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

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,860
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?

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
11,223

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MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,860
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!

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,860

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
11,223
In the professional world, what types of things would you need such a precise power supply for?
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.
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?
The first power supply I built didn't have any meters. Having them is convenient, but they're in no way an absolute necessity.

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
11,223
I recently bought an HP6337A, triple power supply, 0-18V @ 1A, +-20 @ .5A, for \$25 plus shipping.
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.

KeepItSimpleStupid

Joined Mar 4, 2014
4,147
EEK! Measuring power is not necessarily trivial when you're interested in the "sleep current" of a microprocessor. I'll take one for Christmas.

Lestraveled

Joined May 19, 2014
1,946
The TM5oo chassis's are really cool, and a lot of bang for the buck. I have two with several plug-ins.

EEK! Measuring power is not necessarily trivial when you're interested in the "sleep current" of a microprocessor.
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.

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,210
we used multi meters to measure the power consumption. I guess having it built into the power supply just makes it more convenient?
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.