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Simultaneous data logging from DMM and ammeter

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shouse
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Joined: June 13th, 2016, 9:47 am
Country: United States

Simultaneous data logging from DMM and ammeter

Post by shouse » February 4th, 2017, 11:34 am

Hello!

I am looking to perform a series of experiments where in each one I will need to be measuring the output signal from two different devices simultaneously (i.e., not the same circuit, they are completely distinct). I was wondering if you had any recommendations for how to perform the synchronized acquisition and data logging in a non-headache-inducing way. I would like to match up their resulting data point-by-point. Details are below:

Signals: (test #1) voltage (in the 5-20 V range) and current (in the 1-1000 pA range), and (#2) current and current
Sample rate and duration: Some tests will have a rate of 1 Hz for a few hours, others will be ~30 Hz for 1-2 minutes.

I have access to a 6485 ammeter, and can rent a 2010 DMM for pretty cheap. I have RS232 serial-to-usb adapters to connect them to my computer. I have used the 6485 with ExceLINX before, but that does not support simultaneous acquisition from multiple meters, as far as I can tell. It is not clear from its description whether Kickstart can do this, but it doesn't appear to support those models. I have access to LabView 2015, and believe I've located the appropriate drivers, but from what I'm reading it may be quite a trial-and-error headache to get everything to play nicely?

I'll be renting a DMM and another ammeter anyways (I selected the 6485 and 2010 due to availability and the ability to connect via serial, since I don't have a GPIB adapter), but if my life will be made much easier/more reliable using different models, I can check into their availability.

Thank you for any suggestions!

Andrea C
Keithley Applications
Keithley Applications
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Re: Simultaneous data logging from DMM and ammeter

Post by Andrea C » February 6th, 2017, 12:20 pm

When you say simultaneous, how much time delta could you tolerate? 100 milliseconds?

Software methods to synchronize are not advised unless your can tolerate a lot of time variation.
A communication bus that supports some form of triggering would be advised.
Or use the hardware triggers that each instrument might have and sync them up with those.

shouse
Posts: 2
Joined: June 13th, 2016, 9:47 am
Country: United States

Re: Simultaneous data logging from DMM and ammeter

Post by shouse » February 7th, 2017, 9:25 am

Thank you for the response, Andrea!

A time delta on the order of the sampling rates should be good, so something like 100 ms would be fine. Does that fall under the "a lot of time variation" category? What is the typical time delta for software methods?

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