A while back, I saw that element14 offered the Rohde & Schwarz NGU401 Source Measure Unit for RoadTest. I applied for this, but ultimately was not chosen. I suppose that is only fair, as I've had my fair share of wins, and this is one of the most sought after products judging from the recent poll where the NGU401 won out over all other products for "Favourite Products RoadTested in 2021".
I was still interested enough in the product to reach out to Rohde & Schwarz. This would be the first four-quadrant SMU to launch under the Rohde & Schwarz brand, inheriting all of the nice things from the other NGx family while also promising a current envelope which beats all SMUs on the market at this point in time. After all, having experience with the Keithley 2450 SMU through the RoadTest program and some hands-on hours with a Keysight B2912A at work, I felt like a new option in the market would not be a bad thing! Thankfully, they pulled through and shipped me a demo unit for a few months to test and review, despite all of the constraints of COVID-19. This resulted in some back and forth, including new firmware revisions to improve performance and add new features.
After a lot of work - I've now finished my (non-RoadTest) review of this RoadTested product (and had to return the unit back to R&S):
- Ch1: The NGx Family
- Ch2: A Look Around
- Ch3: On the Bench
- Ch4: Connected Operation
- Ch5: Instrument Performance
In the end, I'd have to say that it is a solid instrument but it is up against really stiff competition. You'll have to read the review to find out what I mean ... but did you know that the NGU401 helped out big time with my recent Rohm 8-channel Power Tree RoadTest? Or if you hook up an electret microphone to the unit and use FastLog, you can actually record audio with it? Or that QuickArb is now fast enough to actually play recognisable sounds using the SMU? As you guessed - I'm back to my old tricks again :).
In the meantime, if you do have any questions about my review or about the product, you can post the below and I'll do my best to answer.