Author Topic: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review  (Read 2192 times)

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Offline niner_007

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Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« on: June 06, 2021, 02:33:37 am »
I’m really disappointed on the recent power products coming out of Keysight.

Their new DC electronic load in this case, it’s pretty much unusable, and at a nearly $4K price tag for the 600W dual input model.

If you send data to the instrument too fast (every 800ms is what I tried) it locks the instrument’s communication interface and remains locked, but the instrument still runs and is responsive via manual controls; that’s a really dangerous condition for a power product, and alone makes the instrument unusable.

The instrument doesn’t have a very important feature, under voltage lock out, so cannot use it for battery testing, except through external scripting and communication. So bye bye battery applications.

Their under voltage inhibit (this is not UVLO) is also broken with some weird hysteris where under voltage conditions does not always stop the load; even without the fault, I don’t understand where such a feature would be useful, as it reconnects the load when the voltage goes back up, UVLO is a more critical feature to be built in, inhibit can be programmed via the interface.

No automatic ranging, you’re either on the higher range losing resolution, but if on the lower range you cannot dial outside the range, with errors thrown at you. The auto ranging could been done in software.

The rear connectors are really nice, but the front connectors are custom, they should have selected lower current banana posts instead for the front, and limit the current through the front, this is a nearly $4K instrument after all and should have a feature like that.

No energy accumulation monitoring. So no Wh.

This is a broken instrument, they focused so much on the scope view and pulse features of the load (I don’t need these) that they got the basics completely wrong. I don’t know how good the hardware underneath is, but I think their software might require a lot if effort to fix, it’s hard to convey in words until you use it.

Sadly the new Keysight power supplies also have similar issues with the software, that’s why I will continue to use my trusted 3631A and 363xA series supplies, or go to R&S for power needs, and to BK Precision/Kikusue for DC loads, and avoid the new Keysight power products altogether. I don’t want my supply to stop responding to commands and blow the DUT up or start a fire in the lab.

I was in the market for a new DC load, and I got this Keysight DC load hopping it would do. I returned it for a refund.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2021, 02:36:43 am by niner_007 »
 
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Offline xani

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2021, 12:23:09 am »
My Korad KA102 got most of that features (altho bit of PITA to setup), that is just embarrassing
 
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Offline niner_007

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2021, 07:15:17 am »
I use a BK 8601, but recently it got broken. I used the opportunity to look at Keysight and was very excited with their new loads, the 600W one was particularly interesting because it’s dual channel, the channels can be combined together, and high resolution. I really wish Keysight would’ve worked.

I repaired my BK, BK did an excellent job on it, and if anything, I will buy another 8601 :) Kikusui has a very nice family of DC loads, I have played with one for few days, it’s got a very nice display, and energy accumulation. Their interface is a big complex to configure, but overall for my needs, BK Precision is still the best performer. Just a rock solid instrument.
 

Offline Sighound36

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2021, 07:15:43 am »
What did you Key-sight supplier say to your concerns regarding the instrument itself?

Would pretty surprised if they just dismissed the issue you have found  :o.

The Danny Bogdanoff show is pretty active on this forum, as the brand ambassador for Keysight I am sure he could set the wheels in motion as to an investigation of your reported issue.

Just a thought?

I use Kikisui loads having tried a few others, however I have noticed on virtually all of the brands they do produce quite a bit of residue noise which is very evident especially when testing for EMC and pre compliance with spectral analysis

For general work they are great also running components as well, for more precision  I built a set of dedicated specific current passive loads, the difference in the noise floor on the 9Khz to 30Mhz test suits is quiet something.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2021, 06:23:37 pm by Sighound36 »
Seeking quality measurement equipment at realistic cost with proper service backup. If you pay peanuts you employ monkeys.
 
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Offline niner_007

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2021, 12:55:02 am »
I did comment on Keysight youtube videos for the load, I didn’t get any replies on youtube. I needed a solution immediately, I cannot afford few months turnaround, broken I/O is a pretty big deal breaker to me. I didn't bother with support, it was just not worth it given the many issues found.
 

Offline akimmet

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2021, 05:07:26 am »
I don’t understand why you would think leaving YouTube comments would end up being more helpful than contacting Keysight directly.
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2021, 09:40:22 am »
I don’t understand why you would think leaving YouTube comments would end up being more helpful than contacting Keysight directly.
Agreed. You might even get a pre-release firmware version that addresses the issues (some or all). Not contacting support about the problem you have leaves the manufacturer in the dark and your issues won't be fixed for sure.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online gamalot

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2021, 10:12:51 am »
I checked the information of their new electronic load on the Keysight website and noticed that the values in their "Number of inputs" column are decimal numbers. Since I am not a native English speaker, I am curious that this usage is just a typo or a more precise description.   :-//

Online jusaca

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2021, 12:06:29 pm »
@gamalot
I'm quite sure this is just a typesetting thing. Probably the field on the table was some decimal number by default or something like that.

@niner_007
How good/bad is the load in your opinion when operated manually via frontpanel? Is it intuitive and responsive to use?
I agree that a locking IO is pretty bad, but as far as I know the units are pretty new on the market, so some feedback from customers will probably result in a few future bug fixes ;)
 

Offline niner_007

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2021, 08:30:20 pm »
This is a $4k instrument. When I buy it, I expect it to work as advertised, it’s not on me to report issues to Keysight for things that are fundamental, and then wait until they are addressed, that’s just not acceptable, period. This is not a DIY amateur product, or prototype, so your logic doesn’t make sense there. If it were only for the locked IO, I would have contacted support, but there were many issues. When a part of the bread is rotten, you can eat around, save what you can, but when the entire bread is rotten, there’s no eating it.

jusaca, yes for the from panel, but lack of UVLO is a non starter, specially as there is no alternative, as the IO is broken. 
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 09:32:37 pm by niner_007 »
 

Online jusaca

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2021, 11:43:28 am »
I agree, it should not happen and is annoying as hell. Unfortunatly we can see this kind of stuff happening with basicially all big players when it comes to the modern, digital driven testgear. Tens of thousends of dollars for an MSO Series 4, RTM3004 or whatever - the first firmware releases were spicked with bugs. Pressure to release new products seems to be to bug to hold back until this kind of stuff is fixed... ;/
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2021, 11:47:14 am »
I agree, it should not happen and is annoying as hell. Unfortunatly we can see this kind of stuff happening with basicially all big players when it comes to the modern, digital driven testgear. Tens of thousends of dollars for an MSO Series 4, RTM3004 or whatever - the first firmware releases were spicked with bugs. Pressure to release new products seems to be to bug to hold back until this kind of stuff is fixed... ;/
But in the end rushing out new equipment is doing nobody any good because people will be wary of new equipment and postpone purchases.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline Grandchuck

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2021, 12:18:47 pm »
I agree, it should not happen and is annoying as hell. Unfortunatly we can see this kind of stuff happening with basicially all big players when it comes to the modern, digital driven testgear. Tens of thousends of dollars for an MSO Series 4, RTM3004 or whatever - the first firmware releases were spicked with bugs. Pressure to release new products seems to be to bug to hold back until this kind of stuff is fixed... ;/
But in the end rushing out new equipment is doing nobody any good because people will be wary of new equipment and postpone purchases.

New anything is getting scary.  It is interesting how many bugs are found so quickly by folks outside the company.  External testing could alleviate a good portion of buggy new stuff.  Give Dave Jones one and he will find a lot of the bugs :-DD
 
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Offline niner_007

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2021, 04:57:44 pm »
I agree, it should not happen and is annoying as hell. Unfortunatly we can see this kind of stuff happening with basicially all big players when it comes to the modern, digital driven testgear. Tens of thousends of dollars for an MSO Series 4, RTM3004 or whatever - the first firmware releases were spicked with bugs. Pressure to release new products seems to be to bug to hold back until this kind of stuff is fixed... ;/
But in the end rushing out new equipment is doing nobody any good because people will be wary of new equipment and postpone purchases.

New anything is getting scary.  It is interesting how many bugs are found so quickly by folks outside the company.  External testing could alleviate a good portion of buggy new stuff.  Give Dave Jones one and he will find a lot of the bugs :-DD

It is really surprising, I don’t know how they missed in testing. Could guess they released an unfinished product and knew about it. On one hand you hear marketers, and even Danny from Keysight advertise and demo the instrument as amazing. On the other hand, there is a different reality, and it’s like false advertising. Very not Keysight like. It seems they spent so much time on the Pulse and Scope View software features of the instrument software, that the rest they could not tackle, they didn’t have capacity and resources to.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 02:17:12 am by niner_007 »
 

Offline kcbrown

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2021, 10:45:38 pm »
I agree, it should not happen and is annoying as hell. Unfortunatly we can see this kind of stuff happening with basicially all big players when it comes to the modern, digital driven testgear. Tens of thousends of dollars for an MSO Series 4, RTM3004 or whatever - the first firmware releases were spicked with bugs. Pressure to release new products seems to be to bug to hold back until this kind of stuff is fixed... ;/
But in the end rushing out new equipment is doing nobody any good because people will be wary of new equipment and postpone purchases.

You previously claimed that you get something that Just Works and meets specs when you buy A brands.  That they do proper QA and fundamental functional problems thus get caught before release, and that this justified their higher price.  Do you still stand by that?   Because it looks to me like that's becoming less true as time goes on, if this thread is anything to go by.

Maybe a better question is: at this point, what would you say are the advantages of buying an A brand over a B brand?
« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 09:45:07 am by kcbrown »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2021, 10:31:59 am »
I agree, it should not happen and is annoying as hell. Unfortunatly we can see this kind of stuff happening with basicially all big players when it comes to the modern, digital driven testgear. Tens of thousends of dollars for an MSO Series 4, RTM3004 or whatever - the first firmware releases were spicked with bugs. Pressure to release new products seems to be to bug to hold back until this kind of stuff is fixed... ;/
But in the end rushing out new equipment is doing nobody any good because people will be wary of new equipment and postpone purchases.

You previously claimed that you get something that Just Works and meets specs when you buy A brands.  That they do proper QA and fundamental functional problems thus get caught before release, and that this justified their higher price.  Do you still stand by that?   Because it looks to me like that's becoming less true as time goes on, if this thread is anything to go by.
Well, one of the lines I wanted to add to my previous posting is 'If A-brands are going to be consistent in this behaviour then people might as well buy gear from Rigol or Siglent'. It is already a fact that A-brands push out equipment ahead of schedule and need about a year to fix firmware bugs. IMHO it is still worth buying an A-brand due to pedigree; the core of the instrument usually is based on old & well proven designs / methods so it will also work in the corner cases where gear from Rigol & Siglent typically fails. Due to the latter I decided to leave the line out.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 10:35:15 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Sighound36

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2021, 10:53:19 am »
Have Keysight responded this at all?

Nctnico made some valid points, however the MXR last year was another case in point of being released far to early at that point in time imho

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/keysight-mxr-8-channel-scope/125/
Seeking quality measurement equipment at realistic cost with proper service backup. If you pay peanuts you employ monkeys.
 

Offline Keysight DanielBogdanoff

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2021, 05:02:01 pm »
The Danny Bogdanoff show is pretty active on this forum, as the brand ambassador for Keysight I am sure he could set the wheels in motion as to an investigation of your reported issue.

Haha  ;D

I'm passing this along to the team for feedback!
 
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Offline kcbrown

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2021, 07:10:39 pm »
Well, one of the lines I wanted to add to my previous posting is 'If A-brands are going to be consistent in this behaviour then people might as well buy gear from Rigol or Siglent'. It is already a fact that A-brands push out equipment ahead of schedule and need about a year to fix firmware bugs. IMHO it is still worth buying an A-brand due to pedigree; the core of the instrument usually is based on old & well proven designs / methods so it will also work in the corner cases where gear from Rigol & Siglent typically fails. Due to the latter I decided to leave the line out.

Makes sense.  Do you have some examples of where an A brand handled a corner case where the B brands failed?

I also get the sense that the A brands tend to be constructed better than the B brands, though I think the B brands have been improving their game a bit on that as well.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2021, 07:59:35 pm »
Well, one of the lines I wanted to add to my previous posting is 'If A-brands are going to be consistent in this behaviour then people might as well buy gear from Rigol or Siglent'. It is already a fact that A-brands push out equipment ahead of schedule and need about a year to fix firmware bugs. IMHO it is still worth buying an A-brand due to pedigree; the core of the instrument usually is based on old & well proven designs / methods so it will also work in the corner cases where gear from Rigol & Siglent typically fails. Due to the latter I decided to leave the line out.

Makes sense.  Do you have some examples of where an A brand handled a corner case where the B brands failed?
Siglent SDG2000xyz function generator versus Tektronix AFG31000 for example. The latter stays in phase with an external reference when doing modulation. Also the Tektronix AFG31000 is a true stand-alone unit. You don't need any PC software to edit / import arbitrary waveforms.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 08:01:21 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline niner_007

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2021, 01:52:57 am »
The Danny Bogdanoff show is pretty active on this forum, as the brand ambassador for Keysight I am sure he could set the wheels in motion as to an investigation of your reported issue.

Haha  ;D

I'm passing this along to the team for feedback!
When these are addressed, I'm willing to give EL30000 series a serious consideration.
 

Offline rvalente

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2021, 02:05:36 am »
Still following this terrible black design trend... ahhh ugly as hell to stare at
 
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Online Berni

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2021, 05:11:35 am »
Okay most of it are features that they just didn't put in, mostly a mistake in market research there, but the remote SCPI interface locking up is a rather big deal.

I have had plenty of weird bugs and issues with remote control interfaces on test gear. Pretty much anything i had out of China has had at least some sort of quirk in the remote interface. You have to randomly stumble on them and find workarounds, usually works in the end. Yet this is Keysight we are talking about, with the reputation they are holding you would expect the remote interface to be almost fully bug free, let alone have such a serious bug as this.
 

Offline maxwell3e10

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2021, 05:44:27 am »
Recent Keysight hardware is just not as great as in the old days. There are plenty of other examples discussed here:
Disappointing performance of B2962 power source
Drift of 34470 DMM due to ACAL
Bugs with bursts in 33522 function generator
« Last Edit: June 11, 2021, 05:48:22 am by maxwell3e10 »
 
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Offline Keysight DanielBogdanoff

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Re: Keysight EL30000 DC load buyers warning / mini review
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2021, 08:31:42 pm »
Sorry for the delay, took a few days off and am catching up!

@niner_007 the R&D team would love to chat if you're willing, I'll send you a PM.

The SCPI lockup issue is something we haven't seen before, we've been doing nonstop / no delay commands without issues, so the team would like to take a look / chat and see if there's a bug, but we suspect it's just your load and we want to get it replaced.

Regarding battery testing, from R&D:
"
The EL30000 Series does not currently have a dedicated battery test feature, but we are considering adding it through a future firmware release.  Meanwhile, you will need to use a PC to control the load and stop the discharge before the battery reaches its cutoff voltage.
"

Obviously we'll need to get the comms issue worked out for your unit.

From Bill Griffith, one of our power folks:
"- The current definition for undervoltage better is for testing power supplies. The latch mode assumes the input voltage starts low, and rises toward the undervoltage limit at which point the load turns on and stays on regardless of voltage. E.g. once live stay alive.

- I wrote a simple program to test batteries with an undervoltage cutoff: https://blogs.keysight.com/blogs/tech/bench.entry.html/2021/05/03/battery_and_celltes-HXQ1.html

- Loads potentially have two sets of ranges, one for the load and one for the measurement system. You do not want to auto-range the load as it would affect the source. It might be beneficial in some cases to auto-range the measurement system. However, it is much simpler just to tie the load and measurement system together. I personally, prefer the ease-of-use of a single setting for high, medium, and low range.

- For lower power BNC connections – I cut off a dual banana plug. You used two of them in this video: https://youtu.be/FM7dWAC6wok?t=22 I personally like the front connectors – we used them to test the 20 A output of the power supply

[attachimg=1]
"

 


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