New HMC Compact Instrument

New HMC Compact Instrument
Professional Article
New HMC Compact Instrument
Series by HAMEG Instruments
600 V, as opposed to the standard of only 300 V in this instrument
class. With the HMC8012, current measurements across the
entire range can be performed with only one connector. This
eliminates any manual switching during range transfers. Additionally, an integrated watt meter enables power measurement
in the DC range.
With a base accuracy of 0.015 % in the DC range, the multimeter
shows up to 3 measured values on the brilliant TFT color display.
The display may include a DC voltage, a AC voltage and related
statistics, for instance. Altogether, the multimeter offers 12
­different measurement functions: VDC and IDC, True RMS
VAC and IAC, frequency, 2- and 4-wire resistance, capacity,
continuity, diode, temperature and performance. Extensive
mathematics functions such as limit testing, min/max, means,
offset, DC performance, dB and dBm are available to support
the user during his measurement tasks and round off the multi­
meter features.
With its new HMC compact series, HAMEG Instruments
is introducing an instrument series in a half-19“-format.
The first instrument in the HMC series will be the
HMC8012, a technically supreme 5-¾ digit digital multimeter. All instruments in the series will be LXI certified
and support the USB TMC class to communicate via
USB interface as well as via virtual COM port (VCP).
­Alternative variants with permanently installed GPIB
­interface are also available.
HAMEG Instruments has come to be known for its oscilloscopes
which have always scored high with an attractive price-performance ratio. For many years, HAMEG products have also inclu­
ded power supply units, spectrum analyzers and programmable
system instruments such as HF synthesizers, frequency genera­
tors or LCR meters. After its recent introduction of the HMO3000
series (mixed-signal oscilloscopes with a bandwidth of up to
500 MHz) the Rohde & Schwarz subsidiary continues to expand
other product ranges with its HMC series.
The digital multimeter HMC8012 is starting off the new series.
In contrast to the class standard of 5-½ digit displays, the
HAMEG instrument offers a 5-¾ digit display
(480,000 points) resulting in measurement
ranges that are four
times higher without
any requirement of range
switching. It facilitates
measurements in the
measurement category II
with a voltage of up to
Picture 1: Watt meter in DC range
The performance of a
true RMS measurement
in the AC+DC range is a
very useful option. The
option to display three
measurement values
­simultaneously allows
users to conveniently
measure DC voltages
Picture 2: Voltage AC+DC measurement
with overlapping AC
voltage or direct currents
with overlapping alternating currents. This function is useful for
the development of LED lighting, for instance, which is typically
controlled by means of PWM-regulated signals.
Multimeters with standard monochromatic screens are able to
implement limit functions only by means of a signal tone. By
contrast, the HMC8012 with its color TFT display also allows a
visual implementation of the function. A primary measurement
value that is within the defined limit range is shown in green
whereas a higher or lower value is displayed in red. The
HMC8012 also offers an acoustic option.
The HMC8012 can also solidly hold its ground against competitors in regards to measurement rates: For instance, up to 200
measurements per second are possible (depending on the selected range). The distinguishing feature is the fact that the data
logging function allows the user to record these measurements
not only on the internal memory which includes 50,000 measurement points. The only record limit for a connected USB stick
in FAT or FAT32 format is the capacity of the used storage medium. This makes the HMC8012 the ideal instrument to perform
a series of measurements without PC or remote infrastructure that
is virtually unlimited in length.
Professional Article
New HMC Compact Instrument Series by HAMEG Instruments
With multiple existing
interfaces, the new HMC
series is naturally suited
for the use in automated
test environments. All
instruments of this series
will be LXI certified
which is primarily due
to the prevalence of the
LXI standard. Another
Picture 3: Measurement value within limits
aspect is the fact that
HAMEG is represented in the LXI consortium by its parent
company, Rohde & Schwarz, who is a strategic member. By implementing the LXI core functions, the user gains access to a
web server (via LAN interface) for the setup of the measurement
instrument. IVI (Interchangeable Virtual Instrument) instrument
drivers are another central component for the LXI certification.
For the HMC series, HAMEG provides so-called drivers
which are based on Microsoft .NET-Framework 4. The traditional
LabView drivers will also be available for the new series as well
as LabWindows/CVI drivers which are based on LabWindows/
CVI 2012.
In addition to a LAN interface, all HMC instruments include a
USB device port. For this interface, the user can select if the
instrument is accessed via virtual COM port (VCP) or via USB
TMC class. The traditional version of the VCP allows the user to
communicate with the HMC using any terminal program via
SCPI commands once the corresponding Windows drivers have
been installed. For the multimeter HMC8012, these commands
are mostly compatible with the Agilent multimeters 34401A
and 34410A. Naturally, the free HAMEG software „HMExplorer“
is also available for the HMC series. This Windows application
offers HMC instruments a terminal function, the option to create
screenshots and to read out the measured data from the HMC
The modern alternative to the virtual COM port is to remote
control the HMCs via USB TMC class. TMC stands for „Test &
Measurement Class“ which indicates that the connected measurement instrument can be recognized without special Windows
drivers if VISA drivers are installed and that it can be used directly
in corresponding environments. The GPIB interface serves as
model to the structure of the TMC design. A major benefit of
the USB TMC class is that by sampling specific registers the
controlling software can determine if commands have been
terminated and if they have been processed correctly. In contrast,
the communication via VCP requires analysis and polling mechanisms within the controlling software which may significantly
strain the interface of the measurement instruments. The TMC
status registers solve this problem with the USB TMC in the
same manner as is the case with the GPIB interface for the
hardware, namely via corresponding control lines.
In addition to the GPIB
functions which are
available via USB TMC
class, all HMC instruments are optionally
available with an integrated GPIB interface.
This solution is particularly attractive for customers who already
Picture 4: Measurement value outside of limits
have an existing GPIB
environment. With minimum efforts, an old instrument can be
replaced by a model of the HMC series. To simplify the exchange
of existing instruments, the HMC series was developed in a
half-19“-format. With the corresponding frame, this allows the
instrument to be fitted into 19“ racks which is particularly significant for industrial operational areas. The d
­ esign also allows the
HMCs to be used as a benchtop. As it is characteristic for
HAMEG ­instruments to include the option to stack instruments
within a series, it is also planned for the new compact series.
The entire HMC product range is CSA certified and can be
­ordered with calibration documents from the factory. As is true
for all instruments by the measurement instrument expert
HAMEG (based in the city of Mainhausen in the German state
Hesse), this new series is also being completely developed in
Germany and is being produced in the European Union within
the company network of its parent company, Rohde & Schwarz.
With its attractive price tag the HMC8012 provides customers
with a measurement instrument with superior technical features
that is unique in this price class.
Kai Scharrmann, June 2013
For more information please visit
HAMEG Instruments GmbH
Industriestr. 6 | 63533 Mainhausen | Germany | Phone +49 (0) 6182 8000
R&S® is a registered trademark of Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG
HAMEG Instruments® is a registered trademark of HAMEG
Instruments GmbH
Trade names are trademarks of the owners
© HAMEG Instruments GmbH | Subject to change without notice
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