Hewlett-Packard 3457A Multimeter


The HP3457A multi-meter is a rack-mountable, GPIB-controllable multi-meter for general-purpose use. The instrument is lightweight, relatively easy to operate, with resistance measurement to three gig-ohms (3 G) and excellent sensitivity to nano-ampere and micro-volt levels. The instrument has the capability to acquire multiple readings, and to average test measurements over multiple power line cycles to reduce noise. The instrument can perform conventional two-terminal measurements, but can also be configured to four-wire ohms for higher accuracy. The instrument also measures frequency (to 100 kHz, current input) and period.

An attractive feature of the instrument is a series of pre-written Labview™ control routines, facilitating the integration of the instrument into an automated test environment. In a manual use scenario, users familiar with conventional multi-meters will find the HP3457A similar to other devices in their experience, with the benefit of the instrument’s superior sensitivity.

This instrument can serve the functions of a conventional multi-meter. However, due to its rack-mount form factor and ac power source it suffers from a degree of inconvenience. The main motivations for employing the HP3457A in a test environment involve leveraging either its superior sensitivity or its ability to be controlled automatically via GPIB.

The inputs to the instrument are provided via conventional banana jacks; these can be connected to a probe card, probe station probes, or to conventional test leads. Test inputs are available on both the front and rear panels of the instrument; inputs are programmatically accessible. This provides a rudimentary ability to select from multiple test devices automatically.

The MTW engineers can provide suggestions and assistance with device-under-test (DUT) fixturing and Labview™ program control via GPIB.

Like most multi-meters, the HP3457A measures resistance using a dc test signal of nominally ~0.7-1 vdc.

These instruments are an excellent choice for users who require relatively simple measurements, or those who would like to experiment with automatic data acquisition before progressing to more complex instruments and configurations.

  • Benchtop measurement of resistance, voltage, and current
  • Resistance to 3 GOhm
  • Voltage to 300v
  • Current to 3A
  • GPIB-based automated data acquisition
Documents and manuals
ASU Unit
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Equipment Use $5/hr $5/hr  
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Hewlett-Packard 3457A Multimeter