Chris Anderson

Director of Engineering


EMC testing, RLC parameter extraction, test/report automation, and whatever else comes my way.

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Product Overview: RIGOL DP-1116A Programmable Power Supply

Rigol DP1116A Programmable Power Supply


  • Single Output
  • Dual Range
  • 160W Supply
  • LXI, USB, GPIB Connectivity
  • MSRP $849.00

Display Screen & Interface

With the DP1116A, Rigol did a fresh take on the user interface. The first thing you might notice when you pull the power supply out of the box, is that, rather than using and alphanumeric screen, Rigol used an LCD screen. That lets them put a lot more information on the screen. You always have all of your parameters displayed. You can see your voltage, your current, and you can actually see your power, as well — all of your current values. You can also see what you’ve set your voltage and current too, as well as your over-voltage and over-current.

The background of the display is colored red for the high voltage, and blue for the low voltage range. That’s nice, because now, from across the room, you can see what range you’re in.

Rather than using a knob to dial in your voltages, Rigol has included a keypad, in the upper right hand of the instrument. If you want to set the instrument to 5V, simply press “5” and the “V”(volt) key, which is on the set of controls to the left of the keypad.

You’ll notice that the keypad — the controls at the top right of the display screen — serves multiple purposes. If you want to insert voltages in a way that is similar to using a dial, you can simply click the “up” and “down” keys to change to volts. This keypad is also convenient because if you want to switch from the default — perhaps from 5 volts, depending on how the different instrument is set up — to, let’s say, 500 mv, — rather than dialing down, you can simply input “500mv,” and there you’ll have it set.

Another interesting feature to the DP1116A is the alternate display which they employ, using dials instead of numbers. This might not be something you’ll personally use, but it is neat.

Wave Display

One thing about the DP1116A that you may not have seen another power supply is the “wave display,” which is located on the bottom right menu on the front of the power display. What this does is show you somewhat of a history of the voltages that have been programmed and used. If you put on your output to .5V, and then go ahead and increase that to 20 V, you will see it jump on the display. This lets you see a sort of time-based variation in your voltage current and power.

Built-In Timer Feature

Another feature that Rigol has included with the DP1116A is what they call the timer function, which is also located on the menu on the bottom right hand side of the power supply. If you bring up the timer function for the first time, it will kick you over to the utility function to set it up. If, for instance, you set it for 5V and 1Amp, and wanted it to set there for 5 seconds, but then want to switch it to 10V, 1Amp, and sit there for 5 seconds, the timer feature allows you do all of that.

You can also loop on these settings multiple times, or even infinitely, if you would like. Rigol calls that a circle function, which you can set using the grey softkeys below the display screen, and the two key pads at the top of the power supply. Say you set it for 3V, if you want it to loop infinitely, you would select “Infinity” using the grey softkey, and then start the function by pressing the “Timer” button (it will warn you that it might change your output, depending on what it is now), and press “okay.” You’ll see that it begins countdown on the first setting, and will move on to the second setting. You can also see this in the wave display. After pressing the “Wave Disp” button, you will see where it went from 0V, to 5V, to 10V, and then back to 5V and back to 10V. It will keep doing that, which you can also view on the main display.


The Rigol DP1116A is easy to use — it has all the parameters on screen at the same time, and a unique timer feature.

Tags: Power Supply, Timer Function, Wave Display, Single Output, Dual Range

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