Making multi-instrument measurements easier with KickStart 2.0

 

Keithley products are gaining a well-deserved reputation for their ease of use and how they simplify complex measurement tasks. As discussed in this blog post about the new DMM6500 and DAQ6510, most Keithley products feature intuitive touch interfaces that make setting up and running tests a breeze. 

But what happens if you need to set up and run tests across multiple instruments? No matter how friendly the interface, setting up test parameters across multiple instruments can quickly get tedious and time consuming.

With the release of KickStart 2.0 instrument control software, Keithley now has a simpler, easier solution on tap. One of the most significant enhancements for KickStart version 2.0 is the ability to control multiple instruments through a single interface. With this latest version, you can launch and run up to eight apps at the same time and you can see results from multiple instruments in a single easy to view format.

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KickStart also takes instrument simplification a step further. With KickStart 2.0 installed on your laptop or PC, you can literally take instruments out of the box and start gathering real data, complete with plots and quick statistical summaries. The true value of the software is that you can gather insights faster and make more informed decisions that allow you to move on to the next stage of device development.

KickStart connects to instruments using GPIB, LAN and USB interfaces. With a simple drag of the mouse, you can launch apps to control and collect data from an instrument. KickStart can collect millions of readings from each instrument which makes it a great solution for long-term datalogging and for capturing lots of data from transient events with a digitizing DMM.

KickStart presents data in tabular and graphical formats. For easy at-a-glance viewing of ongoing tests, you can hide non-essential data and see statistics automatically update to reflect only data visible in the table. This can be useful for characterizing devices after they have reached thermal stabilization. In the graph, users can overlay plots from run history for quick comparisons and to identify anomalies and trends.

Another nifty feature is the ability to prepare your tests using simulated instruments. This can be handy if you’re waiting for instruments to arrive and you want to get going on configuring tests. Simulated instruments is also a great capability for offline viewing of your data and test setups.

Since no two engineering challenges are the same, KickStart is easily customized with a number of apps. The basic set of apps provide support for various instruments including SMUs, DMM, data loggers and power supplies. The power supply app, for example, simplifies the task of supplying power to your device or system and lets you quickly set up automated tests using bias or list sweep mode, among many other functions. An optional premium application for high-resistivity measurements is also available.

KickStart version 2.0 is currently available in Beta. Available now, it installs with a 90-day free trial. The full version is expected to be available before the end of the trial.

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