Current sources provide reliable current levels for electrical component testing and for powering specialized components such as lasers. Current (or power) levels will remain constant during variation of load impedance. Current sources are used in a wide variety of test applications such as relays, circuit breakers, satellite components, and power meters. Current source styles include PCB mount, printed circuit board or card mount, laboratory bench or portable configuration, rack mount, DIN rail mount, and freestanding or cabinet mount.
The most important specifications to consider when searching for current sources are the output specifications. These include AC current, DC current, current phase, output current, output voltage, and output power. A source with AC current has at least one output providing alternating current. A source with DC output has at least one output providing direct current. A single phase current has one alternating signal. A three-phase current has three signals of current, typically 120° out of phase with each other. The output current is the required full range of current output. The output voltage is the maximum required voltage output. The output power is the required rated power of the current source.
The output control of current sources is the output value that is monitored to provide a feedback loop to the current source so it can adjust the selected output in response to varying conditions such as load, line supply, temperature, etc. With a constant current output control current is held steady during load fluctuations. With a constant power output control power (VA) is held steady during load fluctuations. Constant optical power output control is for laser control; photodiode feedback controls output to maintain constant light. Current sources can have a single or multiple channels.
Options on current sources for user interfaces include local interfaces, remote interfaces, and computer interface options. Local interfaces can be analog or digital front panels. Remote interface choices include analog signal monitors, analog signal controls, and computer interfaces. Computer or network interface options include serial and parallel. Some current sources come equipped with application software for control or for monitoring power supply performance. Display types can be analog meters or indicators, digital readouts, or video display terminals. Common features include output current monitors, phase angle control, pulse generators, remote triggering, and voltage source.
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- Adjustable Current
- Adjustable Frequency
- Adjustable Voltage
- Analog / Visual Indicator
- Board Mount
- Circuit Board
- Computer Interface
- DIN Rail
- Digital Numerical Display
- External Power Supply
- Fan Cooled
- Graphic / Video Display
- High Frequency
- High Voltage
- Hot Swappable
- Integral Heat sink
- Open Frame