Keysight - Data Logging and Digitizing Using a Digital Multimeter

Our thanks to Agilent for allowing us to reprint the following article.

Not all data logging or digitizing applications require multiple channels or the unique features readily available on products designed specifically for those tasks. In cases where you need to make measurements from a single source, the right tool for the job can be a digital multimeter (DMM) that you have readily available and already know how to use. Understanding how to use the features commonly available in DMMs and utilizing some of the advanced features found in more sophisticated meters can help you make the measurements you want and get the results you need in less time and with less hassle.

Evaluating settling times for a current shunt

A production engineer was tasked with characterizing the performance of a current shunt with temperature variation. As the current shunt changed temperature, the voltage drop varied slightly. This variation contributed to the system error budget, and it needed to be characterized to maintain high quality and confidence in the production test system. The engineer placed the current shunt in an environmental chamber to vary the temperature and used the Agilent 34410A DMM to measure the voltage drop across the shunt. The engineer configured the 34410A using the “Data Log” key on the front panel to be making measurements, and when the progress bar on the second display showed the test was done, the engineer unplugged the instrument and carried it back to the computer to read the measurements from non-volatile memory into a spreadsheet. The test was completed and the data analyzed in less time than it would have take to write a program.

Memory and Reading Rate
When you use a DMM for simple data logging or digitizing, you need to consider two questions: “Can it achieve my desired reading rate?” and “Can it store all of my measurements?”...

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