Author Topic: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements  (Read 5174 times)

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Offline HighVoltage

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Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« on: January 08, 2017, 01:18:10 am »
I bought two of these very small Keysight E36103A PSU's from our fellow forum member Faith and my curiosity required me to open one up and see the inside of Keysights small PSU series.

Here are some pictures of the tear down.
Some measurements will follow.

« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 01:20:09 am by HighVoltage »
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight 36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2017, 01:19:29 am »
More pictures from the inside.
Mostly noticeable is the relative huge toridal transformer.

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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2017, 01:24:47 am »
It is interesting to note, that all pictures I found online from Keysight have the screw type binding post to be used with spade connectors.
But the one I got hat low cost -only plug in- 4 mm banana plug connectors.

- Picture 1 is from Keysight
- Picture 2 is from my E36103A
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2017, 01:40:23 am »
No fan noise, even at 2A, the PSU is very quiet.
The display is easy to read from a good distance and the interface is much better, compared to older Agilent PSU's
 

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Offline TiN

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2017, 01:47:15 am »
Nice snatch. I believe seller mentioned that shrouded terminals are an option for smaller depth :).
Bleed resistor in place of capacitor looks funny. Moar photos..  :-/O

Unpopulated PLCC and two footprints nearby STM MCU are for GPIB. :)
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2017, 02:06:03 am »
Nice snatch. I believe seller mentioned that shrouded terminals are an option for smaller depth :).
Bleed resistor in place of capacitor looks funny. Moar photos..  :-/O

Unpopulated PLCC and two footprints nearby STM MCU are for GPIB. :)

Yes, the user guide shows option J01 as "recessed binding post" configuration.
May be this option cost even more!

The power inductor looks really cheap
Spot welding of the housing looks not good, at least not Keysight quality
Values are 0.02 Ohm and 382 uH
This inductor is only half way potted in its housing, hmm....

Interesting, your observation for GPIB option.
May be this PCB is used for other PSU's as well, the housing has no option for a GPIB connector.

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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2017, 02:14:23 am »
Some more pictures of the I/O board with USB and LAN connector
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2017, 02:18:59 am »
Here is the connection of the inductor to the power board
The inductor is connected to J101

On the bottom board we see a C101 missing, hmmm
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2017, 02:24:01 am »
And here is the output to the binding posts

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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2017, 02:52:10 am »
The LXI web interface works really well and right away with the "Keysight" password.

Taken control from this interface, everything works, all knobs are active.
The response is fast and all seems workable.

But, taking a screenshot is a joke.
There is this nice "screenshoot" (Spelling mistake by Keysight on purpose?) button
But it saves the screen as a .BMP file, so small you need a microscope to look at it.
Why?



« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 07:41:22 pm by HighVoltage »
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Offline enz

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2017, 03:38:01 am »
Quote
But it saves the screen as a .BMP file, so small you need a microscope to look at it.
Why?

Most probably because they just copy the data from the front panel display to the bitmap.
And since the front panel display has a resolution of 128x64 pixel, the bitmap file has the same size.

Scaling the data could be difficult because the fonts are stored as bitmap data, not as a vector font.
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2017, 07:37:00 pm »
One of my two E36103A had failed a few weeks ago, showing some random numbers of current, even if nothing was hooked up.

Then I sent it to Keysight for repair under warranty and received a brand new E36103A in exchange.
A big thank you to Keysight for honoring a warranty claim and making a fast exchange.
The new unit came with a new calibration certificate.

But two things are very interesting:

1. My old unit had isolation banana plug receptors and the new one has the nice binding posts
2. Just funny: They placed the new CAL sticker partially right on the display protection film.

Beside this glitch of one of the two PSUs, I am really happy with them and can highly recommend this  Keysight PSU.

Here are some pictures of before and after the exchange.

« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 07:38:52 pm by HighVoltage »
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2017, 12:49:46 am »
I like to buy Keysight, because I do not only get great value but also great customer support, as in this case with an exchange. In addition all my Keysight instruments are nicely integrated with BenchVue. On top of that, I did not pay a full price for the two E36103A. And lastly, if I want to sell a Keysight instrument down the road, I am getting usually a real good amount of money, even if the instrument is may be 10 years old.

Well, back on topic, I just did a few tests with my replacement E36103A and it is just perfectly in specs.
Here I measured the current stability at 2 A, Only 1.25mA Pk/Pk over 2600 readings in 4 wire sense mode.

 
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2017, 01:04:12 am »
Here are some measurements with a current probe, turn ON and OFF
PSU set to 2.000 A CC

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Offline TiN

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2017, 06:48:42 am »
You get your upgrade to proper binding posts, kudos to HPAK.  :-+
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Offline Gandalf_Sr

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2017, 12:06:17 pm »
Thanks for the review, this Keysight PSU is nicely put together and compact but, for a price of over $1,000 (that's what I saw on on eBay and Amazon) there are a lot of other supplies that would seem to me to offer much better bang for your buck, multiple outputs, bigger displays. Now if it were going for $500 then we might be in more reasonable price territory.
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2017, 06:59:26 pm »
You get your upgrade to proper binding posts, kudos to HPAK.  :-+
Now, that I have one of each, I prefer the PSU with the proper screw on binding posts.
Well, Keysight is just amazing, when it comes to customer service!


I had both of the E36103A PSUs running over night at 1A and 2A CC and they are just very stable.

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Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2017, 11:01:34 pm »
Thanks for the review, this Keysight PSU is nicely put together and compact but, for a price of over $1,000 (that's what I saw on on eBay and Amazon) there are a lot of other supplies that would seem to me to offer much better bang for your buck, multiple outputs, bigger displays.
Not if you want better accuracy and low current measurement capability. With a cheaper power supply you'll need to spend extra money if you want to measure the current into a load accurately without causing too much voltage drop. If you are into designing low power (microcontroller) circuits then these or the Keysight E36312A / E36313A are the power supplies to go for.
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Offline anotherlin

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2017, 02:49:51 am »
The 3610x series starts to look kinda expensive if you compare them with the just released 3631x series.
They have multiple outputs, with possible parallels and series connections, low current measurement, and a big color display.
I hope that Keysight would consider dropping the price a bit.
If they made them at around $500 I may grab one.
But again, the 36312 at 1200 euros (add 20% VAT) with all its features, look a much better deal.
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Offline Gandalf_Sr

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2017, 09:42:27 pm »
Not if you want better accuracy and low current measurement capability. With a cheaper power supply you'll need to spend extra money if you want to measure the current into a load accurately without causing too much voltage drop. If you are into designing low power (microcontroller) circuits then these or the Keysight E36312A / E36313A are the power supplies to go for.
If 4 wire voltage sensing at point of delivery and uA current displays are an essential requirement then I suppose I might part with $1,700 for a E36313A but, as a business owner, I have to be realistic about what I can afford. 

I do designs for low current - one of my latest projects is pulling nA at the lowest power settings - a few uA at most so for this, I used a $350 Siglent SPD3303X-E power supply in series with a Keysight 34461A meter; at such low currents, the voltage burden of the current meter in series is insignificant and the Siglent power supply seems to be comparable in terms of accuracy to the Keysight supplies - it certainly works for my needs.

I'm not trying to be contrarian, just pointing out that there are opportunities to meet a requirement and save money when funds are not unlimited and, as you can see, I'm not against paying for good stuff when needed, especially when you consider the awesome level of support that Keysight provides.  I think Highvoltage has already stated that he didn't pay list for his PSUs.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2017, 01:57:02 am »
Not if you want better accuracy and low current measurement capability. With a cheaper power supply you'll need to spend extra money if you want to measure the current into a load accurately without causing too much voltage drop. If you are into designing low power (microcontroller) circuits then these or the Keysight E36312A / E36313A are the power supplies to go for.
If 4 wire voltage sensing at point of delivery and uA current displays are an essential requirement then I suppose I might part with $1,700 for a E36313A but, as a business owner, I have to be realistic about what I can afford. 

I do designs for low current - one of my latest projects is pulling nA at the lowest power settings - a few uA at most so for this, I used a $350 Siglent SPD3303X-E power supply in series with a Keysight 34461A meter; at such low currents, the voltage burden of the current meter in series is insignificant
I wouldn't call a 100 Ohm current sense resistor in series with a power supply insignificant. Many microcontroller/SoC circuits go from several uA to tens of mA (or more) when going from sleep to normal operation. That won't work with 100 Ohm in series because the DMM will need time to switch ranges. This is not considering current surges (Wifi and 'GSM' modems are notorious).
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Offline Simon

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2017, 02:22:27 am »
If 4 wire voltage sensing at point of delivery and uA current displays are an essential requirement then I suppose I might part with $1,700 for a E36313A but, as a business owner, I have to be realistic about what I can afford. 


My TTi QPX1200SP will do 1.2KW with powerflex and can be set in mV and 10mA. If I wanted smaller current mesurements I'd use another measuring device. They also support remote sensing. all for £/$ 1150
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Offline Gandalf_Sr

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2017, 09:29:47 pm »
nctnico  All current meters have a burden voltage, the most expensive one I own, the $1,000 Keysight 34461A, has the following burdens on DC current, for the lowest 100uA range (with 1 nA resolution) which is a resistance of around 100 ohms.  What's your point? 

I suppose that it's useful if a power supply can read the supplied current accurately and still maintain output voltage but how many power supplies have nA resolution/accuracy on their output metering?  With 4 wire sensing, you could put the sense on the load and the supply would regulate to take account of the current meter's burden voltage, I can do that today with an old HP PSU that has remote sensing.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 09:31:59 pm by Gandalf_Sr »
 

Offline Gandalf_Sr

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2017, 09:48:15 pm »
If 4 wire voltage sensing at point of delivery and uA current displays are an essential requirement then I suppose I might part with $1,700 for a E36313A but, as a business owner, I have to be realistic about what I can afford. 


My TTi QPX1200SP will do 1.2KW with powerflex and can be set in mV and 10mA. If I wanted smaller current mesurements I'd use another measuring device. They also support remote sensing. all for £/$ 1150
That PSU is a beast!  It's sold at tequipment.net for $1,500 and you could get a 6% discount with EEVBLOG.

Of late, I am working on designs that are supposed to run for a year on a 225 mAhr CR2032 battery and I often use an actual battery as my supply beacause the battery itself has significant internal resistance.  I designed a 225 kW PSU a while back that had a programmable internal resistance so it could act as a Hybrid vehicle battery simulator.

My point all along has been that selecting the right gear is a "horses for courses" exercise that's often constrained by that fact that you have to work within tight budgets and so there are many ways to get the accuracy you need.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight E36103A PSU, Teardown and Measurements
« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2017, 10:00:50 pm »
nctnico  All current meters have a burden voltage, the most expensive one I own, the $1,000 Keysight 34461A, has the following burdens on DC current, for the lowest 100uA range (with 1 nA resolution) which is a resistance of around 100 ohms.  What's your point? 

I suppose that it's useful if a power supply can read the supplied current accurately and still maintain output voltage but how many power supplies have nA resolution/accuracy on their output metering?  With 4 wire sensing, you could put the sense on the load and the supply would regulate to take account of the current meter's burden voltage, I can do that today with an old HP PSU that has remote sensing.
I'm quite sure that won't work. The sense circuit is designed to compensate for losses in wires which have a low resistance (less than 1 Ohm). If you put a 100 Ohm resistor in series with the output and try to compensate the voltage drop across this resistor you'll get a slow response because the output capacitors need to be charged & discharged. I wouldn't be surprised if you get loop stability problems as well. Dave has designed his uCurrent because DMMs are not the right tool for measuring low currents into dynamic loads like microcontroller circuits.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 10:06:24 pm by nctnico »
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