The I-prober 520 uses the well-established principle of a fluxgate magnetometer to measure field. This is because conventional fluxgate magnetometers are relatively large with bandwidths limited to a few kHz and to this end, they are typically used for precision measurement of fields within geophysics and bio-electromagnetics.
By contrast, the sensor within the I-prober 520 uses a patented miniature fluxgate magnetometer of submillimetre size incorporating a highly advanced core material. This enables it to use an excitation frequency of several tens of MHz resulting in a sensor with a bandwidth of dc to 5MHz combined with low noise and wide dynamic range.
Another innovative feature is the ability to handle closed-loop current measurement that increases the device’s overall usefulness. To this end, the I-prober 520 is supplied with a clip-on toroid assembly which converts it into a closed magnetic circuit probe for measuring current in a wire.
Finally, the device is designed to safely handle higher voltage which is why it is enabled to be used on circuits with direct connection to AC line at up to 300V rms, and on isolated circuits at voltages up to 600V rms. In addition, the probe can be used to measure high temperature PCB tracks and component leads up to 120oC continuous or 150oC short term.
Review of Key Specifications
First, the I-prober 520 aggregates a number of unique capabilities like, observing and measuring currents in PCB tracks directly and measuring current into surface mount components, IC legs and short component leads. In addition, it is useable on high voltage conductors and in high temperature areas, since it can observe currents flowing within ground planes as well as a no requirement to break or surround the conductor.
Secondly, the very small size of the field sensor within the I-prober 520 gives it some unique capabilities when used to measure magnetic fields. As such, the variation of field with position can be accurately determined enabling the precise source of fields to be located and their variation in space measured. Moreover, unlike a conventional current probe, the I-prober 520 has an extremely low insertion impedance and negligible stray capacitance. This enables current observations and measurements to be made without disturbance to the circuit.
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