Everyone’s had a moment where you’ve looked at your multimeter screen and thought, “Well, that can’t be right.” And, as it happens, that’s a worthwhile thought to have. Electronics can drift in operation over time, and test equipment is no exception to this rule. But how do you put that to the test?
Enter the Voltage Standard Reference. The folks over at Digidata have created a handy reference for 5 volts DC at 1 mA. Even better, they’ve managed to do so with an impressive three digits of precision. The device also features precision resistors for one and ten kilohms so you know exactly what sort of loading is applied. Both of these features are really great for getting an idea of the level of noise in your system, which is crucial to achieving a good calibration.
Calibrating your equipment is as easy as hooking up a set of probes and adjusting compensation to line up with the source’s value. The deal gets even sweeter when you consider that a professional calibration can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars for common equipment like multimeters or oscilloscopes. Letting your precision multimeter drift out of spec will come back to bite you later, don’t ignore calibration.
What do you do to keep your electronics gear honest? Got any other hot tips for keeping your equipment in working order? Drop us a line and let us know in the comments section!