Keithley 2380-500-15 & 2380-120-60

Summary

In this article I discuss my ridiculous motivation for buying a new Keithley 2830-120-60 to replace my very functional Keithey 2380-500-15

2380-500-15 & 2380-120-60

While working on the IRDC3894 I spent a significant amount of time using the Keithley 2380 in Constant Current Mode.  The development kit that I was testing was configured to enable 1.2v output at 15A.  In the picture below I am pulling 1A.  You can see the Keithley set to pull 1A and it is actually drawing 0.9998A (plenty close)

While I was testing the setup I would slowly increase the current.  In the picture below you can see that I got to 5.4A with no problem.

But at 5.5A the trouble starts.  In the picture below you can see that I am asking for 5.5A but I am only getting 5.48A

And the gap gets worse as I increase the current.

So I posted on the Keithley site trying to figure out what was happening.  Was the Keithley dead?

And unfortunately there is the answer.  The load has a minimum operating voltage of 4.5v when it is in the 15A mode.

But the 2380-120-60 has a 1.8V operating voltage at 60A

And when I get it plugged in I find that it will happily deliver 16A at 1.2V

And it doesn’t start to roll over until 17A (at 1.2V)