Author Topic: Keithley 3330  (Read 5148 times)

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Offline alocam

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Keithley 3330
« on: August 14, 2017, 07:50:04 pm »
Hello, does anyone have information on how to retrieve / back up Keithley's 3330 LCR meter calibration data (NF2330A equivalent)? The fact is that the unit looks pretty good, but the only way to gain access to these parameters is via an ancient GPIB board and a DOS calibration utility. I fear the calibration data may end up corrupted, and this will eventually leave the system out of order.

In case anyone has any further info on the subject, I will appreciate any feedback

Regards

 

Offline Ash

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2017, 11:04:21 pm »
Hi Alocam,

I have a Keithley 3322 and you mentioned that there was a way to access the calibration data over GPIB - do you have any more details on that? I know the service manual for the 3330 mentions a calibration kit with software - do you have one?

I too have concerns about the cal eventually going bad and I'd like a way to back it up.

Thanks,
Ash.
 

Offline alocam

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2017, 03:19:12 pm »
Hello Ash,

I am trying to figure out how to get the calibration data as a backup. I have found out that this data is depending on a non-rechargeable lithium battery, and once this battery is depleted, the system loses cal data, as it is not stored in non volatile memory.

I have just ordered a GPIB board in order to run calibration software, apparently there is an option there to read and write cal data, so this would eventually solve the issue.

Unfortunately, in order to run calibration you need a specific multimeter (Fluke 8840A/8842A or a pretty expensive HP model) as it is controlled by software to interact with the LCR meter during the cal process. Looks pretty weird.

Even though I live in Argentina, and all resources are pretty scarce (it is a nightmare to get hands on components or instruments sold abroad), I am close to getting a 8840A + GPIB to run software, and I could pass on whatever comments might help you out with your issue.

I assume that both models are similar, but I have read somewhere that there are certain cal differences between 3330 and the remaining LCR units in this series.

If it is useful for you, I will keep you posted on any news.

Regards

Alberto
 

Offline Ash

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2017, 11:39:23 pm »
Hi Alberto,

I would certainly be very interested in your findings.

Where did you get the software from? I can't find it. Would you be able to send me the program?

I was thinking of looking in the code for the GPIB commands that it uses to control the instrument and play with these. I have a GPIB interface I can program.

Thanks,
Ash.

 

Offline Stray Electron

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2018, 02:07:43 pm »
  I know this is an old thread but I was wondering if anyone has had any luck with this?  In the 332x manual,  Keithley says that they will give you the software to recalibrate those machines for free but I wonder if that's still true since Keithley has been bought and sold twice since then. 
 

Offline Magnificent Bastard

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2018, 02:20:00 pm »
  I know this is an old thread but I was wondering if anyone has had any luck with this?  In the 332x manual,  Keithley says that they will give you the software to recalibrate those machines for free but I wonder if that's still true since Keithley has been bought and sold twice since then.

Did you ask Keithley customer service?  It never hurts to ask nicely...  Maybe you will get lucky!
 
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Offline alocam

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2018, 09:56:19 pm »
Hello, I own a 3330 LCR meter, and I will probably attempt to read the cal data in a few days, using some ancient DOS software that I still need to test.

If this is what you are looking for, let me know, and if the software works properly, I will provide further details to you, so that you can run your own cal.

However, it looks like you need an ancient ISA (NI GPIB) card, and I was able to grab a used one to run the sw.

Regards
 

Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2018, 11:05:35 pm »
I too have a Keithley 3322 and a GPIB board /cable.
Used to live in a flying probe MDA tester.

I would like to hear of your experience trying to read write cal data.
 

Offline Brad O

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2018, 11:31:47 pm »
Did you ask Keithley customer service?  It never hurts to ask nicely...  Maybe you will get lucky!

Always true! Calling Tektronix support and asking for the Keithley team (or emailing them) will bring you to a team of great guys, including the longest running Keithley employee.  With that said, I found some things for this thread:

Here is the calibration kit for the LCZ Meters mentioned in the service manuals: https://www.tek.com/software/lcz-meter-calibration-software-and-instructions-700kb and the instructions: https://www.tek.com/node/134096

Like alocam has already discovered, the calibration procedure is rather complicated and specific, calibrating a 3330 is a fair bit more complicated than the 3321 or 3322 because of the separate multimeter required.  Also, the software is written for IBM-PC compatibles, so I have little hope that it will work on things more recent.  You can run the file attached in the download link on a modern PC and it will extract the files mentioned in the instructions, but the .EXE files won't run on any PC I tried.  You might be able to get an emulator to work with them, I haven't tried that yet

Unfortunately I don't have too much more information right now.  I've never calibrated one myself, and no one I could find remembers anything specific about the procedure.  There's a guy in the our metrology lab that might know more but he's out on vacation right now.  I'll try and find out what the calibration program actually does, but I don't have that much hope of finding the source code for you all. 
 
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Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2018, 12:34:05 am »
The PDF file on  "How To..."
 

Offline IconicPCB

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2018, 12:37:19 am »
The EXE file on to do.

Requires a DOS machine.

I knew it would come in handy.
 

Offline alocam

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2019, 02:14:25 am »
Hello,
It's been a long while since my last post on the K3330 cal issue.
Last week the LCZ unit went a bit crazy and showed some weird values, even for simple components like a resistor or ceramic cap.

After turning it off for a while, I turned it on again and everything seemed to get back to normal. However, I found out that some values were significantly off the expected readings.
I used some high precision resistors, and the outcome is that most of the readings are off by more than 10%.
I therefore decided to work on the calibration issue, and found an ancient PC laying around, installed the ISA PCIIA card that I ordered for such purpose a long time ago, configured IRQs, DMA and base I/O address, ending up with an apparently working GPIB link.

Bad news is: when running the CAL.EXE program, it quits giving a "Overflow in line No line number in module CAL at address 1945:033B. Hit any key to return to system".

No matter what I do, the outcome remains the same, ie: turning on/off the LCZ before running CAL, shorting the CAL terminal to ground or else, quite frankly, I am a bit disappointed to have a failing .exe become a show stopper.
I do not feel like the exe is corrupted, so it looks like there is an obscure reason why this message pops up.

I will spend some more time figuring out what is going on, but I am no PC assembly expert at all, so chances are that it will not work.

I will keep you posted in case this info is useful for people who posted on this thread.

Regards!
 

Offline Ash

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2019, 03:29:23 am »
Hi,

Funny thing - I was looking at this again about 2 weeks ago. I was starting the try to reverse the CAL.exe to work out what it is doing. Seems to be a  BASIC program that has been compiled.

Was the program able to talk to the LCR meter at all over GPIB? If not check that you configured the interface card correctly - I think you have to disable its internal rom and set the correct location for base address / IRQ. There are some instructions in the calibration PDF attached above.

If you are able to at least start the process, there is also a setting for the line ending on the GPIB address for the meter that has to be set correctly - I think you have to have the instrument address being "2.0" where the ".0" indicates CRLF line endings (from memory)

Do you have any way to monitor the GPIB bus and see what commands are going past? Would really love to see what it does to dump the cal constants.. :)

In the mean time, I'll keep working on reversing and see what I can find out. may take a while :)

Ash.

 

Offline picburner

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2019, 11:50:45 am »
@ alocam:

I tried the program and it works for me (even under Win95).
I tried with a very old HP Omnibook 800ct with docking station and NI pcIIa card.
It would seem that it is possible to backup and restore the calibration data.
I don't have the Keithley 3330 unfortunately and I can't do any more tests of course.
 

Offline alocam

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2019, 12:34:54 pm »
Hello Ash,

Thank you for your comments.
I went through the whole installation procedure for the PCIIA card, and I was able to successfully check the GPIB card by using some utilities that allow you to check proper config.

I need to get into the booting sequence. I ran the software on a W98 PC initialized in DOS mode, to no avail. Hence, I formatted an MSDOS 3.2 disk and I will try to check whether it works just booting from a floppy under DOS. I have to check how to install the GPIB software, as it is not enough to edit the config.sys as per the card's instructions.

It would be great to reverse engineer the CAL.EXE, as we could get rid of the tedious process of dealing with ancient PC, OS and GPIB cards.

I look forward to any news on your side. Later today I will get hands on the subject, and if I finally succeed running CAL, I will definitely share the data, may be we can identify the location for cal variables.

Regarding GPIB sniffing, I have an old LogicPort logic analyzer, however it may be a burden to capture data on GPIB bus, and I need to check whether there is any protocol analyzer that can grab the sequence and turn it into the GPIB command sequence, which could then be programmed under a newer platform to get rid of DOS.

Regards

Alberto
 

Offline alocam

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2019, 12:38:29 pm »
Hello Picburner,

Thank you for the feedback. Can you comment on the installation files / diskette that you used to set up the PCIIA?

I borrowed by install files from a guy in Sweden, who kindly shared the files, as they are no longer available for download at NI website.

May be I am using the wrong set of install files for the PCIIA card, mine is ISA, as requested by Keithley's procedure.

Did you install a Windows NI488.2 driver? Do you run a DOS window under W95 and it works flawlessly?

Thank you!

Regards

Alberto
 

Offline picburner

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2019, 01:57:16 pm »
My configuration under msdos 6.2 / win95 is this:

National Instruments NI-488.2 DOS Software for the GPIB-PCIIA version 2.6.
GPIB-PCIIA board version 1.6.0

in autoexec.bat:

   SET GPIB0=PC2A 0 0 0
   SET GPIB1=PC2A 0 0 0

in config.sys:

   DEVICE=C:\GPIB-PC\GPIB.COM

In the case of my notebook I had to configure the NI PCIIA card with:

Base i/o address: 02E1H
Dma channel:      none
IRQ:                    none

I use this notebook to calibrate my TDS694C oscilloscope, it uses an old dos program and only works with this configuration.
 

Offline alocam

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2019, 05:13:15 pm »
Have you got a chance to upload the NI488 DOS files so that I can test whether there is a software issue?

Thank you!

Regards
 

Offline picburner

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2019, 07:01:33 pm »
These are the DOS drivers I use for the PCIIA card.
They are also good for Windows 95, Windows 98 instead needs its own 32bit drivers.
 

Offline alocam

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2019, 12:25:45 am »
Hello all,

I am about to give up attempting 3330 calibration. I installed MS 6.22 on a flash drive running as bootable (C:), then I configured the PCIIA ISA card and installed the DOS drivers. Everything went OK, as it passed all utilities available for config testing.

However, each time I run CAL.exe, it gives me the freaking overflow message no matter what I try. Either this is a very simple but non evident issue, or I am having a sort of bizarre incompatibility issue I cannot figure out.

I will spend a couple more hours and if I do not achieve any result, I will probably have to stay with an uncalibrated 3330 or consider getting another LCR unit. Pretty odd, since the 3330 looks nice and has all the features I need.

I will keep you posted.

Regards

Alberto
 

Offline alocam

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2019, 01:00:20 am »
Hello picburner,

I have just posted a message with comments on a frustrating experience of running cal.exe for Keithley 3330. If you still have the notebook configured at hand, could you please check the contents of the SAVEDAT file? There are no explanations on the contents, but it looks like the default values correspond to those shown on the printscreen you posted, and I wonder whether these are to be edited before running CAL, or whether the CAL program allows to change the options (the way it should) and it then writes the savedat with the chosen ones.

This is extremely confusing, as the GPIB board seems to work fine, and the CAL.EXE is not working. By the way, you added a couple of lines to the CONFIG.SYS stating SET GPIB0=PCIIA 0 0 0 and same for GPIB1, however I did not see any reference to editing the ini files with these parameters. Did you experiment on those, or do you have any guidance on why are these needed? May be that due to the fact that I am using an ISA card and you used a PCMCIA, some parameters may change, but on my ISA manual there is no mention to it.

Thanks and best regards!

Alberto
 

Online DC1MC

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2019, 03:58:55 am »
Maybe this helps:

The amount of stack space specified in the config.sys is too low.
Edit the config.sys and insure the line STACKS is at least set to 12,256 and reboot.

For example, the line should be the same as the example below:
STACKS=12,256

 Cheers,
 DC1MC
 

Offline Andreas

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2019, 05:09:49 am »
Bad news is: when running the CAL.EXE program, it quits giving a "Overflow in line No line number in module CAL at address 1945:033B. Hit any key to return to system".

Hmm,

could be something like the Borland Bug in the CRT library. (But I think it was Runtime Error 200)
The delay routine is calibrated on startup and overflows on faster than 266 MHz CPUs.
See e.g. here:
http://ss64.net/merlyn/pas-r200.htm

Have you tried the "DOSBOX" program which can slow down the execution of the program?
There were also some patch programs which patched the .EXE to fix the bug. (at least for the CPUs at that time).
But you usually have to know which Compiler version was used to generate the .EXE.

with best regards

Andreas


 

Offline picburner

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2019, 06:48:41 am »
Hi Alberto,

Although I use a notebook, in its docking station, an ISA NI PCIIA card is installed exactly like yours.

The parameters I added in the config.sys and autoexec.bat files had been recommended to me by another user who has the same notebook (with the same docking-station) to allow the calibration program for TDS500/600/700 family Tektronix scopes to run.

Note that the software configuration must correspond to the hardware configuration, ie the setting of the dip-switches on the PCIIA board itself.

My notebook has a old Pentium 166 MHz processor if your computer has a much more powerful processor, as Andreas said, this old program could cause you problems.

I am attaching the dataset file as requested.

Good luck.
 

Offline picburner

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Re: Keithley 3330
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2019, 11:23:20 am »
I did a further test and the program also starts from a Windows XP session!
The notebook this time is a pentium iv @ 2.4GHz and the program resided on a compact-flash (so the speed of the cpu is not so important).
On this notebook there is no NI PCIIA  card of course but I usually I connect it to an NI gpib-usb-hs (not present during this test).
Of course, as I already told you before, I don't have a Kei3330 and I can't fully test the program but at least it starts without problems.
At this point I think there is something that just doesn't fit into your PC or your configuration.
Try with another PC.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 12:51:30 pm by picburner »
 
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