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Control Your XEL Benchtop Supply With LAN

Posted by Bill Martin on Jan 9, 2018 3:51:00 PM

For most benchtop power supply applications, the most important feature is a user interface that allows an engineer or technician to set up the power supply quickly and easily using the front panel. Benchtop power supplies, like the Sorensen XEL Series, have this kind of interface. For example, the XEL Series has a fine control knob for setting the output voltage very accurately and an output enable switch, which lets you set up the desired voltage and current levels prior to actually turning on the output.


For many applications, however, remote control is also desirable. For those applications, one of the ways that you can remotely control the XEL Series is via an Ethernet Local Area Network (LAN). The LAN interface meets or exceeds LXI ( LAN eXtensions for Instrumentation) version 1.2, Class C requirements.

To use the LAN interface, you must know the IP address of the power supply. To help you determine this, there is a LXI Discovery Tool supplied with the unit that you can use to display the IP addresses (and other associated information) of all the devices connected to your LAN. National Instruments Measurement and Automation Explorer package and the Agilent Vee application also include LAN discovery tools.

You can connect your XEL Series power supply directly to a PC or via a router, although we recommend connecting via a router. One reason for this is that a router will assign an IP address to the power supply much more quickly than a PC. PCs begin to assign IP addresses only after a 30 second DHCP timeout.

The default setting is for the instrument to attempt to obtain settings via DHCP if available or, if DHCP times out (30 seconds), via Auto-IP. In the very unlikely event that an Auto- IP address cannot be found a static IP address of is assigned.

Like all LXI-compliant instruments, the XEL Series contains a basic web server. The web server allows you to configure the unit and provides information about the unit. The Configure page can be password protected to prevent unauthorized changes to the remote operation configuration; the default configuration is ‘no password’. The password can be up to 15 characters long

The web server also has an ‘Identify’ function which allows the user to send an identifying command to the instrument. When received, the instrument display flashes until you cancel the command.

Since it is possible to misconfigure the LAN interface, making it impossible to communicate with the instrument over LAN, the XEL Series has a recessed switch on the rear panel to reset the unit to the factory default. Resetting the LAN interface removes any password protection.

To control the power supply programmatically, you send text commands to two sockets on TCP port 9221. Replies are received from the same port. Text strings must be one or more complete commands, and commands may be separated with either semicolons or line feeds.

The LAN interface is only one of several remote control interfaces for the XEL Series. Also available are USB, RS-232, and GPIB interfaces. For more information about these interfaces, and how to use them, please contact AMETEK Programmable Power by sending email to sales.ppd@ametek.com or phoning 800-733-5427.

Topics: DC_Power, Ethernet Local Area Network, LAN

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