Rigol DP1116A and DP1308A Programmable Power Supply Review

Rigol Power Supplies


In this episode Shahriar reviews the brand new Rigol DP1116A and DP1308A programmable power supplies. Furthermore, the power supply features are compared against an Agilent dual output power supply.

“DP1308A & DP1116A are high-performance programmable linear DC power supply. They have excellent features including timed outputs and tracking capabilities; extremely clean  ripple and noise, comprehensive over-voltage, over current, over-temperature protection, a large and clear user interface, super performance specifications,and  multiple standard interfaces. The DP1308A & DP1116A meet the requirements of various forms desktop and integrated system testing. DP1308A & DP1116A are widely used in research and development, education, industrial control, mobile communication, and product testing, etc.”

The MSRP for both products is $849. Rigol offers a 30 day no-questions-asked return policy and a 3 year warranty. They also provide an excellent local technical support out of tropical Cleveland, Ohio.

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  3. Ramos says:

    Congrats, very nice review. Have you, by any chance, measured the
    fan noise of the Rigol and Agilent units? if not, which one
    seemed noisier to you? the fans are always ON or only in case
    of overheating? best regards

  4. […] For a detailed review of these power supplies, see this series of posts from Shahriar at thesignalpath […]

  5. pickles says:

    Are you sure those RF bursts were actually coming from the power supplies? I don’t think they were. It looked like a ~50MHz (aliased) version of the ~100MHz signals I see on my 500MHz scope. Judging by an FFT of it, I presume it’s coming from FM radio transmitters as it seems to range from 88 to 108MHz or thereabouts. Try looping your probe ground to probe tip and I’ll bet you pick up the same thing with a much lower amplitude. If not, add some capacitance instead of the dead short to bring the amplitude up out of the noise. I have very little doubt that you’ll find it then. This is exactly what happens when you try to measure low amplitude signals without appropriate probing. Banana adapters just won’t do. Try the ground spring directly on the power supply outputs and I bet this “noise” will diminish greatly or vanish entirely.

    That’s my theory anyway. Obviously I wouldn’t be watching your videos if I were that sure of myself. I do hope you’ll give it another look and get to the bottom of it, because I’d really like to know the source of these signals. In any case, thanks for everything and keep up the good work!

  6. Albert says:

    I was considering buying the DP1116A model and I was just curious if you have heard anything back from them about the changes you wanted or if they have already implemented them.

  7. […] Characterize Programmable Power Supply Review  (TheSignalPath.com) Working with micro-controllers: […]

  8. Shahriar says:

    For everyone interested to purchase one of these power supplies, you can call Rigol’s sales department directly and place an order right over the phone: 877-4-RIGOL-1

  9. Slag7 says:

    Great review! You’ve convinced me. Where can I buy a DP1308A for $849 ?
    None of the sellers listed on the Rigol site even list the product. I found a few other sites listing it for over $1000, but I don’t think they actually have the product to ship.

    Keep up the reviews, the Saleae reviews were very informative, I appreciate the attention to detail.

    • Shahriar says:

      Great! I can definitely put you in touch with the Rigol people and they will be able to ship one to you very soon. Don’t pay more than $849 for it! Please send me a private message and I will put you in touch with them.

      • Slag7 says:

        I ordered a 1308A directly from Rigol last Friday, and it arrived on Monday afternoon. It is well within spec, and provides very clean power. I haven’t had time to run it though the full set of checks, but the output is within a couple mV of what is on the screen. And, it maintains that voltage at all current loads.
        The web interface is nice, but there’s something up if you run it through a firewall… I’ll have to check that.

  10. pete says:

    I appreciate your review. I learned a little more about power supplies. The only thing spoiling my enjoyment was the thought that, as a mere hobbyist, neither of those fine pieces of equipment will ever make it onto my bench. 🙁

  11. Ondre says:

    great video again! I’d like to know a little more about the constant current mode. How does it behave when you turn the output on under load? Does it ramp up the voltage quick and smoothly as in constant voltage mode?
    I tested some older PSUs at work a while ago and it appeared that a lot of these PSUs had only very slow current limiters. They applied the full voltage to the test circuit for some hundred milliseconds until the current limiter eventually kicked in.

    • Shahriar says:

      Thank you for your suggestion!

      I tried the test you suggested. I put a 10Ohm load at the output, limited the current to 1A (so 10V at the output) but set the output voltage to its maximum at 32V. I looked at the response on the scope, there was absolutely no overshoot. The supply took a little longer to settle to the final 10V value and CC, but with great accuracy.

  12. debbes says:

    Very nice review on the supplies. I’m glad there is another electronics vblog for us to follow.

    The videos are very ‘clean’ and there is much explaining going on. Also the camera moves and zooms a lot, which adds to the length of the video. U put a lot of time in it, but maybe we can do with a little bit less ‘cleaner’ vids, so you don’t have to spend hours of editing and such. Also maybe it would be nice to find a ideal spot for the camera and do the whole blog from there, or have two camera’s film it, or cut-out the panning, zooming bits…

    I hope you keep the videos coming frequently!

  13. xyzzy says:

    Very thorough reviews. Nice job! I’ve bookmarked your RSS feed right next to that of the EEVblog.

    There is one additional power supply test I’d like to have seen: the scope capture of the voltage when the supply switches from voltage-limited mode to current-limited mode (and vice versa). For example, you could set the the supply to 10V, 2A and connect a single 10-ohm resistor. Then flip a switch to suddenly connect 3 additional 10-ohm resistors in parallel with the first. Then turn flip the switch back to remove the load. Seeing the behavior of the output voltage under those conditions would be very interesting.

    Also, I’d love to see a tear-down of those power supplies.

    • Shahriar says:

      Hi, I agree with you. That would be a good test. Perhaps if Rigol does a firmware upgrade with the features I wanted to see, I can do a few more experiments. I also hope to do a teardown at some point.

  14. rfarrelly says:

    I enjoyed the latest videos very much, i disagree that your video are too long, it’s important to explain these things thoroughly (I need things explained at least twice lol). This is a great source of information for students like myself.

    Now I understand what current sensing is all about, that’s one of those intricacies that bypass me.

    By the way, is it just yourself maintaining this site or do you have a band? And if so, would they be capable of producing some vids?

    The more the merrier lol

  15. Laurent says:

    Good review, but I think a bit too long.
    Why explaining what you will do, then re explain while doing, then re explain again ? 🙂

    Nice to see anyway, hope you the best, I like your show 🙂

  16. Kelvin says:

    Nice review, though a bit lengthy. Any intend for a tear down? That would be an interesting and useful way of learning electronics too.

  17. Joris Claes says:

    Wow, what an awesome review/tutorial on testing! The power supplies look really good, but for a poor student a bit too expensive. Do you have any advice/recommendations for a cheaper bench supply, around 300usd?

  18. robberknight says:

    Nice videos you have. Like your systematic approach, even if your videos get a bit longer because of that. But I think you can learn more from it that way.

    Why does the voltage rise: resistor temp rises, resistance rises, current falls, cable loss falls, voltage over resistor rises.

    What is the over current function of these power supplies compared to the current setting? Does it completely switch the supply off if this amount of current is reached (instead of reducing the voltage to keep it to the set max current)? Can it switch all three supplies off if one hits the over current limit?

    • Shahriar says:

      Thank you for your feedback. The answer to the quiz is correct.

      The OCP simply turns the output completely off if the condition has been met. The current limiting mode (CC) reduces the voltage until the constant current is met.

      The triple output supply turns all the outputs off when OCP is detected.

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