By: Robert Green, Senior Market Development Manager at Keithley, a Tektronix Company
If you grew up in the ‘60s and ‘70s like I did, you whiled away many hours following the adventures of the crew of the Starship Enterprise. Every once in a while, somebody from a bad part of the quadrant (or an interstellar anomaly) would show up and put the starship and crew in terrible danger. Eventually, this would force Captain Kirk to call down to his chief engineer, “Damn it, Scotty, we need more power!” You know, in some ways, an engineer’s life is still a lot like this; once in a while, everybody is going to need a lot more power than they ever thought they would.
In fact, making sure you have the power you need when you need it is a big part of configuring a complex automated test system. To minimize this complexity and ensure the final system offers the accuracy and test throughput the application demands, you need power supplies that are adaptable to a variety of tasks, like our new 850W Series 2268 DC Power Supplies. They combine the highest available maximum power output in the Tektronix-Keithley power supply line with a compact form factor that’s ideal for saving space when building high density automated test systems.
All six Series 2268 models give test system builders a lot to like when configuring large systems, including the most total power (850W) in the smallest package (1U high by a half-rack wide). This minimizes the test rack space required and overall test system size. Only the Series 2268 power supplies offer outputs higher than 760W in a compact, half-rack enclosure; competitive units takes up a full rack space. Series 2268 supplies also offer a wide choice of ranges with maximum voltage and current outputs from 20V and 42A to 150V and 5.6A.
Five standard digital interfaces (LAN, USB, GPIB, RS-232, and RS-485) are built in to the Series 2268 to allow the test system designer to choose the optimum interface for the application. We also included separate 15V and 5V analog control outputs for controlling relays and for interfacing with test fixtures and component handlers. This eliminates the need for additional instrumentation in the test system. For applications that require controlling the supply’s output with analog signals, the Series 2268’s isolated analog inputs minimize potential ground loops. Other vendors’ supplies don’t offer this advantage.
An auto sequence program mode gives the Series 2268 supplies the built-in intelligence needed to execute lists of commands. That lets you download multiple commands, store them in memory, and execute them using a single command from the controller. The program can be repeated a specific number of times or cycled continuously. This saves test time by eliminating the delays involved in sending individual commands over a PC bus.
Need to build really big systems? You can control up to 30 Series 2268 supplies through a single interface by linking all of them together through their RS-485 interfaces. That lets you control all the supplies through a master unit, which can use any of the five standard PC interfaces, which simplifies managing multiple power supplies.
For applications that require a higher voltage or current output than a single supply can produce, you can connect two Series 2268 power supplies in series or up to four of them in parallel to produce the level of output you need.
A foldback mode with programmable delay shuts down the output on transitions between constant voltage and constant current operation to protect voltage- or current-sensitive devices.
In addition to the foldback mode, the Series 2268 supplies provide numerous safety features designed to protect the load and the supply, including over-voltage and under-voltage protection, over-current protection, over-temperature protection, loop protection for multiple-supply configurations, and a hardware output interlock.
Even with all the added features they offer, the U.S. list price for all Series 2268 power supplies is just $2500, which is lower than other supplies with less power and without many of the features test system builders need most.
To learn more about what the Series 2268 offers when you’re exploring the final testing frontier, download our online datasheet. If you have any questions about how they can make your job easier, ask them in the comments below.
About the author:
Robert Green is a senior market development manager at Keithley Instruments, Cleveland, Ohio, which is part of the Tektronix test and measurement portfolio. During his career at Keithley, Green has been involved in the definition and introduction of a wide range of instrumentation. He holds a BS in electrical engineering from Cornell University and an MS in electrical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.