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Programmable power supply as arbitrary function generator?

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calzap:
I've seen suggestions for using a programmable power supply as a arbitrary function generator, but has anyone actually done it with low/moderately priced units?  It appears it can be done with programmable Aglients and the extensive software libraries Agilent has available, but what about Korads or Attens or Mastechs or even BKs or Insteks or TTIs?  Presumably, the frequency range would be limited, but even a few kHz would be useful.

I've tried to find info on the company-supplied software available for a number of these units and usually can't.  In a couple of cases I was able to find info, and the software is limited to using the computer to set parameters or logging changes, but nothing for programming changes in output over time.  The manuals for most of these units do give the commands for setting parameters, so one could write software to change output over time, but it would be a big job.  I've done a brief search to look for existing third party software to do this to no avail.  One spec that seems to be universally absent from these units is the response time to computer-generated commands.  This spec would be one determinant of the upper frequency limit in using them as computer-driven function generators.

One other difficulty in using a DC PPSU as an arb is that most of them can't reverse polarity, so no true AC output w/o a hardware trick or two.

Comments?

Mike
California, USA

Rerouter:
the biggest issue you will face is that for a single quadrant power supply, it will need a feature known as active down-programming, essentially a load to pull the output back down with a small or no load attached,

Psi:
If building a psu yourself high current opamps work well for the output driver.
That way you can source + sink and produce AC signals using +/-

calzap:
Rerouter,

I guess I need some education on PPSUs.  Don't own one, but am thinking about buying one.  The two PSUs I have now, which are only voltage controllers, drop their voltage instantly if I turn the knob counterclockwise, regardless of load.  Are you saying this isn't the case with PPSUs?

Mike

Rerouter:
it is the case, but when your wanted a few KHz of bandwidth, the bleed resistor or possibly small current source inside that currently pulls it down will be far from keeping up,

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