Author Topic: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review  (Read 28716 times)

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Online BravoV

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If Atten released the mcu programming to public, or "leaked"  >:D for a complete tweaking or even better re-doing the UI, I'm guessing this thing will sell like a hot cakes since the underlying power/analog part is quite good isn't it ?

Love it Dave, the detail performance review and the torturing too !  :-+
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 08:09:03 am by BravoV »
 

Offline konfu

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 07:51:34 am »
What about your rule "Don't turn it on - take it apart!"?? I'd love to see the PCB, Transformer, input protection and so on. ;-)

But seems like a nice little chunk of equipment.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 07:54:46 am by konfu »
 

Online BravoV

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013, 07:56:03 am »
What about your rule "Don't turn it on - take it apart!"?? I'd love to see the PCB, Transformer, Input protection and so on.

Its way too long for single episode, imo that review it self shows in details how to test & torture a psu, love it.  :-+

Maybe at next episode.

Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2013, 08:16:30 am »
not at all! I was expecting it!
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2013, 08:18:34 am »
What about your rule "Don't turn it on - take it apart!"?? I'd love to see the PCB, Transformer, input protection and so on. ;-)

I actually shot the teardown after the review and before I shot the final conclusion. So my rating is also takes into account the internal construction (some poor soldering, but otherwise ok), but I forgot to mention that :->
Teardown is already uploaded, coming tomorrow. 45min worth!

Dave.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2013, 08:20:38 am »
Its way too long for single episode

I thought this episode was also way too long, and there is already some stuff left out. I didn't want to spend the time to edit and refine further.
The teardown is an additional 45min, and includes some extra testing. I had to re-shoot almost the entire thing, wait for the rant in the video...

Dave.
 

Online Rerouter

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2013, 08:56:00 am »
so to kill the gap, was it high side or low side current measurement, or some combination?
 

Online BravoV

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2013, 09:40:24 am »
Its way too long for single episode

I thought this episode was also way too long, and there is already some stuff left out. I didn't want to spend the time to edit and refine further.
The teardown is an additional 45min, and includes some extra testing. I had to re-shoot almost the entire thing, wait for the rant in the video...

Dave.
Even its 1 or 1.5 hours is still fine, IMO.

Also merging it with a tear down part might "dilute" the quality weights of this kind of highly technical review video, again, maybe its just me.  :)
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 09:42:34 am by BravoV »
 

Offline Psi

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2013, 09:48:15 am »
I wonder what it would do if ch 1 was shorted to ch 2 in reverse polarity.
Then let the current limit on each channel fight it out.  %-B
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 09:50:01 am by Psi »
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Offline Ketturi

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2013, 10:11:54 am »
If it has some generic MCU, the firmware could be hackable. If someone have too much time on their hands, it could be possible to reverse engineer the original FW, and fix those annoying bugs and issues, or completely rewrite FW and include more options and better user interface. Too often the case is that UI sucks in cheap equipment, even tough usually it is most important part. Does designing cost that much? Is it reason why professional devices have so high price? Maybe in future we have same hardware in both price ranges, but supplied software is different. And at same time we have superb open source software that costs nothing...
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2013, 10:37:20 am »
so to kill the gap, was it high side or low side current measurement, or some combination?

I didn't investigate that far. To take the boards out would have required stripping the whole thing.

Dave.
 

Offline biot

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2013, 11:36:45 am »
I have the 3A version of this (PPS3203T-3S). One of the major reasons I bought it was for the serial programmability, and as Dave noticed, that doesn't work at all. The download for the 3203 was a broken link, and the 3205's software just didn't work.

It looks like somebody sat down with some VB or similar GUI design tool, dropped in some windows, and shipped that. I'm not even kidding: I ran this in a VM, selected the serial-USB port and told it to connect while sniffing USB traffic going through the VM. It doesn't touch the serial port at all; not a single USB packet. FWIW I do this all the time on that VM; the method works, the software does nothing.

I sent a mail to Atten, but received no reply of course. Not that I was expecting anything there. The distributor where I got it (TME) also declined to reply. It looks to me like Atten simply did not implement the programmability feature, but is still selling it that way. Very, very questionable.

I had a look inside. The separate serial board goes to an MCU board, centered around a chip labelled STC 89C58RD+. A quick google turned up a datasheet that contains a few package outlines and no text whatsoever. Good luck getting it to work by reverse engineering that.

I didn't actually get a sheet with serial commands with the unit, only the manual. Dave, any chance you could post this? I'd really like to see if it's at least implemented in the firmware.
 

Offline Dr_Welt

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2013, 12:07:13 pm »
First of all, I'm new here.

So hi Dave, hi to all.

I saw the review, and it made me smile. Actually I have the "ISO-TECH 3202". The Atten PSU seems to be very simmilar, if not in some parts the same. Have a look at the (same annoying) user interface.
Actually mine can't be programmed in the same way, and my knob cant be pushed. *BUT* I can save and recall channel configurations. :)

Here are some pictures I made the day I got it from ebay.

https://www.icloud.com/photostream/#A45oqs3qdVAvn

BTW. mine has a "secret" menu, which I found. By pressing shift-"." you can enter "calibration mode"

Thanks for the nice review,
Ole.
 

Offline nitro2k01

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2013, 01:57:06 pm »
Teardown is already uploaded, coming tomorrow. 45min worth!
It's a good thing you 'straighans live in the future, so Tuesday typically means "late Monday" to the rest of the world.
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Offline firewalker

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2013, 02:15:49 pm »
Nice review.

I actually believe it's normal not to be able to change channels synchronously when in series mode. If so it wouldn't be possible to produce asymmetrical voltages (e.g. +5. -10), or odd voltages (e.g. 45 volts) since only ch2 is settable. Set channel one, select series mode, set ch2 turn outputs on.

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Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2013, 02:58:27 pm »
What did Dave say in the intro "a pretty high-end bit of kit"? That train wreck passes as high-end? Muhahahahaha  :-DD  :-DD  :-DD
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Offline firewalker

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2013, 04:16:41 pm »
Dave, did you had a peek inside before the review?

Alexander.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2013, 05:36:46 pm »
Am I the only one who's really, really horrified by the display? As in, "no way in hell would I ever buy it" horrified? The almost-white-on-slightly-less-white is ghastly. I think I would spend as much time squinting at it as I do operating it!
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Offline Rufus

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2013, 05:47:37 pm »
Am I the only one who's really, really horrified by the display? As in, "no way in hell would I ever buy it" horrified? The almost-white-on-slightly-less-white is ghastly. I think I would spend as much time squinting at it as I do operating it!

I think you would need to see it in the 'flesh' to judge. I have a cheap Chinese electronic load with white on blue LCD and its fine. I only skipped through the video and didn't notice if Dave tried adjusting the contrast.
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2013, 07:03:11 pm »
Am I the only one who's really, really horrified by the display? As in, "no way in hell would I ever buy it" horrified?

Nope. There's really no excuse for such a cheap, nasty display, especially in a piece of otherwise (apparently) well constructed equipment.

It doesn't seem inappropriate given the quality of every other aspect of the UI, though.

I can think of quite a good project for anyone with some spare time on their hands, though. The hardware in the box seems OK, and the whole thing is serial programmable, so I wonder whether it might be possible to build a dedicated external controller for this thing with a better LCD and front panel controls? It could be quite a good "my first PIC" project; rather than building a power supply from scratch, just make a relatively inexpensive off-the-shelf one usable.

Of course, the first problem is how to power the PIC...

Offline jancumps

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2013, 07:16:27 pm »
Quote
... wait for the rant in the video...


Yeah!
 

Offline johnnyfp

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2013, 07:56:42 pm »
Dave,

Where did you buy it from?
 

Offline Pilot3514

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2013, 08:06:33 pm »
Dave,

Did this give you any ideas for features to add to you Micro Power / USB Power supplies?

Given that you have a processor/controller with a UART already, seems like serial control is a good feature.

The UI may not be everything but as you have shown, it can take a really nice bit of kit and turn it to piece of ****.
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Offline lewis

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2013, 08:07:38 pm »
 :-DD
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Offline nixxon

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2013, 08:14:57 pm »
Hey, at least the USB connector is connected to the inside circuitry. Unlike Atten's AWG's...
 

Offline LaurenceW

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2013, 08:59:14 pm »
Somebody sit Dave down in a comfy chair with a nice Vegemite sandwich, before he blows his OWN fuse! (for then, somebody will have to take HIS lid off, and have a look inside...)

Hmmm.. I did look at this power supply about a year back - Lots of Buttons! (=must be good, right? Er, no). The poor manual frightened me off, and serious offers to Atten for a properly written version in exchange for a discounted unit we at least discussed, but I genuinely don't think they thought there was a problem. Which is, after all, the problem.

In the end, I spent the same money on a TTI Built-like-a-brick-dunny (AKA Shithouse) PL330TP which was new but end of line, so on offer at a most reasonable price. It's got KNOBS, and LED displays, Separate (four, in total) transformers (one for each output and separate one for supervisory stuff), no switching tap relays, no fans, but just bloody-great heat sinks. Very Old school (like me). This one will outlast me.  Will an Atten??

"Buy it and rewrite the User Interface"? WTF??? Would you buy a car and retrofit you own brakes? I think not.  There comes a point whereby, no matter how much you polish a turd, the best you will ever end up with is a turd with a suspicious looking shine to it.

I wanted to like this power supply, I really did. But it's just not finished. Maybe Rev 2.0 will be better?
If you don't measure, you don't get.
 

Offline BobbyK

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2013, 09:59:57 pm »
Apart from the UI seems like a great product for the price. Dave, can't wait to see what's inside - especially would like to know if it is possible to reprogram the UI and reassign buttons, etc. without any hardware hacking. The only real deal breaker for me is that I love to be able to have either separate knob adjusts for voltages in each channel, or at least press a button to pick a channel, and then adjust the voltage - none of that clickety click for 15 seconds just to get a voltage  :palm:
 

Offline T4P

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2013, 10:01:10 pm »
That transformer is massive? Not really ...

This is supposedly a 180W transformer but it actually puts out over 360W  ;)
 

Offline BillyD

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2013, 10:12:58 pm »
Good review. Personally I'd actually give that a fail. Because even if the hardware is ok, and it has those good features, it's so quirky and difficult to use that it's almost guaranteed to eventually cause you - or a colleague - to make a mistake which sends it into overvoltage or overcurrent and blow the arse out of your project. It's bordering on dangerous, except that it only outputs 30v.

 

Offline Razor512

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2013, 10:51:54 pm »
Really love these reviews. (Cant really think of anywhere else that will provide as much detail as whats shown in his reviews)

 

Offline senso

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2013, 10:52:28 pm »
That UI is really a pain in the back, and that beep-beep-beep is super annoying, first mode would be ripping that bloody beeper.
 

Offline JoannaK

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2013, 11:32:06 pm »
I  noticed something interesting at the video.. the bug with 1-2 channel serial connection (or was it parellel?).. When Dave adjusted the 2 channel down from 10 to 9.9-something the channel1 followed, but it halted just under 10 volts so it did not follow back over the treshold when channel 2 was adjusted back up the 10V and above ...

May well be I'm mistaken. I just wathed the video once and have no similar power supply to test. But apparently the software/firmware is quite buggy. Kinda shame, since otherwice that looks like quite nice supply.

 

Offline c4757p

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2013, 11:40:01 pm »
first mode would be ripping that bloody beeper.

I don't understand why so much cheap stuff beeps like that. It's like a transistor socket on a multimeter: marginally useful in theory, as long as you don't think about that theory too hard, but identifies it right away as lacking quality. Might as well throw a big sticker on the front panel: "Cheap Turd".
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Offline Lightages

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2013, 11:41:38 pm »
Too bad. I was looking for another power supply but with the shitty controls it is worthless. As others have said the user interface can cause some real problems. Sorry Dave but I am disappointed that you accept this as not a fail.
 

Offline iXod

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2013, 12:05:38 am »
Don't like it. UI is almost #1 in my evaluation. Specs are important, but UI should be AS important.

I don't want to spend more time operating this than evaluating the circuit it's powering!

A good design includes evaluation by PEOPLE WHO WILL USE THIS PRODUCT and watch where they get lost and frustrated. Incorporate their experience and "Bob's your uncle!".

Every manufacturer of products Dave evaluates gets a free engineering evaluation video report (you should bill each of them when they fail, Dave!).

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Offline iXod

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2013, 12:16:53 am »
I suspect this PS will be one of those a lab will buy and it'll sit in the corner of the lab ... 'til it's sold at a surplus sale.

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Offline komet

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2013, 12:18:14 am »
I really don't understand how a product like this can even exist. UI nightmares are usually the result of the designers not understanding the needs of the end customer because their businesses are too far apart. With a power supply, however, the designers are the same people as the target market! What is going on?

The only explanation I can come up with is that the CIA have injected agents posing as UX people into China in order to sabotage their economy.
 

Offline iXod

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2013, 12:19:35 am »
Dave,
I see you're favoring the Agilent DMM over the '87V more often...

A new love?
 

Offline iXod

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2013, 12:26:32 am »
Dave,
It would be nice to see a comparison with the Korad triple output supply -- KA3005P-3S.
 

Offline Spawn

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #39 on: March 19, 2013, 12:34:55 am »
As I don’t need a precision power supply since I use my power supplies for my not so precise electrical projects, but I have weak for power supplies, even I was getting annoyed when Dave was fiddling with the interface menu, give me chunky knobs to turn and I am a happy person, like my 40 kilogram EA-4000 PSU  :-DD

Offline casinada

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2013, 01:11:06 am »
Circuit Specialists have the same power supply with their own name. Of course is an OEM re-badge but on their web site they have Manual, Drivers and control software. I wonder if their firmware is the same?

I'm sure if we can find the OEM probably can get more answers.
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2013, 06:44:34 am »
Apart from the UI seems like a great product for the price.

Here we go again. It is crap, but it is cheap. So it must be good, right? No, wrong. Crap remains crap, doesn't matter if it is cheap crap. And it doesn't matter if it has potential. If you can't realize the potential with reasonable effort then potential is worth nothing.
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Offline T4P

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2013, 07:42:29 am »
Dave,
I see you're favoring the Agilent DMM over the '87V more often...

A new love?
He needs 30000 count at that moment, does the 87V have it? Nope. And this is 2013, the 87V is very very stuck in its times  :-//
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2013, 07:55:23 am »
Too bad. I was looking for another power supply but with the shitty controls it is worthless. As others have said the user interface can cause some real problems. Sorry Dave but I am disappointed that you accept this as not a fail.

When did I say it's not a fail? I spent maybe 30min complaining about the bloody thing!
Will I personally continue to use it, well, yes, I've persevere because it's the most versatile supply in my lab. Just like I find my Fluke 87V defaulting to AC current incredibly annoying, but I continue to use it.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2013, 07:56:21 am »
I suspect this PS will be one of those a lab will buy and it'll sit in the corner of the lab ... 'til it's sold at a surplus sale.
"Have you ever used the Atten?"
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2013, 07:59:57 am »
He needs 30000 count at that moment, does the 87V have it? Nope. And this is 2013, the 87V is very very stuck in its times  :-//

Correct. I recall needing the extra count at that point so reached for the Agilent.
But yes, it's a really nice meter, I use it a lot. I just have two Fluke 87's on the bench, so it is more likely I have one of those within arms reach when I shoot a video.
Well, actually, I have the OLED version of the Agilent too.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2013, 08:42:36 am »
Dave, did you had a peek inside before the review?

No, but I did shoot the teardown before I shot the conclusion clip, so that factored into it.
Some poor looking messy soldering inside, but apart from that, it was as expected inside and par for the course.

Dave.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #47 on: March 19, 2013, 08:43:56 am »
What did Dave say in the intro "a pretty high-end bit of kit"? That train wreck passes as high-end? Muhahahahaha  :-DD  :-DD  :-DD

Yes, poor choice of wording perhaps. It's fairly high end in terms of PSU specs, but bottom end of town brand and price of course.

Dave.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2013, 08:46:36 am »
I can think of quite a good project for anyone with some spare time on their hands, though. The hardware in the box seems OK, and the whole thing is serial programmable, so I wonder whether it might be possible to build a dedicated external controller for this thing with a better LCD and front panel controls? It could be quite a good "my first PIC" project; rather than building a power supply from scratch, just make a relatively inexpensive off-the-shelf one usable.

I had the same thought, as I usually do for similar products with bad UI's that are otherwise ok in terms of functionality.

Dave.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #49 on: March 19, 2013, 09:08:59 am »
Good review. Personally I'd actually give that a fail. Because even if the hardware is ok, and it has those good features, it's so quirky and difficult to use that it's almost guaranteed to eventually cause you - or a colleague - to make a mistake which sends it into overvoltage or overcurrent and blow the arse out of your project. It's bordering on dangerous, except that it only outputs 30v.

The OVP feature can actually make it a safer supply than better higher prices supplies that don't have that feature.
I do see where you are coming from, but no supply is idiot proof.
As always YMMV.

Dave.
 

Offline Salas

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #50 on: March 19, 2013, 09:56:36 am »
Its core abilities at the price look quite much and it seems basically delivering them safely. When we approach an $500 outlay for a PSU we need it be a product though, don't we? Can a non supporting brand which not even replies a simple email query and has the basic PC remote control thing non functional as it comes be considered as offering a product at the price or just a "shipment"? If it was to be well functioning with nice PC software, having good support, warranty to be expected honored etc. and would cost how much? $750-1000, which ones are the offerings it should really be compared to? Something from TTI maybe?
 

Offline Teemo

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2013, 10:23:06 am »
Perfect review! Thanks Dave!

I guess this kind of equipment is the source of inspiration. It just sits on the bench and sometimes you turn it on, and then turn it off again and think:"Why not to design a decent power supply with decent UI"...
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #52 on: March 19, 2013, 11:05:28 am »
Its core abilities at the price look quite much and it seems basically delivering them safely. When we approach an $500 outlay for a PSU we need it be a product though, don't we? Can a non supporting brand which not even replies a simple email query and has the basic PC remote control thing non functional as it comes be considered as offering a product at the price or just a "shipment"? If it was to be well functioning with nice PC software, having good support, warranty to be expected honored etc. and would cost how much? $750-1000, which ones are the offerings it should really be compared to? Something from TTI maybe?

Well, that's the question isn't it.
It's a crappy interface PSU very much built down to a price, but it has performance and features unmatched at the price AFAIK. You get to decide what you want, that's what the free market is for. If there is a comparable feature one at a comparable price, then this one is a dead duck. Until then, it has a market.

Dave.
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #53 on: March 19, 2013, 11:18:52 am »
With a power supply, however, the designers are the same people as the target market! What is going on?

The people who write Specs in Word documents, the ones who go to meetings to decide how the UI will look, have nothing in common with the ones who are using that kind of equipment.

.
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Offline Galenbo

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #54 on: March 19, 2013, 11:25:58 am »
So the hardware is ok, but the software is crap?

Run Linux on it :-)

I mean, where is the open source project to reprogram the chip?
Or cut the chip out, replace it with another...
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Online Rerouter

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #55 on: March 19, 2013, 11:38:37 am »
out of curiosity did you try and force the over voltage protection past the specifications, or even with the knob + button if it can be tricked into going to a greater voltage,

if so it would be interesting just how far that glitch could be exploited, e.g. finding its maximum possible output, and seeing if it can survive at that,
 

Offline amyk

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #56 on: March 19, 2013, 12:14:22 pm »
I had a look inside. The separate serial board goes to an MCU board, centered around a chip labelled STC 89C58RD+. A quick google turned up a datasheet that contains a few package outlines and no text whatsoever. Good luck getting it to work by reverse engineering that.
STC 89C58, standard 8051-based MCU. STC is a Chinese manufacturer.

The pinout is nearly the same as the NXP 89C58, except it looks like STC's version has an extra 4 ports. This appears to be the Chinese datasheet for it.

Edit: AT89C51 also has the same pinout (without the 4 extra ports) so this is probably a pretty standard part.
 

Offline amspire

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #57 on: March 19, 2013, 12:22:06 pm »
The OVP feature can actually make it a safer supply than better higher prices supplies that don't have that feature.
Do you know how they have implemented the OVP? The traditional OVP circuits are independent from the rest of the power supply circuitry so they can protect the load from power supply failure. In the case of shorted regulator transistors, the OVP is meant to protect the load by forcing the power supply's fuse to blow. If the OVP level is set by a DAC controlled directly by the main processor, it is not independent.

Do they have a separate controller and separate supply just for the OVP?
 

Offline mkwired

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #58 on: March 19, 2013, 12:44:34 pm »
Is that 67 kHz noise coming from the fluorescent lights?
« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 12:51:59 pm by mkwired »
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #59 on: March 19, 2013, 12:55:25 pm »
More likely the PWM for the led panels.

Alexander.
Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #60 on: March 19, 2013, 01:17:51 pm »
Do they have a separate controller and separate supply just for the OVP?

No, it appears not, and I noted how it's usually done in the review.
It appears to be software based, done by the local processor on each output board.
It's better than having no OVP at all. Prevents you from having a brain fart operating the front panel.

Dave.
 

Offline Rufus

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #61 on: March 19, 2013, 06:10:41 pm »
The fan which sounds like it has bad bearings could just be low frequency PWM speed control.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #62 on: March 19, 2013, 07:31:30 pm »
Too bad. I was looking for another power supply but with the shitty controls it is worthless. As others have said the user interface can cause some real problems. Sorry Dave but I am disappointed that you accept this as not a fail.

When did I say it's not a fail? I spent maybe 30min complaining about the bloody thing!
Will I personally continue to use it, well, yes, I've persevere because it's the most versatile supply in my lab. Just like I find my Fluke 87V defaulting to AC current incredibly annoying, but I continue to use it.

Yes you complained and then gave it a thumb sideways. I took that as not a fail overall. I do see your point about the actual output being good but its interface lets it down to the point of total failure, IMHO only.
 

Offline staxquad

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #63 on: March 19, 2013, 10:37:57 pm »
Too bad. I was looking for another power supply but with the shitty controls it is worthless. As others have said the user interface can cause some real problems. Sorry Dave but I am disappointed that you accept this as not a fail.

When did I say it's not a fail? I spent maybe 30min complaining about the bloody thing!
Will I personally continue to use it, well, yes, I've persevere because it's the most versatile supply in my lab. Just like I find my Fluke 87V defaulting to AC current incredibly annoying, but I continue to use it.

Yes you complained and then gave it a thumb sideways. I took that as not a fail overall. I do see your point about the actual output being good but its interface lets it down to the point of total failure, IMHO only.

and if a firmware update ever came along to solve those problems?  :-+
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Offline dentaku

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #64 on: March 20, 2013, 02:16:39 am »
If I had one I would program it to output 16 step looping sequences to control a voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) just like in the old days before MIDI.
It's completely not what it's intended for and would make some of the old time geeks angry because "it's not what it was designed to do" :)
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #65 on: March 20, 2013, 06:07:48 pm »
Dave, I congratulate your patience in plowing through the issues in this video without throwing the whole thing in the trash can. Halfway through the video I was pulling my hair and had to stop and watch the rest of it at a later time...

What the heck do these designers have in mind to not go through a tried and proven panel interface with two rotary encoders (voltage/current)? If this exists for so long it is because there is a good reason for that...  :palm:

 
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Offline biot

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #66 on: March 20, 2013, 11:08:33 pm »
This appears to be the Chinese datasheet for it.
Thanks! The URL on that PDF led me to the English version. It has ISP functionality, but it's not immediately obvious to me if there's a way to dump the existing firmware in the MCU's flash out to the computer though. I'll need that if I'm ever going to get a list of serial commands (as Dave was not forthcoming).
 

Offline bkubicek

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #67 on: March 21, 2013, 08:32:40 am »
Open letter to the product mangers of Atten:

Dear decision maker for Atten power supplies!

I really enjoy the price/quality ratio of your products. However, one of the problems of your devices is the firmware. There is room for improvement.
If you had better firmware, you would sell much more devices.
But how can you do this without spending research and development money from your side?

There are many many programmers out there, who are willing to improve your firmware for free. The only prerequisite is that you would publish the firmware as open source, i.g. GPLv3 or later.
By distributing the firmware source code, programmers all over the world would be enabled to create a better, improved firmware, even after your product development phase is finished. Leading to a large community of users. Not to speak of the media hype.

An example for this was the Linksys, who in completely different circumstances published their firmware as open source. Now they sell much more devices, because its an important feature that the firmware is open, improved, and also improvable in the future.

It you would allow this for your power supplies, it could be a unique selling point for your devices, which are perfectly aimed at many many makers/producers out there.

very nice greetings,
 Bernhard Kubicek
 

Offline tinhead

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #68 on: March 21, 2013, 08:52:57 am »
lol, Open Source means "everybody can and will for sure clone my products".

Do you really think a product, build down to the price, programmed by underpaid engineers (or even students)
can be improved with open source?

Not really, there is no room for ANY kind of competitions/lose of money - and open source is competition
and lose of money (where is linksys now? they already gone, and i know ppl who got fired there).
This can only work when you protect your design by custmized hardware, when nobody else can get the specific
chip/asic they you can publish any kind of info and work with open source ppl (but then still someone, if there
is enough profit, will clone your custom chip).

There is even no need for anything else than some simple improvements in code (due the language
differences it is important to make pictures, videos, what so ever, to document exactly what is bad and how can be done better)
, they can be done by their engineers (or even students, heh), all you need to do is to push ATTEN (as i did with Tekway/Hantek).

All they care about is profit, nothing else. Bad reviews on highly known forums, lot of emails - this all are
the things they worry about - to not lose a single cent - but not a open source proposals^^.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 09:31:41 am by tinhead »
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Offline amyk

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #69 on: March 21, 2013, 09:45:28 am »
This appears to be the Chinese datasheet for it.
Thanks! The URL on that PDF led me to the English version. It has ISP functionality, but it's not immediately obvious to me if there's a way to dump the existing firmware in the MCU's flash out to the computer though. I'll need that if I'm ever going to get a list of serial commands (as Dave was not forthcoming).
Their programming software doesn't appear to have a "verify" function either, so I guess ISP won't do it. But it's a standard-looking package 89c58... perhaps holding it in reset and doing the usual thing on an 8051 parallel programmer would work (if security bits aren't set). At least see if you can read its ID that way. Maybe STC cloned some other manufacturer's 89c5x design and just wrote an ISP bootloader to it.
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #70 on: March 21, 2013, 09:52:11 am »
Do they offer new firmware capability through the USB port? Using a bootloader etc.

Alexander.
Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

Online Rerouter

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #71 on: March 21, 2013, 09:53:55 am »
dave's one is 1.0, so i would hazard a guess that there isn't any updated for this specific model,

 

Offline poodyp

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #72 on: March 21, 2013, 10:22:57 am »
I thought that wasn't the proper way to get the noise of a power supply, and you had to use a differential probe to get a true reading.
 

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #73 on: March 23, 2013, 06:41:15 pm »
what a useless firmware.. Horrific!
 

Offline Marco

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #74 on: March 23, 2013, 07:40:34 pm »
This can only work when you protect your design by custmized hardware, when nobody else can get the specific
chip/asic they you can publish any kind of info and work with open source ppl (but then still someone, if there
is enough profit, will clone your custom chip).
But cloning the firmware without open source is impossible? What a strange argument, if they want to clone you they will ... period.

Not going open source can not stop it, all you can do to distinguish yourself is to deliver quality consistently ... extendibility is a quality. A better reason against open source is that a lot of hardware in this business is rather artificially restricted to increase margins on higher end hardware.

I am 100% certain that the Linksys wrt54g made back it's non recurring costs back 1000s of times over ... I bet they wish all their devices failed as hard as that, they wouldn't have had to fire your friends then.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 07:45:19 pm by Marco »
 

Offline deisenberg

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #75 on: March 24, 2013, 11:56:52 pm »
Anyone that sent a email to atten trying to get details about the unit hear anything back yet? The software sucks and I would like to create something a lot nicer...
 

Offline biot

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #76 on: March 25, 2013, 12:07:51 pm »
Anyone that sent a email to atten trying to get details about the unit hear anything back yet? The software sucks and I would like to create something a lot nicer...
No, they didn't reply. However they replied to TME, where I bought it, asking which browser I was using.

Since then they've changed their website somewhat, and there is a working download for the PPS3203T-3S software. Still didn't work, but this time I dug a little deeper. I'd remembered it wrong -- there's no way to set the serial port to use for communicating with the device (was some other software). So how does it determine which port the device is on?

It doesn't. The serial port is hardcoded to COM1.

Welcome to Atten. Leave your brain at the door; we'd like you to write some software for us.

In any case you can fix the assigned COM port number to a specific FTDI chip (by serial number), see here. That got the software working, and I'm duly seeing lots of protocol data. I'll have to see about getting that documented.
 

Offline CHexclaim

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #77 on: March 25, 2013, 11:58:12 pm »
I wonder what do the people involved in the good design of the hardware for this product think of the atrocious usability of their product just because of an extremely poor firmware... It is a pity when these things happen.
 

Offline deisenberg

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Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #78 on: March 26, 2013, 12:25:08 pm »
Sweet! got a replay with sample code (matlab maybe) and specs on the communication protocol. Guess Dave's video kicked them in the ass. The reply also said they were going to show the factory Dave's review in April when they visit them... We'll see I guess.

Funny, the guy suggest I buy the  ATM8811 single out put unit. Would have bought a rigol unit if I was going to spend that much on a single. Beside I already own this unit.

Anyone looking to purchase this unit in the US or Canada Newark has it re-branded as a tenma 72-8795.




Code: [Select]
function interface_parts = Atten_controller_interface()

 

    %% connect to the device

    Atten_conn = serial('COM1','DataBits',8);

    interface_parts.Atten_conn = Atten_conn;

    fopen(Atten_conn);   

    interface_parts.is_connected = true;

    interface_parts.do_shutdown = false;

   

    %% create GUI

   

    %GUI window

    interface_parts.figure = figure('Position',[100,100,800,600], 'CloseRequestFcn', @Atten_disconnect);

   

    %Create plot for values

    interface_parts.data_plot = axes('Units','pixels', 'Position', [100  150  600  400]);

   

    %buttons to toggle the device on/off and to exit

    interface_parts.output_btn = uicontrol('Style','togglebutton', 'String','output','Position',[350,10,100,50]);

    interface_parts.exit_btn = uicontrol('Style','togglebutton', 'String','exit','Position',[475,10,100,50], 'Callback', @Atten_disconnect);

 

    %labels and text boxes for the user to input desired V and i values

    interface_parts.V_label = uicontrol('Style','text', 'String','V','Position',[150,10,50,20]);

    interface_parts.V_field = uicontrol('Style','edit', 'String','0','Position',[200,10,50,20]);

    interface_parts.i_label = uicontrol('Style','text', 'String','i','Position',[150,40,50,20]);

    interface_parts.i_field = uicontrol('Style','edit', 'String','0','Position',[200,40,50,20]);

   

    %% Initialise the hex vector

    interface_parts.control_vector = ['AA'; '20'; '00'; '00'; '00'; '00'; '00'; '00'; '00'; '00'; '00'; '00'; '00'; '00'; '01'; '00'; '01'; '00'; '00'; '00'; '00'; '00'; '00'; '68'];

    interface_parts.default_vec = interface_parts.control_vector;

    vals = []; % Initialise the array for measured values

    tic; % Start timer

   

    %% keeping going until the user exits

    while(true && interface_parts.is_connected)

       

        Atten_apply_vector(1,2); % set device

        [input_dec,count,msg] = fread(Atten_conn,24,'uint8'); %read status

       

        %convert and store results

        V_val = hex2dec([dec2hex(input_dec(3)) dec2hex(input_dec(4))]) / 100;

        i_val = hex2dec([dec2hex(input_dec(5)) dec2hex(input_dec(6))]) / 1000;

        vals = [vals; toc V_val i_val];

       

        %show the results

        [AX,H1,H2] = plotyy(vals(:,1), vals(:,2), vals(:,1), vals(:,3));

        xlabel('time [s]');

        set(get(AX(1),'Ylabel'),'String','Potential [V]');

        set(get(AX(2),'Ylabel'),'String','Current [A]');

        pause(0.05);

    end

 

    function Atten_apply_vector(hObject, eventdata)

       

        %note that matlab uses an indexing system starting from 1, whereas

        %the protocol pdf assumes an indexing system starting from 0

       

        %process the voltage value chosen by user

        V_val = str2num(get(interface_parts.V_field, 'String'));

        V_dec = round(V_val * 100);

        V_hex = dec2hex(V_dec, 4);

 

        interface_parts.control_vector(3,:) = V_hex(1:2); interface_parts.control_vector(4,:) = V_hex(3:4);

 

        %process the current value chosen by user

        i_val = str2num(get(interface_parts.i_field, 'String'));

        i_dec = round(i_val * 1000);

        i_hex = dec2hex(i_dec, 4);

 

        interface_parts.control_vector(5,:) = i_hex(1:2); interface_parts.control_vector(6,:) = i_hex(3:4);

       

        %update output state

        interface_parts.control_vector(16,:) = dec2hex(get(interface_parts.output_btn, 'Value'));

 

        %send suitable vector to the device

        if(interface_parts.do_shutdown) %set the device back to the default state before disconnecting

            interface_parts.store_control_vector = interface_parts.control_vector;

            interface_parts.control_vector = interface_parts.default_vec;

        end

       

        output_dec = hex2dec(interface_parts.control_vector);

        fwrite(Atten_conn,output_dec,'uint8');

    end

 

    function Atten_disconnect(a,b)       

        if(interface_parts.is_connected)           

            %shutdown system

            interface_parts.do_shutdown = true;

            Atten_apply_vector(a,b);

           

            %close connection

               fclose(Atten_conn);

            delete(Atten_conn);

            clear Atten_conn;

            display('disconnecting from device');

            interface_parts.is_connected = false;

        else

            display('disconnecting... not connected to device');

        end       

        delete(interface_parts.figure);

    end 

end


« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 12:28:22 pm by deisenberg »
 

Offline deisenberg

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 22
Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #79 on: March 26, 2013, 12:27:34 pm »

It doesn't. The serial port is hardcoded to COM1.

Welcome to Atten. Leave your brain at the door; we'd like you to write some software for us.

In any case you can fix the assigned COM port number to a specific FTDI chip (by serial number), see here. That got the software working, and I'm duly seeing lots of protocol data. I'll have to see about getting that documented.

yes, annoyances just changed it in device manager. Works, not really anything special, makes it easy to set pre programmed setting though.
 

Offline biot

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  • Posts: 67
Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #80 on: March 26, 2013, 01:42:41 pm »
Sweet! got a replay with sample code (matlab maybe) and specs on the communication protocol.
Excellent! I notice the document is marked atten.eu -- that's the European reseller. I've bought an Atten ATZ97 from them, and that came with a great manual, including complete protocol documentation. I'm pretty sure they wrote these themselves. Shouldn't have cheaped out and bought from TME, clearly.

The protocol doc matches what I saw:

   3: aa aa 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 54
   6: aa aa 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 54
   7: aa 20 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ca
  10: aa 20 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ca
  11: aa 20 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 01 00 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 cc


Not sure what the second byte ("address") is supposed to be. The last byte is not "calibration byte" as it says in the doc, it's actually just a checksum.
 

Offline cotang

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #81 on: September 11, 2013, 03:58:56 pm »
Sorry for bringing this old post back up, but I was wondering if anyone changed out the fan because the stock fan is noisy as hell.
 

Offline danS

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #82 on: October 09, 2013, 11:27:48 am »
Where I can find the PC software for this PS? There is only Easy Scope and USB driver on http://www.attenelectronics.com/Support/Software/ Have they removed that crap?
 

Offline EEVblog

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  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: EEVBlog #439 - Atten PPS3205T-3S Triple Output Power Supply Review
« Reply #83 on: October 09, 2013, 11:44:50 am »
Sorry for bringing this old post back up, but I was wondering if anyone changed out the fan because the stock fan is noisy as hell.

I changed mine, with a quiet one from Jaycar. 12V instead of 24V, but I just used a crude dropper resistor. Worked really well, now almost silent.
 

Offline HiRam

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  • Posts: 3
  • Country: de
control program for power supply ATTEN PPS3205T-3S
« Reply #84 on: January 30, 2014, 11:10:19 am »
That applies to me too, sorry for using that old thread!
I think I have perhaps found something interesting:

Source code for HIASM and .exe  to control power supply ATTEN PPS3205T-3S (China). Written on Hiasm 4.4 (Hiasm.com) Tested on Windows XP SP3 and Windows 7

http://code.google.com/p/pps3205t-3s/

I tried  the "Atten_pps3205beta1.exe" in a virtual xp machine with usb serial adapter. Seems that it works somehow.
It uses HiAsm Studio 4. Does anybody knows hiasm.com?
I do not want to let you walk right into a trap. Be careful, my AVIRA virus scanner for URL does not like the download link for Hiasm 4.4: http://hiasm.com/xf/load.php?a=17837
and my virus scanner does not like the "Atten_pps3205beta1.exe" from code.google.com
Thanks   
« Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 01:43:36 pm by HiRam »
 


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