Author Topic: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B  (Read 49552 times)

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Offline mtdoc

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #75 on: February 24, 2016, 03:58:57 am »
My unit arrived today. No knob, but blue tape on the side said it was working -- and it is working. Bright, even display, checked some current & voltage settings. Control buttons all work ok.

Yeah, mine had one of the pieces of blue tape as well.  Worked right away - no jumper change to 120V needed.
I haven't had a chance to check the accuracy yet.
 

Offline stuartk

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #76 on: February 25, 2016, 02:56:28 am »
I received mine also today. Display at 80% brightness, no knob but otherwise cosmetically OK. Minor scuffing of the display.

It had a blue sticker on it that said working and it worked out of the box fine. The fan is noisy though.

I think I'm going to call Keysight for a set of feet and a knob.

Any suggestions for where to get a new 2410ML-04W  fan? They seem pretty pricey.

Anyone have leads on binding posts that fit into the front of the unit?

Stuart
 

Offline macboy

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #77 on: February 25, 2016, 02:18:07 pm »
...I think I'm going to call Keysight for a set of feet and a knob.
...
Anyone have leads on binding posts that fit into the front of the unit?

Stuart
Maybe people here would be interested in a group buy for the knob and possibly feet. That would avoid minimum order issues and probably reduce shipping costs (even after mailing out to individuals).

As for the front panel holes, those are for BNC plugs such as used with the 33120A arb generator:

As you can see, the layout of the front panel including buttons is identical. I'm not saying you won't find binding posts that fit, but I don't think they were designed for them.

Mine arrived yesterday, through the Global shipping program. It was in rough condition. The PCB of the display board was dislodged, so the buttons were all recessed and impossible to push. The display lens was very scuffed, almost like someone cleaned it with fine sandpaper, there was a large 8"x10" patch of sticker residue on the top. And the inside is completely caked with brown dust. You can't see anything through it. Just brown PCBs. Yuck. I dismantled the front panel and cleaned the switch membrane and plastics with soap and water. I removed and polished the lens the best I could (not bad). A citrus cleaner removed the giant patch of sticker residue, then IPA removed the citrus oil. I removed some dust but the rest will have to wait, that is a big job. The VFD is showing some age with slightly dimmed segments, but overall it is fine. No knob. It is HP branded, not Agilent like mtdoc's lucky score. Mine was labelled as working and it is. The output is within 0.1%. Mine did not come with the output connector, but did have the INH/FLT connector, which I re-purposed to the output (it is only 4 position, so no ground connection).
 

Online nctnico

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #78 on: February 25, 2016, 02:44:23 pm »
I have attached some 2.5mm^2 silicone leads with 4mm banana sockets to the rear plug. Front posts would be nice but to do it right you'd also want the sense connections on the front. Perhaps even a switch to select between local and remote sensing. The current is quite low to small posts would be sufficient.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline stuartk

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #79 on: February 25, 2016, 03:59:55 pm »
I have an SMD unit manufactured in 2003. Some of the older ones are through hole construction. Much of the PCB is un-populated, presumably for better models.

I opened mine up and cleared out a small spider web near the fan and dust over the fan and heat sink. I blew some crap out of it, fan is less noisy now.

I reconfigured the transformer lugs for 120 VAC operation.

There are only 2 post spots on the front panel, so to run both output and sense it would require 2 female BNC connectors as macboy is suggesting, instead of banana posts which would only give output.

I took a cursory look at the power PCB without removing the top and I didn't see any place to connect the outputs. It would require removing the PCB and soldering to the bottom of it.
 

Offline SKPang

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #80 on: February 25, 2016, 04:52:59 pm »
Mine arrived today but it was in pretty bad shape. The plastic at the rear was bent, no knob and sticky power switch.

Cleaned the unit up and fixed the sticky power switch. Changed the input voltage to 230V and power it up.

It works fine, the fan is a bit noisy. Can't really complain much for $55. Nice addition to the lab gear.

Now time to get a new knob.
 

Offline ve7xen

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #81 on: February 25, 2016, 06:37:04 pm »
Maybe people here would be interested in a group buy for the knob and possibly feet. That would avoid minimum order issues and probably reduce shipping costs (even after mailing out to individuals).
I would likely be interested, but mine hasn't arrived yet, so will have to see what kind of shape it's in...

Canada Post's tracker says it should arrive tomorrow, but they are often a day optimistic.
73 de VE7XEN
 

Online bson

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #82 on: February 26, 2016, 08:34:35 am »
The 66312 has front panel outputs (though the sense inputs are in the rear) and it should be a simple matter to install a pair of binding posts.
 

Offline ve7xen

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #83 on: February 26, 2016, 09:42:40 am »
Went looking for the 66312 binding posts part numbers and figured I'd grab some others from the 66311 in case of a potential group buy or general interest for those wanting replacement parts. The binding posts are a tad on the pricey side... but I figured the information might be useful anyway. Prices in CAD.

Binding Post - 1510-0091 - $29.02
Binding Post - 1510-0090 - $15.39 - Half price, this one looks identical but isn't red or listed on the BOM

The binding posts seem to be mounted on a PCB with a couple low-value capacitors and a 1R resistor. It's not clear if the PCB is for structure or if the posts mount solidly to the chassis themselves. The PCB is available as part number 06611-60022 for $72.54.

Other useful parts, given the condition of people's units:

Fan Assy - 5065-7092 - $155 (hahahaha right)
Knob - 33120-87401 - $3.67
Rear Bezel - 03478-88304 - $22.45
Foot (x4) - 5041-8801 - $19.00
5 position terminal block (output) - 0360-2604 - $19.00 (or get two from Mouser for less, incl. shipping...)
Front window - 5080-2617 - $10.19

I'm surprised at the reasonable pricing, TBH. Not sure how painful it is to order, I think there is an automated process in the US, but in Canada it seems I need to call them...
73 de VE7XEN
 

Offline stuartk

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #84 on: February 26, 2016, 03:10:02 pm »
The software looks really interesting and would make this meter more useful:

http://www.keysight.com/en/pd-852417-pn-14565B/device-characterization-software-with-test-automation?nid=-536902309.389074.00&cc=CA&lc=eng

However at $2,779 CDN I'd have to be smoking crack to buy it.....  |O
 

Offline SKPang

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #85 on: February 26, 2016, 03:55:08 pm »
Got my terminal block today from Farnell / element 14.

5way 5.08mm Phoenix contact. Order code : 3705389 £2.69 + VAT
4way 5.08mm Phoenix contact. Order code : 3705377 £2.18 + VAT

There are some cheaper make but I like to stick with Phoenix.

 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #86 on: February 26, 2016, 05:29:46 pm »
Not sure how painful it is to order, I think there is an automated process in the US, but in Canada it seems I need to call them...

To order online in the U.S. requires a valid business email domain and valid matching business address for shipping and billing. I tried once using my work email and home address for billing and they rejected it. Maybe I could have called to make it happen but it wasn't worth the effort. I'm not sure how they benefit from making it so restrictive.
 

Offline ve7xen

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #87 on: February 26, 2016, 08:58:56 pm »
My unit has arrived. Looks like similar condition to others - missing rear bezel and knob, fairly dirty, and the front window is pretty badly scratched, though doesn't hamper use. There is a toggle switch on the rear marked AC-I CAL that also seems to be physically broken (the toggle just floats around). Shows -50mA with no load so probably needs calibration.
73 de VE7XEN
 

Online TheSteve

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #88 on: February 26, 2016, 09:06:04 pm »
Sounds like an interesting user added mod that needs to be removed.

I will be doing a Keysight parts order soon if you need a knob ve7xen - however I'm in Langley and with the cost of fuel/tolls it probably wouldn't be worth your time.
VE7FM
 

Offline ve7xen

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #89 on: February 26, 2016, 09:32:04 pm »
Sounds like an interesting user added mod that needs to be removed.
It certainly doesn't look user-added, as the label seems to be printed on the same sticker as all the other rear-panel markings (see attached). I can't find any reference to it in the service or user manuals, or the current product info though. The closest thing I found was the inhibit calibration switch (I CAL), but the AC bit is confusing. Most likely this is what it is though, as it says 'hold to cal'. I wonder if this is a discontinued orderable option? My unit is HP marked so it must be fairly old.

Quote
I will be doing a Keysight parts order soon if you need a knob ve7xen - however I'm in Langley and with the cost of fuel/tolls it probably wouldn't be worth your time.
I might take you up on that if you don't mind just mailing a couple items to me by post. I'll PM you.
73 de VE7XEN
 

Online TheSteve

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #90 on: February 26, 2016, 09:52:11 pm »
Yep, that has got to be a factory option. I see you also have the local/remote sense switch. I am guessing your board is through-hole instead of surface mount.
VE7FM
 

Offline stuartk

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #91 on: February 26, 2016, 09:56:13 pm »
I'm not sure when they switched from through hole to surface mount. Look at the first 2 digits of your serial number and add 1960. This gives you the year of manufacture. The next 2 digits are the week.

My first 4 digits are 4300, meaning manufactured in 2003, week 0
 

Offline ve7xen

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #92 on: February 26, 2016, 10:02:15 pm »
Mine is 1998/44.
73 de VE7XEN
 

Online bson

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #93 on: February 27, 2016, 02:34:53 am »
Not sure how painful it is to order, I think there is an automated process in the US, but in Canada it seems I need to call them...
They're a complete pain in the arse in the U.S. - you have to get a quote for the $3.67 knob, then because they don't have a checkout system you have to either telephone or telefax (yeah, right, remember those things?) payment information like a credit card.  The net result it takes someone there 15-20 min to take your order, spell out your shipping address, etc 7 times to make sure there are no errors, for a sub $5 sale.  They waste both their own and your time, either of which amounts to a lot more than than the price of a plastic knob.  They're just not in the modern epoch.
 

Offline ve7xen

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #94 on: February 28, 2016, 05:58:23 am »
So I've done some additional testing/calibration, and my box does great as a power supply, well within spec per the verification procedure after calibration. However the current sink seems to have failed short. Though this would seem to short across the output rails, so perhaps it is part of the control circuitry for the 'downprogrammer' that's the problem.

In trying to track this down I'm finding this is by far the worst piece of HP test equipment to work on I've ever seen. All the component designators are hidden under the components, many of the test points called out in the service manual are unreachable with normal probes, and no schematic or component placement diagram seems to be available. It looks like I'm going to have to remove the A1 board to do further testing, which is also a much more arduous chore than most HP gear.

Ah well, at least it makes a great power supply if nothing else.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 05:59:59 am by ve7xen »
73 de VE7XEN
 

Online nctnico

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #95 on: February 28, 2016, 03:13:29 pm »
For who still wants one: it seems the seller has another 18 pieces for sale
http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-Agilent-Keysight-66311B-Mobile-Communications-DC-Source-/272149540406
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline macboy

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #96 on: February 28, 2016, 08:18:03 pm »
So I've done some additional testing/calibration, and my box does great as a power supply, well within spec per the verification procedure after calibration. However the current sink seems to have failed short. Though this would seem to short across the output rails, so perhaps it is part of the control circuitry for the 'downprogrammer' that's the problem.

In trying to track this down I'm finding this is by far the worst piece of HP test equipment to work on I've ever seen. All the component designators are hidden under the components, many of the test points called out in the service manual are unreachable with normal probes, and no schematic or component placement diagram seems to be available. It looks like I'm going to have to remove the A1 board to do further testing, which is also a much more arduous chore than most HP gear.

Ah well, at least it makes a great power supply if nothing else.
Keep in mind that while it can sink current, it is not programmable. The current sink will be around 1 to 2.5 A (depending on voltage at output terminals), regardless of programmed current limit.
 

Offline amc184

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #97 on: February 29, 2016, 05:14:26 am »
Quote
Keep in mind that while it can sink current, it is not programmable. The current sink will be around 1 to 2.5 A (depending on voltage at output terminals), regardless of programmed current limit.

Damn, that's pretty disappointing.

I've been following this thread after I bought a similar instrument from Keithley, the 2304A.  The 2304A's current sinking is programmable, you can set it for, say, 0V, 10mA, and it will act as a 10mA load (max sink is 3A).  They're such similar devices that I'd assumed they had the same features.  Those who are after a low power, high accuracy programmable load (a don't mind a rubbish user interface), keep the 2304A in mind, they sometimes go cheap.
 

Offline gslick

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #98 on: February 29, 2016, 07:24:16 am »
Quote
Keep in mind that while it can sink current, it is not programmable. The current sink will be around 1 to 2.5 A (depending on voltage at output terminals), regardless of programmed current limit.

Damn, that's pretty disappointing.

I've been following this thread after I bought a similar instrument from Keithley, the 2304A.  The 2304A's current sinking is programmable, you can set it for, say, 0V, 10mA, and it will act as a 10mA load (max sink is 3A).  They're such similar devices that I'd assumed they had the same features.  Those who are after a low power, high accuracy programmable load (a don't mind a rubbish user interface), keep the 2304A in mind, they sometimes go cheap.

There are other HP/Agilent supplies which are programmable for the current sink level. For example the 6632B which is 20V / 5A, where the current sink level isn't separately programmable from the current source level, the sink level matches the programmed source level. Yes it's too bad the 66309/66311 do not also have that feature.
 

Offline stuartk

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Re: My poor mans SMU - The Agilent 66311B
« Reply #99 on: February 29, 2016, 02:58:28 pm »
So it seems that Keysight Canada has a minimum $50 order.   :(
I'm not certain what shipping is

The parts I need are:

Feet: 5041-8801 $19 CAD (I'm assuming that it contains 4 feet, not 1 foot although you never know) The fellow at Keysight told me he didn't know if it was 1 foot or 4 feet as the parts don't show up on their system. He said it's an Agilent product and referred me to Agilent who said that it's a Keysight device and part and they don't sell parts.... |O

Knob:33120-87401 $3.67

Is anyone coordinating a group buy to get over the minimum?

I'm certainly happy to pay for a share of the order + shipping + handling + pain and suffering

Stuart
 


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