Author Topic: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a  (Read 2180 times)

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Offline Gtx21

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Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« on: August 14, 2018, 06:34:16 am »
I'm currently in the market for a new power supply.    I was all set to purchase a Rigol DP832 when I was approached locally with an offer to purchase an Agilent E3631a for $330.

I'm not sure if the extra $120 is worth the differences or not.  The Rigol would have a warranty as well.

Thoughts?

Here is a spec breakdown:

 



Text table below for copy pasters.


Agilent E3631aRigol DP832
Price$340$449
Ch1 Output0 to +25V, 1A0 to +30V, 3A
Ch2 Output0 to -25V, 1A0 to +30V, 3A
Ch3 Output0 to +6V, 5A0 to +5V, 3A
ResolutionCh1    10mV/1mA
Ch2    10mV/1mA
Ch3      1mV/1mA
Ch1  10mV/1mA
Ch2  10mV/1mA
Ch3  10mV/1mA
Ch1 Accuracy.05% + 20mV
.15% + 4mA
.05% + 20mV
.20% + 5mA
Ch2 Accuracy.05% + 20mV
.15% + 4mA
.05% + 20mV
.20% + 5mA
Ch3 Accuracy.10% + 5mV
.20% + 10mA
.10% + 5mV
.20% + 5mA
Ch1 Readback.05% + 10mV
.15% + 4mA
.05% + 10mV
.15% + 5mA
Ch 2 Readback.05% + 10mV
.15% + 4mA
.05% + 10mV
.15% + 5mA
Ch 3 Readback.10% + 5mV
.20% + 10mA
.10% + 5mV
.15% + 5mA
Load Regulation.01% + 2mV
.01% + 250uA
.01% + 2mV
.01% + 250uA
Line Regulation.01% + 2mV
.01% + 250uA
.01% + 2mV
.01% + 250uA
OtherGPIB IncludedUSB
Lan
RS232
GPIB option
Programmable

 

Offline _Wim_

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2018, 07:30:52 am »
I would go for the dp832 because all 3 channels info can be displayed at once which I find really useful during testing...
 
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Online Wolfgang

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2018, 07:58:44 am »
IMHO, this is a clear case

- the RIGOL has 3 times the power output,
- you can see all 3 channels on a larger graphical screen,
- it has USBTMC and LAN connectivity so it is remoteley controllable without the vintage GPIB bus,
- you can buy options for smaller voltage steps, control outputs, ... later
- plus you get 3 years warranty.

I have several of them (but the DP832A version), and they just work
 
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Offline Gtx21

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2018, 08:34:05 am »
My head is leaning towards the Rigol. 
   
The Agilent Brand name carries something with me.  I remember using the HP version of these supplies in school.  Maybe nostalgia is getting me. 
 

Online Wolfgang

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2018, 08:55:14 am »
I have a lot of recent (1-2years) Keysight and Rigol equipment.

I tried to base my decision on requirements and specs, when I was young I was poor and could not afford neither brand, so no nostalgia with me ...
 
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Offline _Wim_

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2018, 03:26:14 am »
- you can buy options for smaller voltage steps, control outputs, ... later

Or just use Riglol..
 

Online SMB784

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2018, 04:17:37 am »
I am a big fan of Rigol's equipment, especially given its bargain basement prices, but I have to go with the Agilent here.  I own an E3631A, its about 20 years old, and it is an absolute joy to use.  It won't break on you, and if it does the schematics are online and almost all the parts are easy to find jellybean components that can be easily and readily replaced with little to no cost to yourself.

Obviously if you need more than 80 Watts you wont go for the Agilent, but if you can live with the 80 Watts I think the quality and reliability are unsurpassed in the industry.
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Online bd139

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2018, 04:35:27 am »
E3631A is considerably better quality than the Rigol if a little less fancy. Also to note, you can occasionally pick up an E3631A for very little money if you're prepared to wait around. Have seen them going for equivalent of $150 here in the UK (usually when I have no money!).

Don't forget the other supplies from that line as well E3632A-E3634A which can kick out 100W or so.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 04:38:05 am by bd139 »
 

Offline _Wim_

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2018, 04:45:47 am »
E3631A is considerably better quality than the Rigol if a little less fancy.

If both were brand new, I maybe could agree with this statement (altough I am not aware of so many failed 832, apart from the initial issue with the regulator).

But we are comparing an older unit, with a brand new unit that has 3 years of waranty for almost the same price. If you can pick an E3631A up for 150$, that another story off course. But for the prices that the OP mentioned, I really think he should opt for the DP832. I personally would never go back to a power supply that does not display the info of all 3 channels at the same time...
 

Online bd139

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2018, 04:53:15 am »
Regardless of the price I'd still go for the E3631 for these reasons:

1. Rigol known overshoot. Think that is resolved but you don't ship a power supply that overshoots in this century ever.
2. Rigol filed off chip identification limiting repair options.
3. Rigol noisy as hell.
4. Rigol spikes on power up
5. Rigol crappy banana sockets on some units
6. Rigol outstanding bugs

I was going to buy one recently but decided to stick with my TTi supplies for now until something like an E3633A with some wumph comes along cheap.

E3631 has been on the market for a long time. You can still buy new ones and parts now. A second hand unit is a very good investment. So you miss readout for all channels? Not bothered myself.

Note that an E3631, even an old one was a $1000+ supply when it was new.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 04:57:05 am by bd139 »
 
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Offline _Wim_

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2018, 05:21:05 am »
Regardless of the price I'd still go for the E3631 for these reasons:

1. Rigol known overshoot. Think that is resolved but you don't ship a power supply that overshoots in this century ever.
2. Rigol filed off chip identification limiting repair options.
3. Rigol noisy as hell.
4. Rigol spikes on power up
5. Rigol crappy banana sockets on some units
6. Rigol outstanding bugs

I was going to buy one recently but decided to stick with my TTi supplies for now until something like an E3633A with some wumph comes along cheap.

E3631 has been on the market for a long time. You can still buy new ones and parts now. A second hand unit is a very good investment. So you miss readout for all channels? Not bothered myself.

Note that an E3631, even an old one was a $1000+ supply when it was new.

Hi, I can understand some of your points, but for me, these are quite ok.

1) Never noticed any during my testing, and I have the scope quite often connected to test turn on behaviour of the DUT
2) Maybe, but sofar both of mine have been going good for I think now 4 years
3) Define what you call noisy and how you measured this. From my measurements they meet their specs of 2mVpp and <350┬ÁVrms, which is identical to the E3631 
4) Ok, that can be a dealbreaker for some. Defenately not only Rigol, and I consider this not so critical because low energy and low voltage. But for very sensitive loads, I would always disconnect the load, even with the most high end power supplies available. In my case when I am testing, the DP832 is always power on, I only use the enable/disable buttons.
5) ??? Never seen these, that would indeed be very annoying...
6) Never ran accross a bug, but I only use it as a power supply, no automation or advanced features. Do you have a reference?
 
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Online MarkF

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2018, 10:22:56 am »
"The Signal Path" did a teardown and repair of a Agilent E3631A that you may find interesting

 

Offline zucca

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2018, 04:29:17 pm »
E3631A is considerably better quality than the Rigol if a little less fancy. Also to note, you can occasionally pick up an E3631A for very little money if you're prepared to wait around. Have seen them going for equivalent of $150 here in the UK (usually when I have no money!).

Just PM me when it happens, I have always money for you.  ;)

I can't stand the DP832 because it has not 3 isolated channels. The CH2 negative is connected with the CH3 negative and knowing me I will burn something one day because of that.
 E3631A You have also schematics. To me no brainer  E3631A all the time.
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Online nctnico

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2018, 04:55:56 pm »
I can't stand the DP832 because it has not 3 isolated channels. The CH2 negative is connected with the CH3 negative and knowing me I will burn something one day because of that.
Is this really the case? How about using the outputs in series then to create 0 to 60V ?
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online PA0PBZ

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2018, 05:07:31 pm »
Is this really the case? How about using the outputs in series then to create 0 to 60V ?

No problem, CH3 is the 0-5V channel.
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Offline zucca

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2018, 05:09:13 pm »


There is a very irritating COM line on the front panel connecting the NEG CH2 with NEG CH3.   :horse:
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Online bd139

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2018, 05:24:27 pm »
That was another thing that put me off. It really wasn't much more effort to provide 3 isolated outputs and they didn't bother.

Good points about service manual. E3631A is available from keysight web site.

Also the E3631A design is derived from the older HP supplies which is derived actually from Harrison supplies from the 1960s. The fundamental design has not changed, only the technology that implements it. That's merely 60 years of improvements gone into the designs.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2018, 06:02:58 pm »
Is this really the case? How about using the outputs in series then to create 0 to 60V ?
No problem, CH3 is the 0-5V channel.
I'm not so sure about that. I wouldn't buy a PSU which has such a connection because I'm pretty sure it will become a nuisance at some point.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online tautech

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2018, 06:33:32 pm »
I'm currently in the market for a new power supply.    I was all set to purchase a Rigol DP832 when I was approached locally with an offer to purchase an Agilent E3631a for $330.

I'm not sure if the extra $120 is worth the differences or not.  The Rigol would have a warranty as well.

Thoughts?
For a bit less than a new 832 is a SPD3303X-E and while the X-E of the series has got 10mV/mA resolution it's $389 and can do all the Rigol can do.
Excepting it offers 3 properly isolated channels.



Is this really the case? How about using the outputs in series then to create 0 to 60V ?
No problem, CH3 is the 0-5V channel.
I'm not so sure about that. I wouldn't buy a PSU which has such a connection because I'm pretty sure it will become a nuisance at some point.
Seems dumb they would design and build like that when if you really needed it you could just add a link between binding posts.  :-//
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Online PA0PBZ

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2018, 06:37:40 pm »
Is this really the case? How about using the outputs in series then to create 0 to 60V ?
No problem, CH3 is the 0-5V channel.
I'm not so sure about that. I wouldn't buy a PSU which has such a connection because I'm pretty sure it will become a nuisance at some point.

I was just referring to your Q to create 0-60V. Since the link is not between the 2 30V channels that is not a problem.
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Online PA0PBZ

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2018, 06:41:39 pm »
For a bit less than a new 832 is a SPD3303X-E and while the X-E of the series has got 10mV/mA resolution it's $389 and can do all the Rigol can do.

It looks like you can only display the settings for maximum 2 channels on the display?
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Online Wolfgang

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2018, 07:52:42 pm »
... another difference seems to be that the low voltage output on the Siglent is only fixed values(2.5,3.3,5) and not continuously adjustable (0-5) like on the RIGOL.
Why did they do that ?
 

Online Wolfgang

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2018, 07:56:48 pm »
I agree that a fully isolated 6V channel would be better for the RIGOL, but for what I need (analog work, with +/-12-15V, and digital stuff at 3.3 to 5V) the digital ground normally sits at the 0V level. It can be different, but this is rare ...  :)
 
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Offline _Wim_

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2018, 10:05:28 pm »
I agree that a fully isolated 6V channel would be better for the RIGOL, but for what I need (analog work, with +/-12-15V, and digital stuff at 3.3 to 5V) the digital ground normally sits at the 0V level. It can be different, but this is rare ...  :)

Same here, never run into an issue with this. Off couse, I have 2 DP832's, so I can have already many "grounds" before that becomes a problem...  :)

The Siglent looks like a nice alternative also. Worth comparing both in detail to see which specs matter the most to you...
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: Rigol DP832 vs Agilent E3631a
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2018, 11:32:19 pm »
I agree that a fully isolated 6V channel would be better for the RIGOL, but for what I need (analog work, with +/-12-15V, and digital stuff at 3.3 to 5V) the digital ground normally sits at the 0V level. It can be different, but this is rare ...  :)

That is why i got DP831. It has +-30 and isolated low voltage ch.
 


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