Talk me out of a new toy - Rigol DP832 power supply

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by MrSoftware, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. MrSoftware

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 29, 2013
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    Someone please talk some sense into me. I'm putting way too much thought into a Rigol DP832 bench power supply that I probably don't need. For a hobbyist level person, is there any reason why I should or should not have this? How about if I ignore the price? I have a degree in computer engineering, but I've worked 99% in software my entire professional career (the last almost 20 years) and I'm trying to re-learn the hardware side for fun, and to make a few bucks creating widgets as a fun side job. Lower voltage stuff; arduinos, stepper motors, radios, etc.. fun stuff. As I get back into it, are there any real reasons that I would be more productive with this type of power supply, vs. a simple one knob adjustable voltage power supply? I realize it's more convenient than having to use a couple DMM's to measure power, but any other reasons?
     
  2. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    No hobbyist needs a $450 power supply. Just use wall warts, build something using an ATX power supply, or roll your own.

    If you were really in to electronics, you'd be building your own.
     
  3. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    Have you ever looked on EBay for used power supplies?? You can easily beat this deal by a factor of 4 on a used brand name power supple. Besides......IT IS JUST A POWER SUPPLY...........they have been making them for years with very few changes. I suggest you buy a $100 used power supply and spend the other $350 on a modern O-Scope like a Rigol DS1052E ($329). Two birds, one stone.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
  4. MrSoftware

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 29, 2013
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    Great idea on the used stuff, I'll take a look. Too late on the oscilloscope though, I picked up a Rigol DS2072a and it has been great! :)
     
  5. MrSoftware

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 29, 2013
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    I think I came to the same conclusion, which is why I'm having trouble justifying it myself and ended up posting here... In the professional world, what types of things would you need such a precise power supply for? One of my projects at work was an ultra low power radio project (operate for months on batteries), but we used multi meters to measure the power consumption. I guess having it built into the power supply just makes it more convenient?

    Building my own is on my ToDo list, I just keep getting distracted by more interesting projects. :)
     
  6. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    I recently bought an HP6337A, triple power supply, 0-18V @ 1A, +-20 @ .5A, for $25 plus shipping. It is the smallest power supply on my bench. It is a nice small package and works great. I actually had my grandson in mind when I bought it. (Wishful thinking). This would be a GREAT power supply for a new experimenter. Can you find deals like this every day?? No. Do they come alone periodically? YES. You just have to search EBay every so often. If you are willing to a little searching and are patience you can stock your bench with world class equipment for almost pennies on the dollar.
     
  7. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    When I was practicing in the field, we only cared about voltage and current capabilities. It was a given that ripple wouldn't be a consideration. Most had an analog meter (showing my age now) that was switchable between volts and amps. We rarely used a voltmeter to check the voltage because our circuits were designed to tolerate reasonable variations; so a calibrated supply with analog meter was sufficient.

    The only times I used a "fancy" power supply was when I was building test systems using a computer to control HPIB enabled power supplies and voltmeters.
    The first power supply I built didn't have any meters. Having them is convenient, but they're in no way an absolute necessity.
     
  8. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    The power supply I use the most these days is a Tek PS503 triple supply (+/-20V@1A, 5V@1A, no meters) installed in a TM504 mainframe with a DVM and a couple signal generators. I can mix and match whatever combination of counters, signal generators, power supplies, DVMs, or scopes that suit what I'm working on.
     
  9. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    EEK! Measuring power is not necessarily trivial when you're interested in the "sleep current" of a microprocessor. I'll take one for Christmas.
     
  10. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    The TM5oo chassis's are really cool, and a lot of bang for the buck. I have two with several plug-ins.

    No kidding. I worked on a PIC controller project that ran on one lithium battery, spec life was 10 years. Very interesting science. I had to find a micro-voltmeter to measure the current draw from the battery.
     
  11. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Not in my world. When I measure low power, I'm in the nanoamp range. AFIK there is no bench supply that even measures microamps.
     
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