise signal was channel two on the 33522B / 33622A.

QPSK Pulse

In this post we talked about using a low cost function / arbitrary waveform generator for creating PLC signals. There are two main reasons why a FG/AWG makes a great solution for simulating PLC signals compared to a signal generator. The first is the carrier frequency of PLC signals is well within the capabilities of a FG/AWG. Second modern FG/AWGs have features like a large waveform memory, waveform sequencing, and advanced modulation capabilities. If you have any questions related to this post please email me and if you have anything to add use the comments section below.

 

Click here for more info on the 2-channel FG/AWG 33522B / 33622A

In this Part 2 of the blog, I will explain to you another way of creating an arb and transferring into an AWG using BenchVue software. If you have not used the BenchVue software before, let me tell you, it’s even easier than the two examples shared in Part 1 of this blog.

 

First, let me give you an introduction of what BenchVue software is all about. It is a software platform for the PC that allows users to easily connect, record and achieve results across multiple test and measurement instruments with no programming. Plug and play functionality enables you to connect your instrument to your PC and immediately begin controlling it in BenchVue. Test Flow is a new application inside of BenchVue that provides an easy method to create custom test sequences using a drag-and-drop interface.

 

For the sake of new potential BenchVue users, please go to www.keysight.com to download a trial version or purchase a licensed version of the BenchVue Function Generator App software for your PC. Hook up your favorite instrument interface whether it is a USB, GPIB or LAN to your PC and launch your BenchVue software. You will quickly get full control of your Keysight Waveform generator in a very short moment. You will see a graphical instrument control window of your waveform generator as shown below. You can easily setup normal sine, square, ramp, pulse, triangle, noise, PRBS and DC waveforms with desired parameters in no time.

 

benchvue control panel

If you select the Arb button on the figure above, you can either open and load current existing Arb waveform pre-loaded in the instrument or an existing Arb waveform available in your PC. You can also choose to create a new Arb waveform by clicking on the button pointed by the arrow as shown on the figure above.

A new window will pop up when you click on the “create Arb” button as shown on the figure below. You can easily create basic as well as advanced waveforms. You can even perform a free hand drawn waveforms using this tool.

waveform builder

The arrow on the figure above points to an “equation editor” button. When you click this button, an equation editor window will appear as shown below.

equation editor

One more important feature when creating your new Arb, this software can help you sequence multiple different waveforms in the order and number of repeated times per waveform as you like. Transferring of the created arb waveform is really easy too with this BenchVue software. You do not have to create a CSV file and manually transfer to your AWG. With only several clicks in BenchVue, your newly created arb waveform will automatically be transferred to your instrument.

I hope this blog helps. If you have not seen Part 1 of this blog, please click here.

Click here to learn more about the 33500A / 33600B series of function / arbitrary waveform generators