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Alex

Programmable power supplies in EE board

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Hi,I am new to learn Electronics and testing. In the EE board, one feature is V+ and V- programmable voltage/current supplies of up to +/-9V and up to 1.5 A and I did try the Waveforms demo EE Board voltage. I can adjust the voltage and current output by the drop down manual in V+ or V- and the waveform is plotted. However, how can I change those waveform? How can I program the power supplies? 

I looked through the help but there isn't any example. 

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A classical programmable (desktop) power supply allows users to set a voltage and a current limit, unlike fixed power supply (like a phone charger) which have fixed voltage and current limit.

Knobs, buttons and displays on the power supply panel are enough to say that the voltage and current are programmable. Some supplies have additional communication interfaces (USB, RS232, IEEE488, etc.), allowing a PC to take control from the panel and set the voltage and current limit. Obviously, a program needs to run on the PC to send the appropriate commands via the interface.  

 

With the EE board, the HW panel is replaced by the WaveForms GUI, but the features are the same: you set a voltage (limit) and a current (limit). The actual relation between the voltage and current is given by the load; if resistive, then U=R*I. Either U or I reach the "programmed" limit, setting the actual behavior.

 

EE board and WaveForms offer more that simple "programmability":

 

ONCE: you have the equivalent of a HW interface (like RS232 or other) - this is the API set provided by the SDK. You can use that to control the voltage from a user application - similar to whatever PC program you would use to send RS232 commands.

 

SECOND: you can actually generate a waveform (with specific amplitude and frequency limitations). This feature is completely original; I did no see that on other power supplies. This in fact transforms the power supply into an AWG with huge current capabilities. To use that, you need to add power supplies as channels in the AWG instrument. 

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The best way to apply a waveform or program a power supply is with the Arbitrary Waveform Generator (AWG) instrument, referred to as WaveGen in the WaveForms software. In WaveGen, one can configure waveforms in a variety of types (sinusoidal, square, etc.) with a wide range of frequencies and amplitudes. There is no way to create a waveform with the Power Supplies instrument, but a user-programmed waveform from WaveGen can be used as a power supply.

 

The EE Board Quick Start Guide may be helpful. There is also a project on the Digilent Wiki that covers how to use the AWG. 

Edited by WWadkins

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Hi Will, thanks for the answer. The getting started guide is nice. I like that and will try the project. 

 

In the EE board sale sheet (which you can find that out online), under the power supplies instrument, it stated that there is programmable voltage and current supplies. So, can I program the power supplies like other bench equipment? 

 

Power supplies and voltmeters • V+ and V- programmable voltage/current supplies of up to +/-9V and up to 1.5 A

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