Author Topic: Keithley 2231A-30-3 affordable triple supply. Any experiences?  (Read 8003 times)

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Offline 0xdeadbeef

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I recently stumbled over a relatively affordable triple power supply by Keithley (officially $650, German dealers sell it for ~635€ including 19% VAT):
http://www.keithley.com/products/dcac/highspeedpower/programmablemulti/?mn=2231A-30-3

It has two 30V@3A outputs and one 5V@3A output which seems pretty much perfect for everyday electronics work.
Also the specs look OK from what I can tell. Accuracy specs are slightly worse than the other series 2000 series devices.
However I'm a bit puzzled why it's (so) much cheaper than other devices from the 2200 series and why it's the only one
that's marketed for " Engineering and science student labs". Sounds a bit like this was not meant for serious work...
Apart from the higher accuracy the only thing it seems to be missing is built-in (or optional) USB or GPBI. It has a (TTL level) RS232 port though.

Also 195W seems quite a lot for such a small case. I'm a bit concerned that it might be pretty loud.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 01:21:58 pm by 0xdeadbeef »
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Offline VintageNut

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Re: Keithley 2231A-30-3 affordable triple supply. Any experiences?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2015, 03:26:46 pm »
These are good supplies. The only limitation is that you cannot measure much below 1mA.

I wrote a Labview VI that sweeps voltage and measures current if you are interested.
working instruments :Keithley 260,261,2750,7708, 2000 (calibrated), 2015, 236, 237, 238, 147, 220,  Rigol DG1032  PAR Model 128 Lock-In amplifier, Fluke 332A, Gen Res 4107 KVD, 4107D KVD, Fluke 731B X2 (calibrated), Fluke 5450A (calibrated)
 

Offline 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Keithley 2231A-30-3 affordable triple supply. Any experiences?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2015, 04:21:00 pm »
Do you know this model specifically or just one from the series? If it's the model: any word about the (acoustic) noise level in a low power situation?
And does any TTL-USB converter work or is the official USB adapter needed for PC control?
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Offline VintageNut

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Re: Keithley 2231A-30-3 affordable triple supply. Any experiences?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2015, 06:02:19 pm »
Do you know this model specifically or just one from the series? If it's the model: any word about the (acoustic) noise level in a low power situation?
And does any TTL-USB converter work or is the official USB adapter needed for PC control?
Not this particular one. I have used the 2220-30-1 2230-30-1. I wrote a Labview app for the 2220-30-1 and a python app for the 2230-30-1. These power supplies are used by big name companies in their laboratories. 

The 2231A is twice the current of the 2230-30-1 for channels 1 and 2.

The architecture of the 2200 and 2220 and 2230 and 2231 are evolutionary. The family started out as one channel and then became two and then three. The 2231A is newer and more current. 

The python app was developed on a garden variety Dell laptop connected via USB. I had a direct connection from the laptop USB port to the 2230-30-1 USB port.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 06:04:00 pm by VintageNut »
working instruments :Keithley 260,261,2750,7708, 2000 (calibrated), 2015, 236, 237, 238, 147, 220,  Rigol DG1032  PAR Model 128 Lock-In amplifier, Fluke 332A, Gen Res 4107 KVD, 4107D KVD, Fluke 731B X2 (calibrated), Fluke 5450A (calibrated)
 

Offline blackbird

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Re: Keithley 2231A-30-3 affordable triple supply. Any experiences?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2015, 06:04:26 pm »
However I'm a bit puzzled why it's (so) much cheaper than other devices from the 2200 series and why it's the only one that's marketed for " Engineering and science student labs". Sounds a bit like this was not meant for serious work...

I guess it is marketed towards student labs because it does not have 'professional' remote connections, i.e. GPIB or LXI. 
 

Offline VintageNut

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Re: Keithley 2231A-30-3 affordable triple supply. Any experiences?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2015, 11:16:13 pm »
However I'm a bit puzzled why it's (so) much cheaper than other devices from the 2200 series and why it's the only one that's marketed for " Engineering and science student labs". Sounds a bit like this was not meant for serious work...

I guess it is marketed towards student labs because it does not have 'professional' remote connections, i.e. GPIB or LXI.

GPIB is available on 2200, 2220 and 2230. 2231 does not have GPIB.

Selector guide has options and features.
http://www.keithley.com/products/dcac/highspeedpower/programmablemulti/?path=2230-30-1/Documents#6
working instruments :Keithley 260,261,2750,7708, 2000 (calibrated), 2015, 236, 237, 238, 147, 220,  Rigol DG1032  PAR Model 128 Lock-In amplifier, Fluke 332A, Gen Res 4107 KVD, 4107D KVD, Fluke 731B X2 (calibrated), Fluke 5450A (calibrated)
 

Offline amc184

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Re: Keithley 2231A-30-3 affordable triple supply. Any experiences?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2015, 08:02:29 am »
Looking closely, I think the 2231A is designed and made by ITECH, whereas the other models are physically quite different, and may be an actual Keithley / Tektronix design.   It looks like a IT6322A with a new keypad layout, but the handle and front bezel looks like one from the IT6900A series.

There's nothing wrong with that, as ITECH makes good gear.  Just be aware that there might be a cheaper version with a different name on the front, depending on what's available in your market.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 08:06:44 am by amc184 »
 

Offline blackbird

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Re: Keithley 2231A-30-3 affordable triple supply. Any experiences?
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2015, 09:41:28 am »
GPIB is available on 2200, 2220 and 2230. 2231 does not have GPIB.

I was referring to the 2231  ;)
 

Offline 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Keithley 2231A-30-3 affordable triple supply. Any experiences?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2015, 07:54:37 pm »
Not this particular one. I have used the 2220-30-1 2230-30-1. I wrote a Labview app for the 2220-30-1 and a python app for the 2230-30-1. These power supplies are used by big name companies in their laboratories. 
Dumb question, but if you just connect the 2220 or 2230 to the PC via USB (without USBTMC drivers), is it recognized as UART and you can send simply serial commands without all NI-VISA stuff?
I figure the USB adapter for the 2231 is essentially an isolated TTL-RS232 to USB device and the manual says you need to configure 9600 baud on the PC side. Which sounds as if I would use just a self made TTL-RS232-USB adapter, I could send serial commands directly to the device without all the NI-VISA overhead.
Trying is the first step towards failure - Homer J. Simpson
 

Offline VintageNut

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Re: Keithley 2231A-30-3 affordable triple supply. Any experiences?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2015, 11:22:37 pm »
Not this particular one. I have used the 2220-30-1 2230-30-1. I wrote a Labview app for the 2220-30-1 and a python app for the 2230-30-1. These power supplies are used by big name companies in their laboratories. 
Dumb question, but if you just connect the 2220 or 2230 to the PC via USB (without USBTMC drivers), is it recognized as UART and you can send simply serial commands without all NI-VISA stuff?
I figure the USB adapter for the 2231 is essentially an isolated TTL-RS232 to USB device and the manual says you need to configure 9600 baud on the PC side. Which sounds as if I would use just a self made TTL-RS232-USB adapter, I could send serial commands directly to the device without all the NI-VISA overhead.

What would be the compelling reason to do this?
working instruments :Keithley 260,261,2750,7708, 2000 (calibrated), 2015, 236, 237, 238, 147, 220,  Rigol DG1032  PAR Model 128 Lock-In amplifier, Fluke 332A, Gen Res 4107 KVD, 4107D KVD, Fluke 731B X2 (calibrated), Fluke 5450A (calibrated)
 

Offline 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Keithley 2231A-30-3 affordable triple supply. Any experiences?
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2015, 11:34:51 pm »
Well, I've been through NI-VISA installations at work and I neither like the hundreds of MB installations from different vendors on one top of the other nor the connection wizard etc. running all the time in the background. At work, I have to live with that. At home, I would prefer simplicity.
Besides, a serial connection is easy to handle in Java so you can have a platform independent small tool that doesn't need any drivers, runtimes etc.
Trying is the first step towards failure - Homer J. Simpson
 

Offline ashishg77

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Re: Keithley 2231A-30-3 affordable triple supply. Any experiences?
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2017, 12:37:05 am »
Hi,Can you please send me the Labview VI for sweeping the voltages. I am trying to make one but i cant get any response from the instrument. I cant turn it into remote mode. I am using the commands in the manual but it doesnt work. i dont know why?
 


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