Written by David Liu
Routine electrical tests are time-consuming
Routine electrical tests can be mundane and quite time-consuming, especially when you’re required to repeat the same test procedure with just one or two parameter changes. Take the testing of a DC-DC converter, for example. In the diagram below, you’ll notice that setup requires a few instruments to work together, including a DC power supply, digital multimeters, a DC electronic load and an oscilloscope.
Figure 1. Typical schematic of a DC-DC converter test setup
DC-DC converter testing
A typical DC-DC converter test procedure requires the recording of voltage, current and power values under different load conditions. The figure below simulates a table of results that you’d likely need to fill up as you complete the characterization of a DC-DC converter under test. Imagine the time that’s needed for you to manually change each instrument setting, measure the values at each test point and record them in the table. Not to mention, all those steps on repeat!
Figure 2. Typical table for manual recording of DC-DC converter characterization results
Try automating routine electrical tests
The steps involved in a routine electrical test, such as the one described above, could be drastically simplified by programming the whole procedure and automating the test. But first, you need someone to write the program, and for efficiency, the program should cover steps from configuring instruments, to measuring outputs or inputs, and tabulating results.
BenchVue Test Flow saves on manual programming and testing
So, you could write your own program from scratch, or you could try Keysight BenchVue. With Keysight BenchVue, you don’t have to be a programming wizard. BenchVue’s drag-and-drop interface and its Test Flow feature lets you create simple test procedures or sequences – quickly and easily. Something that could take days with writing traditional programming languages from scratch.
With BenchVue Test Flow, you can:
- Create custom test sequences easily and quickly
- Combine multiple instruments into a sequence seamlessly for a more complete DUT characterization
- Drag-and-drop controls for rapid test prototyping
- Code flexibly with the capability to:
- Incorporate various utility blocks that simplify programming including statistics, math function, step controls and loops
- Run SCPI commands, integrated Command Expert sequence blocks, or external programs
Figure 3. BenchVue Test Flow’s intuitive interface
Figure 4. BenchVue’s seamless support for multiple Keysight instruments
Using Keysight BenchVue Test Flow, you can complete the DC-DC converter test above within 10 seconds. Not only will you be able to export test results in a perfectly-filled spreadsheet, you will also be able to capture waveform files automatically.
Figure 5. BenchVue Test Flow completes DC-DC converter test in 10 seconds and exports tabulated results in a spreadsheet for easy analysis
BenchVue Test Flow eases data recording, export and analysis
BenchVue Test Flow incorporates features that are designed to speed up your data analysis, so you can focus on your next measurement tasks.
- The “preview tool” helps you validate the sequence setup at a quick glance.
- Customize how and what measurements you’d like to view on the X- and Y-axis
- View data logs easily in tabular form
- For reporting purposes, or for further analysis, export data easily to popular software applications including MATLAB, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel
Figure 6. BenchVue Test Flow’s easy setup validation with the preview tool, customizable X-Y chart and exportability to popular software applications
If you are looking for a software app that can easily control your instruments and simplify automation, we recommend that you check out the latest updates and features on the Keysight BenchVue page.