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Offline MarkL

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TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« on: April 09, 2015, 05:55:11 am »
I recently purchased a TTi MX100TP triple output power supply and wanted to share some info and pictures.  I got mine from tequipment.com for US$1280 minus the eevblog discount.  I've only had the unit for about a week now, so it hasn't seen much bench action.

I bought it because my go-to supply, an Agilent E3631A, sometimes didn't have enough current output to suit the task at hand, and the quirky user interface was starting to drive me bananas.

There are two models of MX100: the MX100T and MX100TP.  Both have 3 fully independent and isolated outputs with a total of 315W.  The "P" version has added remote programming with RS232, Ethernet, GPIB, and USB and is US$240 more than the non-P version.  The official spec sheet is available via the product page; I won't repeat it here.  I never had anything else from TTi except their iProber, but I was impressed enough by the MX100 specs to try it.

Here's the product page:

  http://www.tti-test.com/go/mx/index.htm



Part 1 - Some mechanical comments.

The MX100TP is very light compared to the E3631A, but it's almost exactly the same size.



The front panel is simply laid out with a single button to setup each channel, and to turn each one on or off.  There's also all-on or all-off.  The big encoder knob does not push for "ok".



The back includes terminal strips with connections in parallel to the front panel for rack use, but I don't think I saw a rack-mount kit.



The fan pulls air in through slots in the front panel and also from open holes underneath.  The slots in the front are stuffed with air filter material but the bottom is open.  Go figure.  The fan is variable speed and is, in my opinion, very quiet.

Binding posts are decent quality with metal inserts and operate smoothly, but they only open 1/8".  They have standard 3/4" spacing.



Inside there's lots of empty space.  I think they could have spent some time to make the the unit a little more compact.  The back and bottom are steel, with two thin aluminum rails to support an all-plastic front panel.  With the cover off, it's very floppy.  The use of plastic speed rivets give it a cheap look.  For the price I was expecting better mechanical construction.  All the electrical components are recognizable name brands: Pulse, Kemet, Schaffner, NXP, Elna, to name a few.



The design appears to be a two-stage switcher with a final linear output regulator.  Here you can see the output #2 (op2) section.  There's two heatsinks.  One is a diode which appears to be rectifying a PWM waveform.  The PWM is based on the output requirements.  The other heatsink has a MOSFET.  There are no switching waveforms on the MOSFET which is why I think it's in linear mode.  It appears the switcher is acting as a pre-regulator to minimize the heat dissipation in the linear stage.  The heatsinks get warm but not too hot to touch even under worst-case load.





Each output has at least two different voltage and current configurations with roughly the same wattage.  In some combinations when higher output is selected, the unit will disable one of the other outputs and you only get a total of two outputs.  (You will get a very clear indication if this is going to happen.)  The outputs can also be configured to track each other (voltage only) in a few different combinations.  Output #3 (op3) can have a higher voltage than the other two and has a beefier output MOSFET:



There's one big switching transformer that serves to supply and isolate each section.  To its immediate left is a small switcher that supplies the front panel.



The control processors for each of the sections appears to be on the PCB right behind the front panel.  There's another board behind it where the display and keypad are mounted.  It may be hard to see, but the well-insulated AC power switch is in the extreme lower right and is brought to and from the front panel on wires and not on the PCB.  The soldering on these and all the boards are good quality with minimal flux residue.



Everyone seems to be crazy about grounds.  So here it is.  Direct from the IEC socket, through a ferrite a couple times, and then to a crimped ring.  Looks fine to me.



Each output has separate sense inputs.  The sense input is enabled with a slide switch.  I don't like slide switches at all since they get flaky.  I thought putting a slide switch on the sense input was the worst idea I'd ever seen, since if the switch gets intermittent your voltage could fly out of control from the lack of feedback.  But TTi seems to have designed it in such a way that the sense input has a very limited range that it can affect the output voltage.  So, not having a sense input, or a flaky input, is not a danger to anything connected to the output.

But, I still need to complain about the sense input terminals.  They're quite hard to get to, and they're deep so you need at least 1/2" of bare wire to get to the contact.



Another thing I noticed was that the GPIB jack screws aren't quite deep enough.  So, the connector does not seat all the way.  It seems to be far enough to make contact, but connectors shouldn't be loose.



(continued in part 2)

« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 06:19:43 am by MarkL »
 
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Offline MarkL

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Re: TTi MX100Tp triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2015, 05:55:36 am »
Part 2 - So, enough with mechanical stuff.  How well does it work?

There's lots of output combinations (read the spec sheet in the previous post), but I thought I would set up the highest current and highest voltage configurations.  Here's the max current config driving an Array DC load.  The MX100 has its outputs paralleled and is outputting 16V @ 15A.  You can see by the voltage reading on the Array there's a significant loss in the test leads at this current.  I could have connected all three sense lines to compensate for this, but I didn't do it in this picture.  (The sense inputs work fine; I did try them.)



Here's the outputs reconfigured for max voltage 140V @ 1.5A with the three outputs in series:



I found the readback voltage to be very accurate on all 3 outputs.  On output #1 it was no worse than a few mV, and most of the time much less than that.  Current was similarly accurate to a couple of mA.  Output #1 has more precision in setting and readback than the other two, for some reason.

One thing I would have liked to see on the home screen is the watts being supplied by each output.  There appears to be enough space for it.  But you can still get the reading ("VxA") by pushing the configuration button for an individual channel:



Noise is well within spec, as far as I can determine.  It's so low I had to pull out an old Tek AM502 differential amplifier.  The limit on this amplifier is 1MHz and not 20MHz, which is how power supplies are usually specified, so take it for what it's worth.  Here's the MX100 (output #1) compared to the E3631A (6V output).  The amplifier is set to x1000, so these captures are in mV (not volts).  Outputs were set to 5V into a 10ohm resistor.  The DC load was not used since those tend to inject noise.  The MX100 internal switcher runs at 100kHz and I was not able to see that frequency in the time domain but it does show up on an FFT (FFT not shown).

Here is the E3631A:



And the MX100:



A quick load response test stayed within a couple hundred mV.  Using the DC load to create a 5A 1ms load pulse, here is the output voltage in yellow, current in green.  Output voltage was set to 5V.



There was some glitchiness when changing ranges on the various outputs.  All the outputs had this artifact.  It wasn't extreme, and was always around 125mV.  Here's an example.  The output is loaded with a 10ohm resistor and is configured off.



The unit has a hard AC power switch.  Power off could be a little better.  Here is turning the AC off with open terminals.



And here it is again, this time with a 10ohm load.



And here is turning the AC power on (the output is configured off), again with a 10ohm resistor.



So, AC power on/off transitions could be handled a little more gracefully, but glitches of a few 100mV isn't likely to hurt anything.


I tried out all the communications interfaces.  I use Linux and they all work with Linux.  (I'm sure they work with windows too, but don't ask me.)  The USB interface appears as an ACM device.  RS232 is 3-wire xon/xoff.  All remote interfaces are enabled at all times, although there are exclusive lock commands if your application needs it.

It should go without saying, but all interfaces are isolated.

One non-obvious thing is that all commands submitted through USB or RS232 must be terminated with 0x0a.  Otherwise the unit will not respond.  This is buried in the documentation but I missed it.

Any time a remote commands is submitted, it puts the front panel into local lockout.  This is common behavior for GPIB devices, but I wish it could be configured.  The alternative is to always send a command to re-enable the front panel.

Firmware upgrades are handled via USB.  There aren't any upgrades yet that I am aware of. There are instructions on how to do it from Linux if you don't use windows.  Service and calibration documentation will be available, but customer support says it's not done yet.

The unit will respond to commands submitted over a TCP socket, but it also has a web server.  The web server will allow you to do basic configuration and status, but in terms of working with the instrument this could use a major amount of work.  The only control possible from the web page is to submit text commands using this page:



They need to add a *real* GUI with buttons, knobs, real-time plots, and everything that you'd expect from a web interface now-a-days.  If I wanted text commands I can already get that from telnet.

The PDF user manual is very well written.  There's no sign that this is from another OEM or is a rebadge, but if someone recognizes it please post.

Comes with a printed manual and CD.  CD contains the docs and drivers for all TTi products.  Drivers: IVI, Labview, LXI, NI, USB, TCP example program.  (All useless to me and only adds to my cost.)

I've only had the opportunity to use TTi tech support three times.  Once about my iProber, and twice on the MX100 about the calibration/service manual and then about firmware upgrades.  The questions were relatively easy, but answers were prompt and complete.  So far, so good.


What I like most about this supply is its wide range of voltage and current outputs to fit just about any project.  We'll see.  I'll post any interesting updates, good or bad, as it starts getting used for real.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 06:20:00 am by MarkL »
 
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Offline Thomas

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2015, 03:50:16 am »
Very well written teardown and review! :-+
Looks like a very nice power supply with an intuitive user interface (important!).
This unit seems to fall in line with my impression of TTi: Solid performance and nice set of features for a reasonable amount of money.

My EL302RT triple power supply is probably designed on those principles too, it is a solid performer but could have been made smaller.

I am pretty sure this is not a rebadge or OEM, designed and built in England. Mine has "Made in England" on the back :)
 

Offline BloodyCactus

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2015, 04:31:34 am »
so glad you posted this. nearly bought one last week. I need to spend some time tonight and read over more what you wrote. 1.2k makes one think a bit before dropping cash.
 

Offline MarkL

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2015, 12:30:05 am »
Very well written teardown and review! :-+
Looks like a very nice power supply with an intuitive user interface (important!).
This unit seems to fall in line with my impression of TTi: Solid performance and nice set of features for a reasonable amount of money.

My EL302RT triple power supply is probably designed on those principles too, it is a solid performer but could have been made smaller.

I am pretty sure this is not a rebadge or OEM, designed and built in England. Mine has "Made in England" on the back :)
Thanks!

Yep - I missed that.  I checked and the MX100 also has "Made in England" in small print on the TTi sticker on the back.  Nice.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2015, 03:04:12 am »
TTI supplies are rock solid. i've used them for years. (330QLP series ) we had over 100 of them in the lab in europe.
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline Thomas

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2015, 03:14:09 am »
One small question: In your pictures, Ch2 and Ch3 seems to have one digit less resolution than Ch1. Is that a difference in settings (I'm guessing it is), or is it always that way?
 

Offline BloodyCactus

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2015, 04:30:42 am »
One small question: In your pictures, Ch2 and Ch3 seems to have one digit less resolution than Ch1. Is that a difference in settings (I'm guessing it is), or is it always that way?

they are specced that way, ch1 is high resolution than 2+3. they also have different ranges.

 

Offline Thomas

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2015, 04:58:04 am »
Ah, should have checked the specs, I just looked at the OPs pictures :palm:
So Ch1 is precision, Ch3 is high voltage and Ch2 is normal. Interesting.
 

Offline MarkL

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2015, 05:17:41 am »
Right.  The resolution of the channels is pre-determined (at least in this rev of firmware, 1.03).  Here's what the user manual has to say about it:

Quote
Output 1 offers greater resolution and accuracy than outputs 2 and 3 and uses 5 digit meters to give 1mV and 0.1mA resolution (as against 10mV and 1mA for outputs 2 and 3). Consequently output 1 should be chosen to power circuits where particularly high precision is required.
 

Offline Circuitous

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2015, 01:40:28 am »
MarkL:  Nice teardown and review.
I have been using my MX100TP periodically for the last 10 months, and it's always worked well.  I ran a few simple checks on the load and noise , and as in your review, everything was as advertised.
I had been looking for a nice 3 output power supply and didn't really fancy the Rigol 832 series, so I picked this up instead (for a lot more money).  And, I feel that it was worth it.

thanks again.

Online Robaroni

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2016, 09:43:53 am »
Mark,
Thanks, great review! As I said when you directed me here, I was thinking about the HMC4083 but it's a little anemic in the power dept. but it's really compact.

I think I'll go with the MX180TP.

Rob
 

Online Robaroni

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2016, 10:30:08 am »
Well I got the MX180TP (it was drop shipped from England). The literature specs it as having chans. 1 and 2 as 5 digit current and voltage but guess what? It's a mistake in the literature! I do a lot of low current uC work so I really wanted the current resolution. I got an apology from TTI, a thank you for telling them about it and a promise to correct it - just switched it for the 100TP. From what I saw on the 180TP this is a very well thought out supply. I really like the simplicity of the front panel controls and the meter is easy to read. You also have the option to reverse the display with a black background which I actually like more but we'll see when I really start to beat this supply up. Usually I find when you're working on a project and everything is going wrong that's when little snigly things bug you the most, like waiting for my Tek scope to update SPI and I2C bus data.
Anyway if you want a high resolution readout get the 100T (chan 1 only) or 100TP NOT the 180T. The other thing is the 180T has one supply that maxes out a 5.5V. I think the 100T is more versatile in that all the supplies are 35V at 3A. So if you're working with +/- 12 volts you don't have voltage above 5.5V if you need it on the 180T. The 180 does have more power out but it's above what I need most of the time, it's your choice both are very good.
The other thing that bugs me a lot is noise. I'll dump a test instrument if it's too noisy, my Agilent 34410a whined unbearably so I replaced it with the 34465 which is whisper quiet for those times when it runs all day doing histograms, I guess I wasn't the only one who complained to Keysight because they addressed the issue. Anyway you can barely hear the fan in the TTI, nothing worse that a noisy fan running all day in a supply.
Nice size but at 13+ inches could be a little shorter if it's sitting on your bench, mine sits on a shelf above the bench.
I'll try to update my views when I run this supply a month or so to add to Mark's great review. I definitely think this is better then the Rigol's, it does cost a lot more but didn't Dave recently blow up his 832? Maybe it doesn't cost that much more after all!

Rob
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 10:32:02 am by Robaroni »
 

Offline roli_bark

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2016, 04:44:09 pm »
Apologies for bumping up this thread, but the MX100T model (with no USB, LAN, GPIB, RS232, etc) does NOT come with a USB. Thus,  it looks like the MX100T lacks the ability for FW updates !

Am I correct ?
 

Online Robaroni

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2016, 09:44:23 pm »
Apologies for bumping up this thread, but the MX100T model (with no USB, LAN, GPIB, RS232, etc) does NOT come with a USB. Thus,  it looks like the MX100T lacks the ability for FW updates !

Am I correct ?

I just looked at AMI's site and I'd say that unless you have a USB port on the back you can't update the instrument. Probably have to send it in for updates.

What is your firmware version? If it's 104 than it's the latest.
 

Offline roli_bark

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2016, 11:26:04 pm »
Didn't buy the unit yet.
If this is true it's a bummer...
 

Offline MarkL

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2016, 12:17:39 am »
Didn't buy the unit yet.
If this is true it's a bummer...
Yeah, that would be a bummer.  Especially given the cost of adding a USB port to anything now-a-days.

I can't find any photos of the back of an MX100T for any clues one way or the other.

You could find out for sure from their sales/technical support:

  http://www.aimtti.com/webform/contact-aim-tti

They're good at responding promptly.
 

Offline roli_bark

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2016, 12:18:38 am »
Now it is official. This is what I got from Aim-TTi:

"The MX100T does not have any remote interfaces (USB, RS232, LAN, or GPIB), so firmware updates cannot be carried out remotely and would really need to be carried out here at factory.      I would suggest the MX100TP would be a more suitable option if you are concerned about this, as any future firmware updates can be carried out by the user via the USB interface."
 

Online Robaroni

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2016, 11:01:54 pm »
Apologies for bumping up this thread, but the MX100T model (with no USB, LAN, GPIB, RS232, etc) does NOT come with a USB. Thus,  it looks like the MX100T lacks the ability for FW updates !

Am I correct ?

One more thing, I just looked at the date of the firmware and it's 2009. I think they use the same firmware for several instruments ans it must be running pretty well.
 

Offline roli_bark

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2016, 02:07:18 am »
Thanks. That's a very long period (7 years) for a FW to stay put.
 

Offline andidegn

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2018, 07:35:07 am »
Just a small correction. I have the MX180TP and ch 3 has 2 modes, 5.5v 3a and 12v 1.5a. Still not a high power output, but still manageable for most +- 12v operations.
I love this supply. It does everything I need it to and a lot more. I was looking at the 832 as well, but seeing as I could get this one on offer for only a little more, I went with this one.
I'm very impressed with it in almost all aspects. Only downside, for me, is that the sense inputs are horrible to use and the hole in the banana terminals (for bare wire) are waaay too small.
But overall, I'm very pleased with it.. :)
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 07:40:37 am by andidegn »
 

Offline skYfIrE

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2018, 01:17:00 am »
Hi Folks,

I was thinking about purchase a "new generation" power supply with a popular Siglent : http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-spd3303x-e-binding-post-issues-solved/25/ but a terminal issue (commented by an eeV member) has definitly confirmed this device was not for me.
After several searches, I've found this thread and this TTi PS looks pretty sexy. I don't need more than 1A but I'll have to program voltage ramp. Anyone has an example of programing ? Is this MX100TP limited to 50 steps for a voltage ramp ? Or this MX100TP has 50 memory slots to store different programing ? Usually this kind of device can be programmed thanks to an excel sheet ? I've read the manual but I can't clearly understand how the programing section works :-[
 

Offline MarkL

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2018, 02:34:27 am »
The MX100TP has 50 locations for stored setups per channel, plus an additional 50 setups that affect all 3 channels simultaneously.  That's just setups and not step control.

You can also program the sequence and delays to specify how the channels turn on, but that's about it.

If you want to program a ramp, it would have to be remotely controlled with a computer through one of the supported interfaces.  And the remote interfaces are only available on the "P" version, which is extra.

I've programmed ramps and it works fine.  The only non-obvious thing is that when you're changing the voltage, you need wait until the output capacitor charges up before reading back the voltage and/or current.  There could be non-trivial delay if the current limit is set low.


I purchased the MX180TP earlier this year for a specific project, so now I have both models.  They both continue to perform well and no regrets with either purchase.  As a general comment after using both, if you don't need the extra current output of the MX180TP, I would stick with the MX100TP since it has more precision, and more flexible combinations for output voltages and currents.  I still tend to use the MX100TP more often.
 
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Offline LaurentR

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2018, 03:50:46 am »
The Rigol DP800 doesn't exactly have a direct ramp function, but it has programming steps (2048 I think) and it allows you to fill the steps with a function from the front panel. So you can ask for a ramp (or pulse or sine or a few other ones) and it will fill the steps for you.
IIRC, the steps last an integer number of seconds, so whatever ramp you do will be slow.
 

Offline skYfIrE

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Re: TTi MX100TP triple power supply teardown and review
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2018, 08:30:36 pm »
Hi MarkL,
MX100TP Power Supply covers all my needs. So you've remoted this PS thanks to a computer, but how did you proceed ? I mean by software. Did you use an excel sheet ? Maybe could you show a printscreen ?

Extra question about terminals : here is the drawing in mm of my terminals, do you think I'll meet troubles with them ?


Hi LaurentR,
Maybe Rigol makes a good DP800 PS but I prefer the hardware interface from TTi, maybe because I've always used TTi PS.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 08:40:50 pm by skYfIrE »
 


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