Digital Multimeter - USB + GPIB

M3510A + M3511A - High-Speed

The M3510A and M3511A 6 1/2 Digits Multimeters are the newest generation of DMMs from Picotest. These new DMMs offer compact size, light weight, fast measurement speed & throughput, expanded measurement functions, systematization capability and highly usable interfaces including a standard USB interface and an optional GPIB/RS-232 interface. The M3510A and M3511A DMMs are suitable for both production and research/development use. M3510A and M3511A adopt the latest A/D technology and achieve 50,000 readings per second at 4 1/2 digits. When sending data to your computer, M3510A and M3511A can achieve high precision and stability compared to other DMMs with slow data transmission rate. With M3510A and M3511A, your work efficiency will be greatly improved, and the operational cost will also be greatly reduced.

The dual measurement display feature of M3510A and M3511A offers two measurement results displayed at the same time and it is easy to set up and configure.

For example, when measuring DCV, you may also conduct Thermocouple measurement on M3510A. This allows you to observe temperature change while making other measurements. M3510A can function as a multimeter and a thermometer in one.

The M3510A and M3511A DMMs support the RTD temperature measurement and support the standards such as ITS-90, IEC751 and Callendar-Van Dusen. The RTD function is recommended for more precise measurement. M3510A also provides the Thermocouple (TC) function. It has a built-in cold junction compensator for improved TC accuracy. Without additional plug-in's and reference temperature settings, you can measure temperature directly via Thermocouples of K, J, R, S, T, E, N, C and B types. The M3510A and M3511A DMMs offer the capacitance measurement and dual measurement display, in addition to standard measurements, such as DCV, DCI, ACV, ACI, 2WΩ, 4WΩ, Frequency, Period, Thermocouple & RTD, and the math functions, such as Limits, Ratio, MX+B, %, dBm, dB, Min/Max & Null. Measurement ranges have also been expanded. For instance, DC and AC Current Ranges now go up to 10 A. The M3510A and M3511A DMMs adopt an analog conversion technique to provide true RMS value for ACV/ACI measurements regardless of the waveform shape. Only the “heating value” of the AC components of the input waveform is measured. For non-symmetrical waveforms, such as pulse trains, the DC components will be rejected by the RMS measurement.

Configuring M3510A and M3511A is straightforward. Unlike other DMMs with complicated operation modes in the configuration menu, M3510A and M3511A offer easy-to-use SHIFT, CONFIG, ENTER buttons, arrow keys and corresponding softkeys at the lower part of the display across all the measurement configurations. Using equipments from Picotest just gets easier than ever.

A high-speed USB interface is built into both M3510A and M3511A. An optional GPIB/RS-232 interface is also available. The included USB interface conforms to the USBTMC protocol. Both M3510A and M3511A can be operated through USBTMC compliant software. So get M3510A and M3511A now to replace your old DMMs while keep your existing USBTMC compliant software. The M3510A and M3511A DMMs are of high reliability and comply with CE requirements, from well-packed cartons with the shock absorbing bumpers to careful component selection, circuit protection design, rigorous environmental tests and ISO9001 production. Defective products can be returned with free repair/calibration with one-year warranty. The M3510A and M3511A DMMs are shipped with the PT-TOOL & PT-LINK software. With the software, you can quickly establish an error-free connection between your PC and the equipment. Both M3510A and M3511A conform to Standard Commands for Programmable Instrumentation (SCPI). PT-TOOL is a similar virtual oscilloscope software, which can monitor the DUT with scope display style. PT-LINK is used to collect measurement data in Microsoft Excel or Word and analyze it with charts. In addition, engineers are allowed to compile our Labview Driver for specific applications.


This is one of the PT-Tool Applications for observing temperature variation while the current passes through a specific resistance. In the following graph, new data are inserted from the left. We can easily observe from the graph that the resistance temperature increases or decreases with the current.


If problem occurs while operating M3510A and M3511A, it is recommended to do the self-test first. If you need to perform basic adjustments for Zero & Gain, please follow the instructions in the M3510A/M3511A Service Manual. A calibrator with at least 6 1/2-digit precision and a shorting plug are required. For a complete calibration with factory reports, contact your local service representative to return your DMM to PICOTEST.

Digital Multimeter with CF Interface

The CFD200 turns the PocketPC into a 2 channel 5 digits DMM with oscilloscope capability for not-too high frequencies. The display can be switched to DMM or scope mode for each channel as shown on the images below by simply tapping into the display area. Please note that typical DSOs habe a physical resolution of 8 bit vertical - this DMM has 24 bits with about 15 usable bits at the maximum sample rate. In any case the resolution is much higher than the PocketPC display can resolve by default.

A nice feature for hands free DMM operation is the voice reading that can be actived in 15 or 30 seconds intervals or by changes in the reading. In addition readings can be logged to a file with different speeds.

As the screen indicates, the two DMMs work independent of each other (except for the sample rate), so you can set different measurement units for each DMM, i.e. measure volts with the first and amps with the second DMM. This goes far beyond simple scanner cards!

In DMM mode the voice feature is replaced by a zooming feature that we couldn't get working. You see it is grayed out.

The card uses a Sigma-Delta ADC providing up to 40.000 conversion per second and channel. This kind of ADCs tend to low-pass filter the incoming signal. For that reason the bandwith is limited to around 1kHz in the 6V range and 6kHz in the 60V range. If you take a look at the square wave in the scope display in the middle above you will find that the edges are rounded indicating that the higher frequency parts of the 450Hz square wave have been attenuated.

The CFD200 provides these ranges:

  • Auto DC / AC RMS
  • 2V DC: This range has a very high input resistance, for that reason the readings vary if nothing is connected. This effect is known from other DMMs like Keithleys K2001 that has 10GOhm input resistance. That's no malfunction, if a voltage source is connected, the readings will stabilize!
  • 6V DC / AC RMS
  • 60V DC / AC RMS
  • 650V DC / AC RMS
  • 350mA DC (Yes only one range, and no AC range!)
  • 10kOhm: resolves down to 0.1Ohms, but even short returns ~2.6Ohms. This is within the states accuracy of 10Ohms in this range.
  • 100kOhm: Resolves down to 1 Ohms.
  • 10MOhm
  • 40MOhms: This is the 10MOhm range with a shunt resistor in parallel. Using this method very high resistances can be measures, but the accuracy suffers.
  • Diode-Check: The result is in volts (forward bias voltage of the diode), looks like the 10kOhm range with voltage reading.
  • Short-Check: Result is in ohms, apperently identical to 10kOhm range

Like a real oscilloscope there are settings for triggering. The default setting is "Auto trigger on" giving immediate results without complicated settings. The settings are pretty much self-explaining for scope users.

Installation of the CFD200 Graphical application on the PocketPC

Install CFD200_Graphical_PPCApp.exe

  • in default location Main memory: Ok
  • in Built-in storage: 
    - After inserting CFD200, driver is asked for: cfd200_drvr
    - Execute Graphical DMM Shortcut: "Not found"
  • in SD card: Same as built-in storage
    -> Install the application always in the default "Main memory",
        you can move it later this way:

Moving CFD200_Graphical_PPCApp:

  • Install first in default location.
  • Using File Explorer, goto \Windows and cut the folder "CFD200".
  • Paste it wherever it shall be located, i.e. "Built-in Storage"
  • Goto the new location, mark CFD200_Graphical_PPCApp.exe and select "Copy".
  • Goto Windows\Start Menu\Programs, scroll to the botton and select "Paste Shortcut"
  • For the logging feature works: Goto \Windows, select New folder and create the directory "CFD200". In the new folder create the directory "logs".

CFD200 with PocketPC2003SE or Mobile 5

The operating system we used is Windows Mobile® 2003 Second Edition (standard on X50 devices). However there is an upgrade to Windows Mobile® 5.

We checked the upgrade in December 2006 with the current Dell "A02 ROM version" and with the first "A01 ROM version".

To say short: Using this PDA the card does not work with Windows Mobile® 5. It is not recognized. There are problems in accessing CF cards in the "I/O mode". This seems to be a problem of the operating system, some timings need to be changed. If you want to know more, google for "IORD#" and "PeteSleeman", there is some additional information in the Dell Support forums. 

We hope this issue will be resolved in future as this affects many non-ATA CF cards.

We can confirm that the CFD200 works fine using Windows Mobile® 5  in a TDS Recon 400 PDA.

Programmable features

Up to now the CFD200 has been compared to standard handheld DMMs. This is a bit unfair, since the CFD200 is fully programmable! It comes with an API so you can integrate it in whatever application you may think of, but:

The API is much different from SCPI, is a low level function interface that provides full access to the card, but requires the user to understand how the card works internally, taking care of sample rate, setup and so on. This is especially true for the AC ranges. The user must take care of sample rates, averaging, converting the result and so on. Don't think of it that you simply set the range and get an accurate result, it's more like a data acquisition card with DMM ranges.


For that reason we offer an add-on for the basic CFD200 driver. It is an API for .NET / C# using PocketPC 2003SE or Windows Mobile 5. It comes with an example application and an enhanced class that simplifies using the DMM. Just set the range and get a result.



50 years between these two instruments: Dell Axim X50v+ELAN CFD200 <=> Hartmann and Braun Multavi II (manufactured 1938 – 1960)


The CFD200 will surely not replace standard DMMs - the combination of standard PDA and CF card is too expensive and not as rugged as a typical DMM. On batteries it won't last a day (although additional Li-Ion batteries are cheap, small and lightweight), and imagine it gets lost - very expensive.

Second its drawbacks in the measurement of low resistances, the missing AC current range and only one DC current range limit its usage.
But if you need a compact combination of PDA and DMM, we don't know of an alternative!


To summarize:

  • 5 digit DMM with 2 channels
  • Data logger  with virtually infinite capacity. Try to fill a 2 GB SD-card with data...
  • Low frequency oscilloscope
  • Fits into (bigger) pockets or executive cases.
  • Replaces two datalogging 5 digit DMMs and a low-end handheld DSO for the same purpose. These need definitely much more space and the weight will be much higher.
  • Weaknesses:
    • Measurement of low resistances, minimum range only 10kOhms
    • One DC current range, no AC current range

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