Keithley Bench Digital Multimeter - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Keithley Bench Digital Multimeter

Author: snidhi

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Test Equipment

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: 34461A Digital Multimeter, 6 ½ Digit, DMM

What were the biggest problems encountered?: Some minor issues with the software

Detailed Review:

To begin with I would like to thank Tektronix and Element 14 for choosing me for this road-test. Working with the bench-top DMM6500 6½-Digit Touchscreen Multimeter was a big deal as in the past I have only worked with older generations of these multimeter from Agilent and Tektronix.



Unboxing Keithley DMM6500 and First Impressions


The DMM6500 6½-Digit Bench-top Multimeter is a big device (when compared to hand-held multimeter) with a 5-inch capacitive touch screen display and is equpeed with 15 measurement functions. The price to performance ratio is outstanding as compared to its other competitors such as Agilent and Rhode & Schwarz from the market. I have used Tektronix devices for quite some time in my job career and they are meant to be durable and reliable. I regularly use Tektronix measurement instruments which are more than 15 years old in my lab without any issues.



Fig: The General usage ratings of the DMM


Some of the key features of the Keithley DMM6500 are


Fig: Key features of DMM6500image



Fig: The Measurement capabilities of DMMimage


DMM Product dimensions


The initial pictures of the Keithley DMM6500 on my work bench.









Fig: Well ventilated sides



Fig: Well ventilated from the side




Features Front and Rear Panel


Looking at the Front panel buttons of the DMM as below










The Rear Panel options and use installable accessory slots as below





The accessories that came in the box as below





Usage ease and intuitiveness of DMM


A short video showing the start up time of the DMM. One can also see all the menu options that are available and how easy to use are the APPS and the MENU button



Fig: First Impressions and ease of use of the DMM.


Interface connectivity

There are options as LAN/LXI, USB-TMC, and other user installable accessory(including GPIB, TSP-Link, and RS-232) to connect the DMM with the PC. The DMM has a scanner slot which allows 10 channels of switching which can be used to make multichannel measurements. For example 2000-SCAN card can be purchased extra to be use this functionality. By default this card is not provided in the kit. The DMM6500 GPIB interface is IEEE Std 488.1 compliant and supports IEEE Std 488.2 common commands


The DMM 6500 has a standard USB and LXI/ethernet communication interface.

image If there is a USB connection, one cannot switch to a LAN connection while the USB is connected. USB takes precedence over LAN.


Low Current Measurements with Solar Panel

Here I tested the low current output of the solar panel under dark conditions and minimum light conditions. Such measurements are difficult to achieve with a hand-held standard multimeter with high accuracy.


Roadtest Part 2 Keithley DMM6500 --Measure low current of Solar Panel


Evaluating the core features of the DMM

In this blog I did some tests to look at the measurement accuracy of the DMM. The experiments include DC-DC voltage measurements, Temperature measurement, low resistance and capacitance measurements.


Roadtest Part Keithley DMM6500 --Evaluating features of DMM


KickStart PC Control Software


Here is a quick review of the control software which can be used to remote log data with DMM6500

Roadtest Keithley DMM6500 --KickStart Instrument PC Control Software


Roadtest Keithley DMM6500 All Reference Material


A link to all the reference material for this road-test Roadtest-- Keithley DMM6500 --All Reference Material




In the end, I would say that I am very happy with the performance of the device Keithley DMM6500. A benchtop multimeter is a must have device if you work often with very low currents voltages and high precision outputs otherwise it is a good to have device. But investing in a good benchtop multimeter can be a good investment in the long run. The Keithley DMM6500 6½-Digit Bench/System Digital Multimeter is placed at a good price point for engineers and hobbyists alike.