Switch Control Unit For automation Test Setup

Thread Starter

michael gre

Joined Jan 23, 2018
Hey, im trying to build a setup to test my card and i want to make it automatic. i used in the past a device called HP3488A, which is a switch control unit which has slots to connect mux's or VHF's and i can connect it to the computer through GPIB and switch the test points to the dmm or scope and i close the specific switch i want to connect a wanted test point according to the test i'm running, and that way i can write a script to control the switches in the mux to make a testing setup automatic.
But, i heard the company stopped producing this devices and i don't have the old one today. i can't find anything similar so i hope maybe someone here can help to find something or giving a different solution.
I want to be able to switch between a couple of test points(with low current about 500mA) and to switch between two or more rf connectors and to control those switches from my computer.

i'm attaching a scheme of how it supposed to look

thanks in advance.


Joined Jan 15, 2015
A little late here but the HP3488A used the HPIB interface and the base mainframe was the HP3488A. Here is an old data sheet info sheet. HP made a wide range of board test systems. Board test systems we called a bed of nails. Sounds like you need a MUX card which will MUX whatever signals you want to scan through. The idea being the installed switch and control modules were designed for the signals you wanted to measure and passed out. If you are looking to for example test production boards If you choose a refurb unit just make sure the installed hardware is what you want, see the linked data sheet. HP > Agilent > Keysight still make a wide range of board test systems and UMATE (Universal Modular Automated Test Equipment) as well as other manufacturers. You have the UUT (Unit Under Test) followed by a MUX for switching test points followed by scope, DMM, Counter, and whatever test equipment to measure whatever you have. Put in your Pass / Fail criteria and setermine what you want your software routine to do.

Again, problem with a refurb is you need to know what's in the mainframe. Also, the early units were the HBIB connectors. I may have seen some in my basement years ago. Been years but we did a lot of programming using HP Vee which became Agilent Vee and then Keysight Vee no clue if it is still used today. As I recall it was a graphical data flow software.