6.3 Using the Software
To run the software, Click Start -> All Programs -> DC1000 and then select DC1000.
Step 1: Select the LCR meter
Under Test Set-Up, you can select an LCR meter that will be used to make the inductance measurement. Select the LCR meter than you want to use. In figure 15 above, an HP4284A meter has been selected.
Step 2: Set up communications
Next, set up the communications. If you have selected an AT3600 or an ATi, there will be only one connection item to fill in. If you have selected to control an LCR meter via GPIB then the device will need to be selected. In the example shown in figure 16, the HP4284 is on GPIB address 17 and the DC1000 is on comm. port 6.
You can see what comms ports are available by opening the Device Manager on your PC.
To test that the communications are working correctly, click on “Test Comms”. The screen shown in figure 17 will appear. To run the communications test, click on the “Identify Connected Items” button. If the comms have been set up correctly, then the identifier string will be displayed. If comms are not working, then an error message will be displayed with information on what may be wrong.
Clicking on the Saturation curve tab while in Comms Set-up with the “Test Comms” button pressed, will return you straight back to the screen shown in figure 17.
Step 3: Set up the bias current
Next, the minimum and maximum DC current needs to be specified along with the number of steps and the number of bias units attached. The increment of each step will be the difference between the maximum and minimum current, divided by the number of steps minus 1.
For example, if figure 18, the step size would be 0.1A.
Step 4: Set up the inductance measurement
Next, set up the inductance test voltage and frequency. Also, if the LCR meter is an AT3600 or an ATi, you will need to specify the high and low node of the top matrix between which the inductance measurement will be made. For the ATi, if you are using an LCR fixture, then nodes 13 and 15 should be used.
Step 5: Run the test
Before you run the test, you need to decide whether you want to save the results to a file. This can be done by checking the box under “Save Results” and then selecting a destination location and file. The results will be saved in Excel format. Also, the results will be continuously appended until the “Save Results” is set to off.
The test is run by clicking on the “Begin” button.
If you click the “Begin” button with no or inappropriate communications set up, you will receive an error message and the application will stop. The application can be restarted by clicking on the right-facing Run arrow at the top left.
Step 6: View the results
As the test runs, the inductance measurements and the DC current will be added to each step in the results grid. An example is shown in figure 20 below.
Once the test has finished, you can look at a saturation graph. An example is shown in figure 21.
The appearance and the position of the cursor can be controlled by using the buttons to the right of the inductance value.
To enable or disable cursor movement, press . To change the appearance of the cursor, press . The cursor can be either allowed to move freely, or locked to the plot. The button controls this. Finally, the cursor can be moved around using the arrow buttons ().
To clear the results from both the results window and the graph window, click on the “Clear Results” button. This will also allow you to change the inductance scaling.
Step 7: Save the results to an Image
The results from the test can be save to an Excel file by clicking check box under “Save results” and then selecting the destination file. Also, a screen shot of the DC1000 software can be saved to an HTML file by selecting the name and destination of the file and clicking on “Save html”.