Author Topic: Documentation for uCurrent Gold  (Read 15562 times)

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Offline JDW

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Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« on: March 30, 2017, 02:31:17 am »
I've not yet purchased a uCurrent Gold and am now browsing this forum to see what the caveats are.  I see some basic info here:

http://www.eevblog.com/projects/ucurrent/

But where is the complete documentation? 

I've read that at least one person added diodes for greater protection, so it's pertinent that documentation explains what pitfalls to avoid when using the uCurrent.  Surely someone must have put together some documentation on the uCurrent by now, but I am not finding it.  Where is the documentation?

Thank you.
 

Offline BroMarduk

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2017, 04:26:47 pm »
There is a link to the original Alternate Zone article here: http://alternatezone.com/electronics/ucurrent/uCurrentArticle.pdf that was linked to from the eevblog site.  It does cover a lot of the internal workings.  Or were you looking for something more specifically published as a user guide?   I'd be interested if that exists too...

(Link to the diode protection forum thread in case others were interested: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/current-gold-on-kickstarter/msg448208/#msg448208
 
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Offline guenthert

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2017, 05:16:50 pm »
Wished I'd seen this earlier.  Not sure about the diodes, but the modification to the on-off-short switch I should have done too.  I was earlier already wondering why the uCurrent should be on, when the connection is shorted.  That doesn't make any sense.  :-//  Unfortunately, as it is designed, the input is not shorted in the off position (why, oh why?).   |O While testing a current supply (with a hearty compliance voltage), I managed to thoroughly fry my uCurrent which I forgot to be in the circuit (turned off)  :palm: - yes, cracking sound of bursting SMT resistors and all.  :-BROKE
  I tried replacing the broken resistors, but it seems at least one of the OpAmps didn't take the abuse lightly either -- FUBAR.
 

Offline MLXXXp

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 09:07:28 pm »
Unfortunately, as it is designed, the input is not shorted in the off position (why, oh why?).

When I modified mine, I could have shorted the inputs when off, instead of using back to back diodes, but I though there might be cases where an "off" position that didn't affect the burden voltage (within the measurement range) would be useful. My other mod turns off the unit in the "short" position, so I can select either "off with shorted input" or "off with burden voltage".
 

Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2017, 12:38:40 am »
With all this talk of critically important mods, it would seem only reasonable that there be a fire sale to clear out existing uCurrent Gold inventory so as to release an updated model with the aforementioned mods!  For truly, who wants to pay nearly $100 (shipping included) for a device that we might accidentally fry very quickly?  I know some of you out there have never experienced that, but the rest of us are not electronics gods -- we are but flawed mortals who err.
 

Offline MLXXXp

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2017, 02:44:59 pm »
For truly, who wants to pay nearly $100 (shipping included) for a device that we might accidentally fry very quickly?

A primary purpose of the µCurrent to is provide current measurements with a very low burden voltage. It's difficult and/or expensive to add circuitry which would properly protect the inputs, without increasing the burden voltage, at least on the higher current ranges.

If your situation doesn't require a low burden, then you could either add external protection to the µCurrent or use other equipment with the desired built in protection.

On the nA range, a forward biased diode for DC, or back to back diodes for AC, across the inputs, plus a fuse in series, would probably suffice. The diode's impedance below its forward voltage conduction point would be high enough, compared to the 10k shunt, to not affect the accuracy of the readings. If the current gets too high, the voltage across the shunt would exceed the diode's forward voltage point, causing the diode to conduct and the fuse to blow if the fuse's rating is exceeded.

On the nA range, the fuse's resistance would likely be low compared to the 10k shunt, so it also wouldn't affect the burden voltage much. On the other ranges, the fuse's resistance could affect the burden.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 02:48:11 pm by MLXXXp »
 
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Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2017, 08:19:44 am »
Question...

uCurrent Gold specs say this about Burden Voltage:

    3 Current ranges:
    +/- 0-1250mA (20µV / mA burden voltage typical) * switch contact resistance plays a role here. 10uV due to the shunt resistor.
    +/- 0-1250µA (10µV / uA burden voltage)
    +/- 0-1250nA (10µV / nA burden voltage)

Fluke 8845A 6.5-digit multimeter (>US$1k device) specs:



Take Note: 100uA range is <0.015 V burden voltage, and Resolution for 6.5 digits is 100pA

So in terms of the Burden Voltage spec, it would appear that my Fluke meter has the uCurrent Gold beat, hands down.  But even with the probes disconnected I see 23nA on the display of my Fluke 8845A.  And when I try to take low current readings, I get lots of fluctionations in the nA range.  I originally thought the uCurrent might benefit me, but looking at the specs for Burden Voltage, I don't see how.  Do you?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 08:30:28 am by JDW »
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2017, 08:26:20 am »
I originally thought the uCurrent might benefit me, but looking at the specs for Burden Voltage, I don't see how.  Do you?

Not everyone can afford a $1000 DMM, is it? That's where uCurrent comes handy.
Frankly I didn't find my uCurrent very useful either since I also use an 8846A (particularly, a Keithley rebrand, DMM4050), but for its price, if it benefits even only a single project, it is worth all the money you've paid for it.
It's not like a $1000 DMM that has to prove its usefulness all the time in order to recover its cost.
 

Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2017, 08:29:42 am »
...I also use an 8846A (particularly, a Keithley rebrand, DMM4050), but for its price, if it benefits even only a single project, it is worth all the money you've paid for it.

The current measurement features of my 8845A and your 8846A should be exactly the same.  How well can you measure nA?  Can you measure something down to 1nA or lower with good accuracy?  I am not able too, which is what led me to uCurrent and this forum in the first place.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2017, 09:02:00 am »
...I also use an 8846A (particularly, a Keithley rebrand, DMM4050), but for its price, if it benefits even only a single project, it is worth all the money you've paid for it.

The current measurement features of my 8845A and your 8846A should be exactly the same.  How well can you measure nA?  Can you measure something down to 1nA or lower with good accuracy?  I am not able too, which is what led me to uCurrent and this forum in the first place.

I don't go down to that far. For me, low current usually mean a few hundreds nA. I've never had a chance to do nA measurements.
 

Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2017, 04:47:28 am »
For me, low current usually mean a few hundreds nA. I've never had a chance to do nA measurements.

I made time today to do the following nA measurements, which include uA measurements for comparison:



I do not have a uCurrent to repeat the same test.  As such, it would be appreciated if those of you with (a) a uCurrent gold, (b) 10pcs of 10M-ohm (5% tolerance) resistors, and (c) a benchtop power supply could do the same test and let us know your Percent Error.  I am curious if your US$100 device is better, equal or worse that this >$1000 Fluke Meter.

Thank you.
 

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2017, 05:26:29 am »
I have a Keithley 2410 SMU, which is rated 0.035%+600pA accuracy. I can use it to easily generate 10nA reference current and used to test my uCurrent Gold. I will report back if I can find my uCurrent. At least I will test my 8846A with it, see how much of error it has.
 
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Online blueskull

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2017, 12:22:16 am »
So I did a quick test with KEI2410 SMU and KEI4050 DMM, at 100PLC, D-filter on, 6 digits (LSB=100pA), both devices were NOT warmed up (I did this in a hurry), and DUE calibration for more than 2 years.
The KEI brothers agree with each other by the DMM reads ~1% plus ~200pA higher than SMU set point, consistent across 10nA to 200nA (test points: 10nA, 20nA, 30nA, 40nA, 50nA, 100nA, 200nA).

uCurrent is also measured, and it doesn't look good. Using the same SMU and DMM (in voltage mode, 6 digits, 100PLC, D-filter on), now the DMM reads up to 11% different (always lower) than set point, and the error curve does not fit a first order function, i.e. it is not in a  "x% rdg+y dgt" form.

With all due respect to Dave, if I see a $1500 Keithley disagrees with a $100 uCurrent, especially when the Keithley brothers agree with each other, I trust the Keithley more.
 
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Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2017, 01:23:02 am »
Thank you for your time in testing.

For the sake of our readers who may not understand, the "SMU" you refer to is your Keithley 2410 which is defined as a high-impedance multimeter that has a built-in low-noise Power Supply.  (In comparison, the Fluke 8845A used in my test is high-impedance but lacks a built-in Power Supply.)  The documentation for the 2410 shows it can, in theory, measure from 50pA to 1.05A, whereas my Fluke 8845A can, in theory, measure only as low as 100pA when using the 100uA range setting.

In your test, rather than using resistors, you set your meter to generate a 10nA reference current, then used that same meter to measure it, and you repeated for 20nA, and so on, up to 200nA.  You then said your meter gives you an error of only 1%+200pA.  You then tested the uCurrent and found its error to be up to 11%.

I myself have no means to generate a stable and trustworthy "reference current" and so in my test I used resistance values (see my earlier post).  And you can see that I am getting huge errors in the nA range, but small errors in the uA range.  I am therefore curious if this is some problem with my Fluke 8845A, or a problem with using resistances in the test?  To know the latter, I would be curious to know what kind of current measurements you get using the same resistance values I did.

Without being forced to buy a new meter (my Fluke works fine otherwise), I am seeking to know how to get the most accurate nA measurements possible.  Do I really need a uCurrent, or is there something I need to do to adjust my Fluke meter?

Thank you.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2017, 01:31:27 am »
In your test, rather than using resistors, you set your meter to generate a 10nA reference current, then used that same meter to measure it, and you repeated for 20nA, and so on, up to 200nA.  You then said your meter gives you an error of only 1%+200pA.  You then tested the uCurrent and found its error to be up to 11%.

No. I used 2 different equipment, an SMU (2410), and a DMM (4050, aka Fluke 8846A). I compared between the 2410's set point and 4050's reading. FWIW, the 2410's read back agrees with 4050's reading.

Without being forced to buy a new meter (my Fluke works fine otherwise), I am seeking to know how to get the most accurate nA measurements possible.  Do I really need a uCurrent, or is there something I need to do to adjust my Fluke meter?

I have no idea about this, but nA measurement is a tricky business.
 

Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2017, 01:49:52 am »
...nA measurement is a tricky business.

That brings me back to square one. 

I originally discovered uCurrent and ultimately this forum because I began Googling the issue of nA measurements due to my Fluke 8845A not giving me reliable nA measurements.  And yet my Fluke works fine otherwise!  So I have been trying to determine if buying a uCurrent is worthwhile.  At this stage, I honestly do not know.

In your case, it seems that there is no need for a uCurrent insofar as your meter is giving you highly accurate readings (relative to my Percent Error, and relative to your own uCurrent). 

I'm not sure what to do at this point.  And it seems no one else has an opinion, seeing that only you and I are in this discussion.   |O
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2017, 02:14:42 am »
I'm not sure what to do at this point.  And it seems no one else has an opinion, seeing that only you and I are in this discussion.   |O

My 2 cents: modify your uCurrent and increase its burden resistance, so that offset voltage is less significant than signal voltage. Of course, you lose low burden feature, you then you can reliably measure lower current. The preset one is 10K, which you can set it to higher for higher element voltage, which eventually gets you to higher SNR. At 100nA, 10K gives you 1mV. With a 0.1mV offset amp, that easily gives you 10% error.
If you mod the sensing resistor to 100K, then you get 10mV for the same current, while 10mV burden is not a big thing on power supply for most devices.
Another idea is to use an ultra low offset opamp with inverting IV converter topology. Consider ADA4530-1 or similar low offset, low input bias current opamps.
 
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Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2017, 03:00:45 am »
...modify your uCurrent and increase its burden resistance... The preset one is 10K... If you mod the sensing resistor to 100K, then you get 10mV for the same current...

I haven't purchased a uCurrent yet, mainly because I have been trying to ascertain if it would be a benefit to me at all in light of the fact I have a Fluke 8845A.  But thank you for that suggestion about changing the uCurrent's 10K resistor to 100K.

I found the following post in this forum which speaks about AC riding on the measurement cables and negatively impact nA measurements using the uCurrent:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/ucurrent-not-acurate-on-na-range/msg882779/#msg882779

Could that have contributed to the 11% error you cited?
 

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2017, 03:15:15 am »
I haven't purchased a uCurrent yet, mainly because I have been trying to ascertain if it would be a benefit to me at all in light of the fact I have a Fluke 8845A.  But thank you for that suggestion about changing the uCurrent's 10K resistor to 100K.

From my experiment, it is still better than your test data. Imaging it gets 90% less offset by increasing burden voltage. Not a bad deal.

I found the following post in this forum which speaks about AC riding on the measurement cables and negatively impact nA measurements using the uCurrent:

Could that have contributed to the 11% error you cited?

Didn't bother to hook up a scope. Will see if clipping happens or not and let you know tomorrow. ATM I'm at home, and I don't want to go to my lab at night.
However I don't think there is a path for AC leakage current since I didn't touch anything when doing the test, everything in the test loop are floated, while the test equipment are grounded.
 
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Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2017, 08:34:17 am »
Didn't bother to hook up a scope. Will see if clipping happens or not and let you know tomorrow.

I appreciate that.

In the meantime, I am curious how much the resistor TOLERANCE will affect the accuracy of the uCurrent Gold.  (I still don't have a uCurrent Gold to test, but I may purchase one at some point.)  Right now Dave uses +/- 0.05% resistors (10ppm) for R2 & R9.  You suggested a change of R2 from the current 10K value to 100K.  I was able to find one SMD resistor that has a +/- 0.01% (5ppm) spec here:

http://venkel.com/part/UPTF2512-2W-P-1003UT

Do you feel that the difference in tolerance between 0.05% and 0.01% for the replacement 100K resistor be largely irrelevant for the nA measurements we are talking about?
 

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2017, 04:08:26 am »
Test setup: SMU sourcing 100nA, while uCurrent is set to 10K mode, output of uCurrent is grounded with scope's ground lead, scope used here is a Keysight MSOX6004A, bandwidth is unlimited, using 700MHz 10:1 kit probe, low frequency calibrated.
Result: 500mV p-p 37.5kHz distorted sine wave noise, plus 1500mV p-p mains frequency spikes.
 
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Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2017, 04:32:07 am »
Under that condition, when you read the output of the uCurrent with your Voltmeter (set to DC), what is the measurement?  (How close is it to the 100nA?)
 

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2017, 04:40:44 am »
Under that condition, when you read the output of the uCurrent with your Voltmeter (set to DC), what is the measurement?  (How close is it to the 100nA?)

Weird enough, today the DMM reads higher than set point, this time 11% higher. But today I forgot to set PLC number, so it is using its default 10PLC.
I will test at 100PLC tomorrow, replicating exact same test setup as I did yesterday, just with uCurrent's negative output grounded by o'scope.
 
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Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2017, 04:51:58 am »
...today the DMM reads higher than set point, this time 11% higher... it is using its default 10PLC.

Which means you measured 111nA instead of the 100nA you are sourcing, tested with your DMM set to 10PLC (and I assume your DMM was set to measure DC voltage, not AC).  Curious what voltage value you get when trying the AC setting.  If it is noticeably different than when using the DC setting, that would imply noise is impacting the reading.

 

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2017, 04:54:25 am »
Which means you measured 111nA instead of the 100nA you are sourcing, tested with your DMM set to 10PLC (and I assume your DMM was set to measure DC voltage, not AC).  Curious what voltage value you get when trying the AC setting.  If it is noticeably different than when using the DC setting, that would imply noise is impacting the reading.

I will report back on AC+DC voltage plug AC voltage only.
 
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Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2017, 07:24:13 am »
I will report back on AC+DC voltage plug AC voltage only.

Thank you.

How much will the uCurrent Gold's resistor TOLERANCE will affect nA measurement accuracy

Dave uses +/- 0.05% resistors (10ppm) for R2 & R9.  You suggested a change of R2 from the current 10K value to 100K (so as to get better accuracy for nA measurements).  I was able to find one SMD resistor that has a +/- 0.01% (5ppm) spec here:

http://venkel.com/part/UPTF2512-2W-P-1003UT

Do you think the difference in tolerance between 0.05% & 0.01% for a replacement 100K resistor be largely irrelevant when taking nA measurements?  (My guess is that it would be irrelevant if we are fighting this much AC noise.) 
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2017, 07:29:48 am »
I will report back on AC+DC voltage plug AC voltage only.

Thank you.

How much will the uCurrent Gold's resistor TOLERANCE will affect nA measurement accuracy

Dave uses +/- 0.05% resistors (10ppm) for R2 & R9.  You suggested a change of R2 from the current 10K value to 100K (so as to get better accuracy for nA measurements).  I was able to find one SMD resistor that has a +/- 0.01% (5ppm) spec here:

http://venkel.com/part/UPTF2512-2W-P-1003UT

Do you think the difference in tolerance between 0.05% & 0.01% for a replacement 100K resistor be largely irrelevant when taking nA measurements?  (My guess is that it would be irrelevant if we are fighting this much AC noise.)

I think at your interested current range, resistor's tolerance doesn't matter at all. You won't get even 0.1% accuracy from uCurrent, even with the best resistor. It is limited by offset voltage, parasitic oscillation, and a lot of bizarre things when you go down that 100nA range. Thermo couple effect on output terminals can easily give you a few hundreds of uV or even a few mV.

If you want to get 1% accuracy with calibrated system (offset RELed out), then may be you will have the luck. After all nA measurement is tricky, especially considering uCurrent is not really meant to used to measure tens of nA.

Changing 10k to 100k will help, but don't expect offset voltage will magically go away. Also if you can, increase C3 and C4 to suppress parasitic oscillation.
 

Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2017, 07:36:02 am »
...uCurrent is not really meant to used to measure tens of nA.  Changing 10k to 100k will help, but don't expect offset voltage will magically go away. Also if you can, increase C3 and C4 to suppress parasitic oscillation.

C3 & C4 are 10pF now.  What larger value do you propose?

uCurrent Gold SCHEMATIC:
 

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2017, 07:37:25 am »
...uCurrent is not really meant to used to measure tens of nA.  Changing 10k to 100k will help, but don't expect offset voltage will magically go away. Also if you can, increase C3 and C4 to suppress parasitic oscillation.

C3 & C4 are 10pF now.  What larger value do you propose?

uCurrent Gold SCHEMATIC:


If you don't do high frequency things, and only wants to measure DC current, 1nF will be a starting point.
 
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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2017, 07:49:47 am »
I did a test, this time with everything warmed up for 15 minutes, and output of uCurrent grounded.
Result: ~+1nA offset and <+-1% linear error. 100PLC, D-filter on.
In ACV mode, 8846A reads ~170mV AC in both 20MHz, 200MHz and 3db filter mode. This ACV voltage varies while I move my hands, so it is highly stray capacitance sensitive.
 
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Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2017, 08:01:09 am »
Just to clarify...

You sourced 100nA of current and then measured it with a stock (unmodified) uCurrent Gold using the 8846A in Volts DC Mode, measuring 100mV (which means "100nA") and you saw an error of only +/-1nA? 

You then switched your 8846A to AC mode and measured 170mA (170nA)?  Is that correct?

And you also used your 8846A when set to 100uA mode to measure that 100nA directly and got an accurate reading too?  Correct?  If so, I am not sure what is wrong with my 8845A.  However, I don't have the means to source accurate current like you do.  Like I said, I am using large resistor values to limit current, and perhaps that is simply something the 8845/8846 cannot handle.
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2017, 08:14:43 am »
Test setup: SMU sourcing 100nA, while uCurrent is set to 10K mode, output of uCurrent is grounded with scope's ground lead, scope used here is a Keysight MSOX6004A, bandwidth is unlimited, using 700MHz 10:1 kit probe, low frequency calibrated.
Result: 500mV p-p 37.5kHz distorted sine wave noise, plus 1500mV p-p mains frequency spikes.

See this posting:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/problem-with-ucurrent-gold/

I solved the problem with a capacitor at the input. Of course, not a solution if you want to measure AC, but works for my applications (mostly power consumption of microcontrollers and other DC things). Without it, you have to really be careful with long wires and feedback of the output to the input.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Electronics, hiking, retro-computing, electronic music etc.: https://www.youtube.com/c/FrankBussProgrammer
 

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2017, 08:20:41 am »
Just to clarify...

You sourced 100nA of current and then measured it with a stock (unmodified) uCurrent Gold using the 8846A in Volts DC Mode, measuring 100mV (which means "100nA") and you saw an error of only +/-1nA? 

You then switched your 8846A to AC mode and measured 170mA (170nA)?  Is that correct?

And you also used your 8846A when set to 100uA mode to measure that 100nA directly and got an accurate reading too?  Correct?  If so, I am not sure what is wrong with my 8845A.  However, I don't have the means to source accurate current like you do.  Like I said, I am using large resistor values to limit current, and perhaps that is simply something the 8845/8846 cannot handle.

1. Yes. I saw 1%+1mV over a range of input values, from 10nA to 100nA. Particularly on 100nA, if my memory serves me correctly, 102mV. However, the error strongly depends on grounding and stray field. Without grounding or with my hands too close to test setup, the 1% can go to 10%.
2. Yes, everything are the same, just the DMM is set to AC mode.
3. As said in my previous post, 8846A can handle nA measurements, and is more accurate than uCurrent, without oscillating nor need of warming up. I don't have a 8845A, so I can't test it. I think I can find a DMM4020 somewhere in the lab, that should also be a Fluke rebrand, likely 8845A. I can test on that one.
 

Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #33 on: April 07, 2017, 08:39:17 am »
...8846A can handle nA measurements, and is more accurate than uCurrent, without oscillating nor need of warming up. I don't have a 8845A, so I can't test it. I think I can find a DMM4020 somewhere in the lab, that should also be a Fluke rebrand, likely 8845A. I can test on that one.

The problem is that our test cases are not the same.  You are sourcing current.  I cannot do that so I am using large resistors to ground and inserting my 8845A probes between the resistor and ground.  That is how I created this data:



It could be that your 8846A would give you the same Percent Error as I discovered, if you repeated my test case using resistors instead of sourcing current.  But that is only a guess.  (I did not have a single 100M-ohm resistor, which is why I used 10pcs of 10M-ohm instead.  As you can see from my data, I measured nA and then measured uA.  The uA test was more accurate, however it uses a smaller resistance value and higher voltage.)
 

Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2017, 01:16:46 am »
Dear uCurrent users,

If you have 10pcs of 10M-ohm resistors, could you please conduct the same nA current test I did (see results in my previous post) and then post your results?

I don't have a uCurrent and that is why am seeking your assistance.  I want to know if my $1000+ Fluke 8845A is more or less accurate than the uCurrent.  But the only way to know is for me and you to conduct the same exact test.  blueskill kindly conducted tests in this thread, but he used a Current Source which I do not have access to.  Therefore, the only way to confirm my findings is if we all conduct the same exact test.  That means using 10pcs of 10M-ohm resistors.

I look forward to your kind replies.  Thank you!
 

Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2017, 12:41:24 am »
The dearth of replies indicates that none of you possess 10M-ohm resistors.
I guess they are hard to find.   :palm:
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2017, 01:05:06 pm »
Actually I didn't have 10 meg resistors, but bought some from eBay. I can't measure the whole resistance, but measured the individual resistors and the sum was 100.31 meg ohm. Now I have a 10 meg to 100 meg kind of variable resistor:



With 1 V the uCurrent shows 9.83 mV, with 2 V it is 19.82 mV and with 3V it is 29.8 mV. That's without my capacitor. If I carefully avoid output cables coupling to input cables, I can see the same result without the input capacitor (i.e. unmodified uCurrent). All measured with a BM257s, and not on a breadboard to avoid additional parallel resistance and getting too much noise because of the long traces in the breadboard.
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Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #37 on: April 12, 2017, 12:23:15 am »
Bless you for repeating my 10M-ohm x 10pcs test, FrankBuss!

That seems to prove the uCurrent, even without any hacks and without your capacitor is extremely accurate for nA measurements down to 9nA!

My US$1k+ Fluke 8845A doesn't hold a candle to that accuracy.  I actually wrote to Fluke last week.  I sent them the same "nA Measurement" data I posted in this thread.  Today they replied as follows:

Quote
Well looking at the spec at that range - percent of measurement (reading) + percent of range  that percent of range alone will add 25nA of error on the 100uA range.  So that is going to make it very shaky down there.   So I would say - no - not quite accurate enough for what you are trying to do.  Unfortunately that next jump in accuracy is an exponentially larger price tag.. :(

So it would seem quite safe and reasonable for me to purchase a uCurrent.

Many thanks!
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2017, 03:57:36 am »
Quote
Well looking at the spec at that range - percent of measurement (reading) + percent of range  that percent of range alone will add 25nA of error on the 100uA range.  So that is going to make it very shaky down there.   So I would say - no - not quite accurate enough for what you are trying to do.  Unfortunately that next jump in accuracy is an exponentially larger price tag.. :(

So it would seem quite safe and reasonable for me to purchase a uCurrent.

Looking at your measurements, this makes sense. If you subtract 20 nA for your last two measurement series as an offset error, then it looks like it gets quite accurate. But I don't understand why the 100 uA range has errors in the nA range, doesn't make sense. Can you measure the 20 nA with shorted leads, too? This would allow you to measure the offset.

Of course, buying a uCurrent solves this, too, without any manual offset calculations and reasonable accuracy.
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Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #39 on: April 12, 2017, 04:29:11 am »
Can you measure the 20 nA with shorted leads, too? This would allow you to measure the offset.

You mean "shorter" leads?  I have more than 10pcs of SMD 10M-ohm resistors and a set of jumper pins like you.  (In my first test I used 10pcs of axial-lead resistors and I put them in a breadboard.)
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #40 on: April 12, 2017, 07:57:50 am »
No, I meant short-circuited, but I might be wrong, maybe better to not connect the leads at all (to avoid any noise). My assumption is, that in this case it shows only the offset, and if you note this and then subtract this when measuring your circuits, then it will be pretty accurate.
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Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #41 on: April 12, 2017, 08:51:05 am »
Here's a video for you, Frank, showing probes connected and disconnected, with various PLC settings and AVERAGING:

https://youtu.be/ehCxeM5_ou0
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #42 on: April 12, 2017, 10:04:21 am »
The higher value with shorted probes might be because you are inducing something with your hands or the probes loop receives more noise compared to when it is open. But it is really not very stable and maybe not good to trust that the offset is always the same. Better buy a uCurrent. It might have less burden voltage as well compared to the Fluke.
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Online 2N3055

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #43 on: April 12, 2017, 01:12:07 pm »
Hello!

Let me just chime in a bit. First, if you don't have it, buy (or make) a shortcut plug like the one in photo.
You can use it to check zero volt offset, zero ohm offset and also small current range offset.

What you see here is probably induced interference, it's nano amperes... Everything should be shielded, your 1V source should be battery powered, shielded cables and such.

And than, last two digits on ANY 6.5 voltmeters are a finicky bunch.

Look here on Metrology section there a several topics of measuring and sourcing nano and even femtoamps...

All the best,

Sinisa
 

Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #44 on: April 12, 2017, 09:50:45 pm »
First, if you don't have it, buy (or make) a shortcut plug like the one in photo.
You can use it to check...

Buy it where? You didn't provide any link to the place that sells them.

You also seem to be talking exclusively about the uCurrent even though we've also been discussing the Fluke 8845A.  I wish to point that out for clarity, for those who later come and read through this thread.

As to testing nA currents on battery voltage alone, consider well that such is not practical in that you may need to test small currents when connected to a AC powered source at times.  In other words, just as is the case with any handheld or desktop meter, there are times when we need to test circuits powered by batteries and times when we need to connect them tested to a wall socket because that's the environment in which they will be used.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 12:43:28 am by JDW »
 

Offline casinada

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #45 on: April 12, 2017, 11:12:42 pm »
https://www.digikey.com/products/en/test-and-measurement/accessories/613?k=4%20terminal%20shorting
http://www.newark.com/fluke/884x-short/4-wire-short/dp/55M2652
or you can make one yourself  :)
Check Joe Smith's last video where he modified his multimeter to reduce the burden voltage  :)
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 11:15:37 pm by casinada »
 

Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #46 on: April 13, 2017, 12:47:46 am »
https://www.digikey.com/products/en/test-and-measurement/accessories/613?k=4%20terminal%20shorting
http://www.newark.com/fluke/884x-short/4-wire-short/dp/55M2652

We're talking about the Fluke 8845A here.  Got it.  Thank you for the links.  $36 for that.  Typical Fluke!

Check Joe Smith's last video where he modified his multimeter to reduce the burden voltage  :)

A Fluke 8845A?  Can you please provide a direct link to that video?

Thanks.
 

Offline Vgkid

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #47 on: April 13, 2017, 01:42:31 am »
Quote from: casinada link=topic
We're talking about the Fluke 8845A here.  Got it.  Thank you for the links.  $36 for that.  Typical fluke.
[/quote
Could be worse. Check out Keysights 200$ offering.
If you own any North Hills Electronics gear, message me. L&N Fan
 

Offline casinada

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #48 on: April 13, 2017, 05:21:09 am »


He runs extensive test on multimeters. His channel is very interesting. He is also an active eevblog member JOEKSMITH :)
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #49 on: April 13, 2017, 06:50:03 am »
First, if you don't have it, buy (or make) a shortcut plug like the one in photo.
You can use it to check...

Buy it where? You didn't provide any link to the place that sells them.

You also seem to be talking exclusively about the uCurrent even though we've also been discussing the Fluke 8845A.  I wish to point that out for clarity, for those who later come and read through this thread.

As to testing nA currents on battery voltage alone, consider well that such is not practical in that you may need to test small currents when connected to a AC powered source at times.  In other words, just as is the case with any handheld or desktop meter, there are times when we need to test circuits powered by batteries and times when we need to connect them tested to a wall socket because that's the environment in which they will be used.

Sorry, I didn't provide link, you are literally on the other side of the planet, so I thought you might be able to find something closer to where you live.

And no I didn't even mention uCurrent. I was talking in general about microvolt and nanovolt  and microamperes and nanoamperes measurement with any instrument.

At those voltage and current levels, impedances are so high and measured signal is so low that parasitic emissions, static fields, magnetic fields, triboelectric and thermal effects are sometimes greater than signal you are trying to measure.

Here is the link to a good read.. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwisiuXE56DTAhWmIpoKHeVJDFoQFgg6MAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tek.com%2Fdocument%2Fhandbook%2Flow-level-measurements-handbook&usg=AFQjCNGVEOdo-RW87qH4qowipnt8wWqH_A&sig2=eV4eDeg3TGedyhA5b0A9jg

It is the "Low measurement Handbook" by Keithley (says Tektronix but that's corporate crap), a very good overview of the low level measurements and common pitfalls..


As for shorting bars, you can also buy two of these from Pomona:

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Pomona/5165-2/?qs=%2fha2pyFaduiB6fjNcFfbfg0LjqdcPIiv05%252bYHAJJ%252b9E%3d&utm_source=octopart&utm_medium=aggregator&utm_campaign=565-5165-2&utm_content=Pomona

They are shorts, and can be used in more than one combination.... Including two or more of them connected together..

As for your question, yes, sometimes you need to measure with power grid powered equipment. And then you have complications... Additional filtering, shielding....
You should try to avoid it, if you can..

Hope that helps.

Regards,

Sinisa

 

Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #50 on: April 13, 2017, 07:08:38 am »
I was talking in general about microvolt and nanovolt  and microamperes and nanoamperes measurement with any instrument.  At those voltage and current levels, impedances are so high and measured signal is so low that parasitic emissions, static fields, magnetic fields, triboelectric and thermal effects are sometimes greater than signal you are trying to measure.

True, but if you have been reading through this entire thread, especially recently, you will see that Frank kindly repeated my M-ohm resistor test with his uCurrent (because I don't have a uCurrent), and his readings were spot-on.  However, my readings with a US$1k+ Fluke 8845A were way off, as per the table I posted earlier in this thread.  So despite the "parasitic emissions, static fields, magnetic fields, triboelectric and thermal effects," the uCurrent appears to be far more accurate than my Fluke 8845A.

(Thank you for the links and other information you provided.)
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #51 on: April 13, 2017, 07:21:06 am »
I was talking in general about microvolt and nanovolt  and microamperes and nanoamperes measurement with any instrument.  At those voltage and current levels, impedances are so high and measured signal is so low that parasitic emissions, static fields, magnetic fields, triboelectric and thermal effects are sometimes greater than signal you are trying to measure.

True, but if you have been reading through this entire thread, especially recently, you will see that Frank kindly repeated my M-ohm resistor test with his uCurrent (because I don't have a uCurrent), and his readings were spot-on.  However, my readings with a US$1k+ Fluke 8845A were way off, as per the table I posted earlier in this thread.  So despite the "parasitic emissions, static fields, magnetic fields, triboelectric and thermal effects," the uCurrent appears to be far more accurate than my Fluke 8845A.

(Thank you for the links and other information you provided.)

uCurrent natively has 1mV/1nA scale...  So 1nA is 0.1% on a 1000mV(1V)/ 1 uA scale..  Fluke has 100uA full scale, and nanoamps are in the few last digits.... And those digits are riddled with errors and offsets.. So yes, uCurrent can make better measurements at that level than a 1000 USD instrument.

But your Fluke is not purpose built low current instrument.  If you need to really measure such low currents, you will need instrument made for that purpose...

And, you are very welcome, I'm glad if I was of any help..

All the best,

Sinisa

 
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Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #52 on: April 13, 2017, 10:02:53 am »
For crying out loud...

I get myself through this entire thread so that I am now prepared to purchase a uCurrent and I see today they are OUT OF STOCK:

https://www.eevblog.com/product/ucurrentgold/

 |O
 

Online Wytnucls

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #53 on: April 13, 2017, 10:34:42 am »
Have you considered that there might be something wrong with your meter?
Without trying very hard, I can measure down to nA accuracy with my 6 1/2 Gossen Metrahit 30M. There is only some fluctuation in the last digit. (100pA)

Voltage: 1.265V
Resistor: 4.04 MOhm
Calculated current: 313.12nA
Measured current: 313.~ nA (uA scale)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 10:42:00 am by Wytnucls »
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #54 on: April 13, 2017, 11:15:45 am »
Have you considered that there might be something wrong with your meter?
Without trying very hard, I can measure down to nA accuracy with my 6 1/2 Gossen Metrahit 30M. There is only some fluctuation in the last digit. (100pA)

Voltage: 1.265V
Resistor: 4.04 MOhm
Calculated current: 313.12nA
Measured current: 313.~ nA (uA scale)

Try it with 100MOhm like he did...   ^-^
 

Online Wytnucls

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #55 on: April 13, 2017, 11:25:07 am »
Why do you think that should make any difference?
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #56 on: April 13, 2017, 11:28:52 am »
Why do you think that should make any difference?
25 times smaller current ?😁
 

Online Wytnucls

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #57 on: April 13, 2017, 11:36:12 am »
Tell me more...
 

Online Wytnucls

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #58 on: April 13, 2017, 11:38:54 am »
10.06MOhm
1.265V
Calculated current: 125.75nA
Measured current: 125.~nA
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #59 on: April 13, 2017, 11:55:03 am »
Well,
 I already suggested to short the input at the terminals and check for instrument offset. Maybe autozero is not on. Maybe instrument is noisy and/or damaged... But fact is that he tries to measure 10 nA with precision, and that is last two digits on his instruments (10 ppm of full scale).
So even 1-2 LSD flicker represent 10-20% error. He might even try to enable filter to try to suppress interference.

Also, your Gossen is a very fine instrument... It probably works much better that guaranteed specs.. And his might just be border line on specs..

I remember reading about 8845A  being susceptible to interference and having problems with CMMR...
 

Online Wytnucls

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #60 on: April 13, 2017, 12:03:44 pm »
Best I can do with the last bits in my box:

18.13MOhm
1.265V
Calculated current: 69.77nA
Measured current: 70.~nA

Gossen offset: 700pA zeroed.
Instrument published worst 1 year accuracy: 2nA (0.002% of range + 0.02% of reading)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 12:47:41 pm by Wytnucls »
 

Online Wytnucls

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #61 on: April 13, 2017, 12:23:12 pm »
Agreed. Instrument offset is probably the major culprit, with the addition of some instrument inherent limitations.
I don't think he mentioned yet when the meter was last calibrated.

Fluke 8845A published worst 1 year accuracy: 0.05% of reading + 0.025% of range: 25nA
He'd be lucky to measure within 10nA with a perfect instrument.
The Gossen 30M is an order of magnitude more accurate than the Fluke on small currents, with the same count.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 12:48:00 pm by Wytnucls »
 

Online Wytnucls

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #62 on: April 13, 2017, 02:52:07 pm »
Found some more high value resistors:

31.8MOhm
1.265V
Calculated current: 39.78nA
Measured current: 40.~nA

31.8MOhm
0.806V
Calculated current: 25.35nA
Measured current: 25.~nA

Accuracy of the Gossen seems to be on par with the uCurrent, as measured by FrankBuss.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 03:03:38 pm by Wytnucls »
 

Online Wytnucls

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #63 on: April 13, 2017, 08:13:06 pm »
CMRR on the Fluke 8845A is supposedly pretty good at 140dB (50-60Hz), compared to the Gossen's >80dB.

Here is a thread about problems encountered (mostly AC related):
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/fluke-8845a-ac-current-has-poor-cmrr-agilent-better/
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 08:15:39 pm by Wytnucls »
 
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Online blueskull

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #64 on: April 13, 2017, 08:43:13 pm »
I tested uCurrent with a 10M 1% resistor at 0.1V to 1V, result shows ~-1mv offset plus -1%.
 

Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #65 on: April 14, 2017, 12:20:22 am »
I tested uCurrent with a 10M 1% resistor at 0.1V to 1V, result shows ~-1mv offset plus -1%.

No question.  It's clear I need to buy a uCurrent Gold.  But again, NO STOCK!  A fellow can't win!  :rant:


Wytnucls, after reading your posts it would appear you did not read every post in this thread.  I posted the official word from Fluke regarding nA measurements on the 8845A in my post here:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/documentation-for-ucurrent-gold/msg1184028/#msg1184028

My 8845A was purchased in June 2012.  It is only used every now and then, perhaps once every couple weeks for a short period.  It has never been calibrated.  Regardless, see Fluke's reply to my previous post above.  What they wrote would seem to apply to old 8845A and brand spanking new fully just-calibrated 8845A's too.  Besides, even if one wishes to argue my meter is way off and needs to be calibrated, I counter that by presenting this data.  Take note that uA measurements are accurate but only nA measurements are way off in la-la land.  If my meter was messed up calibration wise, I would expect my uA or even mA measurements to be way off too, but they are not.

Anyway...

Anyone know when there will be more stock of the uCurrent?  :-/O
 

Offline evava

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Flukes and offset:
« Reply #66 on: April 14, 2017, 08:45:15 am »
Flukes and offset:
When I first held Fluke 87V in my hands, I was surprised how much offset it has in DC uA range, I thought that  was faulty instrument. Then I found that thread https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/fluke-87v-non-zero-current-reading/ and I finally put up unwillingly with that.
But every time I switch on my second meter UT61e and range to DC uA with 0,00uA dead on, I do not know what to think - maybe it has something with better input protection on Flukes?
How many Flukes is plagued with that feature (large offset on uA range)?
 

Online Wytnucls

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #67 on: April 15, 2017, 11:09:37 am »
Fluke is only quoting the accuracy figures for the 8845A that you could have known about before post No.8, if you had bothered to read the manual.
25nA accuracy on low DC currents is the worst it should display, within 1 year of calibration. Most will do a lot better than that.
External influence factors are negligible at nA level.

Best of luck with the uCurrent.

« Last Edit: April 16, 2017, 12:53:09 am by Wytnucls »
 

Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #68 on: April 17, 2017, 12:15:23 am »
Fluke is only quoting the accuracy figures for the 8845A that you could have known about before post No.8, if you had bothered to read the manual.

Why such a smarty-pants reply? I've read the manual as has Fluke.  And I would encourage everyone to read through all the posts in this thread prior to casting  a stone of judgement.  For as I said earlier in this thread, and as the DATA which I posted clearly shows, my Fluke meter is not a "problem unit" insofar as the uA measurements are quite accurate.  If one wishes to argue "it's been 5 years since you bought it and therefore it needs to be recalibrated" or "you have a problem inside your meter," then logic dictates that even my uA readings should also be "way off" but they are not.  Because they are not, it seems reasonable to conclude that, just as Fluke said, this particular meter (model 8845A), is simply inaccurate in the nA range.  I find that terribly unfortunate but not surprising in light of the fact that such is what drove Dave to create the uCurrent in the first place.

As to uCurrent availability, the good news is that 49pcs magically appeared "in stock" as of today.   :-+  This must mean that there are in fact many units in stock, just untested.  Dave probably tests them before making them appear "in stock," which is a good sign about the quality of the unit.

I still think there should be "official documentation" for the uCurrent -- hence the name of this thread.  But until then we will just have to be diligent about reading through posts in this forum to ensure we avoid common usage pitfalls.

My thanks to everyone who posted test data and otherwise contributed in a positive way to this thread.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 12:18:10 am by JDW »
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #69 on: April 17, 2017, 01:27:48 am »
No question.  It's clear I need to buy a uCurrent Gold.  But again, NO STOCK!  A fellow can't win!  :rant:

Anyone know when there will be more stock of the uCurrent?  :-/O

It now shows 48 in stock at US $64 each. Also, since I don't need mine anymore, I can sell you mine for $50.
 
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Offline Jacon

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #70 on: April 17, 2017, 10:14:24 am »
Anyone know when there will be more stock of the uCurrent?  :-/O

Another place, especially for European customers:

http://www.simonselectronics.co.uk/
 

Offline luisprata

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Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #72 on: April 28, 2017, 02:58:55 am »
I finally acquired a uCurrent Gold and tested it for the first time today.  uA and mA switch settings tested to be highly accurate, but the nA switch setting is so bad I think it is defective.  Here's a video of my testing of all 3 switch settings.  Please watch the entire video and then let me know what could be wrong with the nA switch setting. 

https://youtu.be/ji0_YW1b57k

Please bear in mind how accurate my uA and mA test results are when formulating your conclusions.  I used a fresh CR2032 too.

I checked the uCurrent Gold SCHEMATIC and then used my Fluke 8845A & 4W probes to test R2, R1 & R9, which measured as follows:

R2 = 9.870k-ohm (nA switch setting)
R9 = 10.00-ohm
R1 = 0.0129-ohm

Thank you.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 06:50:56 am by JDW »
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #73 on: April 28, 2017, 08:39:59 am »
I finally acquired a uCurrent Gold and tested it for the first time today.  uA and mA switch settings tested to be highly accurate, but the nA switch setting is so bad I think it is defective.  Here's a video of my testing of all 3 switch settings.  Please watch the entire video and then let me know what could be wrong with the nA switch setting. 

Might be the same problem I had, see this thread:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/problem-with-ucurrent-gold/

TL;DR: Avoid feedback loops and terrible oscillation created by wires coupling from the output to input, and use a 100 nF capacitor at the input, if you need only DC.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Electronics, hiking, retro-computing, electronic music etc.: https://www.youtube.com/c/FrankBussProgrammer
 

Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #74 on: April 29, 2017, 02:25:51 am »
Thanks for your suggestion, Frank.  Specifically, the 0.1uF cap across the uCurrent's INPUTs:



I left the uCurrent Gold at the office, and we are not closed for the next week in honor of Japan's "Golden Week" Spring holiday, but when I get back to the office I'll try the cap and try isolation and then report back here.
 

Offline JDW

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #75 on: May 08, 2017, 04:56:13 am »
The 0.1uF cap is the key to making the uCurrent usable.  Or at least, it transforms your uCurrent into a nano-Current, which is why I wanted one in the first place.  I don't care about AC, so the added capacitor solves my problem. Here are my test results with a ceramic radial lead capacitor installed externally atop the board:

TEST#1
Voltage: 1.003V
Resistance: 99.00M-ohm
Measured Current: 10.06nA (using Fluke 8845A set to 1V range since I get OVERLOAD in the mA range for some reason)
Calculated Current: 1.003/99E6 = 10.13nA
Percent Error: 0.69%  (very accurate!)

TEST#2
Voltage: 1.002V
Resistance: 98.142M-ohm (SMD resistors, 10pcs)
Measured Current: 10.18nA (using Fluke 8845A set to 1V range since I get OVERLOAD in the mA range for some reason)
Calculated Current: 1.002/98.142E6 = 10.21nA
Percent Error: 0.29%  (extremely accurate!)

TEST#3
Voltage: 1.002V
Resistance: 197.142M-ohm (all my resistors in series, 20pcs)
Measured Current: 5.06nA (using Fluke 8845A set to 1V range since I get OVERLOAD in the mA range for some reason)
Calculated Current: 1.002/197.142E6 = 5.08nA
Percent Error: 0.39%  (extremely accurate!)

After these tests I removed the radial lead 0.1uF capacitor and put a ceramic SMD version on the bottom of the PCB as shown in the photo below.  I repeated TEST#3 and measured 5.07nA -- spot on!



I also added hot glue to the 4 corners of the button cell battery holder because that thing will break off over time if the battery is swapped in and out too often.  That's because it appears to be held down to the PCB by only 2 solder points!

This photo shows my SMD resistor block in series with my axial lead resistors.  And as you can see, despite my having used a breadboard and despite my having used a DC power supply instead of a battery, I still got very accurate results.  But again, ONLY because I modded the uCurrent with a 0.1uF capacitor.  BLESS YOU, FRANKBUSS!




I also swapped out the 270-ohm resistor at R4 for a 1k-ohm.  Previously, there was 2.2mA flowing through the LED, but now there is only 0.9mA, and the LED is still quite bright:



Suffice it to say, I am very pleased at this outcome!
 
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Offline Lbud4

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Re: Documentation for uCurrent Gold
« Reply #76 on: May 11, 2017, 01:07:43 am »
@Dave why not add a switch for AC coupling to future versions of the u Current?
 


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