[volt-nuts] History of HP 3456A

Marv Gozum @ JHN marvin.gozum at jefferson.edu
Thu Dec 2 20:56:19 UTC 2010

Thanks Dick for your insights.  Yes, so far I've the same experience, 
except my springs are holding up.  I've made sure the front panel of 
the items I bought didn't look as battered [ one of the few things 
noticeable from eBay photos], such as if it was salvaged from an 
automated data acquisition set up, so its functions were accessed as 
much via the GPIB bus than front switches alone.

2 of 4 models I've acquired haven't been calibrated in almost a 
decade, based on stickers left on the devices sealing the calibration 
panel; compared against a formally calibrated 3456a, it had drifted 
to + 40 & 80uV respectively in ~10 years.  Comparing their linearity 
up to 500Vdc, they track spot on to at most within the error 
introduced by their + drift as an offset.

The 3456a sans many automation features, has the same basic accuracy 
as the 34401a, still in production.  A low cost way to get the same 
accuracy and precision in a home lab, and given its older technology, 
a bit easier to maintain should it go senile.

At 02:25 PM 11/23/2010, Dick Moore wrote:
>Thanks, Marv, for putting this together. RE personal experiences, 
>I've owned two 3456As and never had a probelm except one of them had 
>front panel tactile swittches that kept losing their springs down 
>into the bottom of the chassis. I've also owned 2 3457As and in my 
>opinion, the 3456 was a FAR better meter in regards to stability of 
>calibration and ease of use, not to mention clarity of readouts.
>Dick Moore

Marv Gozum

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