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Measuring IV Characteristics

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Renan Carvalho, Jul 10, 2014.

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  1. Renan Carvalho

    Renan Carvalho

    Jul 10, 2014
    Hello everyone,

    I am working on a project where I need to analyze the IV characteristics of several diodes to make sure they work properly. I have a vector signal analyzer (HP89410, very old) with two channels, which I am trying to use so far to just get the IV characteristics of a simple LED connected in series to a resistor. The problem is I cannot think of how I can get a current vs voltage plot.

    Does anyone have any input on how to get IV characteristics using this vector analyzer or by another method? I would like something more sophisticated than using a voltmeter and an amneter and collecting data manually.
  2. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    V=IR, very handy formula.
    Don't forget that when you are doing measurements with a resistor in series, that you can use the voltage drop across the resistor to determine the current draw across that leg of the circuit. You can either pick a shunt resistor with a value that makes this easier to calculate, or provides you with the scale you are after.
  3. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    I don't know of a way to get a resistance or current measurement out of an 89410A. The instrument was designed primarily for making noise, burst signal, and phase measurements.
    Good luck with the project.
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Here is a device for measuring IV characteristics (it's actually a fairly complex version).

    Here is a video describing its theory of operation and use.

    Googling "Octopus component tester" will give you many more examples.
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