CLEVELAND In the data-acquisition world, where the applications are as numerous as the seeds on a sunflower, variety and flexibility in equipment are a given. With the introduction of the Integra series Model 2700 multimeter/data-acquisition system, Keithley Instruments claims to have widened the scope of choices.
The Model 2700 is pitched as an alternative to benchtop data loggers and recorders, plug-in cards and custom-assembled systems. Packaged in a half-rack chassis, the unit is said to combine the functionality and high channel count of a data logger with the convenience, accuracy and traceability of a 6-1/2-digit digital multimeter, for the price of a higher-end PC plug-in board.
"Think of the unit in terms of performance per square foot," said Mark Cejer, manager of product marketing for Keithley. He further described the system as "an example of how the industry is providing more and more functionality in less and less volume."
To measure up to that description, the Model 2700 packs up to 80 differential channels of measurement and control into its sparse frame. It weighs in with base pricing of $1,295, or $35/channel fully configured.
As an integrated, PC-based mini-ATE system, the unit requires less space, costs less and is more easily installed than customized rack systems, according to Keithley. And compared with most standalone loggers, it is claimed to offer higher accuracy, stability and resolution, at half the cost or less.
Going one up on plug-ins, the Keithley unit offers traceable accuracy. Further, users do not have to open their PCs to install it, nor do they have to configure external signal conditioning, gain settings or scaling.
Built-in mainframe signal conditioning can handle inputs up to 1,000 V (300 V, with plug-in modules). Two card slots are currently available, accepting a wide variety of input modules, with channel counts ranging from 20 up to 80.
The modules can, for example, apply stimuli to devices under test, route signals, control components or make more than 13 different types of measurements.
Connections are made via rugged D-subminiature connectors or oversized screw terminal blocks, and DMM-like pushbuttons control the data collection or troubleshooting action. Front inputs are available as well.
High-performance features include programmable scan lists, a 50,000-point memory buffer, built-in scaling and digital I/O, all aimed at optimizing system throughput in automated test applications. Communication with the personal computer takes place via GPIB or RS-232.
The software portion of Keithley's instrument is Active-X-based and therefore brings with it the familiar point-and-click Windows environment for its data-analysis functions. LabView and TestPoint drivers are included.
Five universal input modules are initially available. They can be mixed and matched, and they include mixed-signal and digital features. The modules range in price from $395 for a 20-channel multiplexer to $995 for a 32-channel high-speed multiplexer.
CALL (888) 534-8453
EETInfo No. 611