D.E.V.I.C.E. is an encyclopedia of terms used by manufacturers of test and measurement equipment. T&M Atlantic created this service to better explain the functionality of instruments it offers, and to highlight the latest developments in the world of measurement equipment. We are using such tools as animation to bring words and pictures to life and to create not just an understanding but also an appreciation for technology that goes into the design of every instrument.
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In DC mode a power supply will produce current in accordance with the specified value regardless of the preset input voltage. If at some point the maximum current of the power supply under test exceeds the set current (the load resistance of the power supply will drop) the voltage of the power supply under test will drop. Typically, for a mode indication there should be LED used with "CC" marking.
When testing a power supply in this mode the electronic load consumes constant power. If the input voltage rises the electronic load decreases the input current therefore the load power (=V * I) stays at the preset level.
Power supply to load four-wire (4-wire) connection method is designed for the influence decrease (compensation) of the connecting wires resistance. This feature is rather useful because the resistive value of the wires resistance, when connecting the load, distorts the set output voltage of the power supply.
When testing a power supply in this mode, there is current floating through the electronic load linearly proportional to the input voltage in accordance with the preset resistance. At the same time the use of a combined mode (constant resistance mode changing to direct voltage mode) additionally provides protection to the power supply under test against current surge during the changing process.