Integration of a touchscreen interface and programmable functions raise the bar on digital multimeters.
At my home workstation, I have an old Fluke handheld digital multimeter (DMM) in its classic orange case, along with a very old
analog voltage ohm-meter (VOM) in its
similarly classic boxy black plastic case.
Both of these instruments sit on a shelf
below my laser printer and see constant
temperatures and environments all
year long. The DMM is more than 10
years old, and the VOM is more than
30 years old. Both function extremely
well, I trust them to work and their
maintenance consists of only adding
new batteries every couple of years. I’m
a mechanical engineer and use these
mostly for continuity checks and light
household or automotive electrical measurements. I often use them to crosscheck each other to ensure their basic
functionalities. I don’t need calibration.
My needs are simple.
The needs for electronic instrumentation and component designers are far different and much more demanding for both
measurement accuracy and analysis times.
As the electronic components these engineers work on become increasingly smaller
and more sophisticated, the measurement
requirements for high-end DMMs similarly increase for the continually smaller
currents, voltages and resistances.
In January, Keithley Instruments,
Cleveland, Ohio, introduced its Model
DMM7510 Graphical Sampling Multimeter. The big word in that title is graphical—it’s the first graphical sampling
DMM in the industry. It integrates the
high accuracy of their latest 7-1/2 digit
circuit designs, which are generally only
found in metrology-grade instruments,
with a graphical touchscreen interface
that isn’t available in any other DMM.
The instrument’s high-speed, high-reso-
lution 18-bit digitizer gives it a strong sig-
nal analysis capability, and allows users to
acquire waveforms without the need for a
Of course, touchscreen interfaces
aren’t new, you probably have one on
your smartphone or on the dash of your
late-model automobile or on any number of commercial or consumer devices.
The first touchscreen technologies were
actually developed and manufactured by
engineers Frank Beck and Bent Stumpe at
CERN in the late-1960s and early-1970s.
There are now numerous touchscreen
technologies and available products with
the two most widely employed being
resistive (the first CERN devices) and
capacitive (the technology used in the
And touchscreen capabilities also
exist in high-end digital oscilloscopes as
well. The recently introduced Keysight
DMMs Just Got Easier to Use
Keithley Instruments’ Model
DMM7510 Graphical Sampling